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Old 11-14-2012, 11:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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New dog owner really interested in doberman

Hello, this site is great, been doing a lot of reading and checking out pictures.

I have never owned my own dog before, and lately have been really thinking having a dog around would be great fun.

Things that attract me to dobermen:
-looks
-intelligence
-loyalty
-active/athletic

Things about myself:
-26 male
-live alone, decent sized house with nice big yard.
-I'm a bit introverted/non-outgoing
-enjoy being active/going on adventures
-i work 9 hour days 5 days a week.


So I have some questions hopefully experienced owners can help me answer.


I know leaving a doberman alone for 9 hours a day is not a good idea, that is my number one concern. Are you working types able to leave the dog at home and have them be ok?

Once home and on my days off I can only envision maybee a few hours where the dog would not be able to hang out with me or go where I'm going(if i go to a movie,doing something dangerous in the garage,ect) other than that he could just hang out with me and go where i go(running, hiking, offroading,camping,ect)


I really want a well socialized dog, my family all own dogs(basset,aussie,english bulldog,french bulldog) and I could regularly socialize the dog with them, all those dogs are male and i read same sex aggression can be a real issue once developed. These dogs would be the dogs primary dog friends, would i be better off with a female?

I am really just wanting to make sure this breed would be a good match for me and ill be able to provide it with all its needs.

Looking for some input or any issues you might see with me owning a doberman, please ask questions and poke and prod. I know this was a bit of a winded, odd post. I appreciate any input/help that can be given.

Thanks.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You would need to purchase a female, yes.

Honestly, working nine hour days will not work with a puppy. I've never owned an adult doberman so I don't have advice on how that works with them. Dobermen puppies have a TONNE of energy. A lot of dogs nap the majority of their day, but Murphy naps from 11:30-12:00 (except not today, he got a new Himalayan chew that is too exciting to put down for a silly nap) and then from 1:30 - 3:30. We then go for another half hour walk to burn some energy or play with the flirt pole depending on the weather/my energy level. Murphy then relaxes until supper (not sleep, just less rowdy play) and go-go-go's until 9:15-9:30 (like clockwork) with my SO.

Have you looked into daycares? I can see an adult dog working then. Dobermen are people-dogs (velcro dogs) who don't do well on their own.

Edit to add: I feel bad, I'm really not trying to be discouraging as you're right, dobermen are definitely an extraordinary and rewarding breed to own. I'm just trying to give you a heads up so that if you do attempt to make it work you're not surprised.

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Old 11-14-2012, 12:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Leaving a well trained and properly exercised adult Doberman alone for 9 hours during the day is not unreasonable. But you do have to commit to exercising the dog before you leave or you can run into problems when they get bored at home, you're gone, and they're a ball of pent up energy.

Leaving a puppy for 9-hours really shouldn't be done. If you couldn't make it home to let a puppy out to pee and exercise/play in the middle of the day, you'd need to hire someone who could each day.

It sounds like a female would probably be your best bet since your close friends and family all have males.

Dobes shouldn't go on forced runs or intense hikes until around 18-months old due to when their growth plates close, so you'd have to put those plans on hold if you were to get a puppy.

The only thing that really caught my eye is the combination of never having owned a dog and you think you're attracted to Dobes for their intelligence. I meet quite a few people who think they want a smart dog because they make the mistake of thinking a smart dog = easy to train and obedient. That's a myth for the inexperienced dog owner. Dobermans are very smart, and in capable hands they can be wonderful dogs, but they are often a handful for first time owners because they can think 1-2 (or more) steps ahead of you, resulting in giving you a really hard time. I meet quite a few people who come to the training club for help and they have a doll of a Dobe pup/adolescent who is perfectly normal for a Dobe but they think the dog is horrible and can't be trained. It depends heavily on the abilities and understanding of the person handling the dog. So people without any experience raising, training, or handling any dog at all are at a disadvantage right off the bat for raising, training, and handling a smart, fast, powerful, assertive, and large dog like the Dobe.

