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Old 01-23-2013, 12:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Having Second Thoughts

For the past year or so, I've been convinced that my next dog would be a Doberman, but after spending some time here and reading about the myriad of health issues they have, I've got to admit that I'm having second thoughts. I knew there were some health problems of course, but the thought of having my dog drop dead at 3 years old of DCM has me pretty freaked out.

How do you.. I guess, justify, the investment? Emotionally, much more than financially, I mean.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Any dog is a risk. Although you will hear about dogs dropping dead at 3 of DCM, there are many breeders out there who are doing everything right to avoid something like that. This is why research and choosing a reputable breeder who places health/longevity as a first priority on the list is so important.

I have an oversized rescue from the most terrible breedings ever, and even he is 6yo w/o DCM. Although 3 can happen, it is EXTREMELY rare. Research the pedigrees. If you see many dogs dropping at young ages, I'd look elsewhere.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ivan's my first Doberman. I've spent more time worrying about his health than I have with any previous pet. Reading some of the stories on here doesn't help - just gives you new things to worry about. But at the end of the day I wouldn't dream of not having him. Even if it ends up being a short time, he's worth it.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asmit View Post
Research the pedigrees. If you see many dogs dropping at young ages, I'd look elsewhere.
How can I find that information?
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You can ask for help here Have you thought about which breeders you are interested in?
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Every breed has some health problems. My close 2nd favorite breed to the Dobermann, the Rottweiler, also has breed health problems. Just buy from a good breeder, use the best nutrition, and enjoy your Dobermann; you will never be sorry.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Do your research and find a good breeder. Many, many times lots of money for a dog does not mean a healthy pup. But expect to spend a a nice chunk. I did not do my research and lost my girl at 4....I had just lost a 15 year old dog and was not thinking straight.....so I let somebody else find a pup for me....I thought they knew what they were doing. I end up with a BYB but I chose to take her home with me. I loved that girl! But she past way too young.....not from DCM.

Or just rescue! You never know what kind of health issues (but not like you really ever know) that could come up but more than likely you will end up with an awesome dog! And there are so many dobies that need a second chance.

And really pets and people sometimes just get sick.....you just love and take care of them as best as you can while they are in your life.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i have had dobes since fore ever and never knew what DCM was till a few months back. And still do not have personal experience with it. I understand your hesitation and if it was me in your shoes i would wrap my arms around the first pup that would have me and enjoy being owned.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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In my opinion it's one of those "the benefits outweigh the risk" type things. Even if Bruce is only in our lives for a short amount of time (little brat better stick around for a long time though lol), he will have been worth it. There are days I look at him and say "you better not break my heart", because I know the risks associated with this breed, and that he *could* pass young, but as I said, the love he brings into our home is worth it.

Every breed has health issues, this is why going with a reputable breeder is so important. They can't guarantee health issues won't crop up, but they are doing their damndest to better the breed, and health check, and not breed dogs that have health problems.

My last dog was a lab, from a very reputable show breeder, and he passed at 8 (from nothing the breeder could have foreseen, and he health checks all his dogs fully). Anything can happen to any breed, at any time. A dog of any breed will be a "risk" in that sense, so find a great breeder and go from there.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Dobermans are not for the faint hearted!

You won't find a breed that steals your heart more, imo.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Lost my heart dog nearly a year ago to DCM , he was 6 ,devastated,but I am picking up my puppy on Saturday as life without a Doberman is worse than the alternative.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Great advise! Do your research. I didnt and got my girl Lexi(rip). I got her at 3 months and she was gone at 8 months. I had her 5 wonderful months! She had so many reaction issues...fear aggressive and prey drive over the top! Even in that nightmare she stole my heart! I am not one to get depressed by any means and I believe I was. Hell even my husband thought I was. I couldnt wait to have another one in my life...along comes Kyrah. I have learned a lot about reputable breeders a little too late for my last purchase but a ton for my next. I dont sit around worrying about health issues the same way I dont sit around wondering if one of my daughters are going to be in a car crash today...yikes!! you would never have any peace. I enjoy my time with my family and dogs for today. You cant control the future.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Each person has to weigh the risks against the positives for their self.

