Monday, September 26, 2011


Maybe you shouldn't -  It is a huge committment, but for the working dog breeds who can often get themselves into trouble because an owner does not train and work with them to keep them mentally stimulated it can become a problem.  Training a good dog makes, IPO training a GREAT dog makes.

The individual who wants a working breed is not or should not be your typical "pet" owner.  Working breeds require MORE - more exercise, more mental stimulation, more training, more socialization.   If a person is not willing to give the dog this time and effort then maybe a lap dog would be a better choice.

Dogs are very much like children - they don't train themselves to grow up to be good citizens, know the rules and follow the rules.  That is our job.  IPO which stands for International Police Organization was founded primarily to train and test dogs that would be suitable for police work.  In the old days it was referred to as Schutzhund (protection dog) but as all things we certainly want to appear to be politically correct so IPO it is.

With all good things there comes some rules and some responsibility and protection trained dogs are no different.

Schutzhund or IPO is all about obedience after all it would really be dangerous if the dog just did what it wanted when it wanted.  Training is the basis for all good dogs.  But when you train in IPO sports you will learn so much about your dog and yourself.  It is about building a bond and working side by side with your partner who is trained to respond to certain commands and to work closely and obediently with his handler.

Far more than what the dog will learn though, is about what you will learn about these magnificant dogs.  Their courage, their spirit, their trust and loyalty are all above reproach.  It maybe considered just sport to some but it is a sport that teaches self discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship.  and undying love and devotion.  All valuable lessons for us to learn today especially when so many sports are full of dope addicts, perverts felons, dog abusers and low lifes elevatred to a superior status of incompetency and common decency sounds a lot like politicians to me.

Dog sports can be a whole family activity.  Teaching children good dog handling skills, how to build an unbreakable bond and how to feel safer in an unsafe world.  They are smart, alert, protective, powerful and they are loyal.  A trained dog is a confident dog.  Training IPO also helps the dog develop good judgement and gives them a better reading on situations.

If you have the time and committment I would recommend it for anyone wanting a working breed.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Should we have sport dogs trained in Schutzhund

Should we have sport dogs trained in Schutzhund??????

I will just come right out and say it YES.  It might be considered just a sport by those who do not have a complete understanding of working dogs, but for the serious breeder of a working dog it is an excellent way to test temperament on your dogs.

Why do I say that - well first before the dog can participate in any Schutzhund work the dog must pass a BH (basic handler) which is a 2 part test the first being obedience (making sure the dog wants to work and is trainable) and the 2nd part is a temperament test.(Making sure the dog is stable in temperament).

While most breeders do not do police work this tool is too valuable to throw out, not to mention the teamwork and bond that you develop along the way.  Once you have experienced that special bond forged in trust and mutual respect you can never look back and be happy with just a couch potato.

From the BH on, every single time the dog participates in Schutzhund it must demonstarte continued obedience and temperament testing.  How could this be anything but valuable to a working breed???

What about those that are not breeders, but just love the sport - I say good for you.  It does help show the depth of a breeders program when they produce dogs that go on to succeed in Schutzhund and it also teaches the individual about working temperament.  A lot of the problems and misconceptions today are due to the fact that  we have far too few, even among breeders and supposedly dog trainers, who understand what a good temperament is.

There are all kinds of sports and activities for people to participate in.  None is more valuable than working a dog and learning about the real dedicated dog world.  Most of the problems we see are because PETA,  HSUS, and the other AR groups would like to see all dogs eliminated from domestication. 

They don't own dogs themselves, deny the value they serve thier owners and others and in general are not capable of coping wth real life.   Can you imagine a world with out service dogs, guide dogs for the blind, search and rescue, narcotics and drug detection, bomb dogs, war dogs, therapy dogs and none more valuable in raising children than the beloved family pet?  This is the world they would give us...

Schutzhund dogs are not for everyone.  Working dogs period are not for everyone - just look at the number of border collies turned into rescue.  They are high drive - high energy dogs that were bred to work on a farm and you just can't lock them up in an house without a physical and mental release.

Look at the number of these dogs that are purchased from a shelter and go on to be top dock diving dogs, frisbee competitors, weight pulling, obedience and agility dogs or even service dogs.  Was it a miracle - did a long sit in the dog pound make them realize they needed to get their act together or did they find a human who understood their needs and trained them to compete so they had an outlet for all that energy???

Do not ever tell me we do not have the right to train a dog to participate in this dog sport or that we can't have a dog for protection sake.    We just might need them to protect us from the big football convicted felons we have running around loose.  Now there is a sport hero for you.

The problem is not the dogs - the problem is the people who get them and then are too lazy to train them
A well trained and socialized dog is at least 10 times safer than and untrained and unsocialized dog who is allowed to run loose. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Don't be fooled by the AR groups - there is solid medical reasons to crop

Dr. Purswell on the advantages of ear cropping:

I came across some informaiton from a very distinguished vet Dr. Beverly Purswell who shared her opinion concening ear Cropping...  Other than every vet I have worked with she is one of the few to speak up about the advantages from a medical perspective on ear cropping.  I thought I would share her comments here as it is a good follow up on my articles on Ear cropping.

