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Old 06-30-2010, 12:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Is this a reputable breeder’s site? Red flags to watch out for on a website!

So you have a list of websites and you’re trying to make your decision on a puppy?
Or maybe you just want to know if the site you are looking at is reputable.
There are many things you need to consider besides the prettiest site with flashy pictures.
The information can be overwhelming but your time and willingness to learn at this stage will make you a VERY happy Dobe owner in the years to come.

A reputable breeder’s website will inform you about the breeder, their breeding program and their dogs. A reputable breeder is one who is in it to improve the breed (proper testing and thought before breeding). A Backyard Breeder (BYB) is one who is in it for the money. More info on the subject can be found by doing a simple search on here. There are plenty of reputable breeders with websites but unfortunately there are a lot more that just want your money.




What are red flags?


Indicators that should raise your ears and if there are multiples you may want to re-consider on the breeder. So many people are becoming tech savvy and it can be so difficult to spot a bad site versus a legitimate breeder. Only a year ago I can recall myself thinking a site was perfectly fine and if I look at it now, it turns me off.



The following highlights some of the flags and bad practices that you will see on a breeder’s website. Look out for the flags the next time you browse a website:
• Multiple breeds being bred.
-Is the same breeder also breeding Great Danes, West Highland Terriers and a bunch of other breeds? I leave you with one question, how much time does this person have? Must be a superhuman!
• No mention of Health or Health Results are absent
-A reputable breeder will indicate the health results of their dogs!!! If you do not see anything on the health- this should be alarming. At the very least you should see something on vWd, Hip Dysplasia (OFA), cardio or eyes. More info can be found here: DPCA | The Doberman | Health Canine Health Information Center: Hip/Elbow Labs

• Oversized dogs?
-You better run if you see anything thats overly larger than the standard.
-Standard AKC and FCI Doberman standard
-
-
• White Dobermans!
-Run and don’t look back. Read up on Z-Factored dobes here: The Albino
• Pay by Paypal
-This one just pisses me off. I am not buying a f**** product- it’s a living animal. I may be biased but to me this shows someone who is a bit too eager for $.
• A flashy and random site with family pictures!
-This screams BYB- but check to see if they have other flags. Are there numerous pics of children with puppies? Are the puppies wearing jewelry? Why on earth would a reputable breeder try to peddle their pups by putting them in ridiculous outfits at such a young age. Don’t go for the overly cutesy site.
• Too many Dobermans- Does the breeder have a ridiculous amount of dogs (15-20+)?
-You will have to determine this and consider or ask how the breeder keeps up with the dogs. Are they just left in kennels outside? Its possible to have a lot of dogs but you may want to see their living conditions.
• Price variance between males and females.
-Often BYBs will sell females at a higher price- so others can begin their pathetic backyard breeding programs.
• Are there more than 2-3 litters a year? Call and ask why so many litters or how they keep up with their puppies and buyers.
• Mentions “champion breeding” over and over!
- A reputable breeder will have a page dedicated to a dogs wins and will not breed the same dog 10x a year. Some folks are just riding off of other’s successes. Ask them if they show or compete with their dogs? Do they have titled dogs and look at the offspring of these “champions.”
• Lets the pups go before the age of 8 weeks? Pups need to be with their momma and siblings until 8 weeks (PERIOD).
• Ears are not cropped, tails not docked or dew claws not removed? If you are looking at someone in the US, this should be done. You should call on this one.
• Sells puppies at full registration
-Puppies that are not going to show homes, should be sold on Limited AKC registration. You search the topic and difference between the two on here.
• Breeds young dogs or bitches!! You should avoid this- most believe that 2 is a good age to begin. You can search for more info about this on here by doing a search.
• Breeder’s site contains links to the generic puppy sites.
-Typically you want to question listings that you see on sites that cater to generic classifieds.
• Is the price ridiculously high or low.
-A pet quality dobe can range from $1700-2700. On this one you should definitely check with the breeder directly.
-Prices are higher and anyone that is selling for considerably lower is definitely not health testing. Health testing costs money and keep in mind that a reputable breeder also socializes your pup! Before you think that $1700 is too high, consider what the breeder has gone through to ensure a healthy life for your pup.


Be smart and patient when you are considering adding a puppy to your family. Many on DT have shared painful and tragic stories of dobes that were either unhealthy or bought from BYBs. Breeding is more than just mating two random dogs. Before coming to DT, I thought I would have a pup within a few weeks. After an entire year of researching, I will finally get my pup. The above has significantly helped me in my search and I’m confident it will do the same for you. Take what I have listed above as a guide from what I learned from DT- you should still do as much research as you can. Don’t expect to learn everything in a few days- a sense of curiosity about the breed and time will take you a long way.


