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Current Replies for Healthy Dobermans?
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Negata
3/5/2009 4:40:21 PM
Posts: 2
I have been doing a lot of research over the Doberman Pinscher breed for a while now. I have owned many dog breeds in the past, but I do not believe that I have had any with as many notorious health issues as one of them. Cardiomyopathy, Von Willebrands, and other diseases seem extremely hard to avoid, and if I am going to add a Doberman to my family, I don't want to lose him with him not living a full, healthy and happy life. I am not looking to necessarily breed or show, but I am trying to get a strong family dog that I will put a lot of effort forth training, and have a strong will to protect his family.

Can anyone give me some advice with avoiding getting a Doberman puppy with these diseases and other health issues? I realize that it is impossible to 100% guarantee the health, but I would like to try and find a line that doesn't have a traumatizingly bad history with them if that would be one of the best ways to avoid bad health.
AnkhuIGs
3/5/2009 4:53:01 PM
Posts: 1904
Sounds like your already armed for the search in a very positive way.

You know the problems. Now to find a good one.

One, Breeders should be up front and honest about what things are in the lines the breed. Any breeder who tells you that the lines they use are free of disease is probably not being entirely truthful with you. IF they admit its there, and point out the dogs in the pedigree that have it or carry it, then they probably know how likely it is to show up in any breeding they plan.

Two, what is the health guarantee? It should be a minimum of 2 years. Since the larger marjority of genetic problems will show up right around that time, it shows they are at least willing to accept that it might and offer some kind of compensation. Too many BYB and plain bad breeders offer 1 year health guarantee's. The only thing they protect is the breeder, cause the chances are slim that something major will occur before that time, and once the year is up...your SOL. Side note...see if those health test results are registered. I find alot of breeders do not, and hence valuable information is NOT shared and that makes breeding choices so much more difficult.

Three, talk to alot of breeders, and more so, ask them if they have puppy owners you can talk with.

Talk to rescue groups as well. They often can tell you which breeders dogs wind up in rescue and this is an indicator of a breeder who does not nessecarily care where the dogs wind up.

Once you find a breeder you like, web search their name, and the kennel name, extensively and see what pops up. See where their dogs have would up, in what kinds of breeding situations. Website might look grand, breeder might sound great, but then you come to find out that alot of their dogs wind up in less than stellar breeding programs.

Serena Galloway
IGCA rescue Colorado

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Negata
3/5/2009 11:46:53 PM
Posts: 2
Thanks for the info. I also had another question which is more specific to the breed that I have been curious about.

Obviously it is a strong point for a Doberman to have a strong European family tree since it is advertised in breeding articles so much. It also seems like the very best of the best are directly imported from Europe and have had their entire line exist there. Why is this? I know that they originated in Germany, is the breed simply stronger and healthier if at their origin?
AnkhuIGs
3/6/2009 4:57:54 AM
Posts: 1904
I do not know if that is a fact or not. What i DO know, based on my own breed experience with European lines is...

Health testing does not seem to be important to European breeders. In fact, NOW this is in MY breeds only, they seem insulted if you ask and claim there is nothing in the lines. When i know...for a fact, of individuals whom imported dogs and discovered that not only did they have just as many health issues, but that the dogs did not resemble anything close to the dogs in the US.


When your dealing with an unknown, you never know what you are getting. So, personally, i find importing lines is a crap shoot. You might get something good, but you also might get crap.

Another factor is that LESS than stellar breeders LIKE to point out the European dogs in their lines as IF it is something special and makes the lines bettter than American ones. Poor breeders have no titles on their own dogs, so they rely on what is in the pedigree to SELL the dogs.

Now again, this depends on the breed, but there are certain catch phrases that Back Yard Breeders, Puppymill, and "for profit" breeders use.

One is "Champion blood lines"...which basically means there are Champions in the pedigree, but not ones they put on them, and they do not show their dogs, and if they do, its always "New Hopeful"...and new hopeful never hits the show ring.

Another is "(insert country name here) lines!!!!". Giving the prospective puppy owner the impression that they have imported lines, which somehow (and i have never figured out why this is)seems to say these dogs are better, when in fact there are MANY european puppymills that actively sell dogs to the US. And...many poor quality breeders buy them.