Dr. Purswell, DVM, PHD:
"...I remind them of all the ear problems seen in flop ears dogs, which are not seen in erect eared dogs. No wild canids, or any wild animal for that matter, has flop ears. Animal control officers will tell you that flop ears are eliminated in the F1 generation of dogs that go feral. Nature gets rid of the flop ear that quickly."

My only point is that an erect ear is a healthier ear. There are many scientific articles in the literature finding this to be true, that most ear infections are in flop ears dogs. This is due primarily to the lack of air circulation to the ear canal. I point this out to my veterinary students as a counterpoint to their blanket condemnation of ear cropping as being cosmetic only. And, yes, the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) Animal Welfare Committee came out against docking and cropping because they could not support cosmetic only procedures.
Beverly J. Purswell, DVM, PhD
Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences
VA Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Every vet I have every asked, except for new vets coming out of school have told me this same thing - they see far more ear infections from the floppy earred breeds thatn cropped.

Second point I read this past week is, that while the cropped ear does not improve hearing significantly it does make it easier for the dogs to locate the direction of the sound.  In tracking this would be a very important ability to have.

I know when working with my guys they are constantly turning one ear of the other as they hone in on a particular sound.  It is like watching radar at work as it searches for any sound.

The AR (Animal Rights) folks would like you to believe it is just cosemetic because they want to put their nose in a business that they know little about and could honestly care less about the welfare of any animals.  They suffer from tunnel vision and delusions -  with no real plan on how the world will survive when they have destroyed one of our major food sources and taken away our rights to own animals and have pets.

This fight has never been about cropping and docking it is about pushing their vegan twisted lifestyles on everyone.  It is about taking something to the extreme and so far out that in the end the total destruction of life and food as we know it will be changed forever.

Copyright © 2010 [Suzan Shipp/J Bar S Dobermans/Dobs4ever]. All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS WEBSITE ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever and may not be used or copied without express permission from the owner Copyrigted 2010

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Schutzhund training - the bite work stigma

I am writing this article in response to a post I read today about  a mayor in Arkansas that is implementing breed bans.  At first I thought what else is new, and then I read further and she has thrown in the "attack training" programs along with the breed ban.  This really shocked me as first, it is sneaky and second it shows a complete lack of any knowledge on what Schutzhund or now more often referred to as (IPO - International Police Organication) training is all about.  This is how stupid laws get on the books. So lets take a look at IPO training and what it entails.  At least make decisions after you have some of the facts.

Some of the things I want to cover in this series is: 

Should we have sport dogs
Why would I want to train my dog in IPO
Is bite work dangerous

First Schutzhund was a test devised to help breeders evaluate their dogs for specific work - that of police work. It was a test to help  evaluate temperament, character, trainability, courage, stamina and heart of the dog.

Good breeders want to breed sound stable dogs both physically and mentality.  While many refer to it as "bite work" that is not a complete understanding of what  Schutzhund is about.  It is not about teaching the dog to bite as the dog already knows how.  It is about teaching the dog what to look for that could mean trouble and when to bite.  Not all situations call for biting.  When training you want a dog that shows steady nerves and can contain themselves until necessary.  A dog whose first response is to bite is more likely a fear biter and weak in nerve.  This is not a good candidate for a breeding prospect or for Schutzhund.

Schutzhund training is like a triathalon  for athletes as the dog must successfully complete three separate exercises.  Tracking, obedience and protection work all of which are very demanding for the dog.

Notice that 2/3 of this test has nothing to do with bite work, but focuses on postive traits needed in successful police work. Whether the person is on the run or lost it would be nice to have a dog that was capable of tracking them down.  Schutzhund dogs are trained to track foot steps and clues such as torn clothing, guns or drugs tossed aside which if found can be used as evidence and to find the suspect.

This tracking does differ from the SAR (search and rescue) dogs who do far more air scenting as they are usually covering a lot larger area.  When a police dog goes on the hunt the area is much more defined  from the starting point to the finishing point and often with a much fresher scent trail.  The person being hunted is usually in a highly aggitated state and is throwing off strong ferons whereas the SAR dog may be following a trial that is a day or two old.

Tracking is an obedience exercise - all dogs know how to track.  How many times have you seen a dog outside,  with nose to the ground, running around following a track???  The dog knows what to do with the nose, but you will just as quickly see that dog go on to something else if they loose the track.  So we teach obedience to the track.

1.  to follow a specific track or scent
2.  to find specific articles dropped on the track
3.  to indicate those articles to the handler who is back 33 feet behind the dog
4.  to find the track if it turns and veers a different direction
5.  to ignore rabbits and gopher holes and stay on task

This requires skill and precision.  Dogs don't do these things naturally so we train them to be obedient to the track.

Obedience - Obedience- obedience - You do not want a dog that won't listen.  For this exercise the breeder is looking for several differnet things - pack drive - a dog that wants to work with you,  Trainability - a dog that responds to the training and likes it - solid nerves - a dog that takes whatever is thrown at them in their stride and shows good judgement.

Obedience is critical as the dog is often working away from the handler and acting on his own based on the training and direction he is given. This is the true test of the dogs pack drive, trainability, willingness to work with his handler to accomplish a specific task and courage to engage if necessary an opponent.

