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Marshall's picture
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Joined: 2017-09-23

Good morning all,

As I study and try to educate myself on choosing a good breeder and making contact in a respectful way I have one question that I can’t seem to find the answer to.  From what I have read the common path of this adventure is to be completely honest with the breeder on my intent and desires of the new puppy and the breeder will choose the puppy they feel would be the best fit for me and my situation. To me this makes sense but I have a hanging point.

In the applications it is always asked “Desired sex” and “Desired color” 

What does this look like for me the consumer? As the risk of sounding shallow I REALLY have my heart set on a Black and Tan Female.

When the joyous day comes and the puppies are born, if the breeder either doesn’t have or can’t find a good match in my “Desired” sex and color what then?

Appreciate your thoughts on this. 

Let them know what you would prefer - if you are not flexible at all, then let them know that too. When the litter is born, see if it is likely that they will have what you want before putting down any deposit.  If they don't have what you want, then keep looking. 

I've had people that were sure of what they wanted, and then saw the puppies the first time and totally changed their mind. I don't take deposits at all - so that is never an issue for me.  I've had people walk away because I don't have what they want.... or the puppy that is the right puppy for them is not the color/sex they wanted, etc...

Just as an fyi, I am not currently breeding. 

Marshall's picture
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Joined: 2017-09-23

Thank you for the input Fitzmar, I appreciate it. 

Joined: 2016-04-25

check out

charasmatic dobermans out of Florida ..real nice folks.....great pups....

It's nice that you are happy with your puppy Diane, but you are recommending a breeder that apparently does no titling and totally incomplete health testing according to their own website.  The only consistent health test they do is VWD.... and occasionally hips. I see no health test results for cardio (cardiac ultrasounds and/or 24 hour holter), thyroid, bloodwork, eye cerf, etc.... 

The only thing I can figure that they do is breed puppies from European import lines. Again, I am basing this on their own website and facebook page where they seem to take great pleasure in claiming they do not produce any VWD affected Dobermans.... as if VWD were the greatest issue to worry about, which we all know is false.

rdobermanns's picture
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Joined: 2019-08-18

For us, we really don't push the buyers on this. We only breed one or twice a year, depending on the availability of the bitches we have (as we don't want to exhaust them) because we want to ensure the quality of pups we are producing.

What we usually do we announce if our bitch is pregnant, then we announce the litter 1-3 days old with pictures. Obviously their coat colors will change (right now, we have a puppy borned all black we thought she's going to be melanistic all the way, but then she developed a few spots of tans as she grows older).

Then potential buyers can select the puppies based on photos and videos. They (the buyers) either can go get and buy one or two, if they desired it, but if they don't no hurt feelings and no pressures.

My advice is if a certain breeder doesn't have your preferences, then find another breeder. Most of our buyers end up buying outside their preferences though because once they take a look at the puppies, they fell inlove with their personality, health, activeness, and how we spoil/take care of them.

DobermanGuy's picture
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Joined: 2017-12-11

Then potential buyers can select the puppies based on photos and videos. They (the buyers) either can go get and buy one or two, if they desired it, but if they don't no hurt feelings and no pressures.

 

That statement is going to cause heads to explode here. Not as bad as on a Doberman site with a higher concentration of ninnies but still...

They will try to tell you crap about how 'no reputable breeder' would sell a pair of puppies to a buyer.

Being a guy that prefers to buy and raise his Dobermans in pairs I know that is nonsense. Granted the work involved is not for everyone and in no way am I suggesting a new Doberman owner sign up for that sort of adventure but still...

 

DobermanGuy's picture
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Joined: 2017-12-11

only consistent health test they do is VWD.... and occasionally hips. I see no health test results for cardio (cardiac ultrasounds and/or 24 hour holter), thyroid, bloodwork, eye cerf, etc.... 

 

DCM is genetic. You can easily have a young dog (or the parents of a puppy) pass every single test you mention thrown at it with flying colors and that dog STILL drop dead as a rock a few years later from DCM.

