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post #26 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by MaryAndDobes View Post
I don't really think you can call it "reckless breeding practices" for that particular time frame for several reasons. First of all, the breed itself was still relatively new and not exactly plentiful compared to many others. Secondly, those breeders didn't know, and didn't have the tools that we have now when it comes to health testing. Thirdly, they worked with what they had for the time period, considering two world wars and a depression. And beyond that, as already mentioned, even if they had the opportunity to breed to more dogs in Germany at the time, the problem was already there anyway.
It is absolutely reckless.

Firstly, the breed was more than plentiful enough not to commit to such a tiny gene pool. If anything, it's even MORE reckless to strangle the gene pool to that extreme so soon after a breed's formation. Dobermans had been breeding true for a few decades at that point, but after that initial line breeding to create the breed, the most important thing is to recoup genetic diversity within the true-breeding animals.

To your second point, competently-applied linebreeding IS health testing. Of course, show-line breeders typically don't apply it correctly. Most haven't historically, either, and understanding of its real power has only diminished as everyone forgets about the foundations of animal husbandry. It is not a technique to produce ghetto clones of popular sires for success at chasing ribbons. "Modern health testing" only furthers normalization of deviance by giving breeders a false sense of security that they're "safe" despite risky, reckless breeding practices. Kudos to the breeders who use health testing to make the state of the breed better and not to just enable them to reduce the magnitude of the disaster as they breed on the knife's edge.

To your third point, I think it's pretty safe to assume that there were more than 8 Dobermans, of whom most were closely-related, in the USA in the 1950s. It was a show-line fad to go all-in on those dogs quickly, without paying any mind to the potential for longer-term challenges. Three of those dogs died young of heart attacks, which probably should have been the end of their lines. They had already had such a huge impact on the breed in North America during their abbreviated lifespans that damage was done.

I don't give breeders from the 1950s a pass for their incompetence. If anything, they get less of a pass because animal husbandry was less of a lost art then, when significant fewer Americans were far removed from life on farms where the theory was applied and they should have known better.

I harp on the AQHA's "Impressive Syndrome" disaster so much because it underscores the perils of this brand of utter incompetence, with both Popular Sire Syndrome and reckless linebreeding ruining the show-line corner of a breed. There are not such serious health & longevity problems in registered American Quarter Horses, and Impressive Syndrome was still devastating.

Just because a mess of that severity hasn't happened in Dobermans yet does not mean it won't, and it would behoove breeders to evaluate what they're doing and learn from the grievous mistakes of others. The way things are now, the longevity and health problems plaguing Dobermans merely aren't improving all that quickly. Each time an individual or family experiences the struggle of dealing with their Doberman's health problems or sudden, premature death, the future of the breed just diminishes a little if they leave the breed to avoid more heartache. With the Doberman breed struggling as it is, an event along the lines of the Impressive Syndrome decimating the show-line corner of the breed would call the Doberman breed's very future into question.

I wonder what things were like before Illena and the Seven Sires. The Doberman thrived in the USA during WWII, being one of the go-to working breeds for the war efforts and police duty. I find it strange that you paint such a dismal picture of the breed during its heyday. Do you think that the Guam War Dog memorial portrays a Doberman because they were just a curiosity in combat duty? Anyway, what kind of natural longevity did those dogs have? What kind of health problems did they face? What was lost to the sands of time when breeders went all-in on 8 animals to the veritable exclusion of all else?
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post #27 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 12:34 PM
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I can't believe Harvard is 9 now! I remember you posting puppy pics of him. Time flies.
Yes it does! My youngest daughter was in elementary school when he was born and is in college now. Harvard always slept on her bed, and now has a dog bed on the floor of our bedroom while she is away at school. He is back to sleeping on her bed with her over the winter break.

He still runs and plays like an idiot, but does have some arthritis in his left elbow. It only bothers him when he first gets up and he takes glucosamine for it.

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post #28 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 03:22 PM
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wow all I'm going to say is when I see someone so harsh on showline breeders (who do more health testing then almost anyone out there and who at least all the ones I know breed based off those test results and refrain from breeding those who return bad test results)is usually because they are either breeding dogs who are untitled and are trying to make a market for their breedings. Or they have bought into someone else's story. None of mine are from flavor of the day nor bred based on flavor of the day but rather what a particular mating will produce both in and out of the conformation ring. Length of life, as well as health are main factors. What good does it do to get a dog the number one in the country if it is dead by 7? or in poor health to where quality of life isn't there? You can't loop everyone one all in one clump. What you may say may be true in a group near you. It is true with some probably everywhere but that isn't the majority.
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post #29 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by kaloric View Post
From the DPCA's website: Illena and the Seven Sires

This is the problem. Essentially all show-line Dobermans in the USA descend from those 8 animals.

The solution is a fundamental change in behavior on the part of reputable breeders. The talk about needing to stick with show-bred lines because of "known pedigrees" and "health testing" is clearly not working. Salvation for the breed lies in stopping the linebreeding, ending the overuse of popular sires, and dropping the obsession with the popular kennel branding for show prospects.

It doesn't matter if "Reputable Breeders" want to do this or not. It doesn't matter if the DPCA approves or not, the solution is in exploring more obscure bloodlines to see where it goes. The more distance that is put between inbreeding and/or popular sires, the better the chance that health and longevity may improve across the board.

I've heard comments from breeders in the conformation circles (mostly equine, but I'm pretty sure I've seen such a comment from a Dobe person or two as well) to the effect that they would rather have a beautiful animal which may not live as long than have to stare at an "ugly" specimen every day for a decade or three. It's the opposite for me, it's why I don't care about titles. It's that attitude at the root of all the evils that plague purebred animals.
Where do you suppose we get these "obscure lines"? BYBs? Z Factored? Other countries? I think it's fairly well known that this breed has a lot of health issues the world over. And frankly, we have a lot more access to health testing and such then other countries do. There's a particular dog I really like in China. Fairly old now. Nice pedigree. Produced very well. No frozen semen. Simply because when he was of age to get it...they didn't have the technology there.

