Chantal's Bouviersdog breeding

1 Review updated:

We bought a pedigreed Bouvier pup from Chantal's Bouviers in Schwenksville PA in July 2016 Unfortunately this is poor girl has had nothing but health issues. Up to date she has had 4 surgeries and now we find out that she has hip dysplasia in both hips. Chantal has not answered e mails and she no longer takes phone calls.
We are not novices. We have owned, bred and trained large working dogs for almost 50 years. We bought this pup just as a companion. Not much of a companion because the poor girl is either always at the vet or recuperating.
My best advice is to stay away from Chantal's Bouviers.

May 31, 2018
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  • Ch
      Dec 14, 2018

    Chantal Claesen has been in a state of retirement since about 2000, when she sold most, if not all, of her very top imports. She tests all of her dogs, which are only six (6) dogs. Usually when a breeder is in his or her apex, the breeder will have at least 13 to 25 dogs (all top international champions). Chantal has always had her dogs health tested. Unless the Penn Hip Evaluation is done to test the laxity of the hip sockets, there are no guarantees. My father purchased a dog from an equally famous Dutch breeder here in the U.S., which had horrific hips and a seizure disorder. The dog developed bone and testicular cancer at the age of 6 years. Our last female from Chantal was a cripple by the age of 5.5 years old. She didn't have hip dysplasia. Instead her croup and entire pelvic area were too small -- and her stifle (knee) joints were a mess. And yet, she lived for 12 years, 7 months -- and kept my sister's top Russian-imported, male Black Russian Terrier company. Most of the Bouviers bred in North America today suffer from varying degrees of hip dysplasia. They also suffer from hypothyroidism. If you really have bad luck, you'll end up with a dog, suffering from glaucoma. The breed is having a lot of health issues all over the world. There are a few Dutch breeders, who still breed a few good dogs. Nevertheless this breed has an enormous amount of health issues. One very well-known breeder in California stopped breeding the Bouvier altogether and is now breeding the Black Russian Terrier. Most dog enthusiasts are now importing. The retired and semi-retired Bouvier breeders are blaming the dogs being sent over here from the Netherlands and Belgium. It is no coincidence that the overall population of the Bouvier des Flandres breed of dog has diminished by 50% in the past 15 or so years. The coats are lousy. The bone structures are lousy. The heads have been lousy for a long time. The hindquarters -- forget it. We've all been victimized, including the breeders. It's like: "Join the club!" If you want a good dog, you have to import -- and even then, there's no guarantees. For example, my sister's Russian-imported Black Terrier was constructed perfectly. He was literally climbing and jumping like a feral cat by the age of 12 weeks old. Bouviers cannot move like a Black Russian Terrier, which has a temperament closer to a German shepherd dog. Once these dogs mature (after a lot of training at training clubs and very intensive socialization), they're very manageable: sweet with a wild and temperamental side, plus they are predatory toward humans but mostly large men). Many of the Black Russian Terrier dogs are afflicted with varying degrees of horrific hip dysplasia. My sister's dog was structurally correct with a gorgeous head, huge shoulders, perfect topline, very strong and perfectly shaped pelvis, tail always erect, coat was absolutely gorgeous, but... The dog apparently suffered from a severe form of systemic autoimmune disease, which involved repeated hospitalizations and a surgical procedure (involving 22 to 23 incisions) to remove very deep and huge sebaceous cysts. He healed fast, so we knew he didn't have hypothyroidism. He tested negative for Addison's disease. Nevertheless he suffered from a severe form of autoimmune disease, involving inflammatory bowel. We spent tens and tens-of-thousands-of-dollars on this otherwise gorgeous Zolotoy Grad dog with a World Dog Show and Grand Russian champion sire, Vsevolod S Zolotogo Grada. His uncle was also a very famous dog and World Dog Show specialty champion. His grand sire was a 3 X World Dog Show specialty champion, international champion, Grand Russian champion, and Euro champion dog named "Kris." "Kris" lived for 15.5 years, but his progeny did not live very long. Many of the dogs have been dying between the ages of 3 to 4 years old -- gorgeous finished champion dogs, which were bred numerous times before their very premature deaths. The brother of my sister's dog died before his 4th birthday -- gorgeous finished AKC champion, which was bred numerous times before he died. Her dog's other brother, which was kept in Russia, died right after he turned 2 years old -- and right after he was finished as a Grand Russian champion. My sister's dog lived 10 years, 1 month. He died about a year ago from brain cancer -- a first for our family. A lot of Bouviers are now dying before or soon after the age of 1 year old. That's something new. Normally a Bouvier will not develop spleen cancer until the age of 10 years old. That's how my sister's last big-boned, male Bouvier with perfect hips and an absolutely perfect head died at 10 years, 4 months old. But with her imported Black Russian Terrier, that was a real travesty. Such a beautiful animal, but such a sick animal! He luckily went into full remission for three (3) solid years, which was long enough to enable him to partake in the conformation show ring, where he literally took the entire show ring on consecutive days. No, he was never bred. I wouldn't wish a sick dog like this dog on my worst enemy. She refused professional breeders, who wanted to use him for breeding. They were nasty and accused her dog of having hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia can be addressed with the new titanium hip replacement devices. There's no way to properly address a damaged immune system. The diet alone for a very large dog with an inflammatory bowel condition costs about $1, 200 per month. The sire of my sister's dog died at the age of 9 years, 4 months old. His famous dam died at the age of 8.5 years old. His famous uncle died at the age of 10 years, 6 months old. My sister's last female, a pure structural nightmare with a horrible coat, outlived all of these beautiful, structurally correct dogs. There is now an epidemic of autoimmune disease in dogs. Brain cancer is now quite common among older dogs. Everyone is having horrific problems to varying degrees. The cost of veterinary care is rising exponentially due to our wonderful economic model. In any case, dogs are actually apt to receive superior health care compared to humans here in the U.S. My sister is now dog-free for the first time in 30 years. She is actually afraid to purchase another dog, any dog. She stopped purchasing domestic dogs due to the breeders' cost, plus the domestically bred dogs are NOT structurally correct. She also learned the hard way. She actually attended one of the Bouvier des Flandres Club of America one-week specialty shows to find out what was happening to these dogs. She found out. The breeders all blamed the Europeans for sending them lousy dogs to breed. Both the American and Canadian breeders blamed the European breeders. Ironically some of the Russian breeders of the Bouvier des Flandres breed of dog are achieving very good to excellent results. Dogs are a central component of the Russian and Eastern European culture. The Eastern European country can be poor and repressive as hell, but each of these countries has a huge expo center for the large