 

Fortunately Vets HAVE been making progress with respect to genetic testing and DCM. This is encouraging and I pray any and all of the Vets working on this have continued luck and success in their efforts.

https://www.vetgen.com/canine-dcm.html

Having lost dogs to DCM myself the holter monitor is the last test I would choose or put any faith in. With those sort of tests you get a picture of what is going on with that particular dog at that exact moment in time only. DCM does not work that way. A dog can carry it and pass it on without ever suffering from it themselves.

You may be a breeder but I can tell for certain you are not a Vet.

Doberman Guy - I've never claimed to be a vet and often clarify in my posts that people should talk to their vets as I'm not one! I don't know why you are being contrary. 

I have been in Dobermans a long time and have been mentored by Doberman people that have been in the breed for decades longer than me. I'm an officer in a local DPCA affiliated Doberman club, a member in good standing with the DPCA. I've bred 3 litters with breed champions in every litter. I know that I will never know everything there is to know about this breed - but I know who to get answers from when I need them, and I help out where I can. 

DCM is a difficult and frustrating disease as there is obviously a genetic component, but it is not usually found till later in mid life. It IS a disease that we have to look for. If we wait till there are symptoms, it is pretty much too late to do a whole lot about it. For this reason, it is suggested that we use the tools that are available to us. DNA tests for two possible DCM genes are good for research, but do not predict DCM at this point in time. The only tests that can possibly test for occult DCM are the cardiac Ultrasound, and the 24 hour holter (EKG) monitor. There are basically two types of heart diseases in Dobermans. The one that is seen on an ultrasound is traditional DCM where the heart enlarges and stops pumping correctly (in layman terms), the second is irregular heartbeats which can cause sudden death - the test for this is a 24 hour holter. 

No test is perfect, but these tests should first be done between the ages of 2-3 as a baseline, and then repeated regularly (annual is best). If you catch heart disease before there are any symptoms, it is called "occult". There is a chance that starting medication in the occult stage will extend a dogs life - sometimes by many years. It also gives a breeder information about their lines and any breeding dog will be pulled from reproduction at that time. 

I have personally lost older Dobermans to sudden death that tested clear on heart tests fairly recently (6 months) - I've also had dogs that I produced lost to DCM in their middle/older years that had not been tested .... and some that had been diagnosed and were medicated. There is no easy answer to DCM in our breed, but pointing fingers and refusing to test is not helping the long term health of the breed.  I start testing my personal dogs when they are age 2, and I do cardiac ultrasounds and an EKG strip every year (done by a vet cardiologist). I don't holter as often, but I do holter fairly regular. I know that both tests are important, and look at different things. I wish I could get every puppy buyer to do the regular testing - but I can't force it. 

I know of dogs who died early of DCM, and whose offspring were a mixed bag. Some died of DCM by age 7, and others lived into their teens.  I know of other dogs who themselves lived into their teens but had offspring die young.  It is beyond frustrating as a breeder to try and produce longevity. Anyone who has been at it long enough knows not to point fingers.  What I do know is that I do everything I can to maximize the possibility for good longevity, and can look my buyers in the eye when bad things happen knowing that I truly did my best.  There are no guarantees with this breed, we either accept that and love them anyway, or we go to a different breed.  For me, there has been no other breed since 1993. 

DobermanGuy's picture
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Joined: 2017-12-11

I have personally lost older Dobermans to sudden death that tested clear on heart tests fairly recently (6 months) -

 

So you admit that they can pass the tests you suggest and still drop dead as a rock soon after -

But at every chance you get you suggest other breeders are somehow 'not good breeders' for not having the tests you suggest done...

Think about that for a bit.

 

 

 

 

Dobermanguy - we use the tests we have because they can catch DCM early to 1) Treat them in hopes of extending their life 2) Remove them from the breeding pool 3)Add to our knowledge of the health of that particular line. 

You can bury your head in the sand and not use the tools we have. They are not perfect tools, but they are better than doing nothing and having no clue what their heart health is. 

