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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, posting on the forum hoping to get some input. I have been on a wait list with a breeder for about a year, and I've recently noticed some things that caught my attention. I don't know (as a newbie) whether they're really red flags or if I'm reading too much into it.

The breeder does most of the standard testing, but has not done cardio testing on the parents of the litter. When I asked about it, they told me that many dogs in the line have been tested with good results. Also, after asking specifically, I now understand that both parents of the litter are co-owned and neither are on site. So far the breeder has been very very nice, and has answered my (many) questions for over a year. I just didn't know if this is something that should put me off from buying from them, or if its something that is more common than I realize. Ive already checked the forum and online and jave seen no negative things about the breeder at all. Actually havent seen much either way, good or bad. Thoughts?
 

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Holier Than Now
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Welcome to the forum, and good on ya, for asking intelligent, reasonable questions about the breeder you're considering.

I'm going to ditto Rotten, and say that DCM is my number one health concern in Dobermans and I'd run fast and far from anyone not doing every single thing they could to lessen my odds of losing another beloved dog to that horrid disease.
 

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joie de vivre
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Personal opinion, there's just no reason not to cardio test Dobermans before breeding.

There are plenty of things I'm willing to remain open minded about when it comes to breeding dogs. I will gladly open my ears and shut my mouth during a thoughtful discussion with an experienced breed person. But not cardio testing Dobermans is an immediate deal breaker and, from my perspective, not up for discussion at that.
 

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Thanks so much for the advice. I was really worried about that, as I've heard the occurance is high. I think I might contact her and let her know I'm not interested in this litter. I don't know if I should rule her out completely, but perhaps I can make it clear that I'm not interested unless its a litter where I can meet both parents and they have cardio testing and paperwork showing the results. Id appreciate any references for conscientious breeders in my area (central/upstate NY) if anyone has suggestions..
 

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There are a lot of "reputable" show breeders that don't cardio test ... or do much testing of any kind beyond hips. While I do cardio test, I will say that it is not a definitive test of whether or not a dog will get cardio.. only if they have it at that time. There are other breeders that do it once before breeding and then never do it again. Is it right?? No, I don't think so because we need to use the tools we have. However, knowing the health background of the dogs being bred is as important if not more important than the tests themselves. Plenty of dogs cardio test good before being bred but come from heavy cardio lines - I don't care how good their heart looks at age 2 - I still would not be interested in them.

The key to cardio testing is to keep doing it yearly for breeding dogs or at least do a base line when they are 2 and repeat at age 4 .... then yearly. We are looking to catch cardio before they drop dead or show symptoms so we can STOP breeding that dog and medicate them to prolong their life. Doing a cardio test at age two and then never repeating it is basically worthless IMHO.

Everyone has to decide what they are comfortable with when it comes to breeders. Walking away from someone who does not do all the testing may be the right choice .... but it may be a great healthy litter that you miss out on. In the end, you have to decide what is best for you. I'd prefer if every breeder out there used the health testing tools that we have, but I'd be lying if I said that everyone who uses them breeds healthy dogs and everyone who doesn't breeds unhealthy dogs.
 

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I agree with Ms. Ansel about not writing the breeder off entirely. Her lines seem to have good longevity, with lots of happy adults still in action. But I still would have liked to seen the testing done.
In response to what I'm looking for in a dobe, it's very specific. Foremost I want a dobe with a very sound temperament. This is a dog that will go almost everywhere with us, and I need to be able to trust in the dogs temperament and training when out and about. I also have two children at home so it is a must.

Secondly I want a good working ethic so to speak. I have a job that exposes me to serious, dangerous criminals every day...sex offenders, predators, and other extremely violent people in general. We also have a side business (rehabbing homes) that puts us in some less than savory areas, often working at night. I need a dog that knows the difference between friend and foe, and knows when its time to work vs home time. The reason I have become so enamored of the Doberman breed over the years is that it seems to be one of the only breeds bred to do just that. Its the intuitive nature I like so much. And I know dobe owners might hate this, but the visual deterrent is not to be overlooked. I think anyone looking at that face with bad intentions might think twice!
 

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u mad?
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I agree with Ms. Ansel about not writing the breeder off entirely. Her lines seem to have good longevity, with lots of happy adults still in action. But I still would have liked to seen the testing done.
In response to what I'm looking for in a dobe, it's very specific. Foremost I want a dobe with a very sound temperament. This is a dog that will go almost everywhere with us, and I need to be able to trust in the dogs temperament and training when out and about. I also have two children at home so it is a must.