Unfortunately as in all things we have good and we have bad.  Some people unfortunatley just want to see a dog that will bite anything.  That is wrong as there is so much more the dog must have to be correct.  I see it as no different than bad doctors, vets, mechanics, teachers or politicians. Some are good and some are not.  You can't throw out all including the good just because of a few bad apples.

A good breeder and handler wants a well balance dog as Schutzhund is all about building a relationship and team work.  The handler and the dog must trust each other and function as one unit.  The handler must be able to read his dog and the signals the dogs gives and the dog must trust the handler and listen to the handler.  There may be a time when your life depends on your k-9 partner.  Training is the difference between success and failure.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Misconceptions on Vwd - Vets can be the worse

Because of the scare tactics used in the beggining even Vets found a way to capatilize on Vwd.  They uaually run and Elisa test prior to any surgery and depeinding on what it shows will tell people that their dog is VWD affected and they can't do the surgery without a lot of additional blood work and measures to have blood for transfusion if needed.  This is very costly.

I have had people call me when it was time for spaying or neutering and they were freaked out when suddenly a $200.00 procedure turns into a $600.00 procedure and I don't blame them.  Before I went to clear dogs I told them to find another vet and in all those years never had a bleeding problem.

I had a VWD affected bitch that at 2 ate something andhad to have emergency surgery -  Came thorugh with flying colors and went on to have 2 litters - today she is 8 years old and still acts like a teenager. 

The only way you know if you dog is Vwd affected is with the DNA test.  The elisa test is very ineffective and inaccurate  Clotting factors can change based on outside things - thyroid, stress etc.

Most affected Doberman's still produce enough of the clotting factor that it is not a problem unless something major happens which is beyond anyones control.  The safest route to take, however, is still to not breed where affected puppies will be produced..  That has and reamains our postion on this issue.

Saturday, June 25, 2011



While Vwd is now 100% controllable many breeders continue to pay it little mind because so few Dobermans actually die from it.  When the DNA test was first discovered, honestly there just were not enough clears to jump to only clears for breeding.  This would have most likely destroyed the gene pool completly and then we would have had serious problems for which there was no recovery.  Jumping off the deep end can ultimately destroy the breed.  JQP does not always understand this.

Since the gene pool had survived for years without the testing some decided to ingnore it and today we still have some breeders who do not even test for it.  I decided if it could be eliminated then that was the better direction to go.  I was fortunate as I was able to quickly eliminate it from my program. 

My stratagey was to start with a clear male and in testing the dogs I had at that time I found that they were carriers so I had been breeding carrier to carrier and producing at least 50% affected without any problems. 
I started testing my male puppies looking for a clear but it was not to be so I went outside my lines and bought a clear male.  Now at least regardless of what I bred none of the puppies would be Vwd affected. It was a start in the right direction.

I found from clear to carrier breeding, I got a lot more clears so it was easy in one generation to go to clear dogs.  Even though it is not considered a major problem, for me I had to take those steps.  I just could not ever imagine facing a client who lost their puppy due to Vwd and explaining to them WHY I did not take measures to avoid it.

The only thing I could think of to say was - Well it is rare for a puppy to ever have an episode of bleeding out so sorry it was yours.  I just could not honestly do that and am fortunate now as I have not produce Vwd affected puppies for the past 10 years.

Would I have a problem breeding an affected - absolutely not.  Rayna's dam was affected but she was bred to a clear dog so Rayna is carrier.  She will be bred to clear and I will have a clear out of that breeding.  So the bloodline I wanted continues and I did not have to produce any affecteds to get there.

I had an affected bitch that at 2 years got hold of a ball of some kind and we had to have major blockage surgery.  She came through with flying colors, had 2 litters of puppies and today is 8 years old and healthy as a horse.  How can this be???

Vwd is not a death sentence.  Even in affected dogs they can produce enough of the clotting factor to not have a problem unless some other problem compromises the system, but for the rare puppy that does not produce enough it can be fatal.  

It is thought that breeding affected to affected produces the most clinically affected and this breeding is certainly discouraged.  Today there should be more clears to choose from so even breeding carrier to carrier could be avoided if one wanted to.

As a client I would hesitate to purchase an affected puppy especially if you are wanting to participate in heavy activities like agility or Schutzhund where the dog is more susceptible to injury.  For a breeder that decision would probably not be a determining factor if it was an outstanding pedigree for what you are wanting to accomplish.  Just breed to a clear and you still do not produce affected.

I hope this makes it a little easier to understand from a breeders perspective and why it has not been eliminated.  We don't have to eliminate it we just have to control it and Vwd testing allows us to do that.

Copyright © 2010 [Suzan Shipp/J Bar S Dobermans/Dobs4ever]. All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS WEBSITE ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Suzan Shipp/J Bar S Dobermans/Dobs4ever and may not be used or copied without express permission from the owner  Copyrighted 2010

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


VON WILLEBRANDS DISEASE more commonly known as Vwd is a bleeding disorder that was first identified in 1926 by Dr.von Willebrand.  Vwd is an inherited deficiency in one of the clotting factors of the blood and it affects approximately 30 different breeds.  But for purposes here, our focus will be on the Doberman Pinscher. There are two types of Vwd - mild (type 1) and severe (type 2) Dobermans have the mild type.