Of the two types of heart disease common in Dobermans, traditional DCM (dialated cardio Myopathy) is the enlargement and weakening of the heart. If you can catch DCM early before there are any syptoms, then there is a good chance you can really extend their life with meds. 

The more tricky heart disease is where they start to throw irregular heartbeats - a few singles (up to 40 singles) is no big deal. It is when they start to throw lots of doubles, triples, and runs of irregular heartbeats, that they can suddenly die. Catching this early can and does also benefit from meds. 

Some dogs have both issues. Some have one or the other.  It's in the breed, but we should not ignore it and just wring our hands. We use the tools we have to try and breed healthy dogs.  To do less than that is irresponsible at best. 

DobermanGuy's picture
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Joined: 2017-12-11

You can bury your head in the sand and not use the tools we have. They are not perfect tools, but they are better than doing nothing and having no clue what their heart health is. 

 

When old tools do not work - Smart people seek out better tools that WILL do the job.

Like DNA testing for example...  

 

 

Did I really just type all that information which you apparently ignored?  DCM DNA testing at this point in time does not predict which dogs will or won't get DCM.  Just like human heart disease, Doberman DCM has many DNA markers ... possibly dozens.  The two markers that we have have proved to be inconcluesive. 

The only Doberman breeders relying and advertising DNA results only for DCM are ignorant at best and practically criminal at worst IMHO. I feel so sorry for buyers who are taken in by greeders advertising "DCM Free" - there is no such thing! The DNA markers mean next to nothing, and the tests we do are for that moment in time..... they need to be done on a regular basis as DCM is normally a disease of the  middle aged dog/bitch. 

In September, I had my almost 12 year old boy and 7 1/2 year old girl tested (cardiac ultrasound) - I do them every year.  I hope to pick up our club  Holter next week. My Mabel is too young, she will start with testing next year.  I spend a lot of money on health testing every year.... and not just for the dogs I will breed. 

DobermanGuy's picture
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Joined: 2017-12-11

Did I really just type all that information which you apparently ignored?  DCM DNA testing at this point in time does not predict which dogs will or won't get DCM.

 

You have already admitted that the tests YOU suggest 'at this point in time do not predict which dogs will or won't get DCM'.

The parents could pass all of those tests and never be affected / show any symtoms of DCM throughout their entire 'avearge' lifespan but one of those offsprings could still lose that genetic lottery later in its life (or live to pass it on down the line).

 

The only Doberman breeders relying and advertising DNA results only for DCM are ignorant at best and practically criminal at worst IMHO  

How are your tests any different? You are 'advertising' those tests and regularly knocking breeders that don't do them. 

You know full well that DCM can skip generations and that:

DCM is normally a disease of the  middle aged dog/bitch

 

You could very easily sell me a pair of puppies from parents that passed ALL of your suggested tests and had never developed / shown signs of DCM and those puppies could have grown up and passed ALL of those tests and had never developed / shown signs of DCM and then...

 

You refer to the people trying to discover more as 'ignorant' and 'criminal'.

 

 

How does that help the breed?

 

 

Doberman Guy, I don't know why you have it in for me and just enjoy the hell out of twisting my words to match your views of me and other reputable breeders/exhibitors. I certainly can't stop you from doing it, but I really can't help but wonder why you do it. 

I tell every person who buys a puppy from me that I do all the Heart testing, but that it absolutely is a moment in time test. I continually test my personal dogs because I WILL look for the disease and hope that IF they get it, I catch it early and can medicate.  I contact my puppy owners every year with test results and let them know what I recommend they be doing for their dogs. I don't shame them for not doing it, but recommend. Every time a dog of my breeding dies, I put it on Dobequest with the cause, and I contact everyone - it also goes on my facebook. Being transparent is very important to me. 

I also tell any potential puppy buyer that cardio is in the breed and there are no guarantees. The best predictor that we have is to look at the pedigree - no pedigree is DCM free, but good health and longevity in the lines gives us hope that it will pass on to the next generation. The second best thing we can do is test with Ultrasounds and Holters. I hope you realize that this is also what we do for humans that have a history or family history of heart issues. 

