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Purchase Options

If the description of the ideal Doberman temperament doesn't create second thoughts, then perhaps the Doberman may be a fit for you.  More research is needed!   Here are some questions you might consider:

Puppy or adult?  While puppies are so very cute, and it's true that you will know the training history of a younger dog better than an older dog, puppies can be very destructive, and need careful management for 2-3 years.   Think hard about whether you must have a puppy, and if the answer is no, make that option known to the breeders that you talk to.
 
Specific purpose or pet? Are you looking for a pet?  Or do you want a dog for a specific purpose?  If you wish to compete with your Doberman in schutzhund or agility, you will have better luck finding the right dog if you look for dogs whose parents have demonstrated their ability in these venues.  If you want a conformation show dog, the same applies.  While you may find a nice conformation prospect in working lines, you are better off deciding what is MOST important to you and gravitating toward the breeder who is committed to producing that type of dog.  It is true that titles don't make the dog, and there are good, untitled dogs out there, but the greater truth is that if the dog is titled, the owner/breeder has shown commitment to the development and training of the dog to demonstrate the abilities of the dog.   
Price range?   Just how much does a good Doberman cost?  In 2021, a well-bred Doberman puppy whose parents are titled in working sport and conformation and are regularly health tested for common Doberman diseases will usually cost between $2500 - $5000, but don't be fooled by high prices.  The price of a puppy does not necessarily convey quality.  You must become an informed buyer and learn about the significance of the titles earned and the significance of the health testing results.  Look for titles occurring within the first two generations in the pedigree, and titles should appear on both sides (sire and dam) of the pedigree. If these prices are beyond your budget, you may wish to consider contacting local rescue organizations to see if you qualify to provide a home for Doberman in need.  Please visit the Doberman Pinscher Club of America Rescue Page for additional information.

Health Testing.  Quality breeders health test their breeding stock and make the results available to potential puppy buyers.  Health testing generally includes:
  • OFA hip and elbow certification to ascertain that the dog is free of hip and/or elbow dysplasia (one time)
  • OFA eye certification to verify that the dog is free of genetic eye diseases that affect the Doberman (one time or annual)
  • OFA thyroid certification to confirm that the dog is not thyroid deficient or have auto-immune thyroiditis (annual)
  • OFA Advanced Cardiac certification (annual) - Not predictive of disease.
  • OFA VWD certification (genetic test - one time) - Not predictive of disease.
  • DCM1 - Dilated Cardiomyopathy (genetic test - one time) - Statistical correlation, but not predictive of disease.
  • DCM2 - Dilated Cardiomyopathy (genetic test - on time) - Statistical correlation, but not predictive of disease.
  • Blood panel for liver/kidney values (pre-breeding).
  • Brucellosis - Before every breeding.

There are additional genetic tests available, but the occurrence of these diseases in Dobermans is limited.  Not every breeder will perform every test or certify test results with the OFA, but a reputable breeder should be able to provide you with the most recent test results for the major diseases common in Dobermans and explain those results to you.

For more information about common diseases in Dobermans, please visit the DPCA website: https://dpca.org/breed/health/
 
Co-ownership or Limited Registration.  Many reputable breeders will only place an un-neutered dog on a co-ownership or on a limited registration.   This is to ensure that only quality dogs are bred. The last thing that any quality breeder wants to hear is that a puppy from one of his or her dogs has ended up in rescue or the pound, or has been used indiscriminately for breeding.  Some breeders will co-own the dog until neutering, then will sign over full ownership.  If the puppy is not going to be shown in conformation, some breeders will sell on a limited registration until neutering occurs, then provide full registration. 

Gimmicks.  Sellers of poorly bred Dobermans may use many different gimmicks to convince you that they are providing you with a high quality puppy.  The “European Dobermann” fad is one of the more recent gimmicks, while “Warlock Doberman” and “King Doberman” are some of the gimmicks from the past.  While there are reasons to seek European lineage, not all European lineage is desirable.  Other gimmicks include “rare white or solid black Dobermans”. Remember that there are official standards for Doberman conformation and temperament adopted by the American Kennel Club (United States) and FCI (country of breed origin). The two standards differ slightly, but both describe a medium-sized dog with specific coloration and structure. Extra-large is not a desirable trait!  These dogs are not rare, but they are not of acceptable colors and will be dismissed from a conformation show ring. Importing a Doberman puppy is no guarantee of quality, since reputable, responsible breeders of quality working Dobermans are not likely to send their best puppy to a Doberman novice without references.

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