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Old 05-15-2007, 03:41 PM
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Default rotties and thyroids

ok, the research for our next dog continues. [we will be in the market for another dog in probably 1-2 years from now, and figured we'd start researching several breeds right away so we can know what we want when that time comes.]
my husband has been saying for a long time that he wants a rottie. he has never had one [his family had brussells griff, a pom cross, and a doberman over the course of his childhood]. i had one several years ago, LOVED her, but in discussing the possibility of getting one, i realized i have some unresolved fears because of what went wrong. here's what happened, to the best of my knowledge/memory. it was my parents that handled most of the decision making and vet discussions, so i could be mistaken on a few details.

my parents had been the victim of their own ignorance and a bad breeder [got a purebred shar pei with severe genetic health problems]. that, coupled with the thought of getting a powerful 100+ pound dog with children in the house, really caused them to want to educate themselves before purchasing. i remember them going through a huge process finding a breeder, etc. they checked the background, health records, etc. i remember going to the breeder's house. she only had one bitch and they were a well-to-do family and the dogs were raised with the family. the pups came from working lines, and either the sire or the grandsire was super-multi-titled [he was even one or two of the rott books we were reading]. we spent time going to schutzhund trials and obedience/agility trials, meeting and talking with people, etc.
our girl was wonderful. she excelled in her training and worked right into our family. she was perfectly reliable off lead and with children, etc. then, she had her second heat just around 12 months of age and everything changed. she suddenly had these drastic agressive mood swings [example: my baby sister once walked by her crate, which the dog was in, as she has done the dog's whole life, and the dog lunged at her and was tearing at the bars to get out], she would be fine one minute and then completely insane the next. we knew it was really bad when she started going after me and mom, who she worshipped. i remember my parents saying the vets diagnosis was a chemical imbalance that can occur in otherwise healthy dogs around this age. with my knowledge now, i am guessing it was autoimmune thyroiditis or hyperthyroid. between my parents and the vet, it was decided to put her to sleep. i don't know if her problem was so severe that meds wouldn't be reliable enough to completely rule out sudden aggression, or what. but it was basically decided that she would be a danger. they said that if she was a small breed, they would have given her treatment and kept her, but because she was over 110 pounds at 12 months, it wasn't a risk worth taking.

anyhow, the whole thing traumatized me enough that it was about 10 years before i allowed myself to love a dog [i avoided any dogs my family got after that] and as you guys know, it's only been recently that i got myself sylvie.

i remember passionately loving everything about rotts, but have to admit i am frightened by this experience. has anyone dealt with this before, particularly in rotts? any advice for addressing this? and i think i need to be reminded why i fell in love with this breed.
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:43 PM
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anyone?
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Old 05-22-2007, 10:01 AM
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Rotts are great dogs and you just have to enjoy them for the time you are bless to be with them. I have owned three in my adult life and could never get one to live past their 11th Birthday.

They have a host of health problems and that was a enough to scare me off and I switched to Amstaffs in an attempt to get healthier and more long lived dogs.

However...in 10 years, few dogs will give you more quality love and attention as the Rottie. (IMHO)
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Old 05-22-2007, 09:17 PM
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Amstaffer couldn't of said it better. You dont have them long, but the time you do, is magical.

Spider's grandsire is 13 years old and going strong, which is NOT your usual Rottweiler age to live to, and her mother is going strong at 8. So hopefully I have gotten a line with her that will let me keep her around alot longer.

They do have a whole slew of problems, its not a breed to get if in 8 years you can't handle the thought of them not being here. Its heart breaking, but to know a Rottweiler is to love one, and you go in knowing and loving to the fullest, every moment. Cancer is the #1 Killer in Rottweilers and I have seen it take a life far too young many times.

As far as what you stated about your girls temp, whos to say what it was. I haven't expereinced a change in temp like that, so I can't speak from expereince.
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Old 05-23-2007, 01:58 PM
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thanks guys. you are right about the amazing love of a rott. which is why i would be tempted to go there again!
i can handle the thought of losing one in 8 years - but in my case it was only after having her 10 months.. and a sick dog is one thing, but a dog that wants to eat people randomly through the day was super harsh.
i guess my concern is wondering how prevalent this kind of hormonal/temperament issue is in the breed now...
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Old 05-23-2007, 03:37 PM
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If you acquire a puppy from a sensible responsible breeder, and if you pay attention to early training and socialization, you should not have to worry about this sort of temperament flaw.

I don't find it common in the breed at all.

I am so sorry about your awful experience, and can't blame you for feeling as you do.
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Old 05-24-2007, 06:30 PM
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thanks!

good to hear its not common, gives me hope.
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