Sunday, December 19, 2021



I make no bones about being an American and 100% a Patriot. I love this country and I love my freedom. I know many others feel the same and talk about how they want to remain in control of their own lives yet turn right around and pay homage to the control of breeding by government officials.

If I have learned one thing from life it is that diversity is what made this country great. People who were FREE to pursue their dreams in any manner they felt would work for them. They fought for freedom and the worked hard to succeed. They believe in the power of each one to live their life without threat of censorship.

I find this to be a conflict of personal beliefs and other things said by some individuals who spout we should have breed wardens and rules to dictate who can, should or should not be allowed to breed or tell them what dogs they could breed. They speak loudly how diversity is the best indicator of health while not having the first clue on how it happens and even less understanding to the condition of Doberman breeding in American or Europe so let’s take a look at it.

Let’s look at some indicators and see where each stands - On average if I read the results correctly European Doberman’s come in at 50% or higher on the diversity scale and American Doberman’s come in at 40% on average. So if the German rule works so well, I have to ask what has it done to the gene pool as far as preserving diversity??? It is claimed that the DV has done a better job producing Doberman’s that work, YET they also claim that the show line Europeans don’t work just like the American show line. So I have to ask if they are all required to pass a fit for breeding test why the distinct difference in the “show Lines” and ‘working lines”?

I have to ask if the DV fit for breeding test is required for every Doberman sire and dam than why aren’t they all working dogs??? This tells me that in effect there are flaws in our thinking on who to breed and no one way to judge correct the best of the best since that is the goal for breeding.

I will probably be called a heretic for saying this, but I feel we were far better off in the 70’s when approximately 80,000 Dobermans were registered a year right here in America. Iit seems every breed at some point goes through a wave of popularity where anyone and everyone jumps into breeding them. It seems to reason that diversity would be high under these circumstances. . So what happened?

Showing in and of itself will restrict breeding to only the best. In and of itself that is not wrong, but it is very limiting if you consider 100 Dobermans in a show and only one will be champion. Compound the problem as everyone wants to breed to the champion then you immediately have a problem with the popular sire who will multiply any genetic problems he might carry as well as create a problem with diversity.

Another reason is AKC discovered that breeders were withholding AKC registration papers in order to “protect” their breeding program when they sent a puppy to a pet home. Then the pet family decided to breed and you can imagine the rest, they wanted to register their litter. AKC wants purebred dogs registered to keep themselves in business. Limited registration gave breeders a way to register pet puppies and still preserve some control over breeding and AKC got their money..

I must mention the AR (animal radicals) whose sole purpose is to stop all breeding, eating or working of all animals. We have caved in to their radical views and tried to appease them to the point that we are afraid to stand up and proudly say we are breeders and we have sadly adopted a lot of their rhetoric and thinking - spay/neuter contracts, we now place puppies as opposed to “sell” them and we have falling into the “parent” child trap thinking our dogs are not dogs who were bred with a purpose and should be allowed to perform their job at some level.

Now we have less than 10,000 Doberman registered a year last time AKC released numbers which I think was about 2009. Consider half of those are on spay/neuter contacts and limited registration that cuts down the gene pool to about 5,000 dogs that could be available for breeding and that is a very conservative estimate. We limit that further to only champions or titled dogs and you can surely see where diversity went.

I hate to even mention all the biting and backstabbing by the “Show Snob” crowd who will chew you up and spit you out without a second thought to the future of the breed. I have seen people who complain about the rudeness of show people and as soon as they achieve a title they are right there with them pointing fingers at new people and treating them just a bad as the “snob crowd” they complained against. This is very discouraging to anyone who is serious about breeding.

It does make one ask the question: “ how we got so far off track with such good intentions?”One thing we know for sure is diversity went out the window.

Copyright  ©   2010 Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever.  All rights reserved both written, pictorial material and content on this blog are the sole property of Suzan Shipp, Dobs4ever and J Bar S Dobermans and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express written permission of the author/owner Suzan Shipp

Thursday, August 12, 2021


The Quest for Health or the BIG lie

Today we are several years down the road with the new diversity DNA studies and programs. What have we gained??? What have we learned and where do we go from here???

