Thursday, December 30, 2010

DNA cheeck swabs for DCM in Dobermans

We finally got back our first cheek swab results for Dr. Meurs DNA for the lacking protein that sends electrical pulses to the heart.  It was a very nerve wracking moment while I opened the results.  Out of 5 dogs that were completed and the balance is to come next week 4 were neg for the mutant gene and one was Positive Hetro.

As always there is a lot of confusion ab out what the test really means and how to correctly report it.  First I will say that there are NO Cardio clear dogs that can be guaranteed from any lines.  Dr. Meurs has found one of the contributing factors, but stated that there were 24 so far found in humans and she expects several in dogs as well.  Cardio is a very complicated disease and she did state that there are primarily 3 contributing factors -  genetics, environment and viral.  Any and all can play a part in any given dog.

Certainly feeding a quality diet has to help as well as good exercise.

I will proceed with the test results as I did with Vwd and eliminate it from my program just because it can be identified and it can be 100$ sure with the DNA test.  It is what any responsible breeder would do.

Here is the statement that came with the test results from Dr. Meurs:

( Currently our interpretation of the test is:
Negative results:
The absence of the mutation in this dog, DOES NOT mean that it will never develop the disease. It means that it does not have the only known mutation that can cause the disease in the dog at this time.
Positive Results:
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.
Importantly, breeding decisions should be made carefully. At this time we have do not yet know what percentage of Doberman Pinscher will be positive for the mutation. However, removal of a significant number of dogs from the breeding population could be very bad for the Doberman Pinscher breed. 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 of a normal gene) Dogs that are positive heterozygous should be carefully evaluated for signs of disease (Holter monitor and an echocardiogram). If abnormalities are detected, possible treatment options should be discussed with your veterinarian. Adult dogs that do not show signs of disease and that have other positive attributes could be bred to mutation negative dogs. Puppies may be screened for the mutation and over a few generations, mutation negative puppies may be selected to replace the mutation positive parent and gradually decrease the number of mutation positive dogs in the population.
Positive Homozygous (2 copies of the mutated gene). We recommend not breeding the homozygous dogs. Dogs that are homozygous )

We have a long way to go to eliminate it but it starts with one solid test that will help. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR - Dogs Rule - Dobermans are Supreme

We want to wish everyone and especially our Doberman extended family a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year!!!  There were several exciting things that happened last year and we are looking for an even more exciting new year with our Dobermans.  

Through the years our puppies have brought us many wonderful friends to share our puppies and our passion about this wonderful breed.

So from our house to yours......................Merry Christmas and may every Dog find a bone in their stocking!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

FREE Cheeck Swabs needed for study on liver Disease, wobblers and dings in Dobermans

December 13, 2010
Dr.. Mark Neff, Program Director with the Van Andel Research Institute and
featured health night speaker at National this year, is currently following
genetic leads in the areas of Doberman liver disease, wobblers, and dings
using cheek swab and blood specimens submitted by owners in recent months.
As many will recall, his Program for Canine Health and Performance team is
actively studying the genetics of the Doberman Pinscher. They are very
interested in expanding their studies, and research is at a point where
large numbers of specimens are needed NOW from *healthy* Dobermans for the
*fine mapping* parts of the studies. Their goal is to collect *hundreds,
ideally thousands, of cheek swab specimens* as quickly as possible.

These projects are completely driven by owner-donated samples, so we need
the Doberman community to step up and donate in large numbers. In order to
expedite the collection of a large number of samples within weeks, and to
control shipping costs (Very necessary for such a large effort),
researchers are requesting that we please batch together as many specimens
as possible. Suggestions for doing this (other ideas anyone?) include:

1. Breeders, or other owners of many Dobermans, order an appropriate number
of kits and return ship them all together.

2. Chapter clubs identify the total number of members' Dobes available to
submit and do likewise.

3. Rescue organizations with numerous (purebred) Dobermans do likewise.

4. Dobe owning friends in the same geographical region coordinate a similar
effort. One person might act as the area liaison, identify the total number
of kits needed for that area, order them, distribute/re-collect and ship
them back all together.