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Originally Posted by melbrod View Post
Maybe more pupsicles is the answer--though I gather it is much more difficult to get a litter using frozen semen, at least then you have a chance of knowing whether the sire is “free” of DCM or has good longevity.
But that's only half the equation. Sure, we could wait until dogs die of hopefully old ages and then use them. I did. Many others have. But we all know the fertility of a bitch is finite. Use the frozen semen of old dogs but still breed our young bitches? Seems a bit unfair. Would definitely bottleneck us more.

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This would certainly help, too. It's feasible and not too outrageously expensive. It is lower-yield since the sperm motility does necessarily decrease, but the stud fees themselves would probably be be lower to balance-out the other expenses.

The primary objection, why so many folks are frustrated & not doing this is because of the "last season's sweater syndrome", that is to say, show breeders want the latest styles, not what was in style 8+ years ago. It's a risk to go for a throwback to previous generations, even when the standard should be timeless.

There are many sires with pretty good longevity available, but the there's negligible return on the investments to freeze & store if years go by with nobody buying, so some breeders with stored frozen semen just discard it and probably don't make the same mistake twice. Might be nice if there was a foundation to maintain a doggie sperm bank to curate some of those decent, but not overly popular sires' genes.
It IS expensive. Last year I bred a frozen semen litter. It cost me the typical $1500 stud fee (which actually seems less than average these days). $550 to ship that semen to me. Because it was frozen, I needed to do a surgical implant which not only is expensive at $525, it also involves risk to my bitch due to a full blown surgery AND even more than usual progesterone testing at $100 a pop. Because a surgical using frozen, which has a 1-2 hour post thaw life, is even more about timing than any other form of breeding. So, I was in for $3200 BEFORE I even knew if my bitch was pregnant. Now, I'm fortunate. My repro vet is a specialist in frozen semen implants. I got a big healthy 6 bitch 2 dog litter. Most people get TINY litters IF ANYTHING using frozen. Simply because they don't have access to a specialist that is known for this type of breeding. OR, because sometimes a dog just doesn't freeze well.

This won't be a popular viewpoint, but I would be remiss in NOT saying it. I bred a frozen semen litter from a dog with significant longevity. He was over 13 when he passed (euthanized due to a stomach mass) and all but one sibling lived well past 10. One of which died at 14 not too long ago. He was a finished champion and canadian national specialty winner whose only real shot at "fame" took a back seat to his sister who was the #1 Dobe in her prime. He was also a rockstar agility dog with many titles. My bitch was 4. A GCH. First CH CAX Dobe. Lots of longevity behind her as well.

And Guess what? I took a lot of scrutiny. Sure, there were breeders who were very supportive of this breeding and understood why I was doing it. Breeders who believed just like I do that I was doing what I could and make a good solid choice. BUT, there were so many that felt I was "going backwards" and "Ruining what had been done for the breed" in the decade since that dog was in his prime.

With the exception of one, there were no experienced show homes, no experienced long time Dobe people that were interested in my pups. They weren't interested because they didn't think they could win. They weren't interested because despite my many well known mentors...I'm a nobody. I had several people back out on my pups from this breeding and go with others who had more well known names. Two of which ended up purchasing a pup from a breeder who had pups out of a double DCM confirmed death bloodline. Doubled up on cardio! There was a time where I was wondering if I could even give those pups away. All ended up for the best and those pups found amazing homes with great families and some are even showing and competing in other performance venues. But MY buyers...they're people newer to the breed or people of younger generations, or people who have never really shown or competed before, etc.

So while it's true that breeders do breed for what they want...we all absolutely consider what "the market" wants. And by that I mean...what can be placed in homes. Today's TYPICAL buyer is just educated enough to be dangerous. And not nearly educated enough to know that there is simply NO PERFECT BREEDING.

For instance, there are a number of things on this forum that tell me that the buyers are driving the market.
#1-Breeders shouldn't make money on litters.
Well ok. But then how will we continue doing this? Most of us work. Most of us are not in a position to have multiple litters a year because we live in average suburban homes and simply can't have that many dogs. And also, because we work! It's SO HARD to raise a litter and maintain a full-time job and so most of us can only do a few litters a year. But do you know what that means? Less pups on the market and bigger wait lists! If we don't make something (or at the very least break even), we're dipping into our pockets to provide YOU with pups.


#2-Good breeders don't produce affecteds. Buyers shouldn't purchase them.

That litter I mentioned just above...carrier x carrier breeding. It did produce 2 affected pups. Those pups went to owners who were educated. Owners who understood that there was some mild risk with clotting, but who also understood that there was significant longevity behind those pups. That carrier x carrier breeding was done and I tested every single one of those pups ($640 total for the litter)...and I would do it again in a heartbeat if it was the best option for health, longevity, temperament, drive, and conformation. Contrary to the internet police, the list of clear stud dogs available is truly quite slim. Especially when you rule out the dogs that have a pedigree with cardio, cancer, cvi or no longevity. I'm talking a small tiny handful of dogs.

#3-Good breeders only breed titled champions.
If the public expects that their pup's sire and dam are titled champions then you really leave the breeder with little option but to select from the pool of titled champion stud dogs. Its really that simple.

#4-Good breeders fully health test.
Really? I mean. This is self explanatory. But can I tell you the SHEER NUMBER of people who contact me and NEVER ONCE ASK ABOUT ANY HEALTH TEST?!?? Because frankly its well over half of the people that contact me. And trust me...I spend a fortune on those health tests. I WANT people to ask about them. I WANT people to ask for copies. I WANT to provide those copies and test results to people. Or how about a breeder in my area that is recommended on this board 10 times a day that doesn't do any health tests "because my buyers don't need it. They never even ask about it. They trust me."