The difference between testing and not testing is that at least we know that at the time we do a breeding, the dog/bitch does not currently have cardio - cardio can be occult for possibly years.... which means that people who don't test could be breeding dogs that already have cardio but just don't show symptoms yet. So, THAT is why we continually test our breeding dogs. 

I'm happy that researchers are out there looking for causes and cures - but I certainly don't use the DNA tests we have to advertise "cardio free" when I know that is false. I do use DNA tests that actually tell me something concrete: VWD, color dilution, etc. 

Finally, I'd never sell anyone a "pair" of puppies as I don't believe in raising puppies in multiples. 

Heidi2's picture
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Joined: 2019-08-31

Fitzmar, I am in total agreement with you.   When we got our girl, our vet was surprised we got her locally.  He said he has always loved the breed but just doesn't see them anymore.  We told him we knew we were taking a chance with this one.   We have no background on her and even if we did, we realize it is a 50/50 chance for DCM at some point.   I am not sure at what point to start having her tested/monitored, etc.   She is only 10 months but realize that it could happen.  We couldn't save our last pup who fell over as he was happily running down our hallway.  He was only 4 months old.  Nothing could have prepared us for that.  Like our vet, we love the breed and took the leap of faith to get another one.   It sounds like you are an up-front, conscientious breeder.  

P.S.  I like your comment on not selling a "pair" of puppies.  We were sooo tempted to do this and now I am glad we didn't.  I can't imagine doing a one-on-one training having two of them.   (Plus, we did hire a professional trainer right away - I'm sure he would have charged double to train TWO - ;) )

 

The vet cardiologist I use recommends doing the first cardiac ultrasound between the ages of 2-3. Sometimes when very young dogs are done, you get a false positive as their heart is still maturing.  I try to do the first Holter by the age of 3-4

I'm sorry to hear about your puppy - it is very rare for a puppy to actually have DCM, but there are also other congenital heart conditions that act about the same way. It unfortunately happens :-(  I've never seen it, but have heard of it. 

I wish you many years of happiness with your new puppy. 

DobermanGuy's picture
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It sounds like you are an up-front, conscientious breeder.  

P.S.  I like your comment on not selling a "pair" of puppies.  We were sooo tempted to do this and now I am glad we didn't.  I can't imagine doing a one-on-one training having two of them.   (Plus, we did hire a professional trainer right away - I'm sure he would have charged double to train TWO - ;) )

 

Nope. She is a hack selling her customers on her dogs by promoting a false sense of security because her dogs were 'tested' using her approved method.

She somehow wants her customers to believe that her dogs are either free or 'less susceptible' from DCM when in reality she has no clue if they will develop it later in life or not.

I also tell any potential puppy buyer that cardio is in the breed and there are no guarantees.

Seriously doubt that. God only knows what is in her contract but that fact is most certainly NOT there.

 

As far as training a pair is concerned -

If you are having to hire help to train one then a pair is definitely something you need to wait on.

If you already know how to train dogs doing it in pairs is oftentimes easier. Depends on the circumstances and what you are trying to help them learn but in many cases things go faster. In my experience I would say most things go faster...

 

Only going to waste the time to give one example but here goes:

Greenbeans.

Only takes a single dog to be willing to eat one before all the dogs line up to get theirs too...

Monkey see - Monkey do is real. 

 

Puppies do not pop out like cookies all exactly the same. One could be more  shy, or a better jumper. The other could be better with obedience or faster when running...

If you have just one dog willing and wanting to eat that greenbean regardless of how non-meaty, non-tasty, and non-something any normal dog would want for a treat those things got to be - You got a dog that will quickly help you train every other dog in the house to love them and line up for them.

My rescue mutt growled at one of the Dobergirls not too long ago for walking up on her bowl while it had a few greenbeans left in it. If you had tried to give her one of those a year ago she would have never touched it and just looked at you in a confused way.

