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Old 01-02-2013, 08:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Just a couple of newbie questions

Hey guys, I just thought I would ask a few questions here as I will get real life experienced answers
I am looking at getting a doberman some time in the near future, but wanted to have all the facts before searching for a reliable breeder.
1) I have read about dobermans personality's a lot online, and understand them as being a very loyal and loving dog (given they have the right training and care) but how are they with young children? If they are introduced to children from being a puppy will they be generally friendly towards them, or will the similar heights be threatening to the dog?

2) In the UK its illegal to dock a dogs tail and to crop the dogs ears unless its a working dog, but are there any health benefits to the dog having these minor surgeries or is it purely cosmetical?

3) I like to shoot/hunt a lot, mainly rabbits, pigeons, pheasants, nothing large like deer, can a doberman be a good gundog? Not for hunting, but simply retrieving the kill. The dog will of course be rewarded with some of the fresh clean meat from the hunt.

4) how are doberman with new dogs? I live right on the coast line so have lots of beach area and grass area to walk the dog, but there are a large number of dog walkers aswell as runners who use this land, would the doberman best be muzzled (which I would prefer not to do so that the dog is free to play with me) or would it get on fine with other dogs, assuming the other dog is not aggressive towards mine.

5) are your doberman's "barkers" being that if the doorbell goes the dog barks constantly and tries to break down the door to see who it is, or can they be trained to simply stay where they are and not explore the door? Just given there original purpose for breeding them (as guard dogs designed to warn you of intruders) I am not sure if its built into there behavior.

6) are there any specific training courses you can recommend for training your doberman, ran by police etc, as there dogs seem to be very well trained.

Thanks for taking the time to read my many questions!
I am not new to dog handling nor training but I am very new to dobermans, as they are rather rare here in the UK.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to DT.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to DT!

1. Yes, with socialization and training they can be great with kids. Puppies aren't going to know how to interact with kids right off the bat, same goes for kids. So the puppy has to learn to play gently and the kids need to learn how to be gentle and respectful of the puppy (no ear or tail pulling, shoving, hitting, dragging, throwing things at them or running around screaming. Its not fair to the dog).

2. Its mostly cosmetic, and they look beautiful either way.

3. Yes, Dobermans can be trained to be a retrieving gun dog or tracking dog. They are NOT suited for other forms of hunting such as catch, however.

4. With proper socialization they can do fine with other dogs. However, the breed is known for same sex aggression, especially among the males.

5. Barking at the door is more a matter of conditioning. Any dog can be trained to ignore the door, greet at the door, bark at the door like a nutcase or simply alert to someone at the door. This will depend more on the members of the household, rather than the individual dog.

6. Training in general is good for a Doberman and they can excel at many things. Schutzhund, IPO, ect is most similar to the training you'd see from police K9s. Tracking and Agility is popular and lots of fun. And general Obedience is a must.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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So I'm not an overly experienced owner, I'm a newbie as well, so I'll answer the questions from my own experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ovy4213 View Post
1) I have read about dobermans personality's a lot online, and understand them as being a very loyal and loving dog (given they have the right training and care) but how are they with young children? If they are introduced to children from being a puppy will they be generally friendly towards them, or will the similar heights be threatening to the dog?
Socialization is definitely key here, but I have found, based on searching on this forum, that some dogs are better than others. It's probably more personal preference and temperament - like people, do they enjoy the noise? Do they enjoy the quick movement? The unpredictability?

With Murphy, he loves my little niece, he's very protective and loving with her. Mind you, she is only 4 and a half months old and he's seen her since day one. However, he does not like kids aged 4 and up. They make him a little skittish and clearly uncomfortable. It's probably that I did a poor job socializating him with children, but I really don't know anyone with kids.

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Originally Posted by ovy4213 View Post
2) In the UK its illegal to dock a dogs tail and to crop the dogs ears unless its a working dog, but are there any health benefits to the dog having these minor surgeries or is it purely cosmetical?
There are a few benefits. Less chance of ear infections, wagging tail hard and damaging/breaking it, hitting things with tail or getting hurt in a fight. However, this is a personal preference. Many dobermen are just as beautiful natural as they are cropped/docked. Amelia_ is a frequent DTer and has a beautiful natural doberman.

