Dog breeders/puppy experts?

This is a discussion on Dog breeders/puppy experts? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Tomorrow mourning I'm looking at a litter of Doberman Pinchers that are 7 weeks old. Not available for another 3 weeks, but selling fast. Is ...

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    Senior Member Array rhinokrk's Avatar
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    Dog breeders/puppy experts?

    Tomorrow mourning I'm looking at a litter of Doberman Pinchers that are 7 weeks old. Not available for another 3 weeks, but selling fast. Is there anything I should be looking for other than markings and personality? This dog (male) will be a family dog, with mild protection training. Any tel tel signs I should be looking for health wise in any breed at this age? They're so frickin' small from pic's it doesn't even look like they can walk fully.
    http://www.familydobes.com/products.htm
    It's the first litter shown.

    These are high-end dogs that I'm looking at for my brother (who lives in Ca) and cant get away from work. And I don't know crap about puppies.

    Any informed info would be great. Heading to google now.
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    When I got my German Shepard, I had plans to protection train him. The trainer I took him to (at 1 year old) told me not to waste my money. He is just not a protection type dog.

    If I had to do it over again, this is what I would do. When you go to visit the litter, take a vet and the trainer you are going to use. They can evaluate the dog. The vet for his health, the trainer for his personality. It may be way too early for the trainer, but you should ask to see if he/she can evaluate the dog for the right personality traits at this age. If not, it will be a crap shoot, sorry to say.

    This may cost a few bucks, but the dog is going to be a 10-15 year investment. It is well worth the cost.

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    Dobies are naturally reserved, so don't be shocked by the pups reserved natures.

    From Wikipedia, and also validated by extensive personal research prior to our purchase of a Doberlady 7 years ago, here is a list of potential Dobie health issues:

    An average, healthy Doberman Pinscher is expected to live about 10 years. Common health problems are dilated cardiomyopathy,[10][11] wobbler disease,[12] von Willebrand's disease (a bleeding disorder for which there is genetic testing).[10] Other problems that are less severe or seen less frequently include:

    * Hypothyroidism [12]
    * Cancer [12]
    * Progressive retinal atrophy [13]
    * Cataracts [10]
    * Glaucoma [12]
    * Copper toxicosis [12]
    * Color dilution alopecia in blues and fawns[10]
    * Hip dysplasia [13]
    * Peripheral neuropathy ("Dancing Doberman disease", very rare) [10]

    The footnote numbers are from Wiki.

    Only deal with a high quality breeder. No puppy mills, no amateurs. Insist on meeting the Dame, the Sire if possible. If not, walk! Ask if they will guarantee against Wobblers and Dysplasia. Look at the lineage closely: Ask if parents, grandparents and greatgrandparents have had any history of the noted diseases. See if there has been significant father/daughter inbreeding to bring out certain traits that they may or may not identify. See if they have introduced new lineage. If so, from where and who? Ask if any have their AKC championships (e.g.show stock).

    Get the name of their Vet, and ask permission to talk with them. Ask them the same questions. Perform a great deal of due diligence on the breeder! Are the kennels clean? Are you allowed to walk through the kennels, good records, good health records, how long have they been breeding? What do other breeders think of them? How many other breeds do they breed?

    Try to get a copy of the book Good Dog, Bad Dog by Margolis - an excellent resource.

    Dobies can be aloof, stubborn and strong willed, while being loving and sweet - ours is a "velcro baby" - she wants to be with us - close to us - hence velcro.

    Good luck!

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    Don't take the runt of the litter.
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    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    rockandglock said it very well
    make sure all your ducks are in a row as far as how long you have to decide whether or not the puppy is healthy. most states have a law that says that you have so many days to be able to get your money back when you find out the dog is sick. the breeder should know this.
    one of the most important things you must do if you havnt already is look at the the dame (& sire if you can).
    ask about any health problems that any of her dogs have had in the past or may be prone for.
    just ask tons of questions. at that age, picking a certain one out over another, well theres just not much you can tell about personality at that age.
    try and find one that looks fairly lively and isnt too small (although again at that age just b/c one happens to be more away when you get there while another is zonked out wont mean much). so i donno, get the one you fall in love with.
    dobies are great dogs. im sure you will be very happy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rhinokrk View Post

    Any informed info would be great. Heading to google now.
    I just read the entire website for the breeder - He/she will provide you with all of the information you can think to ask it appears. They appear to be a very first class breeder based on the site, and the narrative they provide is dead on right.

