Difficult to find a natural Doberman - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Difficult to find a natural Doberman

I am new to the world of Dobermans, though I have always been intrigued by the breed. They are elegant, beautiful, and tough at the same time. They steal my attention whenever they show up. So after losing my 14 year old pup this past year, I have decided to research more about a potential Dobe pup for our family. So as I have asked around and looked for some breeders, I have found it very difficult to find a breeder that is willing to provide a pup uncropped. While I understand the need to dock a dog's tail to prevent from potential injury perhaps. I don't understand why it's so difficult to find a Doberman with natural ears. Is it a commitment to the old standard perhaps? I almost feel like I am being disrespectful to the breed, just asking for a natural pup. Could someone provide some insight into this? My search has been confined to the mid to north atlantic area.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 10:19 AM
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The standard isn't old - it's current, and breeders adhere to it. There are very, very few ethical, reputable breeders who will leave litters natural, and they do not breed often. The only one on the East Coast I know of is Dr. Kathy Davieds in Virginia. She breeds beautiful dogs with sound temperament, and she breeds very infrequently.

Have you considered rescue if natural ears are of import?

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moos View Post
I am new to the world of Dobermans, though I have always been intrigued by the breed. They are elegant, beautiful, and tough at the same time. They steal my attention whenever they show up. So after losing my 14 year old pup this past year, I have decided to research more about a potential Dobe pup for our family. So as I have asked around and looked for some breeders, I have found it very difficult to find a breeder that is willing to provide a pup uncropped. While I understand the need to dock a dog's tail to prevent from potential injury perhaps. I don't understand why it's so difficult to find a Doberman with natural ears. Is it a commitment to the old standard perhaps? I almost feel like I am being disrespectful to the breed, just asking for a natural pup. Could someone provide some insight into this? My search has been confined to the mid to north atlantic area.
Welcome to DT, you've come to the right place!

Great breeders strive to preserve the breed and in doing so adhere closely to our breed standard when breeding and showing dobermans. If you read the breed standard it describes the doberman to be cropped and docked dog DPCA | The Doberman | Breed Standard Many consider cropped ears to be an essential part of "breed type".

Great breeders will have all the puppies in a litter cropped before they go on to their new homes. This is for several reasons, one, is simply based on timing. Puppies have often not been graded for "pet" or "show" until after their ears are cropped. Second, as mentioned above, almost all reputable breeders view this as a cropped/docked breed and want everything they produce to reflect well on their breeding program and the breed standard. Additionally, it is very hard to re-home a puppy with natural ears, and you'd be surprised how often breeders get puppies returned.

Having said all this, it's not impossible to get a natural doberman, but you need to be prepared to wait on a long waiting list for one of the show breeders who will consider leaving a puppy natural, or go to a working breeder- and often these dogs are NOT at all for the first time doberman owner. Working bred dogs can be a ton of dog.

What breed was your other dog?
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 10:53 AM
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Since it has not been mentioned yet, every time I see an un-cropped Dobe, I immediately think BYB, although "import" does cross my mind. One of my neighbors has a bitch the she got from a marginal breeder on the East coast (we are in Portland OR). She is a large sweet girl a bit older than my youngest McCoy. The only reason that she went that way was because she was adamant about "natural" ears . We have quite a few really good breeders here in the Pacific NW, but the cropped ears were a deal killer.

And while I am not necessarily implying "cause and effect", where my boy has never really been sick in his entire life, this girl has had a number of health issues.

That being said, I would happily get an un-cropped pup, although I prefer the look a nice cropped ear. But, as gk stated, the vast majority of really good and reputable breeders of Dobermans always send their pups to their new home with cropped ears, docked tails and dew claws removed.

As you reside in the North Atlantic, you might try Canada as cropping is systematically becoming harder to procure. You would have to deal with canine importation regs. But from what I have read, it is no big deal.

Best to you in your search. Stick around and let us know how it is going/how it turns out.

John
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenkouki View Post
Welcome to DT, you've come to the right place!

Great breeders strive to preserve the breed and in doing so adhere closely to our breed standard when breeding and showing dobermans. If you read the breed standard it describes the doberman to be cropped and docked dog DPCA | The Doberman | Breed Standard Many consider cropped ears to be an essential part of "breed type".

