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Royalty Akitas - Don Van Dermyden / Royalty Aitas - Don Van Dermyden Complaint

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Royalty Akitas
I think potential Akita buyers should be aware that Don Van Dermyden’s Akitas CAN be very LARGE which increases the risk of leg problems. I purchased a dog from Don Van Dermyden of Royalty Akitas ( or Royaltyakitas on Don’s business cards) back in 2009 and I put that same dog to sleep a year and half later in 2010 because she tore BOTH back leg ACL and needed TPLO surgery at a cost of $10, 000 for both legs. I probably spent around $4, 000 between buying her, vet costs, getting custom made braces for both her back legs from OrthoPets. Please know that this was my 4th Akita over a 20 year period. The female was very sweet, but, ended up being abnormally large, she was 100 lbs by 11 months old. I took her off puppy food early and fed her IAMS food but less than I had fed my past Akitas due to her size. The surgical specialist who confirmed it was a torn ACL indicated this is NOT common for a dog that was 15 months old, Usually you see ligament tears in dogs age 5 and up. I contacted Don when I first learned of the TPLO tear and he suggested it was what I was feeding her. Contacted him a second time after putting the dog to sleep, I was hoping to maybe get some of my money back but knew legally I couldn’t prove her problems were genetic. Don asked for all my vet information so he could have his vet review it and then offered to sell me another dog for $600. I emailed him all the dogs’ info including pictures, but, I never heard from him again. I’m sure not all of Don’s puppies have leg problems, but, mine did. Don does construction work, so, his place looks great. I put a review on Puppy Finder so other buyer would be aware of potential leg problems with Don’s Akitas, but, Puppy Finder removed it less than 12 hrs later. I sent Puppy Finder paperwork at their request proving I purchased the dog, my vet records, and emails I had sent to Don, but, they would not reactivate the review. Back 20 years ago, Akitas from breeders (in my case these breeders were a family who only owned two Akitas that had puppies once in a while), the puppies went for $250 maybe $300 which is what I got my first two Akias for. Got my third Akita from Akita rescue for $100. Can’t believe how much Akitas cost now from a breeder even the little family, once in a while breeders. My experience with Royalty Akitas and Don is the first time I ever spent $1, 200 on a dog… my 4th Akita.

ADVICE to people looking to get an Akita based on my experience over the past 20 yrs:
1) Don’t pick out a dog when it’s a few weeks old. Try to wait until the dog is 8 weeks when the puppy is ready to be picked up so you can see how healthy the dog is at THAT time. If the dog seems tired and not very active… it probably has worms, which is what I found out after bring my puppy home and to the vet. If the puppy seems to favor a leg, there might be a problem with the legs, such as, a partially torn ligament that will not show up in an x-ray. Spending a lot of money doesn’t always guarantee a healthy animal.
2) A common deposit is $200 to $250, NOT half the price of the dog.
3) Ask for a copy of the receipt from the vet the breeder is bringing the dogs to for their health checks. If the breeder is reluctant to give you a copy it’s most likely because they are doing all the shots themselves and not bring them to the vet.
5) Go with a breeder who owns two or three dogs and only breeds once in awhile. Their dogs tend to be family pets and the puppies get a lot more attention.
4) Akitas are considered an aggressive breed. They MUST be socialized with people and other dogs as much as possible the first 2 to 3 years, or, the dogs will develop a very PROTECTIVE attitude. I have always socialized my Akitas but have met other Akitas that haven’t been socialized much, and, there is a difference in attitude that presents after the puppy stage between age 2 and 3 years of age.
5) Or, maybe it’s time to google Akita rescues sites since there are so many Akitas being abandoned. Many rescues get in young dogs too.

Good Luck !!

