Doberman Pinscher Breeders to Avoid

Finding and purchasing a Doberman puppy is not nearly the arduous task most Doberman puppy buyers create for themselves. With my experience, both purchasing and breeding Doberman Puppies, I hope to guide the aspiring Doberman owner down a simpler and safer path to owning a fine example of the beloved Doberman Pinscher breed.

The first step in finding your Doberman puppy, after determining that in fact the Doberman is the right breed for you, is finding a good breeder. These steps are just as relevant if you are looking for a show Doberman, or just a pet. A good Doberman breeder is one who breeds with the goal of producing healthy well tempered Dobermans that will be a progressive addition to the breed. To help you identify a good breeder, I  have described several general types of breeders you are likely to encounter, starting with ones to avoid, as follows:

Backyard Breeder

The ‘Backyard Breeder’, as Joanna Walker refers to the type in her book The Doberman Pinscher, is the type you coan find anytime in the local newspaper ads. This Doberman breeder has little knowledge of the Doberman breed or his breeding stock, puts little time or money into his breeding activities, and will be interested in placing his puppies and uninterested in where they are placed. A phone call to this type of Doberman breeder will likely yield little information beyond, “Yes, we have puppies.” You will be encouraged to come by and take a look.

His puppies will be adorable, like all puppies, and the parents will unlikely be available, but from “champion lines” (nearly every Doberman has a champion somewhere in their lines). To any health questions the answer will be, “Yes, they are tested for everything, and they’re healthy”.

The trouble here is that the breeder is breeding for purposes other than health, sure temperament, and betterment of the Doberman breed. This is a big problem. If a breeder is not breeding specifically for health and temperament, the puppies will not be healthy or well tempered. You might get lucky, but remember even the best breeders breeding only for health and temperament get unhealthy, poor tempered puppies, so your chances with a Backyard Breeder are bad.

Chances are this type of breeder has no dog experience other than owning one here or there. They decided one day to purchase a Doberman puppy. After a little shopping, he learns that Doberman puppies regularly sell for over $800, at times in excess of $2000. Filled with uneducated preconceived notions, this person usually purchases a female and breeds it to whichever Doberman stud is available for a small price.

Of course, breeding is a very complicated, dangerous, and an expensive process to do right. The Backyard breeder finds ways around most of these costs, accepts certain “facts” such as losing puppies, and avoids much of the responsibility by leaving the mother to do all the work alone in a basement or outside building. The Doberman, unlike wild dogs or less domesticated breeds, do poorly without their human counterparts throughout the breeding and birthing process.

Shots, worming, and ear cropping will all be optional with this breeder as will a clean purchasing contract. The puppies go for cheap and he is willing to send puppies home too early. This breeder simply wants to sell puppies and doesn’t need to get much for them because he hasn’t put much into them.

Even if the puppies look good, no matter how cute and sweet they are, regardless of the breeder showing you pedigrees filled with champions; avoid this breeder. Purchasing a Doberman from him only furthers the destruction of the Doberman Pinscher breed.

One Timer

The One Timer is a person, usually a family, that has purchased a family pet Doberman and wants to breed her before it’s time to spay. There are usually a few friends or family who, after being around a Doberman, have become interested in having a Doberman puppy themselves. The problem here is lack of experience. This breeder, although likely a loving friendly home, is certainly biting off more than they can chew. They have likely bred to a stud based on convenience and are certainly lacking an overall plan for improving the breed.

Such people do not expect breeding a dog to be difficult. They expect this natural process to accrue much on it own and figure all they need to do is support the mother. Like purchasing from the Backyard Breeder, purchasing a puppy here is unwise and a detriment to the Doberman breed, only encouraging such activities in other.

Show Breeders

The Show Breeder is a trickier one to spot. He is involved in showing Dobermans and probably has a few champions running around. He’ll have plenty of awesome awards and know everything about confirmation. The trouble here again is breeding goals. Either this breeder is breeding for show Dobermans, or showing Dobermans to increase the price of the Doberman puppies that he breeds.

If he is breeding for show dogs, then he is not breeding for health and temperament. No, you can’t breed for both. Breeding for just one is a monumental challenge. If the breeder you’re speaking with goes on and on about awards and champion Dobermans he has raised, this is likely the type of breeder he is.

If he is showing Dobermans to increase the price of his Doberman puppies, he is again not breeding for health and temperament. This breeder will also speak much of his champions and awards but will be most interested in placing a puppy with you for a considerable price – justified by his show record.

Even if you plan to show your Doberman, Show Breeders are wise to avoid. A healthy well adjusted Doberman should be your first priority.

Puppy Mills

Before I move to the good breeders, I want to address the worst breeder of them all, the Puppy Mill. I know what you’re thinking, “A Puppy Mill? Who would buy a puppy from a Puppy Mill?” and you’re right. Few people, and I say few because I have spoken with several people who actually have puchased a puppy from a Puppy Mill. Puppy Mills are off-puttingly ill kept with sometimes hundreds of dogs in poor condition almost always outside. 

That is why Puppy Mills sell to Puppy Brokers and Pet Shops. I’m not even going to go into why you should avoid Pet Shops for purchasing your Doberman puppy. Just understand that no breeder that cares for their puppies in anyway would let them be marketed retail style.

Puppy Brokers, however, are a different story. They are professionals at finding people just like you and selling them a Doberman puppy from a Puppy Mill. Of course, part of the sales process is maintaining a credible front. Puppy Brokers often sell from nice homes that could easily be confused with a good breeder’s home. The key to avoiding this ominous pit is to do your research, meet the Doberman parents, study the AKC papers and parents pedigree, and ask plenty of questions, listening carefully to the answers.