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Discussion Starter #1
I have been researching and this is what I have come up with...
No guarentees on health or long life of a Dobie. However I know you increase your chances of longer life and health with a reputable breeders. I have been accepted by a rescue and a breeder, BUT I see it as a trade off for each...
Rescues= cheap up front cost more later
Breeder= more upfront possibly cheaper in long run

So really is a risk either way. I am/was traumatized how my last rescue dobie died at a young age and suddenly, which even buying or having another one is kinda scary to think they could die again at such a young age.

Does anyone have any idea how long if you were to average or generalize the longevity of a rescue vs. a breeder in years? Meaning a life span number to give. (yes I know this might be a hard/weird question possibly best to be answered by individuals experiences)

I'm just having such a hard time choosing....and am asking and thinking of all the pros and cons.

And, why is it breeders are quicker to refer to rescue before selling a pet quality?
Thanks!
 

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I have had 4 Doberman girls. All pet quality and not one breeder tried to refer me to rescue. With a reputable breeder you get health testing so you will have some information however nothing is guarantee. Each of my first three girls had one of the 3C's found in our breed. One had cancer ( 7 years) one had DCM ( 9 years ) and one had wobblers ( 9.3 years) Like I said nothing is a guarantee. With a breeder they know the temperament of the dam and sire and can better match a puppy to your needs.
 

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My first dobe passed away at the age of 12.5 years old (cancer). She was from a pet shop in a small town. My second dobe was also from a pet shop (friend worked there and called me when they got the dobe) and she passed away at 12 years old (lymphoma). These were my first dobes and I was naive and would in no way recommend getting a doberman or any dog from a pet shop now. Not knowing any better (before finding this site), I got my next dobe from a byb and she passed away (the dog not the byb) at 7 years 11 months (liver) and her brother I got a year later and he also passed away at 7 years 11 months (liver). I rescued the next dobe and she is approximately 9 years old now (Dobie and Little Paws Rescue). My next two dobermans are also still alive and were from reputable breeders (they are currently 2 and 3 years old).
 

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Wow, so hard to comment. there is no guarantee. My first boy (Britten David) lived for over nine years. 8/8/74 - 10/9/83. He passed from Parvo. He had been inoculated. But, bear in mind, canine Parvo wasn't even identified until the very late '70's. Most of my boys have lived well into their 9th year.

Our last loss was our boy Butcher. Diagnosed after a traumatic episode with DCM.

"The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long" Lao Tzu.
 

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Ktrin, was a backyard breeder pup and lasted 9 years. Axel, was a puppy mill rescue from Arkansas. He was with me for 14 years. I fostered a beautiful girl from a rescue group. She passed in her forever home at 10.

Who knows. They were all fantastic ambassadors of their breed, regarding temperament and a try at the breed standard.

I will scold anyone who breeds dogs for profit. Good Breeders are there to better the breed. Not make a profit.
 

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I think choosing this breed is knowing you are taking a risk with health, period. Obviously, if you choose the breeder route, you do your best to support a breeder who is breeding towards longevity (in my opinion).

If you choose rescue, I think you choose rescues that are ethical, which means they do a good job of screening for good temperaments and a good job screening homes and placing dogs.

My rescue boy lived to age 10, and died from osteosarcoma, which is a fairly common killer in Dobes.
 

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I think choosing this breed is knowing you are taking a risk with health, period. Obviously, if you choose the breeder route, you do your best to support a breeder who is breeding towards longevity (in my opinion).

If you choose rescue, I think you choose rescues that are ethical, which means they do a good job of screening for good temperaments and a good job screening homes and placing dogs.
THIS, yes; 1000X Yes!

I have been researching and this is what I have come up with...
No guarentees on health or long life of a Dobie. However I know you increase your chances of longer life and health with a reputable breeders. I have been accepted by a rescue and a breeder, BUT I see it as a trade off for each...
Rescues= cheap up front cost more later
Breeder= more upfront possibly cheaper in long run
WOAH, Nelly!

If "cost," be it upfront, later down the road, or over an entire lifespan, is something that you find concerning, then please, trust me, trust US... you need to re-think Doberman ownership altogether.

I only have experience with my own responsibly bred dog. His purchase price was $2000 in 2008; he is 7 years old and has known mostly good health throughout his life. He still cost me thousands of dollars to feed over those 7 years, and our love of hiking combined with his high prey drive left me with a few costly vet bills for laceration repairs. Please, think THOUSANDS over 5-7 years, just for food and routine or simple type vet care.

More recently, he racked up over $10,000 in vet bills in 9 weeks, due to a full urinary blockage from Cystine stones (rare in dogs and even more rare in Dobermans), and the complications that arose after his first surgery. He gets his sutures from his 2nd and 3rd surgeries out tomorrow. If it were not for an outpouring of support, generosity and kindness from my local dog enthusiast community, I would have had no choice but to euthanize him.

