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Old 02-21-2012, 06:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Need help finding a Doberman buddy

I have been compiling information for a couple years on the companion I would like to have live with me,as far as I can tell the Doberman has won,now I need some real time input,I have tried to talk to a couple breeders, and truthfully didn't get a warm and fuzzy. I am looking for a breeder who will want to interact with me and the dog for life, for the welfare of my family who the dog is now a part. I'm not the type to jump in,I look at adopting a dog as no different than adopting a child,it has to be done with full knowledge of what is required. If anyone out there can direct me in a good direction you can IM for my e-mail or just post here. I have many questions about health and welfare of the dog,of my wants against what is best for the dog. I hope someone can help me. Thanks for your time. BtC

P.S. Bob is my brothers cats name.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Bob. I'm glad you've been doing your homework. Breeder support is good to have for 1st time Doberman owners.

Can you tell us what state you live in, if in the US?


Check out the link in my signature line. Also, this is one of my favorite articles from the DPCA: Doberman Pinscher Club of America: Living With a Dobe
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My wife lives in NC,and I am there when I am not working.The puppy will spend most of its time in NC. We do travel a lot and at some point so would the puppy,she will be fully intergrated into our family.I just need some help with some final questions and would like to pull the trigger about April. Thanks BtC
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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On another note,I am not interested in an AKC/"American standard" show dog, I am interested in a more foundation bread international/European type of working dog. She will not work as police or military, but will lead an active life as we do. From talking to some breeders, their dogs seem to be more show and no go. I lived with my last dog for 11 years and she was a sweet heart,she went everywhere with me without fail or hesitation. I'm not looking to replace her because that can not be done. I am looking for a new addition to my family. I do not want to show or bread her, just to have her live with us. It is turning out to be much harder to find than I figured it would be. Now it is just wait and see.BtC
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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-What breeders have you spoken with, and why was there not a "warm and fuzzy" feeling.
-What is it about the Euro type that you are attracted to?
-What breeders did you speak with that stated their dogs were all "show and no go"; that's not how most would generally describe a Doberman, regardless of whether it's Euro or NA.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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There's not a huge difference in the AKC and FCI standards. I'm curious to know which breeders you spoke to as well.


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On another note,I am not interested in an AKC/"American standard" show dog, I am interested in a more foundation bread international/European type of working dog. She will not work as police or military, but will lead an active life as we do. From talking to some breeders, their dogs seem to be more show and no go. I lived with my last dog for 11 years and she was a sweet heart,she went everywhere with me without fail or hesitation. I'm not looking to replace her because that can not be done. I am looking for a new addition to my family. I do not want to show or bread her, just to have her live with us. It is turning out to be much harder to find than I figured it would be. Now it is just wait and see.BtC
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Take care not to buy into myths perpetuated by less-knowledgeable folks.

Euro dogs are not necessarily more apt to work or be drive-ier, nor are "show dogs" apt to be quieter or calmer, just in general.

The type of breeder you work with and the particular family traits of the lines you choose are going to be more predictive of your eventual pup's personality--BUT all pups are blank slates, of course, and even littermates can be vastly different in temperament.

That's another reason why it's super-important to go with a breeder who not only knows how to talk the talk, but also walk the walk, competes with their animals, and can grade a litter accurately, and has the talent, skills, and know-how to match the appropriate puppy with a family who will be a good fit.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I am under the impression that the "European" line is a little more thick or sturdy,I'm not sure if those are the correct words but that is what I understand.I am not interested in a show or breeding dog, so all the titles mean nothing to me.I just want the dog to be healthy and happy. I know that environment more than heredity mold any living thing.I travel extensively and myself and my wife lead a very active life,we want a companion to share that life with us. As for the breeders that I did not feel "warm and fuzzy "about,that is a personal opinion and will not share that information being that it is just an opinion. I am trying to do all of the research and due diligence necessary to guarantee a good life for the dog as well as a good fit and a compatible life with us. Adding a member to the family is not something to be taken lightly.so all positive information will be greatly appreciated. Thanks BtC
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobthecat View Post
I am under the impression that the "European" line is a little more thick or sturdy,I'm not sure if those are the correct words but that is what I understand.I am not interested in a show or breeding dog, so all the titles mean nothing to me.I just want the dog to be healthy and happy. I know that environment more than heredity mold any living thing.I travel extensively and myself and my wife lead a very active life,we want a companion to share that life with us. As for the breeders that I did not feel "warm and fuzzy "about,that is a personal opinion and will not share that information being that it is just an opinion. I am trying to do all of the research and due diligence necessary to guarantee a good life for the dog as well as a good fit and a compatible life with us. Adding a member to the family is not something to be taken lightly.so all positive information will be greatly appreciated. Thanks BtC
This is such a common misconception and marketing ploy by breeders not up to snuff. Show breeders do not only have litters show prospects, plenty of them get graded as pet quality.

