What about Health?

GP’s have generally good health but it is critical to maintain. In comparison to other breeds, they are relatively free of inherited diseases. To maintain this healthy and long lived breed reputable breeders will test to ensure we are using dogs in breeding that are least likely to produce inherited genetic disorders.

What testing is done?

~Hip x-rays to ensure there is no evidence of Dysplasia. We are only using the PennHip system to evaluate hips. PennHip takes exrays while the dog is passive on the table and then takes another exray with pressure placed on the hips using an instrument. A Distraction Index is given to show how much laxity the hip has as laxity indicates the liklihood of Hips Dysplasia moreso that the depth of the hip socket (OFA method of evaluating hips). PennHip compares German Pinschers only to other German Pinschers for much more accurate results. The average range for a DI for a German Pinscher is between 0.24 and 0.70 with a mean of 0.41. ~An echocardiogram with a cardiologist to rule out hereditary heart conditions. ~Yearly eye exams with a certified veterinary opthamologist. ~ DNA testing for vWD (a bleeding disorder) as well as dilute and chocolate coloring is necessary ony if not known to be clear by DNA of the parents. What about Dilutes- Blues and Fawns? What about Chocolates? The gene for Alopecia (a skin condition which results in baldness) is on the same DNA strand as the dilute gene so German Pinschers who are dilute in color (blues and fawns) can suffer from Alopecia and have health problems related to this skin condition. For this reason, I do not breed dilutes. I cannot, in good conscience, deliberately breed a dog who may experience lifelong skin problems. The Chocolate gene is not associated with any health problems and is therefore not a concern with regards to health and can be used in a breeding program. Chocolates are not currently an approved color in the AKC or FCI standard and cannot be shown. On this website, each dog’s health testing is listed, even if an exam is failed. Transparency is vital. I have 20+ years of health data across multiple generations and my testing is always publically disclosed.
My Responsibility as a Breeder I love my dogs deeply and have a tremendous commitment to ensuring each one has the best possible life. In order to continue to home raise and properly socialize my next generation to be wonderful ambassadors of the breed, I limit myself to keeping at most 2-4 adult dogs. My heart breaks each time I place a beloved adult in a new home once their show careers are over but I know I am doing the right thing for them. Each one deserves to be the center of someone’s universe. My joy when I get photos of my beloved dogs in front of Christmas trees with their presents, on boats, hiking with their doggy backpacks, lounging on the couch or dedicating their lives to being service dogs makes it all worthwhile.

Preservation breeder

Preservation breeders dedicate their lives to the heritage

of a single breed; to preserve the gene pool and protect

and improve the breed through carefully considered

combinations that include excellent temperament, a clear

multigenerational pedigree for hereditary health

conditions and exceptional quality in conformation.

Frequently Asked Questions: Are Titles Important?

Preservation breeders have very high expectations for the quality of the dogs they produce and show, however a championship is not the ONLY ticket into my breeding program. Oakwood dogs are shown in national competitions, many achieve Grand Championships or higher, and they earn end titles in activities like agility, rally, scentwork, nosework, barn hunt or FastCAT. Proving your dog’s stable temperament with working titles as well as its beauty means that dogs that do not meet my standards are altered and placed, even when they already have wins to their records. Conversely, some beautiful, stable and healthy dogs hate the show ring and yet can contribute greatly to the gene pool. Its all about assessing the assets of the individual dog, regardless of the titles attached to their names. An aggressive or unhealthy but beautiful dog only harms the breed rather than helps it. I am striving for excellence across all apsects of the breed, not just appearance.

What is your Breeding Philosophy?

The AKC does not have any rules about inbreeding and in the United States any combination is registered, even father/daughter, sibling litters and litters with dangerously high inbreeding coefficients. In Europe there are regulations preventing inbreeding and close line breeding. Experts in canine genetics worldwide have found “deleterious effects” at an Inbreeding Coefficient (COI) of 5% and greater. When an inbreeding coefficient of 10% is reached there is a higher mortality rate among puppies, smaller litters and the expression of genetic defects becomes much more likely. In breeds like the German Pinscher which was saved from extinction using just five dogs in the 1950’s, the entire worldwide population is already highly related even when their three generation pedigrees show no common ancestors. Inbreeding in this breed (father/daughter, mother/son, sibling to sibling, half- brother to half-sister) and very close linebreeding can be expected to result in more genetic health and temperament problems which could be prevented by wiser breeding decisions. The Kennel Club of England recommends a COI below 4.9% for German Pinschers. The Institute of Canine Biology recommends a COI under 3% but not more than 6% in 5 generations in all breeds. I invest in the long term prosperity of the breed by factoring COI into my breeding decisions. I travel to the best studs in the world, regardless of their location. When I cannot reach a stud through travel I import a stud dog or collect and freeze semen for future artifical inseminations. I strive to find the best males worldwide with genetic diversity, excellent temperament and health as well as superior conformation.

