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Old 12-15-2012, 10:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Age versus Activity Level

So I have been researching into adding a Doberman to my life for well over 6 months. I have gone to a few shows in my area and spoken with 2 breeders in my area to make sure I was making a solid choice in breed for my lifestyle. I do live in the Tampa area so I live in an apartment which I know is a concern but I'm also a half-marathoner and run several hours a day 3 days a week and do cross-training the other 3 days with a rest day on Sundays. One of the big reasons I've wanted a Doberman is because they're a good size but not too massive, pretty intimidating looking since I do run through some shady areas and can handle the various terrain I run over during my long runs. After speaking with the breeder and during my research I've come to realize a puppy would not be a good fit for my life right. I'm looking for a dog that I can take running with me pretty much right away. There is a move into Tampa itself in my future where I will have another female roommate. This will be an only dog but she does have a cat who is somewhat grumpy but he's a rescue that came to her declawed so while he may bat at a dog he can't do any real damage other than to ego. Plus the cat is very solitary and prefers to be secluded in her room.

I've found several rescues in the Tampa area or within my drive radius, about 3 hours, and want to get the application turned in to start that adoption process so when the dog comes along the paperwork part will be done. The question buried in this long rambling topic is, does anyone have suggestions for what AGE dogs I should be looking into at the rescues? At the young end I know it's at least 18-months due to joint development but what about at the older end of the spectrum. Suggestions and stories about activity levels in your older Dobies would be most helpful. Plus pics are always love!
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I've heard of 18 months as well, but as much as 24 months for males.

My doberman puppy (8 months) is EXTREMELY active, and I can see her being able to handle runs as she is older. For now, we do walks (under 2 miles) and quick runs or sprints (20 minutes or so) which include breaks. I know a lady who used to breed Dobermans who ran marathons, which was the main reason she got a Doberman...to protect her and be a companion. Definitely a good choice!
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Leala is 18 months old (female) and has TONS of energy. I am not a runner, but we do hike and she runs the whole time. I live on an acreage and she will run after balls/squirrels/other dogs for hours on end. A dobe would be a great choice for a running partner. I would just be sure to choose a rescue that has good hips and joints. And be cautious of the terrain you run on. People often warn about extended runs on pavement for the pads of their feet, and wear on joints. Good luck!
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Since I'm doing half-marathons in a pretty tight urban area I do run over various types of terrain from pavement to sand on the beaches near my current apartment but my route changes so I don't get bored while I run so I don't mind editing routes around joint concerns for a younger dog. My real concern is just energy level I think. Is a Doberman that's 6/7/8 going to be able to handle that level of activity on a daily basis?
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mellonnew View Post
Since I'm doing half-marathons in a pretty tight urban area I do run over various types of terrain from pavement to sand on the beaches near my current apartment but my route changes so I don't get bored while I run so I don't mind editing routes around joint concerns for a younger dog. My real concern is just energy level I think. Is a Doberman that's 6/7/8 going to be able to handle that level of activity on a daily basis?
I'd say most eight year old Dobermans probably wouldn't do half marathons regularly, though some could. I'd personally look for a 2-5 year old. I'd also try to stick to a rescue that is not oversized, to lessen the chance of joint issues. Of course, even with an adult, you will need to start slow and build up endurance. Also, keep in mind that their pads can get very damaged from long runs, especially in heat or snow.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The 2 rescues in my area recommend sending their applications in as early as possible when looking for a specific age range so I'm grateful for the tips in narrowing that range down. Well actually I'm between races right now so it's almost like the stars are aligning in regards to getting a dog because I'm in "resting" mode in terms of my race training plus I'm going to be moving into a larger apartment soon. Taking it easy so I don't over work my joints either so it's the perfect time to add a running partner into my regime since I'm running just for conditioning and not for time. I am worried about pads getting over-heated or dried out so I've started looking into moisturizers, preferably something I can copy at home since I like to know what I'm using on my pets, and other tips for keeping paw pads from being injured.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mellonnew View Post
The 2 rescues in my area recommend sending their applications in as early as possible when looking for a specific age range so I'm grateful for the tips in narrowing that range down. Well actually I'm between races right now so it's almost like the stars are aligning in regards to getting a dog because I'm in "resting" mode in terms of my race training plus I'm going to be moving into a larger apartment soon. Taking it easy so I don't over work my joints either so it's the perfect time to add a running partner into my regime since I'm running just for conditioning and not for time. I am worried about pads getting over-heated or dried out so I've started looking into moisturizers, preferably something I can copy at home since I like to know what I'm using on my pets, and other tips for keeping paw pads from being injured.
You might look into mushers secret for a protective ointment. Not sure how much it works for pavement/heat.
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the suggestion! I'll look into how it works on pavement because we don't really get much snow in Tampa but we do get hot pavement!
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Diva's eight and would be game to run with you by disposition, however, she has enough arthritis that it would be unwise for her health.

