Dilated Cardiomyopathy


About DCM, Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Updated based on current status/result as of November 6th, 2019.


Why should you care?

Unfortunately a very large number of the breed we love “Dobermans” are diagnosed and die from DCM disease and Cancer. It is believed to be hereditary due to high inbreeding in the past few decades. 


  • Over 60% of Dobermans die from DCM. Heart failure.
  • DCM1: 40% of dogs with this mutation will develop DCM. (60% dont)  NCSU – North Carolina University
  • DCM2: 50% of dogs with this mutation will develop DCM. (50% dont)  NCSU – North Carolina University
As always, breeding decisions should be made carefully. Removal of a significant number
of dogs from the breeding population could be very bad for the Doberman Pinscher breed.
Remember that dogs that carry this mutation may also carry other important good genes
that we do not want to lose from the breed.   NCSU – North Carolina University
  •  Average median for Doberman Coefficient of in breeding is 43%, the lowest one seen as of 2019 was 17%. (only one found with 17% COI)
  • Average Coefficient of inbreeding for all dogs combined is around 17%.  The best doberman COI out there is just as good as average dog.

DCM Gene?

Before 2019 researchers put a lot of emphasis on DCM Gene. However with a lot of break through through out 2018 and 2019, now they point the issue to be more of a high inbreeding rather than the genes. We see a lot of dogs with genes believed to be associated with DCM, and low inbreeding coefficient to live to old ages, and a lot of dogs clear of DCM genes die of DCM at early age.
In fact DCM genes are not even called DCM genes. they believed to be associated with DCM, but there is no coherent data showing their 100% association with the disease. The new recommendation is to breed dogs with DCM1 and DCM2 genes, because if they are removed from breeding, Doberman genetic pool gets even smaller, causing DCM, Cancer and other diseases to become worse in the breed.

How we deal with DCM?

At this time the recommendation is to breed based on lower Coefficient of inbreeding based on DNA. ( NOT BASED ON PEDIGREE) . just to show you how it works. two dogs that have less than 2% COI based on pedigree, could have over 40%  COI based on DNA. So when a breeder talk about COI make sure they are talking about the correct COI. Also breeding two low COI dogs doent not give low COI offspring. the DNA have to be compared one by one. If two siblings with low COI of 25% are bred together they will produce over 50% in real DNA COI.

So how we deal with DCM?

We Holter Monitor ECG our dogs heart frequently. It is recommended to holter them after age 3 and holter every 1 ~ 2 year. we start at earlier age and we holter 2 times a year, or before every breeding. and If we see any sign of early DCM we do not breed our dogs.

We ignore DCM genes and focus on finding the lowest COI match for our puppies. we do however breed some of our average COI dogs to keep the genetic pool going, and prevent the pool getting smaller. We usually breed the pairs that produce lower COIs more often as pet dogs so hopefully people can enjoy them for a longer time. Having said that we try to reduce number of genes that are believed to be bit not confirmed to be causing DCM in our dogs.

We submit and help Doberman Diversity Project with the hope that researcher can help find a solution to common Doberman health diseases including DCM and Cancer.


We are a hobby kennel. We don't accept walk-ins.