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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
Please bear with me as I explain my situation. I want to provide the right details so that I can get as much input from folks on the same page as me, and find out what the best next step may be.

I had to put my beautiful baby girl, Libby, to sleep on 05/28/22 due to cancer and heart failure. She developed a pronounced murmur in the last few weeks of her life. She was nearly 12 years old so it wasnt a complete surprise, but the quick time in which it unfolded did catch me off guard. I had planned on looking for a pup to carry on her responsibilities in the near future anyway, but wanted her to be around to show the new one the ropes.

This brings me to my current need of having to find a new pup to bring into my life.Libby was a service dog that helped me to cope with having PTSD and an Anxiety disorder that is otherwise very well controlled. I am beginning to feel the effects of not having her around so I am diligently looking for a suitable replacement.

This time around I am much more financially secure and can go with a pup from a well respected breeder. I will admit that when I got Libby I didn't really place as much emphasis on the health aspect as I will this time around. My reason is that my family has had 9+ Dobermans from rescues or dog shelters and I think we've really lucked out as few of them had any major health issues other than arthritis.

However, while Libby was generally solid as a rock and sharp as a brand new razor, she did have MANY issues with the health of her skin (Blue Dobie problems.) She had at least 4 major surgeries to have mast cell tumors removed from her skin and had to be on apoquel and specialized food for nearly her entire life. It's not that I mind paying for those but It broke my heart to have to put my baby through all those surgeries in the last few years sh was with us. That was when she should have been having the time of her life and not constantly convalescing.

Now to my current spot. I've looked for rescues that might be able to fit the bill but of the candidate dogs that I've found, only one seems to have the right temperament that I would need, but the rescue that is currently holding her is a massive pain in the balls to deal with. I refuse to deal with them at this point.... Which really sucks as I'd provide an impeccable home.

This brings me to the relatively urgent need for a pup. I've reached out to a few of the better breeders I've found that may have something along the lines of what I'm looking for. (Wyldwood Dobies, Merrimack, and one other that the name escapes me.) I'm unsure if they would have anything that I would be able to get in a reasonable time frame of say, 30 days.

I've also reviewed the AKC marketplace and there are all different variations of breeders there. Some of them seem to be straight up backyard breeders that don't do any type of health testing, but still want $1500+ for a pup, and there are others that seem to be genuinely good breeders, but some aspect is missing to make me feel comfortable parting with $2500 for their dog. Be it that the breeder wont provide a health guarantee, wont take the dog back under any circumstances (I'd never return the pup, but its something I view as a breeder saying they're committed to the dog.) or that the breeder has Ktal dogs or some other REALLY sketchy "high end" house in their bloodlines. I'd seriously take a dog from an AKC backyard breeder over a Ktal dog.

At the end of the day, what I could really use help with is gathering some rational input on what I truly need to insist on from a breeder.
1) I think i want some knowledge of DCM in the bloodlines. I get that a dog can still develop it later, but it stands to reason that if the bloodline doesn't have it, then the chances are lessened.
2) I don't need a conformational dog but I absolutely see the value and reason for it. I actually have a strong preference for non cropped ears. Some breeders say that its non negotiable that they wont sell a non cropped dog. My instinct is to say ok, I wont pay you $3000 for a cropped dog then. Does anyone have experience with breeders that make this kind of statement? are they just posturing, or are they truly not going to negotiate?
3.) Finally, Generally speaking, Am I taking a risk in buying from the AKC market place? They're at least registered purebreds, but at this point I want to know more about the bloodlines so that I can avoid paying $10,000 on surgeries and putting my baby through all that. I'd rather pay more upfront and severely minimize the odds of that being needed later on.

I hope this all made sense and I sincerely thank you for any input as i'm looking to find something quickly.

Thanks!
Brother
 

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Don't look at the AKC Marketplace. Look, instead, at the breed clubs. DPCA and UDC both have breeder listings. I would also check the longevity program on the DPCA website, as these are all dogs who lived to see 10+ years.

You're more likely to find a working breeder who will leave ears natural. That's the UDC list. The reason most breeders crop? It's in the Standard, and breeders breed to fit the Standard. That includes cosmetic alterations like cropping and docking.
 