I personally believe it's cosmetic, but it is part of the standard in the U.S. (not Canada).

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Originally Posted by ovy4213 View Post
3) I like to shoot/hunt a lot, mainly rabbits, pigeons, pheasants, nothing large like deer, can a doberman be a good gundog? Not for hunting, but simply retrieving the kill. The dog will of course be rewarded with some of the fresh clean meat from the hunt.
I'm not experienced with this, I suppose it would take training. I think it could be done. You'll have to find a good breeder that will find the right match for you.

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Originally Posted by ovy4213 View Post
4) how are doberman with new dogs? I live right on the coast line so have lots of beach area and grass area to walk the dog, but there are a large number of dog walkers aswell as runners who use this land, would the doberman best be muzzled (which I would prefer not to do so that the dog is free to play with me) or would it get on fine with other dogs, assuming the other dog is not aggressive towards mine.
A good breeder should have a well-tempered dog that won't have issues here, however it has a lot to do with socialization and how exposed they are to other dogs. Many dogs who are well socialized simply brush off another dog like it's nothing. Mind you, a puppy will be very curious, which is why you'll also need to train him on how to behave while on a walk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ovy4213 View Post
5) are your doberman's "barkers" being that if the doorbell goes the dog barks constantly and tries to break down the door to see who it is, or can they be trained to simply stay where they are and not explore the door? Just given there original purpose for breeding them (as guard dogs designed to warn you of intruders) I am not sure if its built into there behavior.
Yes and no. He barks like mad, but if I say "all good" he's fine. Mind you, he's a puppy and still needs to be trained not to do so. It's built in. You'll need to train him to cool it a little.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ovy4213 View Post
6) are there any specific training courses you can recommend for training your doberman, ran by police etc, as there dogs seem to be very well trained.
You'd have to look into what's available to you in your area. What are you interested in? Nose work? Schutzhund? Agility? These are all beneficial and put the dog to good use. I'd see what was available to me and check it out before making any decisions.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the above replies.
Socialization is no problem for me when it comes to kids, there's a number of small children in my family of ranging age, aswell as a few friends with children, I would just hate for my dog to scare kids or be scared of them, all my dogs were/are part of the family so I treat them all with love and respect, but they will always come second to children if safety is the concern.
I will talk to my local vets about the docking and ear cropping, as if I do take him/her shooting then I would be able to class it as a working dog, but only if it has its benefits, I think they are beautiful dogs either way and don't have any preference about there looks, other than healthy.
The only reason I ask about a shooting dog is I used to take my partners springer spaniel with me as a retrieval dog, I enjoyed the company and the bonding time, but my current dog which I care for being a british bulldog snorts like a wild bore so scares everything off from a mile away.
I am sure I will be able to train the dog with a doorbell, perhaps to give 1 bark if the doorbell goes so it feels like its warning me, but no more so that it doesn't sound aggressive.
As to training, I can do the obedience training myself, but I am interested in agility and nose work, I could train it to sniff out my keys that I keep loosing! Though I am not interested in schutzhunt, I think its very interesting and useful for those who would use it, but to me it would be a family pet and best friend, I wouldn't like to encourage any kind of aggression, even if done safely and in a controlled environment, thought I don't pass judgment onto those who are interested in that training.

So what would be the best combination for owning 2 of them (my partner wants one aswell) a male and a female (both neutered as I don't wish to breed), or 2 females?

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Old 01-02-2013, 10:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi ! I am a newbie myself I got my female doberman 7 days ago she is already 7-8 months old. It is also the first time I have a dobe.

From my opinion, so far (I am not an expert at all!!!) but I have 2 kids (7 and 3) and a lot of dogs in the neighborhood so I understand your questionning.

