Interesting Article - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
Doberman Health If it has to do with your dog and its health post here.

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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting Article

Its bee a while since I have posted, but this article showed up on my FB news feed and I am interested in what the doberman community thinks about it. I know articles like this can be extremely biased while sounding scientific, so I thought I would come to the source. Link Here: Are we watching the extinction of a breed? (or, Why are we focused on consequence instead of cause?) - The Institute of Canine Biology

As a side note, I have decided against a doberman at this point in time. If anyone read/responded to my previous post, I have decided to go with a Standard Poodle puppy, from a really awesome breeder who happens to live in my hometown (I don't live there anymore, and she is not from there, just coincidence!) either next year or 2018, depending on what becomes of the litters she has planned. This decision was ultimately made based on the personality of my current dog(s) since I just think the personality of a Dobe in general will not mesh well with my APBT.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 11:09 PM
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"For Doberman lovers, I think there is much heartbreak in the future."
I reluctantly agree with this statement.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 10:19 PM
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The silence is deafening

I'm actually starting to panic a little bit. Both my dogs are seniors and as of now have no signs of DCM. I can't imagine life without a Doberman and I'm terrified about what is happening.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 07:28 AM
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I think it's interesting that they are blaming reputable breeders for inbreeding but from what I see rep. Breeders dogs are the healthiest and it's the BYB and Puppy mills that have the most issues. I would doubt that dobe in the video came from a rep. Breeder just based off looks. Yet the "blogs" coming out are all about the line breeding of reputable breeders and how it's hurting the breed. How about instead blaming the BYB who purchase puppies and breed with ZERO known history? Is it the fault of rep. Breeders for line breeding and creating dogs with less immune capabilities or is it Joe BYB who's breeding potentially sick dogs because they don't know the lines. Look at Altobello and Fedor Del Nazi, very popular amongst the BYB and commercial Greeders and FULL of Cardio!

And although this hasn't had many responses on this site, this and other blogs are being addressed and talked about in private groups. Before anyone speaks publicly it's important for it to be the right representative who has the experience to speak knowledgably and is highly respected within the breed.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 10:32 AM
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That video was very hard to watch.

I have always thought that we need to outcross. But so many other breeds are in similar 'boats'.

I hope one of the national breed clubs decide to at least try it.

Hugz and hope for our breed.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 08:24 AM
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Dobermans have never been a very long lived or healthy breed, and I really don't see that changing. We have made so many strides with all the health testing available to us - but the real killers still don't have any kind of definitive test to predict disease... and they many never have them .... just as we don't have them for humans because they are too complex: DCM, CAH, Cancer, wobblers.

As breeders, we can only use what we have and study the health of pedigrees. I see too many breeders breeding to the stud of the day - even when there is cardio close up behind that pedigree. Even if a pedigree looks great health wise, it just is never a good idea for one stud dog to have a huge influence on the breed - no one can predict the future!

At least good breeders use most of the health tests out there - in well bred Dobermans, problems like hip dysplasia have virtually been eliminated. BYB's and breeders rarely use all the tests available to them and do little to no research on the pedigrees - not to mention, they don't prove their dogs in any venue.

I don't know what the answer is - maybe outcrossing could help, but I'm skeptical. All I know is that I love this breed, and when (or if) I breed again in the future, I will use everything available to me to try and produce healthy dogs. Right now my first litter is 8 1/2, my second litter is 6, and my 3rd litter is 4. One from the 2nd litter was lost to cancer at age 2 - the rest are all still around. Knock on wood, I'm hoping they all make it to double digits!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 09:19 AM
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My reading of this groups research is that the trend is that many breeds will have ever shortening lives due to the genetics of the breed. It is mathematical and the nature of breeding programs that do not access to clean and new stock.
I would say without any real data to back this up but the average age of a Dobermans life would be 12 years if Heart Disease that afflicted Dobermans is within same percentages of the general dog population.
If the percentage of Dobes who live a shortened life due to DCM increases and that starts pulling the average life lower, at what age do breeders and owners say this is wrong?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 08:17 AM
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 10:01 AM
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Let me start by saying, I'm very new to the breed and the world of purebred dogs in general, but I do have a Bachelor's degree in biology and did extensive genetic research as an undergrad.

To me, it seems like these problems are a natural consequence of breeding to a standard, especially for a breed like the Doberman, where an entire population can be traced back to 7 or so dogs. I completely understand the reason for the standard, so that we can have dogs that are well-built to excel in the jobs for which they were originally designed. However, breeding dogs to have a particular conformation and external appearance is a deliberate attempt to extinguish undesirable traits, and in doing so reduce genetic diversity. Especially when only dogs who succeed in the show ring or a working venue are allowed to breed. I agree with the author of the original article, the only thing that can possibly save the Doberman is to find a viable outcross or begin a breeding program with intent of remaking the breed from its predecessors, but this time doing so with a much larger number of dogs, in order to reduce the genetic bottleneck that caused these problems in the first place. Then we could introduce these new dogs to the current population in order to attempt to eliminate conditions like DCM, early onset cancers, Wobbler's, etc.

I think that health testing is a great thing and should absolutely be done in order for a dog to be bred, but it seems to me that the problem is escalating at a much greater rate than answers are being found, and the breed could be eliminated before we manage to paint a complete picture.

As an aside, would placing limits on the number of times a sire can be bred potentially slow the problem? I know it wouldn't be easy telling people what to do with their dog-- especially one who excels in the ring-- but if it could promote genetic diversity, wouldn't it be worth a shot?
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