***Individuals or groups with 6 or more Dobermans available to provide
cheek swabs, please email Elissa directly as soon as possible to order your
kits at     (not clickable, please type in).

***Individuals or groups with 5 or fewer Dobermans, please go to the
website   and order your cheek swab kits there asap.

As before, this is Free- no cost to you, painless, and takes only a few
minutes to do in the privacy of your home. Specimen IDs are converted to
code upon arrival at the lab so it is also Completely CONFIDENTIAL.

Remember, we are blessed to have the interest of a phenomenal, top notch
researcher, WITH FUNDING (that will NOT be there forever) dedicated NOW to
studying and identifying markers for genetic diseases that kill Dobermans.
Please let's JUMP ON THIS opportunity and respond to this request with
great haste. I know its the holidays, but make this your Christmas gift to
Dobermans! If you don't celebrate Christmas, please do it in honor of a
beloved Doberman or human friend.

Dr. Neff and his team have been very impressed with the manner in which the
Doberman community responded to initial requests for samples from affected
dogs. This next step is an essential part of his research, so let's show
him how much we REALLY mean business when it comes to helping our beloved

Thank you very much, and please be in touch with any questions. PLEASE
Kathy Davieds DVM

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Congrats to Echorun's Stormin Isabella - Bella on 4 pt major

Congratulations to our Bella (Ayla/Denim puppy) on her 4 ptm major in Syracuse NY - Handled by Kelly Marquis -  Bella just turned a year old so it was a wonderful belated Birthday present.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

DCM Testing results

I am very very encouraged that there are so many neg dogs turning up.  When the test first came out many jumped the frantic gun and said would there be any neg dogs at all to breed to.

I think it is a very positive sign and a very neg sign -  On the positive side it appears we have a good # of dogs to select from to continue to work ad eliminate the this gene quickly- I also think if it is a serious part of DCM that it shows that DCM is not as prevalent as those who cried wolf and that all dogs were dropping dead like flies of DCM.. 

On the negative side dogs are still dying of DCM with or without the gene.  We all wanted a THIS IS IT!!! and it is not.  Dr. Meurs stated that there are 24 known genes that contribute to DCM in humans.  It is a complicated disease and we can't mislead anyone into believing that a neg results means you are FREE of DCM.  Unfortunately the one thing we wanted from this test, it does not and can not give us. 

Just like many breeders poo poo the Vwd gene as not a major problem in our breed there are those who will poo poo this because it is not 100%.  My thinking was if you have an absolute test and you can eliminate it then you should -  I set out about 7 or 8 years ago to eliminate Vwd from my program and I have.  All dogs I breed now will only produce clear or carrier puppies.  Most being clear.  For pet puppies being spayed or neutered it does not matter  if they are carrier but I have been fortunate in that almost all my dogs are now Vwd clear.  I do not produce any affected puppies - although I did for several years and was fortunate as none ever had a bleeding problem. 

I will move the exact same direction on this new DCM gene in the exact same manner.  Inch by inch we can take another step in the right direction. 

Dobermans are my breed - I take them as they are and strive to improve with each breeding.  But I am 100% died in the wool committed to Dobermans - problems and all.  For me there is no other breed.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

4 day old infant in Florida killed by family pet

I just read this story and was shocked - first at the stupidity of people who own dogs and secondly shocked and saddened for the family.  I can't begin to imagine their nightmare or how they will get through it.  My heart goes out to them.

There are two major things I really don't understand - first is people who leave children or pets in a locked car when it is hot outside and the second is people who leave children alone with the family pet.

When do we learn???  How many nightmares like this does it take for people to finally get the message.  DOGS ARE NOT PEOPLE.  It is our responsibility to keep all safe.  First of course, the children and second the pet we love.

I understand that the dog was immediately put down - I have to ask what did we gain by that??? What did we learn????  Now we will never have any answers - the number one eye witness is gone. 