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First of all, I'm sorry for your loss. Twelve is a long life for a Dobe and she sounds like she was a wonderful companion and service dog. And it's a bummer that you're having a tough time with the rescue that you've attempted to go through.

Briefly, I'll say that it's not impossible for you to find a well bred pup in 30 days but it is unlikely. Many good breeders have full waiting lists with little flexibility for new potential homes hoping for a short turnaround. There are some exceptions, though. Such as, when someone on a waiting list has specific sex and color requirements and there isn't a pup in the litter that would be a good fit and who is the color and sex that the home wants. Then there might be a pup available because of that.

At the end of the day, what I could really use help with is gathering some rational input on what I truly need to insist on from a breeder.
1) I think i want some knowledge of DCM in the bloodlines. I get that a dog can still develop it later, but it stands to reason that if the bloodline doesn't have it, then the chances are lessened.
2) I don't need a conformational dog but I absolutely see the value and reason for it. I actually have a strong preference for non cropped ears. Some breeders say that its non negotiable that they wont sell a non cropped dog. My instinct is to say ok, I wont pay you $3000 for a cropped dog then. Does anyone have experience with breeders that make this kind of statement? are they just posturing, or are they truly not going to negotiate?
3.) Finally, Generally speaking, Am I taking a risk in buying from the AKC market place? They're at least registered purebreds, but at this point I want to know more about the bloodlines so that I can avoid paying $10,000 on surgeries and putting my baby through all that. I'd rather pay more upfront and severely minimize the odds of that being needed later on.
To answer your above questions...
1)
It's good to pay attention to CODs and DCM in the lines/pedigrees but every bloodline has DCM in it. Unfortunately, it's everywhere in the Doberman breed. Your best bet is to get a pup from a breeder who does all health testing and who is honest about CODs of their own dogs/those they produce, and the dogs in the pedigrees they breed to and from.

2) Most reputable show line breeders do not leave pups uncropped (working line breeders are typically more flexible on this matter). For one, they're breeding to the standard, which calls for cropped ears. Also, if/when they get a pup or dog back for re-homing, it is MUCH harder to rehome an uncropped Dobe than a cropped one because most people (in the US, at least) who want a well bred Doberman, still want a cropped Doberman. So, many breeders will not budge on cropping ears. It's not about money for them (it would be a hell of a lot cheaper to not crop), it's about principles as a reputable breeder and what most homes in the US expect/want. There are exceptions to this; I know of a few good breeders in the US who will occasionally leave a puppy uncropped. But they're not common and none are in Texas.

3) Yes, you're taking a risk by buying a pup from AKC marketplace. AKC does nothing to assess quality or ethics of the breeders who advertise and sell on that site. It's kind of like buying a dog off Craigslist...with maybe marginally higher standards as you can be somewhat certain you're buying a purebred on the marketplace. I say somewhat certain because I've known of cases where the purebred status of some pups purchased through AKC Marketplace has been highly suspect and strongly contested. So, personally, I'm not even particularly confident on the purebred status of all pups sold on that platform. Caveat emptor.



The last thing I'll add here is that I know Old Drum Dobermans in Missouri has left a pup uncropped before for a proven home, and she currently has one red male available. I think the pups are 6 weeks old now, so they haven't been cropped yet. But I don't know anything about the pup's potential temperament, i.e., whether or not he might be a SD candidate. You would want to discuss that with her, if you're interested. She does all health testing and titles her dogs, she's honest about them, and she's a very nice, supportive breeder. My first two Dobermans were from her and I don't hesitate to recommend her.

Generally though, if you're insistent on having an uncropped dog and you would like a show line Doberman, you could be waiting a very long time because there are so few show line breeders who will accommodate homes that want an uncropped pup. You will want to contact Jesaran Dobermans in Virginia. They're one of the best known good show line breeders who will leave pups uncropped and, in fact, they have even finished (AKC CH) a few uncropped Dobermans in the US, which is practically unheard of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Don't look at the AKC Marketplace. Look, instead, at the breed clubs. DPCA and UDC both have breeder listings. I would also check the longevity program on the DPCA website, as these are all dogs who lived to see 10+ years.