Those are not easy questions as we tread lightly with this relative new technology and as I have seen with so many new testing procedures the gene pool suffers. It would be so easy if we could make cold hard statements that affect health and they were always true, but that is not the case. Up to this point every time we have jumped one direction we find we jump into another problem that we did not foresee.

Am I against testing – ABSOLUTELY NOT. What I am against is using any one health test to eliminate any breeding dog from the gene pool. Doberman already have a very small gene pool and there are those who believe the breed is already doomed. I personally do not feel that way because we still have Dobermans who live to a good old age although it will never be long enough.

Yes I have lost a lot of faith in science, vets, AVMA, FCI, AKC and other organizations ASPCA, HSUS and on and on it goes. They may all start out with good intentions, but it always comes out that the dogs often loose and those running these programs just get richer.

For example we have titer test to determine immunity for diseases that we have vaccinated or not. The titer test shows if a dog has immunity still active from any vaccine or exposure to a disease. Yet in spite of this ever 12 months your vet sends you a nice little reminder card to come in and get your “annual” vaccinations regardless of the problems that they are well aware of with over vaccination.

How do you trust people who ignore the science and dupe pet owners who are not as knowledgeable as a breeder on the proper protocols??? For too long we have trusted the science or in some cases been pressured to do what we felt was not good for the breed. A long time ago a very wise breeder of many years told me if you have a problem you have to breed through it. You will not solve it by stopping breeding and you won’t solve it by radically eliminating dogs that would help maintain more diversity in our gene pool.

So why are we here with such a small gene pool because we trusted the science and we believed they had our dogs best interest at heart. I will use Vwd as a prime example. A minor problem in Dobermans yet in the early 1990’s when the test first came out they sold it on FEAR – your dog is going to DIE so you must know the Vwd status or you dog can get a small bump on the leg and bleed to death. DEATH does sell. Now we are seeing the exact same thing with the DCM1 and DCM2 genes. In fact if test your dog through one of the popular DNA diversity companies you will get a DEATH letter stating your dog is going to die of DCM. Below is a email I wrote to Embark regarding this Death letter:

I am writing regarding an e mail I received that was basically presented as a "death" sentence to one of my dogs that tested positive for one of the DNA mutations that Embark test for.  First I was very glad that I am going on 30 years of breeding Dobermans or I would have fainted or had a stroke.  
The entire Embark "AT RISK" designation is very misleading in almost every single instance as there is no solid proof that any of the mutations tested for are an absolute death sentence even for the homozogous dogs.  It is fear mongering at its best and for those who are not as knowledgeable as most breeders, would feel devastated in receiving such a negative letter.

You want the support of breeders, you need the support of breeders, if you truly want families of Dobermans to test, as that would increase your odds of finding something that actually might be helpful.  I started testing all puppies in my litters, but am now questioning the wisdom of that decision when I have to spend hours reassuring a family that their puppy is no more at risk than any other Doberman out there and that to get money researchers use fear tactics to make one think their dog will die tomorrow.  I have a history of decen tlongevity in my lines well before all this testing jumped on the scene so I do have a little experience and knowledge.

While I understand you may consider this a CYA (cover your ass) strategy,  it is not truthful, honest or professional to state something in such a factual manner that you know you can't prove.  But it will go a long way in destroying your credibility with breeders .  You already have an explanation of what clear, carrier or affected means, so a simple negative, heterozygous (which in most cases in no way indicates any problem at all, or homozygous should be sufficient to CYA.

As a breeder who does care about health testing and the future of the breed, I have been sorely disappointed up to this point in the actual negative impact of these DNA mutations.  But what the fear mongering did accomplish is a radical reduction of our gene pool, as those who did not have more sense or knowledge did not consider the negative impact to our breed as they radically remove good dogs from the gene pool.   All of this over things that can be easily controlled  through the testing ithout decimating the gene pool.”