You can bypass a lot of this if you were to rescue an adult rather than buy a puppy. And I think an adult would be a good option for you given your work schedule and that you'd like to take them running and hiking.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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you should look into programs where they come by your house to walk your dog at certian times
or to feed them and such
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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no I appreciate the input, please try to discourage me as in the end it will just be the dog that ends up happier.

another thing is, having never owned my own dog before, I really want to give the puppy experience a try, i know that sounds stupid but its something I want to do.

also, my attachment to dobes for their intelligence is two fold, one yes, i would assume training would come quicker. Two, I see it as a two way street, my mind/training can stimulate the dog, where the dogs mind/intelligence/trickery can keep me on my toes and stimulate me.(i love a good challenge )

again thanks for the input.

also, heading home for 30-45 mins for lunch everyday is easily possible.

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Old 11-14-2012, 12:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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whoops double post
good luck
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Not trying to discourage you at all. Just being honest with what I've seen personally and what I've helped others with regarding the intelligence quandary of a young Dobe.

I'd encourage you to spend time around some Dobes and get to know some breeders. Firsthand experience can't be beat. And if at all possible, try to meet some young Dobermans - puppies, under a year. They're cute but Dobe puppies are not exactly a walk in the park. They're pretty difficult as far as puppies go.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would suggest contacting a breed specific rescue group in your area, if there are any, and offering to volunteer or even foster (pending approval). This would give you valuable experience with the breed to see if they are right for you, and if you are right for them. I wanted a french bulldog for 2 years more than anything - couldn't get my mind off the idea of owning one. I read everything ever written about them and went to shows to meet breeders. It wasn't until I met a breeder and started having playdates with her dogs that I decided - nope, not the dog for me. Crazy!! I thought they were perfect until I hung out with them and then it just wasn't right.

Lo and behold the perfect dog for me was a Doberman!

Also, see if there are any dog shows coming up in your area as this is a great place to meet breeders and see the best of the breed in action.

Last thing - a daddy's girl is in your future. Look for a female.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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thanks for all the input, it is appreciated. Thinking about leaving a poor puppy alone for 4 hours even kinda of breaks my heart. I think i will start looking into going more the adopt a adult route. maybee puppy another day.

again any more input is welcome i will see if i can find some more dobbies to hang around, a friend of mine owns one and i have spent some time with him, we seem to just click which just further fueled my interest.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree with the advice you have been given- breeds like Dobermans are NOT for everyone, which is why so many wind up in rescue. Being smart makes them harder to train for a novice to dogs (although I personally find them easier than my other favorite breed- the Rottweiler). They can and do learn to take advantage of those who don't follow proper training techniques- and can and will test you if they think they can get away with it.

Also, puppy training is HARD WORK, every single day.. I raised my first Rottie while working fulltime 9+ hour days and coming home every day at lunch to walk & play with him. Training took MUCH longer than it did for either of my Dobes simply because they both came to work with me and received a lot more attention/training during the day. I also had issues with him being destructive in the house because he was bored with nothing to do most of the day. If I were still in a situation where I could not take my puppy to work, then quite honestly a high need dog like a Doberman would NOT be on my list.. I would opt for a much lazier type of dog which doesn't require as much stimulation. Or I would adopt a mature dog, who was past the youthful zoomies.

If one of my close friends who had never owned a dog approached me (after meeting my Dobe) and wanted one- I would most likely try everything I could to talk them out of it. I truly don't think they are bred to be "first dogs", and feel that too many folks who get them with no prior dog training experience find themselves having major issues down the road.

One of the worst dog bites I have suffered was from a poorly trained/socialized Doberman.. It did NOT prevent me from adopting my first Dobe, but it did show me what can happen to one in the wrong hands...
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacecadet View Post
thanks for all the input, it is appreciated. Thinking about leaving a poor puppy alone for 4 hours even kinda of breaks my heart. I think i will start looking into going more the adopt a adult route. maybee puppy another day.

again any more input is welcome i will see if i can find some more dobbies to hang around, a friend of mine owns one and i have spent some time with him, we seem to just click which just further fueled my interest.
I think if every first time dog owner made that decision the world would be better off.