You're more likely to find a working breeder who will leave ears natural. That's the UDC list. The reason most breeders crop? It's in the Standard, and breeders breed to fit the Standard. That includes cosmetic alterations like cropping and docking.
Yeah, It's not even that I dislike the look of cropped ears. Frankly i think they look great, I've just had a number of un-cropped Dobes and it has become somewhat of a tradition within my family; none of us have cropped our Dobes for 20 or so years now.

I wasnt aware of the UDC but I'll take a look at them now! Thanks for the heads up.
 

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Brother - are you set on a young pup or would you take an older one? Many reputable breeders will take back animals they bred for what ever reason. So some of them would have nice older pups or younger adults available now. And these dogs could probably start doing the service work that you want pretty quickly. Just mention to the good breeders that you would consider this option (key is the good breeders, the BYB and puppy mills never take back dogs they sold).
My breeder has a wonderful 10 month female available, but ears are done and she is in NC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Brother - are you set on a young pup or would you take an older one? Many reputable breeders will take back animals they bred for what ever reason. So some of them would have nice older pups or younger adults available now. And these dogs could probably start doing the service work that you want pretty quickly. Just mention to the good breeders that you would consider this option (key is the good breeders, the BYB and puppy mills never take back dogs they sold).
My breeder has a wonderful 10 month female available, but ears are done and she is in NC.
I'd be totally fine with an older one and the ears aren't a complete deal breaker, I just prefer non cropped.

Initially i started by looking at rescues but it seemed that the dobies that are most likely to have the confidence and temperament that I would like were gone before I could get to them. One rescue had one that could have worked out swimmingly, but they were a bit tough to deal with.

I don't think that I would want one that is more than 14ish months, but at the end of the day, it REALLY depends on what the dog is like. 10 months could very well work out as those dogs need good homes too.

Send me some contact information, if you would be so kind.
 

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Are you willing to travel or look outside of Texas?
 
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Hi Brother_Theresa First I would like to say I’m sorry for your loss.
Second I’d like to say I know what you mean about some rescue organizations being difficult to work with and adopt from!! It’s sad!! That’s the reason some people end up shopping and not adopting!

Also, You said you are not concerned with conformation but temperament is a must. I don’t know if you have heard of Rebecca “Becky” Floyd with Gallant Hearts Guide Dogs. She breeds Dobermans for service dogs. I have spoken with her thru text and emails. She is really nice and helpful. I have seen some pics on her website of dobes with uncropped ears. It might be worth it to talk with her. If she does not have a litter available she may be able to recommend someone.

Anyway, best of luck finding your new dobe and don’t forget to come back & share some pics!! We love pics!! 😄

PS. I’m not trying to steer you away from conformation breeders. But again this lady has a good reputation for breeding service dogs so their temperament must be good.
 

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Yeah. I'm not against the idea. I was mainly focusing on Texas due to proximity for future meetups or other various things that may be necessary, but its not essential
If Rebecca "Becky" Floyd is still breeding she'd be my first go-to for someone looking for a service dog first and foremost. She has specialized in breeding dobermans for service work and specializes in training dobermans and GSDs as service dogs (primarily guide dogs). She is a DPCA member and has been at it for decades. I believe she's in Missouri.
a
Aside from that I know Leslie Carpenter of Treasure Seeker Dobermans in NC has a lovely nearly 12 month old female available. Half working half showlines. She sounds like an amazing sport/work prospect with a happy social temperament. I have no idea if she'd be suitable for service dog work, and I have no idea if Leslie would be comfortable placing her as such. But given that she is older she might be a better candidate for evaluating/testing.

Honestly if I weren't full up here on girls I'd heavily consider it myself and she is super tempting, but the wife might kill me if I bring in another female before we get a male lol. Also Elsa is just at the start of her work career and it feels unfair to have to split my time and attention between two rookie dogs as opposed to an experienced dog + a rookie dog. I'm jealous of whoever gets her. I'll probably regret sharing her but here goes lol

 

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If Rebecca "Becky" Floyd is still breeding she'd be my first go-to for someone looking for a service dog first and foremost. She has specialized in breeding dobermans for service work and specializes in training dobermans and GSDs as service dogs (primarily guide dogs). She is a DPCA member and has been at it for decades. I believe she's in Missouri.