My dog LOVE other dogs ... She will just play and play until the other dog gets fed up lollll I have to control her when another dog is around, she literally jumps on him or her. No arm, only to play. However, you NEED to sociolize with animals and people.

With the kids, I would say NEVER let any dog alone with small children (my opinion). I never did this with my other dogs and will not do this now with my doberman. She just LOVES to be with the kids, sleep on the sofa with them, play , etc, but I supervise all the time as she is VERY rough and tough. Unfortunately the person who had her before was playing to rough .. I have to break that habitt, I am getting there, that is why I don't let my kids alone with her.

For the training, this is a YES YES YES, I started training mine and I gain a lot of confidence and I see the difference, I can put the leash she now follows ME , she wait when I ask, she sits when I ask, when she wants to jump on me to play, when I say NO! and touch her, she stops right away. Normal training is fine, no need for police kind of training, try to find a trainer that will explain ''you'' how to work with your dog.

Also, they need a lot of excercise. Mine is loving and very intelligent, shes knows just like my kids when she does something wrong. She hides to go in the kitchen to seek for food, as if I don't see her, and I yell HEY ! gently she runs bakc looking at me meaining ''I did not do it!!''

For the ear and tail surgery mine as all of that too late now to go for surgery but you know what, I love her just like that... I find it more girly long tail long ears...

- And yes for the kids aspect, it is important to teach them how to act with the dog. I tell mine every day not to push, pull the paws, put their face on hers, etc, to be gentle with her and not to just run after her and screams.... But so far so good my 2 boys got into a fight today they were both screaming and running and crying, the dog just turned her head wondering what was going on and she went back to sleep totally ignoring them !

I hope you'll find the perfect dog for your family !
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifine View Post
Hi ! I am a newbie myself I got my female doberman 7 days ago she is already 7-8 months old. It is also the first time I have a dobe.

From my opinion, so far (I am not an expert at all!!!) but I have 2 kids (7 and 3) and a lot of dogs in the neighborhood so I understand your questionning.

My dog LOVE other dogs ... She will just play and play until the other dog gets fed up lollll I have to control her when another dog is around, she literally jumps on him or her. No arm, only to play. However, you NEED to sociolize with animals and people.

With the kids, I would say NEVER let any dog alone with small children (my opinion). I never did this with my other dogs and will not do this now with my doberman. She just LOVES to be with the kids, sleep on the sofa with them, play , etc, but I supervise all the time as she is VERY rough and tough. Unfortunately the person who had her before was playing to rough .. I have to break that habitt, I am getting there, that is why I don't let my kids alone with her.

For the training, this is a YES YES YES, I started training mine and I gain a lot of confidence and I see the difference, I can put the leash she now follows ME , she wait when I ask, she sits when I ask, when she wants to jump on me to play, when I say NO! and touch her, she stops right away. Normal training is fine, no need for police kind of training, try to find a trainer that will explain ''you'' how to work with your dog.

Also, they need a lot of excercise. Mine is loving and very intelligent, shes knows just like my kids when she does something wrong. She hides to go in the kitchen to seek for food, as if I don't see her, and I yell HEY ! gently she runs bakc looking at me meaining ''I did not do it!!''

For the ear and tail surgery mine as all of that too late now to go for surgery but you know what, I love her just like that... I find it more girly long tail long ears...

- And yes for the kids aspect, it is important to teach them how to act with the dog. I tell mine every day not to push, pull the paws, put their face on hers, etc, to be gentle with her and not to just run after her and screams.... But so far so good my 2 boys got into a fight today they were both screaming and running and crying, the dog just turned her head wondering what was going on and she went back to sleep totally ignoring them !

I hope you'll find the perfect dog for your family !
Thanks for that. Its great to hear real life experiences of owners and their pets, especially because in a lot of movies the doberman is cast as a baddie!
So have you found your one to be a cuddly dog, or more of a loaner?
My partners labs are complete opposites, one will come to you for a stroke then back to his basket and doesn't like to be disturbed, one will just jump up on the sofa and lie across you expecting all the attention in the world, and they had the exact same training at the same time, just shows the difference in there personalities.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My girl just needs to be with one of us 4 ... very very velcro type. Anyone who sits to watch TV she will come right there and lay on you !