Puppies like babies are HARD! not saying it's impossible, heck part of my job involves handling as many as 25+ puppies(newborn-1 or 2 years old) of which most are dobes but other breeds as well at any time with daycare/boarding/and "employee" dogs. But for the first time owner, getting an adult who just needs basic training if that and is already thorugh the crazies seems a more "safe" and easy choice. Plus it helps you evaluate if your good at owning a dog, plenty of people can own a dog but not a puppy and a puppy looses a home for them to find out.

P.s. where are you located? then we could point you towards some breeders or dobe people to hang out with and meet dogs

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Old 11-14-2012, 12:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I think so far you sound like you would make a good home for a dog. You are being honest and looking for workable solutions.

That being said, yes, a female should be your only consideration if the dogs playmates are going to be majority male.

And no, I don't believe that puppies should be left alone that long, even with a break now and again to relieve themselves. I am fortunate, I have 5 dogs and indoor/outdoor kennel runs that I can put them in when I leave for work. So my dogs each have their own 20 foot run and are surrounded by other dogs so they are not alone. Any time I am going to be gone for more than a few hours that is where they go.

Dobermans are a MUCH more demanding dog with regards to attention and time spent with them. You will be much more likely to have an unhappy dog with this breed being left alone like that than a lot of other breeds. Just something to keep in mind as you are looking to brainstorm a workable schedule for a future dog.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Colorado, denver/aurora area specifically.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Hey welcome to DT, I would advise a female for sure one male on male agression being your first dog plsying it safe is smart. Also females "generally" and i say that pretty vaguely seem to be the more managable anti-nut jobs. Since you live alone and do work a puppy would not be something I would suggest having any puppy requires somebody being home to attend to all those puppy needs (and there are a lot of needs.) Would i would do is look to rescie an adult or young adult female, there are many dobes seeking their forever home.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I was able to come home at lunch and take my doberman out when he was pup. When he was 9 months old I got transferred. I hired someone to come and take him walking, hiking, ball playing at lunch. Even though he was old enough to stay alone I didn't want him alone for 9 hours.

My doberman puppy was very hard to deal with and I'm a very experienced dog owner. He was the hardest puppy by far. He is an independent thinker which means..."hmmm maybe I don't have to do what you say, I'll do it my way." He was very active and boisterous. When hiking with friends often he would "brush" into someone and knock them around as he ran by to check on me. My friends were very good sports about it though.

I have a 6 month old collie puppy now. Just recently I stopped having a pet sitter come by at lunch. I get up at 4:45am to feed the pup and Eli so I can take them to the park an hour or so later and give them a good run and do a little training, they both have to have that free run then because I leave at 7:20am and hubby leaves at 7:45am and we don't get home until a bit after 5:00pm. My puppy has a very large 30x40 run area that has a dog door going into a climate controlled bird room. I have sectioned off half of that room for the pup with his bed (not a soft bed but a Kundura bed type cuz like most puppies he chews up the soft cushy beds), water and many toys. He can go out and in when he likes. He is separated from the doberman during the day, but through part of the fence they can see each other. The doberman has a dog door that goes into the house, he is a wonderful house dog but again not until he was over a year.