Great breeders will have all the puppies in a litter cropped before they go on to their new homes. This is for several reasons, one, is simply based on timing. Puppies have often not been graded for "pet" or "show" until after their ears are cropped. Second, as mentioned above, almost all reputable breeders view this as a cropped/docked breed and want everything they produce to reflect well on their breeding program and the breed standard. Additionally, it is very hard to re-home a puppy with natural ears, and you'd be surprised how often breeders get puppies returned.

Having said all this, it's not impossible to get a natural doberman, but you need to be prepared to wait on a long waiting list for one of the show breeders who will consider leaving a puppy natural, or go to a working breeder- and often these dogs are NOT at all for the first time doberman owner. Working bred dogs can be a ton of dog.

What breed was your other dog?
I definitely appreciate the insight. I was initially very interested in the Doberman breed for my first dog, then a Pit/Lab Mutt pup was pretty much thrown into my lap. Fortunately, this came to be the best thing I could ever wish for. This year I lost my best friend after 14 years of a full life. I have returned to my original interest in the Dobe breed, and now I am searching for the right pup/breeder.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 03:21 PM
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I'm going to quote myself from another recent thread from someone looking for natural ears (see here: https://www.dobermantalk.com/breedin...ml#post4052635) I think there's some good stuff in the thread I linked. But my post below basically sums up what I think you're going to run into. For what it's worth, I think Kathy Davieds is a fabulous breeder (she bred the sire of my boy, Richter, who will be seven this summer, and I am in fairly regular contact with her), but her waiting list is VERY long.

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For what it's worth, Kathy's waiting list is very long. She's a great breeder, but I know she has a lot of repeat buyers and that she isn't breeding often.

I guess you need to ask yourself what is most important to you? If you are willing to have a tail docked, but not ears cropped? If health and temperament are top priority, but ears matter as much, how long are you willing to wait for that? It's going to be pretty tough to find a quality breeder that is making health and temperament their top priority, who is also willing to leave a pup uncropped, and isn't going to have a waiting list of a couple of years. Some people are willing to wait that long, and if you are, more power to you! If you're not...then you'll need to figure out what priority you are willing to let go down the list. If ears are number one, then maybe you are going to have to look for a pup in rescue, and health/longevity/temperament slide down the list a little. Or, if you can't compromise on that, then you'll need to reconsider owning a cropped dog.

Good luck in your search. There are some good breeders willing to do it, just not many, and that really limits your options. I wish you a lot of luck in your search for your perfect pup.


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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 05:12 PM
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I second the idea of considering a rescue, esp as a first time Dobe owner. A REPUTABLE Doberman specific rescue will do extensive evaluation of their dogs before they are put up for adoption. Then they will ask lots of questions about you, your lifestyle, etc to make the perfect match. There are usually several uncropped dogs in rescue. And they will take the dog back if it doesn't work out.
My previous boy was from Doberman Rescue Unlimited in NH, and he was a class act, ever the gentleman, no health issues and lived to almost 13 yrs.
There are other equally good rescues and other members can point you there.
Just a suggestion.
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 09:54 AM
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I know Gatehouse has sold a natural eared pup (she's up in Canada).

Sometimes, though, you need to have a track record or established relationship with a breeder for them to trust you enough to keep a pup uncropped, too. People back out on puppies all the time, and uncropped pups are harder to place. Or, if a dog happens to come back as an adult, again, they are harder to rehome. These are all things that breeders consider, as well as our standard.


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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 12:06 PM
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Some provinces in Canada have banned cropping but in mine (Ontario) it is still legal.

Most reputable breeders here are still cropping. I've been on a puppy search lately so have spoken to 3 breeders and been to their homes in the last month so know this is recent, factual information.

Why not go with rescue for a natural eared dog. I looked at this but I have a 17 year old cat who lived with our old gal for 10 years so I decided I needed to get a puppy to ensure the cat will be ok.



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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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So I am looking for a puppy, bc I have young kids. I feel like with a pup, you know what the dog has experienced, and you can control the socialization process. I am hesitant to introduce an older dog with uncertain experiences to my young kids. While I understand that it may be impossible to predict any dog's reaction with complete certainty, I feel more comfortable with a pup I've raised. I might be wrong to assume this, but I raised my first dog from a pup and felt very comfortable that she was sufficiently socialized.