Before you buy, also consider the following:Buying A Doberman Pinscher
Why Pedigrees matter?Pedigree Research
Breeder Referral: Recommended Breeders!



*I feel strongly about some of the topics above and can go on forever but I've gotta run and sleep. My concerns only grew when I visited a few shelters and helped out at a rescue event recently. I was going to wait until the weekend but I'll be away and hopefully dirt biking after work! I'm sure the experienced folks on here can add to the list or correct me on anything in the list above.
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd like to throw in my two little cents on the topic..

Multiple breeds is your top point but it does seem to be a bit of a fence issue - Someone that's offering 10 breeds is obviously either a mill or a puppy broker, but someone who does 2 breeds may not be. I'd suggest looking at how frequently they are breeding, and prioritize your search on HEALTH TESTS and TITLES, because these are the things that will help you narrow your search the most dramatically.

If RaindanceIGs will forgive me for using her for an example, I know she is primarily a breeder of Italian Greyhounds, but she does occasionally do a Doberman breeding. I wouldn't want someone to read this and immediately dismiss someone like that as "unreputable."


Also, one thing for the propective owner to keep in mind is that breeder quality and web design quality are not related. There are wonderful breeders with great websites, and there are wonderful breeders with poor sites. There are also terrible greeders with nice-looking sites, and terrible breeders with horrible sites. The reputable breeders are most focused on their dogs, so don't rely solely on the 'net to find them.
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Exellent information! Thank you.

I question only cropping/docking requirements... as I prefer to buy natural Dobermans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m0nstar View Post
• Ears are not cropped, tails not docked or dew claws not removed? If you are looking at someone in the US, this should be done. You should call on this one.
The price is a bit high for a pet quality puppy. I would say $1200-2000.
Added: you included the ears cropping price I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m0nstar View Post
-A pet quality dobe can range from $1700-2700. On this one you should definitely check with the breeder directly.
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamValley View Post
Exellent information! Thank you.

I question only cropping/docking requirements... as I prefer to buy natural Dobermans.



The price is a bit high for a pet quality puppy. I would say $1200-2000.
The cropping one was tough for me. I like naturals as well but noticed that the frequent BYBs don't crop. Now I wish I could edit my post b/c there are many folks in the US that would get naturals.

Price was another hard one b/c when I was searching- I didn't see any less than $2000.

Keep on adding b/c we can continue adding to it.
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Sticky?
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Health testing. There are a number of reputable breeders that do not include or even mention health testing on their website. In addition there many websites (reputable breeders) that are not up-to-date.

It is important to telephone, ask questions and then visit to get the whole picture.
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Great post!
@ other posters- I think we should remember that these are listed as red flags, not "horrible breeders to this" and anyone new to the breed who is searching for a breeder absolutely should question each and every thing on here. If they were speaking to a reputable breeder who, for example, leaves puppies natural or doesn't list health testing, a reputable breeder would be more than happy to answer questions regarding such things.

Sticky!
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Old 06-30-2010, 12:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just wanted to add about the multiple dogs listed/multiple litters - I know some breeders will list the dogs they have bred (that don't necessarily live with them) on the website, and will list litters that are co-owned or are out of dogs they have bred, or by their male, etc. So always call and ask if you're interested but they seem to have a lot of dogs/litters. They may very well only have 3 or 4 dogs and 1 litter a year, but also list the other dogs/litters that don't live with them.
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Old 06-30-2010, 02:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Interesting and educational...thanks for putting this thread on DF!!!
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Old 06-30-2010, 03:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Old 06-30-2010, 03:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The breeder usually has a goal. They can list the pros/cons of the dam and stud dog. They can tell you why Sir Studly was chosen for the dam. They can review the pedigree with you and tell you alive/dead and age/cause of death.

The interview you as much as you interview them.

They often pick the puppies for the puppy owners with input from puppy owners. Puppies usally arent picked by who puts a deposit down first. Puppies are evaluated over the 8-10 weeks the breeder has them and matched to appropriate homes.

They offer you copies of health testing. They answer all your questions and if they don't know, they find out and get back to you.
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Old 06-30-2010, 05:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Health testing is as listed above--not "My vet says they look great and loves my dogs."

Sites that have lots of "testimonials" like this--and from very novice buyers who don't do anything with their purchased puppies either, are a red flag.
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RedFawnRising View Post
Health testing is as listed above--not "My vet says they look great and loves my dogs."