international dog shows. So the Russians and the Eastern Europeans tend to take their dog breeding more seriously than others. Much of their economies are based on the canine business, especially conformation. Even so, it takes a long time to locate a good breeder. Even so, there are no guarantees, but at least the asking prices of top quality dogs in Russia and Eastern Europe are significantly lower than in North America, especially in the U.S. Always remember: American and Canadian breeders will not sell their top pups outright. The top pups, usually at least 4.5 to 6 months old, are sold "on contract, " meaning the breeder retains part ownership over the dog to show, finish as a champion, and to breed the dog. A detailed contract is written up. Usually these "on contract" dogs lead to owning further dogs or at least choosing a top puppy from one or more of your dog's litters. These pups the dog owner would own outright. It takes about 3.5 years before the owner of the "on contract" dog owns his or her own dog outright, which usually is shown and bred with the help of the established breeder. If you want a top, structurally correct Bouvier des Flandres dog, the top breeders in Canada will sell a pup "on contract" for a hefty sum of money. All top dogs are either kept by the breeders or sold "on contract." A puppy of 4.5 months old can undergo a full Penn Hip Evaluation. I would strongly urge you not to purchase any puppies domestically, which are under the age of 4.5 months old and have not undergone this hip evaluation. Puppies in Russia are also sold between the ages of 3.5 to 4.5 months old with preliminary hip x-rays. Of course, a puppy of 4.5 months old, which is fully health tested, will cost significantly more money, but in the long run, the extra cost actually saves money -- you hope. With the autoimmune disease epidemic, there are no guarantees. Nevertheless it is possible to obtain a structurally correct dog, which is absolutely gorgeous -- but it will be chronically ill with periods of full remission. I would suggest concentrating on the health of a dog rather than the breed of dog. I fully empathize and sympathize with you. Did you contact the Office of Attorney General in the state of Pennsylvania. There's also small claims court. My father's first Bouvier was purchased from a very well-known breeder, Robert Abady. By the time this male pup was 3 months old, he was diagnosed with severely shallow hip sockets -- and that was in 1970, when there were less than 400 dogs in all of North America. Back in 1970, there was no surgical procedure to remedy the problem, so the dog was extremely nasty due to his high level of pain. Three doctors of veterinary medicine advised my father to euthanize this puppy. He refused, especially since he himself had undergone a full hip replacement surgery due to a WW II injury in the Air Corps. The dog lived for 14.5 years. He was given medication to control the pain and inflammation. He was able to run like twinkle toes. He looked like he was running on ballet toe shoes. He attacked my sister numerous times and branded her right arm for life -- 2 huge gaping holes. The Attorney General of the State of New York, where the dog was purchased, directed the breeder to either offer a replacement for the pup or return the sum paid for the dog. Chantal doesn't charge much money for her dogs, because she no longer sells health-tested, older pups for the conformation show ring. She now only sells pet quality dogs at a rather low sum or affordable price. She hasn't been selling top quality, health-tested, older pups since about 2000. Even so, there's no guarantees that the dog will not develop a severe form of autoimmune disease or premature cancer. Never ever purchase a dog from a small breeder or a breeder, who has gone into semi-retirement. If you want a top dog, which is structurally correct, it is going to cost significantly more money than what Chantal has been charging for her pet quality pups. She only has her dogs undergo the OFA x-ray exam, which is a very superficial exam. Everyone familiar with dogs and hip dysplasia knows that the OFA x-ray is not enough to guarantee the dog doesn't have a slight degree of hip dysplasia. In Europe and Russia, the laxity of the hip sockets is precisely measured. The OFA x-ray here in North America doesn't measure the actual laxity of the dog's hip sockets. A lot of large-breed dogs are plagued with hip dysplasia. The Romanians have a gorgeous herding and guard dog, the Mioritic shepherd, which is plagued by hip dysplasia. Unless the breeding stock is extensively tested, there are absolutely no guarantees. More often than not, the breeding dogs will test negative, but their brothers and sisters will test positive for hip dysplasia. So if any of the dogs in a litter are plagued by hip dysplasia, the progeny (nieces and nephews) will most likely have hip dysplasia. When purchasing a puppy (4.5 months old or older and fully tested), make sure all of the aunts and uncles (brothers and sisters of the pup's sire and dam) have been fully tested (hip laxity) and free of hip dysplasia. Also make sure the dogs are also free of elbow dysplasia. It's a lot of work to find a structurally correct dog with perfect hips. My sister's Black Russian Terrier bred in Russia was free of hip dysplasia. His Penn Hip Evaluation score was better than 88% of the other Black Russian Terrier dogs in the database. Nevertheless he was plagued by autoimmune disease, involving an inflammatory bowel condition. And I would suggest staying clear of the Matthew Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. They have a tendency to pad the bill and will fail miserably in properly diagnosing the dog's disease. If you complain by writing a polite letter to detail the treatment the dog either did receive (but was evidently incorrect) or didn't receive, the hospital will "ban you for life, " even if you have been a loyal customer for 40 years or more. Nice?! If your dog does become ill with a rare form of systemic disease, you should take the dog to the Cornell University Animal Hospital. There is a famous clinic in Manhattan, NY, which specializes in hypothyroidism -- a very common autoimmune disease in Bouviers. The Matthew Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania wanted to conduct a colonoscopy on a dog, which was dying of brain cancer. They released the dog on high-dose Prednisone to reduce the inflammation and pressure on the dog's brain, which was causing the loss of use of the dog's four legs. They also released the dog with deworming medication, claiming it wouldn't hurt the dog. That cost at least an additional $65. If you release a few hundred dogs per day with deworming medication, because after all "it won't hurt the dog, " you easily can deduce why they release every dog with deworming medication. And you want to know why Trump is president? There is absolutely no oversight and accountability in American society today. There isn't much in the way of consumer protection today. If you want a structurally correct dog, which hopefully is otherwise healthy, you have to join many of the Facebook dog clubs and attach yourself to Facebook friends, who are heavily involved with dogs. From time to time, a person will message you to warn you about a breeder and the breeder's dogs. Be glad your dog doesn't have the genetic neurological disorder, which prevents the dog from swallowing. All reputable breeders now test for this disease. There is no remedy for this genetic neurological disease. Usually the dogs are euthanized by the age of 3 to 3.5 years old. Finding a structurally correct dog, which is also healthy, is tantamount to playing Russian Roulette. Live and learn. What's the other saying, "When it pours, it rains."

