I have been prompted to write this due to the lack of information out there about how to choose a great Dobermann breeder. As we can no longer promote good breeders on Facebook as it’s against their policy I can also provide links here to breeders who have done adequate health testing and some who have also gone above and beyond.
If you think your Breeder/Rescue should be on this list, please have them get in contact! I would love to be able to provide more names.
OK so here we go. Things your Dobermann breeder should be testing for:
Blood Test proBNP – Prospective evaluation of NT-proBNP assay to detect occult dilated cardiomyopathy and predict survival in Doberman Pinschers
Blood test Troponin1 – Cardiac troponin I (cTnI) is useful for detection of cardiac myocyte damage, but its efficacy in detecting various stages of dilated cardiomyopathy
VWD Von Willebrand disease (vWD) is a common abnormality of the process by which blood clots.
PHPV (Persistent hyperplastic tunica vasculosa lentis/persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (PHTVL/PHPV) is a congenital eye anomaly)
Hip Score – A hip score is a measure of evidence of hip dysplasia (abnormal development)
History of Liver Disease – Dobermanns are prone to a chronic liver disease, called hepatitis.
Kidney Function – Glomerulonephropathy is an inherited disease that slowly damages your Doberman Pinscher’s kidneys causing them to fail, often at an early age
Thyroid – Insufficient blood levels of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism), due to disease of the thyroid glands, is a common condition of the Dobermann
Good healthy lines and evidence of longevity – There are Databases you can check out there and there used to be a longevity database but I don’t believe it has been updated in a while. But once a breeder give you his or kennel name, google is your friend, ask around, see if anyone else has a pup from that affix (A kennel affix is generally added to a dog’s name. This further calls for quick and easy identification. Kennel names are registered) is the pup healthy? any causes of deaths around that line? Join Facebook groups and Dobermann forums for more information on that kennel.
Some Essential testing your breeder should also be doing:
Echocardiogram – An echocardiogram is an ultrasound image of the heart. It can help vets diagnose a range of heart problems
24 hour Holter – A Holter monitor is a 24-hour electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG). An ECG is a tracing of the electrical activity of the heart that appears as lines on paper.
DNA Screening – Programmes like the Doberman Diversity Project are global and can help screen for genetic problems.
Let’s also discuss UK licensed breeders and KC registered.
Anyone can apply for a license. The new scope requires that a license is obtained by anyone “breeding three or more litters of puppies in any 12-month period. Here are the full details: https://www.agriapet.co.uk/hub-agria-blog/2018/july/the-animal-welfare-regulation-2018/
So use caution with this. Some very good breeders don’t have a license because they are not pumping out litters 3 times a year! In fact, some of the best breeders I know only have one litter every 2-3 years. This means they would not need a license. So do your research before ruling out anyone without a license.
KC/AKC Registered. Again, this is open to everyone. Even puppy farmers can note that their pups are “KC Registered”. So before just choosing a KC Registered dog, make sure the puppies & mum are viewable in a nice warm home, that the breeder is not breeding other breeds of dog. That they are not selling the pups for less than they are worth. That there is a contract in place. That they can show you all the above health testing & pedigree papers. That they are not breeding their dogs under the age of 2 (preferably older!) Steer clear if they seem ignorant or have no idea about Dobermann health conditions. Make sure they have references. Make sure they have socialized the puppies. Never meet a breeder halfway or arrange drop off (unless you have already viewed the litter)
I also often hear ‘I don’t need to buy Kennel Club registered as I only want a pet’.
I will explain why buying Kennel Club registered is just as relevant for pet buyers as for those who breed and show.
You know you are getting a pure-bred Dobermann. A breeder can only KC/AKC register a puppy if the sire (father) and dam (mother) are also KC registered, where the mother is owned by the breeder
KC reg is not a guarantee of quality. I myself have an AKC rescue, who is still DCM1 and 2 positive. Too tall and too skinny for the “breed standard” But the people who take the trouble to register will tend to do their research and try to breed close to the breed standard.
The Kennel Club provide a range of online tools to assist with choosing healthy breeding combinations.
There are far more KC registered puppies with reduced health and behavioural problems.
Let’s also talk briefly about importing dogs. This seems to be a growing trend in the UK
Below is a link to Dog foods in the USA low in sodium if your dog is diagnosed with DCM: