Will DCM End the Doberman as a Breed? - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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Will DCM End the Doberman as a Breed?

Someone else posted this, and no one is even reading the thread.

Are we watching the extinction of a breed? (or, Why are we focused on consequence instead of cause?) - The Institute of Canine Biology

Why are people ignoring this?
Why do we think that this disease will just go away? This breed is so heavily line bred and inbred, we have done such a great job of creating the worlds most perfect looking doberman, that we have pretty much screwed ourselves?

My solution? We need to open the studbooks. The dobermans salvation is going to come from infusing new blood into this breed - blood that will come from another breed. The only way that I can see we can potentially drift away from the fixed alleles we've created is to carefully and thoughtfully bring in another breed to improve the health.

Look at the Keuring tests for warmblood horses - horses that are judged on their ability to do what they were bred to do, their health, their movement - and less on their pedigree. The Finnish Kennel Club allows breeds to have other blood brought in. Some AKC studbooks remain open for some breeds to have genetic variation entered into the breed. We all know the story of the LUA Dalmatians.

So what do you think? How else are we going to save the breed?


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post #2 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 08:51 AM
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I remember discussing outcrossing over 20 years ago.

Thought it was a good idea then and still do.

I think we talked about it on DT a few years ago, will have to see if I can find that thread.

The national breed clubs really need to seriously look into it.

Just my opinion.

Hugz to all Doberman.

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post #3 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 08:55 AM
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Thanks Kim for posting this. I read this on FB and it is haunting. The video alone is haunting. But her words ring so true. The 70% DCM number is haunting. I am very afraid for this breed and I definitely agree with what you have said that we have "screwed ourselves" into this mess. We all know the BYB and the greeders will do nothing. Just keep pumping out unhealthy puppies and let the owners deal with it. So its up to the "responsible" breeders and the scientists to save this breed. But will they be enough.

I sent Baron's blood in to Dr. Meurs when she asked for PDK4 negative dogs who were diagnosed with DCM. He is DCM2 positive homozygous. When his time comes, do you know if there is anything from doing a necropsy to send to her that could help?

Going to tag this link in the DCM sticky above.

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post #4 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 09:21 AM
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what are peoples opinions on 'outcrossing'

The above is a link to one of the outcrossing discussions on DT, but not the one I was thinking of, will add it here when I find it.

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post #5 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 09:42 AM
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What is stopping someone from doing this now? If i were offered a doberman with most of the same qualities i like but having cardio issues that were at the normal average of most pets.
I would support this breeder.

I think DCM will eliminate the desire of anyone with a conscience to stop producing as the averages creep higher.
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post #6 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 09:50 AM
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I would LOVE to open the studbook.


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post #7 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 09:54 AM
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"PH's have no known hereditary diseases, any more than a generic canine. They can get things from time to time but they do NOT have diseases locked into their lines like Dobermans do.

I have been waiting to post this. I had a discussion with Canadian Judge Fred Heal not too long ago, and was surprised at something he said. We were talking about breed type. I have permission to quote his email..

"Did you know that back in the early eighties there was a move to co-breed selected Pharaoh Hounds with selected Doberman stock to try to improve the Doberman's genetic health? The concept was conceived by Vets but not supported by Breeders. It never got off the ground.

Good luck in your Doberman endeavors Laura."

Fred Heal
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Jagermeister Kennels Est: 1961"

the above is quoted from the link above.

Now I thought Fred Heal had written his thoughts on all this somewhere...will have to go through some old dobe mags.

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post #8 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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I believe Matt is currently already experimenting with outcrossing.

Nothing is stopping people, but because of poor public outlook on them they are hiding their "experiment".

And then the issue becomes registration - for some that want a healthier dog to show and train, the options are either registered as a rescue (and they have to be spayed/neutered) - or not shown at all. so that alone will limit the potential future breeding. at some point the books will need to be open to allow these dogs back into registration.

the other limitation is that access to dobermans - will people who are outcrossing be ostracized and no dogs provided to them? crossing one dog or two won't be enough - it needs to be a concerted effort.
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post #9 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan j. View Post
What is stopping someone from doing this now? If i were offered a doberman with most of the same qualities i like but having cardio issues that were at the normal average of most pets.
I would support this breeder.

