Choosing a Breeder

Foxhall Girls

We are pleased that you are considering purchasing a Doberman puppy. Your first step is to locate an ethical breeder. You should research the field of available breeders, whether local or other, and carefully screen them to select the best one.

A reputable and ethical breeder primarily breeds to improve the breed. Most breeders only breed one litter a year or less, so it is not unusual to be placed on a waiting list for a puppy from a reputable breeder. Many are members of the Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) and abide by the DPCA Code of Ethics. They invest considerable amounts of time, money, and emotion into each and every puppy they bring into the world. As such, they want to ensure that their puppies are all placed into wonderful homes. To accomplish this, ethical breeders will closely screen any potential buyer through an application process that will cover in depth questions about the buyer’s life style, living situation, dog care philosophies, etc. In return, puppy buyers should be prepared with any questions they wish to ask the breeder. Once the parties are comfortable with each other, the next step is to review the breeder/owner contract. Puppy prices will vary from breeder to breeder. Contracts are unique to each individual breeder and may encompass health requirements, food, training and emphasize title achievements, possibly within a given time frame. Carefully review each requirement of the contract with your breeder to fully comprehend the time and cost of each. Building a strong and comfortable relationship with your breeder is very important. Your breeder should be your first line of support if any issue, no matter how large or small, arises during your puppy’s lifetime. Your breeder may become your best friend and will be able to help you find a great veterinarian, choose a dog food, and help locate trainers. Your breeder should be there to answer questions relating to raising your new Doberman, and they share in the mutual goal of having your new Doberman develop into a wonderful canine citizen. There may be many reasons why an owner can no longer keep the dog. If this becomes the case, the owner should contact the breeder to discuss options.

You should ask questions regarding the temperament, health, and conformation of the litter’s dam and sire. A reputable breeder will test the health of the parents of the litter and should have the results of that testing available. Recommended testing in the Doberman includes, but is not limited to: Cardiac testing (a 24-hour Holter monitor or an echocardiogram, preferably both), hip and elbow testing through either OFA or PennHip, von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD) DNA testing, thyroid testing, and CERF eye testing. You should also ask about any cervical vertebral instability (CVI or “Wobblers”) and cancer that has occurred in the pedigree. No breed or line is free from all disease, but your breeder should be able to discuss any incidence of disease in the pedigree. Many diseases are not necessarily breed specific. Breeders do their best to improve the breed, but there are no long-term health guarantees.

Temperament is extremely important when considering a Doberman for your family. It is beneficial if you can meet your breeder’s dogs in their home. Ask the breeder if there have been any incidents with aggression or shyness in the pedigree of the sire and dam of your potential puppy. Evaluate the goals you have for this puppy. If you intend to be highly competitive in a certain venue (conformation, schutzhund, agility, obedience, etc.), you should find a breeder whose dogs have been titled or are successfully competing in those venues, with the titles to prove it. Your breeder may have had the litter evaluated to determine the best prospects for various natural talents such as conformation, agility, nosework, obedience, etc. If you desire a conformation/performance puppy, and you are unsure of being able to determine whether the puppy represents this goal, then ask someone with the knowledge to accompany you. Your breeder will assist you in this process. There are no absolutes with puppies, so you are choosing one that shows the most potential to meet your goals. The Doberman is normally a cropped and docked breed. Puppies should be cropped and docked by a qualified veterinarian while in the care of their breeder. Doberman puppies are usually allowed to go to their new homes around the age of 8-12 weeks, after the puppies have been graded and their ears are ready to be posted.

Albino or “White” Dobermans: No reputable breeder will support the breeding of albino or albino factored (Z List) Dobermans. Albino, or white, Dobermans are tyrosinase positive albinos. The “Z” List tracking system was developed by the AKC to allow breeders to identify normal colored Dobermans that may carry the albino gene.

Breeder Referral: The DPCD is proud to have several breeders as members of our organization (see list below). If you have questions or wish to discuss Doberman traits to see if a Doberman puppy will be a good fit for your family, feel free to reach out to any of the breeders listed below. If you are interested in meeting some of our breeders, you may choose to attend a DPCD Membership Meeting (see home page), where you may interface directly with some of our breeders.

Name/Kennel Phone Email
Nan Ball (NaBall Dobermans) 817-596-3355
Mary Ann Byrns (Radiant Dobermans) 817-975-6617
Coleen Byrns (Cadence Dobermans) 682-704-7560
Zelda Casanova (Sandia Dobermans) 972-672-1939
Gail Dunlap (Flagship Dobermans) 972-966-3436
Lynn Eggers (Foxhall Dobermans) 817-481-4187
Shannon Geiszler 817-658-5877
Mallori Nickerson (Aura Dobermans) 214-729-8449
Pat Onley (O Dobes) 469-223-5447
Keith and Barbara Weems (Athena Dobermans) 817-297-7878
Sam Starteri (Kasmarie Dobermans) 817-403-3645

The DPCD and its officers, assume no responsibility for the quality, health, or temperament of any dog, nor the warranty, guarantee, integrity, honesty or reliability, either expressed or implied, by any person whose name appears on this list. All such warranties, guarantees and promises are between buyer(s) and seller(s) as individuals. The DPCD promotes and expects fairness in all buyer-seller relationships. We reserve the right to refuse or withdraw any listing without notice of any Breeder that operates using practices that are in violation of our code of ethics or not in good standing with the DPCD. Listings are only accepted from DPCD members who are in good standing.