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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I purchased a Wheaten Terrier puppy this past September that I purchased from a breeder. I thought I did my homework by getting updated pictures of the dog as well as information on his parents (AKC IDs and pictures). I even spoke to the breeder several times on the phone. Long story short when my new friend showed up I immediately thought I might not have received a purebred.

After wanting a Wheaten for awhile I knew what they were supposed to look like, but I wasn't sure if there can be variation among puppies. I decided that my new friend was too cute to push the issue and I just went on living with my little baby. It wasn't until about two months after I got him that his health started deteriorating. He was losing hair like crazy and his skin resembled that of someone with psoriasis. He is constantly chewing, scratching, etc. Subsequently, I have been in and out of the vet and of course have racked up extensive medical care bills. I was promised papers once they were received by the breeder and was sent ACA papers not AKC.

I am hoping someone can provide some insight on what my options are as well as those familiar with Wheatens can weigh in on the issue. I attached a picture of my little guy the day I got him (9weeks) and what he looks like recently (about 6 months). Thank you for all your help!
 

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What a cute puppy!

Wheaten Terrier puppy colors: http://www.scwtca.org/education/puppycolor.htm

Here are a couple of threads on the AKC v. ACA: http://www.dogforums.com/first-time-dog-owner/3409-akc-vs-aca.html and http://www.dogforums.com/general-dog-forum/34048-dog-registration.html

The ACA online registration: http://24.173.173.66/aca/registration/ . Note that you can select option A "if you have received a prepaid registration sticker from your pet store."

Some Wheatens have allergies, often to wheat, corn, and/or soy. Did you find out what yours is allergic to?

There is a Yahoo Group called SoftCoatedWheatens that can be very helpful with Wheaten-specific questions; the group is owned by a rescue organization.

What kind of options are you talking about? If you are thinking about a lawsuit, you can see a lawyer (bring all your evidence) and usually they will provide the initial consultation for free. If not much money is at stake, the lawyer won't take the case on contingency, most likely, because his time would be more than the fee he would recoup if you won. Otherwise, you can look into filing a suit in small claims court, depending on the dollar amount at stake and the rules in your state (if you live in the USA).
 

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ACA is puppy mill registry. Those papers are worth less than the paper they're printed on, unfortunately.

The first thing I'd do is contact AKC and find out if this breeder actually has any affiliation with them at all, and if so, you can explain the whole story to them and tell them that she is advertising AKC-registered puppies but not producing AKC papers.

As far as suing her... it really depends on what you want to do. Keep in mind that it's entirely possible and likely that if you go to small claims court, they'll only order her to return the money if you return the dog, which presumably you have no interest in doing since you're already attached to him. The court may have her pay for vet bills if you can prove them, but you'd have to be able to prove that the health problems are genetic or that they were caused by something she did or didn't do.

This is exactly why I keep saying that no matter how much research is done, you simply cannot learn enough about a breeder on the internet or over the phone. You really MUST visit them in person. As a matter of fact, all the breeders I know will not sell to anyone who will not come visit them in person. So that would have been a red flag for me from the get-go.

I hope you can get some satisfaction, but unfortunately, I don't think there's going to be a lot you can do unless you want to return the puppy and get a refund.
 

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There's not much you can do. A lawsuit would gain you little, if anything. Reporting the breeder to the AKC wouldn't really help, either. She's not with the AKC, what can they do?

So, you got taken. It happens. There is one thing you can do- tell your story. If a friend, family member, coworker or acquaintance mentions buying a puppy, tell your story. If you convince even one person to take more care choosing breeders, or to go through a rescue instead, you've done a wonderful thing.

As to the dog, I'd personally try an elimination diet and cut out all grains (in food and treats) and chicken. Those are the most common allergies in dogs, although dogs can be allergic to anything. See if that helps. You could also try a limited ingredient food that contains a protein he's never had before, like venison. dogfoodadvisor.com lists the ingredients of hundreds of foods, you could start researching there.

You may also want to research raw feeding. (Our own food forum has lots of great threads on the subject.) A lot of our members swear by raw, and some have said that dogs allergic to chicken in kibble have no problem with raw chicken. So you have options.

I hope you stick around the forums. You have a cute little guy, I'd love to see more of him.
 

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I'm really sorry that you have encountered this situation. Did you purchase him after seeing his photos online via an online breeder? I have to agree with the others that visiting the home of a breeder in person is very important. And I also have to agree that there isn't anything the AKC will be able to do for you.

He does look like a purebred Wheaten to me from his photos. However, inbreeding is often very common in puppy mills.

I totally agree with cutting all grains out of his diets. Allergies to wheat/gluten are very common in Wheatens. We don't know if Alannah has an allergy, but we just keep her on grain-free foods to be safe. He could also be allergic to one of the other main ingredients in his food, like the protein. Some dogs are allergic to chicken, lamb, etc. Your vet should be able to help you rule out the possibility of different allergies.

I hope he feels better soon!
 
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