Suzan Shipp/ Dobs4ever44Copyright  ©   2010 Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever.  All rights reserved both written, pictorial material and content on this blog are the sole property of Suzan Shipp, Dobs4ever and J Bar S Dobermans and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express written permission of the author/owner Suzan Shipp.

Thursday, August 5, 2021


 The Art of Breeding the Purebred Doberman

As I read different FB groups it continues to make me painfully aware that with all the information on the super highway there are still WAY too many uneducated folks regarding the art of breeding purebred dogs.

I honestly don’t know how there can be such a break down or misunderstanding of what purebred should really mean. For me first and foremost is someone wants a specific dog usually for its looks as that is what first attracks us. We have the Westminster kennel club show each year that is televised where people can see hundreds of different breeds presented at their very best. Then go out and try to find a dog on Craigs list that is the breed they want.

Some things to notice is that usually the dogs sold on all these pet sites and Craigslist are very poor representatives of any breed. WHY??? Because Back yard breeders otherwise referred to as BYB have no clue about the standard of their breed and certainly don’t care about producing quality, health or correct temperament because that cost money. Either they are themselves uneducated about the quality that should go along with purebred or they only care about the money.

In America, Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) is our national Breed club for the Doberman. The correct standard for the Doberman is set by DPCA and AKC. You can find that standard here: Anyone who is interested in breeding purebred dogs of any kind should be aware that all breeds MUST have a standard that exactly describes the correct dog that represents their breed and should READ the standard and do their best to follow it

Because our breed is a working breed, I feel it is even more important that breeders know the standard and breed to the standard. While we will never produce the perfect dog we want to at least be in the wheel house. The standard describes both the correct look (build, structure, color, mouth, feet, eyes) temperament (confident, energetic, alert, fearless, loyal, trainable) and good health.

Why would you want to breed less that what the standard calls for??? MONEY just because it says “purebred” it is sellable and if you don’t do all the health testing, training and showing to KNOW that the dog meets the standard you make a lot more money without doing anything for the breed.

A true breeder has a strong passion for their breed. They want to do the best they can to properly represent their breed. They are members of the breed club because they want to learn more and do better. Purebred is the gold standard and it is far more than AKC registration. It goes way beyond purebred registration.

Demand MORE of your breeder. Good breeders are already doing more and they are up for the hard questions. They are up to producing a dog that looks and performs as the standard describes. It just makes sense to me that a breeder should be held to a higher standard – be a member of their breed club and know the standard their breeding program should strive to meet. Don’t be fooled by a pretty web site. Dig further, talk to several breeders and please don’t just buy the first puppy you find that is available. Good breeders have a waiting list and believe you me it is worth having a little patience and waiting for the right puppy.  There are no bargains in purebred. Purebred should stand for quality, purebred, bred to the standard and titled and health tested.

Copyright © 2010  Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever  All right reserved.  All Pictures and CONTENT on the blog are the sole property of Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever/J Bar S Dobermans and may not be used, copied or reprinted without the express written permission from the owner Suzan Shipp Copyrighted 2010

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Diversity and DNA part 2

Hi guys -  Dobs4ever here back at the keyboard to talk a little more about the Doberman Diversity Project  that I spoke about last week.  While it is in its infancy and there is still a lot to learn about how this will all play out it does do some very important things.  First it can save you money from having to do individual test for the Vwd, PDK4, Degenerative Myelopathy, coat color etc.  They are the first lab I am aware of that has tried to save us money for all the numerous test that we like to do by reaching out to other labs and sharing the info they have as well as work with OFA for inclusion in their database.  They hope to add more as  more labs cooperate and share info.    

I may have mentioned that they also test for 163 other diseases that are shared among different breeds.  This may be the first giant step to unraveling the total DNA code.  I firmly believe it will help us locate areas that might have stayed hidden for a much longer period.  