I think DCM will eliminate the desire of anyone with a conscience to stop producing as the averages creep higher.
I think there are definitely some breeders that truly care about the breed and would love to do this, but any litters they produce via outcross loses purebred status. Not to mention that the high frequency of DCM-related alleles in the population and the probability of DCM being linked to 20 or more genes means that the outcross would most likely need to be done over a number of generations, then carefully recrossed with the existing population to come back to the breed standard. It would be a huge undertaking, requiring support of geneticists, veterinarians, the AKC, and most importantly, the breed clubs. From what I've read, it seems that they are very reluctant to open the stud books and few if any responsible breeders are going to begin a program without full support from these organizations.

That being said, I think it would be a wonderful idea, and it seems that many breeders would agree, because we all love this breed and want to do what is best for our dogs. What is needed is institutional change, which is usually a very slow process.
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post #10 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 11:50 AM
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I know this is not going to be a popular opinion, because it flies in the face of all the people who have cemented their influence and income as lords over the breed, but you know what? Maybe it's time to consider that studbooks & reg papers are not only a crutch, but also that they're immensely damaging to purebreds. Blasphemy, I know...

Consider that so many centuries-old breeds did not have registries to track them to ensure racial purity until about the last 125 years, they had diligent breeders who served as competent guardians, making sure they stayed true to the specification without strangling their bloodlines.

Registries encourage people to value words on a piece of paper rather than what's right in front of their eyes.

They encourage people to do all the wrong things, to not think for themselves, to take no risks or explore the art of real animal husbandry.

They lock breeders into a small, polluted gene pool and render them helpless to even attempt rescuing themselves from the problems plaguing them.

They are primarily a tool to validate puppy mills and BYBs, making the AKC more money, because the simpletons who are the largest market for puppies place undue emphasis on the "AKC Reg." line in the classified ads, thinking that that is a seal of quality assurance and overall value, thanks to all the AKC's marketing efforts.

The most effective lifeline is going to come from an external source. I wonder if there might be something along the lines of appendix registration which could work. For those who don't know what I'm referring to, the AQHA accepts crossbreeding with Jockey Club-registered Thoroughbreds, with conditions that prevent too much dilution (Appendix-registered horses cannot be bred to each other or to TBs). That arrangement isn't a lifeline, just pandering to the folks breeding for the racetrack, but it seems to work well enough. Identifying and recognizing sister breeds to the Doberman and allowing controlled appendix registrations would be a lifeline, as long as that wouldn't alter the fundamental traits too much.

Nothing aside from social stigma is stopping breeders from doing whatever they want to better the breed. Designer dogs are stupid and devoid of purpose aside from making shady breeders money, but there is nothing wrong with thoughtful crossbreeding, such as what has proven to be a lifeline for the Dalmatian, whether or not the registry or DPCA approve. Maybe if breeders start going out on limbs out of desperation, the registries will see the writing on the wall and find a way to change. As long as people whine impotently as they keep coloring inside the lines & paying their membership dues & registration fees, there is no incentive for the registry to even consider changing anything.
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post #11 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 12:43 PM
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Perhaps my ignorance leads me to believe that I don't see the point in outcrossing.
1)Does it not create a mutt?

2)Won't it just take health issues and multiply them because now you have the issues of 2 breeds?

3)What breed out there is 100% healthy and compliments the Doberman? I don't see much longevity anywhere. I also don't know if I believe the health is going downhill or are the stats just being reported more often now? 25 years ago we put our Doberman down before she succumbed to DCM (well we just knew she had an enlarged heart) and she had thyroid issues. We didn't report it, we did what most farmers did and just buried her. What I do think is happening is far too many breeders breed more for the ring and not for health. One thing that I think is funny is that multiple breeders have told me I'll have a very tough time finding a stud for Gretchen. She had her CGCA at 9mo., She had her RE at less than 18mo. and she will be championed AND most importantly half her genes are new to the pool. But why breed to her when they can keep inbreeding/line breeding within their own lines. I know I'll have to go through this, I'm mentally prepared (can you prepare yourself emotionally?) but my mind is kind of blown by it.