You can push on breeders all you want. All day long. But a good breeder can back up the breedings they do with science, breed knowledge, pedigree knowledge and even health testing. I wish buyers would consider those newer breeders. I wish buyers would stop buying un health tested pups from big name breeders. I wish experienced show homes would stop buying dogs from the same lines they've been buying from for 20 years that all drop dead of DCM at 5 and 6. So IMO we're simply ALL to blame. Not just the breeders.
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post #30 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 05:24 PM
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Dobiwan I think there are more out there like you then you think. I don't think you are all alone like it might feel sometimes. The thing is most breeders don't sit down together and actually talk about what they do or don't do. And the reason is pretty obvious. If someone disagrees with you in this modern age in five minutes the whole world will know and have formed opinions based on a half story from one person. I really like what you did with that litter and the thought you put into it. I travel truly thousands of miles to pick up the dog I want. And I'm not alone. I think there just isn't a good enough place to which everyone turns to, to be able to know about these litters that could be available. I would have been interested. I'm a chance taker when it comes to these sort of things. You have to be if you truly care about the breed. How could anyone tell what your pups could be if they don't at least take a look. With the one I have now I drove out west and took my handler with me with the thought if they weren't exactly what we wanted we were willing to go home empty handed. Let your name build and keep telling your experience. actually it wouldn't have been that much further of a drive for me once I checked to see where you were from. I drove to Houston.
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post #31 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 06:03 PM
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@ Dobiewan....

My youngest is a product of a titled bitch and a long dead sire. GCH Foxfire's She's All That (Jewelia) and CH Cambria's Highly Regarded (Rayden). Pupsicle.

Granted, McCoy is still a young dog (9/12/14). Yet he is the healthiest Doberman, with the best temperament I have ever owned. He has never been sick a day in his life. He is a beautiful boy. Of course that's just my opinion.

As McCoy was taken solely as a pet/companion, I feel extremely fortunate to be have him.

As I believe, I have mentioned before, our oldest is directly related to your Siri via common parentage. (Jet).

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Wow...am I dumb! I completely spaced that that beautiful litter of Siri's was sired by Rayden. Mea Culpa. Sheesh.

John.
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Last edited by 4x4bike ped; 12-29-2016 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Stupidity
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post #32 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 10:47 AM
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@ Dobiewan....

My youngest is a product of a titled bitch and a long dead sire. GCH Foxfire's She's All That (Jewelia) and CH Cambria's Highly Regarded (Rayden). Pupsicle.

Granted, McCoy is still a young dog (9/12/14). Yet he is the healthiest Doberman, with the best temperament I have ever owned. He has never been sick a day in his life. He is a beautiful boy. Of course that's just my opinion.

As McCoy was taken solely as a pet/companion, I feel extremely fortunate to be have him.

As I believe, I have mentioned before, our oldest is directly related to your Siri via common parentage. (Jet).

John
Portland OR

Wow...am I dumb! I completely spaced that that beautiful litter of Siri's was sired by Rayden. Mea Culpa. Sheesh.

John.
Siri's litter was sired by Justice (BISS Am/Can CH Foxfire's That's A Wrap MX MXJ XF CGC ROM LC-13D) (Since I have one of those puppies, I am familiar with the sire )

Siri x Justice December 2015 - Sirai Dobermans


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post #33 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 10:56 AM
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@MC Told you I was dumb! I believe Justice was sired by Rayden. (?)

John
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post #34 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 11:04 AM
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@MC Told you I was dumb! I believe Justice was sired by Rayden. (?)

John
Ha! End of the year...you get a pass Yes, Justice was sired by Rayden.


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post #35 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 11:44 AM
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Yep, it really sucks that a big % of the dogs that are really winning out there go back to one dog that died of cardio at age 7..... and has produced a lot of it. You can't blame the conformation judges for rewarding those dogs, because they are nice. It is tough to say that breeders need to not breed those winning dogs because you don't know which ones are going to be diagnosed with cardio......... but I can tell you that I really believe that we are doing the breed no favor by putting conformation first in our breeding decisions.
I also know of plenty of breeders who do very little health testing, and stud dog owners who do a cardiac echo once at a young age and never do it again..... or the new thing is the people who buy a holter monitor and use that exclusively and then don't do the echoes because they are expensive. It gives people/buyers a very false sense of security when they don't truly understand the way cardio works and the genetics of the pedigree. Those breeders that then double up on cardio that is close up in the pedigree just totally piss me off. I have a very hard time hitting the "like" button on FB when they brag about their wins or their upcoming litters.
I had a Doberman breeder judge tell me once that some of these dogs make a beautiful corpse..... and she thought that was just a shame. This was the same judge that told me that she never saw a Doberman die from missing teeth.... which is why she didn't judge them that harshly.

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post #36 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 02:33 PM
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Yep, it really sucks that a big % of the dogs that are really winning out there go back to one dog that died of cardio at age 7..... and has produced a lot of it. You can't blame the conformation judges for rewarding those dogs, because they are nice. It is tough to say that breeders need to not breed those winning dogs because you don't know which ones are going to be diagnosed with cardio......... but I can tell you that I really believe that we are doing the breed no favor by putting conformation first in our breeding decisions.
I also know of plenty of breeders who do very little health testing, and stud dog owners who do a cardiac echo once at a young age and never do it again..... or the new thing is the people who buy a holter monitor and use that exclusively and then don't do the echoes because they are expensive. It gives people/buyers a very false sense of security when they don't truly understand the way cardio works and the genetics of the pedigree. Those breeders that then double up on cardio that is close up in the pedigree just totally piss me off. I have a very hard time hitting the "like" button on FB when they brag about their wins or their upcoming litters.
I had a Doberman breeder judge tell me once that some of these dogs make a beautiful corpse..... and she thought that was just a shame. This was the same judge that told me that she never saw a Doberman die from missing teeth.... which is why she didn't judge them that harshly.
Which popular dog is it that died at age 7?
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post #37 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 12:55 AM
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Which popular dog is it that died at age 7?
The one that was bred a ton - Blue. He shows up in so many pedigrees now. I don't care how nice a dog is, they should never be bred soooo much. I see it happening with another stud dog right now. Very nice dog and producing nicely. I pray that he will live a long life free of cardio - but IMHO being bred too much.

