Health is the one of the first things that comes up when you search for a doberman. You'll see terms like "DCM", "COI", "vWD", "Wobblers", "heartbreak breed", "OFA", "Embark", and "DNA testing." These refer to the many health issues plaguing the breed. In this section we will be explaining these issues.
DCM is one of the leading causes of death in Dobermans. DCM causes the heart to become enlarged and weakened. There are 2 types of DCM, DCM 1 and DCM 2. Both types of DCM have genetic factors as well as environmental factors. Unfortunately genetic testing for DCM 1 and DCM 2 is flawed. It is possible for an "all clear" dog to develop DCM while it is much more unlikely it is still possible. It is also possible for a dog with 2 copies of DCM 1 and 2 copies of DCM 2 to never become affected. The genetic tests are testing for "genetic predisposition" to DCM. This is unfortunately not a guarantee either way. If your puppy or dog carries one copy of DCM don't immediately panic! The vast majority of Dobermans carries at least one copy.
vWD is a genetic clotting disorder. A puppy must inherit 2 copies of the gene in order to be "affected." This can be totally prevented by never breeding a vWD carrier to another vWD carrier, although sometimes breeding a carrier to a carrier never produces affected puppies. We still have so much to learn about gene inheritance and expression.
The average COI in Dobermans is over 41% . Research in multiple species has shown that any COI over 5% has negative effects. The higher the COI the more detrimental the issues. We're focusing on lowering the COI in hopes of increasing longevity and reducing genetic and congenital issues. We've personally found that the lower the average COI of the litter is the higher the quality of the litter. We have produced puppies with COIs in the low twenties and are hoping to achieve COIs in the teens by 2022.
Resources: We always encourage people to do their own research about the health issues of any breed they're considering adding to their family. We've compiled a list of some good websites to check out about Doberman health.
The Doberman Diversity Project
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA)