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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Doberman Purchase Price: Taboo Topic?

Hi there,

I am a long time lurker, first time poster on these forums. I have loved the Doberman breed since I was a small child. Now, as an adult - I am determined to have one, one day. I have done extensive research and contacted many different breeders over the years.
I have a couple breeders at the top of my list for when I am in a place to bring home a Dobe; however I have found that as soon as I inquire as to the price of their dogs..... contact stops and I never hear from them again.

I am aware that a well bred dog will be around $2000. I was willing to budget up to $2500 for the purchase price. I thought I found a breeder I was happy with and then I found out their dogs were $3000?! Although they were lovely and I did connect with the breeder, I did not feel they justified that steep of a price, especially for a Pet/Companion. I would understand those prices for the top show lines, winning consecutively at Nationals and on the show circuit but she was/is a relatively new breeder.

Am I not taken seriously as a prospective owner to reputable breeders because I have a "budget"?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 01:10 PM
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How are you phrasing it and when are you saying it?

It can be tricky talking with a breeder, it's a virtual stranger you are trying to connect with while sharing aspects of your life in hopefully positive ways, and especially so budget can be tricky to bring up as you don't want to sound the wrong way, but understandably need to know what you are expected to have available in the bank.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 01:24 PM
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I don't get why breeders (and I am one) get all worked up over someone asking the price of a puppy. I can remember the very first dog I ever called about that was from a reputable breeder and when she told me the price I said that's more than my mortgage payment! I didn't end up getting the puppy because I couldn't afford to. I waited a few more years. Sometimes people just don't know what the cost is, or should be.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam1491 View Post
How are you phrasing it and when are you saying it?

It can be tricky talking with a breeder, it's a virtual stranger you are trying to connect with while sharing aspects of your life in hopefully positive ways, and especially so budget can be tricky to bring up as you don't want to sound the wrong way, but understandably need to know what you are expected to have available in the bank.
Thanks for your reply!
I never mention budget expectations in my first point of contact. I write a very in depth letter describing my life, Doberman knowledge, research about breed and breeders and what I am looking for in a dog. I usually get a reply back and we discuss potential upcoming litters, my specifics as far as sex, colour preference etc
At this point I will reply usually with something like, "I would love to be placed on your waitlist for an upcoming litter, could you please advise me of an estimate to the purchase price of your dogs? I would like to budget accordingly".
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 01:53 PM
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Hi pn...

I am not sure why a breeder that is considering you as a prospective puppy owner would not discuss price with you. As well as health testing, sire and dam.

I will say, that at least in my experience, our last 3 boys were purchased as pet/companions on a limited registration with a contractual agreement never to breed. The price of a pet was no different than the price of a competitive show dog. Why? Because the cost to a breeder is the same for either. It was solely the contractual obligations and ownership that were different.

I also need to say, that your upfront costs are going to a drop in the bucket compared to the lifetime costs of maintaing a heathy and happy Doberman. To scrimp on the front end, often means that you will pay through the nose somewhere down the line.

Personally, I would not ask a breeder in you original "interview"about price. But that's just me. Your purpose should be to convince them that you would be a good fit for one of their pups and be able to provide him/her with a great environment.

I am not sure about BC, but just South of you here in Oregon, the least amount that I would expect to pay for a well bred dog from a reputable breeder would be $2500. For the right pup, I would not hesitate at $3000.

You might contact Foxfire Dobermans in Sunny Valley (Wolf Creek) Oregon:

Foxfire Dobermans - Breeder-Owner of AKC Top Producing Doberman Pinschers

Like a lot of breeders, Michelle can be hard to get ahold of.

Good luck.

John
Portland OR
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4bike ped View Post