The difference between their litters and the people breeding for "just pets" is that if they're ethical, they've done all the health testing and the dogs have been proven as breed worthy. People breeding for pets often think those standards don't apply to their breeding programs.

Just because I'm not going to breed or show a dog doesn't mean that I want one of lesser quality. I want my "pets" to be just as healthy, happy and of sound temperament as the dogs that are being shown / bred.

Also, I think you need to do much more research on the breed in general if you think that the environment is a bigger factor than genetics.



ETA: This is a good resource outlining the different types of breeders:


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Old 02-21-2012, 03:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'd disagree that environment more shapes a dog's behavior then genetics. I think genetics play a very key role. My Dobe is from a litter that have 5 with performance titles. Her dam's litter also had at least 5 with performance titles. Most of her litters have dogs that have performance and show titles. I'm not suggseting her as a breeder since you want the European look, however, just pointing out that genetics do play a key role AND many show breeders do have show and go dogs.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Environment can maximize or minimize genetic potential. But you can't train for what God left out. If the genetics aren't there for correct temperament, all you can do is try to put a bandaid on the problem.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I think if you like a 'thicker' looking Dobe you're probably drawn to Euro show lines. Rest assured that any Doberman bred to the standard - whether it be FCI or AKC - is an energetic dog that shouldn't have any problem at all keeping up with an active lifestyle.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I think "substance" is the word often used with Euro's. Check out some of these breeders, all in the US. Some might have the type of dog you're looking for, perhaps not. Also, the United Doberman Club is a good resource as well: Official Website of the United Doberman Club

von Moeller Hof is located in NC. I would contact Chris to see if she can assist you with selecting the type of Doberman you're looking for von Moeller Hof Dobermans


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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobthecat View Post
I am under the impression that the "European" line is a little more thick or sturdy,I'm not sure if those are the correct words but that is what I understand.I am not interested in a show or breeding dog, so all the titles mean nothing to me.I just want the dog to be healthy and happy. I know that environment more than heredity mold any living thing.I travel extensively and myself and my wife lead a very active life,we want a companion to share that life with us. As for the breeders that I did not feel "warm and fuzzy "about,that is a personal opinion and will not share that information being that it is just an opinion. I am trying to do all of the research and due diligence necessary to guarantee a good life for the dog as well as a good fit and a compatible life with us. Adding a member to the family is not something to be taken lightly.so all positive information will be greatly appreciated. Thanks BtC
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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European show lines often have more bone and stronger heads with more underjaw, but the working lines aren't always as heavy set. Any Dobe is willing to go anywhere with you and would be fine with an active lifestyle. Of course, "active" is kind of vague. Even my shelter boy, who for a while I thought was a mixed breed because he is so conformationally incorrect, can eat 8 mile hikes with tons of switchbacks easy-peasy, and then go to a dog park like Fort Funston to play off his excess energy, then go to agility class for an hour the next day, and then do another hike or dog park right afterwards. And he goes everywhere with me to any store we can take him inside (Sur la table, neiman marcus, sephora, ect.), and I expect him to behave calmly and maturely when we're inside a store.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:14 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I am glad that you are doing your homework about this.

With that being said I am going to have agree with a lot of the above posts. Whether you are interested in Euro or American, there are certain things you need to look for. Health issues are a huge set back to this breed, and you need to find a breeder who health tests their dogs. Most breeders who are ethical happen to show their dogs.. A lot of times the two just go hand in hand. Whether you are interested in showing or not, you should be interested in AKC or FCI (not for bragging rights but for being able to finds pedigrees). You can learn a lot from the puppy you may be bringing home by its lineage.