I train at least two nights a week after work in class and have a Saturday class right now also. Even though my doberman is well trained I have an instructor who loves the dobe so I get to bring him as demo dog and I can work him some. He will be 4 in December. He is a great dog now but it took YEARS of training and consistancy to develop him in to the fabulous dog he is. He recently passed the inital therapy dog test and is taking the final test in December. Dobermans, for the most part are very active dogs! He was much more active than my collie puppy when he was the same age. However puppies need to be watched at all time in the house, even my collie boy because they chew or steal. Collie puppy will try to chew dog beds out for the other dogs in the house, he will steal dish towels, paper, napkins, he always seems to manage to get this little velvet bag my husband uses for his zip drives, he LOVES that darn bag and hubby has to remember to zip the computer bag so pup can't get the zip drive stuff, husband felt he should be taught not to get that bag but he is a puppy and good behavior comes with training and TIME. Geesh you name it, the pup is a thief and he has to be watched, just like the dobe when he was a pup only where this pup takes stuff, Eli chomped it!

I also want to mention that I come home every evening and it is rare we go out during the week because I feel the dogs need us since they have been alone all day. Last night I took the pup and Eli to Home Depot and Lowes as we were checking out some items. Thursday we are meeting friends for dinner and a movie but I made sure dinner wasn't until 7:00pm because I have to exercise the boy before we leave. I don't even want to, that is how weird I am about doing what I feel is right for the dogs...still one needs to have friends. So if you begin dating you will still have to deal with the puppy/dog before your own needs. It can be a drag sometimes, worth it to raise well mannered, loving, responsive animals but a drag if there is something you might want to do that isn't dog related. I so wish I could come home for lunch, it would make my life different, this is the first puppy I've had where I couldn't come home at lunch and feed/play/hike with puppy.

Editing here because I see you have agreed to look at adult dogs. LOL Well see...

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Old 11-14-2012, 02:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You could still do a puppy if you chose. If you have the resources to dedicate to a puppy sitter for part of the day, and then later on daycare having a puppy is a viable option. An older puppy (5-6 months) could fit your situation even better.
I do agree with everyone about getting a female if all of your future dog's buddies are male.
Good luck in your search. I think you will find a wonderful doberman whether you choose rescue or a breeder!
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I am a current dobie owner and my husband and I both work 8 hour days. We did this when she was a puppy as well. Kennel training is a must if you have a puppy and work all day. But like everyone says your pup can not go all day without a break from the kennel to pee and play. When my dobe was a puppy I would always come home for lunch let her go potty a couple times and play for an hour before I went back to work. This worked very well. Now that she is an adult and trained she can go all 8 hours by herself (even though I often still go home just to give her a break) Although she does usually have to still be kenneled half to all of the 8 hours because she feels more secure in her kennel, and has anxiety when left alone in the entire house. If you can dedicate a lot of time, and either hire a puppy care provider or go home for 1-2 hours in the middle of your day.. It can work! If not... your going to want an adult well trained dobie. But it can work with a puppy in those circumstances.

Side note: if you do the puppy route with a break in the middle of the day on lunch... Make sure you can take puppy on a walk and do LOTS of play time before and after work. These will be essential from the energy levels of being cooped up all day.


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Old 11-14-2012, 03:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I got into the breed for the same reasons you outlined. I also am a first time dog owner, although I grew up with dogs. I chose a puppy because I did not feel capable of handling an older dog with possible issues, although I feel differently now. I also wanted the experience of raising a puppy.

I researched dog training and the breed, and breeders for 3 years before I brought my pup into my house. And even after, I'm always online looking for different training methods and activities to enrich my dog's life and I will actually be going for a dog training course soon to be a dog trainer.

My boyfriend and I were working opposite schedules at the time we brought Spok home. So I was up at 5:15 in the morning to work him out for 1.5 hours and left around 6:40 and the BF was up between 10:30 and 11 and left around 3 and I was home arount 5:30. 1 day a week he was in doggy day care for socialization and because the BF worked the day shift that day. I also had him in obedience class the week he came home.

It was an IMMENSE amount of work and it still is and Spok just turned 1 this past Saturday. I found myself more than once in tears during the first month or two because the breed is very very active and high energy and they require an immense amount of supervision and socialisation and mental stimulation. I also, as Lory Z said, gave up my social life because I just did not want to leave my pup alone while I go out. If we went to visit people, the dog had to come or we wouldn't go...

