This is a really great thread! I love reading everyone's opinions. OP, I hope you don't mind another post from a non-first-time Dobe owner.
Dobermans chose me, in a way. Grizzly is my fifth Doberman - my parents had three when I was in my teens, but I was in school and then went off to college. I couldn't tell you anything about raising a puppy at that time, but I could tell you that I loved how sweet our Dobes were with my baby brother and sister (my sister was only a year old, my brother was three). I loved that I could take them for walks - me, a teenager! - and they would walk nicely and listen to me and simply be really enjoyable dogs to be around. I loved how they physically attached themselves to our family members, just like Velcro.
I loved how beautiful they were and how much expression they had on their little faces, and how their eyes were human-like sometimes.
When I moved out on my own and it was time to get a dog, I just knew I wanted a Doberman. My ex-husband, who I was with at the time, was a veterinarian and a behaviorist, and so it was easy as anything for me to have one. That was my Porter, and he was the love of my life. He was the best, kindest, most special dog I was ever around in my whole life. Everything about him was, for me, perfection. He was my heart.
When my husband and I had to put Porter down last month, I turned to him during the procedure and I said, "I'm done. I'm never, ever going through this again, not ever in my life." And I meant it when I said it, I meant it like I'd never meant anything before. But you know what? I missed the joy. I missed his presence, and the space he left behind was crushing my heart. Within hours, I was set on getting another dog - another Doberman. My husband said, "Are you sure you want another Doberman? You'll compare him to Porter forever." And my answer to him was, yes, I was sure, and yes, I probably would compare him to Porter. And that would mean that the new pup would be the best pup he could be, because I would have high expectations for him. Dobermans are people-pleasers, at least that's how they've always seemed to me. Show them what you want, teach them how to act and treat you, give them love, kindness, and compassion along the way, and they will live their lives giving you exactly what you asked for. Because it's what they do.
I knew Grizzly would be high energy. I knew he would be finicky as a puppy, and maybe even as an adult! I knew he would need those damn ears posted. I knew he wouldn't want to poop in the rain. But I also knew that there is no dog like a Doberman, and for me, they're perfect.