For me, it's easy. I'd rather take the chance to lose one young than to have never known them at all.

I really don't spend any time at all worrying about it. I used to. And then, to put it simply, I got a grip. I no longer spend time worrying, nor do I spend any time or energy hoping, wishing, or dreaming that my dogs will be any healthier than their breed predisposes them to be. I know my girls' pedigrees, I know their parents' health testing info, and I also know not to hold my breath no matter what I may think I know. All the happy shiny health testing in the world doesn't mean squat because if they're a Doberman, they're at risk. Period. Any safety net someone thinks they have in health testing or pedigree research can be as flimsy as wet paper one day when your dog still drops dead in spite of all the warm fuzzy research you did.

But I also don't assume they will drop dead. Doberman health is a crapshoot. At this point, I'm entirely neutral on it. I have no assumptions one way or another. I'll be ecstatic if some day we have some definitive answers so we begin breeding out some diseases but until then...I still love the dogs. And I'm still going to have them in my life.

Their lives and deaths will be whatever they will be and apart from what I can control - like keeping them safe and out of harm's way and trying to be conscientious about their nutrition and general health...there's nothing I can do to prevent any hereditary disease. So I don't worry about it.

If it's something you'll obsess over...yeah, I'd probably rethink owning this breed because that fear may overtake being able to enjoy life with your dog.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Honestly? I've looked for healthier breeds, you'll find others who have as well too. In the end, I always come back though.

Maybe you SHOULD look at other breeds, you might discover one that you didn't know about, that you're truly crazy about. Or, you might find that you always come back to the Dobe world. Then you'll have your answer
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I love this breed so much, the thought of NOT having one in my life freaks me out.
All my dobes have been rescues so I had no clue as to whether there were any underlying health issues. I lost my last boy to DCM at 7 years old. Would I still have adopted him had I known that I would lose him just 3 short years later? Yes, I would. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat despite the pain of losing him.

I look at it this way,"Tis better to have loved & lost than never to have loved at all."
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
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If you choose not to have a Dobe because you may lose him/her one day to an illness (whatever it may be) you may as well never have any dog. I have been doing some research recently regarding Boxers and can honestly say, I am horrified at the number of problems they have. Then there are GSD's, Bernese, Yorkshire Terriers etc, etc.
Even plain old mutts can have health problems.

The trick to having a dog is do your research and try and find a breeder who is trying his/her damndest to eradicate the problems that besets the breed you have chosen.

There are no guarentees in life, you just try your hardest to make sure you have done all you can to avoid the pitfalls you may encounter.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Each person has to weigh the risks against the positives for their self.

I really don't spend any time at all worrying about it. I used to. And then, to put it simply, I got a grip.
This made me giggle because it's so true! Before I "got a grip" and was in between dobes a wise old (emphasis on old) friend told me I needed a mutt. Because they're "healthier than high bred dogs" (he was an old farm gentleman lol). So I went out and got me a beautiful long coated mutt from the pound! By far, the smartest dog I've ever met...and the most unhealthy

So, the most you can do is do your research. Look at the pros and cons, make the wisest decision you can. They are living, breathing things and anything, I mean anything, can happen. You have to be prepared for that with any type of pet you get.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:10 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Everything in life carries a risk. But if you're smart, you do things that minimize those risks.

For example, driving. The risk is always there that we could all die in a car accident tomorrow, but we do our best to minimize the risk of that happening - we wear our seatbelt, do regular maintenance on our vehicles, don't do stupid sh!t like being reckless or drinking and driving, avoid driving in bad weather conditions, etc.

With getting a dog, there's always the risk of a health problem. But to minimize the risk of a congenital health problem, we research good breeders and get a dog from a breeder with a lot of longevity in their lines, and who does all the appropriate health testing.