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post #38 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 07:04 AM
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Maiya is a pupscicle. Ten year old semen and ten puppies.
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post #39 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 09:00 AM
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I think this is a very good thread because I think everyone could stand to learn more about the health issues affecting our breed. I absolutely agree that some dogs are way over bred, it sure doesn't help the diversity. And by the time your dog dies of something like cardio assuming you have been doing testing all along, how many times has the dog been bred? Now do you automatically eliminate all their progeny from breeding? What does this do to diversity? How far down the line before you would be willing to take a chance on the dog? 3rd? 4th? I'm not trying to get anyone upset, I just think this is a great topic with some who are obviously fairly well versed. I don't claim to know even near enough about any of the problems. For me none of my dogs have ever had any health issues. So I probably have developed an it will never happen to me. And that is as dangerous as people who don't move out of the way of a hurricane.
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post #40 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by melbrod View Post
Someone asked on Kip’s birthday thread if an 11 year old dobe is particularly unusual. So I got curious with the age question and was looking up average doberman life spans--I ran across this on Petcha.com:

"Most Doberman Pinschers will live a life span of 12 to13 years if they remain healthy.”

That surprised me; I would have thought they would live forever if they remained healthy.
With over 50% of all Dobes having DCM, 10 years is the exception, not the norm. My beautiful 4 year old has Lymphoma. Dobes are one of the most unhealthy breeds. It's a shame. The best ever dog, with the worst ever health. Look into the DPCA BFL program, and PLEASE, buy health insurance. Owning a Dobe is super expensive.
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post #41 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 11:12 AM
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With over 50% of all Dobes having DCM, 10 years is the exception, not the norm. My beautiful 4 year old has Lymphoma. Dobes are one of the most unhealthy breeds. It's a shame. The best ever dog, with the worst ever health. Look into the DPCA BFL program, and PLEASE, buy health insurance. Owning a Dobe is super expensive.
I would also recommend the health insurance include prescription coverage. I opted not to get it because prior experience with another breed made me think I could afford whatever would be needed. And although I have afforded it, Ivan seems to require EXPENSIVE drugs I wasn't envisioning. About $200 a month between allergies and DCM.
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post #42 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by RMcIntyre View Post
wow all I'm going to say is when I see someone so harsh on showline breeders (who do more health testing then almost anyone out there and who at least all the ones I know breed based off those test results and refrain from breeding those who return bad test results)is usually because they are either breeding dogs who are untitled and are trying to make a market for their breedings.
Here's a challenge for you, if you think there isn't a problem. Pull a 5g pedigrees on any living, show-titled Doberman in the US from a reasonably well-known, reputable breeder. Find one that doesn't have Ch. Cambria's Cactus Cash ("Eddie") in that pedigree. Heck, that's pretty hard, try finding one that only has him on one side of its 5g pedigree. They're out there and you'll find some, but the process of looking might open your eyes to the truth.

Just as seat belts didn't save Paul Walker when his friend was driving stupid fast and recklessly, all the health testing in the world can't reinvigorate tired, overused genes as a breed careens towards its doom. Where's the statistical evidence that shows that Dobermans from show lines live longer than any other BYB Doberman? That's right, there is none, it's all positive thoughts and a pile of anecdotes. Health testing builds knowledge, which is good, but if that knowledge is not leveraged for the greater good, it means nothing.

I do not value health testing over an absence of inbreeding and/or popular sires in a pedigree. Period. I'd love to patronize folks who love the breed and put so much effort and expense into what they do, but I am so averse to the strangulation of the Doberman gene pool that there aren't many for me to choose from who have avoided popular sires and inbreeding in their pups' 5g pedigrees. I've probably angered all the show-line breeders to the degree that I've earned a well-deserved place on a buyer blacklist anyway, since it's not exactly difficult to find my info.

My hope is that my message reaches breeders who know better, but think the way everyone else is doing things is the only way to succeed, that there is just too much risk and little reward for not following the beaten path. It's hard to blame folks for not trying if I won't state what I'm looking for in a puppy AND be willing to put my money where my mouth is.

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Or they have bought into someone else's story. None of mine are from flavor of the day nor bred based on flavor of the day but rather what a particular mating will produce both in and out of the conformation ring.
The only thing I have is a broader perspective. You're clearly buying-in to the narrative that "reputable" breeders all get show titles before they breed, health test, etc., but those are nothing more than selling points and crutches.

There are breeders, including some members of DT, who could throw-out the "Reputable Breeder Checklist" and they'd still produce quality Dobermans with respectable longevity. There are others who try to tick all the boxes on the checklist and produce high-priced animals that are worse in every respect than a $750 BYB Doberman except for the names on the pedigree.

Are either of yours related to "Eddie"? How far back have you looked to see where the inbreeding and popular sires kick-in? Have you gone through the trouble of entering their 5g pedigrees into pedigreedatabase.com?

I did all of that with Kira, whose most recent popular sires and inbreeding show-up several generations back, in the early 1980s. Kor has more recent popular sires, but his breeder did a good amount of research and his maternal and paternal lines are well-separated from each other.

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What you may say may be true in a group near you. It is true with some probably everywhere but that isn't the majority.
It's true of an overwhelming majority of show-line breeders, a number of working ones as well, the world around, regardless of breed or species. Digging-in to the pedigrees of most show-line animals is like peeling a rotten onion, it only gets more disgusting the farther in you get. If you haven't seen that, you haven't peeled far enough.