Secondly I want a good working ethic so to speak. I have a job that exposes me to serious, dangerous criminals every day...sex offenders, predators, and other extremely violent people in general. We also have a side business (rehabbing homes) that puts us in some less than savory areas, often working at night. I need a dog that knows the difference between friend and foe, and knows when its time to work vs home time. The reason I have become so enamored of the Doberman breed over the years is that it seems to be one of the only breeds bred to do just that. Its the intuitive nature I like so much. And I know dobe owners might hate this, but the visual deterrent is not to be overlooked. I think anyone looking at that face with bad intentions might think twice!
There are a few of us on here who have "visual deterrent" as one of the reasons for picking the breed (myself included). Of course, that's not the only reason that I got a doberman just like it's not your only reason, but it sure does help :D Temperament will be really important but keep in mind, and you probably know this, that for a dog to be able to distinguish between friend and foe they need to be very well socialized. Knowing the difference is not ingrained in their brain form the beginning. My boy at 10 months can tell between somebody with good intentions and somebody who is giving off a very bad vibe and I love it. THANK YOU for doing your research in advance and I hope you find the perfect puppy :]
 

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My first Doberman was also a visual and a noise deterrent - we lived in a transitory urban neighborhood. Then I fell in love with the breed and the rest is history. We no longer live in an urban area - basically we live in the burbs where 1/2 the people never lock their doors! Now I just love the breed, but am not as trusting as many of my neighbors and still like having Dobermans.

A Doberman with good temperament is very important and socializing is truly so important that enough people can't reiterate it :)
 

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Thanks so much for the advice. I was really worried about that, as I've heard the occurance is high. I think I might contact her and let her know I'm not interested in this litter. I don't know if I should rule her out completely, but perhaps I can make it clear that I'm not interested unless its a litter where I can meet both parents and they have cardio testing and paperwork showing the results. Id appreciate any references for conscientious breeders in my area (central/upstate NY) if anyone has suggestions..
I'd really want at least an echo and holter on a bitch who was going to be bred and I'd want that within six months of a breeding. I have males, they aren't even available at public stud and their breeder holds all breeding rights and they are rarely bred but I do a base line echo and holter on all of them at two and four and then yearly until they are 7 or 8 and I then go to every six months. I want to know what's going on with them for my information and so I can start treatment if necessary.

I don't think that meeting both parents is nearly as important. There are a lot of very good breeders who would not have both parents on the premises. I'd want to meet the bitch--mostly because they have rather more to do with environmentally learned temperament and a flakey bitch can make or break marginal puppy by teaching them fearfulness for instance. But many bitches are bred to males not owned by the owner of the bitch. So in some respects not finding a male and female at the same address is a plus and not a minus. Some bitches are sent to males well out of the general area and some are frozen semen breedings. The prospects of having the right male for a particular bitch on the premises isn't all that great.

Even though cardio testing doesn't give you anything except a snap shot at the moment of the testing it's worth knowing that cardiac functions were normal prior to the breeding.
 

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There are a lot of "reputable" show breeders that don't cardio test ... or do much testing of any kind beyond hips. While I do cardio test, I will say that it is not a definitive test of whether or not a dog will get cardio.. only if they have it at that time. There are other breeders that do it once before breeding and then never do it again. Is it right?? No, I don't think so because we need to use the tools we have. However, knowing the health background of the dogs being bred is as important if not more important than the tests themselves. Plenty of dogs cardio test good before being bred but come from heavy cardio lines - I don't care how good their heart looks at age 2 - I still would not be interested in them.

The key to cardio testing is to keep doing it yearly for breeding dogs or at least do a base line when they are 2 and repeat at age 4 .... then yearly. We are looking to catch cardio before they drop dead or show symptoms so we can STOP breeding that dog and medicate them to prolong their life. Doing a cardio test at age two and then never repeating it is basically worthless IMHO.

Everyone has to decide what they are comfortable with when it comes to breeders. Walking away from someone who does not do all the testing may be the right choice .... but it may be a great healthy litter that you miss out on. In the end, you have to decide what is best for you. I'd prefer if every breeder out there used the health testing tools that we have, but I'd be lying if I said that everyone who uses them breeds healthy dogs and everyone who doesn't breeds unhealthy dogs.
You reinforce my position on testing, but perhaps you just say it better than I do.

Testing, to me, is paying extra for a little peace of mind.

Until breeders stop selling their puppies until they are 100% sure the genetic problems are not there, it is basically just a crap shoot.

The main genetic problem, DCM, can't even be tested for with 100% certainty.