Nothing in life is 100%, but you can stack the odds more in your favor by doing your homework, making the time and financial investment of supporting a reputable breeder and doing your own regular "vehicle maintenance" such as regular vet checks and labwork, giving appropriate vaccines and heartworm preventative, and periodic heart checks to make sure everything stays in good working order
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:22 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by CoverTune View Post
For the past year or so, I've been convinced that my next dog would be a Doberman, but after spending some time here and reading about the myriad of health issues they have, I've got to admit that I'm having second thoughts. I knew there were some health problems of course, but the thought of having my dog drop dead at 3 years old of DCM has me pretty freaked out.

How do you.. I guess, justify, the investment? Emotionally, much more than financially, I mean.
You can have my 90 lb teen. He just head butted me and broke my nose. Should I not have him because of that? IDK, he was playing and my face got in the way. It is more about love and dedication and finding a good breeder then the what if's. I never thought my dog would break my nose while playing, but stuff happens.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:07 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Having Second Thoughts

A Doberman is a breed that will steal your heart unlike any other! They form a bond with you unlike any other breed that I have seen. That is why most people who have had one usually get another one.

I am on #2, and I couldn't even go a year without having one in my house. First one passed away at 7 from liver problems, but that didn't stop me from getting another...and a rescue at that. While of course I want them around forever, I will give them the best life and care while they are with me, whatever amount of time that is. Issues can arise with any breed, so go with what the breed (Doberman or whatever else you choose) that fits you and your lifestyle.

IMO the great personality, love, & devotion a dobie gives outweigh the health risks.


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Old 01-23-2013, 06:23 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I never thought my dog would break my nose while playing.
This must be your first Doberman. LOL! Sorry about your nose. People think I am nuts when they are smoozing with my dogs and I tell them "get your face away from his/her head"! I've not had a broken nose, but bumps, bruises and a chipped tooth, all from Dobes.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:24 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
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A Doberman is a breed that will steal your heart unlike any other! They form a bond with you unlike any other breed that I have seen. That is why most people who have had one usually get another one.

I am on #2, and I couldn't even go a year without having one in my house. First one passed away at 7 from liver problems, but that didn't stop me from getting another...and a rescue at that. While of course I want them around forever, I will give them the best life and care while they are with me, whatever amount of time that is. Issues can arise with any breed, so go with what the breed (Doberman or whatever else you choose) that fits you and your lifestyle.

IMO the great personality, love, & devotion a dobie gives outweigh the health risks.


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Well Said
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:34 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
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.....How do you.. I guess, justify, the investment? Emotionally, much more than financially, I mean.
Great QUESTION btw:
#1 - most average puppy cost +/- $2000 and live +/-10 years, from a respected breeder.
Financially, $200/year prorated ($2000/10yrs.) is really just pennies IMO, IF I avoid BYB costly Vet bills and early DEATH.

Why a good doberman...because my last one protected my wife, with her life, and submissed a larger loose dog (GSD/Lab) from bite attacking my wife - NO PRICE can be put on this unconditional canine LOVE.
- when our last girl was dying (Amy's very last night, of old senior age & given 4 progressive strokes), this Dad was happy to sleep in her urine on the futon makeshift bed / that much I owed her, for being a perfect family member for life, trust worthy & most loving / even in her final minutes

I paid her true dedication back, on her death bed, with me...but it wasn't even necessary.
- easiest thing I ever did, was to make her feel comfortable, but Dad had to lie and tell her "I could make it all better, in the morning"

NOW...sorry if I forgot, your question ---->> I will live & die with a dober, by my side & no other breed...I can't put a $$ on what they mean to me.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:20 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the feedback. I bet all my fears will disappear as soon as I pick out my Dober-pup! It's just a little scary getting into a breed with such a long list of health issues... I'm coming from the world of Chihuahuas who are a pretty darn healthy breed.

I guess I've got some research to do!
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:36 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Wouldnt live without a dobie, healthy or not.
(Had danes in the past and that truely is a heart-break breed; will not own another due to the enormous amount of heartbreak. )
But, for me life without a doberman would be more heartbreak than life with a sick one. Just research as much as you can and choose a reputable breeder that tests and works to improve the breed overall.
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