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in loving memory of Dan and Barbara Jessup
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XDog's sire, the amazing 2017 IDC Sieger (Best Black Male Doberman in Europe) Tahi-Reme's Jedi shown here undergoing his yearly HOLTER test (notice the vest).  He has ongoing good results as he approaches old age.
BUYER BEWARE - DOBERMAN HEALTH WARNING!
I am VERY concerned over three things happening in the Doberman world right now.
PLEASE READ!

First, beware of breeders who list their dogs as "Free" of Dilated Cardio Myopathy; this is misleading.  At this time there is no way to know if a dog is "free" of the chance of developing the breed. It's that simple.

It is acceptable to mark a dog as "Clear" on its DNA DCM 1 and 2 test, its Echocardiogram or its Holter.  A dog CAN be "Clear" of signs of DCM at that time.  But if someone is showing their dog's DNA results and declaring the dog "Free of DCM" - they are not being honest. 

Second, are those breeders who "poo-poo" current research on Dilated Cardio Myopathy (DCM) genetics simply because we don't have ALL the answers yet.  The truth is, there is NO TEST which can assure you a dog is "DCM FREE" meaning it will never develop the disease at some point in its life.  However, research is ongoing, and there ARE tests which can indicate a high probability of not developing the disease.  Because a few dogs who test "clear" have developed a form of DCM (there are multiple forms) these breeders choose to ignore the tests all together, as "meaningless".  In fact, they are NOT meaningless; a recent University study showed that 87.5% of dogs presenting with DCM had one or more of the four "bad genes" associated with the DCM 1 and 2 tests.  This means that only 12.5 % of dogs with NO "bad genes" presented with DCM.  This is significant and something I've been trying to point out for years now; dogs with all 4 "DCM markers" clear are at a MUCH lower risk of DCM than dogs with one or more "bad" marker.

Important: many breeders will mark their results "heterozygous" meaning one bad gene and one clear gene on a test. "Homozygous" means both the same - so make sure they are indicating both "good", not "mutated" (bad).

The DCM 1 test has proven to not have much correlation with purebred Dobermans of current European bloodlines, this much is true.  However the genetic DCM 2 test does have significance. Here is how the North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine explains it (note: Positive means BOTH genes mutated, Negative means BOTH genes not mutated).

Negative Results for both DCM 1 and 2 = indicates that the risk of developing DCM is low. It is still possible for a dog to develop heart disease. However, a negative result for both DCM 1 and DCM 2 indicates that a dog does not have either mutation known to cause DCM.

Positive Results for DCM 1 only = About 40% of dogs with this mutation will develop DCM. Dogs that are positive for only DCM 1 will not necessarily develop significant heart disease.

Breeding Recommendations = DCM 1 positive dogs should NEVER be bred to a dog that is positive for DCM 2. Dogs that are positive homozygous (both genes) should ideally never be bred.

Positive Results For DCM 2 = About 50% of dogs with this mutation will develop DCM.

Breeding Recommendations = DCM 2 dogs should NEVER be bred to a dog that is positive for DCM 1 since this will lead to dogs that are highest risk of developing DCM. Dogs that are positive homozygous for DCM 2 should ideally never be bred.

Positive Results for both DCM 1 and DCM 2 = Dogs that are positive for both Dcm 1 and DCM 2 are at a very high risk of developing DCM.

Breeding Recommendations = DCM 1 and DCM 2 positive dogs are at the HIGHEST risk of developing DCM and ideally should not be bred since they pass the trait on. They should never be bred to a dog who is positive for either test. 

​My canine cardiologist states that the above is true and that along with annual echocardiograms and HOLTER tests must be taken into consideration when making breeding decisions.
REQUIRE PROOF!  Fraud is sadly common. Above is a copy of XDog's DCM 2 results from the University of North Carolina. There is not a Doberman alive that should be bred without a "negative" on this test.
Third, and even MORE important to YOU and the BREED...
PLEASE READ!

There are several "big name" (big puppy volume) kennels in Europe and Russia that specialize in show type Dobermans which appear to have a very high incidence of DCM, and are bred down from KNOWN DCM carriers. These kennels produce a LOT of dogs and with their flashy ads and websites they suck a lot of novices into buying their dogs as "breeding quality" despite the shocking lack of health testing done on the breeding stock.

           These dogs are flooding into America, and YOU as a puppy buyer need to do your research!

To me, life is NOT a "popularity contest"; I would rather speak truth and if that gets me trashed by those I call out - I have no problem with that.  I'm proud to say "judge me by the people who don't like me!"  As you can imagine, my attempts to educate the public on this and other issues has not made me the most popular person among shady breeders, and that's just fine.  My loyalty is to the BREED, not those who harm it for money. 

I am going to give you two bits of advice now, to help you do your research and your due diligence before you buy or breed your Doberman.  First, use this very handy website, out of Russia, which attempts to list cause of death and age on Dobermans.  It can be MOST helpful to check up on a specific dog or line of dogs to see how much reported DCM is in the background.  Mind you - far too many people attempt to hide the fact one of their dogs died of DCM, so the records are, of course, incomplete, but it is a great starting point!  Remember, a dog does not have to die of DCM to end up passing it on to his offspring. 

Just add the name of a dog you are researching (works best with European dogs).  https://doberbase.ru/dog/
The HEREDITY tab is most useful.

Along with this I am going to list a few "big name" dogs that either died of DCM or were/are known carriers who passed it on. They are listed in no particular order.  In my opinion, animals with these Dobermans either close up or multiple times in their pedigree should BE AVOIDED!

​Pride of Russia Sidor  *  Tigr iz Slavnoi Stai  *  Sant Kreal Zeus  *  Akuna Matata de Grande Vinko  *  Gino Gomez del Citone

Ebo v.d. Groote Maat  *  Maxim Di Altobello  *  Oscar Z Padoku  *  ​Fedor del Nasi  *  Oksamit de Grande Vinko 

ANY kennel can and probably will at some point produce Dobermans with DCM but some kennels specialize in using the above dogs and others which result in an unfortunate number of pups developing DCM. I put this list here not to imply anything other than it would be a VERY good idea to be extra vigilant when researching a dog or pup from these kennels  or from puppies bred down from dogs FROM THESE KENNELS. In my opinion, it would be foolhardy to purchase a pup or dog from these kennels or from American kennels using dogs with these lines, without seeing DNA results for DCM 1 and 2 and more importantly Echocardiogram and HOLTER results on BOTH parents.  Of course, the other basic health testing still applies, hips, thyroid, eyes, DM, vWD, etc.

Pride of Russia  *  Sant Kreal  *  Di Altobello  *  Betelges

THANK YOU for taking the time to read this. If we are to save the Doberman it is more and more apparent that its breeders and owners will be on their own; no club has stepped forward in a meaningful way.  Only educated puppy buyers who support reputable breeders will make a healthy, happy future for the breed.                                                           
​​
BEWARE THE BREEDER WHO WILL NOT SHOW YOU PROOF (OFFICIAL TEST RESULTS) FROM NC STATE or EMBARK OF THEIR DOG'S DCM 1 and 2 STATUS.