Vwd is only one of several bleeding disorders that affects the clotting factor.  It is seldom fatal. In fact I have always understood that only about 10 % of the affected dogs ever become clinically affected and have a serious bleeding episode. During the life of an affected dog they can produce enough clotting factor to never had a problem, but if their system is compromised by any other health problem or trauma it is thought to become a contributing factor to more severe complications.. 

Dr. George J. Brewer who is a Professor at the Department of Human Genetics and Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School and his associates discoverd the mutant gene.  Dr. Brewer is a co-founder of Vet Gen working with them to develope the DNA test.   We want to thank these people as well as the following who gave donations to make the grant for the DNA test possible -DPCA, AKC, OFA health foundation, Dr. Morris Animal foundation.

The DNA test gives three designations -  Affected - meaning the dog carries 2 copies of the gene, one copy from each parent and is affected by the disease.  It is thought that 35% of the Dobermans are affected.

Carrier - meaning that the dog only carries one copy of the gene so will not suffer from this bleeding disorder but can carry or pass the mutant gene on to its offspring.Approximately 50% of the Dobermans are carriers

Clear-  The dog did not get a copy of the gene so can't pass it on.  Only 15% are thought to be clears.  I would hope that today with availablity of the test that we are closer to 25% are clear.

From the study it is recommend that breeders work towards a clear dog and this can be accomplished in 2 or 3 generations.  If you always have one clear parent then it is much easier to move to clear dogs.

There was a lot of hysteria and hype when the disease was discovered and the mutant gene identified.  I have found that much of that hysteria and misunderstanding still exist today.  It is the number one question I get asked by the novice looking for a Doberman puppy.  They know nothing about it except that they don/t want it.

I am going to do this article in a 3 part series -  First looking at the disease - What it involves
                                                             Second from a breeders perspective - breeding decisions
                                                             Third Vets and the misunderstandings about Vwd

I am writing this in laymens terms in hopes that everyone will have a much better understanding of Vwd.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Final article - Cropping Docking - A Little White Lie

This is the final part of a 4 part series on Cropping and Docking and this is the one that disturbs me the most - Hyprocirsy, running to ground OR maybe we just consider it a little white lie.

REASON:  "I don't want to crop because people are intimidated when they see a doberman and a floppy earred dog is not as intimidating."

I have heard people say it before, but it did not soak in.  Well it has finally gotten to the core of my brain neurons and I am now paying attention. 

So now we want to stupe to lying, hiding or disguising our dogs????  Is this how we really want to deal with it??  These dogs have served our country in war and peace.  They protect us and serve us.   I do not see how  misleading people or luring them into a false sense of security solves anything,  I do think it says a lot about us as a person and speaks to character.

Most people are afraid of a big dog, a black dog, a red dog and some folks have lived a life where they just fear all dogs big or small, so what do we really accomplish if we think by not cropping the ears they will not recognize it as a Doberman?

Any dog that is trained, socialized and under control is not a threat to anyone - a dog running loose or out of the owners control is a problem.  I just don't see letting other people's phobias, that I MIGHT meet and who MIGHT have a problem, run my life.  What if I never meet any of those people???  What if I meet them and they meet my well trained,  behaved dogs and we change their entire perspective on our wonderful breed??? 

I have actually had that happen.  It gives me a chance right up front to say - Please come meet my Doberman".   We are able to open up a dialog.   I don't want to meet you under false pretences.  I want to be honest and right up front.

Just because a dog is big, or black or a number of other physical traits does not mean it is a dangerous dog.  But trying to misrepresent the dog as something it is not, to me is dishonest.  The breed is a cropped and docked breed and I just can't let other people's possible perceptions rule my life and my support of this breed and the standard.

I want to walk proudly down the street and have people see how great this breed is up close and personal.  I want to disspell the myths and untruths, not hide from them or shy away from what they are.  They are Dobermans - clowns right down to their toes, loving, loyal, courageous, alert , energetic - WAIT - did we say COURAGEOUS  - courageous - and we as owners want to tuck our tails and hide!!!   Not me.

Of all the approved AKC breeds there is none that can take your breath away like that beautiful cropped look of Eagles, standing tall, proud and alert. 

When we cave in to some future pressure we might experience for 5 minutes by someone we don't even know and might nver see again, are we saying we just want to go underground and HIDE our dogs???   Do we see this as keeping them safe???? 

As people, can't we be at least as honest and true to ourselves as our dogs???  Or maybe we should go hide in the hills so people won't see our dogs at all, after all we would not want to scare them.  Give me a break folks.  -  Let's be REAL!

The opinions expressed are those of Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever

Copyright © 2010 [Suzan Shipp/J Bar S Dobermans/Dobs4ever]. All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS WEBSITE ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever and may not be used or copied without express permission from the owner Copyrigted 2010

Sunday, June 12, 2011

'The Standard is the Standard - Cropped and docked con't

Continuing with the cropped and docked issue I feel we would be remiss if we did not address the standard and how it applies.

