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Section II: Going to the Dogs
4. What are Doberman Pinschers like to own?
They’re good dogs if you’re fairly affluent and have some skill at training. I loved my dobe: he was quiet, patient, and loving.
It’s worth knowing that these dogs can be walking vet bills. Like all breeds that have gone through periods of popularity (they’re coveted as supposed “guard dogs” and among gang members for dog-fighting or simply to project a macho image), they are overbred and so suffer a number of genetic problems. Ask the breeder about hip problems, eye problems, and skin problems. To give you an idea, one resource considers hip dysplasia, osteosarcoma, von Willebrand’s disease, and gastric torsion to be “minor”(!) problems. Major problems include Wobbler’s syndrome, cervical vertebral instability (CVI), and cardiomyopathy. These are expensive, often painful, and ultimately likely to be fatal diseases. Find out if the breeder has had genetic tests done on the parent dogs . . . and good luck with that. . . .
To maintain health and avoid behavioral issues, dobermans need daily physical exercise.
Please: even if you are in the US, do not have your pup’s ears cropped and do not let the breeder do it for you. Your breeder will tell you poo-poo, ’tis nothing. But that is not true. It’s a cruel procedure that can take weeks to months for the pup to recover from and whose only purpose is a foolish idea of cosmetic beauty. In some countries it’s illegal, as it should be in the United States.