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I think it's also hard to judge the difference in pictures and not the best to make your decision solely based on that.

I've seen some Euro dogs in person that aren't as meaty and hefty as they look (keep in mind many Euro show dogs are shown at what I consider a fat weight to look thicker and more intimidating), and plenty of American bred that have a lot more substance than the arched swan neck show win photos show (and no that's not a dig at the pose).

I'd suggest meeting up with Smack-Dab or looking for upcoming shows and getting some visuals on the kind of dog you prefer/see what you think in person of American show line dogs.
 

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Wow, that is one handsome dog you have! I would not complain for a second if I ended up with one like that.
Boris and Bentley from the link to the Euro show lines are a little more what I had in mind if there was a reputable breeder someone knew of that might be a good fit for me. But I certainly wouldn't complain about a dog like Richter! He's definitely a handsome boy.

I think the fact that most of the Euro pics I see do show the mouth open could certainly be a factor. There are some pics of the Euros in that link where the head size doesn't look too far off from the Americans. I think there is definitely a difference between them, but maybe not quite as drastic as I had originally thought.
I think I'm a little more open to either after chatting with you all, just because it sounds like I'll have a much easier time finding a healthy pup from an American style breeder. That being said, if someone recommends a legitimate and reputable breeder for that Euro look, I'd still be happy to check them out.

@greenkouki, those all look so good! Are those all pretty typical mature male American dobes? Some of the pics out there on the internet can definitely be a little deceiving, especially when I get sucked down the rabbit hole looking at old "American vs Euro" threads....which is all a waste of time anyways if no one breeds that look responsibly for health and longevity.
First, thanks for the compliment :) Second, mostly what greenkouki and I are trying to show, I think, is that there are quite a few mature males out there that have a lot of nice substance to them. It's easy to see some show pictures where you think the males are spindly or lanky, but you may not know if the dog is young - a lot of males may finish their championship at say, a year old, and they don't look the same as a mature dog. Richter at 1 or 2 looked very different than he does now at almost 5 :)

Here's what I recommend - go to some dog shows to meet some breeders, but also when you contact breeders you can ask to see pictures of their males at older ages, too - four or five years old is a much better picture of what a mature male looks like. And if you get a variety of examples of their dogs you can get a better picture of what they produce.

Hope that helps!
 

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If you are up to a day trip, there is a 5 day show in Kalamazoo, MI begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday. I am about 1-1/2 hours from Chicago and Kalamazoo is 45 minutes East of me, so 2-3 hours for you I guess, depending on where you are in Chicago. I am right on the route via I-94 from Chicago to Kzoo. Show is at the fairgrounds: 2900 Lake Street, Kalamazoo, MI.

The Dobe rings are outside on the grass and the schedule is as follows:
Thur: Ring 16 - 1:00pm
Fri: Ring 17 - 12:45pm
Sat: Ring 17 - 9:30am
Sun: Ring 18 - 12:45pm
Mon: Ring 15 - 10:00am

Welcome to DT.
 

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I simply can not recommend Suzan Shipp of J Bar S Dobermans enough. She is outstanding. She not only has a great breeding program but she is there for you every step of the way and one of the most knowledgable breeders I've ever talked too. My girl is going to be 5 months here in the next couple of weeks and Suzan and the rest of the littermates families all still keep a group text going with questions and tips. If you call, she will answer and will answer any questions you have to the best of her ability or she will find an answer for you! Here are some photos of my lovely lady who was born in January 18th. Suzan only does one litter a year but she would 10000x be worth the wait. Our "Kimber" is amazing, so smart and sweet and we really could just not be any happier! :grin2:
 

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Go to Google Dobequest (I think it's .com but it might be .org) and you can take a look at my fawn Doberman--his page has a picture. He's from one of the American show line breeders that was mentioned in one of the posts. He isn't a mature dog in the picture it's either one from a National when he was 11 months old or one from a show where he was 17 or 18 months old. His neck is slim (which it should be at either of those ages) but was more muscular as an older dog.

Look him up under Ch Foxfire's Gold Toed Monster BN CD RE OA AXJ NF CGCA ROM BFL01 LC10L. Toady certainly doesn't lack chest, and he's pretty heavy boned--you might not like his head from a front on view because it's a wedge shape (which is what it's supposed to be) and many of the Euro Dobes tend to have heads that are blockier than they should be. But all in all he's been a very satisfactory dog--he's outgoing, friendly and very charming. But with no formal training in IPO (Schutshund) or personal protection he has a keen idea of what's right and what's not--and had no problem convincing the guy who was in my (fenced) back yard at 2:00am that he shouldn't be there.

When he finished his championship he continued on as a performance dog and had a lot of fun in Obedience, Rally and Agility.

He's up for anything--but quite content to spend time lolling around on a dog bed. He lives with cats and has lived most of his long life (11.5 years and still counting) with other dogs.

Michelle Santana's Foxfire dogs are shown regularly by their various owners in all things performance and these are all American show line dogs--the pets from purpose bred litters who were intended for the conformation ring. But they definitely do it all. I know, because this particular dog is the fourth Foxfire bred dog I've had.

One thing you should also know is that while you can find places to train a Dobe in protection it's not really necessary most of the time--properly socialized they are very good at figuring out what's OK and what's not. And even if this weren't the case just the appearance of a Dobe is all by itself pretty intimidating.

It's also worth remebering that there are something places that won't accept dogs who are actually trained in IPO, Ring or in personal protection--like boarding kennels which isn't too good if you need to board a dog occasionally.