I'm not trying to be snarky I guess I just don't understand.

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post #12 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
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I would LOVE to open the studbook.
What is meant by open the stud book?
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post #13 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 01:09 PM
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The initial outcross would be considered crossbreeds. However, they would be crossed back onto Dobermans, as would be their puppies. The same thing occurs in Quarter Horses, with Appendix Registration. You can Appendix Register a TB/QH cross, and then breed them to a fully registered QH, and the resulting foal would be considered a QH. There are cat breeds that still allow outcrossing to other specific breeds, like the Scottish Fold allows outcrossing to British Shorthairs.

There are other breeds besides the Doberman that would benefit from having their studbook opened up, and doing something like Appendix Registration. Finding another breed that compliments, and is known to NOT be plagued by the same health problem, your breed, and giving special registration status to the resulting offspring, with the condition that they can only be bred back to purebred dogs would lessen the "stigma" of outcrossing.

A well thought out outcross for the purpose of fixing (or at least cutting the frequency of) a serious health issue isn't like the "designer dog" craze. That is more for lining the pockets of the breeders than anything, since they so very rarely take the genetic health of their breeding stock into account.


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post #14 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 01:15 PM
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My ONLY concern about outcrossing is temperament lineup. In a working breed that struggles to get its true working temperament today, how would outcrossing affect that? If they are bred to "better" working dogs, then sure, but I would want a dog that can ACT like a doberman more than I care about show ribbons.

I'm also hesitant to say outcrossing will definitely solve the DCM puzzle, as I have heard repeated by many vets that DCM and CHF are the #1 cardio killers in all breeds, and that nearly every instance of a dog that just up and died was a suspected DCM case. I looked into it once not for my dog but for a friend's borzoi who, like many people have experienced with their dobes, was playing in the yard one minute and then stumbled, fell down, and died where he hit the ground with nothing showing on the autopsy except "I dunno maybe he had an arrythmia".


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post #15 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen_Red View Post
Perhaps my ignorance leads me to believe that I don't see the point in outcrossing.
1)Does it not create a mutt?
Yes, it would create a mutt, but hopefully with enough careful breeding we could produce pups that maintain some Doberman qualities while also being healthier, then backcross them to the original, unhealthy Doberman population to make the new pups more and more in line with the breed standard while also being healthier. Which is why we would need breed clubs and the AKC to open stud books to promote this kind of improvement, otherwise breeders competing in the ring won't go for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen_Red View Post
2)Won't it just take health issues and multiply them because now you have the issues of 2 breeds?
Not necessarily. Many of the health problems found in purebreds are the result of recessive alleles. Inbreeding or "line breeding" increases the frequency of these recessive, damaging alleles by breeding together carriers of the alleles who are not affected by the genetic condition. So breeding to another breed that doesn't have that problem increases the healthy, dominant allele frequency within the population, reducing the incidence of the disease. So in the same way that another breed's genes could reduce DCM in the Doberman population, the Doberman genes (assuming the other breed doesn't have any of the same health problems) could potentially help introduce new healthy genes to the outcross breed as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen_Red View Post
3)What breed out there is 100% healthy and compliments the Doberman? I don't see much longevity anywhere.
That would need to be determined through the work of geneticists and breeders, but the most likely option would be to track down the original breeds that produced the Doberman, which shouldn't have the same health problems because they didn't succumb to the same genetic bottleneck that produced our breed. Another option would be older dog breeds, like the Pharaoh Hound. The reason these breeds have been around so long is because of high relative fitness (health, reproductive ability, etc.). The post above says that they have no conditions in the breed that appear at any higher frequency than the general dog population, so something like that may be an option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen_Red View Post
I also don't know if I believe the health is going downhill or are the stats just being reported more often now? 25 years ago we put our Doberman down before she succumbed to DCM (well we just knew she had an enlarged heart) and she had thyroid issues. We didn't report it, we did what most farmers did and just buried her.
Stats are probably being reported more often, which can skew the data these researchers have collected. If that's the case, then maybe we have more time than they predict, which would be awesome! However, the crash in population size following the boom in the 80's only hurts our chances by decreasing the gene pool. The smaller the gene pool, the more effect genetic drift has, and the more likely we are to see rising DCM rates.
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post #16 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan j. View Post
What is meant by open the stud book?
A studbook is closed when the registering body stops registering dogs of unknown, or only partially known, pedigree. For example, if you want to register your Doberman with the AKC, they need to be either the result of a breeding between two AKC registered dogs or they have to be already registered with another organization that the AKC recognizes, like the Canadian Kennel Club.

