Join Date: Nov 2019
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I have to weigh in on this topic because of an experience I had with Susan Kershaw of Kerwynd Dobermans in NJ. It’s been several years since I lost my beautiful Doberman Leo, whom we purchased from Kerwynd sometime around 2012. Leo was a gorgeous, sweet and fun-loving male. Hands down the goofiest and sweetest Dobe I’ve ever had (I’ve had four of them). BUT. Leo was prone to psychotic breaks. We didn’t know this until he was about two years old, when he nipped my youngest daughter on the nose. We made excuses for how that could have happened. A year later, out of the blue, when my other daughter reached forward to pet him, he bit her on the lip and she needed multiple stitches.
I took Leo to a dog psychologist (yes there are such people and I loved him that much, even though the writing was on the wall, I couldn’t face it). She told me I should have him put down, because once a dog exhibits psychotic breaks, they’re likely to continue. I couldn’t do it - he was only three years old and still so totally sweet all the time. The psychologist said that if I couldn’t put him down, I’d have to make sure nobody ever petted him, that I would be the only one who could touch him (since I was his alpha).
Ok. Three months later, I was heading out of town on a trip and reached down to say goodbye to Leo, and he ripped the left side of my face open. Fifty plus stitches later, I knew what would have to be done, but it broke my heart. I did put him to sleep the next day, but it remains one of the great traumas of my life, because I did love him so.
Anyway, when I called Sue Kershaw to tell her about this, thinking that the breeder might want to know what bloodlines might be problematic, genetically, she didn’t want to hear anything about it. She said she’d never had any issues with any of her dogs and was eager to get off the phone.
I have no doubt that Kerwynd has many wonderful dogs, but if breeders really want to be responsible, they need to take note of what problems are arising in some of the litters they are breeding. So just a word of warning about Kerwynd.