Dobermans breeding quality not
quantity for 20 years
For Your Information
A note regarding Cardiomyopathy: (SEE ABOVE) Alot is not known about Cardiomyopathy
genetically... and how the Cardio gene is passed on to its victims?? Research suspects it is Autosomal
Dominant (which means they know that whatever gene it is, it is DOMINANT, (meaning one parent can
pass the gene to offspring, not like recessive which has to come from both parents..). Finding which gene
or genes is responsible is the question???? or where it is located on the DNA Strand?????...There is
different penetrance....which really doesn't tell which dogs will get the gene, or at what age they will be
struck, and whether it will be Sudden or Congestive....We just have to hope that research can come up
with definitive answers.... In the meantime we can do Echo and Holter testing to DETECT any heart
problems AT THE TIME OF TESTING, but that does not tell whether the Dobe will eventually come down
with it at some point in their lives!! They are clear at the TIME OF TESTING, but there is NEVER a sure
guarantee a Dobie will never develop Cardiomyopathy!** *Until research comes up with a DNA
test....................????*** The positive side to testing is IF the Dobe is showing signs of Cardio at the time of
testing, there are meds that can help slow the inevitable, but not cure it!! Sometimes giving them a few
years they might not have had otherwise...
Gorrmae tries to breed into, and with the pedigrees that have shown the majority of those ancestors have
AS FEW Cardio dead (proven) dogs in their pedigree as possible.... So far we have been blessed with a
good amount of longevity behind our dogs pedigree's
A note regarding VWD : Vwd is a clotting defect found in Doberman Pinschers. It is a
deficiency of the clotting Factor VIII and sometimes along with poor platelet function. It's
incidence in Dobermans is high, but mortality from it is low..due to fact of the type, which is
Type I. (Type I is considered not as severe as other types that other breeds may acquire.) As
even an affected Dobe could still carry a reasonable amount of the Factor VIII clotting factors.
So this is why it would behoove a breeder to test every dog they plan on breeding.
The DNA test done by VetGen of Ann Arbor, MI makes it possible to do a test that will determine
if a particular dog carries the gene, (it is estimated that 50% of Dobermans are carriers of the
gene) ( 15% are clear of the gene ), and around 35% can be considered affected. Now these
percentages are in theory, and unless accurate testing is done and a poll was done, there is
now actual way to determine how many Dobermans are clear, carrier or affected in the general
population . Another test is the Eliza test, done by drawing blood in a special tube and syringe
and carefully sent to a lab that does that testing.
Dr. Jean Dodds is one such source.
Examples of breeding strategies would be if a carrier were bred to a clear, there would be NO
affecteds, but 50% clear, 50 carriers, but if a clear were bred to an affected, 100% would be
carriers, and if an affected were bred to a carrier there is 50-50 chance for both carrier and
affecteds. A large percentage of breedings done today are carrier to carrier breeding, probably
due to the fact that there are more carriers found in the general population. Those resulting
pups would be 50% carrier, 25% clear, and the remaining 25% affected. Now this is in theory
only. A stroke of luck could feasibly produce an all clear, all carrier or an unlucky stroke could,
regrettably produce an all affected litter.....most of the time it is a mixture. Testing of the
resulting puppies is the only sure way to know !
Bleeding tendencies lessen with age, and research has found a correlation between VWD and
hypothyroidism. Which is why it is important to do VWD and Thyroid testing on Dobes before
being bred. It has been found that thyroid supplementation can help toward lessening severe
bleeding tendencies, and also may even help with less stress on heart function....according to
some new research being done. There is nothing written in stone yet, but it is a start.....
A note regarding Low Thyroid: Hypothyroidism is regrettably another common
occurance in Dobermans. (it also affects dozens of other breeds!) The most common cause of
thyroid disease is autoimmune thyroiditis. In short this means research believes it is a
genetically transmitted disease that can begin in susceptible individuals as antithyroid
antibodies. (the thyroid cells turn on themselves!)
The thyroid gland is small but the hormone it releases can affect most the systems in the
body.....Thyroiditis is believed to start in most cases around puberty and gradually progresses
through mid-life and become clinically expressed in mid life, or old age. That is why it is
important to be ongoing in the testing of all Dobes, throughout their lifetime....