Opening the studbook (depending on how "open" the go) would allow the offspring of outcrossed dogs to be registered as Dobermans, and/or allow a dog of unknown pedigree that passes a breed inspection (like they do with Warmblood horses mentioned upthread) to be registered as a Doberman.


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post #17 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaloric View Post
Maybe it's time to consider that studbooks & reg papers are not only a crutch, but also that they're immensely damaging to purebreds. Blasphemy, I know...
.
I have to say, i don't disagree! my "problem" becomes purely that the highest level of the sport i love the most, the best of the best, all happen in the AKC. that being said, i have no problem registering my own dogs as mixed breeds, but i do NOT want to necessarily spay/neuter them. that ends up being my conundrum - HOWEVER, in my other breed (border collies), we DO have an open stud book. and this discussion is precisely why some of the border collie people have taken it to such an extreme to AVOID AKC recognition. the historical border collie was not a dog that LOOKED in any particular way, but in fact WORKED in a particular way. it's why there's no such thing as a wrong color in a border collie. and along that vein, i can 100% agree. i love my AKC registered border collie with multiple CH's in his pedigree - but he also has OTCH, MACH, HC and straight up herding dogs in there as well. and in fact, border collies remain overall LESS inbred than the average dog (the breed averages about 10%?) and chill has a COI of 2%. though i also have to say the breed is not without its own issues - since heavy use of particular studs led us to CEA, as i mentioned above. and the border collie stud books in other countries show clear evidence of other breeds being mixed in. the differences were regional, not "breed".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen_Red View Post
Perhaps my ignorance leads me to believe that I don't see the point in outcrossing.
1)Does it not create a mutt?
at first, yup, it will. the first generation or two will be variable, but breeding back for type with careful outcrossing (to MULTIPLE breeds, i do not think the salvation lies in ONE bred) we can redefine breed type.

Quote:
2)Won't it just take health issues and multiply them because now you have the issues of 2 breeds?
not necessarily. if the dogs do not contain the gene for DCM (as if there is only one) then it will immediately become less fixed in the population - and with careful breeding and still maintaining health screens, we can decrease the frequency of DCM in the breed. vWD does occur in some other breeds but with a test that can be avoided and the genetics behind cancer are even more poorly understood than DCM but many other health problems in other breeds have known genetic tests as well. the institute of canine biology has lots of info on this if you browse the site.

Quote:
3)What breed out there is 100% healthy and compliments the Doberman? I don't see much longevity anywhere. I also don't know if I believe the health is going downhill or are the stats just being reported more often now? 25 years ago we put our Doberman down before she succumbed to DCM (well we just knew she had an enlarged heart) and she had thyroid issues. We didn't report it, we did what most farmers did and just buried her. What I do think is happening is far too many breeders breed more for the ring and not for health. One thing that I think is funny is that multiple breeders have told me I'll have a very tough time finding a stud for Gretchen. She had her CGCA at 9mo., She had her RE at less than 18mo. and she will be championed AND most importantly half her genes are new to the pool. But why breed to her when they can keep inbreeding/line breeding within their own lines. I know I'll have to go through this, I'm mentally prepared (can you prepare yourself emotionally?) but my mind is kind of blown by it.