I would also agree about the question "what do you consider active." I have yet to see a Doberman that is not on the active side. Even my back yard bred Doberman that was GIVEN to me can run for miles and miles without even thinking about wanting to take a break. Sometimes the drive of a working line dog can be a down fall IF you are not prepared to give the dog the exercise it needs. And trust me, some working lines will demand a lot of your time; maybe even more than you are ready to commit.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for doing your research before buying. Whilst you can learn a lot by doing online research, some of the terms (jargon) you come across might give you the wrong impression until you understand what they mean in real terms. For instance, there are terms used to describe working lines that don't mean what you might think they mean.

"Thick" when used to describe a working line dog is unlikely to be describing its appearance, but more likely is shorthand for "thick nerve". Whilst a thick nerved dog can provide a confident stable temperment when balanced with other drives...it can also produce a dog that is a lot more 'challenging' to train depending on the balance of drives and you will really need to know what you are doing (or have an experienced mentor to train you) or you can very quickly end up with too much dog on your hands that you will be unable to control. (which can be a very big liability).

"Civil" is another term that means something different in working jargon...it means a dog is willing to bite people....instead of having lovely manners as you might face value interpret.

Some of the 'working people' here will be able to explain the terms and drives better than I can....but search out some discussions on drive and temperment in working lines with emphasis on definitions, so you can translate what you are reading in your research correctly. Also bare in mind that some of the qualities that are sought after in the working crowd; in the hands of a novice handler can simply be 'too much dog' and a slightly lower drive dog is a much safer introduction to the breed.

Very few Dobermanns are low drive dogs ...showline or working....the dobermann tends to be a very energetic, drivey dog that requires a lot of interaction, training, and exercise to be manageable. If you can get out to some working trials to meet and interact with some of these dogs and talk to their handlers so you can have a 'real life' exposure to what some of these terms and qualities mean on the ground...and what they entail...it will help your research immeasurably.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:25 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Environment can maximize or minimize genetic potential. But you can't train for what God left out. If the genetics aren't there for correct temperament, all you can do is try to put a bandaid on the problem.
Yup, you can only work with what's packed in the genetic suitcase, both physically and mentally.

OP, having worked with rescue Dobermans almost exclusively, I can unequivocally tell you it absolutely matters just as much, if not more, what kind of temperament the animal is born with, rather than just the environment.

I've seen dogs come from horrific situations practically unscathed, smiling and waggy and ready to meet new people and give everybody a chance.

I've seen other animals who had it pretty durn good and are shy and recalcitrant and anxious and just generally pretty much special needs when it comes to socializing and training and living peacefully within a family.

Do your research, and get out and meet a bunch of different Dobermans, make sure you really know what you want.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I am under the impression that the "European" line is a little more thick or sturdy,I'm not sure if those are the correct words but that is what I understand.I am not interested in a show or breeding dog, so all the titles mean nothing to me.I just want the dog to be healthy and happy. I know that environment more than heredity mold any living thing.I travel extensively and myself and my wife lead a very active life,we want a companion to share that life with us. As for the breeders that I did not feel "warm and fuzzy "about,that is a personal opinion and will not share that information being that it is just an opinion. I am trying to do all of the research and due diligence necessary to guarantee a good life for the dog as well as a good fit and a compatible life with us. Adding a member to the family is not something to be taken lightly.so all positive information will be greatly appreciated. Thanks BtC
The reason why they SHOULD mean something, is that the breeders that take the time to do these types of things are typically breeding the better dogs, which means that the chances of having a long, happy, healthy life are significantly improved. Those that breed out of convenience, or don't work their dogs in any venue are typically more after money. When you go with a breeder who has unproven dogs, you're really taking more of a gamble. Obviously, there is never a guarantee, but you want to put the odds in your favor as much as possible, especially with doberman being such an unhealthy breed.