More Royalty Akitas - Don Van Dermyden Complaints & Reviews

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D  9th of Aug, 2011 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
If anyone is interested in the FACTS regarding this issue please contact me at don@royaltyakitas.com as we have nothing to hide and provide a link directly to our vet clinic. As of this issue, the paperwork provided via /name removed/ vet, showed NO conclusive evidence as to the cause of the puppy's hip problem. I will gladly discuss this dispute with anyone who is interested in the facts before drawing any one-sided conclusions.
Thank You
Don Van Dermyden
D  9th of Aug, 2011 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
After talking with Don by phone we decided to visit his place in person before purchasing a puppy from him early 2011. His facility is remarkably clean and the one on one attention he gives his puppies was a huge selling point for me. Don was very easy to deal with and we were more than happy to pay the price for the quality dog we received. I've wanted an akita ever since our family dog passed away in late 2009. Sandy was a great fit for our family and is playful, healthy and our new baby! Thanks for everything Don!
D  10th of Aug, 2011 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I have been a Akita owner for over twenty five years and four years ago I lost my male at a age of 13.I live in Arizona and we made many trips to visit Breeders in several locations and after a long year of looking for a great pup to replace my boy Rocko we made a trip to Northern Ca. to visit Don at Royalty Akitas.I have to say it was the best trip I ever made because I found my great new boy Austin at he has been a great healthy, smart beautiful boy that has been with us for three years now.Don was great to deal with from the minute we arrived at his place and continues to be that way.His dogs are loved very much by Don and the care he gives them is second to none and the dogs love Don like I have never seen before at any other breeder that we visited.Since we purchased are first boy we also purchased a beautiful girl last year and Don Shipped her to us and she is everything Don said she was.We have sent at least 4 or 5 of our friends to Don and everyone has been very pleased with there puppies and the way Don handles matters, he always has been very easy to contact and whats to know how his Kids are doing. Don keep up the great work you do with your Akitas because you really have a passion for want you do. Regards Joe and Tina

Joe Dugger
A  10th of Aug, 2011 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
We are an Akita family and lost our first Akita in May of 2010 at the age of 12. We found Don on PuppyFinder and are VERY impressed with his facility, his care and concern. We had our newest member of our family, Bear, shipped to us last August from California to Ohio. When we opened up his kennel at the Columbus, OH airport we knew we had a well cared for and loved puppy. Bear has been a wonderful addition to our family. Don runs a great opeartion and we have been very happy with Bear. Don does not run a puppy mill. He truly loves his job, his puppies and his customers. Don worked with us to pick the right puppy over the phone and sent us pictures of the puppies from the litter from Bella. He continued to call and send pictures of Bear as he grew. He knew our children were loving the weekly pictures. Don STILL continues to keep in contact with us. He also suggested we change food to a different brand, to the same he is using because he felt it would be better for Bear. Not many breeders would care enough about their puppies AFTER they are gone. To those of you out there wanting to purchase an Akita, Don at Royalty Akitas is the place to purchase one. Don, keep up the great work!! Your love and passion for Akita's and the happiness and joy they bring to families is so obvious in how you run your operation! Bear has been a great addition to our family. We love Bear and also you Don!!!
N  10th of Aug, 2011 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
The third comment was posted by Royalty Akitas but was written as if it was from someone else, "Joe and Tina"... hmmm... i'm not sure what's going on here... seems fishy.
I can't prove it was a genetic problem. Don kindly offered to sell me a dog for half price at the time i called to inform him i put the dog to sleep. After that i never heard from him until i posted my akita advice online. I'm happy for all those who got a healthy dog from Don... that doesn't change the fact that the dog i got from Don tore her ACL in both back legs and could barely walk by the age of a year and a half. And it doesn't change the fact i spent thousands in a year and a half on a dog. I wish i was one of the ones who got a healthy dog.
N  10th of Aug, 2011 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
In regards to the post in question from The Dugger family they sent me this post to put up in behalf of them as they were not able to post it because they were sending it from there phone and it would not post. Please feel free to contact me and I will be very happy to give you Joe and Tina's phone number.We have nothing to hide and I again
welcome anyone to call our vet.clinic and visit our dogs Please visit our online home at http;//www.royaltyakitas.com Don Van Dermyden Royalty Akitas
D  11th of Aug, 2011 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
We purchased several Akitas from Don. They are healthy with wonderful dispositions. Don provides a great service and takes well deserved pride in his dogs. We have been to his home on numerous occasions when selecting and picking up our dogs. They are not just dogs to Don...they are family. His love for them is obvious. We love our dogs and are grateful for Don. Thanks for the great job!! Andrea & Kraig - Northern CA
D  17th of Aug, 2011 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
15 and then again 12 years ago my husband and I purchased a female Akita and both ended up dying young due to genetic problems. We were scared off Akitas for a while but have always loved the breed. Last year we decided to try again. After much research and conversations with breeders all over, we decided on Don Van Dermyden and Royalty Akitas. We feel that with Don we hit the jackpot! It took us some time to settle on the girl we wanted and through it all Don was dedicated to making sure we were getting exactly the puppy we wanted. Once we picked her out Don kept us up to date with her progress through pictures, emails and phone calls. Throughout this process, I was able to hear and see first hand the love and care Don gives each and everyone of his dogs. He is dedicated to breeding and raising top notch, beautiful, smart, well-adjusted and extremely healthy Akitas. We have been so happy with our girl, who is now a year old, that two months ago we purchased a male and he is truly gorgeous in every sense! Both dogs are incredibly loving and good natured as well as stunning. Even my three teenagers exclaim, "Don sure knows what he's doing with Akitas!" With Don you also received continued support in that he is always available to answer questions and he has promised me during-the-process support when we have our own litter. For anyone considering an Akita, we highly, highly recommend Don Van Dermyden and Royalty Akitas. Without a doubt, if there was something wrong with one of his puppies, and it was genetic, he would take care of it without hesitation. To Vikki, I am sorry for your loss but if the cause is not proven to be genetic you have no business discrediting the breeder of such fantastic dogs. There is no way I could even conceive of his business being considered a "puppy mill", it is so far removed from that description (and you can see for yourself) that it is embarrassing to hear it said as well as undeserved! Royalty Akitas is Don's business as well as his passion and he takes it seriously! Royalty Akitas are in demand because Don and his staff breed outstanding Akitas! Thank you Don! Christopher and Debi Taylor of New Mexico
N  3rd of Sep, 2011 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
All I can say is our baby is 16 months old now and she is the best dog we have ever had. Don was great when we talked to him on the phone, even better when we met him. I would tell anyone what a great breeder we think he is. Our girl is all we ever wanted and more.
Misha born 5-26-10 Allen & Rene'
D  27th of Nov, 2011 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I have one of Don's akitas. Our Guinness is 15 months old and in perfect health. He weighs about 90lbs and has a great appetite. I am also a pet nutritionist and can tell you that Iams is a horrible food, especially for large breed dogs. The calcium and phosphorus levels are off and causes puppies to grow too big too quickly. The wrong kind of exercise too young will also affect your dogs muscular structure. I have also seen puppies with torn ACLs, think of how a spastic puppy can easily post-hole in snow or mud. I know that it is easier to point a finger and blame someone else than to look at some of the bad choices you may have made with your dog. Don is a great breeder and the post on this complaint show that more people are happy with his pups than aren't. - Stephanie, Mammoth Lakes, CA
D  5th of Apr, 2013 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
We are absolutely THRILLED with our female "Dakota". I have bought 2 Akita puppies! Don was only a few hours away so we went to see him personally and I was so impressed! My parents used to breed show dogs so I have seen many facilities and this one is the best I have ever encountered! He even video tapes the each birth if you want to see it! "Dakota" is stunning! Our vet is very impressed with her. Keep up the good work Don! It was very thoughtful of you to offer this family another dog at half price! They would have been smart to take you up on your offer as opposed to smearing your good name and reputation!