Regarding cropping ears, from an outside perspective, I don't get it. The American standard states that ears are "normally" cropped, but not a requirement. What is most confusing is that a breeders ability to cut and tape an ear doesn't have anything to with the genetic makeup and health of the dog. I would think cropping a dog's ears would only introduce a risk to an otherwise perfect dog. You could breed a beautiful animal, with great pedigree and then through human error injure or infect a gorgeous, healthy dog. I have heard a number of responses from breeders in my search for a natural eared pup, most of them discouraging, as I definitely feel like I touched a nerve by simply asking. The most understandable response was that it is difficult to re-home a natural eared dobe, if something were to happen to potential owner. One of the responses I don't understand is the reasoning that an uncropped ears is more likely to be infected. If this were the case, I think we would see more cocker spaniels with cropped ears. A responsible owner checks/cleans their dogs ears no matter the breed. I just find it really disheartening at how difficult it is to find a good natural pup from a reputable breeder. It is certainly a barrier to the Doberman community, and I can imagine someone less discerning could be pushed toward BYB's, which is even worse, or more concerning, for the breed.

Excuse my frustration.
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 05:28 PM
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5AM Dobermans in Canada does't crop their puppies: FiveAM Reg'd Dobermans | Doberman Breeder in Peachland, BC

I consider them a very reputable breeder who titles and health tests their dogs, I met one of their dogs, Paige, who lives with my dog's breeder. She was beautiful and sweet, and she and 3 of her littermates have finished in Canada, including some that are uncropped.

CDF February 2019

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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 05:54 PM
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I had a natural eared gal for almost 10 years. She was from a byb before we knew better. I loved those soft velvetty ears and miss rubbing them immensely. This time I am getting a puppy that will be cropped while still at his breeders. It is the breed standard and his breeder plans to show him so he will be cropped. (What a trip for me going from an oversized byb lovey to a potential show prospect).

I would not have been opposed to another natural eared dobe but this time around will be different. I also didn't want him to remind me too much of Coco (bear with me I'm still grieving the loss).

But I have to comment on the natural ears are more prone to infection. Not once in Cocos almost 10 years of life did she ever have an ear infection. I never cleaned those ears and she probably had less than 10 baths in her life. I stroked, cuddled, kissed and smelled those ears her whole life and they were always perfect!! That notion was a myth in our life together.

Sometimes puppies are born into rescue so that could be an option. I understand wanting a puppy to grow with your family. You have children so you have to do what is right for you. I have a 17 year old cat who lived with Coco for 10 years so she is not afraid of dobes. This is why I am getting a puppy.



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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 06:50 PM
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Cropped ears

Doberman ears are not cropped for health reasons. The ears were originally cropped as part of a working dog's job. Cropped ears are less likely to be injured in a fight.
Judging from the advice you are getting from this site you would have to be some kind of low life to even to think about owning a Doberman with natural ears. If you do not plan to show your Doberman I don't see why a breeder would insist on cropped ear. All the reputable breeders being talked about would have you set up well in advance of the puppy's birth. You should have the choice of cropped or natural ears.
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Count me into the low life club then because I would totally have another uncropped dobe.

For me the ears do not make the dog. Coco's spirit and joy she brought to her family were infinitely more important than her ears were.



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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
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Count me into the low life club then because I would totally have another uncropped dobe.

For me the ears do not make the dog. Coco's spirit and joy she brought to her family were infinitely more important than her ears were.
Yeah Coco... I'm not sure where Dogman is coming from. Many members on DT have Dobes with natural (uncropped) ears.

I also would have no problem with natural eared Doberman, even though I prefer the look of a nice crop. The deal, however, is that pretty much every breeder that I would consider, sends the pups to their new home with docked tails, dewclaws removed and ears cropped.

There are variety of very practical reasons for that which I will not go into. Perhaps someone else will chime in and explain to DM why this is the norm.

