*1 of only 9 breeders nationwide who have dogs certified by the AKC / DPCA, and as such are listed on the BFL-2
RECIPIENT OF ETHICAL BREEDER AWARD and for informative website for dog owners.
I fell in love with the breed at the age of seven when my brother brought home our first Dobe. It had been left at a veterinarian's office by its owner and never picked up. I have been breeding Dobermans since 1974. My foundation dog, Red Hawk's Man of Peace, was out of old German lines. He was a great dog and I showed him and was able to get points on him, but never finished him as graduate school, getting married and having a family became my focus. Still, with the experience I had in showing, I knew that there were people breeding dogs with health problems (Hawk lived a good long life and died playing with one of his grandsons!) and I made it a point to research any genetic problem the breed was prone to and do everything possible to make sure that the dogs I bred were free from these genetic disorders. Subsequently I test my dogs for every major genetic disorder. Go to the DPCA site for more info on health issues for Dobermans. http://www.dpca.org/gendisease.html COPIES OF HEALTH TESTING RESULTS FOR MY DOGS ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST and are also listed in Dobequest.
There has also been a lot in the news and on line about pet foods which have adverse affects on our pets, causing everything from cancer to kidney failure. It is believed that many pets are dying prematurely because of preservatives and such in our pet food. Here is a link which you may find helpful in sorting out which foods are best for your pet. http://www.thedogfoodconspiracy.com/tips/reports/dog-food-ingredients.htm
I had moved away from the show ring (though I am doing breed ring again) and toward the working arena. I think it is good to be involved with the breed and work toward making sure that these dogs are correctly bred. I was a long time member of the DPCA and also a founding member of the Hundesport Club, an all breed DVG Schutzhund Club in Virginia where I was also the secretary. It was there that I ran the gamut as far as participation went. I learned how to be a helper (wearing the bite suit and all!) and assisted in training and trained and titled my first dogs. I believe that the Doberman should be held to the true qualities of what the breed was intended. The dogs should be fearless, family guardians, loyal and loving. These dogs should be the "all around" dogs, with the proper drive and tenaciousness as well as the love to work and still be a great family member. I ask all of my "puppy people" to, as a very minimum, take their dogs through to complete at least two obedience courses. Almost everyone who has one of my dogs is working on some sort of title for their dog (therapy, obedience, rally, agility, tracking, Schutzhund, Ringsport). Without exception everyone has come back to me to tell me how exceptionally intelligent their dog is and how he/she outshines all the other dogs in their respective classes! Here is a link to information on classes, requirements, etc for your dog. http://www.akc.org/events/obedience/getting_started.cfm
HEALTH AND LONGEVITY
My dogs are out of top international lines. Before I consider any breeding I have a health co-effiicent done for the prospective parents. I never would even consider a high risk breeding, nor even a medium risk breeding, for that matter. I only do low risk breedings, which, unfortunately is not the case with the majority of breeders today. If they even bother to check the health in the line (and I don't mean simply having the parents tested!), they are more concerned with the dog's titles then probable health issues. My dogs undergo extensive testing for any possible genetic problems and only the best and most worthy dogs have been bred. Though no one can guarantee 100% I give a health guarantee against any genetic health defect with a total replacement policy for six years. I have never had to use that replacement policy. *My dogs typically live 10+ years. In fact, I have been getting my dogs certified by the DPCA for longevity. I am now one of 9 breeders nationwide who have dogs listed on the BFL-2 which means not only did the parents live to 10 and older but also ALL grandparents, too! Here's the link to the DPCA Longevity site. To date, Gable is the only dog on the DPCA site who has a longevity certificate and is a BFL-2
All of my dogs are guaranteed against being affected with VwD, wobblers, hip dysplasia, thyroid, cardiomyopathy and eye disease. My health guarantee for my dogs is second to none (see puppy contract) . Here I would like to say a ward about cardiomyopathy. A dog can test normal and 1 month later come up with cardio. Though there is never a 100% GUARANTEE, the only way to eliminate a cardio problem is to look at the line and see if any dogs in the pedigree have had cardio problems. This involves going back numerous generations. If you want to see if a human is predisposed to a heart condition, you look at the family history, especially parents, grandparents, etc. Do the same with dogs. Someone can advertise that their dogs are clear for cardiomyopathy, but really, there are no gene tests, or other popular tests including the Holter, except for family history and longevity, which can provide any kind of a guarantee for that.
