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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.
I am VERY concerned over two things happening in the Doberman world right now.

First 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 CLEAR" 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.  They are part of a bigger picture and MUST be taken into consideration.

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.
Second, and even MORE important to YOU and the BREED...

There are several "big name" 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!

I have never felt like life was a "popularity contest"; I would rather speak the truth and if that gets me called names and disliked by those whom the truth harms, I have no problem with that. As you can imagine, my attempts to educate the public on this issue has not made me the most popular person among some breeders, and that's just fine.  My loyalty is to the BREED, not them.

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 many 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 known carriers who passed it on. They are listed in no particular order:

​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 

And in my opinion, while ANY kennel can and probably will at some point produce Dobermans with DCM, some kennels are "notorious" for producing DCM dogs.  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.  In my opinion, it would be foolhardy to purchase a pup or dog from any of these kennels 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

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.