    Of particular interest was their discussion of the health guarantees which cover virtually all of the items from Wiki, as well as their discussion of vaccines. Their vaccine discussion was excellent, and was dead on and mirrors what my research has indicated. Of particular note - Dobies must have the entire vaccine course, and adequate time to "process" them - Dobies "take up" the vaccines slowly, and thus extreme vigilance is required for young ones - avoiding any area with potential distemper, parvo or the like. Dog parks and apartment areas must be avoided - doggie gathering areas. Crates required at the Vets, and no grubby fingers in the crate.

    His lineages are very impressive, and his knowledge of the breed.

    I would guess if you and your brother spend a significant amount of time telling the breeder what you want in the dog, you'll get a better dog.

    Here's a pic of our our flop-eared Dobielady:




    Good luck - ask a lot of questions, and really listen to the answers.

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    First I would check the parents, that is the best way to see what the pups will look and act like when they fully mature. Rule of thumb is to pick the pup that is most active and playful when you visit them. You don't want a pup that is too laid back, not natural for any breed pup. You also can somewhat tell dominance by the size since there is some fighting for mothers milk at this young age. I'd go for the fatest most active pup but just my 2 cents. Good Luck that is a great family and guard breed.

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    Senior Member Array rhinokrk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post
    I just read the entire website for the breeder - He/she will provide you with all of the information you can think to ask it appears. They appear to be a very first class breeder based on the site, and the narrative they provide is dead on right.

    Of particular interest was their discussion of the health guarantees which cover virtually all of the items from Wiki, as well as their discussion of vaccines. Their vaccine discussion was excellent, and was dead on and mirrors what my research has indicated. Of particular note - Dobies must have the entire vaccine course, and adequate time to "process" them - Dobies "take up" the vaccines slowly, and thus extreme vigilance is required for young ones - avoiding any area with potential distemper, parvo or the like. Dog parks and apartment areas must be avoided - doggie gathering areas. Crates required at the Vets, and no grubby fingers in the crate.

    His lineages are very impressive, and his knowledge of the breed.

    I would guess if you and your brother spend a significant amount of time telling the breeder what you want in the dog, you'll get a better dog.

    Here's a pic of our our flop-eared Dobielady:




    Good luck - ask a lot of questions, and really listen to the answers.
    Thanks R&G,
    I've read and reread the site. I'm kinda freaking out about picking out a dog for someone else. I, myself am deciding between a 'red' from this breeder or an English mastiff. I lost my "pup" Zues (yes I realize it's spelled wrong, that story to come later), a Rotti / Doberman mix 08/11/07. I'm not quite ready.

    old picture, forgive the dirty carpet. Winter in Utah.
    He was approx 12YO, rescued from the shelter.

    Pic's tomorrow
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    Senior Member Array rhinokrk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfitzwater View Post
    ...Rule of thumb is to pick the pup that is most active and playful when you visit them. You don't want a pup that is too laid back, not natural for any breed pup. You also can somewhat tell dominance by the size since there is some fighting for mothers milk at this young age. I'd go for the fatest most active pup but just my 2 cents. Good Luck that is a great family and guard breed.
    Thanks, good advise
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post
    I just read the entire website for the breeder - He/she will provide you with all of the information you can think to ask it appears. They appear to be a very first class breeder based on the site, and the narrative they provide is dead on right.

    Of particular interest was their discussion of the health guarantees which cover virtually all of the items from Wiki, as well as their discussion of vaccines. Their vaccine discussion was excellent, and was dead on and mirrors what my research has indicated. Of particular note - Dobies must have the entire vaccine course, and adequate time to "process" them - Dobies "take up" the vaccines slowly, and thus extreme vigilance is required for young ones - avoiding any area with potential distemper, parvo or the like. Dog parks and apartment areas must be avoided - doggie gathering areas. Crates required at the Vets, and no grubby fingers in the crate.

    His lineages are very impressive, and his knowledge of the breed.

    I would guess if you and your brother spend a significant amount of time telling the breeder what you want in the dog, you'll get a better dog.

    Here's a pic of our our flop-eared Dobielady:




    Good luck - ask a lot of questions, and really listen to the answers.
    Nice to see a Dobbie without the ears cut...
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    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    Here's a tip I got from a seasoned schutzhund trainer. First look at all of the above about health, meeting the parents, etc. Next ask if you can be alone with each pup for about five minutes. Take said pup away from mom and siblings and see how it interacts with you. You don't want one that will just shy and cringe around a new person. If the pup will play with you or show interest in you it's a go for the last check. While interacting with the pup roll it on it's back (gently now!) and hold it there. If the dog meekly accepts this, pass. The pup will never have the personality to be aggressive. If the pup fights being held and squirms around and complains for a bit then settles down and accepts this is very good. It shows the basic hard wired traits you want of a measured amount of aggression but will submit to an authority. If the dog never stops fighting it then this will be a tough dog to control.

    He swears that simple test on a pup has produced a lot of top quality working dogs.