This is a quote from the DPCA web site on the Standard regarding ear cropping and tail docking

"Ears normally cropped and carried erect. The upper attachment of the ear, when held erect, is on a level with the top of the skull.."  The "carried erect" pretty much spells it out as cropped and eliminates it as uncropped.  A floppy ear will never stand.

"Tail docked at approximately second joint, appears to be a continuation of the spine, and is carried only slightly above the horizontal when the dog is alert.."

Everything in the standard as quoted above addressed a cropped ear and docked tail.  From the beginning picutures of Herr Dobermann and his Dobermann's they were shown cropped and docked.  Regardless of why he chose that, it is the standard that he set. 

Today when people say, but I like the floppy ear then I have to wonder why don't they choose a floppy eared breed?  There is a wide variety of floppy earred dogs to choose from.  Then we have choice to choose the dog that matches our vision.    Since the Doberman from it inception has been cropped and dock why choose a breed that does not fit your image????

I once heard Judy Donniere explain "breed type" at a DPCA seminar - First it means that when you see the dog or a  silhouette of the dog you recognize it for the breed it is.  When you see the  silhouette of the Doberman there is no mistake it is a Doberman.  That is breed type.  If you see the same  silhouette of an uncropped dog you immediately think some kind of hound and that mistaken identity is even more obscure if it has a tail.. 

Breed type is important to the standard.  The standard describes the ideal dog as per Herr
Dobermann's vision.  He is the creator and I don't think we have the right to just change it to suit our individual desires and whims. 

If everyone just does what they want then we don't need standards.  They would serve no purpose.  It is no different than the people who want to breed "giant", albiono's, etc.   We have a standard and we must honor that standare in its entirity.  Otherwise in ten years there would not be a recognizable breed. 

The standard protects the breed, keeps it true to it form, function and appearance.

To those who say it is purely cosmetic I think I have covered that read the previous article on medical - It is the standard, cosmetic or not.  Standards are written to protect a breed and maintain the breed true to its original design.

The standard is not an option.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

To Crop or Not - Any Medical Reasons or cosmetic only

In our fight to crop the AR folks like to use the "cosmetic only" proceedure as the only reason to crop.  They say this because they don't own dogs and don't want you to either.

So what  about medical reasons for cropping ???  To that I will say this - Yes there are valid medical reasons - Most people lump cropping, docking and dew claw removal as all one basic proceedure. But I want to address it individually.

1 dews claws are ugly - they grow and can cause serious problems if not trimmed and cared for. Most people are not even diligent in clipping the regular nails so it eliminates one that will continue to grow and can grow right into the leg if not clipped.   The second is any dog running loose in a field can snag that dew claw and rip it off. That is very painful to the dog who then has to undergo  surgery to have it reparied and removed. I feel it is just better to remove the ugly appendage when the tails are done. Since it is a problem that can be avoided and can save the dog pain in the future I choose to removed all dew claws when the puppy has its tail docked. at 3 days of age.

2. Tails - First I don't like tails so for me it is also a personal preference. They bang around and get in the way. They knock things over and sometimes they get shut in a door and broken. That is very painful to the dog as now it is an injury and must endure an amputation. Docking at three days saves having to spend much more later for surgery should an accident occur.

3. Ears - All dogs in nature are pricked - because unless cleaned and maintained most floppy earred dogs have a much higher incidence of ear infections. Fortunatley ours is a cropped and docked breed so we can eliminate this problem also. Add to thast  the fact Doberman ear leather is much thinner than those of a hound dog for example. This does make the ear more susceptible to hematomas from too much flapping the ears around. Hematomas are painful and on going. Once it starts they become chronic and can need on going surgery to repair. . All this can be avoided by cropping.

Since I work my dogs in tracking and other venues I have had many opportunities to observe their behavior and they use those ears like radar - they turn them every which way as they pick up sounds in different directions so they can hear better.  And yes they do hear better.  Put your hands over your ears and tell me if you hear as well????  I think not.

Talk to you vet.  Ask them if they see more ear infections in floppy earred breeds than pricked or cropped.  If a problem can be avoided in the future why would we choose not to do so and make it much easier on everyone concerned???

Why take the chance of invitng a problem that can be avoided and supports the breed standard. In todays economy where medical attention might become overwhelming and unbearable for a family???  It could become a of matter of keeping the dog or not. . 
Next we will talk about the breed standard from the begining..... Stay tuned
The opinions expressed are those of Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of or its members.

Copyright © 2010 [Suzan Shipp/J Bar S Dobermans/Dobs4ever]. All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS WEBSITE ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever and may not be used or copied without express permission from the owner Copyrigted 2010

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cropping and Docking - Dobermans are a Cropped and docked breed

Occassionally I get asked about leaving a puppy uncropped.  In the past I have allowed a few puppies to remain uncropped.  Never undocked.  I believed people had a right to choose, but since our dogs are under fire on every front I took a stand several years ago to just crop all puppies and for a couple reasons.

One is from a breeders perspective and one is from the Breed Standard perspective.

I will cover the first reason today from the breeders side :   Show puppies -  Ears are usually cropped at 7 weeks as this give the breeder time to let the ears heal before going to their families and since you don't grade a litter til 8 weeks it would be hard to say which might be companion puppies and which ones show puppies. They are changing so rapidly as they grow. 