But I will say, when I started peeling, I was extremely disappointed to learn that one of the local Doberman breeders, who I had heard so many great opinions of, turned-out to be an extremely heavy linebreeder around that most popular of recent popular sires, "Eddie". I'd think she should know better, being a veterinarian (at one of the closes practices to where I live).

It should be very obvious that I'd disheartened from what I've been seeing at every turn. I'd love to see some names of respected breeders with a couple of their breeding Dobermans (for searching their pedigrees) who have largely avoided linebreeding & popular sires for at least 3g, if not 5g. It would brighten my outlook immensely and hopefully shine some positive attention on their efforts.
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post #43 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Fitzmar Dobermans View Post
The one that was bred a ton - Blue. He shows up in so many pedigrees now. I don't care how nice a dog is, they should never be bred soooo much. I see it happening with another stud dog right now. Very nice dog and producing nicely. I pray that he will live a long life free of cardio - but IMHO being bred too much.

I calls them like I sees them!
I wish more people in the dobe world would call them like they see them! It seems like cause of death isn't a subject that most breeders like to discuss, and as such, it feels impossible to make a sound decision as a person seeking a companion doberman. I've spent soooo much time on dobequest recently as our puppy search has been underway, studying pedigrees and trying to piece together what I could and make the best decision that I could make. The shrouds of secrecy and standoffishness that I've experienced during my search have been very off-putting.
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post #44 of 55 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Dobiewankanobi View Post
Where do you suppose we get these "obscure lines"? BYBs? Z Factored? Other countries? I think it's fairly well known that this breed has a lot of health issues the world over. And frankly, we have a lot more access to health testing and such then other countries do. There's a particular dog I really like in China. Fairly old now. Nice pedigree. Produced very well. No frozen semen. Simply because when he was of age to get it...they didn't have the technology there.
I'm a proponent of CAREFULLY INSPECTED farm-bred/"BYB" dogs as worth further investigation and use. Nah, there won't be current or recent titles. Nah, there won't be extensive history. Probably won't be too much health testing, either. What there is, is the potential to put some eggs into another basket, introduce a little more genetic diversity without going full mongrel, and maybe a shot at recovering proper temperament and a little health. That shot might fall short, it's risky.

Sure, there should even be lines from other countries considered, insofar as specific animals are not excessively linebred or used popular sires (or have problematic familial history of poor longevity).

I realize you're being snarky with the z-factored comment, but I'll just point-out that what was done with those dogs is exactly what I'm most opposed to-- linebreeding stupidity and popular sires/dams. It's only that much more foul when the trait some morons are trying to distill is a genetic flaw.

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But that's only half the equation. Sure, we could wait until dogs die of hopefully old ages and then use them. I did. Many others have. But we all know the fertility of a bitch is finite. Use the frozen semen of old dogs but still breed our young bitches? Seems a bit unfair. Would definitely bottleneck us more.
What I'm talking about isn't all-or-nothing. There is not a single correct approach, and as you say, doing one thing to the exclusion of all else is not helpful. That's precisely what I've been saying. Recovering genetic diversity is as simple as not always going all-in on today's popular sire or his full- or half-brothers. It's sometimes going for pupsicles as you have done. It might be doing some research to use foreign bloodlines that aren't too infamous for having serious longevity problems, especially as it relates to cardio. It might be looking at South American, European, or Asian bloodlines. It might be seeing what can come of an obscure BYB line that isn't too horrible as far as conformation & health.

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It IS expensive. Last year I bred a frozen semen litter. It cost me the typical $1500 stud fee (which actually seems less than average these days). $550 to ship that semen to me. Because it was frozen, I needed to do a surgical implant which not only is expensive at $525, it also involves risk to my bitch due to a full blown surgery AND even more than usual progesterone testing at $100 a pop. Because a surgical using frozen, which has a 1-2 hour post thaw life, is even more about timing than any other form of breeding. So, I was in for $3200 BEFORE I even knew if my bitch was pregnant. Now, I'm fortunate. My repro vet is a specialist in frozen semen implants. I got a big healthy 6 bitch 2 dog litter. Most people get TINY litters IF ANYTHING using frozen. Simply because they don't have access to a specialist that is known for this type of breeding. OR, because sometimes a dog just doesn't freeze well.
Your firsthand explanation is helpful and much appreciated.

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This won't be a popular viewpoint, but I would be remiss in NOT saying it. I bred a frozen semen litter from a dog with significant longevity. He was over 13 when he passed (euthanized due to a stomach mass) and all but one sibling lived well past 10. One of which died at 14 not too long ago. He was a finished champion and canadian national specialty winner whose only real shot at "fame" took a back seat to his sister who was the #1 Dobe in her prime. He was also a rockstar agility dog with many titles. My bitch was 4. A GCH. First CH CAX Dobe. Lots of longevity behind her as well.

And Guess what? I took a lot of scrutiny. Sure, there were breeders who were very supportive of this breeding and understood why I was doing it. Breeders who believed just like I do that I was doing what I could and make a good solid choice. BUT, there were so many that felt I was "going backwards" and "Ruining what had been done for the breed" in the decade since that dog was in his prime.
In my humble opinion, you've done more for the breed in taking the risk you did, this one time, than nearly all of your peers have done in their entire careers in the breed.

I do not offer such praise lightly. What I respect the most is your willingness to try something unconventional even though you probably would've had sure success by doing things the way everyone else always does.

It's unfortunate you encountered so much uncertainty and lack of support or interest. I hope someday, the conformation show-line sector of any breed makes me eat my disparaging words regarding their typical breeding practices and treatment of anyone who is not part of the clique or fails to do things the same way as everyone else. All I want to see are more people thinking outside the box, and being respected for the risks they're taking for the stability of the breed.

