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Dobs4ever

Guidelines for finding a good breeder

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First and foremost a breeder needs  a strong character because they will need it.  Truth, honesty and understanding rank above all.  If you have these three things then you are on the right path. Don't be blinded by a beautiful web site - it is advertising and propaganda to a point.  Sometimes someone is good until a problem arises.  This makes it hard when selecting a "new" breeder.  They old saying is true - You have to earn their stripes.

A good place to start looking for a breeder is the DPCA breeder referral or the UDC breeder referral.

1.  Member of the breed club - I believe this shows the breeder wants to be responsible and follow the standard. It also shows that they support the breed club of our country and are willing to do  their best to breed to that standard. No "oversized" as it is not superior - it comes with a greater chance of health issues   Oversized is not quick and agile, it is slow and lumbering. Remember FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION.  Our breed is a medium sized dog and should be balanced in both conformation and drives.

2.  Have shown, trained and titled their own dogs not just brag about someone else's hard work.  I see far too many who brag about the great dogs in their pedigree, but have no clue what or how it actually applies to the dog they have in front of them.  A purebred, and especially a working breed should be proven.  This sets a breeder on a path that will give then more knowledge about temperament and conformation than breeding 1,000 litters ever can.  It prepares them to answer a question  a perspective family might have if a problem arises.

3.  Health test -  and that is not a vet check.  There are currently DNA test for Vwd, PDK4, Degenerative M, Dings, DCM2 (still in question).  And the newest is the Diversity programs which give the COI in any breeding if both dogs are tested.  All, and especially European breeding should  be tested for eyes PRA (progressive retinal atrophy).  Hip dysplasia, Thyroid and heart check with NT PRO BNP, echo and/or holter. While dogs are allowed to be bred as young as 18 months before all these test are done or any titling of the dogs involved, it is not recommended.  It is recommended that they not be bred prior to 2 years.  Beware the breeder who breeds two young dogs without solid health testing and no titling of their own dogs.  It is important to understand as best as possible the pedigree and longevity of the dogs behind the breeding pair.  

4.  Has a contract that clearly spells out the agreement and will stand behind what they produce, taking any dog back to prevent it from ending up in rescue or a shelter.

5.  Always willing to communicate and respond - it is easy to respond to the good things, it takes a strong honest character to respond when something goes wrong.  We owe the dogs our loyalty and must take of our families.  

6.  A good breeder crops the ears before the puppy leaves.  It is harder and harder to find a good vet who knows how to properly crop a puppies ears.  This should not be left to chance.  The breeder should know a good vet and should take care of it prior to the puppy leaving for its new home.  I have always felt it terrible to take a puppy away from the only home it has ever known and its littermates, send it to strangers and then they try to find a good vet to crop.  It is much easier on the puppy if he returns to a familiar home with his littermates.  The cropping really does not phase them as the comfort each other.  Then you know they get a great crop the first time around.  Usually puppies are cropped at 7 weeks as this give optimum time for the ears to stand.  Puppies should stay with the breeder until the stitches are out and the ears are healed and ready to post.  They are then ready to go on their new venture to their families.

SOME IMMEDIATE RED FLAGS:

A.  Anyone who advertises health testing as CLEAR on cardio - there is no such thing.  Cardio has been a very elusive disease and can rear it's ugly head at anytime regardless of how many test you have run. The 2 cardio genes have proven very disappointing  and are no indication of the dog being CLEAR of cardio.  Listing any health test as "pending" What a joke.  It usually takes 2 to 3 weeks to get DNA test back surely they can wait until they have official results.  At best with today's test we can say at the time of testing the results were within normal range.  Most dogs do not show signs of a problem until around 5 years of age.  So basically testing means nothing other than it would allow one to catch a dog that showed signs earlier and remove from the gene pool

B.  Advertising dogs as good for show or working prospect when they have not titled their own dogs in anything is a sales pitch.  It takes years of studying and watching how the dogs grow and develop before one can correctly evaluate a puppy for show..  They are counting on someone else's hard work and trying to short cut the learning and understanding necessary to truly know correct conformation and/ or temperament.  Just because you have a good pedigree does not mean they know which dogs to select for best results and not every puppy in a litter will be good for every sport.

C.  European dogs are healthier - simply not true.  They are showing more inbreeding than the American Dobes at this time.

D.  Breeding Albino's or z factored   - DPCA has a great article on the albino's here http://dpca.org/albino/albino_about.php

E.  No Virginia Wolf there is no such thing as a "Warlock" Doberman.  It is a myth or propaganda dreamed up by a very clever breeder to sell her oversized Dobermans.

There are many things that can fool the first time Doberman buyer because if the breeder has just a little inf, good or bad, it all sounds impressive to the first time buyer as they do not know the standard or the guidelines for good breeding practices.  They ask questions, but too often they don't know enough to ask the right questions or to know what the right answer is so they believe a bunch of BS.  Often times they feel they did their homework, or sometimes, they just want a puppy and are not willing to wait.  I have heard to many horror stories of untold expense when you rush to judgement or think you are "saving" a poor puppy from a sad situation.  Sadly that thinking continues to line the pockets of less than stellar breeders who then disappear and will not longer communicate when a problem arises.   Remember you are buying a family companion and the first step  is to choose the right breeder. 

 

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Guest DoberMom

This is good info but be aware problems can arise with even the best of breeders. 

 

 

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Yes life is full of problems but the difference is how it is handled.  Good breeders continue to communicate and work with their families in the best interest of the puppy.  It is a two way street so keep those doors of communication open for the lifetime of the dog.

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