Not sure if my first reply went through, uggh. If you all see two, I apologize.
Thank you for the feedback, I'm completely green with this entire process, 1st Dobie. I've talked to owners and breeders on FB groups, done some online research, but hands down I've learned more trolling this platform and from the feedback on this thread.
A few follow up questions:
1. Is there publish info about pedigrees that are known for being puppy mills? Will i be able to do a google search on each one to get an idea? Had no idea about the highlighted pedigree. Any others I should watch for?
Here's a site that is a pretty good resource for pedigree research: Dobequest
Click on the "visitor" icon and you can either search for specific dogs, if you have some information about them (their name, registered name, owner's name, breeder's name, kennel name, etc.).
Or you can also leave all the fields blank and just click "search" and it will bring up a long list of every dog that's been entered in the database. This list will not be every registered Doberman, only the ones who have been entered, but it does have a lot of dogs.
2. Someone on FB suggested that I look at raysdobermanskennels in Livingston, TX. Any thoughts about his breeding program?
I wouldn't purchase a puppy from them, personally.
If you look at the pedigrees they provide, they're also full of puppy mill and BYB dogs. Their dogs also look to be in poor condition. And although they claim to health test, they don't really provide any substantive information on what health tests. Going by the pedigrees they provide under the "Meet the Boys" menu, there are plenty of lines and dogs known for having died young of cardio and for producing it.
If health is important to you, then you will want to steer well clear of that breeder.
Re: the point that was raised about me seeing the pup first and maybe not getting the info I need at that time, It's not just about seeing the puppy (although seeing how the pups interact in their surroundings is important to me, I want to see the parents, see their environment, not to mention, I want to make sure that the pup I pick is the one I get.
Re: Contacting clubs, will do. Didn't think about that.
Briefly, to your comments that I've bolded...
Regarding seeing the parents. A good breeder may or may not have the stud dog on site. I would say, in most cases, its perfectly reasonable to expect to meet the dam. But good breeders don't just breed to their own stud dog repeatedly. Some good breeders don't even own a stud dog! Instead, they breed to a variety of stud dogs that are often owned by other breeders and can be located anywhere in the world.
For instance, my current Dobe is from a breeder in Texas. I did meet her dam (and all other related dogs who live with the breeder) but her sire lives in Florida and his semen was shipped overnight to Texas for the "breeding," so although I know of him, and I've heard and seen a lot about him, I've never personally met him. Its really not uncommon to not meet the stud dog.
Second, you typically will not
pick out your own puppy from a reputable breeder. Especially if you don't have any experience in the breed.
The reason why is because a good breeder will want to evaluate the entire litter for temperament and conformation, and then they will match the best fit puppy to each person / home. That way the people who want to show their dogs, get dogs that can probably finish their AKC championship. And people who want to compete in sports, get dogs that have an aptitude for training competitively. And people who want companions will get a puppy who isn't going to be super high drive or really sharp or, or, or.
Its the crappier breeders that tend to let people pick their own puppy, or they'll try to pressure people into sending them money ASAP because they let people pick a puppy in order of money received. That's a big red flag!