New puppy advice
I'm new to "Doberman talk" and we are potentially new Doberman parents. Thanks to this forum and other sites, I've been able to locate two very reputable breeders in Texas. Both have solid repute in both competition / showing of their Dobermans as well as top-notch breeders.
We're looking to add a Doberman to our family. My family consists of my husband, 11 year old son, 18 year old daughter (in college) and two pets: a miniature daschund (3yrs) and a lab (9 yrs)
One breeder (found out today is only 2 miles from my home). She has a 12 week old rust Doberman girl ready to go home. The other breeder is within a reasonable distance (3 hours) and will have 2 females ready to go home before Christmas. We could pick either one. Today, visited the 12-week old puppy. She seemed a little shy; however, in fairness, I realize that I was a new person to the puppy and we only spent about 10' together.
My key question is what should I be looking for in a puppy considering the choices are between the 3? Again, we're only looking for a family companion and not to breed or show. By the way, dogs from both breeders are sold without breeding rights (which is a positive).
Also, can you provide any concerns / insights that you might have over cardiomyopathy issues in the breed?
Thanks, in advance, for your advice.
DCM (Dilated Cardio Myopathy) is the bane of this breed. Many Doberman owners, with multiple Dobes in their past (including myself) have had to deal with this insidious disease.
So... A few things:
- Research your potential pup's history for heart disease.
- Make sure your breeder tests both the sire and the dam on at least an annual basis for DCM. These tests generally include a echocardiogram and a 24 hour Holter monitoring interpreted by a canine cardiologist.
- Purchase a quality pet heath insurance plan as soon as possible. Many Dobe owners subscribe to Embrace or Trupanion. Both are reputable insurers.
- Be prepared to test your dog for indications of DCM starting at about 3 yo (IMO). Then every year so after that. Again... This is just my opinion, but if caught early, just as in humans, the heart issues can be dealt with.
DCM manifests itself in a few ways. One is what is sometimes referred to a Sudden Death Syndrome. It is a rapid attach of Ventricular Tachycardia, where the heart becomes arithmetic, beating so fast that it does not pump blood efficiently. To many owners, there first indication of SDS/DCM is when their apparently healthy dog drops dead.
We were lucky. Our dog did not die immediately.He was resuscitated and with medication lived a fairly normal life.
The other manifestation is different. The dog, rapidly developed symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure. At this stage, it is rare that the dog survives for any length of time.
So.... Just be aware that DCM is highly prevalent in the doberman breed. It has been suggested that 50% of all Dobes develop DCM. This includes both European and American Bred dogs.
The good news, is that if you test early and frequently and catch the disease in it's infancy, it is treatable. It is pretty much treated the same way as it is in humans.
No cheap... so hence the insurance.
The bottom line: Dobermans are not a heathy breed, but their assets (IMO) so far outweigh that issue that they will always be my breed. And I have owned Dobes since 1974
Cover your bases:
-Only by from a recommended breeder who fastidiously heath tests.
-Find a DVM who knows and understand the breed.
-Be informed about potential health issue such as DCM, Hypothyroidism, Osteosarcoma, and CVI issues (Wobblers).
-Get and maintain a quality health insurance plan.
OK... Enough of the scary stuff. My boy is 4 yo and except for typical puppy stuff and one bout of runny poops a few years ago has never been sick a day in his life.His Grand Father is owned by a member here and will turn 13 in a couple of weeks. Over the years, all my boys have lived to at least 9.
Still, forewarned is fore armed.
Best to you in your search for a pup. Please update!
Edit to say... Sorry for the typos, but I have a bad habit of not proof reading my posts! LOL
FYI - I'm deleting your other post, since it's essentially identical to this one.
Personally, I wouldn't want a pup that's shy. Just my opinion, but I like bold, outgoing puppies that are ready to take on the world. That's the type of temperament I find to be the most solid, easier to work with and train, and less likely to have issues later. But that's my opinion. All things being equal health/longevity wise in the pedigree, I'd pass on a shy pup. Frankly, I'd pass regardless, and if I didn't like the other pedigree...I'd keep waiting.
I don't know if I'd want a shy one....8-16 weeks of age, shapes training / window half closed at 12 weeks.
- I like a pup that crawls up on my chest and kisses my face & wants to stick around
- not an independent one either
- and I would never take a spit-fire again, that wants to pin the bigger pups, with its K9 mouth / showing hackles up at 11 weeks old, is a handful and difficult to reach their meaningful potential
^^ I've had medium, low & extra high prey drive / all 3 girls, from top championship lines....9-10 weeks old.
- Low and Medium Prey drive pups, both real "human" smart dogs / very easy too train & affectionate
- the Easy pup #2, was trained in some confident games of Tug / she surpassed our wildest dreams...always wanting to please and grew incredibly wise, like a 4 year old toddler / we talked to her in full sentences
- our real High Prey drive pup, was difficult to teach / in red zone, their minds shut off to vocal input
I prefer pups that are not showing signs of early independence or stubbornness / & from grandparents with 10 or more years...so review life span history.
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