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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for some advice. I just recently lost my sweet boy a month shy of his 5th birthday to DCM. I would like to get a puppy in the future and I am trying to make the most educated decision about choosing a breeder as possible. I understand DCM is unfortunately extremely prevalent in the breed and there is no sure way around it but I would like to decrease my chances of going through this heart break again. I got Diesel from what I thought was a responsible breeder and I'm not saying she was or was not, only that I don't really know. I was hoping I could get some advice on what to look for and what questions to ask. I live in Ohio but I don't have any problem traveling to find the right puppy. Any information is highly appreciated, thank you!
 

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I am very sorry for your loss. May I ask if you had a necropsy done??? This would be the only way to confirm it was caused by DCM. There are other things a Dobe can drop dead of anjurism, lesions caused by viral infections etc.

A necropsy should confirm what the cause was and if there were signs of DCM present.

There a numerous thread on here about breeders as well as a breeder referral on DPCA.org and then United Doberman club also has a list of workng breeders.

It is important to know what to look for and two keys would be does the breeder trail and title their own dogs or just talk about "Ch" pedigree, are they members of a breed club and then health testing - Do they do any screening. While there is no 100% guarantee it can at least help stack the deck in your favor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome to DT. Check out the link in my signature line. Ohio is spewing with BYB's so please, please do your homework :)
Thank you for the list! I knew better than to go to a BYB, I got him from Briarwood Kennels and they do some health tests but I never discussed cardio with her-shame on me. He was my first dobe and I was so caught up on vWD. I will most certainly review your list. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am very sorry for your loss. May I ask if you had a necropsy done??? This would be the only way to confirm it was caused by DCM. There are other things a Dobe can drop dead of anjurism, lesions caused by viral infections etc.

A necropsy should confirm what the cause was and if there were signs of DCM present.

There a numerous thread on here about breeders as well as a breeder referral on DPCA.org and then United Doberman club also has a list of workng breeders.

It is important to know what to look for and two keys would be does the breeder trail and title their own dogs or just talk about "Ch" pedigree, are they members of a breed club and then health testing - Do they do any screening. While there is no 100% guarantee it can at least help stack the deck in your favor.
Thank you for the advice, I need to start weeding through all the information here. I did do the necropsy.

I started to look through the breeders from the DPCA.org site and from the ones that listed health information the tests varied. Some talked about the gene mutation, some talked about holter test results. It is important to know both?
 

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sufferin succotash
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I wouldn't rely on the gene mutation test (yet). There are dogs testing negative only to be diagnosed with DCM.

I would look at holters, echo's, for both sire/dam, find out about the longevity and COD's in the pedigree. A good breeder will be able to provide you with all this info and proof of such testing.
 

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Sirai Dobermans
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I wouldn't rely on the gene mutation test (yet). There are dogs testing negative only to be diagnosed with DCM.

I would look at holters, echo's, for both sire/dam, find out about the longevity and COD's in the pedigree. A good breeder will be able to provide you with all this info and proof of such testing.
Agree 100%. This is great advice.
 

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Welcome to DT. Ideally you will want to see Longevity in the pedigree. Parents should also have annual Holters and Echocardiograms. The DCM gene is only one of many causes of DCM and there have been dogs that tested negative for the gene, yet died of DCM. So, don't put all your eggs in the DCM gene basket. Of course you can have all these things and still lose a dog to DCM. It is the unfortunate reality with this breed, but you can stack the odds in your favor.

Good luck with your search and don't hesitate to come back here and ask questions. There is loads of experience on this forum.
 

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Eat Poo and Die
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I am so sorry for the loss of your boy. Sadly, no line is DCM free. In addition to knowing that heart testing was done, I'd like to see the actual numbers from the echos and holters themselves. If you don't know how to read the numbers/report, I'd ask for a copy to take to your cardiologist's so they can help read it. The status of "healthy or diseased" can be changed by such a small margin that I want to know the big picture (are there arrhythmias? What type? When? How are the heart walls? How is the heart function?), not just the diagnosis or lack thereof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all for such great advice! This forum is a wonderful tool, I'm happy I found it. If anyone has a breeder/breeders they recommend I would love to know. I will continue to look at DPCA.org but if there are certain ones you stand out to you, please let me know. As I mentioned, I live in Ohio but I would gladly travel to Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, and beyond if necessary.
 

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I'm personally most interested in looking at breeders who are breeding for longevity, in addition to doing complete health testing, including at least yearly holters and echoes. I've been looking into breeders that are on the DPCA's longevity list, and preferably are getting BFL-1s or BFL-2s. The DPCA | Longevity Program | BFL Listing. I would recommend contacting some breeders that you like and asking questions about the dogs in their lines - how long they've lived, what they died of. You won't find any lines free of DCM completely, but I think ethical breeders are doing their best to reduce it in their lines.

If you are looking in Michigan, I believe Gorrmae and Lyndobe are both on the Longevity list.
 

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Holier Than Now
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Thank you for the list! I knew better than to go to a BYB, I got him from Briarwood Kennels and they do some health tests but I never discussed cardio with her-shame on me. He was my first dobe and I was so caught up on vWD. I will most certainly review your list. Thank you!
One of the moderators on here (dax0402 is the user name) has a Briarwood dog whom she rescued.

He is currently diagnosed with DCM.

I'm so sorry to hear you lost your boy--it's heartbreaking to watch anyone go through this--I lost a three year old rescued boy of unknown lineage, myself.


You're doing the right thing, by really researching pedigrees and checking documentation of cardio screening.