So what do we know about diversity?  It means difference, unlikeness, variety  etc.  For years as  breeders, we have looked to improve on certain things mostly that we can actually see and touch.  This is called the phenotype.  We wanted to double up on the good genes that create beautiful conformation - correct tail set, head planes, proper alignment of the mouth and teeth, level top line, nice forechest, tight cat like feet, nicely arched neck - along with strong temperament, agile, fearless, alert, energetic, loyal all which are more abstract.  It is how we have judged our dogs and our breedings from the beginning because it was all we had. 

We know that too much tight inbreeding takes us down a very negative path so that tells us that diversity is important - but how much is too much or how much is not enough???

We always hope to breed a dog who only gets the best for both parents while missing the not so good.  Sadly it does not work that way.  With every good there is a little bad thrown in. With a strong crystal ball all of this can be corrected.  I just have not found the crystal ball yet but I do believe that the diversity study could lead us down that path in the future.

We know from studies in the wild that diversity is key to the survival of a species, but we are just beginning to unlock the genetic code and how to identify it.  It is so exciting and so frustrating all at the same time.  I am a layman so I will share with you my perceptions as a breeder of going on 30 years and my limited understanding of this new scientific discovery. 

I guess it starts with the discovery of DNA in the late 80's and that folks is the late 1800's.  It was 84 years later or 1950's when it was first recognized as genetic material and it was the late 80's and early 90's that it became valuable in individual identification and used by criminalist to catch criminals.  

In all that time we have actually identified very few of the strains of DNA and what they actually are related to.  It's most valuable in the Diversity project as they follow the DNA strain in search of decoding the secret to each specific disease and hopefully it's elimination at least in the animal population.  It scares me to think of how it might be used for future in human selection and that is all I will say about that.

It's an old study with new twist and turns as we advance down the genetic hole!!!  I am excited that with today's scientific advances the trip will be much faster than the past century!!

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

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Diversity part 1

BREEDERS MUST DO MORE - Let's take a look at MORE diversity

I hear this over and over so it has become a reoccurring theme by many who have never bred a litter.  Of course, it is usually followed by the comment that we must test although the test do not necessarily give any clear cut direction or path to follow.  WHAT??

Breeders today are doing more than ever before in testing and telling, yet the arm chair quarter backs continue to slash and dice at will.  I am for truth and honesty and I am for testing our dogs.  I am not for making any breeding decision based on any one test in and of itself.  We have no test that gives us 100% clear direction on what will happen, what is good or what is a death sentence.  That still requires a crystal ball.

Today we have one of the smallest gene pools of any purebred dog and I have to wonder if things were truly better back in the 70's when anyone and everyone was  breeding Doberman's.  We have gone from 80,000 registrations a year down to less than 10,000, last time AKC would release those numbers, which I believe was about 2009.  A lot of time has past since then so with the direction it was going makes me wonder where our registrations are today.

So let's look at that number 10,000 - and what things have drastically impacted it -
         1.  Mandatory spay/neuter
         2.  Popular sire
         3.  Massive elimination of dogs from gene pool due to Vwd
         4.  More massive elimination when the PDK 4 mutation was found
         5.  Adopt don't shop - The AR (animal radical) agenda
         6.  Breeding is wrong
         7. HSUS draining off monies to line their personal pockets under false pretense
         8.  changing society to a more citified line of thought with no personal experience
              with animal husbandry and where food comes from.
         9..   Two World Wars that brought breeding almost to a halt

So what are we looking at - a lack of genetic diversity.  Diversity is the latest and  newest test to arrive on the scene and I hope everyone is  as excited about it as I am.  Don't get me wrong it is still not the end all answer, but I feel it puts us on a path to make the discovery of bad genes much closer and easier to find and identify.  

It has been amazing to watch this test unfold as more and more countries are joining and testing.  It is almost like with each Doberman tested we learn something and three more questions pop up that we did not even think of before.  

Please remember when I speak to this I speak as an owner/breeder NOT a geneticist.  I will give my impressions based on my knowledge as a breeder of Dobermans for over 25 years. Probably first things we learned is that Wright's formula for figuring genetic diversity was not accurate in determining true diversity.  It is been shown that puppies within the same litter can vary as far as diversity goes. So after years of breeders using Wright's as a guide we found it is not that helpful.  This is part of what makes all so very difficult.  