Quote:
For instance, there are a number of things on this forum that tell me that the buyers are driving the market.
#1-Breeders shouldn't make money on litters.
Well ok. But then how will we continue doing this? Most of us work. Most of us are not in a position to have multiple litters a year because we live in average suburban homes and simply can't have that many dogs. And also, because we work! It's SO HARD to raise a litter and maintain a full-time job and so most of us can only do a few litters a year. But do you know what that means? Less pups on the market and bigger wait lists! If we don't make something (or at the very least break even), we're dipping into our pockets to provide YOU with pups.
I vehemently disagree with the notion that there should be no profit in producing puppies, it's not realistic to expect folks to take risks and invest time & money without getting a return when things go well. That's another thing I like about the farmer-breeder culture, there's always the expectation that the producer is entitled to make a profit, make a living from honest work. However, there is always that situation where buyers feel priced-out, even at price points where breeders who have gone the extra mile are going to lose money on the litter.

Quote:
#2-Good breeders don't produce affecteds. Buyers shouldn't purchase them.
That litter I mentioned just above...carrier x carrier breeding. It did produce 2 affected pups. Those pups went to owners who were educated. Owners who understood that there was some mild risk with clotting, but who also understood that there was significant longevity behind those pups. That carrier x carrier breeding was done and I tested every single one of those pups ($640 total for the litter)...and I would do it again in a heartbeat if it was the best option for health, longevity, temperament, drive, and conformation. Contrary to the internet police, the list of clear stud dogs available is truly quite slim. Especially when you rule out the dogs that have a pedigree with cardio, cancer, cvi or no longevity. I'm talking a small tiny handful of dogs.
I have made comments to the effect of there possibly being "better choices" as people announce breeding affected animals or carriers, myself. What it all comes down to is not worrying too much about one specific detail, but also not making too many trade-offs. Some folks get to the point of seeing a particular animal through rose-colored glasses, to the point where they're rationalizing reasons for breeding an animal, which they may be rather invested in, who just probably isn't a very good choice.

Even with all else looking rather good, a homozygous vWD positive animal probably is a poor choice to breed at all, even to a clear. Two heterozygous carriers is a pretty big roll of the dice. Add borderline hips to a carrier (hey, at least the testing was performed), you're starting to get into pretty sketchy territory even if breeding to a clear. It's still a breeder's discretion, but too many perceived tradeoffs and I kind of wonder if a breeder is even trying.

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#3-Good breeders only breed titled champions.
If the public expects that their pup's sire and dam are titled champions then you really leave the breeder with little option but to select from the pool of titled champion stud dogs. Its really that simple.
I absolutely agree, it's not like being a couple of generations separated from titled champions is going to result in puppies being BYB dogs which don't meet the standards and make children cry at their hideous deformities. It's also a tremendous amount of effort and expense to title every sire and dam. There's a difference between sloppy breeding practices of trying to ride on someone else's reputation, and maintaining a line of quality animals by understanding what to look for and breeding selectively as an experienced, competent breeder.

Where's the actual value in a title in the first place? Does being conformationally correct require a competition with champs and losers, or is it something which just is? Evaluating conformation and general soundness is not that difficult for people who have half a clue what they're doing. It might take a lot more skill and a better eye at the highest levels of competition, but I'm talking about the level of knowledge & understanding required for a typical buyer or breeder to identify an animal as being correct or having flaws which can lead to gait problems , performance problems, or orthopedic health issues.

As an aside, when I was less experienced at appraising horses, I took someone with more experience with me for several prospects I looked at purchasing. I apprenticed for a farrier and discussed the conformation of dozens upon dozens of horses with him, in addition to handling them & watching how they moved. I've ridden dozens horses over the years, from my own, to run-of-the-mill rentals, lesson or therapy horses, horses I was training, and performance horses from a stint I worked for a professional polo player/trainer.

From that, I learned a few things:
1. Titles are as titles do. They're a fun hobby for some folks, more power to them.
2. You absolutely don't need titles to evaluate anything, and if you're not sure you can be impartial, just find someone to serve as an extra set of eyes.
3. If you don't know what you're doing, just find someone to serve as an extra set of eyes, and never blindly trust a breeder. Some who seem trustworthy are merely good at saying the right things & bamboozling prospective customers.

Quote:
#4-Good breeders fully health test.
Really? I mean. This is self explanatory. But can I tell you the SHEER NUMBER of people who contact me and NEVER ONCE ASK ABOUT ANY HEALTH TEST?!?? Because frankly its well over half of the people that contact me. And trust me...I spend a fortune on those health tests. I WANT people to ask about them. I WANT people to ask for copies. I WANT to provide those copies and test results to people. Or how about a breeder in my area that is recommended on this board 10 times a day that doesn't do any health tests "because my buyers don't need it. They never even ask about it. They trust me."
Good breeders health test efficiently and effectively. I've yet to be convinced that every test is necessary for every animal, and some are good for nothing more than furthering research. I suspect a number of buyers simply don't care about health & longevity in the first place, because they are interested in other things. As you say below, there are plenty of folks who keep buying, over and over, from the same diseased lines that drop-dead from DCM at young ages. If they don't start re-evaluating everything after the first or second premature death, clearly that is not something they are remotely concerned about.

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You can push on breeders all you want. All day long. But a good breeder can back up the breedings they do with science, breed knowledge, pedigree knowledge and even health testing. I wish buyers would consider those newer breeders. I wish buyers would stop buying un health tested pups from big name breeders. I wish experienced show homes would stop buying dogs from the same lines they've been buying from for 20 years that all drop dead of DCM at 5 and 6. So IMO we're simply ALL to blame. Not just the breeders.
I do agree. The bottom line is that puppy buyers support who they buy from. That is why I will never blindly support so-called "Reputable Breeders", they have to convince me that they're good breeders, as you say, backed by sound rationale and sensible breeding practices.