Other problems take time to develop, upwards of several years. Are breeders going to stop selling puppies until all problems are eliminated? I understand they supposedly have all this love for the breed, but who is going to pay the bill for all that love?

I am not a fan of paying for peace of mind, nor $50 grand extra for a house because you can see the ocean from a window.

Until the afflictions of this breed can be tested for with 100% certainty, it will always be left to chance.

I'd feel more comfortable, buying from a breeder, who does not charge me $2500 on running a bunch of tests on newborn puppies, but rather that $2500 includes testing at different intervals of the dogs life.

I'd rather buy from a breeder who has a very long line of parents and grandparents whom had relatively zero major health issues, which will presumably be passed on to the pups, no testing needed.

If all these tests could guarantee my dog will live twice as long as a byb dog, I'd be all over it. But there is a reason we have an average lifespan figure. Testing or no testing, you can expect your dog to live about 8-10 years for this breed. Some longer some less.

Unless breeders are footing the bill(s) for any problems that arise from all the testing they do, I'd rather save my money for when it is truly needed.
 

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Testing or no testing, you can expect your dog to live about 8-10 years for this breed.
Are you serious?

Tell that to the people whose dogs came from BYB's and are on here devastated by losing their dogs so young.

Do you choose not to read those threads because they don't fit in with your ideology?

Ask the reputable breeders how many of their dogs die young? Ask them why they don't?
 

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I would not totally write off this breeder. Find out some information about the puppy in question's parents, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles- ask about how long all these dogs lived, and what they died from. If the answers to that make you comfortable, maybe you should go for it. You should know the pedigree of your potential puppy, but don't make it the only factor in deciding whether to get the puppy. I've recently been looking into some pedigrees and lines and it's impossible to find a perfect one- it can be kind of depressing actually, and will slowly make you go insane wondering what diseases and illnesses are being passed down. Maybe you will find a great-great-grandsire who died of some liver disease. But he also had a phenomenal temperament that he passed on. Look to see how much thought was put into pairings- were they matching dogs who balanced each other out? There are going to be health problems everywhere. You just have to try to learn as much as possible, and then decide what you are comfortable with.
 

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There are some reputable breeders out there but not ethical breeders who fall back on heart testing when they knowingly breed to dogs whose pedigrees are literally laced with cardio. They just don't care because they are breeding to what they think will win. So, when a puppy buyer calls, they say all the right things, oh yeah, we echo and holter every year and our dogs have normal hearts. What they don't tell you is how dogs in the pedigree have dropped dead at 4 and 5 years old of cardio, but oh yes, they test. Don't fall into that trap, research your pedigrees.
Heart testing is a good tool and will tell you if there's a problem at the time which is valuable, but that's all it does, tells you there's a problem right at that time. It is in no way predictive of what will happen with puppies from those parents. If anyone tells you differently thay aren't telling you the truth.
 

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Are you serious?

Tell that to the people whose dogs came from BYB's and are on here devastated by losing their dogs so young.

Do you choose not to read those threads because they don't fit in with your ideology?

Ask the reputable breeders how many of their dogs die young? Ask them why they don't?
I am not biased and I don't play favorites. It is just an average, taken from everything I have read from here to books and beyond.

Some byb dogs die old, some $3000 dogs die young and vice versa. Is there a better average lifespan figure combining all dobes?
 

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Thanks so much for the advice. I was really worried about that, as I've heard the occurance is high. I think I might contact her and let her know I'm not interested in this litter. I don't know if I should rule her out completely, but perhaps I can make it clear that I'm not interested unless its a litter where I can meet both parents and they have cardio testing and paperwork showing the results. Id appreciate any references for conscientious breeders in my area (central/upstate NY) if anyone has suggestions..
keep in mind you often may not be able to MEET both parents in person. In the age of AI breedings and being able to find the best match for your dog, quite ofen it is NOT a local dog. That being said, I would still do due diligence on information on the stud dog and ask to be introduced to the stud dog owner (via email, etc.)
 

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I would be happy to hear that the dogs behind the parents are healthy but I would not take that as a substitute to health test the parents. Do you know the health info of just the dogs in the pedigree or also all of their other offsprings and litter mates? Some things skip a generation or few, affect one litter mate but not the other, I would not be taking such a chance with a doberman's heart.

As for seeing both parents, yes I would like to meet both parents ideally but I would not expect them both to belong to and live with the breeder. Both parents on site kinda screams byb to me, although I'm not saying that's the case with every breeder who owns a breeding pair. By the same token if a breeder is using some one else's stud that also isn't an automatic indication of quality.
 
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