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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to buying from breeders. I know generally what to ask and what to look for and I am looking to adopt my first doberman. It's not my first dog, just the first of this breed.

I spoke to a breeder near me and everything went well at first. However I asked about health testing and early puppy socializing and their response made me unsure. They do not test the puppies for health at all and told me no breeder health tests the puppies, only the parents. When asked about the parents, they told me they tested for DCM 1 and 2, vWD, and hips. They do not test for DM or thyroid.

They also do not socialize the pups beyond handling by a few people, not even with the other dogs in their house. As I said, I am new to this, and I would like more experienced buyers' two cents on this. I would be paying a lot for this puppy so I want to be sure that I get a good pup from a reputable breeder.

There is another breeder within reasonable driving distance from me but their communication with me has been nearly nonexistent. I hope to get good feedback from the rest of you soon. Thank you!
 

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For health testing, I would not consider any breeder not doing holter monitoring and echocardiograms on their dogs. DCM is probably the biggest killer of dobermans these days and the genes DCM1 & 2 are not good indicators of whether or not a dog will get DCM. Look at holter and echo results for indications of heart health. Also useful to know what ages the parents are and what ages the grandparents are or when/how they passed.

I haven't heard of breeders doing health testing on puppies beyond genetic testing and vet visits for general wellness and shots. A breeder not following a specific puppy program wouldn't be a red flag for me, but the puppies' lives should still be enriched in other ways.

It's super hard to get a doberman from a good breeder these days, so I wish you luck!
 

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Short of general good condition and health there isn't a whole lot you can test puppies for. One would expect that they had started the appropriate puppy worming and beginning vaccines.

DCM ! and 2 are mostly of value to genetic studies looking for the genes that affect the DCM cardio that Dobermans have. The best testing is of the parents---echocardiograms of sire and dam within 6 month prior to breeding and ditto for 24 hour Holters (those look for electrical problems.)

I would always expect them to have done OFA for hips. And vWD? That's a gene test that can actually be done on puppies if the parents vWD status is such that any puppies might be vWD affected.

And it's past my bedtime and I can't for the life of me remember what DM stands for.,

I know some very good breeders who don't socialize their puppies around other dogs--even their own dogs. I personally don't really care if a puppy I was getting was socialized around other dogs--Dobes are not the most social of dogs and do just fine without being social butterflies. Tolerance is all I require.

While it is nice if the puppies do get a fair amount of exposure to people--often there is enough family and family friends around to do that though. Often if breeders know that there is a lot of parvo (for instance) they may not want a lot of people around baby puppies.

Do they do anything other than breed the dogs--as in showing them in conformation or performance venues?

How long have they been breeding.

I kind of don't know exactly what to tell you--I've had Dobes for over 60 years and I've been showing the dogs for that long as well--I know most of the good breeders so I probably sound kind of like I don't care. I do but I usually know the information you want to know before I even go looking for puppies.

dobebug
 

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By the way you describe them, they are not good breeders. One thing they said was right--testing should be done on the parents before breeding them (with the exception of vWD testing on a puppy who could be vWD affected, based on the parent's genetic results)

But I don't see anything in your description of them that would lead me to support them.

Here's a quick summary of what you should look for in a breeder:


And an older post on another thread:
Quoted from ShelianDobe

"Welcome! As far as what to look for; you want health testing on both parents, to include: vWD, 24-Hour Holter, Echocardiogram, Thyroid, Liver, Kidney and OFA or PennHip Hip Certification, at minimum. Additionally, you want to see health and longevity in the pedigree, for instance dogs that lived 10+ years. You want puppies that have been well socialized and exposed to many different things. You want a breeder that is engaged, stays in touch with you, supports you through any issues you may have, will take a puppy back if ever needed. Puppies should be wormed, have age appropriate vaccinations, ears cropped, tails docked, dew claws removed and should be healthy and active. You should have a set time period (generally shown in the contract as hours or days [72 hours], [5 days], etc. to take the puppy to your Vet for a check up and the option to either return the puppy or receive some type of partial refund if a problem is found. Some breeders offer a health warranty, others do not.

You should receive AKC registration papers, copies of all health testing on parents, feeding instructions, ear posting instruction and most of us include photos of parents, a toy and/or a blanket, food for a few days, I include an ear posting kit to get you started as well as general information about the breed."