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Heidi2's picture
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Joined: 2019-08-31

It seriously baffles me as to why you would make statements about someone you don't even know.   From what I can see, Fitzmar has put time and effort into this breed.  Who are you to cut it down?  I can actually say that I would not hesitate to purchase a dog from her just from reviewing her posts, etc.

Furthermore, we didn't HAVE to hire a trainer.  We HAVE trained many dogs over the years.  However, after a tragic incident with a new neighbor's very aggressive GSD coming onto our property and killing our little 8 lb. dachshund, we CHOSE to be over cautious in making sure OUR new dog was a good all-around citizen - especially in view of the fact that she was a power dog. 

Yes, there are times when we wish our girl had a playmate, as she depends totally on us to interact with her.  Your points about no puppy being the same is true and we totally agree an established dog will and does, no doubt, help train the other.  Seriously, why make an issue of my comment that I don't feel like we could have handled TWO puppies?  Give me a break.   I am admitting it would have been more of a challenge than I would have liked.  Do I feel some people can handle two pups at a time?  Yes, but not me.  I want the dog we have to be the best she can be and so far, the professional training and time we are putting into her is paying off.    We most definitely could have done it ourselves, but we were able to get much more training for her than we knew how to accomplish. 

 

 

 

 

It would be nice to know who Doberman Guy is! I don't know what I ever did to earn his ire - haha!  Maybe just being a reputable show person is enough (shrugs). It seems that no matter what I say or do, he likes to slam me for pre concieved notions that don't even apply.  Maybe Doberman guy is the one that made a false claim about me and other reputable breeders on some stupid website - be interesting to know. I and others like me have made enemies when we have called out/exposed bad breeders in the past. 

I've never claimed to have cardio free dogs - not once! I've produced 3 litters so far in my 26+ years in the breed.  The last litter will turn 8 in February & I just had a cardiac Ultrasound done on the girl I kept in September, and did a holter on her last week. So far so good, but two have been lost to cardio in the litter of 8. For various reasons, I didn't breed anything in that litter. Not hiding it.

 

DobermanGuy's picture
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Joined: 2017-12-11

Maybe just being a reputable show person is enough (shrugs).

 

My current and previous breeders were and are both licensed Vets that owned or currently own their own clinics.

Tools that you have to borrow they actually own...

 

Not personally willing to trust any of my Dobeman medical advice from a 'show person' vs an actual licensed and practicing Vet that sees the stuff every single day.

 

 

 

 

DobermanGuy's picture
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Joined: 2017-12-11

 I want the dog we have to be the best she can be

 

Does your dog know her name?

Do you use her name before commands?

 

If you look right at her and loudly say 'dog name' CRATE does she go in the crate or just sit there? What happens if you substitute a different name and give the same command?

If you say 'Fido' and her name is 'Spot' she should not move no matter what command you give with 'Fido' in front of it.

 

 

 

 

I've never claimed to be a vet! I just know my breed well, and have a great working relationship with my vet of 21 years.  The Doberman club I belong to, owns a Holter Monitor that I can use at any time. I may actually buy my own the next time I breed a litter.  I truly am at a loss about the hostility. 

I don't give medical advice - I will give information that worked for me or others I know well, and I will tell people what tests they may want to ask their vet about.  More often than not, when someone asks about medical stuff, I tell them to talk to their vet.... or see a specialist. 

The vast majority of show breeders are not vets and the vast majority of vets are not breeders of any kind.  Some vets have learned that most show breeders know their breed really well, and work with them.  I go to a specialist at a different practice for reproduction.

Show people spend a lot of time at shows talking to other breeders/owners - we have a big network of people that have so much knowledge about this breed..... some of them ARE vets.  Show folks don't live in a vacume - it is a community of pretty knowledgable people. 

CRDobe's picture
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Joined: 2014-11-06

Pet Profiles

Fitzmar, I only "know" you through this and one other Dobe forum, but you have only ever given thoughtful, intelligent comments based on your long experience with this breed.

I for one am always grateful for what I have learned from your knowledge.