I sill owe my vet a pretty large sum of money at this time, but it's manageable. He's now on a special diet and I've started him on Pimobendan (Vetmedin) for his heart, because an echocardiogram after his first surgery (and subsequent complications) showed early signs of DCM. I've now got a new $500/month payment to work into my budget, between the added cost of the new food, the meds, and the $$ owing to the vet. He'll have a holter done soon, and another echo in a few months, when I can afford it.

There are others on this forum that have been slammed with huge unexpected vet costs for their responsibly bred dogs. I can think of 2 more members off the top of my head, with rare or uncommon (and expensive) medical conditions that are not something a breeder could have health tested for, or predicted through pedigree analysis.

Lexxington's (RIP) Hydrocephalus: Lexx Updates

Soter's battle with seizures: Coco and Soter Seizure thread

and if you're interested, here's a more detailed version of what I just went through, with Thakoon's Cystinuria: Thakoon in Crisis

No one, and no one's Doberman is getting out of here alive. We all wish our dogs could know nothing but great health throughout their life and pass quietly in their sleep at age 14 or better; but it seems that something always gets them before that and/or we are forced into making that difficult decision for them, ourselves.

Dobermans are an expensive breed to own, period; and they are not exactly known as being the most robust of breeds, or for a lengthy average life span. Still, we LOVE the breed, and we accept the risks, and the costs. ;) Rescue or responsibly bred puppy, I really don't think it matters. What matters is finding the dog that is the right fit for you. Meadowcat summed it up, perfectly!


 

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Longevity is a bit of a crap shoot, but looking for a breeder that is truly doing it all right and really looking for longevity, is a breeder worth supporting - they will be there for you for the life of your dog.

Rescue is sometimes the right choice and you deal with whatever comes up because you love your dog.

My first Doberman was from a BYB and lived to 11 - but looked and acted like an old dog for too many years due to very poor conformation. My second came from a good breeder and dropped dead at 9 years, and 3 months... she was the only one in her litter that made it to 9.... all 4 of her grandparents lived to 12.

My Current dogs are 10 (11 next month), 8 and 3(4 next month)... they are all related and two are my own breeding. My oldster has a bum knee which is managed with meds but is otherwise in good heath, her son at 8 is in great shape ... and my 3 year old is the picture of health but has copper storage disease.... which I am managing way before it ever becomes symptomatic. Their pedigrees are fantastic with lots of longevity .... only time will tell how well that turns out for my 3 litters.... the oldest are 8.

As a note, I am not currently breeding.
 

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My dobermans growing up were both from BYBers- one lived till 13 and the other till 15 years old. Neither of them had any major health problems/expenses. It was just the routine shots/checkups.

You just will never know there aren't any guarantees in health from either the reputable breeder or getting a rescue.

The best advice I can give is pick a rescue vs. reputable pup based on what is best for YOU, family and lifestyle.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
THIS, yes; 1000X Yes!



WOAH, Nelly!

If "cost," be it upfront, later down the road, or over an entire lifespan, is something that you find concerning, then please, trust me, trust US... you need to re-think Doberman ownership altogether.


While I appreciate your concern, possible judgement/statement on my question, I do not appreciate being told to trust you and I NEED "re-think" my Doberman Ownership all together, especially after owning one or two and a half. I personally find that a bit belittling and rude to an experienced Doberman owner, especially when I did not ask an opinion on if it was affordable monetarily or emotionally.

Monetary to purchase a pup is not the issue overall, neither is the cost to save a rescue. Either way you pay - fact. This issue is if I am going to spend my money I rather put it in the right sector. This is what a responsible adult would do. If the cost you are referring to is heart break that should be my decision as well....I love the breed enough to want to invest my money in rescue and/or buy from a breeder to better the breed. I care enough to at least ask. And your statement of Needing to re-think the breed ownership seems counter productive in this circumstance when I can financially afford and emotionally care for the breed.

But since you are such a concerned Doberman owner enough to tell me why I NEED to re-think owning the breed, I want to put your mind at ease because you may not understand where I have been, or why I am asking....You may come to find I am being a responsible adult and not a thoughtless dog owner by asking the question in the first place.