I'm not trying to be snarky I guess I just don't understand.
i don't believe the process will be just ONE breed. there is no 100% healthy breed that is perfect - but certainly MOST breeds do not contain a health problem that strikes (at a conservative estimate) 50% of the breed. plain and simple. there are MANY breeds that have no known congenital cardiac diseases, and some of them would be a good start. there are many breeds that have very few congenital or inherited diseases, and they would be a good start.

you don't see longevity? then you should get out more. border collies routinely live into the teens - and SHOW and COMPETE into the teens - its why i got one. multiple other breeds its RARE to lose a dog under 10 - in our breed we almost expect it. we consider ourselves lucky to hit 10. it's a sickness.

i guess i just don't understand why you seem to think that it's not a problem. the informal states that were gathered in the late 90's via informal survey is where we got the stats that the average lifespan was under 10. the studies out of europe were done from cardiologist records (admittedly a slight bias in who is sampled there, you have to care enough to get your dog checked). we think its normal to have dogs drop dead at 1? 2? 3? 4? this is part of the problem - we have become so immune to the horrible health our breed has, we start to make excuses for why it's NOT a problem, or convince ourselves to once again bury our heads in the sand and say "nope, not MY line, not MY dogs!" or "that's someone ELSES issue".

as a vet, as an owner of other breeds besides dobermans - i can tell you, it's NOT something that is worried about in MOST other breeds.

it's there, it's everywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alan j. View Post
What is meant by open the stud book?
well, technically the open studbook rules depend on the kennel club. for most of them just allow dogs from not AKC lines for instance, or without known parentage, to be registered as such breed.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breed_registry

Open Registration - American Kennel Club

http://www.kennelliitto.fi/sites/def...ohje_eng_0.pdf



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosemary View Post
The initial outcross would be considered crossbreeds. However, they would be crossed back onto Dobermans, as would be their puppies. The same thing occurs in Quarter Horses, with Appendix Registration. You can Appendix Register a TB/QH cross, and then breed them to a fully registered QH, and the resulting foal would be considered a QH. There are cat breeds that still allow outcrossing to other specific breeds, like the Scottish Fold allows outcrossing to British Shorthairs.
Furthermore, if your appendix QH is found to be of good quality, and works well and has merit, it can be forwarded into full registration!!! imagine that, registration based on merit and ability to work



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazi View Post
My ONLY concern about outcrossing is temperament lineup. In a working breed that struggles to get its true working temperament today, how would outcrossing affect that? If they are bred to "better" working dogs, then sure, but I would want a dog that can ACT like a doberman more than I care about show ribbons.

I'm also hesitant to say outcrossing will definitely solve the DCM puzzle, as I have heard repeated by many vets that DCM and CHF are the #1 cardio killers in all breeds, and that nearly every instance of a dog that just up and died was a suspected DCM case. I looked into it once not for my dog but for a friend's borzoi who, like many people have experienced with their dobes, was playing in the yard one minute and then stumbled, fell down, and died where he hit the ground with nothing showing on the autopsy except "I dunno maybe he had an arrythmia".
as a vet, i can tell you that is NOT true. OLD DOGS GETTING CARDIAC DISEASE IS NOT THE SAME AS DOBERMANS DYING AT FOUR YEARS OLD. other breeds simply do not drop dead at the rate dobermans do. in fact, dogs in general do not drop dead at the rate dobermans do, period.


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post #18 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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history fans out there? what happened to the habsburgs?