So at 8 weeks you pick the puppies you really like want to watch and see how they grow for the next couple weeks.  This healing time gives you a couple more weeks to watch and observe further to see what puppies hold together til 10 to 12 weeks and which ones do not.

By the time they go to their families you have a nuch better idea on who the best picks are. For myself all puppies get the same crop.  This makes it easier for the vet and it makes it easier since I don't know which for sure will end up the show picks. 

A responsible breeder will handle the cropping and docking of all puppies.  New people who are not experienced at aftercare should not have to struggle with this part of the development process.  Breeders should not be in a rush as this is an important step.

The follow up and after care determine the outcome.  I like to get my puppies off to a good start on the aftercare before turning it over to their new families.

Many things can go wrong if a new family is trying to get their puppies ears cropped.  First the challenge of just finding a good vet who can crop and still approves of it is very difficult. Just because a vet says he can crop does not mean you will get a beautiful crop.  Ear croppoing is an art form.  Precious time is lost in the window to have a beautiful outcome.  It is recommended that puppies be cropped at 7 to 12 weeks.  After that time frame the optimum time for ears to stand has mostly passed.

The puppy has already had one major change in its life as it goes to it new family.  I strongly feel that a second major adjustment at this young stage is too mcuh to put a puppy thorugh and family through.  The puppy should be having fun bonding with their new family not stressing over too many changes at once. 

 When they are cropped with their littermates and come home with their siblings to the home they know and are familiar with they sail right through with little problems.  The new family can just focus on bonding, playing and training their new puppy.  Everyone is off to a great start.

Tomorrow -  Is there a valid medical reason to crop and dock

Dobs4ever  Where Doberman's RULE!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Buying or breeding outside the box

I recently post some info on Doberman Chat in regards to Breeding or buying outside the box.  I posted this info as there were some folks that felt it was OK to breed z factored or albino dobermans.  I really find it hard to understand when there has been so much negative posted regrading this subject and they have been bannded from showing by AKC and their own BREED club how anyone could think this would ever be accepted.

The standard sets up disqualifing faults which are not be to bred by any breed and the color or maybe I should say the lack of color in the case of the albino is a disuqalifying fact.  DPCA went so far as to get ALL dogs that decended from the Dam of the first albino doberman marked forever with a Z in the registraiton #.  This is a very close reminder to the "Scarlet Letter".

What part of DQ  do we not understand????  How long will this go on???? 

I honestly have to ask how someone can promote them self as honerable or a good breeder when they are openly breeding a dog that has been bannished and is to be eliminated from the gene pool???

What part of DQ do we not understand????  If the breed club felt it was serious enough to ban them then wouldn't that mean to proceed with breeding would show a lack of character???

Monday, March 28, 2011

J Bar S Dobermans Step up

We are very proud of two of or babies who are now certified medical alert dogs for their owners.  Both puppies are still under two yet they are already super stars.

The first is Tove a Tux sister - Her owner had a trauma a few years back which left her with moments when she has a period where everything just goes blank.  It has been a great concern when in public in case she walk out into a busy street etc.  She and Tove were out and about a few months back and when she came back to reality Tove was bumping her with her nose and would not stop.  As she struggled to focus on Tove it helped her come out of the episode.  At the time she just thought it was one of those special happenings.  But two weeks later it happened again and Tove did the same thing til she was back to normal. 

She spoke with her Doctor about it and the doctor said definitely the dog was alerting her to the problem and gave her a letter stating that she needed the dog for this service.   She then contacted Delta Therapy Dogs to see what training Tove would need to get certified and was told you could not train a dog for this kind of thing it was just something the dog either did or did not do but that a strong bond between owner and dog was what triggered it. 

Tove now wears a medical alert dog tag - stating she is serving her owner and she is certified to wear a service dog vest and go with her owner anywhere.

Our second boy is a Bella brother and his owner has diabetes.  One night he woke her up at 4 AM pawing her.  She tried to get him to lay back down but he would not.  She went to get up and immediately realized something was very wrong.  She checked her blood sugar and had Baron not alerted her she could have slipped into a diabetic coma.  She is in the process of getting him certified as a medical alert dog also.

So to all our SARS, Pilot dog and now medical alert dogs we salute you for your service and for being such outstanding ambassadors to the Doberman breed.

We are proud to have stayed true to the working heritage of the one and only dog - The Doberman Pinscher

Saturday, March 12, 2011

DNA PDK4 - What did it tell us

This is still the big question regarding the new PDK4 DNA test for Dobermans.  What I really find hard to understand is that this gene was discovered for the boxer people almost 2 years ago and why were we not given any info as to what they had learned about how this gene ties in to the total cardio picture???

I would have thought this would be one of the first things Dr. Meurs would have shared with us.  What have they learned since its discovery??    I know it will still be years before we know all about the role this gene actually plays and how critical it is. 

I have tested my dogs for the gene and will continue to watch and see what new discoveries Dr. Meurs makes regarding it.  In the mean time we are still on a watch and wait to see what happens.  Hopefully they will discover another gene that will give us more definite findings soon.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chalk One Up for AKC!!!