My last dog we spent just as much if not a lot more to save the dog with specialists. Our vet came to us initially asked us if we wanted to Euthanize the dog, because if we were going to test the dog it would cost a lot of money and we needed commit. And we did. After several panels of blood work, ultrasounds, special drugs, hospital stay for over a week, AND a specialist coming from over an hour away to see the dog- they thought he would live, especially once he started eating and gaining energy...He was able to come home, then he turned for the worst in 2 days, we brought him back. The vet was happy because she found out why he was sick, and felt he would live except for the last question we had of why he had fluid build up in his abdomen when we brought him back. They did another test, and after an award winning national vet looked at him it was recommended he be put to sleep. No amount of money would have saved him. Our vet was crying with us as she thought he was going to live....So now that I have relived that experience to show you that cost is not an issue you can see why it would be a bit traumatizing to have a young dog die so quickly when it was thought he would live at first. You may now see why I would even bother asking the question of where I might want to invest my money to help the breed. I really just want to better my chances of not having a dog die at 4 based on breeder or rescue, I can handle a dog dying at 8-or 9, but 4 is a bit much.... I just wasn't sure if it would be any better with a breeder, or if this was a COMMON rescue problem.

Like I said I do not want to be a fool, and would like to invest my money in the right sector of/for the breed by my question. It has been very insightful so far, and I thank all of you for your responses for the longevity of breeder vs. rescue. And with out my asking I would have never known it really is a crap shoot even with responsible breeding.
 

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If you want to help the breed buy from someone doing your not typical everyday breeding (old "out of style":rolleyesww: collected dogs from back in the day-they're out there)and be willing to campaign the dog.
Help make that ***t sexy.
That or go to the outcross people.

I too have a well bred dog and a rescue. Both have a unique talent of finding the bottom of a wallet.
 

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I’m wondering if some of the problem determining life spans in a rescue vs a reputable breeder’s dogs is in the simple passage of time. It seems to me that dobes used to live longer in past years than now. If we’re comparing our first dogs (more likely to be poorly bred due to our simple ignorance at the time we got into dobes) to our present ones years later, we may be comparing apples to oranges.

My first dobe, a backyard breeder dog, lived to be almost 14--but that was 30 years ago. If you‘ve been in the breed a long time, I think you can probably remember some dogs who lived a long time in spite of poor breeding. Now there are so many genetic problems facing dobes, it seems that even good breeders who do extensive testing for health problems before even breeding can still produce dogs who have shortened lifetimes.
 

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While I appreciate your concern, possible judgement/statement on my question, I do not appreciate being told to trust you and I NEED "re-think" my Doberman Ownership all together, especially after owning one or two and a half. I personally find that a bit belittling and rude to an experienced Doberman owner, especially when I did not ask an opinion on if it was affordable monetarily or emotionally.

Monetary to purchase a pup is not the issue overall, neither is the cost to save a rescue. Either way you pay - fact. This issue is if I am going to spend my money I rather put it in the right sector. This is what a responsible adult would do. If the cost you are referring to is heart break that should be my decision as well....I love the breed enough to want to invest my money in rescue and/or buy from a breeder to better the breed. I care enough to at least ask. And your statement of Needing to re-think the breed ownership seems counter productive in this circumstance when I can financially afford and emotionally care for the breed.

But since you are such a concerned Doberman owner enough to tell me why I NEED to re-think owning the breed, I want to put your mind at ease because you may not understand where I have been, or why I am asking....You may come to find I am being a responsible adult and not a thoughtless dog owner by asking the question in the first place.
TaterTot,

I apologize if my post came across as belittling or rude. It was not my intention to pass judgement or question your capabilities as a responsible dog owner. I have every belief that you are taking your time, and doing your research because you have the best intentions at heart, and want to be as well informed and prepared as possible before your next Doberman.

I have no reason whatsoever, to consider you a "thoughtless dog owner." That's a bit of harsh assumption on your part.

I found myself confused by the cost comparison over a lifetime, between Dobermans acquired through rescue and those purchased through a responsible breeder, that you made in your original post; I believe you referred to it as a "trade off."


TaterTot said:
My last dog we spent just as much if not a lot more to save the dog with specialists. Our vet came to us initially asked us if we wanted to Euthanize the dog, because if we were going to test the dog it would cost a lot of money and we needed commit. And we did. After several panels of blood work, ultrasounds, special drugs, hospital stay for over a week, AND a specialist coming from over an hour away to see the dog- they thought he would live, especially once he started eating and gaining energy...He was able to come home, then he turned for the worst in 2 days, we brought him back. The vet was happy because she found out why he was sick, and felt he would live except for the last question we had of why he had fluid build up in his abdomen when we brought him back. They did another test, and after an award winning national vet looked at him it was recommended he be put to sleep. No amount of money would have saved him. Our vet was crying with us as she thought he was going to live....So now that I have relived that experience to show you that cost is not an issue you can see why it would be a bit traumatizing to have a young dog die so quickly when it was thought he would live at first. You may now see why I would even bother asking the question of where I might want to invest my money to help the breed. I really just want to better my chances of not having a dog die at 4 based on breeder or rescue, I can handle a dog dying at 8-or 9, but 4 is a bit much.... I just wasn't sure if it would be any better with a breeder, or if this was a COMMON rescue problem.