    0 Votes
  • Ch
      Dec 14, 2018

    The initial complaint made by the dog owner has no substantial information, nor does the complainer identify himself or herself. If the complaint was legitimate, there are legal venues in which to remedy and to address any outstanding issues. All legitimate breeders possess insurance and bonding to address any outstanding issues. The complaint against Chantal's Bouviers is suspicious. Many breeders will bad-mouth each other. That's how the dog business is conducted. There are so very many breeders of the Bouvier des Flandres breed of dog in the state of Pennsylvania, who sell dogs afflicted with hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, glaucoma, and other health issues. Why pick on one breeder, who has been in semi retirement for almost 18 years? If anyone is curious about this breed of dog, I would strongly suggest attending the large conformation dog shows, but especially the annual Bouvier des Flandres Club of America annual one-week specialty show, when it is held in Pennsylvania or another nearby state like Maryland or Virginia. The owner must identify himself or herself and the dog in question to be a legitimate complaint. There is absolutely no evidence provided, nor documentation by the involved animal hospitals and doctors of veterinary medicine. Anyone with a legitimate complaint will identify themselves and provide some pertinent information. My father owned two dogs with very severe hip dysplasia: one from Robert Abady as listed above and one from Jack Van Vliet, which died prematurely of cancer at the age of 6 years old. My father and sister owned three (3) of Chantal's dogs between 1992 and 2015 without any signs and indication of hip dysplasia.

    -1 Votes
  • Bo
      Jan 24, 2019
    Best Best Advice

    I owned one of Chantal's dogs. I adopted her at 7 yrs old after her original owner placed her in a ""rescue"". She was in perfect health, no hip issues, still bouncing at the ripe age of 11.5 and lived to 11.7 years of age. She developed an abdominal/pelvic cancer and declined fast. RIP cleo.

    +5 Votes
  • Bo
      Jan 24, 2019

    I would adopt another from her in a flash. 5 stars .

    +3 Votes

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