We have several threads about how to find a good breeder and what you should look for in terms of testing.

Here's a start


This thread shows you copies of the actual paperwork you should be looking for on the parents:

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For health testing, I would not consider any breeder not doing holter monitoring and echocardiograms on their dogs. DCM is probably the biggest killer of dobermans these days and the genes DCM1 & 2 are not good indicators of whether or not a dog will get DCM. Look at holter and echo results for indications of heart health. Also useful to know what ages the parents are and what ages the grandparents are or when/how they passed.

I haven't heard of breeders doing health testing on puppies beyond genetic testing and vet visits for general wellness and shots. A breeder not following a specific puppy program wouldn't be a red flag for me, but the puppies' lives should still be enriched in other ways.

It's super hard to get a doberman from a good breeder these days, so I wish you luck!

The sire is under 1 year but will be mature when he is finally bred. The dam is a little under two years. This will be the first litter for both parents.
I don't know anything about the grandparents. I was debating emailing the breeder back for that information.


Short of general good condition and health there isn't a whole lot you can test puppies for. One would expect that they had started the appropriate puppy worming and beginning vaccines.

DCM ! and 2 are mostly of value to genetic studies looking for the genes that affect the DCM cardio that Dobermans have. The best testing is of the parents---echocardiograms of sire and dam within 6 month prior to breeding and ditto for 24 hour Holters (those look for electrical problems.)

I would always expect them to have done OFA for hips. And vWD? That's a gene test that can actually be done on puppies if the parents vWD status is such that any puppies might be vWD affected.

And it's past my bedtime and I can't for the life of me remember what DM stands for.,

I know some very good breeders who don't socialize their puppies around other dogs--even their own dogs. I personally don't really care if a puppy I was getting was socialized around other dogs--Dobes are not the most social of dogs and do just fine without being social butterflies. Tolerance is all I require.

While it is nice if the puppies do get a fair amount of exposure to people--often there is enough family and family friends around to do that though. Often if breeders know that there is a lot of parvo (for instance) they may not want a lot of people around baby puppies.

Do they do anything other than breed the dogs--as in showing them in conformation or performance venues?

How long have they been breeding.

I kind of don't know exactly what to tell you--I've had Dobes for over 60 years and I've been showing the dogs for that long as well--I know most of the good breeders so I probably sound kind of like I don't care. I do but I usually know the information you want to know before I even go looking for puppies.

dobebug
DM is Degenerative Myelopathy. It's a spine condition that is incurable. They don't show them but they have had one perform in agility (the dam). Over 20 years of breeding is what they told me.

By the way you describe them, they are not good breeders. One thing they said was right--testing should be done on the parents before breeding them (with the exception of vWD testing on a puppy who could be vWD affected, based on the parent's genetic results)

But I don't see anything in your description of them that would lead me to support them.

Here's a quick summary of what you should look for in a breeder:


And an older post on another thread:
Quoted from ShelianDobe

"Welcome! As far as what to look for; you want health testing on both parents, to include: vWD, 24-Hour Holter, Echocardiogram, Thyroid, Liver, Kidney and OFA or PennHip Hip Certification, at minimum. Additionally, you want to see health and longevity in the pedigree, for instance dogs that lived 10+ years. You want puppies that have been well socialized and exposed to many different things. You want a breeder that is engaged, stays in touch with you, supports you through any issues you may have, will take a puppy back if ever needed. Puppies should be wormed, have age appropriate vaccinations, ears cropped, tails docked, dew claws removed and should be healthy and active. You should have a set time period (generally shown in the contract as hours or days [72 hours], [5 days], etc. to take the puppy to your Vet for a check up and the option to either return the puppy or receive some type of partial refund if a problem is found. Some breeders offer a health warranty, others do not.

You should receive AKC registration papers, copies of all health testing on parents, feeding instructions, ear posting instruction and most of us include photos of parents, a toy and/or a blanket, food for a few days, I include an ear posting kit to get you started as well as general information about the breed."

We have several threads about how to find a good breeder and what you should look for in terms of testing.

Here's a start


This thread shows you copies of the actual paperwork you should be looking for on the parents:

Thank you for the links and information!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If the prospective sire isn't even a year old yet, how do they know that he will truly be breeding worthy when he is mature?

