• Report:  #868329

Complaint Review: Johnson-Haus German Shepherds - Rocky Ridge Maryland

Reported By:
theTruth - Roanoke, Virginia, United States of America
Fri, April 13, 2012

Johnson-Haus German Shepherds
14513 Bollinger Road Rocky Ridge, 21778 Maryland, United States of America
Animal Services
Tell us has your experience with this business or person been good? What's this?
I was happy to find another report on here for Johnson-Haus German Shepherds. Dennis sold me a German Shepherd that is scared of people and other dogs. 
When I came to Dennis about the fear issue he consistently made excuses. First it was she was going through a stage. That was in response to me saying my last puppy wasn't afraid of anything.  Then it was because we had another dog. Then it was we didn't take her outside enough, until I explained she goes to a large field daily and plays, but there were no dogs there because she wasn't fully vaccinated so we had to keep her away from dogs we weren't sure were vaccinated. Then it was she was afraid of the leash. That was in response to me sending him a video that showed her whining and not wanting to go for a walk because she was afraid.  (later I was told by his wife, although it may have been him because he may have used her email to correspond with me, that he and the co-owner were upset because I put her in a bad position)-unfortunately that became null and void when he found out it was taken right outside our front door. The leash excuse became more of dishonest Dennis and his excuses later that day when she completely ran from a human in our complex, 30 feet from her, and she had no leash. 

Then after we tested her for Degenerative Myelopathy and she came back at risk, meaning she carried both genes and has the very real chance of showing symptoms of the disease he offered to exchange the puppy. 

I sent him a facebook message explaining how upset I was at this news because he said he was getting Arko tested, but never reported any issues. He replied saying that was not true, he never said that. So, I sent him a screen shot of an email where he said I'll look into getting Arko tested ASAP because I have others wanting to use him for breeding. Now that it is staring him in the face his reply to me is "me saying I am looking into it is just that, me looking into it  and he puts a winky face". He was clearly very proud of himself that he had tricked me.
Oh, here is a link to the OFA website where you can see the results of the test, as well as which of his dogs produced this result for Fiona. http://www.offa.org/display.html?appnum=1512256#animal

When I asked for my money back Dennis told me that he couldn't do that because she may be damaged goods. Later he says he only cares about Fiona and that is why he never apologized for lying. Then I quickly reminded him about his damaged goods comment. 

Oh I have all of these conversations still, have screen shots of all of this to prove it. I am doing this for one reason- to let you know what you're getting yourself into when you deal with Dishonest Dennis. 

In my opinion- Dennis does not care for his dogs, this is all about him earning a living. According to someone who knows Dennis- he doesn't have a job.

Now Dennis will try to play the line that At Risk is not a guarantee they will come down with DM. That isn't 100 percent true. No one knows the percentage of dogs who test At Risk that come down with symptoms. It could very well be all. Dennis is well aware that this is generally a late stage disease. Generally showing signs after age 7. Once your dog has it though, there is no cure, and they will usually be gone within 12-18 months.  

Unfortunately I lost my previous dog to this which is why Dishonest Dennis said he would test Arko. I made a bad assumption that he had and that Arko was all clear. Can't trust people

5 Updates & Rebuttals


Fraud comment (related to wife of Dennis Haus)

#2General Comment

Thu, January 26, 2023

Grycenkov is related to Christine Diane Johnson (wife to Dennis). This can be discovered searching the name on white pages. Ridiculous that someone would stoop to this level to try to fix their reputation. I left a google review and all a sudden 17 people reviewed this business within a week, to try to repair their image. Dennis has poor communication and was not responding to our emails, so we picked another breeder. We now have to fight to get our money back. We are confident we will get our money back in court. It’s unfortunate that we have some people who can’t take responsibility for there lacking and make it right on their own.

Report Attachments


Great breeder!