Like I said I do not want to be a fool, and would like to invest my money in the right sector of/for the breed by my question. It has been very insightful so far, and I thank all of you for your responses for the longevity of breeder vs. rescue. And with out my asking I would have never known it really is a crap shoot even with responsible breeding.

Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your boy. I'm curious, did you ever learn the reason for the fluid build up in his abdomen? I know I can relate; roughly 9 weeks ago, I held my guy on the table for an hour, while we drained nearly 3 Kg of fluid from his abdomen a week after he had a large Cystine stone removed from his urethra and another mitt-full flushed from his severely inflamed and damaged bladder. It was heartbreaking to see him in such distress and discomfort.


 

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Discussion Starter #15
TaterTot,



I have no reason whatsoever, to consider you a "thoughtless dog owner." That's a bit of harsh assumption on your part.


I found myself confused by the cost comparison over a lifetime, between Dobermans acquired through rescue and those purchased through a responsible breeder, that you made in your original post; I believe you referred to it as a "trade off."


It was basically a reference meant to mean- doesn't matter which route you take its probably going to cost you the same.
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Thanks for calling me out. :) I apologize for that- I get a bit defensive after dealing with quite a few post I have seen members act like they know it all, talk people down, and not know all the circumstances. This forum is a great resource, but seems to be a double edge sword when it comes to people and what they say at times. And, I guess I am not much better making the assumption that you are the same with your comment. So I apologize as well :)


As far as the fluid build up in the abdomen- it was due to severe liver damage, which happened pretty fast. When they did the ultrasound they found "strange" fluid around heart- thinking it could have been heart related- but then tested his heart and was fine. This was during all the testing. When he went home for the weekend because he was able he was normal for 24 hrs, then took a turn at 36 hrs by not eating again and his stomach looked bloated, loose. Not bloated from bloat to that extent, it looked like a fat puppy belly. We took him back at 48 hr mark as it was Monday. Vet was excited because his Billarin (sp) was responding positively. But then we asked her to eval the puppy belly, she took him back- pulled clear fluid from belly- which was the same that was around his heart...then she came back and said she talked to the vet of 25 yrs and he said if it was his dog he would Euthanize because we could drain the belly- but it would fill back up.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If you want to help the breed buy from someone doing your not typical everyday breeding (old "out of style":rolleyesww: collected dogs from back in the day-they're out there)and be willing to campaign the dog.
Help make that ***t sexy.
That or go to the outcross people.

.
I totally would but I am not in the right season to campaign such as show...we have small children. However My future agenda is to have my kids do shows once old enough if they are interested.

So for now...I do what I can to provide a great home, loving family to a Dobie, and try to support by not buying/supporting the wrong people.
 

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I totally would but I am not in the right season to campaign such as show...we have small children. However My future agenda is to have my kids do shows once old enough if they are interested.

So for now...I do what I can to provide a great home, loving family to a Dobie, and try to support by not buying/supporting the wrong people.
There are pet puppies in every litter...I don't think she was suggesting you would need to commit to a show puppy.
 

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As far as the fluid build up in the abdomen- it was due to severe liver damage, which happened pretty fast. When they did the ultrasound they found "strange" fluid around heart- thinking it could have been heart related- but then tested his heart and was fine. This was during all the testing. When he went home for the weekend because he was able he was normal for 24 hrs, then took a turn at 36 hrs by not eating again and his stomach looked bloated, loose. Not bloated from bloat to that extent, it looked like a fat puppy belly. We took him back at 48 hr mark as it was Monday. Vet was excited because his Billarin (sp) was responding positively. But then we asked her to eval the puppy belly, she took him back- pulled clear fluid from belly- which was the same that was around his heart...then she came back and said she talked to the vet of 25 yrs and he said if it was his dog he would Euthanize because we could drain the belly- but it would fill back up.
It sounds like it was very ugly, scary, sudden and so very sad. :sadcry:

I know all too well the distended belly you describe, and although it was for different reasons, I was in the EXACT same position as you, in November. I rushed my boy to his breeder's vet a few hours drive away, for a cardiac and abdominal ultrasound, cancelling his euthanasia appointment with 2 hours to spare, in a last ditch effort to save his life. A guarded prognosis at best, but he has fought hard since, and I think we've won this battle... for now!

Again, very sorry for the loss of your boy.
 

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This website can be condescending at times. I have been a victim, as well. Be a duck at times and let the water roll off your back.

On the internet, people sometimes forget to temper their opinions, based on limited information of the information given. I have been guilty of this as well.

Peace!
 
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