I will say, that at least in my experience, our last 3 boys were purchased as pet/companions on a limited registration with a contractual agreement never to breed. The price of a pet was no different than the price of a competitive show dog. Why? Because the cost to a breeder is the same for either. It was solely the contractual obligations and ownership that were different.
That is a very good point. Thank you. I used to raise/breed show rabbits and it was common in that world that pets cost less than a breeding or show prospect. I have seen it on Dog breeders sites as well so thought it was the norm. However you raise a very good point, and one that I would not disagree with. As I am seeking a top quality dog from a reputable breeder, I would assume all to be high quality, just my own preference and as you said contractual obligations towards having a pet instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4bike ped View Post
I also need to say, that your upfront costs are going to a drop in the bucket compared to the lifetime costs of maintaining a healthy and happy Doberman. To scrimp on the front end, often means that you will pay through the nose somewhere down the line.
I completely agree. Which is why I have done extensive research and searches to find reputable breeders I am interested in and fully expect to pay upwards of $2,000. However based on what experienced breeders have said on this site, $3,000 is definitely on the higher end for purchasing. I don't think there is any Doberman line out there that you can say with utmost certainty will have no health problems or vet visits (outside the norm), even with a higher price tag. However, there are lines and breeders I am fully aware cost more than others, and if I wanted one of their dogs, I would dedicate that amount towards the purchase price budget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4bike ped View Post
Personally, I would not ask a breeder in you original "interview"about price. But that's just me. Your purpose should be to convince them that you would be a good fit for one of their pups and be able to provide him/her with a great environment.

I am not sure about BC, but just South of you here in Oregon, the least amount that I would expect to pay for a well bred dog from a reputable breeder would be $2500. For the right pup, I would not hesitate at $3000.

You might contact Foxfire Dobermans in Sunny Valley (Wolf Creek) Oregon:

Foxfire Dobermans - Breeder-Owner of AKC Top Producing Doberman Pinschers
I always send a very detailed letter going in depth about my dog experience, Doberman knowledge and current living environment (as a former [rabbit] breeder myself, I think of what I would like to hear from prospective owners). After some back and forth and discussion about future litters I will generally ask what the price is for my budgeting needs. Then I never get a reply.....
I did contact Michelle and did manage to get a hold of her (quite quickly actually lol from what I had heard/expected). And same scenerio. Everything seemed great until I asked the cost.

I understand this is an expensive breed with expensive upkeep. Which is pretty much the main reason I havent brought one into my life yet; but I feel it quite discouraging when I feel like I'm not given the time of day, because I don't have unlimited money I can drop and do have to budget. Im not ignorant to think I will get a well bred dog under $2000 but I don't make enough to easily drop $3000-$4000 without budgeting first.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 02:36 PM
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Hi and welcome from Denver.

From a breeder standpoint if you were expecting to pay $2500 and I said $3000 and you started getting attitude about the price I would have to be honest and do the same as those other breeders, if you did indeed bring up a show puppy vs a pet companion... I don't believe I actually did bring up the price of my last puppy (still a puppy) until it was close to shipping time. Personally I didn't care. I loved the breeder, I had a judge who's also a good friend, backing the puppy for show lines, and I know the parents were health tested. Price after that meant very little to me as long as it was in the realm of normal. Find the healthy dogs you love, find a breeder that you click with and you can't put a price on that.

I'm going to play devil's advocate here so please don't take this personally. I don't understand why you would think a pet companion should be less than a show companion? I disagree, champions are sold as pet companions all the time due to not having enough show homes. When it's all said and done I will have put the breeders name all over the Doberman world and probably put nearly $20k into the dog to put multiple show and working titles on it. THAT'S A BRAND NEW CAR WORTH OF MONEY!!! Why should I have to pay more when the cost to the breeder is the same and the breeder will get free advertising from me competing with their dog in multiple venues? Just something worth thinking about. I know when I first start off my kennel I'll actually be giving discounts to those that show so that I get my kennel name out there.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 03:04 PM
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I have found you need to first meet the breeder and have an interview or have a phone interview and during that time you ask the price. I have seen that the prices on the US west coast can vary from $2000-$3500 USD. Most being around $2500 USD regardless of show or companion. I have noticed that many breeders prioritize people who have had their Dobermans before and people who show them (and rightly so.) Areas where the cost of living are higher, like in parts of California, spend more money breeding and taking care of mom & puppies so their puppies tend to cost a little more.
If you can go to one or two local shows and meet local breeders in person (when they are not busy) and then follow up with them by email or phone a week or so later this will show your seriousness and level of commitment to a breeder. It may seem time consuming to loose a day or two at a show, but it saves a lot of wasted energy, separates you from the masses, and gives you a better idea of what you are actually looking for.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen_Red View Post
Hi and welcome from Denver.