#3General Comment

Fri, January 13, 2023

I do not write reviews in general, but these two negative reports are quite the opposite of my experience. I bought a dog from Dennis 18 years ago. I was a schutzhund newbie, and Dennis matched me with the most laid-back male in the litter. My boy was a fantastic dog, we trained in schutzhund, and he was also my family’s dog. His desire to work was incredible, but he was a gentle giant at home. A few years after I bought him, Dennis moved to Maryland and we were able to train with him. I had been to many clubs and seen many people work my dog, but never quite "got there” in terms of our training. Since his move, Dennis has always been my choice to teach us. He didn’t care about Club politics, or how many mistakes I made, or how old my boy was, or how we couldn’t always train consistently - he never gave up on us. More importantly he was always, ALWAYS an advocate for my boy. If you hang around the dog world enough you’ll see other trainers do some questionable, sometimes downright mean things to the dogs to get them trained fast. I genuinely appreciated that Dennis was always looking out for my dog, on and off the field, his health, his comfort, how to motivate him, how to work around his quirks. 99% of the training and comments were things I as the handler needed to fix - which is what I think some disgruntled clients may not want to hear. It is tough to raise a working dog - or even just a pet German Shepherd properly. There are no easy shortcuts to get a happy, healthy, trained dog, but I’d rather take my dog to someone who will be tough on me rather than beat up on my dog. A few years ago I bought another dog from Dennis, and she is absolutely amazing. So very sweet, and loves to work. Her parents were top workers and had excellent X-rays. My girl is following in their IPO footsteps, and has also excelled at dock diving. I text Dennis all the time about training, equipment, health questions - and he always answers, researches, comes up with a plan, etc. I read the above reviews, and it is obvious those individuals are not taking responsibility. First mistake - you cannot expect a refund for a non-refundable deposit. Even our cat breeder doesn’t give refunds - that’s just not the way good breeders do business. Second - if your dog has behavior issues, do your homework!!! Go to Leerburg and research (actually do this before you buy the dog!) - go to training - and don’t blame your dog, let alone the breeder - for your mistakes in socializing and raising him/her. I love working German Shepherds - which is what Dennis breeds - but they are not for everyone. They need that outlet/job - to be happy. My girl is always ready to work, but it takes a ton of time and energy to train her. The payoff is she makes me very happy, and we get compliments everywhere we go. She’s absolutely gorgeous and healthy and well-behaved. My sister is a German Shepherd lover too, but doesn’t have the time or ability to train a working dog that is constantly nudging you to take them out and train, they just are not for everyone. Do your homework as a buyer, and don’t blame the breeder on your change of heart or mistakes.

Dennis refused to offer a refund

#4Author of original report

Sun, November 01, 2015

This post is a lie. Dennis never offered a full refund. Dennis offered another puppy from another litter, but offered no time frame (when asked) and would not return any of my money, as he was requested to hold the deposit only if he was going to do an exchange. 


Further, to the rest of your post, Isabella does better after extensive training, but she still cannot be within sight of another dog without fear aggression. As my former trainer (prior to moving) in PA, who looked at the pedigree stated (and she titles dogs in schutzhun/IPO, winning, often) the use of working and show lines leads to weak nerve sometimes. She stated that Isabella's behavior was a genetic reaction. Isabella is quite loved and quite well taken care of. I take nothing away from Isabella's intelligence, she was the easiest dog I have ever pottiy trained, and she picks things up quick. She has good drive and she is very smart. From those standpoints I take nothing away from Dennis on his dog's abilities, but her weak nerve is a genetic issue, and the DM testing was not completed. 


If DM is such a non-issue, why does Dennis now advertise (some of his dogs) as being DM tested. It would seem non-sensical if the test had no reliability. 


United States of America
Dennis is a fantastic breeder

#5Consumer Comment

Thu, June 28, 2012

I am also an owner of a puppy from the same litter referred to by the complainant.  My puppy is extraordinary and every part of the process of purchasing him went like clockwork.  I train my puppy with Dennis and he's great.

What the complainant neglects to mention is that this is just another attempt to defame Dennis' character.  He has posted on a German Shepherd forum, and on Facebook.  I'm sure that more complaints will show up elsewhere as well.

Anyone here can Google johnon-haus F litter and find the youtube videos of the temperament testing.  The female you purchased showed no signs of weak nerves.  Breeders can only use their experience and judgment in determining which puppy should go to which home.  You, in fact, received one of the best females in the litter since you expressed a desire to Schutzhund train her.  Now, testing is done just before they are 8 weeks old, and a whole lot can happen after that. 