I wish you much luck--no one should have to go thru this again.
 

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Truly and deeply sorry you lost your baby boy to DCM. I lost my boy Petey in August, 3 months away from his 5th Birthday. It is tragic for us to bury such young seemingly healthy boys. I would look for a breeder who does Echos and Holters on their dogs and knows the causes of death in their pedigrees inside and out. My current boy has some decent longevity in his pedigree and his breeder health tests. Other then a breeder doing that....it really is a crap shoot, DCM can rear it's ugly head in any pedigree. It's every dobe owners worst nightmare. :( Good luck to you, it's so hard to get another breed, there isn't another breed that is like a dobe.
 

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<quote>I started to look through the breeders from the DPCA.org site and from the ones that listed health information the tests varied. Some talked about the gene mutation, some talked about holter test results. It is important to know both?</quote>

The gene mutation is the only DNA postive test we have but it is not a guarantee. Neither are the holters and the echos. I was once told by a very well known and respected icon breeder that if you breed long enough you will get a little of everything.

Briarwood has certainly produced some awesome dogs - the more you breed the more things will crop up. I would wait and see what the necropsy report tells you. Briarwood has many dogs that lived past 10 also. Truth is we do not have any concrete answers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm personally most interested in looking at breeders who are breeding for longevity, in addition to doing complete health testing, including at least yearly holters and echoes. I've been looking into breeders that are on the DPCA's longevity list, and preferably are getting BFL-1s or BFL-2s. The DPCA | Longevity Program | BFL Listing. I would recommend contacting some breeders that you like and asking questions about the dogs in their lines - how long they've lived, what they died of. You won't find any lines free of DCM completely, but I think ethical breeders are doing their best to reduce it in their lines.

If you are looking in Michigan, I believe Gorrmae and Lyndobe are both on the Longevity list.
Thank you so much! That's exactly what I was hoping to find on here. Thank you thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Truly and deeply sorry you lost your baby boy to DCM. I lost my boy Petey in August, 3 months away from his 5th Birthday. It is tragic for us to bury such young seemingly healthy boys. I would look for a breeder who does Echos and Holters on their dogs and knows the causes of death in their pedigrees inside and out. My current boy has some decent longevity in his pedigree and his breeder health tests. Other then a breeder doing that....it really is a crap shoot, DCM can rear it's ugly head in any pedigree. It's every dobe owners worst nightmare. :( Good luck to you, it's so hard to get another breed, there isn't another breed that is like a dobe.
Thank you for your advice. It breaks my heart to know I am one of so many feeling this tremendous pain. So sorry to hear about your boy too:( Dogs don't live long enough already and then you have the dobermans- they have the ability to see your soul and their time with us is so limited. One of life's cruelest jokes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
<quote>I started to look through the breeders from the DPCA.org site and from the ones that listed health information the tests varied. Some talked about the gene mutation, some talked about holter test results. It is important to know both?</quote>

The gene mutation is the only DNA postive test we have but it is not a guarantee. Neither are the holters and the echos. I was once told by a very well known and respected icon breeder that if you breed long enough you will get a little of everything.

Briarwood has certainly produced some awesome dogs - the more you breed the more things will crop up. I would wait and see what the necropsy report tells you. Briarwood has many dogs that lived past 10 also. Truth is we do not have any concrete answers.
Thank you, that makes me feel much better (and kind of worse at the same time, lol). I thought I had gone to a reputable breeder and then this happened, so I thought I either made a really poor decision or I had some bad luck. So unfortunate that DCM is such a high risk with dobes.
 

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Thank you for your advice. It breaks my heart to know I am one of so many feeling this tremendous pain. So sorry to hear about your boy too:( Dogs don't live long enough already and then you have the dobermans- they have the ability to see your soul and their time with us is so limited. One of life's cruelest jokes.
Huge HUGS to you, I know how much your heart must be hurting. I totaly agee its life's cruelest jokes, I was prepared for a 9 year life span, but for that to be cut in half was devastating for my family and I. It is like losing a part of yourself. I'm almost 9 months past Petey's death and I am still bursting out crying when I think of him. He was my heart and soul dog.

I will add that Petey was NEG for the only known gene. Some of his blood is being used to help find more genes. I think breeders should test their dogs for the gene, but I wouldn't put much stock in not buying a pup that has a parent that tests positive for it. The fact that my boy was diagnosed at only 3 and if I had done an echo at 2 he would have already shown signs, and he was NEG, I worry that there is more then one way this disease gets our beloved dobes. There are Positive dogs living to be really old.

There is another Briarwood Dobe owner on here, and her boy only recently turned 5, I wonder if he was a litter-mate to your boy. She is a MOD on here so I hope she sees this.
 

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I am so sorry for your loss :(


I will add that Petey was NEG for the only known gene. Some of his blood is being used to help find more genes. I think breeders should test their dogs for the gene, but I wouldn't put much stock in not buying a pup that has a parent that tests positive for it. The fact that my boy was diagnosed at only 3 and if I had done an echo at 2 he would have already shown signs, and he was NEG, I worry that there is more then one way this disease gets our beloved dobes. There are Positive dogs living to be really old.
Harper is also negative for the gene and was diagnosed in January with DCM at the age of 7.5 yrs.

When we go to add another Doberman to our family down the road; heart testing (echo, holter, dcm gene) will be at the very top of my criteria list. I know there is no guarantee even with health testing, but ideally I'd like to have a sire and dam that have had multiple clear echos and holters and have good longevity in their pedigrees.
 
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