From a breeder standpoint if you were expecting to pay $2500 and I said $3000 and you started getting attitude about the price I would have to be honest and do the same as those other breeders, if you did indeed bring up a show puppy vs a pet companion... I don't believe I actually did bring up the price of my last puppy (still a puppy) until it was close to shipping time. Personally I didn't care. I loved the breeder, I had a judge who's also a good friend, backing the puppy for show lines, and I know the parents were health tested. Price after that meant very little to me as long as it was in the realm of normal. Find the healthy dogs you love, find a breeder that you click with and you can't put a price on that.
Hi, thank you for your welcome!

Well the thing is, I never even get to HEAR a price. Its as soon as I even ask what kind of cost I can expect that I stop receiving replies. There are definitely breeders out there that I expect to charge in the high range - my shock over the $3000 in my initial post came from the fact this specific breeder is relatively unknown, starting out, has nice dogs but hasn't built up her line enough to have excessive titles and show wins. I loved her passion for the breed, she was incredibly knowledgeable and her dogs were all health tested. I was shocked at the price because that was something I would attribute to the more established breeders with consecutive titles and wins. I always search this forum for input on breeders when I am interested in one. There was a thread for this breeder stating all these things, but acknowledging $3K was a steep price for her specifically to be asking with her current dogs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen_Red View Post
I'm going to play devil's advocate here so please don't take this personally. I don't understand why you would think a pet companion should be less than a show companion? I disagree, champions are sold as pet companions all the time due to not having enough show homes. When it's all said and done I will have put the breeders name all over the Doberman world and probably put nearly $20k into the dog to put multiple show and working titles on it. THAT'S A BRAND NEW CAR WORTH OF MONEY!!! Why should I have to pay more when the cost to the breeder is the same and the breeder will get free advertising from me competing with their dog in multiple venues? Just something worth thinking about. I know when I first start off my kennel I'll actually be giving discounts to those that show so that I get my kennel name out there.
As a new member all my replies are being moderated before posting so unfortunately one of my previous replies went into detail about this already (they will all post at the same time now I bet lol).
I used to raise competitive show rabbits; in the rabbit world it was just a common thing that pets were a lower price than show. I never really thought of it in the realm that the cost to GET that kit, was the same as its litter mate who could be sold for show/breeding. It was just something you did for people who's purpose was to enjoy the animals company instead of gain recognition in whatever form. Pet homes were under contract not to be bred and would not receive the pedigree unless the animal was fixed. I would assume because the likelihood of a pet rabbit being sold for $500 is incredibly low.
As I already mentioned I do not argue the points you've made. I just experienced it from a different world.

I am in no way saying I think these dogs should cost less. I recognize what goes into producing healthy top quality dogs and that they are well worth their high price tag. When I even mention I would expect to pay $2500 for my future Dobe, people are SHOCKED and to me its completely valid and normal.
I am just concerned that because I don't have excess $$ laying around that I can just drop without a second thought, Im deemed an invalid owner? I put my dogs needs before myself, I ensure their food is the highest quality and they get whatever they need. But I am not rich, I live a modest life and I budget accordingly. So I do need to know the cost, so I can prepare before I can commit .
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 03:40 PM
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I've found that to be the case as well. I know what price I expect to pay but don't like to feel like I'm writing a blank check. I need to know their prices are what I expect before becoming too attached. I was talking to maltese breeders a while back about getting an older puppy and as soon as I asked "how much should I expect to pay?" I never heard from one of them again. I mean are we talking $2000? $5000? What? It does make a difference to me.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 04:10 PM
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We paid $2000 for Anzio. That included his cropping and dock and all his genetic vetting. His Grandfather and Grandmother were titled Schutzhund dogs competing in Europe and the US. The sire and dam were not. Our breeder was open to a educated and informed conversation. She let us visit the mom and dad and meet some of her other dogs as well. I did research for almost two years which included reading many post's on this site and when the timing was right made the move. One breeder was not open to me seeing the parent dogs. I would expect a breeder to ask more for documented champion/competition lined dogs. We wanted a companion dog with solid lines and that is what we got. A rescue dog was also an option for us.

Best of luck and do your own research and ask the right questions. Don't for get it is also a business transaction!

