Join Date: Jul 2005
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I sympathize with you Mary Jo. Along with placing puppies having been a big reason for deciding I wasn't cut out to be a breeder I've hung out with enough good, conscientious breeders when they were trying to decided on an appropriate pair to breed that I decided that was just another reason (probably had something to do with being a Libra--having to weigh and balance all the possibilities when trying to make a decision.)
My fawn dog sired two litters and knock on wood--the oldest litter is now 8 I believe and the younger one about 18 months younger. With the exception of one male puppy who died as a puppy from pneumonia which the novice owners didn't recognize early enough for treatment to be effective, they are all still living. And I know that John (4 x 4) who has a Toad grandson, hopes that his dog will get some of Toad's longevity. I hope so too.
And the fact that Toad's own litter of five puppies there are four that are in the longevity list--the blue bitch was nearly 11, I think the red bitch as also nearly 11, the black litter brother was nearly 12 and the other, a pet, we don't know about. And behind Toad are quite a few LC dogs. I always like to see that.
But it's also a fairly inbred litter--but even with that there are quite a few dogs with good longevity. Even with DCM in every pedigree I find it less concerning (to me anyway) when it's an older dog who has been dx'd with DCM and dies from it.
Toad who had been followed by cardiologist from the time he was 2 and we could go back through the Holters and echo's and see when he started having occasional PVC's and some visible changes to his heart and how it was progressing (not very fast) the fact is that in spite of the fact that when he was euthanized at 14 the DCM was well controlled on medication--but as very old dog he developed laryngeal paralysis--something you hardly ever see in Dobermans but is common in Labradors. The treatment for it is surgical which wasn't going to happen to a dog who was nearly 14 since both simple age, and breed made him a poor surgical prospect.
We made bad jokes in the clinic--about why don't you see more Dobes with laryngeal paralysis--answer--because they don't live long enough to develop it. But that was why he was euthanized--when I woke up that morning he was struggling to breath--his gums and tongue were blue. I ran him into the clinic--the vet who had known him since he was six months old measure his oxygen levels--which were very low. The discussion was short--and he was euthanized. I hate making those decisions but I kept one of my favorite pets too long and I knew it. I resolved never to do it again. But I sure hated to see my fawn guy go.
This was a dog who was thoroughly health tested--more for the benefit of his breeder--I never really expected anyone to breed to him--for all of his sterling qualities and his pretty impeccable pedigree he was fawn. But his breeder thought enough of him to find a couple of really nice bitches who did not carry dilution. As a result all of his puppies are BbDd--don't even have test them to know that. Oh, yeah there were a couple of red puppies in the second litter so they were bbDd.
Even knowing what we do know and learning more all the time about the role that heredity play and why diversity is important to the breed you still are playing the odds to one degree or another. Testing may not be the answer but at least knowing, for the things we can test for genetically is better than not knowing.
I hope Mary Jo that you find a really nice dog for the first breeding and that you do get to breed to Harvard frozen semen and get the dog of your dreams from it--you've worked hard for that.