John
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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
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Doberman ears are not cropped for health reasons. The ears were originally cropped as part of a working dog's job. Cropped ears are less likely to be injured in a fight.
Judging from the advice you are getting from this site you would have to be some kind of low life to even to think about owning a Doberman with natural ears. If you do not plan to show your Doberman I don't see why a breeder would insist on cropped ear. All the reputable breeders being talked about would have you set up well in advance of the puppy's birth. You should have the choice of cropped or natural ears.
No one here implied that at all, and insults to the members of this forum are not welcome. Please take a moment to read the forum rules: https://www.dobermantalk.com/ear-cro...st-5-2011.html

Everyone here has done a good job of explaining why breeders in this country crop their dogs, as well as offering help for the OP in seeking an uncropped puppy, if that is what the OP wants. Being realistic about the difficulties in finding a well-bred, uncropped puppy is not insulting the buyer's desire for one. It is simply a fact that in THIS country, nearly all well-bred Dobermans have cropped ears.

(Putting on moderator hat) - We have had numerous cropping debates on this forum, and we are NOT going to have a heated debate on that topic again. Feel free to use the search function if you want to read old posts. Consider this fair warning. The forum rules have been linked, and we expect people to adhere to them. (Moderator hat off)


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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 08:55 PM
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From what I understand, the "normally cropped" in the standard was supposed to mean "cropped in a normal fashion, not super-long and skinny", which is how most show crops are these days, and which was just coming into style when the standard was last updated. It was very poorly phrased, IMO, though, because it implies that while the ears are typically cropped, uncroppped ears should also be equally accepted.

These days, most breeds that are traditionally cropped have descriptions of natural ear written into their standards, and say that cropped and natural ears are both acceptable, even if a dog with cropped ears is preferred over an uncropped one, all other qualities being equal.

I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I'm never going to get my dream dog, a well bred, all-natural blue. If I want well bred, then all natural and blue are almost automatically eliminated.


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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 09:43 PM
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What MC said^^^

I am not a moderator, so I have no sway except my experience and opinion.

So... I have owned Doberman dogs since 1974. My first boy was purchased not cropped. I was pretty young (21yo.) and ignorant with respect to the breed, although I had owned and been responsible for several dogs previously.

I was a very fortunate guy. I was steered to a vet who was a Doberman judge, a great DVM and probably one of the best "show" ear croppers in the PNW. His name was Jim Harrison. He became my mentor. Unfortunately, he passed in the mid 80's.

Oddly, McCoy's current canine cardiologist rememberers well. with great fondness.

So... to the point. This man loved Dobermans. He insisted that I posted my boy's ears because he felt that our interaction would result in the best "bonding" experience that the two of us could have.

Today, over 4 decades later, I am so grateful for his POV. It was true!

My youngest's DVM is very familiar with the Doberman breed and his POV is the same.

With my permission, Pretty much anyone can put their hands on him.

Perhaps I am obtuse, yet I don't think so.

I see no downside to cropping a Dobe's ears... Only an upside.

JMO
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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 09:47 PM
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Sorry, I wasn't trying to insult anyone. I was being a little sarcastic. Some seem to be implying that puppies from respectable breeders are available at a moments notice or at a whim. That is far from the truth. These breeders have long lines of hopeful Doberman owners in waiting. Prospective owners wait for months or years to get one of these pups. The owner has plenty of time to make the ear decision long before the pup is born. The breeder can have an opinion but the owner has the final say.
As far as the low life comment, I am a proud owner of natural ear Dobermans. Look at my logo. I made the comment because some seem to take offense with natural ear Dobermans. Statements such as "I assume they are from a BYB", or "The breeder is irresponsible to allow an owner to go with natural ears" are not true. I think cropped ears give a Doberman an intelligent and distinctive appearance. When I think of Dobermans, the picture is with cropped ears. The one I adopted years ago had natural ears. He was a fantastic companion who gave and received much love. I've since had a couple Doberman pups to raise as my own. I chose not to crop their ears. The breeders had a vet lined up to crop, but I chose not to. I would never criticize an owner for getting the ears cropped. I would like to think my natural ear Dobes get the same respect.
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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 10:03 PM
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Hi DOGMAN....

Good response! You will find that this is a really friendly forum... We are friends helping our friends.