In the beginning of genetic testing (Vwd)  we wanted to be so right we jumped with both feet and erratically eliminated dogs from the gene pool as it was painted with a very black brush as being a horrible  gene and the public panic and feared for their dogs life.  While as breeders, we knew for many years that  probably half the dogs we had produced were Vwd affected and never had a dog with a problem.  Then they published propaganda that led the unsuspecting public to believe every Vwd affected dog was on the verge of bleeding to death.  Breeders knew better and should have used it as a tool to guide their breeder decisions so as not to produce affected puppy while not destroying the diversity within the gene pool.  I shutter to think what was lost in this senseless radical elimination of breeding dogs.  But it did sell test.

I use far more caution now when evaluating solely based on any test genetic or otherwise. We must think beyond the dog we love in front of us and start looking at the bigger picture which is the diversity of the gene pool world wide.  As I was thinking this it occurred to me that the diversity study might bring the world community of Dobermans together and make them all more supportive of not only sharing  their testing and knowledge, but also their genetic material.   If we are to resolve this issue we need to be able to search outside our own little neck of the woods and start looking at how can we reach out across our world to work together and share from our genetic pools and hope we save our breed.

There are 2 different diversity studies and both are good.  Any knowledge is better than no knowledge.  I am going to tell you why I personally chose the Doberman Diversity Project -  one uses 33 STR loci from across the genome to determine diversity and one uses 38.  I feel more is better.  I have heard from some who have used both and the diversity in some cases changes due to the increase in loci tested.

It also is approved by OFA to include the Vwd, PDK4, DM for a total of 163 that can affect another breed.  Until recently I felt that was not too valuable ,but my Helio came up hetro to MDR1-  I didn't even know what that was.  Guess what it is some gene usually found in the retriever breeds.  OMG what a revelation - our breed is the only breed created from 4 different gene pools - terriers, retrievers, herding and sight hounds which is now confirmed by finding this one little tiny gene in the DNA of the Doberman.  It is rare at this point as only 3 have been found to carry this mutation that can cause drug sensitivity. Because of the Embark testing I am happy to say that my 3 Helio daughters did not pick it up so I don't have to worry about something I was not even aware existed.

Now that I have become part of the Doberman Diversity Project I have to say I am very impressed.  The Doctors themselves participate on their FB pages and are available to answer any and all questions as well as giving us feed back on vital information.  Robin Loreth and Karen Perdue are available anytime to help us with questions.

Their breeder tool is unequaled in the industry and is FREE and I will speak more to that in later articles as we learn more about this great undertaking.  I do want to thank the Doberman Diversity staff, doctors and lab for all they are doing to help us.

To learn more about diversity below are the links to the two diversity projects: 

Dobs4ever - Dogs Under FIRE!

Copyright  ©   2010 Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever.  All rights reserved both written, pictorial material and content on this blog are the sole property of Suzan Shipp, Dobs4ever and J Bar S Dobermans and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express written permission of the author/owner Suzan Shipp.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


I just had to take a break - thinking that surely everything had been said but I guess not.  I have renewed hope now that we have American's back in charge of America.  Let's hope they protect our freedoms and our rights.

I used to get that from my children, and my response was always the same - "well if I was their mother they would not be doing it - we have standards".  I believe strongly in having concrete guidelines to follow and raised my children that way.  Today it appears we have raised a bunch of panty waste who want  to stick their nose in everyone else's business and they are guided by the AR PETA/HSUS radicals who are out to destroy our love and enjoyment of our animals. 

They are easily believable as they preach don't harm and animal while they take high 6 figure salaries and show pictures of poor sad looking dogs who are dying without your help.  How many dogs or kittens could be saved if they took a salary reduction???  Who need $600,000 a year to run a non-profit rescue???  Only those who are not into rescuing..... just getting paid, it is all about the money with them -  Can you believe that many people send in just $19.00 a month and yet they can draw that much income.  What a rip off. 