It does not bode well for this country when we have people in charge of animal control who have no training or hands on experience working with animals.  They misjudge breeds, over react and jump the gun on a regular basis.  Who do we turn to - who do we trust???



Hi Ho Hi Ho It’s off to work I go -  Why PETA and HSUS will never get it about dogs

Our training club just completed a workshop this past weekend with Dale Pitts from the Tulsa, Ok Working Dog Club.  It was wonderful to spend a weekend, in spite of the cold, out working our dogs and learning new training techniques.  Everyone had a wonderful time, made new friends and picked up great tips for training.

As we were sitting around dinner talking, laughing and sharing some of our most memorable dog training memories it suddenly hit me WHY PETA and HSUS will never get it about our relationship with our dogs.  THEY ARE NOT PRO - ANIMAL, THEY DON’T‘ WANT PETS THEMSELVES and they don‘t want you to have one either.. . 

The biggest thrill this week was getting to work Gunner after a long two years of off and on injuries and 2 shoulder surgeries.  He was wild to get out and get going.  You just have to love and admire the work ethic of this boy.   It was so awesome to have him by my side once again for what he so loves - WORKING!!!

We did a small track and then some obedience to warm up and then getting the bad guy - it was like he never missed a day of training.  He was sharp and fired up to go to work.  We both had so much fun and then when I put him back in the van I just sat down and cried.  My boy and I back at work together at last. 

So no PETA and HSUS will never get it or understand the love between and owner/handler and their dog.  The hours they spend together training and preparing.  The deep bond of trust and sharing that is only excelled by watching your children succeed and perform well. 

To read the full article visit

Monday, December 6, 2010

Well our workshop with Dale Pitts has come and gone and we have to say we all learned a lot and so appreciate Dale's love and dedication for the sport. Sat morning kicked off with a lecture on Dale's training philosophy and then right to tracking. I tell you for me tracking is like watching paint dry while the whole time you are holding your breath. Dale brought it to life for me at least. I could actually SEE when the dog got it and gain a much better understanding of reading the dog on the track. I can't even begin to tell you how simple it was, but he just brought it home!!!

Sat afternoon was obedience and our club has several new members who have only done AKC obedience and have never seen anything closely related to Schutzhund- IPO work. All the dogs had a great time and everyone picked up many valuable tips to make training easier and more fun.

Sun was IPO and most of the dogs had never been exposed to it so we started of working with the flirt pole to build prey drive. I will say I had two very big thrills - First my little Tuxedo man is growing up and he was all about the prey - surprised the heck out of me as he showed tons of drive and confidence.

But the real thrill for me was when my Gunny boy got to come out on the field and do a little work. He has been out of work for a couple years plagued by injury and two shoulder surgeries. So I have taken it real slow and easy with him. To get to work him again and see him come out fired up and ready to work and shine like the awesome dog he is brought tears to my eyes. He did not miss a step - it was like he just did it yesterday. After I put him up I just broke down and had a good cry.

As always he showed the heart, courage and love for the work. This dog has taught me so much through our journey together and I want to thank Dale for working with him and letting him do what he so loves to do.

The workshop was definitely a success and Dale made it so. Our club will have two new members thanks to Dales awesome training. Thanks Dale!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Thanksgiving is over and I did a lot of reflecting about the past -  especially with the passing of Prop B in Missouri to stamp out the puppy mills - WHAT a joke.  

I remember that Thanksgiving was a day that all the guys got up early and went hunting.  As kids we were always excited to see them come home because we got to watch them clean the meat and get it ready for the next meal.   I always had rabbit feet and squirrel tails around.  I love squirrel and rabbit meat.

TOFU just doesn't do it for me, but as HSUS and PETA continue to push their radical agenda on us great memories of the past and traditions will be lost not to mention 1/2 of the worlds food supply.

They do not care about our dogs when they think they should all be turned loose to run free.  What to get run over by a car???  There are so many holes in their vision I don't understand how an intelligent person can buy into it.

You can read my full article at