Lindsay Groff
Northern CA
N  7th of Jul, 2013 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
My wife and I are recent Akita owners. I purchased a male that is related to Royalty Akitas. My pups parents came from there. And then I purchased a female from Don, himself. I guess I am still trying to figure out where their aggression is. These dogs are so lovable and friendly, its beyond belief. There is that old saying; "A dog is only as smart as its owner". If you spend time and keep them around other people too, then you can have one of the best family pets. I made the mistake of allowing MoJo to lay on my lap, when I would sit on the couch, when we brought him home. Now he thinks he is a lap dog. It was too funny.
I was amazed when I saw Don's set up. How he treats, cares for, and loves all his Akita's is something to see. His place is absolutely beautiful. I have told everyone about my experience.
I do feel bad for the pup that had to be put down. I don't believe that in any way, Royalty Akitas business practice had anything to do with that. Perhaps it was just that freak occurrence.
N  14th of Aug, 2013 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
We are an Akita family. We have purchased two Akita's from Don. We loved the first puppy so much that when we lost one of our other Akita's we had no problem in contacting Don for our next family member.
During the process of each selection we visited Don's home many times. It was always clean and the animals were always very well taken care of.
We think every Akita can have ACL problems. You can avoid many future problems by not over exercising your puppy. Talk to the surgeon at your Vets office. Ask how you can avoid and lower the risk to your Akita.
Don knows and loves every Akita on his property, and they love him. He is a wealth of knowledge about Akita health, behavior, and disposition.
Don helped us pick the Akita that best fit into our family and "pack".
We just love both of our Akita's that we purchased from Don.
Every animal can have health issues of many different sorts. Having a good Vet is so important in recognizing problems at an early stage. It is important to know just how the
ACL in the above situation was torn in the first place? It does not just happen without a direct, initial, cause. We have had two other Akita's, not related to Don's, that have had ACL problems. It happens, and we are now educated on how and what steps we can take as Akita owners to reduce the risk of future problems with our other Akita's.
Don is very selective about his breeding practices. It was very kind of him to offer another puppy at half price.
Love can't be replaced by money. Be thankful for the time you had with your puppy, and learn from it for the sake of your future puppies. If Don returned your initial payment it would not change the outcome at all and you would still be unhappy.
We refer people to RoyaltyAkitas.com every time they say how beautiful our Akita's are.
Twice, we are so very happy with the puppy we purchased from Don!