So no Virginia Wolf not everyone is doing it.  Not everyone is caving to the PETA/HSUS AR radicals.  Just because much of Europe has lost the right to preserve their breed standards does not mean we need to follow them down the yellow brick road. 

How long will we have purebred if we have not guidelines???  I am all for mutts - have had several during my lifetime, but if you want to know exactly what you are going to get you study the description of a breed and find the one that fits you and your lifestyle.  You don't then decide to change it to suit your own idea.  If you want that then get a mutt or start a new breed.  Without standards to guide breeders you will soon have no purebreds. 

AKC needs to wake up and take a look at their registration numbers which are dropping -  No purebred no need for a registry.  While AKC does not guarantee quality it does at least promote breeding like to like to produce like. 

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

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Sometimes in life you just have to laugh or you would honestly go crazy and let it get you down.  Recently I was quoted as being wrong for a stand I take on the crop/dock issue.  I read my quote and I said darn I did good!!!  I was clear about what I believe - my message has always been the same.  I am not ashamed of this quote - I love it!!!

I promise open and honest communication and support of clubs and members alike.. I am known for it!!! I only own, show and promote DOBERMANS and am a member in good standing with both DPCA and UDC.
When speaking of the coon hound look I see that as far different than
calling them coon hounds which they are not but they have lost breed
type which allows even the novice to recognize them as dobermans and
not confuse them with weims or coon hoiunds.

Was I mistaken in thinking that UDC tried to do what no club has ever
done before - The Total dog - meaning a conformationally sound dog that
could still work whether the ears are 3 inches, 4 inches or 6 inches
but for sure cropped.
As I read the quote I said hey wait a minute.......I am being quoted as being WRONG because I support our standard???  What is wrong with this picture???
I will gladly take that charge and wear that badge gladly.  I support our rights - I support our breed - I support our standard and I support AMERICA.  Now I am wrong and unfit to serve for that???  
Someone somewhere better wake up and realize what is being shoved down our throats which is the self destruction of this breed of all breeds.  If standards go then anyone can breed anything to anything they want on a whim, change whatever they choose and we will have no more purebreds dogs with a purpose.
From the DPCA/AKC approved standard for the Doberman:
Long and dry, resembling a blunt wedge in both frontal and profile views. When seen from the front, the head widens gradually toward the base of the ears in a practically unbroken line. Eyes almond shaped, moderately deep set, with vigorous, energetic expression. Iris, of uniform color, ranging from medium to darkest brown in black dogs; in reds, blues, and fawns the color of the iris blends with that of the markings, the darkest shade being preferable in every case. 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. 
From the FCI standard:  Ears:  The ears, which is set high, is carried erect and cropped to a length in proportion to the head.  In a country where cropping is not permitted the uncropped ear is equally recognized.  (Medium size preferred and with the front edge lying close to the cheeks.)
In countries where CROPPING is NOT permitted the uncropped is recognized.  GUESS what in those countries THEY DO NOT ACCEPT CROPPED DOGS.  Our dogs are BANNED from the show ring or the performance ring.NOTE:  both standards call for a cropped ear.  An uncropped and undocked dog is a deviation from the ideal. In what world do we want to embrace a deviation from ideal?  I am all for improving our breed.  It is the mission of every quality breeder out there.  Improving the breed does not mean approving or intentionally presenting a deviation as ideal.  It means WE LOST OUR RIGHTS.  Read above:
Does that bother you???  It sure as the devil bothers me.
In the days ahead we will be pressed to abandon time honored traditions and a rich heritage and encouraged by the AR whackos to embrace a deviation that can be avoided.  We will be encourage to forfeit our rights and destroy our breed.  It is in your hands.  I hope you will fight for our purebred dogs and their traditions and heritage.
Do not buy into the silly notion that they care more about health or temperament as they pocket an extra $4,000 to $5,000 dollars per litter at your expense by selling you a deviation.  It's about the money.
Copyright © 2010 Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever.  All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever/J Bar S Dobermans and may not be used,  copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2010