What about Temperament?

It is FIRST and FOREMOST - Temperament is, in my experience, highly inherited in the German Pinscher and therefore I am focused on selecting dogs to breed that are confident, friendly and stable. A dog with an amenable personality makes both a wonderful life-long companion as well a wonderful ambassador for the breed in the show community. I do not keep my dogs in kennels, outbuildings or runs, my dogs are house dogs and my companions. I have removed any dog who is shy, insecure or aggressive from my gene pool.
Oakwood German Pinschers
© Oakwood German Pinschers - Jan 2021

Preservation

breeder

Preservation breeders dedicate their lives to the

heritage of a single breed; to preserve the gene

pool and protect and improve the breed through

carefully considered combinations that include

excellent temperament, a clear multigenerational

pedigree for hereditary health conditions and

exceptional quality in conformation.

Frequently Asked Questions: Are Titles

Important?

As a preservation breeder, I have very high expectations for the quality of the dogs I show, however a championship is not the ONLY ticket into my breeding program. Oakwood dogs show and win in national and international competitions and earn titles in activities like agility, rally, nosework, AKC scentwork or FastCAT. Proving a dog has stable temperament, trainability and working aptitude is as important as conformation. Dogs that do not meet my high standards are altered and placed in companion homes, even when they have show wins to their records. Conversely, some beautiful, stable and healthy dogs absolutely hate competing in conformation yet contribute greatly to the gene pool. It’s all about the assets of the individual dog. There are top show dogs whom I would never consider at stud and others, who are not backed by big money and handlers who are far better in quality regardless of their lack of “ranking”. I strive for excellence not popularity.

Breeding Philosophy?

The US does not have any rules and any purebred combination is registered by AKC. In Europe there are regulations preventing inbreeding/close “line breeding”. Experts in canine genetics have found that in general when an inbreeding coefficient of 10% is reached there is a higher liklihood of the expression of genetic defects. In breeds like the German Pinscher which was saved from extinction using just five individual dogs after WWII, and where the entire worldwide population is already highly related, it is even more vital not to jeopardize the breed by inbreeding or close line breeding. I factor COI into all my breeding decisions. I strive to find the best males worldwide which increases my line’s genetic diversity.

What about Temperament?

Temperament is, in my experience, highly inherited in the German Pinscher and therefore I am focused on selecting dogs to breed that are confident, friendly and stable. A dog with an amenable personality makes both a wonderful life-long companion as well a wonderful ambassador for the breed. I do not keep my dogs in kennels, outbuildings or runs, my dogs are house dogs and my companions. I remove any dog who is shy, insecure or aggressive from my gene pool.

What about Health?

GP’s have generally good health which breeders need to work to maintain. In comparison to other breeds, they are relatively free of inherited diseases.

What testing is done?

~~Hip x-rays. I only use the PennHip system to evaluate hips. PennHip takes exrays while the dog is passive on the table and then takes another exray with pressure placed on the hips using an instrument. A Distraction Index is given to show how much laxity the hip has. Laxity indicates the liklihood of Hips Dysplasia far better that the depth of the hip socket (the OFA method of evaluating hips). PennHip compares German Pinschers only to other German Pinschers for much more accurate information. ~An echocardiogram with a cardiologist to rule out hereditary heart conditions. ~Yearly eye exams with a certified veterinary opthamologist. ~ DNA testing for vWD (a bleeding disorder) as well as dilute and chocolate coloring if the dog is not known to be clear by DNA of ancestors. What about Dilutes? Blues and Fawns? The gene for Alopecia (a skin condition which results is baldness) is on the same DNA strand as the dilute gene so German Pinschers who are dilute in color can suffer from Alopecia. For this reason, I do not breed dilutes. I cannot, in good conscience, deliberately breed a dog who may experience lifelong health problems. On this website, each dog’s health testing is listed, even if an exam is failed. Transparency is vital. Buyers - do your research.
Oakwood German Pinschers