Why do I push on breeders? It's because I'm a buyer, and when I'm in the market, I've found it hard to find what I'm looking for. Let's face it, the typical choices are:

1. Conformation show line (prospects or pets)
2. Working line (prospects or pets)
3. The diverse category of BYBs, commercial breeders, etc.

I think that most pet placements from true working-line Dobes might be too much of a handful for me.

It's very difficult to find decent show-line breeders who have completely avoided heavily linebred bloodlines, much less popular sires. Temperament is also a concern, relatively few even seem to have bothered with basic WACs, or couldn't pass them so they just forged ahead anyway.

The best casual/farm breeders seem to be one of the better options, but in all honesty, I would much rather support someone who puts more effort in.

Kor's breeder was a good balance of the first two, though she definitely had some huge challenges finding homes for puppies because she wasn't breeding to a specialty, but to produce more well-rounded, capable, healthy animals. Guess that is not something most folks are interested in these days.
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post #45 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by kaloric View Post
I'm a proponent of CAREFULLY INSPECTED farm-bred/"BYB" dogs as worth further investigation and use. Nah, there won't be current or recent titles. Nah, there won't be extensive history. Probably won't be too much health testing, either. What there is, is the potential to put some eggs into another basket, introduce a little more genetic diversity without going full mongrel, and maybe a shot at recovering proper temperament and a little health. That shot might fall short, it's risky.

Sure, there should even be lines from other countries considered, insofar as specific animals are not excessively linebred or used popular sires (or have problematic familial history of poor longevity).

I realize you're being snarky with the z-factored comment, but I'll just point-out that what was done with those dogs is exactly what I'm most opposed to-- linebreeding stupidity and popular sires/dams. It's only that much more foul when the trait some morons are trying to distill is a genetic flaw.



What I'm talking about isn't all-or-nothing. There is not a single correct approach, and as you say, doing one thing to the exclusion of all else is not helpful. That's precisely what I've been saying. Recovering genetic diversity is as simple as not always going all-in on today's popular sire or his full- or half-brothers. It's sometimes going for pupsicles as you have done. It might be doing some research to use foreign bloodlines that aren't too infamous for having serious longevity problems, especially as it relates to cardio. It might be looking at South American, European, or Asian bloodlines. It might be seeing what can come of an obscure BYB line that isn't too horrible as far as conformation & health.



Your firsthand explanation is helpful and much appreciated.



In my humble opinion, you've done more for the breed in taking the risk you did, this one time, than nearly all of your peers have done in their entire careers in the breed.

I do not offer such praise lightly. What I respect the most is your willingness to try something unconventional even though you probably would've had sure success by doing things the way everyone else always does.

It's unfortunate you encountered so much uncertainty and lack of support or interest. I hope someday, the conformation show-line sector of any breed makes me eat my disparaging words regarding their typical breeding practices and treatment of anyone who is not part of the clique or fails to do things the same way as everyone else. All I want to see are more people thinking outside the box, and being respected for the risks they're taking for the stability of the breed.



I vehemently disagree with the notion that there should be no profit in producing puppies, it's not realistic to expect folks to take risks and invest time & money without getting a return when things go well. That's another thing I like about the farmer-breeder culture, there's always the expectation that the producer is entitled to make a profit, make a living from honest work. However, there is always that situation where buyers feel priced-out, even at price points where breeders who have gone the extra mile are going to lose money on the litter.



I have made comments to the effect of there possibly being "better choices" as people announce breeding affected animals or carriers, myself. What it all comes down to is not worrying too much about one specific detail, but also not making too many trade-offs. Some folks get to the point of seeing a particular animal through rose-colored glasses, to the point where they're rationalizing reasons for breeding an animal, which they may be rather invested in, who just probably isn't a very good choice.

Even with all else looking rather good, a homozygous vWD positive animal probably is a poor choice to breed at all, even to a clear. Two heterozygous carriers is a pretty big roll of the dice. Add borderline hips to a carrier (hey, at least the testing was performed), you're starting to get into pretty sketchy territory even if breeding to a clear. It's still a breeder's discretion, but too many perceived tradeoffs and I kind of wonder if a breeder is even trying.



I absolutely agree, it's not like being a couple of generations separated from titled champions is going to result in puppies being BYB dogs which don't meet the standards and make children cry at their hideous deformities. It's also a tremendous amount of effort and expense to title every sire and dam. There's a difference between sloppy breeding practices of trying to ride on someone else's reputation, and maintaining a line of quality animals by understanding what to look for and breeding selectively as an experienced, competent breeder.

Where's the actual value in a title in the first place? Does being conformationally correct require a competition with champs and losers, or is it something which just is? Evaluating conformation and general soundness is not that difficult for people who have half a clue what they're doing. It might take a lot more skill and a better eye at the highest levels of competition, but I'm talking about the level of knowledge & understanding required for a typical buyer or breeder to identify an animal as being correct or having flaws which can lead to gait problems , performance problems, or orthopedic health issues.

As an aside, when I was less experienced at appraising horses, I took someone with more experience with me for several prospects I looked at purchasing. I apprenticed for a farrier and discussed the conformation of dozens upon dozens of horses with him, in addition to handling them & watching how they moved. I've ridden dozens horses over the years, from my own, to run-of-the-mill rentals, lesson or therapy horses, horses I was training, and performance horses from a stint I worked for a professional polo player/trainer.

From that, I learned a few things:
1. Titles are as titles do. They're a fun hobby for some folks, more power to them.
2. You absolutely don't need titles to evaluate anything, and if you're not sure you can be impartial, just find someone to serve as an extra set of eyes.
3. If you don't know what you're doing, just find someone to serve as an extra set of eyes, and never blindly trust a breeder. Some who seem trustworthy are merely good at saying the right things & bamboozling prospective customers.



