There study I was referring to was conducted at Ludwig Maximilians University on European Dobermann and published in June this month and it included 775 examination on 412 dobermanns, below is the summary:
Prevalence of dilated cardiomyopathy in doberman pinschers in various age groups.
Wess G, Schulze A, Butz V, Simak J, Killich M, Keller LJ, Maeurer J, Hartmann K.
Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in Doberman Pinschers is an autosomal dominant inherited disease. The prevalence of DCM in Doberman Pinschers of various age groups in Europe is currently unknown, but this information would be important to develop recommendations for screening programs.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the prevalence of cardiomyopathy in various age groups of Dobermans.
ANIMALS: Seven hundred and seventy-five examinations in 412 Doberman Pinschers.
METHODS: Dogs were included in a prospective longitudinal cohort study. Each examination included echocardiography and 24-hour ECG (Holter) examination. A cut-off value of >100 ventricular premature contractions (VPCs) per 24 hours on Holter examination or abnormal echocardiography was considered diagnostic for cardiomyopathy. The cumulative prevalence included all dogs with DCM and healthy dogs >7 years of age.
RESULTS: DCM prevalence in various age groups was as follows: age group 1 (1 to <2 years) 3.3%, age group 2 (2 to <4 years) 9.9%, age group 3 (4 to <6 years) 12.5%, age group 4 (6 to <8 years) 43.6%, and age group 5 (>8 years) 44.1%. The cumulative prevalence of Doberman Pinscher cardiomyopathy was 58.2%. There was an equal sex distribution, but male dogs showed earlier echocardiographic changes than did female dogs, which had significantly more VPCs.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: The prevalence of Doberman cardiomyopathy is very high in Europe. Disease manifestation and progression are different between male and female dogs. Yearly screening for DCM by Holter examination and echocardiography is recommended, starting at 2 years of age.
Take a *very* good look at the results: 58.2%!! Isn't that just shocking? Now these are facts, I hope this put an end on the discussion around this point.
About researching 13 generations, yes this *very* important for any breeder to do a proper research and study because the influence from the 5th, 8th generation or even further back doesn't provide you with sufficient knowledge about the history behind the lines because there are no random variations withing ancestors, so the dogs of the past have a GREAT impact on the dogs of today and therefore breeders MUST know what they are breeding. This is also why it's very important NOT to breed on pedigrees with multiple cases of DCM, why? because any of the siblings will carry the gene and pass it on to further generations, and in reality you can never know when it ticks in.
Now I can understand if DCM happens once a 100 times in a pedigree, but to see pedigrees filled with DCM cases being used over and over just because some of the dogs didn't catch on the gene is wrong. Now you say that avoiding the relatives and the progeny of an effected animal is totally wrong practice as you will get the same genes from another "clear" line. That's very incorrect as those "clear" lines, even if they go back to the same ancestors, have been bread with health consideration and not using dogs with genetic disorders, unlike what's happening today where breeders do the mating with the knowledge of multiple DCM cases in the pedigree. Remember that genetic diseases are inherited, yeah, genetic mutations do happen but 58% DCM rate? that's not a natural evolution.
Now let me tell you what I'm talking about, take a look at Maggie Krillenburg, Ivar Jotunheim and similar dogs (I can give you a very long list) for example, why is it so that the average age in their pedigree is well over 11 years and you don't see those "strange" deaths at the age 2-9? and why is it so you don't see DCM there?
And here's my question to you, if you know about "clean" lines with proven long longevity and we all know that DCM is very much genetic, why is it so that the breeder community continues to use those lines instead of the healthy ones? titles?. I mean, you do have a choice.