big dogs have just as many problems with whelping as small dogs. Sometimes more since they can have bigger pups. There are a lot of things to know for the "just in case" moments.
The reason everyone says that the stud is bad? Well, even basic health testing can't be done until a dog is 2 years old, esp a large breed like a Saint. Seeing as his breeder/previous owner allowed him to sire THREE litters while he was still a baby immediately says that she wasn't a stellar example to be following.
You said the parents and other pups were healthy. Did she show you proof? Did she show OFA and other testing results for the parents, his siblings, grandparents, aunts/uncles?? If not, then she was just talking out her rear unless she has xray vision. It would be like my grandfather who never went to the Dr boasting that he was always healthy. Except that he ended up finding out he had heart disease and diabetes when he finally did go! You can't find things you don't look for. Dogs with horrible hips can learn to compensate and mask their symptoms. They then pass those problems onto their pups. Dogs with other genetic diseases may not show symptoms until they are older. Heart problems are a big one. Dog can be perfectly healthy until he just keels over in the middle of his afternoon walk. But, if a through exam had been done there would have been warning not to breed those parents.
Look at this x-ray. This poor pup has had to have multiple surgeries just to let him stand up in the morning; he is less than a year old. He is in extreme amounts of pain and if the surgeries don't work his owner will have to euthanize him.
examples like this are why we are all taking this so seriously. That is why all of the testing is so important. Not just on the sire and dam, but their parents. And their parents' parents. For as many generations as possible.
"No problems known" I can sell a used car that way - just don't let them take it to the mechanic who will see that the oil hasn't been changed in 4 years, the brake shoes are gone, and all the hoses are about to explode. But, because it still starts and stops can I call it a good car? Why take a chance like that with a living creature? The pups are the ones who will have to live out their lives in pain in things go wrong. The new owners are the ones who will be heartbroken if their pup dies suddenly of a heart attack. Or they have to put their dog to sleep because he can't stand up, even though he's only a year old. Or deal with the lawsuits and their dog being put down if he bites someone because he has a bad temperament or bites because he has undiagnosed epilipsy which can lead to disorientation.
what about entropian?
Prepared to screen puppy buyers? What are your requirements for a buyer to meet approval?
will you require references?
will you let them keep the dog outside?
will you sell on a limited registration and/or require them to be spayed/neutered?
what about the offspring of your dogs? If you don't do the above, you could have 8 or more people just breeding saint bernards willy-nilly and leaving a string of genetic nightmare pups in their wake. "Hey Susie died when she was having pups. I need you to sell me another dog because we loved her so much"
What about when the owner, who had "no idea" that the pup would get so big dumps him off at the pound? Or because he sheds? Or he drools? Or they never trained him and now he weighs 150 lbs and knocks over grandma when she comes to visit? Or because they have been planning a move across the country for the last 8 months but just realized the night before they leave that they have a dog and the new apt doesn't allow pets.
That's why it's so hard and takes so long to find good owners and why a good breeder has buyers approved and lined up before they even start THINKING of breeding. Everyone loves a cute puppy, but the average Joe probably shouldn't own a houseplant. The people who make the best owners and will move heaven and earth for their pets? Well they do their research. They will ask to see those health tests. They will want to see what you have done with the dogs. They will want to know what age great-grandparents died and what they died from. They will ask "why did you use this stud with this female?" and will expect a detailed explanation on what faults each dog has and how the other one has attributes to improve the other.
Lots of people will show up because of an ad in the paper and hand over money for a pup. That doesn't mean that they should own a houseplant let alone a dog. People buy puppies in the parking lot of wal-mart because they are cute. They take them home, leave them in the backyard until the cute wears off and then take it to the pound when they buy another cute puppy that they saw an ad for. Or they are buying a replacement pup because the other is already dead from parvo or hit by a car or was just "too wild" and they took it to the pound.
I guess my point is that people are stupid. And breeders will tell you things that you want to hear. You wanted to find a stud dog, she had a male with testicles. She said that he would be perfect for you.
I can tell you that I know nothing about Saints. I'm a GSD person. All the info I found about what genetic problems they have and need to test for I found on google "genetic problems saint bernards"
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