Need advice on how to buy a healthy pup - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Need advice on how to buy a healthy pup

I am new to this board and was hoping to get some guidance from the members here. My wife and I just recently started to look for a Doberman puppy after loosing our last Dobe to a congenital disease almost ten years ago. Needless to say it broke or hearts and we wanted to be extra diligent in finding a responsible breeder. After a few months of looking we found Trevo Doberman. We were assured that his dogs were tested for heart conditions for the breed and that the lineage was healthy and without any abnormalities. He was kind enough to agree to sell us a puppy with natural ears, which is my wife's requirement, from his next litter and we were happy to wait. After about 6 month the litter arrived and we got our chance to meet the puppy to be ours. We picked the most rambunctious one as he reminded us of our last dog. We agreed to arrange for the pick up time in the following 2-3 weeks. When we wanted to confirm the date, he informed us that we had one weekend to choose since he had to crop the ears the following week and we wanted our puppy with natural ears. If we could not abide by that schedule we could to pay up front, prior to pickup. This seemed very reasonable and we happily agreed to it and asked for the proper documentation (health tests, lineage, …) so we could arrange for payment immediately. We were then informed that there will be no documentation provided until the actual pick up date (one week after full payment). Having lost our first Dobe to an illness, I asked as to why we could not see any of the certificates prior to paying the remaining balance and I was told to look elsewhere if the given terms were not acceptable. We have not bought a puppy for close to 15 years now and I must admit I am not certain as to what is considered good etiquette as a buyer but we could not buy a puppy first and then see the proper documentation later. We were also informed that the deposit will not be refunded until Trevor had found a new home for the puppy. So we said OK and agreed to wait up to six weeks before getting our deposit back. I apologize for the long message but is asking for health certificates prior to full payment considered rude or unusual? Is it normal to pay first and only then see the lineage data with the puppy package? Needless to say my wife and I are very sad. We lost almost 6 months waiting for this little guy and really fell in love with the pupp when we saw him but I just did not feel that I was acting responsibly doing business under the circumstances. Would appreciate any advice from the more experience members as to perhaps what we should have done or how to move forward. Is it OK in the community to perhaps ask for the health test data and lineage prior to placing the deposit or even going on a waiting list or is that not acceptable? Any referrals to a reputable breeder who is willing to sell Dobes with natural ears will also be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 07:04 PM
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I wouldn't put any money down on a puppy prior to seeing all the health testing on the parents.

Where are you located? Your requirement for natural ears will really limit your choices if you are looking for breeders within the USA. Is that somewhat flexible?

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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I'm in Northern CA, Bay Area. The requirement is from my wife, so I would say its not really negotiable.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 07:53 PM
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If you have a Facebook page try and get on Doberman pinscher breeder listings group. Breeders post when they have litters and give all health info about the parents in their posts. You can then check on their websites and follow up with emails/phone calls to see if they are the right breeder for you.

Could be a good starting point.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 08:04 PM
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Maybe contact a Doberman breed club in your area... https://www.apps.akc.org/apps/club_s...=1&club_id=753

And see if they can recommend a breeder.

Good luck with your search for a natural eared pup.

Lots of nice natural eared Doberman in rescue too. . Just check out Petfinder for your area and take a good look.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 08:35 PM
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I don't know their dogs personally, but when I was looking at puppies few years ago (2010?) I saw that TEVROS impending litter was sired by Ch Foxfire's All Star "Jet". Jet is the sire of our eldest boy. Honestly, if Michelle Santana is breeding her top dogs with this kennel, that is good enough for me.

That being said....Very few good breeders are going to be willing to work with you the with the "natural ear" thing. If Trevor (Miller?) is still offering this pup un-cropped, I would reconsider. Natural eared puppies in the US from a fine breeder are few and far between

Relax... Be polite... and you will probably get your questions answered to your satisfaction.

If you don't, you can always walk away (again)

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 08:46 PM
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If you're interested in the possibility of importing a dog with natural ears and a docked tail, there are a few breeders in New Zealand. Cropping is illegal, but docking is still allowed and a lot of NZ dobes are imported to Australia for this reason. If you're wanting with natural ears and tail, most European countries only allow this as well as Australia.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 10:49 PM
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I think it's completely reasonable to see the health testing results before even making a decision to want a puppy from a particular breeder. That said, there are some health test results you may be able to look up yourself in the OFA database (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals). At the very least, you'd expect a good breeder to be testing hips. Sometimes you can find CERF eye testing results there (if it was done) and vWD results as well if the breeder submitted them.

Personally, I think that health is more important than ears (cosmetic).