Sites that have lots of "testimonials" like this--and from very novice buyers who don't do anything with their purchased puppies either, are a red flag.
LOL! The testimonials always make me laugh- very pathetic trick.
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RedFawnRising View Post
Sites that have lots of "testimonials" like this--and from very novice buyers who don't do anything with their purchased puppies either, are a red flag.
Well, a lot of the time, the "testamonials" are from someone with their 10 week old puppy that they've owned for all of 2 weeks telling us how wonderful the breeder and the puppy is. Um, ya, get back to us in 8 years and tell us how much support you got and what's going on with the dog...
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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This seems like a small thing but it can be very telling: look at the nails of the dogs pictured--including young pups. If the nails are overly long, move on.

At the very least, trimmed/"Dremelled" nails show the dogs have been handled enough by people to allow their feet to be manipulated.
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
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health testing. There are a number of reputable breeders that do not include or even mention health testing on their website. In addition there many websites (reputable breeders) that are not up-to-date.

It is important to telephone, ask questions and then visit to get the whole picture.
.....and ask for proof!
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:59 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Great post!
@ other posters- I think we should remember that these are listed as red flags, not "horrible breeders to this" and anyone new to the breed who is searching for a breeder absolutely should question each and every thing on here. If they were speaking to a reputable breeder who, for example, leaves puppies natural or doesn't list health testing, a reputable breeder would be more than happy to answer questions regarding such things.

Sticky!
I'm not sure I understand why they would exclude health test results. Its so important that I prefer when a breeder is upfront about the test results. I've spoken to reputable breeders (in the DPCA breeder referral program) about the specific health of dogs and been told hips, heart, thyroid, etc. are good only to learn later they did not have any tests done. This became apparent when I asked for proof of health tests results. They had based their statements on their knowledge and experience with their lines.

Last edited by Sage; 07-09-2010 at 06:01 AM..
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:11 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenyaARaineCD View Post
This seems like a small thing but it can be very telling: look at the nails of the dogs pictured--including young pups. If the nails are overly long, move on.

At the very least, trimmed/"Dremelled" nails show the dogs have been handled enough by people to allow their feet to be manipulated.
Excellent point- the fine details can tell you a lot about the person you are getting your pup from. Its important to look at the pics but observe the coditions/environment the pups are in.

As for the health tests, when in question, pick up the phone and dial the breeder.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:31 PM   #19 (permalink)
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all of this is great information so I won't be redundant but would like to add I would consider a red flag breeder one that doesn't interview me and ask lots of questions about me, my home, lifestyle, knowledge of the breed, etc, etc.

If they only ask you "cash, check or charge", walk away...
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:03 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenyaARaineCD View Post
This seems like a small thing but it can be very telling: look at the nails of the dogs pictured--including young pups. If the nails are overly long, move on.

At the very least, trimmed/"Dremelled" nails show the dogs have been handled enough by people to allow their feet to be manipulated.
aw thats a big petpeeve of mine and i always do look for he nails and call people on that and believe me, not everybody wanna hear it LOL
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:33 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I'm not sure I understand why they would exclude health test results. Its so important that I prefer when a breeder is upfront about the test results. I've spoken to reputable breeders (in the DPCA breeder referral program) about the specific health of dogs and been told hips, heart, thyroid, etc. are good only to learn later they did not have any tests done. This became apparent when I asked for proof of health tests results. They had based their statements on their knowledge and experience with their lines.
I think you didn't understand my post.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:38 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I think that in our cyber world we have grown distant to personal communication with one another......a phone call and a personal face to face cannot be substituted.

I also realize that the cyber world has made things easier when it comes to researching info and finding out things on the spot.,,,,do not believe all that you read and only half of what you see.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:59 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Just want to point out Grunt.... If I were to look at your website, I would shy away.

1. Lack of health testing listed
2. No registered names to even research the dogs
3. No pedigree listed either

That is just at first look, and all this I got from looking at your e-mail address
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:53 PM   #24 (permalink)
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The only thing I really disagree with is raising multiple breeds. More than 4 is to many for my comfort level. Provided proper health testing is done I see nothing wrong for under 4 breeds for me.
The second thing is PayPal. I don't think that necessarily means a breeder is bad.
It's a safer way to pay, I personally wouldn't accept check.
I also thing that people like the option to make payments with CC. It doesn't necessarily mean they cannot care for the animal. It's a method of payment. Everyone uses what they are comfortable with.


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Old 11-05-2012, 11:05 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Another reason I don't mind type of payment is because if the breeder is interviewing and checking references and everything checks ok why not? Again it's just a way to pay.


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