IDR+ is experiencing a blizzard of sorts. Four albino Dobermans are currently up for adoption Bentley, Tesla, Sparky, and Marty. Four others were recently adopted: Sydney, Sheba, Evie, and Isis. We would like to take this opportunity to clear up some commonly held misconceptions about albino Dobes.
While the following information might make an albino Doberman seem like a difficult dog, rarely does one exhibit all of the negative traits. Albino Dobes make wonderful companions for the right person who is knowledgeable about what to expect.
Myth: Albino Dobes should be called “white” Dobes.
Although many dog breeds that have white fur are classified as “white,” a genetic mutation causes the lack of pigment in an albino Dobe, which produces its light color. Albino Dobermans are not recognized by the Doberman Pinscher Club of America.
Myth: Albinos only have red eyes and white fur.
When some people think of “albino,” a red-eyed, white-furred animal comes to mind. But albino Dobes don’t have red eyes or white fur; in fact, their eyes are a very light blue and their coat is a cream color. Just as many humans who are albino are legally blind, some albino Dobes have serious vision problems; they are extremely light sensitive and can become “snow blind” during winter due to the light bouncing off of the snow. The creamy coat is also caused by a lack of pigment, and the hair structure is sometimes rougher than a regular-colored Dobe.
Myth: Albinos can’t reproduce.
Albinism does not affect reproduction; however, albinos should not intentionally be bred. According to the Doberman Pinscher Club of America, the first albino Dobe was born in 1976. She produced a litter with her son, which yielded two albino males. The same son bred with his sister to produce a litter that yielded two albino females. The albino males and females were then intentionally bred together to produce an entire litter of albinos. This intentional inbreeding for albinism should not be encouraged; sadly, several breeders are intentionally producing albino Dobes.
Myth: Albinos are rare and valuable.
Unfortunately, breeders continue to produce albino Dobes and market them as “rare and white” while charging exorbitant fees-one breeder advertises prices up to $2,000 for an albino pup. Unknowing buyers perpetuate the demand, and unscrupulous breeders continue to breed to fulfill orders.
Myth: Albino Dobes don’t act differently than other colored Dobes.
Because albinism is a recessive gene trait, other recessive traits often appear in albinos, including behavioral, emotional, and intelligence deficiencies. Albino Dobes are highly emotional and can have difficulty learning appropriate behavior. While some albino Dobes can act “normal” in a familiar setting, they might become confused and upset in a new setting or with unfamiliar people. However, for some albino Dobes, it’s the opposite. For example, IDR+ President Pam Abare-Newton adopted Degas, an albino puppy she knew would be difficult to place, and she has made several accommodations for him to be successful in her home. However, when a volunteer brings him to an event, he is easily well-behaved and enjoys meeting new people.
Myth: Albino Dobes are just as healthy as other colored Dobes.
Albino Dobermans can be more prone to some health problems. As mentioned earlier, many albino Dobes have vision problems and even blindness. Due to the lack of pigment, albino Dobes are also highly susceptible to skin cancer, including the often-deadly malignant melanoma. According to www.whitedobes.doberinfo.com, albino Dobes can also suffer from increased skin sensitivities and allergies, bone malformations, organ malfunctions, and other major health concerns. Albinism is such a serious health concern; some Doberman mothers will even cull a litter if albinism is present.
If you are interested in helping IDR+ dig out from under our recent blizzard of albino Dobes, please consider adding a special member to your family.