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-11-2016, 09:48 AM
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I'm glad you walked away, this is not a breeder for you. The relationship you have with your breeder is very important and I'm not seeing the "clicking" going on here. I "annoy" my breeders monthly if not weekly with updates, questions, pictures... They are my first source of information and I like to think we are friends. Although this guy seems like he's doing things right that doesn't mean you mesh with him. I had that a lot and walked away from a lot of breeders who I didn't see having the same direction as me or there were things there that I didn't agree with. Getting a healthy puppy is important, I agree with Mary, ears should be your last worry but the relationship with your breeder and the TRUST you have in your breeder should be more important than anything. Any breeder that is hesitant to give me health papers is one I would be hesitant to trust.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-12-2016, 10:02 AM
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It's always a good idea to ask for health test results and pedigree before putting down a deposit.

If you ask, a breeder should have an honest, frank discussion with you about DCM in their lines as EVERY doberman line carries this health risk. If a breeder says their line has no cardio, they are either woefully uneducated or lying, both of which you can't have in a breeder.

There is also the PDK4 test that is often misrepresented as being the end all test for DCM when it is nothing of the sort. Any breeder who uses this test as proof their doberman doesn't carry cardio should immediately be taken off your list.

There is a now a DCM2 test and I have not read a thorough breakdown of what the results of this test can indicate, but it sounds like this test should be done on the adults before breeding.

https://www.dobermantalk.com/doberman...ion-found.html

It does sounds like you've got the correct idea about which breeders to check out. Time is really on your side when it comes to choosing a breeder you click with.

The idea of going to a local club is a good one as well as joining the FB list recommended above.

Another source.These breeders should also be vetted. http://www.dpca.org/breed/breed_referral.htm

Just remember, there are NO perfectly healthy lines, tho with testing you can try to help your odds. The thing is some of these diseases can just pop up practically out of nowhere.

Best wishes to you.

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-12-2016, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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I was told his dogs were tested for DCM, but that there was no certificate or documentation for the test he did. This seems unusual to me. Our old dog had records of his teeth cleaning let alone actual check ups. I've never done this test so I'm not certain but is it actually possible that a breeder can test a Doberman for heart conditions and not have a written report, documentation or any proof?

We took him at his word and asked for the name of the Vet who performed the test and the date the test was done when we asked for the other information prior to issuing full payment and that is when we were told to go look else where.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-12-2016, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach4 View Post
I was told his dogs were tested for DCM, but that there was no certificate or documentation for the test he did. This seems unusual to me. Our old dog had records of his teeth cleaning let alone actual check ups. I've never done this test so I'm not certain but is it actually possible that a breeder can test a Doberman for heart conditions and not have a written report, documentation or any proof?

We took him at his word and asked for the name of the Vet who performed the test and the date the test was done when we asked for the other information prior to issuing full payment and that is when we were told to go look else where.

If the breeder has indeed HOLTER'd their dogs, a report from the vet or service reading the HOLTER should be provided easily.

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-12-2016, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach4 View Post
I was told his dogs were tested for DCM, but that there was no certificate or documentation for the test he did. This seems unusual to me. Our old dog had records of his teeth cleaning let alone actual check ups. I've never done this test so I'm not certain but is it actually possible that a breeder can test a Doberman for heart conditions and not have a written report, documentation or any proof?

We took him at his word and asked for the name of the Vet who performed the test and the date the test was done when we asked for the other information prior to issuing full payment and that is when we were told to go look else where.
Addressing bolded part...NO. As your common sense told you, there would be a record. There is an echo which should be done by a cardiologist and a 24 hour holter that gives readings which are read and one is given (emailed) the results.

The PDK4 and DCM2 are both DNA tests and one is given results.

My guess is he was trying to pass off a vet listening to the heart with a stethoscope for a minuter or so like all vets do during yearly physicals as a "heart test". I hate to say that, but that's what I would deduce if it was my interaction with this breeder. I don't know went else he would say what he did about there being no test results.

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Last edited by LindaH; 05-12-2016 at 12:37 PM.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-12-2016, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much. The learning curve has been painful in this process, but I feel we did the right thing and are a lot more aware as a result. Hopefully other new buyers will benefit also from all the helpful feedback.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-12-2016, 03:04 PM
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If you are open to a rescue, there is a wonderful rescue in Fillmore, California. There are about 200 dobes there, many of them with natural ears. The people who run this rescue are great and know their dogs. I adopted Hershey from them in 2009 and she was about 1 1/2 to 2 years old at the time. She is still in great health and is approximately 9 years old now.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-12-2016, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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I would love to but what's holding me back is the health issues and the fact that I would prefer to raise the dog myself. Taking care of our last Dobe when he was battling Chronic Hepatitus was very hard on our family. He fought on for a year and we got him the best care possible knowing it was a loosing battle. When he could no longer enjoy his days, and had to make an effort to walk, I think just to make us happy, we had to put him to sleep. It was the worst day of my life. I'm still considering the option but if I can find an honest breeder who is OK selling puppies with natural ears any time this year I think that would be my preference. I am planning to donate to Doberman rescue in our area though to support them.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-13-2016, 07:04 AM
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I have a rescue with natural ears and a docked tail. She was surrendered for the dumbest reason. I also adopted her as a puppy at 7 1/2 months. For your requirement (or your wife's), I think rescuing could still be a good option.

I know there are a couple working dog breeders who may leave ears natural. There may be some Canadian breeders who will. Then you'd be looking at importing. The issue for US breeders is that our standard is cropped and docked. Therefore; they should be breeding to the standard. Does she just not want to post or what? Bc I am posting for the first time (on 7.5" long full ear crop lol), and it's really not that bad.



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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-13-2016, 10:11 AM
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I don't find any recent information on him after doing a quick check. Did he ever finish his current male? If he has done the health testing he should expect to be asked to see all that early on in any discussion. Not willing to show it to you till after you have paid him would be like I'm going to sell you a new car but I won't tell let you look under the hood or know the safety data till after you have paid for it. Either something good to walk away from or a misunderstanding.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-13-2016, 12:54 PM
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I have a rescue with natural ears and a docked tail. She was surrendered for the dumbest reason. I also adopted her as a puppy at 7 1/2 months. For your requirement (or your wife's), I think rescuing could still be a good option.

I know there are a couple working dog breeders who may leave ears natural. There may be some Canadian breeders who will. Then you'd be looking at importing. The issue for US breeders is that our standard is cropped and docked. Therefore; they should be breeding to the standard. Does she just not want to post or what? Bc I am posting for the first time (on 7.5" long full ear crop lol), and it's really not that bad.

A breeder can breed towards the standard, but the standard can only be created after birth and even that's wishy washy with the wording of the standard. #canofwormsopened

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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-13-2016, 01:05 PM
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Getting a dog through a reputable breeder is no guarantee that you'll avoid future health problems. There are MANY people here on DT with dogs from wonderful breeders who's dogs have serious genetic health problems. This is an unhealthy breed regardless of where you get your dog; reputable breeder or rescue. We just push for supporting reputable breeders here because they are TRYING to make the breed healthy again and deserve our support... if there's to be any future with the breed.
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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-13-2016, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Getting a dog through a reputable breeder is no guarantee that you'll avoid future health problems. There are MANY people here on DT with dogs from wonderful breeders who's dogs have serious genetic health problems. This is an unhealthy breed regardless of where you get your dog; reputable breeder or rescue. We just push for supporting reputable breeders here because they are TRYING to make the breed healthy again and deserve our support... if there's to be any future with the breed.

I'm hoping to reduce the risk, not eliminate it, as there are no guarantees in life. Is it reasonable to assume that a dog from a breeder that has a few generations of health testing and history (how far back is it reasonable to look?) is less likely to have health problems? Are there any studies proving this?

There are a couple of laymen perspectives on this, one is wearing a seatbelt does not guarantee you will survive a car crash, but your chances are greatly improved by taking that precautions.

The counter argument backed up by a few studies is that if you used a dart board to select stocks from the S&P 500, over a 5 year period you would get statistically the same return as if you had a financial advisor who studies all the trends and did “due diligence”.

I’ll admit my ignorance on Doberman specific issues (pretty sure my previous post do a great job of proving this). Perhaps others with a Vet background or experience can shed some light on this based on actual data.

If its all the same, or even nearly the same I would be happy to rescue a pup as we are looking to add a member to our family and are not looking for a competition dog. Our first and foremost concern is health.
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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-13-2016, 02:55 PM
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One should reward the breeder that cares about the future of the breed. One who breeds to the standard and offers their dog's up to be judged in competition with other dogs by experts of the breed. This type breeder is in contrast to the byb who most likely doesn't understand the standard or how to interpret it and doesn't offer his dogs to be judged as breed worthy by experts of the breed.

The byb is driven by profit, while the show breeder is driven to improve his lines.

The show breeder will be familiar with the dogs in the pedigree, often having bred most of them. He will know the health of the pedigree and how to breed with that knowledge. The byb won't know the dogs in the pedigree or the health of those dogs. Even if he has some health knowledge, he won't know how to use it.

Imo, your odds of getting a healthier puppy with a knowledgeable show breeder who does the health testing is better, just no guarantee. This is especially true with diseases whose mode of transmission is not understood.

A rescue, tho often wonderful dogs, are a complete unknown. Which way a person goes depends on how they can live with uncertainty or worry about the next day. Some can live life one day at a time and others not so much.

If I were you, I would want recent liver and kidney values done, too.

The more health tests that are done before the breeding, the more knowledge one has of that point in time.

Hopefully, I would want heart issues or producers of heart issues to be in the fifth generation minimum of fourth. Avoid lines where dogs die of cardio generation after generation.

A decent, tho not perfect research tool. Dobequestog Search Page

A health test research tool, only if owners pay to be listed. http://www.ofa.net/index.html


DPCA | The Doberman | Health

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https://dpca.org/BreedEd/articles/43...erman-pinscher

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Last edited by LindaH; 05-13-2016 at 03:06 PM.
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