More than 50% of Dobermans suffer from dilated cardiomyopathy

Ben the vet on TikTok tells us that during his work he saw a Doberman Pinscher drop dead in front of his eyes. He said that it is enough by itself to not adopt a Dobermann (an alternative spelling). He found it traumatic. To an outsider, like me, it is shocking to hear that this well-known dog breed suffers so catastrophically from such a serious heart disease. What are the breeders doing to create dogs with this kind of inherited problem?

And what is The Kennel Club doing about it?

Ben the vet and the Dobermann of which if which more than 50% suffer from a serious heart disease
Ben the vet and the Dobermann of which more than 50% suffer from a serious heart disease making them a poor pet. Image: Ben the Vet video screenshot.

Border Collie

In the video he also tells us that he would not adopt a Border Collie because although they are prone to epilepsy, the more serious issue is that they don’t really adapt to a typical home life. We know that this breed is intelligent and therefore they need to be stimulated. The “sedentary” home life as a pet isn’t good enough for them.

He says that if a Border Collie is not worked and stimulated, they can go a bit loopy and by loopy means that the dog can start twisting around in circles going a bit mad. That is obviously something that one does not want to see in a dog. It is clearly a sign of mental disturbance and stress.

Border Collies were bred for herding and working, and they have a strong drive to learn and work.

If a Border Collie is not given enough mental stimulation, they can develop behavioral problems such as excessive barking, destructive chewing, and digging. They may also become anxious, depressed, or aggressive. Providing your Border Collie with regular opportunities for physical exercise and mental stimulation can help prevent these issues.

Mental stimulation can come in various forms, including obedience training, interactive toys, puzzle games, and agility training. Regular walks, runs, and playtime can also help keep your Border Collie physically fit and mentally stimulated. If you are unable to provide enough mental stimulation for your Border Collie due to your schedule, you may want to consider hiring a dog walker or taking them to a dog daycare to ensure they get enough exercise and socialization.


Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this video is that he tells us that the Boxer has a list of 74 genetically inherited diseases! That makes them totally untenable as a companion dog for me. Ben brings out a reference book on inherited diseases of dogs and cats to tell us he has relied on a good source.

The diseases include aortic stenosis, brain tumours, skin tumours, spontaneous corneal ulcers and “you name it and they get it”. And Ben says that he has seen too many Boxers with these sorts of problems.

Great Dane

Another dog that he would not buy is a Great Dane because they have a seven-year lifespan which he says is too short. Perhaps the biggest problem with huge dogs like this is that everything is more expensive including the drugs because they are priced on weight i.e. the amount that you use, and you use more than normal.

Flat-coated Retriever

Finally, he refers to the Flat-coated Retriever which he says is a wonderful dog but they have one great weakness in their health. They are very prone to a type of cancer called histiocytic sarcoma. He says that the breed is the “poster child of this disease”. Around 50% of all “flat coats” die of cancer. The reason why he wouldn’t adopt this dog is because it’s more likely that you will have a lot of heartache when they die of cancer.

Histiocytic sarcoma

About histiocytic sarcoma:

Histiocytic sarcoma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects dogs. It is characterized by the uncontrolled growth and proliferation of histiocytic cells, which are a type of white blood cell that play a role in the immune system.

This type of cancer can develop in different parts of the body, including the spleen, lymph nodes, skin, and other organs. The signs and symptoms of histiocytic sarcoma can vary depending on where the tumor is located and how advanced it is, but they may include weight loss, lethargy, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, and swelling.

Diagnosis of histiocytic sarcoma typically involves a combination of physical examination, blood tests, imaging tests such as X-rays or ultrasound, and a biopsy of the affected tissue. Treatment options for histiocytic sarcoma may include surgery to remove the tumor, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy.

However, it is important to note that histiocytic sarcoma is often resistant to treatment and has a poor prognosis. It is a serious and life-threatening disease that requires prompt and aggressive treatment, so if you suspect that your dog may be suffering from this condition, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

Shame on the breeders and The Kennel Club

Ben is being very pragmatic. Of course, being a veterinarian, he knows the weaknesses of these dog breeds in terms of their health and it puts him off. Perhaps the most shocking section in his video is the 74 genetically inherited diseases of the boxer. It’s just amazing and The Kennel Club and the breeders who create these dog should be ashamed of themselves.

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