Or are they planning to go through with the breeding no matter what?
They seemed like they were confident with breeding him. They said his temperament was great and there were videos of it. The dam's temperament seems alright too. But those are still good questions. I know the prospective sire was an import from Europe and I believe I recall reading that his father had "champion lines" in Russia. Champion of what? Not sure. It was a question I meant to ask but it slipped my mind when I learned that there was no health testing for DM. I got pretty discouraged after I heard that.

If this seems like a poor breeder, then that is unfortunate, but I will move on. Does it help or matter that they would give me references to people who have bought dogs from them in the past? I'll be asking for pedigrees and the health tests for sure, if I decide to email them back. I'm not so sure I should at this point.
 

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The sire is under 1 year but will be mature when he is finally bred. The dam is a little under two years. This will be the first litter for both parents.
I don't know anything about the grandparents. I was debating emailing the breeder back for that information.




DM is Degenerative Myelopathy. It's a spine condition that is incurable. They don't show them but they have had one perform in agility (the dam). Over 20 years of breeding is what they told me.



Thank you for the links and information!
I would run far away if they are even thinking of breeding a female under two years old and a male that's only one. I wouldn't care if they were from "champion lines" or completely tested (which these do not sound fully tested and Champion lines is a just something nice sounding) I just personally would not want to. Two is the absolute minimum age for me, and I prefer the mom's of my dogs to be three and up.
 

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"Champion lines" is a BYB term - it's how they justify breeding without actually putting work in to prove their dogs should be bred. I'd likely walk away from this one.
 

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Yeah, this whole thing has a smell to it. The age of the parents is a huge red flag. Also, As Bug said, do the breeders do anything with their dogs other than breed them??? Good breeders compete with their dogs in some venue to help prove the quality of their dogs: Conformation shows, Obedience trials, Agility Trials, IGP Trials, Tracking, Nosework, etc. Otherwise, they are just puppy farmers raising Dobermans as a cash crop. Also, serious breeders rarely breed their females to their own male dogs. What are the odds that the Best sire for their female is right in their own home? Convenience instead of Quality. You need to walk away and find something better.
 

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Yeah, this whole thing has a smell to it. The age of the parents is a huge red flag. Also, As Bug said, do the breeders do anything with their dogs other than breed them??? Good breeders compete with their dogs in some venue to help prove the quality of their dogs: Conformation shows, Obedience trials, Agility Trials, Tracking, Nosework, etc. Otherwise, they are just puppy farmers raising Dobermans as a cash crop. Also, serious breeders rarely breed their females to their own male dogs. What are the odds that the Best sire for their female is right in their own home? Convenience instead of Quality. You need to walk away and find something better.
Amen to all of the above!

dobebug
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I sent her emails asking why they don't test for DM and they said it's not a breed specific issue for dobermans (I thought DM and Wobblers was the same thing? Am I mistaken?) and I also asked for the pedigree and health reports. Before dropping a significant amount of money, these are normal things to ask right? I mostly just wanted the registered names of the dogs in the lineage to do some research myself and I pretty much got

"I'm not the breeder for you." Instead of any of that information.

We're absolutely done talking.
 
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Sounds like she saved you a bunch of heartache. This is good! Don't ruminate - learn from that interaction and start shopping the DPCA breeder listing (or UDC list if you're looking for a working dog).

To answer the question you asked, I believe wobbler's is different from DM. Wobbler's is also
Cervical spondylomyopathy while DM is Degenerative Myelopathy.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You dodged a bullet. Care to share the breeder's name?
I could message you and anyone else interested. I'm not completely sure that I want to publicly smear anybody unless the practices involve abuse or neglect. Thanks for the help you guys!
 
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I sent her emails asking why they don't test for DM and they said it's not a breed specific issue for dobermans (I thought DM and Wobblers was the same thing? Am I mistaken?)

While they can look similar, they have different causes. Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive degeneration of the spinal cord. Wobblers, aka cervical spondylomyelopathy, is compression of the spinal cord in the cervical portion of the spine.

Info on DM: Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogs | VCA Animal Hospital
Info on wobblers: Wobbler Syndrome in Dogs Cervical spondylomyopathy | VCA Animal Hospital
 
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