I am hoping for reassurance on making a puppy decision...

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eileennellie's picture
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Joined: 2008-04-21

We are looking to get a pup and I have been in contact with three breeders. My top choice is listed on the DPCA breeder referral for my state, so I am confident in their dogs and practices. The other two are selling European pups. This is something I am very unsure about. Is that a red flag, and if so, why? One of these breeders is charging $3500, which seems high. And the other also breeds Huskies, which I think is a definite red flag. But they both claim their dogs are bigger and better for protection than the "American" dobies that are bred for conformation. Is that personal opinion, or are there actual facts behind it? And they will both (Euro dogs) let us have uncropped ears, which I prefer. But after losing both my dobers last year to health issues, my only real concern is that we get the healthiest dog possible. I feel like all the research I have done doesn't really give any solid reasons to avoid the "Euro" dogs. This will be a family pet and guardian for our son, so I agree with a lot of the things on the Euro dogs websites, but I am still very conflicted and confused. I would appreciate any help or any stories and experiences people can offer.

glengate's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-22

First of all, you can't be confident in the DPCA breeder just because they are on the referral page.  We pay to be there, and we have signed a code of ethics.  Doesn't mean we follow it.  Just saying.  That's for you to check out.  You don't ever take anyone's word that the dogs are health tested or that they are champions.  You can check some health testing in the OFA database, you can look up dogs in the AKC database, etc. 

If the Euro breeders have to slam the American Dobermans in order to catch your attention, it probably is a red flag.  If that's what they prefer, fine.  They should list their dogs' actual accomplishments and health certifications and let them sell themselves without bashing others.  That attitude of having to bash American Dobermans in order to sell their puppies is a huge turn-off to me. 

Have you spent time on this resource to help you to know what questions to ask?  http://glengate.webs.com/buyingguide.htm   It does need a little updating but the basics are there.

Definitely use the buying guide link that Glengate has given you. ^^^^

The DPCA breeder list is a good place to start, but as mentioned by Glengate, it is not a guarantee that they are a good breeder or that their dogs will live a long life. Do look for a breeder that does all of the recommended testing and that continue to re-do tests like Cardiac Ultrasounds and 24 hour Holter monitors on a yearly basis. These tests hopefully catch heart disease at an early stage so that their life can be extended with medication, and so that they can be removed from breeding.... it is no guarantee that a dog won't get heart disease just because they had a good echo and/or holter at age 3.  Ask for a marked up pedigree with age and causes of death. It would be rare to find a 5 generation pedigree where no dogs died of Cardio - but look for pedigrees where there is not a bunch of it close up. 

European Dobermans are no healthier than American Dobermans - anyone who claims they are is waving a huge red flag. Like Glengate said, ask for the accomplishments of the dogs they are breeding - too many are just giving out the titles of their ancesters. This goes for American lines as well. 

eileennellie's picture
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Joined: 2008-04-21

This is an excerpt from the Euro breeder I am considering. It sounds legitimate...I think. Minus heart testing, but it sounds like that is not a guarantee even if they do tests. This is not an easy decision. But thanks for the info, I did not realize being listed on the DPCA website was something that you paid for. I am getting on wait lists and will hopefully make a decision before the puppies are born. Unfortunately, the link to buying guide gives me the 404 error message.☹️

 Your new Doberman Puppy's parents have passed strict temperament testing, tracking trials and personal protection training. The genetics behind your Unique Doberman puppy shows that his genes are free of hip dysplasia, eye diseases, bad temperament and poor conformation. Your new Unique Doberman puppy (if you are so lucky to be chosen as one of our elite Doberman puppy owners) comes with a pedigree sporting German and European Dobermanns full of world champion show dogs plus each one has been worked to at least a BH in Schutzhund, IPO, Personal Protection sports and competitions. If you have been looking for the best Doberman Family Guard Dogs, with a World Champion pedigree, Schutzhund, IPO and VPG Working Titles in Personal Protection, Tracking, Obedience and Agility with Beauty and Brawn to match then give us a call. 

I'm seeing serious red flags..... ie: bragging on ancesters accomplishments and not the parents. They are also talking about genetics behind the puppies... ie: again ancesters, not the parents. 

The kind of bragging you posted, is exactly what to avoid. There is no substance! Show me the titles earned by the dogs that are being bred, AND the health tests on the dogs being bred!  Also, if this is the breeder charging $3500 for a puppy, run fast and hard. This is the price that show breeders seem to be charging for show quality puppies from Champion titled and fully health tested parents.... even then, I think that is too much. 

As an aside, the breeders listed on the DPCA breeders list DO have to pay to be on that list - it is one way that the club is supported. We also have to pay a yearly fee to be a member.... and to become a member you have to be sponsored by two members in good standing - then your membership has to be approved by the DPCA board.  So, to be added to the DPCA breeder list, I believe that they also have to have been a DPCA member in good standing for 5 years. There are a few very questionable breeders on there, but the majority of them are good ethical breeders. It isn't perfect, but it sure beats the other lists  of breeders out there!!

eileennellie's picture
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Joined: 2008-04-21

Thanks for the new info, that you can't just pay and be on DPCA list is super important. The breeder I have been in contact with is Windermere. They had a lot of questions for me before putting us on a wait list, which I liked. There is just so much to know. I will be meeting the Euro dogs, as they are only a few miles away from me. I will ask them about the pups parents titles and health. I mostly just want to spend some time with dogs, I miss being around them! My husband is leaning toward them, but for what I think is an unimportant reason, that they can have uncropped ears. I would prefer that, too, but I don't care what the ears look like if he's healthy. As healthy as possible, anyway. I got Paris for $150 from a nice older couple that bred their dog with their daughters dog. Byb for sure, but we had over 12 years of good health, right up until the dm in the very last weeks. 

12 years is a really long life for a Doberman - quite frankly, you are doing good to get into double digits in this breed.  My first Doberman was also a BYB girl that I paid $250 for - she lived to 11 and was a good dog. However, her conformation was horrible and it caused her a lot of pain and issues over the years. 

Health testing is very important as is pedigree research. Unfortunately, a breeder can do everything right and still have dogs die young. The difference is that they are trying to produce really good quality dogs with good health, and they will be there for you for the life of the dog. It is worth supporting good breeders even though no one can guarantee that a Doberman will live into double digits. 

Just remember that it can be really hard to walk away from a litter of cute puppies once you are there. I could be wrong about this breeder, but for sure I would want copies of health tests they are claiming were done.  As a reputable breeder, I do folders for my puppy families that have pedigrees, pictures of both parents, copies of all titles and health tests..... along with lots of other stuff.  As a note, I am not currently breeding, so I'm not looking to sell puppies. 

oops, duplicate!

glengate's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-22

I don't know why the link to the buying guide didn't come up.  I'll try again.

http://glengate.webs.com/buyingguide.htm

If it doesn't come up for you, try googling Glengate Dobermans, and then look for Buying Guide across the top.  I'm not having any litters either, so I'm not trying to get anyone to come there to sell them a puppy.  The buying guide is just great information, and I did take the time to update it in the past week. 

eileennellie's picture
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Joined: 2008-04-21

The link is working now, thank you! There is sooo much work in having a litter of puppies, I cant believe so many people are so cavalier about it, doing it without knowing how. This really shows me how important it is to be done right.