And this is something to keep in mind with this breed. Dogs with drive will not cry, "Uncle!" We have to be wise in how much we allow them to exert themselves.

I concur with MeadowCat's age 2-5 suggestion.

And I'd choose a dog on the smaller end of the breed standard.

Please also keep in mind that, just as is true with humans, a dog that has not been running habitually will need to be eased into condition.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree with teh above - try rescue. Of course, some breeders will occasionally have an older dog available (not that long ago, Foxfire was trying to rehome a 2 year old).

For protecting pads, you can either use wax on them (typically from a feed store) or - as recommended by my vet - a little bit of Vaseline in the morning, afternoon, and evening in the event that they manage to wear them a bit thin (J managed to do this when she was ~5 months, bad me). Over time, their pads do recondition to being a bit tougher (in my experience).

J is 8 months now, and typically I allow her to sprint around the downstairs a few minutes a day, and then we usually take a 1/4-1 mile long walk a few times a week (weather permitting - otherwise, it would be more). Dobes can either be couch potatoes or athletes, in my experience, so I think you have selected the right breed.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm definitely going with a rescue for sure, I've already started looking. And I definitely appreciate the advice. Having only started running habitually myself a few months ago I totally understand having to ease into the sport. Plus I'm doing marathons and not sprints so I move faster than a light jog but the big idea is endurance and maintaining a nice steady pace for a longer pace.

Are larger sized, not meaning overweight just larger weighted, dogs more prone to joint issues than a dog on the smaller side of the spectrum? My previous experience with animals is exclusively with horses whom I've trained and ridden pretty much my whole life prior to moving to FLA so my knowledge of dog anatomy is a limited for sure.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm six years into a doberman..... I've heard that by age 12 - 14, or so, they start to slow down.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I know this wasn't your question but I live in south Florida near Miami and I know down here most apartments have breed restrictions that specifically include dobermans, german shepherds, pits, staffordshire terriers, etc. Since you will be living in an apartment make sure they allow dobermans. Some will allow big dogs but not certain breeds.

When I rescued Hades there was another Doberman I actually went to the rescue to get, but he was way too active for my 9 year old border collie. Hades will be 2 in January but is super laid back. The other Doberman was 3 years old but literally ran circles around snoop and hurdled him and snoop was not having it. Fortunately, I think the rescue can help you determine the energy level of your future pet to make it a good fit. Good luck!

Btw Doberman rescue of Lake Placid is where I got Hades. About 2.5 hours from me but much closer to you I think.


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Old 12-17-2012, 08:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I'm definitely going with a rescue for sure, I've already started looking. And I definitely appreciate the advice. Having only started running habitually myself a few months ago I totally understand having to ease into the sport. Plus I'm doing marathons and not sprints so I move faster than a light jog but the big idea is endurance and maintaining a nice steady pace for a longer pace.

Are larger sized, not meaning overweight just larger weighted, dogs more prone to joint issues than a dog on the smaller side of the spectrum? My previous experience with animals is exclusively with horses whom I've trained and ridden pretty much my whole life prior to moving to FLA so my knowledge of dog anatomy is a limited for sure.
Yes, I think oversized Dobermans are more prone to joint issues.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Yes, I think oversized Dobermans are more prone to joint issues.
Ok that's definitely something to keep in mind!


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I know this wasn't your question but I live in south Florida near Miami and I know down here most apartments have breed restrictions that specifically include dobermans, german shepherds, pits, staffordshire terriers, etc. Since you will be living in an apartment make sure they allow dobermans. Some will allow big dogs but not certain breeds.
Yeah we have a lot of those in apartment complexes in Tampa which is why I'm looking for a house with an owner rather than a property management company. Most of them around here just want to meet the dog before judging which I like.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:32 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Good idea. Plus barking might not be preferable in an apartment. hades barked at EVERYTHING when I first brought him home. A/c came on=barking, car drove by=barking, butterfly flew by=barking. Now he's settled in and knows the difference between normal house sounds and what's bark worthy. If I lived in an apartment I'm pretty sure I would have been kicked out in those first few weeks. Houses are the way to go. Good luck! I used to travel to Tampa for work quite a bit to cover my client, Baycare Health system, it's beautiful and plenty of fun places to take your pup!


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Old 12-18-2012, 02:22 AM   #17 (permalink)
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My rescue girls have run straight for the couch.
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:01 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Yeah I definitely don't want to be *that* neighbor! I'm pretty excited about getting all this information because it brings me that much closer to my long awaited Dobe!

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My rescue girls have run straight for the couch.
Haha! Sometimes I like to run straight home from work to the couch too!
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