INFORMATION FOR BREEDERS
EAR CROPPING - click here for ear cropping
To see information on whelping, raising puppies, care of the dam,
temperament testing, health concerns with whelping, and more, visit the
Breeders HELP Page.
WISE BREEDING PRACTICES include screening for hereditary problems before
breeding. There is no guarantee that genetic screening will prevent health
problems in German Pinschers or any dogs, but we can certainly improve our odds
by making informed choices. Genetic health problems documented in German
Click the red buttons at the top of this page to see more information.
Hip dysplasia (HD) is an inherited bone disease that affects hip joints. A
dysplastic dog should not be used for breeding but with proper care it can
still lead a good life. Surgery is an option. Dogs can be certified free of hip
dysplasia at two years old with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
PennHIP (University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program) is an alternative
to the OFA. To increase the likelihood of producing puppies free of hip
problems, both parents should be certified prior to breeding. The incidence of
hip dysplasia in German Pinschers is very low but is not unknown.
NOTE: Please make sure that dogs you intend to breed have
an OFA number.
All dogs chosen for breeding should have a current CERF (Canine Eye
Registration Foundation) examination, and be certified by CERF as to not being
affected with inherent eye disease. The bluish eye tints of some elderly German
Pinschers are not cataracts; it is normal aging of the eye lenses. Cataracts
can cause blindness quickly, can cause blindness slowly, or not cause it at
all. Some cataracts do not significantly impair vision nor ever progress.
Cataracts can appear in different locations on one or both eyes. Surgical
correction of cataracts is best done before cataracts become mature. This makes
annual CERF exams especially important.
NOTE: Please make sure that dogs you intend to breed are
ALERT: If your dog has been tested for CERF, do not
forget to send in your completed form (directions are on it). Your dog will not
be certified if you do not do this. The form allows you to designate whether
you wish to make the results public knowledge or not. Given an OK for results
to be made public, certified dogs will be automatically posted to OFA (no extra
charge). Also, Dr Leos Kral is no longer involved with cataract research and
has informed us that his research is no longer current.
VON WILLEBRANDS DISEASE TYPE 1:
Von Willebrand's disease (vWD) is the most common inherited bleeding disorder
of animals and man. At least two German Pinschers have been found with vWD. The
most frequent symptom of vWD is prolonged bleeding from surgery or trauma. Dogs
may require expensive transfusions. Many dogs, however, never develop severe
problems, even fewer die-- but some do!
There is no documentation that indicates that any German Pinschers
have died from vWD. The disease should not be taken lightly. Testing may be
done with blood tests (ELISA) or DNA swabs (VetGen). Under very rigid controls,
blood tests are quite accurate, but things can interfere with them, causing
flawed results. DNA testing is less intrusive, more exact and done only once
with any age dog.
The Health Committee recommendation for the best way to decrease the
incidence of vWD in the German Pinscher follows. Below are the best
breeding strategies for removing or reducing the incidence of vWD type 1: 1).
Breed only dogs DNA tested as clear. All resulting puppies will be free of the
defective gene. 2). Only partner dogs DNA tested as carriers, to dogs DNA
tested as clears. Resulting puppies are redacted to be 50% carriers and 50%
clear. All resulting puppies should be DNA tested. Those puppies carrying the
gene should be spayed/neutered. This will eliminate the gene in that line.
*NOTE: We urge all German Pinscher breeders to get
their breeding stock tested to help control the spread of this disease. We have
the opportunity to eliminate vWD (in German Pinschers).
Call VetGens toll free number 1 (800) 483-8436
to find out how to take advantage of this months reduced fee health
clinic. The folks at VetGen are friendly, helpful, and easy to contact.
Jean Dodds, DVM says, Hypothyroid is the most common disorder in
dogs. Recognizing the signs early and beginning treatment right away can
make a real difference in a dogs future quality of life. Symptoms include
but are not limited to unprovoked aggression, disorientation, moodiness,
hypo-attentiveness, depression, fearfulness, chronic infections, anemia,
dry eye," knuckling or dragging feet, scaly skin, skin infections,
slow heart rate, absence of heat cycles.
All dogs chosen for breeding should have your veterinarian do a full
thyroid panel, including testing for thyroglobulin autoantibodies (TgAA), and
be certified clear of thyroid problems. *NOTE: testing
will enable you to treat afflicted dogs early to avoid progression of the
disease. Left untreated, thyroid problems can worsen irrevocably.
*ALERT: Due to the increase in heart problems among dog breeds in general, we
further recommend annual heart exams to be performed by a canine cardiologist.
There is at least one documented case of a German Pinscher dying of heart
failure before 2 years old. It is a good idea to test for this before breeding
Hernias are bulges or tears in the body wall. Umbilical hernias can be repaired
when a pet is spayed or neutered or during any other time when they are under
anesthesia. Hernias are usually heriditary. Small closed hernias usually pose
no health problem. Some breeders routinely repair even small closed hernias.
Dogs who have had UMBILICAL hernias repaired are still eligible for
participation in AKC events. On the other hand, dogs that have had more severe
INGUINAL(open) type hernias are not eligible for participation in AKC
One or both testicles failing to descend into the scrotum can be a problem in
dogs. It is known to run in families. When both testicles remain in the
abdomen, the higher temperature there prevents the production of sperm and the
pet will be sterile. If one testicle does descend into the scrotum the pet
should be fertile. These dogs can not be shown in AKC conformation and should
not be used in a breeding program.
1. Veterinary care for the bitch and puppies--cropping docking, dewclaws,
vaccinations and the daily maintenance.
2. Some bitches turn out to be neglectful or bad mothers, and you would end
up with their job--24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.
3. A bitch can have problems and need an expensive caesarean section.
4. Puppies can get sick or die. Sometimes bitches die from breeding
complications. Are you willing to risk this?
5. Be prepared to care for, and to take back, all puppies/dogs that do not
sell or that are returned to you.
6. Check to see if there is a lemon law for dogs in your state.
1. Any serious inheritable defects occurring in either parent are reasons
not to breed.
2. If you are thinking of using your male at stud, you are no less responsible
for the quality of the litter than the owner of the bitch.
3. A breeding pair needs to be fully mature, in the prime of health. Their
inoculations should be up to date, and they should be free of both internal and
4. Breeding pairs need to be tested for canine brucellosis.
5. Do not forget to pre-screen breeding stock for genetic disease.
Spaying or neutering will not change the basic personality of your dog but
should make him or her more settled and focused. Neutering alone will not make
your German Pinscher fat. Caloric needs may change, so you may need to adjust
1. Males will often become more tolerant of other males, once they are
neutered, and less inclined to roam. It also greatly reduces the tendency for
males to mark inside the house. Neutering eliminates worries about testicular
cancer or prostate disease.
2. Uterine infections or tumors of the reproductive system cannot develop
in spayed females. There is also a decreased risk of mammary cancer.
3. Reputable breeders sell "pet" quality puppies with the
agreement that the animal will be neutered or spayed. AKC provides limited
registration papers to support this. Some breeders may retain AKC papers until
the pet puppy is neutered.
NOTE: The AKC permits spayed and neutered canines to
participate in obedience, tracking, fieldwork, agility, and junior handling