Sorry I could not disagree with you more!! I have owned Dobermans for 40 plus years. I not only owned but I trained, showed, breed. I have purchased Dobes from the so call rep show breeders with outstanding reference, with big title and CH al over the papers. I had nothing but health issues from these breeders and short life of the Doberman. I am looking for a new puppy I just lost my Dobe of 11 years to Bone Cancer. I will not look at puppies until I see the Sire and Bitch. If I don't like the Sire and Bitch I wont even look at the puppies there is no point in seeing them. The breeder must have DNA and Genetitc testing done and paperwork they can put in my hand. I want vet records of the care from the breeders vet. I want to see how this breeder care for there dog. I do not want a Confirmation Show breeder, I am looking for Working Class Breeder only. Dobermans are a working class breed they need a job, I have been going to shows again for about 6 months again, Confirmation Show Dobermans do not show the need to work. Confirmation Show Breeder seems to only be breeding as to the look that wins. and do not look at the improvement and stability of the breed. I am not say all Confirmation Breeders are like this, but it seams to more are that are not with what I have been seeing at the shows. If you compare the Doberman breed today to the Doberman Breed of 15 to 20 years ago, the Dobermans today cannot even compare the Doberman 15 to 20 years ago. Todays Doberman are very substandard to Dobermans 15 to 20 years ago. The health issues have more that tripled.
This is an interesting view as far as I'm concerned.
I've had Dobes since 1959--knew nothing about getting a Doberman when I was looking for my first one. I wanted a show dog. I'd been to my first dog show with my college roommate who was starting to show a Great Dane puppy. The breed in the ring after Danes happened to be Dobes. So that's what I wanted and I wanted to show my dog.
I got incredibly lucky with that first dog--and as a green as grass novice I got (quite accidently) the pick male of the litter--who was also probably the pick puppy of the litter) The breeder, who was at that time an owner handler was willing to put on little conformation classes for those of us who thought we wanted to show--and he did that from the time the puppies were 4 months old until the owners no longer wanted to come and practice.
I owner handled and finished that dog in AKC and Canadian KC--and it wasn't any easier for an owner handler to do that in 1960 than it is now--if fact, if anything there were fewer dogs owner handled at the time.
By my second dog I knew how to look for what I wanted (a show prospect) and I knew where most of the prospective show puppies came from.
Most of my dogs have lived to 9 to 10 years. And the most recent ones have made to 10 and more and the charming fawn dog who lives with me now is now 12 years and 4 months and still going strong--oh, and fawn or not he actually still has a full coat. All of my dogs have been from show line breeders and since 1996 all of my dogs have finished their championships (although I no longer owner handle) and have performance titles as well. All of them passed the WAE and also had a ROM.
Did I see the sire and dam of all of the--no, I didn't but I always knew what the breeding lines were and had seen at least half of the dogs behind the puppy I was thinking about.
I either know the breeder of the prospective puppy or I know what their reputation is. I know who tests and I know how to find out if they are telling the truth about health testing. I know which conditions have genetic tests and which ones don't.
I do want a conformation breeder because the first thing I'm always looking for is a show prospect. I've found over time that with only one exception all of my Dobes have been able to do performance stuff and do reasonably well at it. I'm not going to be looking at breeders who are "Working Class breeders"--if I had an interest in training for IPO or Ring I might have a different opinion but that's not what I want--and if I wanted a good pet and never wanted to go into a show ring again or do anything else except walk my dog and watch tv with him I'd still be looking for puppies from conformation breeders. In my opinion that's a good way to find a good pet. Many of the Working breeders are looking for 'podium' dogs which are often too 'drivey' for the average pet owner.
I don't think that Dobermans born today are worse than those born 15 to 20 years ago. I don't think temperaments are worse. And I surely don't think there are more health problems.
I had this breed 57 years ago--I've watched both temperaments and conformation improve over the years. Periodically I note that there is a change in style in the ring--for awhile but I have also watched these "different' looking dogs produce offspring that aren't so different looking and in fact, over time end up being responsible for changes that are entirely beneficial to the breed.
And as for deteriorating health issues--many people don't realize just how much medicine has improved over the years. Diagnostics identify problems that I KNOW existed in the breed but were simply written off as 'normal'. Treatment is many times better. And just because you think you hear about more health issues you should also take into consideration the fact that with the internet and instant communications you hear about a lot more issues than used to be the case--when the only information trail was word of mouth, the telephone and/or USPS.
I don't breed--I figured that out with my third Dobe--a bitch and when I bred her I ended up with two male puppies--I was hoping for a nice bitch AND I discovered that after whelping and raising those puppies I had a very hard time finding what I regarded as 'good' homes for them. So I make a point of meeting breeders, talking to them and watching what they produce and how they do it--and I get my puppies from them
Frankly, I'm very happy with what the conformation breeders have done with this breed over the years. By and large I've had very health dogs and dogs that would 'work' at anything I taught them.
Our starting points are different, obviously, since what I want first and foremost is a show prospect but I've been the intermediary between a first time owner and enough conformation breeders to know that the same breeders who have produced my very satisfactory show dogs have also provided friends of mine with wonderful, long lived, healthy pets over the years.