    Also a huge plus would be ancestors with either high schutzhund ratings or police/military work.
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    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ELCruisr View Post
    Here's a tip I got from a seasoned schutzhund trainer. First look at all of the above about health, meeting the parents, etc. Next ask if you can be alone with each pup for about five minutes. Take said pup away from mom and siblings and see how it interacts with you. You don't want one that will just shy and cringe around a new person. If the pup will play with you or show interest in you it's a go for the last check. While interacting with the pup roll it on it's back (gently now!) and hold it there. If the dog meekly accepts this, pass. The pup will never have the personality to be aggressive. If the pup fights being held and squirms around and complains for a bit then settles down and accepts this is very good. It shows the basic hard wired traits you want of a measured amount of aggression but will submit to an authority. If the dog never stops fighting it then this will be a tough dog to control.

    He swears that simple test on a pup has produced a lot of top quality working dogs.

    Also a huge plus would be ancestors with either high schutzhund ratings or police/military work.
    Excellent advice about the "put it on it's back" test.
    I just wanted to point out, if you want a calm, easy-to-train family dog, pick one that doesn't squirm much when on it's back.
    If you want a dog that can reasonably easily be trained for protection, look for one that fights for a minute, and then gives in, as ELCruisr pointed out.

    Depending on the breed, it's best to leave a dog with it's mother for 7-10 weeks. When possible, I like to leave a puppy with Mom on the longer side.

    Training a dog takes a lot of time and effort - really doing it right requires 2+ hours a day until the dog is 3-4 years old, and then 30-45 min a day for "maintenance" of that training.

    You can start housebreaking an intelligent dog pretty young in my experience. My last German Sheppard was housebroken by 12 weeks.

    Pick your dog up frequently - even after it's fully grown. This reminds the dog who's in charge.

    Never feed a dog without making it work for it! Before giving it food, make it do a few tricks - come, sit stay, lie down - THEN feed it. Use every feeding as an opportunity to reinforce your status as the PACK LEADER.

    I highly advise never giving a dog "human food", and never EVER feeding a dog from the table. A well trained dog should eat food ONLY from it's bowl, in my opinion. Not only does this prevent the dog from ever begging, but it makes it very difficult for a BG to poison your dog Stress this to your family before bringing the dog home. I don't know about you, but I can't STAND spoiled dogs that will sit by the table and beg while I eat.

    This rant brought to you by...

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    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
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    There are volumes to speak of about dogs and protection work. Your description of a family dog, with mild protection training concerns me. No offense intended but if you have to ask a basic question about what you should be looking for in a puppy then the term protection training should not be in the same paragraph.

    I handled/trained patrol GSD's for many years and there are a few standards that pretty much apply across the board; not many "cheap" dogs in service, runts of the litter don't make the cut and the Doberman is definitely not a standard in the Schuzhund/Working field, but a great dog nonetheless.

    Unless your protection is to bark at the door, there really is no "mild protection training". The dog is either trained fully or really not trained in protection. Once the protection switch is turned on in a good work dog, a mild protection work dog is a liability. Training a protection dog is much more involved than encouraging a dog to be aggressive, it takes years learning basic dog training, learning animal behavior, and learning from trained professionals how to train a dog for protection work. Contrary to popular belief, training is done with specific dog personality or types, not specifically breeds of dogs. A good trainer can train a black lab to be a protection dog.
    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ELCruisr View Post
    Here's a tip I got from a seasoned schutzhund trainer. First look at all of the above about health, meeting the parents, etc. Next ask if you can be alone with each pup for about five minutes. Take said pup away from mom and siblings and see how it interacts with you. You don't want one that will just shy and cringe around a new person. If the pup will play with you or show interest in you it's a go for the last check. While interacting with the pup roll it on it's back (gently now!) and hold it there. If the dog meekly accepts this, pass. The pup will never have the personality to be aggressive. If the pup fights being held and squirms around and complains for a bit then settles down and accepts this is very good. It shows the basic hard wired traits you want of a measured amount of aggression but will submit to an authority. If the dog never stops fighting it then this will be a tough dog to control.

    He swears that simple test on a pup has produced a lot of top quality working dogs.

    Also a huge plus would be ancestors with either high schutzhund ratings or police/military work.
    Excellent advice. I would not automatically want the strongest, most aggressive pup either - the Alpha display at a young age can make for a stubborn adult with high Alpha traits.

    Refer to Cesar Millan and his website too.

    http://www.cesarmillaninc.com/

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    Member Array SimmCity3's Avatar
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    I have 2 pits from different breeders. They are trained professionally for protection and a pince of home obedience. It didn't take long at all for my dogs to learn anything. The trainer was impressed on how fast they picked up on things and learned. I think it is on the trainer and his/her techniques.

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