Artemis, Rebecca Floyd is located in Mississippi. And as far as I know she is still breeding. I last spoke with her in May 2020 & she had some pups at that time and was still planning future pups.
Not only is she knowledgeable about breeding for good temperament but she is blind and depends on a service dog herself. So she knows first hand what qualities to look for and expect from a service dog.
I really hope the OP sees my post and suggestion and gives her a call. Even if it’s just for information and recommendations.
 

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Artemis, Rebecca Floyd is located in Mississippi. And as far as I know she is still breeding. I last spoke with her in May 2020 & she had some pups at that time and was still planning future pups.
Not only is she knowledgeable about breeding for good temperament but she is blind and depends on a service dog herself. So she knows first hand what qualities to look for and expect from a service dog.
I really hope the OP sees my post and suggestion and gives her a call. Even if it’s just for information and recommendations.
I knew it was one of the more southward M states, don't ask this Canadian to remember the different shorthands if it's not MA, MN or ME 😜
But yes I wholeheartedly agree, she was my first thought and I was writing my post before yours loaded lol!
 

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Aside from that I know Leslie Carpenter of Treasure Seeker Dobermans in NC has a lovely nearly 12 month old female available. Half working half showlines. She sounds like an amazing sport/work prospect with a happy social temperament. I have no idea if she'd be suitable for service dog work, and I have no idea if Leslie would be comfortable placing her as such. But given that she is older she might be a better candidate for evaluating/testing.

Yes, this is the dog I was thinking of. Have meet her in person, very outgoing and friendly. Is showing aptitude for the working sports. the dog is listed on her website, try reaching out via Facebook.
 

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I knew it was one of the more southward M states, don't ask this Canadian to remember the different shorthands if it's not MA, MN or ME 😜
But yes I wholeheartedly agree, she was my first thought and I was writing my post before yours loaded lol!
LOL. One of the M states. LOL
Yeah. I had to go back & edit some typos on my post so it delayed my posting time. I’m not sure if it was my typing or predict a text but I’m going to blame it on the predict a text 😉
 

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I'd like to start by saying that I would encourage you to not get a puppy if your dog is older than 10, get one sooner. Think of dogs like humans and a dog over 10 is like 80. 80 year olds don't want to deal with babies and they don't have the patience and they don't always feel good. When your dog is around 6 years old is a good time to start looking for a puppy to bring home when your dog is about 7.

Now to my current spot. I've looked for rescues that might be able to fit the bill but of the candidate dogs that I've found, only one seems to have the right temperament that I would need, but the rescue that is currently holding her is a massive pain in the balls to deal with. I refuse to deal with them at this point.... Which really sucks as I'd provide an impeccable home. You mentioned the dogs were always gone but you can fill out an adoption application so that you're preapproved for when a dog does come in that you think will be a good fit.

This brings me to the relatively urgent need for a pup. I've reached out to a few of the better breeders I've found that may have something along the lines of what I'm looking for. (Wyldwood Dobies, Merrimack, and one other that the name escapes me.) I'm unsure if they would have anything that I would be able to get in a reasonable time frame of say, 30 days. It's VERY unlikely you'll get a pup in 30 days from a reputable breeder or even a halfway decent breeder.

At the end of the day, what I could really use help with is gathering some rational input on what I truly need to insist on from a breeder.
1) I think i want some knowledge of DCM in the bloodlines. I get that a dog can still develop it later, but it stands to reason that if the bloodline doesn't have it, then the chances are lessened. Most reputable ambred dogs are listed in dobequest (or in my opinion should be) and it should mention how the dogs died. I usually print off the pedigree and ask the breeder about the rest of the dogs in the pedigree where the COD isn't listed. And if you find that bloodline that doesn't have DCM please share it, we're all still searching for that line.