It can be done and it is very fullfilling to see how well your pup is doing thanks to your training, just make sure you do all your research before hand and spend some time with puppies. If you can foster a puppy for a local rescue this will give you an idea of what it is like and whether you are prepared for it. Same goes for choosing an adult.

As for me, I think any future dog I bring in will be older unless I'm not working, but that's just me.. I had the experience lol.

Good luck!
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Just my two cents worth....I've had many pups in the past but major is our first Doberman. He was, by far, the most difficult puppy I've ever had. Got bored very easily, my hands and arms were a mess from the biting, the stuff most pups go through but on a whole other scale. Plus, we were very inexperienced, really, to have a Doberman. I worked full time and my wife only worked weekends so there was someone here pretty much all the time with him which helped, but it was still hard.
We worked our way through it and Major is now a really good dog and gentle and very protective of our property. He is extremely loyal and unbelievably smart. He has a way of just understanding just what we mean and when he wants something he seems to know just how to communicate it. He's just a joy to be around!
Bottom line is....I think we kinda lucked out. We didn't really know what we were doing when we brought him home but circumstances helped the situation a lot. If you decide to get a puppy please follow the advice of many on this board and bring in some help during the day while you're working.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:23 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Just be warned - if you are really introverted, a doberman will pull you out into the world & people will talk to you.

I'd also recommend an adult female. I read up on puppies (thinking I wanted to know that my dog was well trained by me) and decided there was no way I'd have the time or energy. Talk to your local rescues, check out petfinder & look for an active adult that can go out with you and do things now.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:30 PM   #21 (permalink)
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So, dumb question, but what would qualify "adult" age. 2-5 years?

also, thanks all for all the input, it is appreciated.

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Old 11-14-2012, 06:12 PM   #22 (permalink)
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So, dumb question, but what would qualify "adult" age. 2-5 years?

also, thanks all for all the input, it is appreciated.
Hi, and no no, not a dumb question. Yes those ages. Some told me Dobermans become adult at 2 years and some said 3 years. From my experience, when my dobe turned to 3 years old, she's become almost(lol) behaved dog.

As others advised, I also suggest you to have an adult female dobe.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:14 PM   #23 (permalink)
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One more vote for female, leaning toward adult (rescue would be great!). Puppy can be done, but it will be a LOT of work as others have said and it will be a while until you can run them, etc. If you do decide to get a puppy, maybe an older puppy or teenager, and look into daycare, dog walkers, etc. Going with a rescue is great because you can work with the rescue to find the perfect match for age/sex/drives/energy/personality, etc.

It sounds like you are doing things right, researching and being patient. It is when people get too excited, can't delay their gratification and act impulsively that they get themselves into trouble, and the dog usually suffers.

As for adult age, I would consider a 2-3 yr old an adult. Anything under 2 I would still view as a puppy or teenager when it comes to energy and training.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:17 PM   #24 (permalink)
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So, dumb question, but what would qualify "adult" age. 2-5 years?

also, thanks all for all the input, it is appreciated.
It's entirely individual. That's like asking when do human boys become "mature". Some never do and some just seem to come that way straight out of the box.

You just need to evaluate each individual dogs temperament, not so much on exactly how many months/years old they are.


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Old 11-14-2012, 06:19 PM   #25 (permalink)
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It's entirely individual. That's like asking when do human boys become "mature". Some never do and some just seem to come that way straight out of the box.

You just need to evaluate each individual dogs temperament, not so much on exactly how many months/years old they are.


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I'll echo this, for temperament and mentality age is really quite variable, growth wise its roughly 18 months to 3 years.

I'd stick with 8 or 9 months and older, depending on the "puppy" at 9 months they can be rather "adult" in that they have their potty training done, basic manners sometimes, and aren't as crazy go go go as a puppy puppy 6 months and under. closer to a year or two may be better but who knows get out and meet some dogs and go from there.
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