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 05:16 PM
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I don't mind people asking me the price. Many people simply can't afford them. Why waste their time or my time if there is no chance of them getting a puppy. Now I don't really want that to be their first question, but I see nothing wrong with them asking.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 05:43 PM
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It sure doesn't sound like the OP is asking as the first question, and this is after a lot of back and forth. The only suggestion I have is maybe waiting until after they've agreed to put you on the waiting list? Even so, it doesn't seem at all unreasonable to ask the price you'll be paying for your puppy.


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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 07:00 PM
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It seems kind of weird that you have to ask. When I was researching to get my Great Dane, most breeders had their prices in their puppy contracts/applications, which were either on their website or provided by email and had to be completed before you were put on a wait list. This was also true with some Doberman breeders I reached out to when I was thinking of getting a puppy.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 11:37 PM
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We got our dog from Irongate 4 months ago. She is in her doberteens right now and driving me bonkers, but she is still an amazing dog. Having heard that you shouldn't ask right off, we didn't ask, we figured we would wait until there was a good opening or before we agreed to actually pay for one. We had a phone consult and then a lengthy in person interview. Near the end of that she must have liked us because she said that she might have a puppy that fit the bill in the next couple litters and told us the price. I got the feeling that once she started talking price it was like she was getting down to contract details, which she wouldn't do that with someone she hadn't decided about yet. Just my impression.
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 07:30 AM
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We never mind discussing price, but it is a bit of a turn off if that is the first question. It kind of appears that price is the first consideration instead of the quality of the dog.

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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slimwomack View Post
We paid $2000 for Anzio. That included his cropping and dock and all his genetic vetting. His Grandfather and Grandmother were titled Schutzhund dogs competing in Europe and the US. The sire and dam were not. Our breeder was open to a educated and informed conversation. She let us visit the mom and dad and meet some of her other dogs as well. I did research for almost two years which included reading many post's on this site and when the timing was right made the move. One breeder was not open to me seeing the parent dogs. I would expect a breeder to ask more for documented champion/competition lined dogs. We wanted a companion dog with solid lines and that is what we got. A rescue dog was also an option for us.

Best of luck and do your own research and ask the right questions. Don't for get it is also a business transaction!
I feel like you got robbed there. I wouldn't pay $2k for a pup that came from just normal pet dogs. That's great that the grand parents were shown in Europe... but that doesn't say anything about their grand children.

That is just my opinion. I paid $1850 for a pup out of AKC Ch and AKC GCh with full health testing (this was a few years back tho). I know Anzio is lovely

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You really do get what you pay for with Dobermans. I've recently started talking to breeders about my future dog and I usually tell them that I'm not going to be seriously shopping for about 3 years, but I am interested in building a relationship and getting to know the breeder I choose and seeing a couple recent litters of pups to ensure that's the kind of pup I want. Then I ask them from a price range so I can budget. I don't need exact prices, but I'd like to know if a pup will be $2000-2500, or 2500+. That helps me budget.

That being said, I paid $1000 for my dog. Is he well bred? Very likely not. I did meet his parents and they were very nice and friendly. My dog has a myriad of health and behavioral problems. Would those have been less likely to happen if he was better bred? Probably, but I still wouldn't trade him. I've probably spent close to $2000 this year alone on his vet tests, medication, assessments, etc etc. What did I learn from this experience? For one, I still love Dobermans and two, $2500 is nothing if there's a chance of avoiding these behavioral problems.

If you like the breeder and get along, save that extra $500 and get the $3000 puppy. It'll be worth it.
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 04:18 PM
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Whether or not it is show quality or not, your breeders have a lot of money invested in their dogs. A crop is $600. Multiply that by 7 x. OK, that $4200.00 in cropping alone for a litter. No other testing. OFA tests on 2 yr old dogs are not cheap. Hips, elbows are a minimum. What about eye testing, VWd testing, cardiotesting? I just had SE tested for the DCM test 2. That was $79.00 And that didn't include the blood draw because I work at a vet clinic. What about training to title a dog so that there is something behind a dog that is being sold. Jesus, right now I have over $1500. in training in SE and she's not 2 yet. That's not counting the agility, obedience and CGC training that I do with different trainers. Nor the mileage (God, the mileage) And it's not counting club fees to train at a field. And I haven't begun to show obedience or rally yet. IF, and I say IF, you are going to a responsible breeder, the cost of your puppy is the cheapest expense you are going to have. And IF your breeder is responsible, you aren't going to get stuck with a dog that is needing a lifetime of vet care. Your breeder does all this or Should do all this to be able to sell a puppy with background. That "pet" quality puppy has the same expenses getting born as the show quality puppy. I have ZERO desire to breed a dog. Someone else can put the "miles" in. Just sell me a quality dog that isn't going to die before it's 6 years old. It takes a long time to get to UD levels or IPO3 levels. I would think that price could be discussed if you get approved as a puppy buyer. Not right off the bat.
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-30-2016, 06:46 PM
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Because you know the ballpark price you're willing to pay/the puppies are likely to be, why not start budgeting (putting aside money) now? My only guess is that somehow the way you phrased the question made it seem like finding the money for a puppy was going to be a struggle/large endeavor for you. Starting to save now will have you ready with or much closer to the eventual purchase price when the time comes and can help remove the pressure to ask for prices so soon.
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post #21 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwishes View Post
Hi there,