N  30th of Oct, 2017 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
@Denise Ross I regret every word written praising Don. Both of the dogs we got from him had very serious medical issues after having them for a few years. BOTH dogs turned horribly aggressive. One had a brain lesion the other VKH. Both Akitas had to be put down after turning on me. One bit me in the face, the other almost completely tore off a finger. We have had 5 Akitas, 2 that were both from Don, were the only ones with this aggression. We are devastated. He sells so many dogs I dont know how he really keeps puppies and their paperwork correct. The same dogs are bred over and over. I have been contacted by many people that have also been attacked by their own Akitas purchased from Don. In comparing pedigrees we find one of the same aggressive breed lines over and over. If I had it to do over I would NEVER get an Akita from Royalty Akitas. I would never post anything good about him or his dogs.
N  6th of Dec, 2017 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
@R and D Ross I am having aggression issues with my Akita as well. He goes after the cats now, and has bitten or nipped at almost every family member. He does not listen well either, only when he wants to. Nikko was his sire. He was great as a puppy, but once he turned 2, everything has been going downhill. You just never know what you're going to get with him. A sweet dog, or your face bit! Its devastating!
D  26th of Aug, 2013 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Ramzi & I purchased a handsome male Akita from Don & on 7/1/13 we took him home. Tonka is our 3rd Akita and he is outstanding! The comments we receive on Tonka are anywhere from what type of dog he is, his markings are beautiful, he carries himself with confidence, etc., etc. (Our vet, Dr. Cocanour at Klaich Animal Hospital, was very impressed with Tonka's demeanor.) Don's name & RoyaltyAkitas is out there and the wonderful & caring way he has for his "Family" is so obvious. He loves them all and they know & show it!
If you are not sure which Akita to pick for your household Don will suggest and go over all the puppies with you, but your final pick will be your decision, as Don will tell you. (But he does know his Akita puppies and you can trust him in picking one for you.)
His facility is huge and very well taken care of! We were very impressed! (Actually it is one gorgeous ranch!)
Ramzi & Theresa (Reno, NV)
N  14th of Feb, 2014 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Make sure you see the OFA results before purchasing an Akita. I purchased an Akita and did not check this and my poor sweetie ended up completely crippled and I had to put her down. I'm glad Don is a nice guy but it is incumbent upon the buyer to demand both a hip guarantee and proof of good OFA testing on the parents.
N  15th of Feb, 2014 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Thanks admin for such a nice post
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N  21st of Aug, 2015 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
Just a heads up. Don doesn't follow legal protocol and provide purchases of their rights, which is stated in the California Puppy Lemon Law (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=hsc&group=122001-123000&file=122045-122110)
Also, there was just a matter of purchasing a dog with a hereditary disease documented by multiple veterinarians, of which Don will gladly claim can't be proven by science and his so-called contacts at UC Davis. Either way, educate yourselves about your rights when purchasing from ANY breeder, and hold them accountable for their failure to adhere to the LAW. Don will drop the "my lawyer" line all the time. Puppy factory, however you want to look at it, and when you have a factory there will be flawed production (which is expected)... however, for Don its never gonna be his fault, cause he's interested in one thing, and thats the $
N  17th of Jul, 2017 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
@Ole Pistis Please contact me. 562) 307-1170. Mia. I'd be very interested in talking to you regarding similar problems with this breeder.
N  13th of Dec, 2017 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
@Ole Pistis Do you mind sharing the disease? My puppy came from two Royalty dogs-- but bred by Alaska Akitas. My pup was diagnosed with Addison's disease at 4 months old, and had many other medical issues, as well as being extremely aggressive (maybe because of being in constant pain?). I know of two other puppies from Alaska Akitas being diagnosed with Addison's as well. All 3 of these dogs were dead before one year old! The breeder of my dog - Alaska Akitas- quotes Don word for word, and tried to use the "contacts at UC Davis" comment to deny any responsibility. Both of these breeders are evil and care only about one thing-- money! I wonder how many dead dogs will be enough dead dogs for them to stop! They're inhumane.
N  11th of Nov, 2015 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
After searching many breeders we decided to purchase our 4th Akita from Don @ Royalty Akitas, Our female arrived in Wisconsin in great condition. We have had her for 4 weeks now and could not be happier with our choice. Our vet and groomers both comment on how great she is. She has a great personality and loves her home. We have an 8 year old Akita and they get along great. Every dog no matter the breed or breed can have defects out 3rd akita which we got from a great breeder in Florida ended up with a brain disorder and we had to put her down at 6 months. The breeder was shocked as we were and returned our money no questions asked.
Loving our Raja Anne Tim and Genie Thomas

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