Several months ago I got a black male back due to a family divorce.  The man left and dumped the dog on his wife who was co-onwer.  She and I correpsonded several times and after about 6 months she decided she just could not afford to keep the dog so she returned him to me with her signature as co-owner on the AKC registration.

My contract says that I get the dog back with registration papers in order and signed, but the husband was no where to be found.  The wife stated she did not even know where he was.  I had her send me a note to this affect and I forwarded it along with  the  AKC registration form to AKC with a letter of explanation as to why I needed the dog transferred back to me. About a month goes by and I get a call requesting that I send a copy of the contract showing that the dog was to be transfer back to me if for any reason they could not keep the dog.  I sent them the contract feeling very confident that all would be well.   3 or 4 more weeks go by and I get a letter of denial stating that they can't transfer the dog back to me without his signature.  I was livid.

I called AKC and spoke to a new case worker as the other was not in that day.  I explained everything and how disappointed I was in AKC not supporting their breeders on this kind of issue.  She told me it was not final yet and that she would try one more avenue to contact the husband through his e mail so my hope was renewed.

Today I got a call -  WAHOO!!!  They are transfering the dog back to me and now his new family can show him in obedience which is what they were hoping to do. Thank you AKC for standing up and honoring my contract and transferring the dog back to me. 

Copyright © 2010 Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever. All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Suzan Shipp/J Bar S Dobermans and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2010

Tuesday, February 8, 2011



An age old question with many different answers depending on who you are speaking to at the moment.  Most of you who know me know I think simple is better so I have developed 10 easy steps to help the unexperienced sift through all the misinformation out there today on the web.

DPCA breeder referral section is a good place to start to get names - and the great thing is you can start searching for breeders who are in your area first.

1.  First and foremost I want to see 3 things - 
      A.  A member in good standing with the breed club - DPCA and/or UDC Becasue it says that on some level they support the breed and that they care enough to join up with other Doberman breeders to share and learn. 
     B.   Has titled their own dogs, not just talk about the past - pedigree is important. but if the breeder is not titling their own dogs they are not  knowledgable enough to help you if you run into problems.  A good couch potato at home does not necessarily mean the dog has a good temperament for breeding.
    C.  Health testing. -  Not just talk about it, but can actually show results if asked.

2.  All dogs are AKC registered - It does not guarantee good breeding, but it is a far better place to start than all the new fly by night registeries that have cropped up. Send a picture and they will give you a registration that is not worth the paper it is printed on. You can't follow the bloodlines to research about health issues, tempermant issues or show records. 

3.  Can explain the standard for their breed to you and breeds to that standard - not super sized or "King" Dobermans and certainly not Warlock - on the DPCA web site you can read all about the Warlock Myth.

4.  Doberman are a cropped and docked breed in America and it is the breeders responsiblity to crop and dock their puppies to save the new owner having to struggle with finding a qualified vet and dealing with aftercare for the first couple weeks.

5.  Does not let puppies go prior to 9 weeks in some cases they might keep them longer

6.  Is available when you call or e mail to answer questions

7.  Doberman come in 4 AKC approved colors - Black, Blue, Red and Fawn -  No reputatble person would breed the albino gene into their lines.  You can read all about the albino gene and its inherent problems here:

If it is against the standard it is not correct - don't get fooled with wild sales gimmicks to suck you in.
Bitches should not be bred prior to two and OFA is done.  Should only be bred once a year as per the DPCA COE with one execption being allowed with vet approval.   

8.  Places all pet puppies on limited reg with a spay/neuter agreement.

9.  Everything must be by contract -  and the breeder takes back her dogs if for any reason the owner can't keep the dog.   Is open and honest about answering questions and does not hedge or hesitate.

10. Remains supportive after the sale -  You should have a breeder that you like to talk to, is knowledgable and always willing to help you even years from now.

Don't be fooled by the chat forums who regularly trash and devour breeders depending on what day of the week it is.  I have noticed the most vocal folks are either rescue people who hate all breeders or the neophyte who has never titled or bred a dog in their life. 

You are responsible for doing your own homework -  I hope that these guidelines help you as you make your search.

Copyright © 2010 Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever. All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Suzan Shipp/J Bar S Dobermans and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2010

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Interesting fact on Doberman PDK4

Doberman's and the Doberman health test for PDK4.

 I just wanted to let everyone know that I just an e mail from a friend yesterday who lives  out east- She has a black male that is a CH, IPO3 and Sch 3 multi titled dog - just a wonderful working dog.

She was all upset as she just got the results back on his DNA test and he is PDK4 positive Homozogyus which means he got both copies of the gene. She is devastated and said he would not be bred. OMG he is 11 - How wonderful

This is what is going to make breeding decisions cloudy to some breeders who want to just focus on cardio and scream wolf- Prior to this we used to look at longevity as a good indicator of breeding for longevity. So now where do we go?  As I see it we are in the same boat. 

The more I learn about this test the more I have to wonder how much help it will be, BUT rest assured my plan has not changed. I will eliminate it just like Vwd because I don't want it to ever be a problem, but it is not the death sentence evidently that everyone thought it was. I am fortunate as most of my up and coming dogs were all neg for PDK4.  So I have a great start to eliminate it totally in a short period of time.