Some research being done, seems to think there is a correlation between low thyroid hormone
levels, and being susceptible to many other diseases...such as longer clotting times like in
VWD affected dogs, seizure disorders, chronic infections, immunosuppressive viral infections
like (even with shots), Parvo, Distemper. Also there is a suspected connection to CAH, joint,
kidney and adrenal gland (Addison's) diseases. Chronic allergic and immune skin and muscle
In short, as the thyroid gland starts to fail, the Free T4 (which converts to T3, which is important
to intracellular function) concentration falls, the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) secreted by
the pituitary gland is on the rise....and along with that invariably an increase of the
autoantibodies .....These values are just a couple indicators of impending hypothyroidism,
other indicators would be high Cholesterol levels, high TGAA levels. Some believe
hypothyroidism is over diagnosed, which is why a premier lab like MSU, should do the testing.
An in house test done at a Vets office just does the basic T4 and T3, and usually are not able to
do the more complicated values such as the TSH and Autoantibodies, which gives a more true
picture of what is going on with the thyroid gland.
Cardio, Hypothyroidism, and VWD seem to be the most common ailments affecting the Dobe,
that can be tested for at the time a pair of Dobes is bred. So it would behoove the breeder of
those dogs to test as best they can before breeding. This allows for a more responsible
decision to be made..
Of course there are other devastating diseases, like CVI, Cancer, Liver Disease, and many
others...and we must always be ever diligent in knowing our dogs, so we can detect something
that is just not right...as we all know...Dobermans are so stoic, they don't let on something is
wrong. So we have to always be on the look out for those things that could rob us of our very
DCM..........Dilated Cardiomyopathy Mutation is a form of heart disease in the
Doberman Pinscher dog.
There is some exciting news being made..Dr. Kate Meurs of the
Washington State University College of veterinary Medicine has identified a
mutation responsible for the gene that causes Cardiomyopathy in some
In short Dr. Meurs has found that Dobermans who have dilated cardiomyopathy
are missing a large chunk of a particular DNA strand, which makes a protein that
produces energy to fuel the heart muscle..............Dr Meurs team does not know
yet if this is the only mutation in the Dobe or if there will be many different
mutations,(as there has been found in humans with Cardiomyopathy).
Nothing is conclusive yet, but this is a remarkable breakthrough!!!!!!
They have developed a swap test you can order through the WSUCVM. The test is $60 US per dog, and if
more that 5 or more are submitted the cost is $51 US per dog.
Their interpretation is:
NEGATIVE: There is an absence of the mutation in this dog...(but that does not mean the dog will never
develop the disease). It means that the dog does not have the only known mutation that can cause the
disease in the dog at this time..It is a good start though...
POSTIVE:Dogs that are positive for the test will not necessarily develop significant heart disease and die
from the disease. Some dogs will develop a very mild form of the disease and will live quite comfortably,
some may need treatment. In short a decision to remove a dog from a breeding pool should be made
carefully. At this time they do not know the percentage of Dobes that will test Postive for the mutation.
Remember that dogs that carry this mutation also carry other important good genes that we do not want to
lose from the breed.
POSITIVE HETEROZYGOUS: 1 copy of the mutated gene and 1 copy o a normal gene. Dogs that do not show
signs of disease and that have other positive attributes could be bred to mutation negative dogs.
POSITIVE HOMOZYGOUS: 2 copies of the mutated gene. Recommendations are to not use these dogs in a
There is the incidence of penetrance of the gene. Which in short means that even if the dog has the
mutated gene for DCM, the dog could live a long normal life, and not show any signs and symptoms until
late in life, of never at all...or the dog could develop the disease at a young age and succumb to the
disease....this all depends on the penetration of the mutated gene...complicated for sure..
The main thing is this test is a step in the right direction in trying to irradicate this horrible, devastating
disease from our beloved breed...the Doberman Pinscher!!!!!!!!!!
Major AKC Ptd
Jeserans Guess Who's
Coming To Dinner, a