Thank you for visiting our website. We sincerely hope you find it helpful and informative.
We are Terry and Robin Loreth, devoted owners and lovers of the Doberman breed with a particular fondness for European Dobermanns and Science. We live in north Texas, about an hour north of the DFW metroplex. We are professionals in our fields; Terry is a commercial construction executive and former U.S. Army 5th Special Forces Green Beret, and Robin is an attorney/Mediator and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for abused and neglected children who has trained dogs since she was a teenager. Robin taught group obedience lessons at the YMCA in Seattle, Washington and trained her Golden Retriever "Tug" as part of an Avalanche Search & Rescue team in Alaska. She has trained over 40 dogs, starting with the German Shepherds with whom she grew up. After her first Doberman in the 90's, she's become a Doberman devotee currently training her dogs in the competitive sport of IGP (formerly known as IPO or Schutzhund). Robin is a current member of the Deutscher Verband der Gebrauchshundsportvereine (DVG), the United Doberman Club (UDC), and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.
Though we once contemplated it, we do not breed dogs and never have. We are, however, highly dedicated Dobermann lovers who have invested more than two decades loving and learning about our breed. Though we've invested endless hours over the years studying canine genetics, pedigrees, bloodlines and so much more, we remain students. No matter how much we've learned, there is always so much more to come to know. Scientific research yields endless new information applicable to principled dog breeding. And the wisdom of the many lifelong Dobermann fanciers from across the globe has been invaluable; these people have taught us more than we could ever have learned on our own and this website is our small contribution to paying that help and education forward.
We had a lot to learn about the breed when we bought our first in the 90's. Our first dog "Lena" was a wonderful Doberman Pinscher that we bought from a local family who bred their female for a single litter of puppies. She was the last puppy left of the litter. We met her mother who was a beautiful, charming dog and happily went home with our new puppy. We didn't ask much about health testing; her parents had verifiably good hips and we didn't dig too far beyond that. Twenty years ago, we knew next to nothing about the Doberman breed's health problems. We had known several wonderful Dobermans as children -- and all of these dogs grew to a ripe old age and their muzzles were covered with grey hair. We had not yet learned how rare that is today.
Sadly, our first wonderful Doberman girl taught us the first of many lessons about the breed's health challenges. We lost this precious dog before she was nine years old due to one of the many health defects found in the Doberman breed -- Wobbler's Disease. We were accustomed to owning German Shepherds and hounds that lived well into their teens so this early loss was devastating. It was this experience that prompted us to begin learning about the many health issues affecting the breed. We talked extensively with our vet and the instructors at our local University.
After Lena, we were hooked -- despite the heartbreak of prematurely losing our girl and despite all we learned about the breed's health problems. Our list of questions and "must have" health tests grew longer with each passing year as we became increasingly informed. As our list grew longer, most breeders couldn't satisfy our health "wish list" so we passed over countless litters until, months later, we found a puppy from a breeder that satisfied the health checklist we had developed at that time (a fraction of today's list). This girl (Katie) was, like the first, a wonderful family dog. Sadly, like our first girl Lena, we lost Katie before grey hair could show on her muzzle to yet another common Doberman affliction -- cancer.
After our second Doberman, Katie, the "heart dog" of our lives -- Sammy -- came into our lives. He was that perfect dog who was incredibly stable and confident, but loving and with the judgement to discern between friends and foes in a heartbeat. He could read our minds and was the easiest dog to train making us look like training geniuses. Sadly, we lost Sam to DCM at eight years old. We were crushed.
Frequent visits to Europe led us to meet the European Dobermann. We fell in love all over again. These beautiful, magnificent examples of the Doberman Pinscher breed (called simply the Dobermann in Europe) captured our hearts and before long, we were welcoming a wonderful female from Europe into our home. Lujza was a wonderful dog who was sadly diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy at three years old, and died suddenly from heart failure (confirmed by a necropsy) in May of 2016 -- at only five years old while chasing a bunny. Our veterinarian aggressively worked to extend the quality of her life for as long as he could and helped us get two more years with her after her initial DCM diagnosis. It was our goal to ensure that her days, however numbered, were wholly satisfying and happy. But losing her was crushing.
Like many of you, we have found the search for a puppy takes a very long time when one has tough, seemingly ever-growing list of health testing requirements, genetic requirements such as a reasonably low COI, and a need to understand a puppy's ancestors' working accomplishments, temperaments, and health/longevity. We also work hard to avoid a puppy from an ever-growing list of popular sires who have left behind a legacy of premature deaths due to genetic disease. Why do we have such a tough list? Because we've learned more about the breed and the health & genetic challenges it increasingly faces than we ever realized there was to learn. If you elect to start this journey yourself (and I encourage you to do so), be forewarned. The journey into the depths of the Dobermann breed can be disheartening. Ignorance truly is, as they say, bliss.
The breed faces frightening problems tied to its development and refinement -- much of which I had but a partial understanding of until the past few years. Frankly, I had a lot more to learn. I just didn't know it. Sometimes we must be pushed into a deeper level of understanding and my push came from a crusty old lifelong Dobermann breeder in Europe (and I'd say a good lay researcher) who chewed me out several years ago for being short sighted. Some time later, after seemingly endless hours spent studying canine genetics and pedigrees, I reached out to her to explain to her how right she was about several things, and I thanked her for the push. I owe her a debt of gratitude for that lecture. It forced me to rethink things, dig deeper and invest endless hours into studying canine genetics at a whole new level -- and to do it with an open mind. After a couple university-level genetics courses, I now understand much more, understand what the crusty old breeder got right and what she got wrong. And I learned that understanding the correlation between Doberman genomics and health and longevity (or the lack thereof) is incredibly complex and how much more we all have to learn.
Because we will have Dobermanns in our lives for as long as we are able to care for them and contribute to efforts to improve the health of the breed, our story continues without a certain end. In return for the love, friendship and education these wonderful dogs provide to us, we pledge to do our best to share information about the health of the breed (and the challenges it faces) and do all we can to help improve the breed. It is our hope that this website will help you do the same. If you are interested in learning more about the non-profit Doberman Diversity Project we helped to co-found, in cooperation with Cornell University canine geneticists and veterinarians, and cutting edge genetic testing technologies, visit www.DobermanDiversityProject.org
Wishing you many years with long-lived, healthy, wonderful Doberman "kids",
Terry and Robin Loreth