Smack-Dab has bred many very nice dogs and has been around for years and has always produced performance dogs along with the showline dogs. Swift Run has been around even longer and has produced working, performance and showline dogs over the years. And while I would recommend either breeder, I suspect that Swift Run may produce a drivier dog than you might actually want.

<VBG> It's been mentioned in passing that Euro showline dogs are usually shown as more mature dogs that many of the American showline dogs in the name of honesty I need to tell you that you have to go back almost 30 years just in pictures of Euro showline dogs to find one that isn't hog fat. And of course the way they are shown conceals many flaws--the collar low on the neck and teaching the dog to lean into the collar makes the front angulation and forechest "look" much greater that is really is and most of the dogs and bitches don't have any appreciable tuck up because they are so overweight that there is a fat pad on their belly which flattens the entire underline.

Good luck on your search.
 

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sandy2233
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All the time you spend researching will be to your benefit. I think it is a plus for a person to meet a breeder way before puppies are discussed. Find out what their dogs are doing. Confirmation, obedience, rally, nosework, agility, Schutzhund. They should be "doing" something with their dogs. I do have a Kansa female and I love her. But I was prepared to wait until they had another litter for one of their puppies. Originally, all the females were spoken for. Two became available and I asked them to pick out which would be suited best for me and what I wanted to do with it. I have put in lots of miles training and don't plan to show seriously until she is close to three. And she is really starting to mature now. Lots of the silliness is leaving and her attention span is lengthening. I don't like wasting my money at shows showing an immature dog. And I don't believe Dobermans mature as fast as some other breeds. I wish you well on your search for your ideal puppy. Miles would be the least of my concern for getting a good dog. You also want the support from the breeder.
 

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drk_h

If you can wait, and it's certainly worth it, the all Doberman national specialty show will be in October (this means conformation, obedience, etc... all dobes, all the time!) in Ohio. This kind of event is attended by a very large amount of breeders from across the country and would be a fabulous opportunity to see hundreds of Dobermans from different lines in one place, talk to lots of breeders and people who know a ton, and just learn so much!
 

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For what it’s worth, I have a male from Kansa Dobermans and I’ve had the exact opposite experience as the poster above.

I got him at five months old. Took him to the vet the first week he was home and he was chock full of worms and ended up with a worm impaction – and an overnight stay at the emergency vet. He started showing major temperament issues around a year and a half (it is my understanding that he is not the only one from that litter with issues with people), has an auto-immune disease (Masticatory Muscle Myositis) and is hypo-thyroid. Individually, all of these things aren’t really that big of a deal, but I also have zero breeder support, as I was blamed for all of the issues that I’ve had with my boy.

I have a lot of support from another breeder (who is amazing) and friends; but it’s certainly not what I expected based on Kansa’s perceived reputation on DT.

If you go with Kansa, I would highly recommend asking about puppy socialization, worming, actual health testing (other than color and vWD) and titles. I would not rely on “x years of experience in the breed” and “knowing lines.” While those things can be important, so are socialization, heath testing and current titles.
 

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sandy2233
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For what it’s worth, I have a male from Kansa Dobermans and I’ve had the exact opposite experience as the poster above.

I got him at five months old. Took him to the vet the first week he was home and he was chock full of worms and ended up with a worm impaction – and an overnight stay at the emergency vet. He started showing major temperament issues around a year and a half (it is my understanding that he is not the only one from that litter with issues with people), has an auto-immune disease (Masticatory Muscle Myositis) and is hypo-thyroid. Individually, all of these things aren’t really that big of a deal, but I also have zero breeder support, as I was blamed for all of the issues that I’ve had with my boy.

I have a lot of support from another breeder (who is amazing) and friends; but it’s certainly not what I expected based on Kansa’s perceived reputation on DT.

If you go with Kansa, I would highly recommend asking about puppy socialization, worming, actual health testing (other than color and vWD) and titles. I would not rely on “x years of experience in the breed” and “knowing lines.” While those things can be important, so are socialization, heath testing and current titles.
I am so sorry you had a bad experience. I got SE at 9 wks. I work at a vet clinic and worms were checked when I got home. There were none present. She had been wormed twice according to their records. I have only wormed her once since. Fecal checks have always come back clear. I had her hips and elbows done when she was 2. Hips were excellent, elbows normal. Just had her eyes done last month and they came back good. These were all OFA tests. Had a cardio exam and nothing was detected, but I thought maybe an ekg was going to be done and it wasn't. My mistake for not researching more about the health clinic. I am going to try and get a holter done as soon as I can find one. I just want good baselines to go on. Had done a CBC at the clinic and everything came up normal. Everyone one that SE comes into contact with says she is just so "happy". We are into a year of Schutzhund training and she is handling that like a champ. Again I am so sorry for your experience.
 

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I am so sorry you had a bad experience. I got SE at 9 wks. I work at a vet clinic and worms were checked when I got home. There were none present. She had been wormed twice according to their records. I have only wormed her once since. Fecal checks have always come back clear. I had her hips and elbows done when she was 2. Hips were excellent, elbows normal. Just had her eyes done last month and they came back good. These were all OFA tests. Had a cardio exam and nothing was detected, but I thought maybe an ekg was going to be done and it wasn't. My mistake for not researching more about the health clinic. I am going to try and get a holter done as soon as I can find one. I just want good baselines to go on. Had done a CBC at the clinic and everything came up normal. Everyone one that SE comes into contact with says she is just so "happy". We are into a year of Schutzhund training and she is handling that like a champ. Again I am so sorry for your experience.
Have the dog tested for microplasmas.
Was you dobie around farm animals?
 
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