Good breeders health test efficiently and effectively. I've yet to be convinced that every test is necessary for every animal, and some are good for nothing more than furthering research. I suspect a number of buyers simply don't care about health & longevity in the first place, because they are interested in other things. As you say below, there are plenty of folks who keep buying, over and over, from the same diseased lines that drop-dead from DCM at young ages. If they don't start re-evaluating everything after the first or second premature death, clearly that is not something they are remotely concerned about.



I do agree. The bottom line is that puppy buyers support who they buy from. That is why I will never blindly support so-called "Reputable Breeders", they have to convince me that they're good breeders, as you say, backed by sound rationale and sensible breeding practices.

Why do I push on breeders? It's because I'm a buyer, and when I'm in the market, I've found it hard to find what I'm looking for. Let's face it, the typical choices are:

1. Conformation show line (prospects or pets)
2. Working line (prospects or pets)
3. The diverse category of BYBs, commercial breeders, etc.

I think that most pet placements from true working-line Dobes might be too much of a handful for me.

It's very difficult to find decent show-line breeders who have completely avoided heavily linebred bloodlines, much less popular sires. Temperament is also a concern, relatively few even seem to have bothered with basic WACs, or couldn't pass them so they just forged ahead anyway.

The best casual/farm breeders seem to be one of the better options, but in all honesty, I would much rather support someone who puts more effort in.

Kor's breeder was a good balance of the first two, though she definitely had some huge challenges finding homes for puppies because she wasn't breeding to a specialty, but to produce more well-rounded, capable, healthy animals. Guess that is not something most folks are interested in these days.
While I agree with you on some points - I abhor the narrowing of the gene pool, the overuse of popular sires, etc, I'm going to have to disagree that the solution is necessarily to go to what you want to call "casual or farm breeders". While I agree that a title isn't *always* necessary, generations of untitled dogs are so often a sign of dogs of poor structure. Anyone who has worked in rescue long enough has seen product after product of a variety of these types of breeders, and they are so very often structural nightmares. Not only did I see them as a volunteer, I have tons of friends who own and love them (while acknowledging the problems they have due to poor structure due to poor breeding). Finding breeders who never participate in conformation or working sport who actually breed with ANY eye toward a dog's structure is really a needle in a haystack.

Secondly, I would challenge you to find many of those types of breeders who can tell you the age and cause of death of all the dogs in the pedigrees they are breeding, as well as the temperaments of those dogs, and who carefully select breeding dogs to complement one another structurally and temperamentally. Again, I have both lived and seen the results, temperamentally and health wise, over and over and over again of the typical breeding practices of "casual" breeding. It's so often not pretty. Sure, sometimes you get a good, healthy dog. And sometimes you get a dog with a sketchy temperament, or poor health (and I've seen this VERY often, both in rescue and with many people I know or have met who have Doberamans from non show or working lines - far, far more than from the types of breeders we recommend here).

Believe me, I am very, VERY concerned about the health of our breed, about working toward better health and longevity. As a puppy buyer, I think I've done the best that I can to support breeders that feel the same as I do and are working toward the same goals, who haven't bred to popular sires. I am pretty outspoken about the need to change our breeding practices. But I think there is significant risk in taking the route you are recommending, and I don't say that out of snobbery or any hand in the breeding game, but out of years of seeing results of that type of breeding. Genetics play a very strong role in who a dog is.
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post #46 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 12:35 PM
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I do not see adding byb's or commercial breeders (Puppy mills) into any line as an answer for anything but more problems. You don't make something better by digging out of the trash can.
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post #47 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 12:54 PM
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I do not see adding byb's or commercial breeders (Puppy mills) into any line as an answer for anything but more problems. You don't make something better by digging out of the trash can.
Wow I hear what you're saying but all dogs here are valued. My byb girl was a mistake I supported, that will not be repeated, but I would not ever liken her to trash!

That's why she was spayed at 6 months because there's no need to reproduce her unknown lines but she's definitely not garbage!

I've been enjoying this thread listening to the different point of views but I had to add my 2 cents here.



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post #48 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 01:01 PM
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Wow I hear what you're saying but all dogs here are valued. My byb girl was a mistake I supported, that will not be repeated, but I would not ever liken her to trash!

That's why she was spayed at 6 months because there's no need to reproduce her unknown lines but she's definitely not garbage!

I've been enjoying this thread listening to the different point of views but I had to add my 2 cents here.
Coco I wasn't really referring to the dogs as trash. At least that wasn't my intent. The wording was harsh but kind of an exaggeration to make a point. I have had many mix breeds and some bybs. Loved all of them. I guess the trash would be more towards their legitimate breeding value for the breed.
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post #49 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 04:29 PM
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As a puppy buyer, I think I've done the best that I can to support breeders that feel the same as I do and are working toward the same goals, who haven't bred to popular sires.
And you met kaloric's challenge. ;-)
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post #50 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 02:51 PM
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We've had our Sofia now for eight years... she'll be twelve in a few days and diagnosed with DCM six years ago. Our vet advised no medication, thinking it would be harder on her kidneys and liver than the good it would do her heart. Instead she's on a low to NO sodium diet. No problems.
She is amazing.. True, she doesn't run as fast or as long as she used to. but her eyes still dance and her nub still blurs. I feel so blessed to have her with us for as long as we have.. We still enter every calendar contest.. ( have won twice) and will continue as long as we can. How I wish she'd go on like this forever... knowing she won't I cherish each and every day.

P.S. I would never recommend this diet to anyone.... do what your vet advises.. I just know what has worked for us. Chicken breasts, brown rice, green beans,,, hamburger on Tuesdays... a scrambled egg once a week and some amazing low sodium kibble called Simply Nourish for Seniors exclusive at PetSmart... she gets 50 mcg's of thyroid every other day... and I brush her teeth with coconut oil. We are so blessed.




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