Inbreeding: Downfall of a Dynasty

PLOS ONE: The Role of Inbreeding in the Extinction of a European Royal Dynasty

inbreeding once in awhile isn't the issue. its doing it repeatedly until we have lost heterozygosity at any given locus.

all the syrian hamsters in the US pretty much come down to one breeding line
Your Hamster May Have Surprising Origins | National Geographic (blogs)

the health of the ferret due to marshall farms is largely in part to the select few ferrets that started their breeding program.


ironically, look into darwin himself - the father of evolution, was afraid his own children's illnesses were a result of him marrying his cousin!


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post #19 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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:: Doberman.GR - Understanding the prevalence of DCM in Dobermann by Sonia Garcia ::


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post #20 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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we were arguing about this 12 years ago!
Dobermann Review ? View topic - Dobermanns' inbreeding


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post #21 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 02:24 PM
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I should have stated what large breeds, like the Doberman, sorry peeps I don't consider 65-90lbs medium, live much longer than 9-13 years? I also think that while some want to rid of DCM what about cancer and everything else that's killing our breed?

It would also take a lot of science and medicine and knowledgeable breeders willing to outcross. While this is all good and well but what about those breeders with lines that are thriving? Even when my dobe passed away 25 years ago the ave lifespan was 9 so. When she passed after that we were as OK with it as you can be. Maybe some people that have owned the breed longer can speak to if that stat has changed. Was it longer 50 years ago? Also do we currently know what gene makes up the sudden death DCM gene? I 95% believe we know the one for CHF but I'm not sure if it's the same one that causes sudden death, so we do all this outcrossing and the dogs are still dying, then what?
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post #22 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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https://www.dpca.org/BreedEd/article...th-afflictions

data from the 80's


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post #23 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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the average age was not 9-13 - it was 9. which means that for every dog that lived to 11, 12 or 13 there was another that lived to 5, 6 or 7.

there are lots of similar sized dogs that live long lives. pointers, GSHP, coonhounds, hell, labradors and GSDs! but even if we look at large dogs that have shorter lifespans - why use those as a justification that its ok to have our dogs drop dead at 4. doesn't make malignant histiocytosis in Berner's any more ok, doesn't make Osteo in Rotties ok. Those breeds need help too!

why is the answer that we need to settle?


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post #24 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen_Red View Post
I also think that while some want to rid of DCM what about cancer and everything else that's killing our breed?
Theoretically, as long as you're breeding to other breeds that don't have the same health problems as the ones you're trying to fix and the problems are the result of recessive alleles then you can kill two or more birds with one stone. Plus, wouldn't you agree that fixing one problem is better than doing nothing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen_Red View Post
Also do we currently know what gene makes up the sudden death DCM gene? I 95% believe we know the one for CHF but I'm not sure if it's the same one that causes sudden death, so we do all this outcrossing and the dogs are still dying, then what?
This actually brings up a good point that supports the idea of outcrossing. If we were to outcross the Doberman with another breed, it could actually help pin down the causes of DCM. Having genetically similar dogs from these crossed litters that do or don't develop DCM can help mitigate the genetic diversity in a sample and can help point out the key genes that are different between affected and unaffected dogs. And I'm not sure why you're so pessimistic about the possibility of this helping our breed. If we outcrossed dogs and removed the suspect DCM alleles and we still have dogs dying, then it's not genetics, it's an act of God and there's nothing we can do about it. But at least we would have tried.
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post #25 of 61 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 04:39 PM
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While I totally agree and would want to see our dobermans living healthier lives, it also scares me. We all have our things that bother us or that we accept. I can't imagine the people, who scream bloody murder, about how awful it is to leave ears and tails, accepting any "trespass" into their dobermans type. On the other hand there are people, like me, who really would not be that concerned over the possible changes we would see physically, at least over the short term. I however would be devastated if we lost what is left of the temperament that allows them to do IPO and other sports. It is hard enough to find a dog that can do the sport with any kind of skill and courage. It would horrify me to lose even more of what, to me, truly identifies a doberman as a doberman. We have already lost so much. I know, though, that it means nothing to have it all in the package if it dies at a young age.
What a mess we doberman lovers have found ourselves in. How to preserve them? Really we actually need to recover them.
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