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I've been pointedly not making a decision about whether to mate Nina when she comes into season again in a few weeks. Pro - this is her last year of being able to produce KC-registered pups, probably my last chance to raise more pups, it's good timing (summer, I'm working from home). Con - health risks? I'll be stuck at home all summer. However, just in case, I sent her for some health checks last Friday. Like most large breeds, dobes are prone to heart problems, esp Dilated Cardiomyopathy, where the heart enlarges. She was given the full test for this 18 months ago, but had some follow-up ones and also blood tests for liver and kidney function. Her heart was fine (she didn't even have to be sedated for the tests; what a good girl) and the blood results should come back soon. And, rather predictably, that's tipped me into thinking I should mate her if the test results are OK. Otherwise, why pay for them to be done? I expect that decision was already made subconsciously anyway. I'll use the same sire as for the Jazz litter. Temperament couldn't be better; behaviour, health and fitness good and they're all beautiful head-turners. And of course, there's no way I'm going to keep one...

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