Puppies only have POTENTIAL at 8 weeks of age.  The owner/handler must develop and nurture that potential.  Of course, you now took the video down, but I saw your video posted on Facebook, where you allege that your girl is a bag of nerves because she was scared when you tried to DRAG her down some stairs by her leash.  I don't remember her exact age at the time, but maybe 12 weeks, at most.  My boy, who was by far one of the most daring and inquisitive puppies of the litter, was not going down the stairs in my home yet, when you decided to drag your girl down.  Of course, I also know how to properly encourage a puppy to navigate stairs.

For your puppy to have gone from one of the highest rated in the temperament test to afraid of everything, I can only wonder what other mistakes you have made in her training.  As Ed Frawley, from Leerburg dog training, says, it only takes one incident of a young puppy being bitten by an older dog to make it scared of other dogs for life.

However, even if we assume you did nothing to cause this and by some odd chance the puppy you raved about when you first got her suddenly started being scared of everything, Dennis did everything in his power to correct the situation.  Sometimes you will just have a less desirable puppy in a litter.  It happens.  Dennis offered you a full refund and offered to drive half way to meet you to pick up the puppy.  You declined his generous offer.  I think that fact alone demonstrates that you just filed this complaint in an attempt to damage his reputation.  Furthermore, you even suggested exchanging the puppy for another.  If he's such a rip-off artist, why would you want another of his puppies? 

As for the DM issue.  It is worrisome that she tested positive.  However, if you wanted a puppy who would clear, you should have gone with a breeder that advertised DM testing of their dogs.  Dennis does not and has never advertised that he does or will do DM testing.  A "DM free" guarantee is not in his contract. 

I actually saw that email exchange between you and Dennis.  He merely said he would "look into it" asap.  He did not state that he would get the testing done asap.  He did look into it.  He decided, based upon his own research, that the testing was too new and unreliable.  That is his decision to make.  He did not lead you to believe it would be done.  If the issue was of such concern to you, why did you not send him a follow up email asking if the testing was performed? 

Again, Dennis does not provide a DM free guarantee in his contract, yet he offered to give you a full refund in exchange for return of the puppy.  I think this speaks volumes on his character.  He just did not want his puppy in the home of someone who seemingly hated everthing about him.

Which brings me to my final comment.  You sent a message to me and two other puppy owners from this litter stating that she had to be put down.  I cannot imagine a situation in which a 6 month old puppy would need to be put down, unless you allowed her to roam free and she got hit by a car.  Though all three of us expressed concern and sympathy and asked you what happened, you did not respond.  This speaks volumes on your character.  So, did you kill a 6 month old puppy, or was that a lie designed to nother other than upset everyone involved?

JohnsonHaus Puppy Mom

United States of America
Unfair Report on Johnson-Haus

#6Consumer Comment

Mon, June 25, 2012

I also have a Johnson-Haus puppy...from the same litter as yours.  I have found that this breeder is very honest, and very supportive in all aspects of the transaction.  They posted temperment tests of the litter on line for all to see on youtube.com.  We knew what we were getting, and at 8 weeks, I'd say that they all had very good tempermants!

When we brought our puppy home, we didn't take the puppy outside for walks for the first few weeks...as you know is correct since they haven't had all of their shots.  Of course when we finally brought the puppy out for walks, it was a little cautious, because it was a whole new world for them.  They SHOULD be a little scared...they are babies!  It didn't take long for the puppy to gain their confidence, following my directions that all was good.  Again...they are babies!

I at least didn't try to force my puppy to go down the stairs at 9 weeks old, and get mad when they couldn't do it on their own!  I gently guided them, and helped build that confidence in themselves and praised when they did it on their own.  That is what we, as puppy parents are supposed to do! 

At 6 months old, my puppy is extremely confident and has awesome nerves.  Again, based on my gently guidance as their owner and protector.  I would never have expected the puppy to come that way at 8 weeks old!

Regarding the DM...yes, that is a concern, but so is Bloat, or any other illnesses that GSDs are prone to.  That wouldn't make my love any less.  Plus, those tests are still controversial...and until they are more reliable, I don't hold a lot of value in them!

And I still have my puppy.  I didn't put them down at 5 months because they didn't meet my expectations  like you did!

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