For those who wanted to jump the gun and throw out half their dogs based on one test I feel sorry for them after learning about the above dog. I know you can't base an entire premises on one dog but it does clearly show that it is not an absolute death sentence and there is a lot more we don't know about DCM.  Dr. Meurs herself asked for digression and not go so far the opposite direction that we did more harm than good.

For those that don't cry wolf all the time we did not freak out when someone had a dog whose sire or dam died young  of suspected DCM because we know some lived long lives and some just focused on the ones that die young and wanted to throw out the entire line as cardio ridden.

I see hope for our breed as we learn more and more and I do not see a health ridden breed. Our breed IMHO is as healthy as any other breed out there. The fact is just like in life some die young, some die old and some die somewhere inbetween.  If we only focus on health and keep promoting that our breed is unhealthy we will create the very thing we hope to avoid.
Copyright © 2010 Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever. All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Suzan Shipp/J Bar S Dobermans and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyright © 2010

Friday, January 21, 2011

Going to the Dogs

Well I was so sick last week after reading first about the 4 day old baby left on the bed while the mother went to take a shower and was killed by the family dog.  Then this week I read where a baby had 8 fingers eaten off by the family ferret while supposedly the father was asleep in the room - HA more like doped out in a stuper - How on earth could you not hear a baby screaming as it is being eaten alive???

It truly is why I like Dobermans - Always faithful, alert, loyal, dedicated, protective.  Smarter than many humans. 

At this point I am beginning to think mandatory spay/neuter might be in order for humans -  If they can't love, protect, feed, educate, house a baby and educate them maybe they don't need them.  I know I don't want to pay taxes to feed them.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Update from Dr. Meurs on the DCM DNA testing

In reading the below info it is clear that 15% of all proven cases do not have the mutation. That is a small percentage I know and it does clearly show that there are other contributing factors as feared.

It is in our favor however to eliminate this one know factor and hopefully it will lead to more people testing and more studies and info gathered to find others we can eliminate.


Here is an opportunity to advance the research even if you are unfortunate enough to have a Doberman
diagnosed with this awful disease.
> Happy New Year!!

> At this point we have tested 1280 samples. Approximately 15% of all proven DCM cases DO NOT have the mutation. We are eager to continue to work on these 15% of the cases, but we need to collect a few more samples from affected dogs that are negative for the mutation in order for our research to progress.
> Therefore, we would like to propose the following:
> For the month of January- if you submit a BLOOD sample (Swabs do not give us enough DNA for research samples) and evidence of an echocardiogram in which the dog was diagnosed with DCM and the genetic test is negative, we will not charge for the test. We will provide you with the results and bank the sample for further study , but we will not charge you.
> All you need to do is submit the blood sample and the echocardiograph report using the usual form. Amy will not charge you until the genetic results come back- if they are negative, there will be no charge, if they are positive you will know that your dog has the mutation and it will be charged. Either way you will get the results in the usual PDF results certificate.
> Kate MeursUpdate

Suzan also writes a blog for Canine Chat under the screen name Dobs4ever - You can read her articles here -

Copyright © 2010 Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever.  All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Suzan Shipp/J Bar S Dobermans and may not be used,  copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Separation Anxiety - Dogs need a break too!

I had a writer who complained that their dog whined and whined a lot and it was driving them nuts.  I would like to address the issue of Separation Anxiety.

My Response:
Guys this is the biggest reason that I strongly recommend crate training.  A dog communicates - and if it learns that its every need is met then it continues communicate in the way that got it attention to begin with.  So have a vet check by all means to make sure there is nothing else underlying. 

One of the most important things for a dog to learn is to be comfortable in its own skin.  Dogs that think they should get 24/7 attention do not learn this and so become more and more demanding until you have full blown separation anxiety.    Everyone  needs time out occasionally to R & R and just get off by themselves.  The crate gives the dog a sense of security that you can't create any other way.  PLUS there is absolutely guarantee that you will be there 24/7 for 10 to 15 years to satisfy every whim and nothing will ever prevent you from being there ------  you see where this goes - Again you can read my complete article on separation anxiety on 

Training is a big part so when the dog does get a chance to relax it has been stimulated, trained, exercised and given attention.  No one not even real children get 24/7 attention.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

HSUS and Pascelle Lie

It is not surprise that as 2011 dawns Wayne Pacelle and HUS (Humane Society of the United States) which is NOT affiliated with ANY Humane shelter in the United States is continuing to promote it double talk and production of multi million dollar commercials as they buy prime time on TV and radio stations around the world.

They spend big big bucks to sucker the innocent caring folks in who believe that they actually SAVE animals from "their abusers" as the commercial states.  This very inflamatory statement plants a subliminal message that all humans are abusers.

Just some of the lies promoted by HSUS to steal money from honest folks who care about pets -
Read the entire article at:

Let's work to expose this most heinous crime of misrepresentation, lying and stealing in 2011.  They are gearing up and so must we.

Copyright © 2009 Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever.  All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Suzan Shipp/J Bar S Dobermans and may not be used,  copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2009