Another favourite is " Seiger Champion!!!", "Multi V1 rated!!!"....Seiger shows are few and far between. I am not totally up on them, but if your dog cannot place in the AKC, then a Seiger Championship is useless in my books. Heck, i could take rescue dogs to a Seiger show and get V1 ratings on them. Does not prove a darn thing.

Also look and see if the breeder is a member of the National Breed Club, or Regional Breed club. Make sure they are active in the breed.

Serena Galloway
IGCA rescue Colorado

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patorama
3/6/2009 8:34:17 AM
Posts: 97
A lot of truth to what Serena says but also very cynical. There are top breeders in Europe as well as puppy farms. I also agree that generally in Europe they do not have the emphasis on a full array of genetic tests like we do in this country. However, in this country oft times the gene pool is very small and it is not uncommon to purchase a quality dog from Europe -the country of the breed's origin, to infuse your lines with new genes. Your good breeders in US are knowledgeable of the good breeders in Europe and are unlikely to be purchasing puppy mill dogs.
muddyfeet
3/6/2009 2:47:22 PM
Posts: 137
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America strongly recommends that the following tests be run on ALL breeding animals -- bitches and dogs prior to breeding:

Cardiomyopathy - a Holter monitor EKG or an ultrasound/sonogram done by a veterinary cardiologist
Von Willebrands via DNA test
X-rays for hip and elbow dysplasia, certified by OFA at or after the age of 2 years
Blood panels for thyroid by an OFA-certified laboratory
Eye exam done by a veterinary ophthalmologist (CERF exam)

Look for these first.. NO testing NO proof of all these issues then I would not even bother to contact the breeder after this is determined....

Bloodlines are only as good as the dogs in them.. European or otherwise.. There seems to be some "popular" trend with some breeds.. Rotties, German shepehrds Dobes to hold these dogs at a higher quality than american line.. This can be true.. but they can also be not great dogs..
There is mosly a prefrence in the look and substance and working ability between the two.. each has it place.. There is a concern that some american show lines have lost working ability.. but this is a subjective argument.

Health testing, and a commitment for BOTH show and working titles is as important or more so than what "lines" they come from..
Look for these.. and a breeder commited to a ALL around dog.. and proves it by participation..
Amanda
MaryK
3/9/2009 9:47:51 PM
Posts: 137
Please spend some time on this resource if considering the purchase of a Doberman
http://members.execulink.com/~korevaar/buyingguide.htm

It is my opinion that the breeders in Europe do not send their best dogs to north America. Why would they?

I find that responsible breeders in north America voluntarily do more health testing than what is required in Europe. In Europe, the requirements are met, rarely anything more.

BTW, I don't agree with your statement that von Willebrand's disease is hard to avoid in Dobermans. We have a DNA test. Responsible breeders use it. We know what we're producing, and if you don't wish to purchase an affected or carrier puppy, it's easy not to.
AnkhuIGs
3/10/2009 4:48:47 AM
Posts: 1904
I am not sure if it holds true in all breeds, but in mine, the tests for Von Will's have been unreliable. False positives and false negatives have come up...ergo...it is no longer held in good regard.

Serena Galloway
IGCA rescue Colorado

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patorama
3/10/2009 6:17:02 AM
Posts: 97
I disagree. Reputable breeders want you to succeed so they will send you an excellant specimen. Although a general rule that the breeder keeps pick puppy- in an extremely well bred litter there are likely to be several surperior specimens. And a breeder doesn't always keep pick puppy As an example in an upcoming litter I am planning- the pick male is going to a top kennel in Sweden. As a representative of American breeding I WILL send her the best. In return she is shipping me the semen from her best male and as a result of that breeding she will then get the pick female. It would be unethical and poor planning to send her inferior pups. If working with another breeder to improve your breeding programs you are not likely to get the worst.
kendellwaltz
3/10/2009 9:20:30 AM
Posts: 409
Vetgen has a DNA test for vWD in Dobermans. The old tests before DNA were not reliable.

For the best chance at a healthy, stable dog, check the breeder refferal pages for the DPCA and/or the UDC. Then interview the breeders. Ask questions and expect answers -- ask for proof of health testing. Expect to be questioned about your lifestyle as well.
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