For the last 41 years I have been striving to maintain the integrity and, whenever possible, improve upon my foundation dogs. As for the conformation of my dogs, I always endeavor to breed to the standard. Not everyone does that and especially some of the European countries have gotten much too far away from this standard with excessive bone, way over sized chest, large heads and heavily slanting top lines. ( In some countries it has even become popular to give steroids to the dogs to "bulk" them up! We all know what a steady diet of steroids can do!) I do, however, prefer a substantial male. My males are more heavy boned , usually range from 90-105 lbs. and 27 1/2"-29" at the withers. My females are more elegant. My dogs do not have slanted, exaggerated top lines like a German Shepherd; rather their backs are basically straight and flat and only slightly raised at the withers, just as they should be. My females usually are anywhere from 65-75 lbs, 25"-26 1/2" at the withers. I like my males to look like males and my females to look like females! I try to make sure the pair I breed is "balanced" to produce dogs which will conform to the standard.
Also, just because two dogs have great pedigrees does not mean that their offspring will be great! I have seen very poor examples of the breed , both in conformation and in temperament, come out of some of the best lines. Likewise, I have seen a bitch produce excellent show quality pups even though they themselves are not show quality. Sometimes someone has purchased and imported these dogs knowing nothing of the lines nor how to determine which two dogs should actually be bred. Sometimes they just don't care that out of a litter of 10 they will get one or two nice pups and the rest are substandard, or even worse, that they have high risk pedigrees for DCM and other diseases and then they pawn these dogs off on unsuspecting buyers who are just getting into the breed and don't really have enough knowledge or experience to know better! Then we get dogs dieing at not only at the age of 4 or 5, but as young as 3 or 4 months! These buyers trust they are getting a really nice dog but in reality they will be lucky to get a dog that has no health problems and makes a good family pet, never mind a dog that can be worked and/or shown and lives to be 10 or more. Sadly, even many experienced breeders are aware of these problems in some of the most prestigious lines and they deny the problem and put their heads in the sand pretending it will go away. This is not only Euro lines, but American lines, as well.
Likewise, I don't believe the only dogs which should be bred are champion to champion, especially when it comes to American dogs. First of all, it narrows down the gene pool considerably and then we increase the chances for health problems to arise. Secondly, not all "champions" have the proper temperaments for working, and I don't care how beautifu a dog is, unless it has the proper working temperament, being beautiful does not amount to a "hill of beans!" Oh, please don't get me started about those "breeders!" This is a real sore point with me.
I breed for a certain look and temperament and drive, but none of that means much without breeding healthy lines. There are, unfortunately, quite a few people new to the breed who feel that if they spend a lot of money on a dog, whether it be American bred or an import, they can breed any two lines together. They fail to take the family health history into account. There is a common misconception among those "newbies" who spend high dollar amounts on importing dogs with titles that they know these dogs, how to train them, raise them, but most of all that they can put any two bloodlines together without actually researching possible health effects for the puppies. As a result the lines carry high instances of DCM and wobblers and have many dogs who died prior to the age of 6. Actually, recently some very prestigious Euro lines have had several dogs sired by the same male from different litters die at 2 years, 1 year and even under 1 year! This is alarming and extremely disturbing. The lines look excellent on paper, but in reality, they are ticking time bombs as far as the health of the puppies are concerned. The bad news is these "breeders" are not breeding for the love of the breed but for what they deem a "quick buck." The good news is that they will not be around for long.