I am a long time lurker, first time poster on these forums. I have loved the Doberman breed since I was a small child. Now, as an adult - I am determined to have one, one day. I have done extensive research and contacted many different breeders over the years.
I have a couple breeders at the top of my list for when I am in a place to bring home a Dobe; however I have found that as soon as I inquire as to the price of their dogs..... contact stops and I never hear from them again.

I am aware that a well bred dog will be around $2000. I was willing to budget up to $2500 for the purchase price. I thought I found a breeder I was happy with and then I found out their dogs were $3000?! Although they were lovely and I did connect with the breeder, I did not feel they justified that steep of a price, especially for a Pet/Companion. I would understand those prices for the top show lines, winning consecutively at Nationals and on the show circuit but she was/is a relatively new breeder.

Am I not taken seriously as a prospective owner to reputable breeders because I have a "budget"?
Welcome! I'm a lot like you. I've had large breed dogs all my life - GSDs and Rotts, all rescues - and finally took the plunge to purchase a purebred Doberman. This site is a wealth of knowledge! Lots of great information here on health, training, and fantastic resources for Dobe owners. There are a lot of really great, supportive members.

Unfortunately, if you're looking for advice here on getting a Dobe as a pet without being willing (or able) to pay an exorbitant amount up front, from a breeder that's acceptable to them, be prepared to be chastised for wanting a Dobe for a reasonable price. I've seen them disqualify a breeder as acceptable based solely on the aesthetics of a breeder's website.

There are many quality and ethical Doberman breeders that sell pet quality pups that make their prices available to the public. The price of ear cropping is usually included in the price. Some breeders will give you the option to not crop the ears, and deduct that cost from the price. In other words, the example made earlier of the breeder paying $4,200 for ear cropping a litter, is completely recovered/included by the breeder in the puppy price from the buyers. They often add an additional charge per pup for transportation to/from the vet, and incidental costs. So if you're quoted $600 for the ear crop, chances are the vet charged $500, and the breeder added $100/pup for the service. Based on $600/pup for 7 pups, they can make an additional $700/litter. Totally worth it for a good crop done before picking up your pup!

What to look for is a clean, well taken care of kennel - both where the dogs are housed and the grounds; socialization during the first 6-8 weeks (human interaction, different noises, smells, textures - grass, concrete/asphalt, carpet). And both parents tested for VwB and DCM. Chances are the parents may have a copy of one of those genes. But as long as the breeder doesn't pair 2 positive parents together, the pup may carry the gene, but not be affected. Two parents that are both positive for the same VwB or DCM gene greatly increases the probability that the pup will be affected with it.

There's a real elitist atmosphere by some members on this site to belittle buyers of AKC Dobermans that carry either gene, or who's parents aren't titled champions. If all Dobermans were only bred if they are titled and VwB and DCM clear, and grandchildren of AKC titled dogs for pet quality at an affordable price were banned, the breed would disappear - because only the rich would be able to afford a dog that's acceptable to have, based on dog shows that give an award based on the confirmation of the dog. And the reduced gene pool would severely compromise the breed.

That ribbon is nice, but only proves the dog meets the physical appearance of what is ideal for the breed. What the majority of Doberman owners want is a family dog with a great temperament. So sad that when potential buyers come here for advice, they are told that pups of titled grandparents - priced as pet quality with parents gene tested - aren't good enough.

SMDH 🙄
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