2) I don't need a conformational dog but I absolutely see the value and reason for it. I actually have a strong preference for non cropped ears. Some breeders say that its non negotiable that they wont sell a non cropped dog. My instinct is to say ok, I wont pay you $3000 for a cropped dog then. Does anyone have experience with breeders that make this kind of statement? are they just posturing, or are they truly not going to negotiate? I'm a breeder that will let a puppy go home uncropped but allow me to caveat that. There has to be a puppy that is so obviously a pet that I can leave it uncropped prior to ear cropping and temperament testing. Personally, I would never want that puppy myself because that means you're getting the worst one in the litter with some obvious faults.
3.) Finally, Generally speaking, Am I taking a risk in buying from the AKC market place? They're at least registered purebreds, but at this point I want to know more about the bloodlines so that I can avoid paying $10,000 on surgeries and putting my baby through all that. I'd rather pay more upfront and severely minimize the odds of that being needed later on. AKC will register nearly anything without question. I've seen MANY dobermans that were obviously not purebred that AKC registered no problem. With any breeder you're taking a chance, IMO it's the difference between playing slot machines and playing poker. With a breeder that's not doing health testing you're just pulling the lever and praying something sticks. When you support a breeder who puts longevity and health at the top of their program and does the proper health testing you're stacking the deck in your favor, it's never a guarantee but I like the odds much better.

Good luck.
 

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I'm a breeder that will let a puppy go home uncropped but allow me to caveat that. There has to be a puppy that is so obviously a pet that I can leave it uncropped prior to ear cropping and temperament testing. Personally, I would never want that puppy myself because that means you're getting the worst one in the litter with some obvious faults.
Similarly -- I have a German Pinscher, and for them it's not ears -- natural ears on pet puppies is common -- but tails. I didn't want that, but in chatting, one breeder told me if he gets someone insistent on a natural tail, they get the worst puppy in the litter (in conformation terms) and have to pay full price, non-refundable, when the puppies are born and the decision is made. Docking is done early, like at 3 days. That's because if that buyer backs out, finding someone else for that puppy is difficult and so is docking at an older age. At 3 days it's not a big deal. Older it's harder on the puppy and more expensive. And there's always the chance the puppy will be returned to the breeder as an adult when rehoming is really hard.

In your shoes, I'd also think about what Gretchen said about "prior to temperament testing" because if you want a service dog candidate, you want as much temperament info as is possible with a puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Agreed on the docking / cropping. It's really a double edged sword. I completely understand the want to have a marketable dog for later on and just incase ... I get it. However, at the same time this aggressive level of " its not negotiable, don't even ask" is frankly, nonsense.
I can guarantee that if I commit to a dog then that dog is in my family, forever. I just want someone to have flexibility on my ask for non cropped ears. I dont blame people if they crop their dogs, but I have what id describe as a spiritual issue against it for my own dog ; and I know I'm not alone. There are many others like me that want a natural eared dog that is bred to the highest of standards for health (My preeminent concern.).Temperament is certainly a major concern but I've learned something from some of the best trainers out there: If someone knows the dog, and what the dog wants/needs, they can bring the dog from above average to excellence.
It's the aggressive level of " it's my way or the highway" that at least in part keeps the **** breeders in business.
Sorry if this sounds ranty. Its not directed at anyone in particular. It's just frustrating.
 

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Sorry if this sounds ranty. Its not directed at anyone in particular. It's just frustrating.
Having been frustrated in my own quests more than once over the years, I sympathize -- kind of. However, the truth is no one owes any of us a puppy on our terms. My GP breeder won't sell to people with children or who work away from home full time. Neither of those restrictions applies to me, but I bet either or both frost a lot of people. In my last puppy quest, I walked away from a nice breeder with nice dogs because the contract was something I wouldn't sign in a million years.

I see rants against rescues and their requirements on dog forums all the time too. How dare they require a fenced yard. I've had dogs before. No one needs a fenced yard to be a good dog owner. Whether or not that's true, the person selling, placing, rehoming the dog is the one who gets to decide. All buyers/adopters can do is go somewhere else. And if the somewhere elses are few and far between, it's still what we have to do.

And sorry, I disagree with the bringing average to excellent. Maybe the best trainers can do it in certain circumstances, but years first with horses and then with dogs, including rescue, make me a hardcore believer in genetics outweighing environment or training. Top trainers looking for their next OTCH dog or agility champion put real effort into choosing puppies. The only woman I knew well enough to know how she approached finding a new service dog did the same. Admittedly her needs were different from yours; she needed physical help.
 
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