On occasion I do have males and females who are over standard, but without exception they have still produced dogs within the standard. I do not advocate breeding "oversize" Dobermans. Those breeders who intentionally breed oversize dogs are doing a huge disservice to the breed. I do not simply mean dogs which are simply a bit taller than standard, but those dogs which are bred with such exaggerated bulk, both in body and head, that they look more like Rottweillers than Dobermans! These dogs cannot have the agility the Dobe was bred to have and eventually these dogs will have serious health issues, producing offspring who are prone to hip dysplasia, wobblers, etc., and whose organs cannot support their size and weight. It's almost like they have produced another breed. The overwhelming odds are that these Dobes will have serious physical problems and the reduced life expectancy of Great Danes and other giant breeds. My philosophy is, if you want a giant breed, get a giant breed! Don't get a Doberman!
I have all four DPCA accepted colors in my pedigrees, black, red, blue and fawn. What determines these colors are linked here. http://www.dpca.org/color.chart.5.html I have never had nor will I ever breed any dogs with the X-white factor! Those dogs are genetically inferior, a real problem and should not be bred. They are subject to all kinds of health disasters. Whether you purchase a pup from me or not, you should never purchase a dog which has this X white factor in its pedigree. (see my contract re: X factor) http://www.dpca.org/albinoinfo1.html
I AM NOT A PUPPY MILL and I AM NOT A PUPPY BROKER! I do not advocate any breeder who raises dogs solely for profit or a puppy broker who has no time to really take a personal interest in the welfare of the dogs and never even has seen the pups, nor people and who do not truly care about preserving the health and the breed as it was intended. You will not find kennels when you visit me to see my dogs. I do not have numerous pairs of dogs that I breed on a continuous basis! My puppies are born and hand raised in my house and socialized from birth. I breed maybe one litter every year or two. The people who get my pups have generally been on a waiting list for at least 6-12 months. I have heard some puppy brokers criticize anyone who breeds a pair more than once. If you know you have a formula which works, why would you not repeat it? if you know you have a pair which produces amazing offspring, why would you not breed them more than once?! That would be plain crazy. I think people who criticize that practice are brokers who import dogs from many breeders and so rarely would ever get puppies out of the same sire and dam and this is their way of justifying that.
Puppies begin at $2,500 with limited registration depending upon the particular dogs being bred. There is a $250 deposit prior to breeding and a $500 deposit after the breeding takes place. Deposits are non-refundable as they hold your place, but they can be moved to a different litter. The price includes docking, cropping, worming, the first two sets of puppy shots, and microchip for permanent identification. If the puppy is to be shipped, the shipping and health certificate is additional. If you are interested in purchasing a puppy, applicants are carefully screened. Be sure to check out all the puppy pics while you are viewing the questionnaire! In addition, I have provided a down loadable copy of my contract I do have copies of both the puppy questionnaire and the contract on the site in case you have any trouble downloading them. There are many great pictures on those pages, so be sure to check out those pages anyway even if you download from the link! Please read the contract carefully, as well, before filling out the puppy questionnaire / application. I want to make sure that anyone interested in one of my pups knows what I expect and what the requirements and responsibilities will be for owning one of my dogs. New puppy owners who live close enough get to visit pups weekly beginning at 5-6 weeks until the pup is ready to go home. Specific picks may be determined between the ages of 6-8 weeks.
BEFORE YOU GET YOUR DOBERMAN: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Some last words of advice before you buy your Doberman. Check out your breeders. Thoroughly check their history and length of time they have actually been breeding their dogs. What are the health and longevity of their dogs? Do they even know this? How far back can they go with personal knowledge in their line? Do they themselves really have a line with a history or are they novices in the breed? What experience with breeding, training and raising puppies do they have? Can they provide you with references from past puppy buyers? How involved do they stay with people who buy their dogs? How available do they make themselves? How well do they know health issues, current health developments and training practices? Make sure you are committed to being the kind of owner these dogs require and that you will put in the time and effort necessary to raising the kind of dog you want. For one of my dogs, at the very least, be prepared to attain a CGC and one other working title on your dog.