When you start talking about problems within lines, the breeder who is about money will start saying things like "we don't have those problems" "our dogs are healthy" "our dogs are great companions for xxxxx" but they have nothing to back that up. You can find a breeder who CAN back these things up, and will be honest about any problems in the line, as well as going over what they are doing to minimize those problems, as opposed to just saying something like "our dogs are not like that". You want to see proven results, not just take someone's word for it.

Also, I would disagree about the part that environment is more important than genetics. A dogs drives and personality are just that, and while they can be shaped, built upon, etc., they can't be changed.

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Old 02-21-2012, 11:31 PM   #19 (permalink)
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"I know that environment more than heredity mold any living thing"

Nature over nurture or vice versa,that discussion can be had forever. I know genetics play a very important roll in the health/confirmation of a dog,but even with perfect genetics if a dog is raised incorrectly or in a non loving or abusive environment,the dog will turn out less than its full potential,I do not think genetics can overcome a bad environment,that is why I am so picky about the breeder.Granted the titles are cool,but the most important thing to me is to find a dog that has been given every opportunity to be healthy and happy,again I think that applies to every living thing,even us.

As for our active life style,I do not mean that I am some sort of ultra marathoner,even though my job is very physical. I am more saying that I live in two different countries with a third coming up and work in a forth,but our US base is in NC,my wife lives there most of the time,as would the puppy. I have researched travel for the dog,and if I can get her a working certificate in most cases she can fly in the cabin, I know all of the working dogs that I interact with get to do that.I would not want the travel to be a mental or physical health concern or excessive strain for the dog.

I'm not sure if it has came across in my previous posts, but when she arrives she will be a part of my family for ALL of her life, her happiness and comfort will always be looked after and I'm sure that we will be as close as my last dog/buddy/child.It has been a long time since I have had my puppy,sneaky as she was,slip in to my bed in the middle of the night and I wake up in the morning spooning her,at least most of the time it was head to head.

Thank you for all of the information,I hope this post gives more insight into what I am trying to find.BtC
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:42 PM   #20 (permalink)
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" I have researched travel for the dog,and if I can get her a working certificate in most cases she can fly in the cabin, I know all of the working dogs that I interact with get to do that.
Wait, what?
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what can you do.... love them and bake them cookies.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:01 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I will separate the sentence,I have researched traveling in and out of the countries that I live in with a dog, requirements,Vet checks,shots ,etc,for the most part it is harder to get back to the US than to get into the other countries.I just need to research the logistical parts.

In the past our guys have been able to travel with their dogs inside the plane,not sure if it was just on the RJ's or what ever,I do know it required documentation of an official working dog. I am still talking with our guys to figure all this out. I do know that on some flights the dogs were checked and the handlers had to go check on them during lay overs.

Sorry for the miscommunication,I hope this is a little more clear,I was just saying if there was a way, I would rather my dog fly with me.Again if anyone has helpful information please respond.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:56 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I'm curious what you mean by "Official working dog".
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:07 PM   #23 (permalink)
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A service dog, ie guided dog or the likes, can fly in cabin. Never heard of any other type of title that would get a dog allowed to do that.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:37 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I think you need to be taking the "titles" and health testing a little more seriously; seems like you want what we all want, a nice, and healthy pup. But I feel like you are overlooking certain key points because of your perception of it. Just because a dog is titled does NOT mean it is diva dog that does not act like the breed is supposed too, and does get its feet wet. I am trying to make this clear so that hopefully, you do not end up with a back yard bred Doberman who is riddled with health issues.

There are plenty of threads on this website that will show you what health tests you need to look for when selecting a breeder. Again, people who show and work their dogs are going to have titles, they will also be the ones to health test. If you had any idea the health issues this breed faces you would understand why we all feel so adamant about finding the right breeder.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:57 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Hi bobthecat,

Wecome!

I’m not one of the knowledgeable ones here…I don’t even have my dobe yet! Very soon though You will have to keep searching for the right breeder. When I started my search I had emails never returned, forms on breeder sites that I completed never responded to, some that did respond were definitely not warm and fuzzy. However, I have spoken with a couple of really nice, reputable breeders who are willing to help me along with advice AND a friendly demeanor. When you find the right one for you it will be frighteningly clear. Good luck on your search! I have a problem with patience sometimes……but it is worth every moment after you have your doberkid with you.
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