Most comments are funny, supportive, informative and helpful. Occasionally a bit acerbic. Oh Well...

John
Portland OR
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post #21 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 04:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosemary View Post
From what I understand, the "normally cropped" in the standard was supposed to mean "cropped in a normal fashion, not super-long and skinny", which is how most show crops are these days, and which was just coming into style when the standard was last updated. It was very poorly phrased, IMO, though, because it implies that while the ears are typically cropped, uncroppped ears should also be equally accepted.
Got it in one. The Illustrated Standard goes into more detail, but this is the intention as written.

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post #22 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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I appreciate the advice provided here. I have spoken to 10-15 breeders at different levels in the US (one of which was Kathy Daveid), but ultimately found some good prospects in Canada.

This debate though is concerning for the breed, as I think the fact that I have to expand my search internationally is a high level of effort to find a healthy dog. A result of this high LOE, the Doberman community is very likely to miss out on responsible owners like myself that are looking for a dog bred for longevity and health. This would simultaneously push potential owners toward irresponsible breeders that are cheaper and more eager to please. This whole debate is still confusing to me and I think it's an unintended detriment to the breed. A person's ability to cut and tape a dog's ears in a particular shape doesn't relate at all to the beauty and health of the dog and its pedigree. It's simply a human cosmetic preference.

As a prospective member of the Doberman community, I don't intend any offense. I am simply voicing my frustration with genuine concern. I can't understand how difficult it is to get a dog with its ears not cut up.
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post #23 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moos View Post
I appreciate the advice provided here. I have spoken to 10-15 breeders at different levels in the US (one of which was Kathy Daveid), but ultimately found some good prospects in Canada.

This debate though is concerning for the breed, as I think the fact that I have to expand my search internationally is a high level of effort to find a healthy dog. A result of this high LOE, the Doberman community is very likely to miss out on responsible owners like myself that are looking for a dog bred for longevity and health. This would simultaneously push potential owners toward irresponsible breeders that are cheaper and more eager to please. This whole debate is still confusing to me and I think it's an unintended detriment to the breed. A person's ability to cut and tape a dog's ears in a particular shape doesn't relate at all to the beauty and health of the dog and its pedigree. It's simply a human cosmetic preference.

As a prospective member of the Doberman community, I don't intend any offense. I am simply voicing my frustration with genuine concern. I can't understand how difficult it is to get a dog with its ears not cut up.
Sorry you're having a difficult time finding a breeder, but you are looking for something outside the norm- breeders have their reasons for not selling natural eared pups, and those reasons have been thoroughly explained earlier in the thread. Good luck with your search!
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post #24 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moos View Post
the Doberman community is very likely to miss out on responsible owners like myself that are looking for a dog bred for longevity and health. This would simultaneously push potential owners toward irresponsible breeders that are cheaper and more eager to please.
This argument always makes me crazy. As a breeder, I don't sell my puppies to less responsible people just because you weren't available as a home to one. It's pretty egocentric of you to think that. I'm not pushing people to do anything that they don't want to do. I offer what I offer, and if they don't like it, what they choose to do is on them, not me. *If* I'm the one producing long-lived, healthy dogs and you choose not to come to me because of the ears and if you choose to go to an irresponsible breeder because of the ears, I think you're the one that was just detrimental to the breed, not me. I'm the one that supported health and longevity, not you.


Last edited by MaryAndDobes; 02-07-2019 at 11:39 AM.
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post #25 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryAndDobes View Post
This argument always makes me crazy. As a breeder, I don't sell my puppies to less responsible people just because you weren't available as a home to one. It's pretty egocentric of you to think that. I'm not pushing people to do anything that they don't want to do. I offer what I offer, and if they don't like it, what they choose to do is on them, not me. *If* I'm the one producing long-lived, healthy dogs and you choose not to come to me because of the ears and if you choose to go to an irresponsible breeder because of the ears, I think you're the one that was just detrimental to the breed, not me. I'm the one that supported health and longevity, not you.
You don't think this exclusivity creates an unnecessary barrier and ultimately a market for the BYB's? I didn't write the standard, and I certainly don't get it. It just baffles me that folks would hold so strongly to something that wasn't natural or inherent to the animal.
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