Hello all. I am a former Doberman owner to a red/rust male dob. He passed away last year at 5 years old from liver failure. I got him from a “reputable” breeder who claimed she did all the necessary testing. He had hypothyroidism as well as heightened liver enzymes detected at age 2. We tried to manage his liver enzymes through diet and other interventions, but eventually he passed away. He was a wonderful dog, so very intelligent, so gently, so beautiful. He very much enjoyed “working” and overseeing my and my four children’s safety. We are beginning our search for another breeder. I’m mainly hoping to find a breeder who does extensive testing and has dogs who have proven records of health. I’m willing to travel and also be patient for the right dog. We would actually love a male and female out of the same litter. Thank you all for your help. Losing him at 5 years was one of the most devastating things our family has gone through, just hoping to get more than that out of our next dog/dogs, for everyone’s sakes. Thank you!
Jillian in Missouri
Welcome to the forum, Jillian. I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you were a wonderful home for your boy, and that you did so much for him dealing with some really serious health issues.
Doing your research and being willing to be patient is the right thing to do! You definitely want to look at true health testing, and longevity in the lines. It's very easy for breeders to say they are doing things right, but you're right, it's easy for people to fool you, especially when you're new. I'm sorry you learned that the hard way.
I'd urge you to reconsider your desire for two puppies. First, any good, ethical breeder will not sell you two puppies, so anyone you find willing to do that is not going to be the type of breeder you want. Second, take a read through this thread to help you understand why it's a bad idea: https://www.dobermantalk.com/puppy-c...-syndrome.html
Eventually, after you get one dog, you can add another in a few years. I personally like the age gap with my two dogs - it's about 4 years. I find that 3-4 years difference is ideal. Your first will be reasonably well trained, and then you also don't lose two elderly dogs close together.
I would take a look at Gretchen's suggestions for breeders. We can also help you with some more suggestions if you want to give us your general area of the country. It may take some time to find the right puppy, but it will pay off for you with a good dog, and a good breeder to support you.