If one of us goes out, either my kids to play outside or my husband or I going shopping, even if there are other members of the family in the house she will cry at the door and watching the window when we come back. She wants the 4 of us together.

Here is a picture I took today my son played outside he was so cold my girl was so happy to lay on him to warm him ..
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovy4213;
Though I am not interested in schutzhunt, I think its very interesting and useful for those who would use it, but to me it would be a family pet and best friend, I wouldn't like to encourage any kind of aggression, even if done safely and in a controlled environment, thought I don't pass judgment onto those who are interested in that training.
1. Are you sure a Doberman is for you? You do know what type of dogs they are and why they were bred, right?

2. Schutzhund is not about aggression. It is about serious control and obedience. It is a sport. The dog is taught to bite a sleeve, not a human. Think of it as an elaborate game of tug with strict rules and a silly looking 'dance'. Dogs have to get through the obedience and be under complete control before they can move to the bite work. Bite sports can bring out the best in your dog and you as the handler. My doberman excels at agility training and being a therapy dog thanks to Schutzhund obedience.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My doberman is great with children and animals of all sizes. Doberman's are protective by nature, and will most likely become protective of smaller children. Tail docking and ear cropping is purely cosmetic. Every dog's personality is different, but socialization at a young age will be important so aide in avoiding aggression problems. From my experience, dobermans are high energy breeds that don't like to be left alone. The saying "velcro dobe" couldn't be more true! My girl has to be attached to me at all times and often tries to get me to pick her up or tries to sit in my lap (she weighs 70ish pounds now).

Yes, dobermans are working dogs. They excel in tracking and various tasks. They need mental games just as much as physical games. The dogs are HIGHLY intelligent. It's amazing to watch. Training is a must. I think training techniques will depend on the dog's personality and how they respond. A clicker is a great method used in training. Training never stops.

I can assure you that a doberman will probably NEVER be a loner! They want to be with you all of the time. Yes they are natural protectors, but as mentioned above, they are highly intelligent and able to sense a threat. I take my doberman to the pet store by us all the time and she is gentle and plays with the kittens, and often sits in front of the door and welcomes everyone. People there love her and she wiggles her tail at every animal and person there. She often gets free stuff and treats when we go. The new thing I recently discovered about her though, she HATES snowmen haha! It recently snowed a decent amount where I live and there are many children in the neighborhood. She growls, barks, and stops and points at snowmen and her little hairs go up on her back. It's so funny! She adores people and animals, but snowmen seem to be one of her enemies right now haha!
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:38 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
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1. Are you sure a Doberman is for you? You do know what type of dogs they are and why they were bred, right?

2. Schutzhund is not about aggression. It is about serious control and obedience. It is a sport. The dog is taught to bite a sleeve, not a human. Think of it as an elaborate game of tug with strict rules and a silly looking 'dance'. Dogs have to get through the obedience and be under complete control before they can move to the bite work. Bite sports can bring out the best in your dog and you as the handler. My doberman excels at agility training and being a therapy dog thanks to Schutzhund obedience.
I am sure a doberman is for me, but thats why i'm a member here, to find out all I can before deciding to buy one, I never buy anything which is a long term commitment without being sure about it.
And ofcourse I know what they were bred for, but bulldogs were bread for taking down bulls, rottweilers were bred to heard cattle and pull carts, labs were bred as hunting dogs. Some of there original purpose for being bred remains in their personalities, but it doesn't mean the dog is not suitable for me.

I used to volunteer in a dog pound so have handled and trained with many variety of dogs, from grey hounds, bull terriers, huskys to common house dogs like labs and spaniels.

I have also undertook Schutzhund training whilst there, and it just doesn't appeal to me at all, teaching a dog to bit even if its for obedience is just not in my interests and never will be, judgement should not be passed on someone for not wanting to do a specific training.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:30 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm not passing judgment, i'm being factual and responding to the information you are giving us. The statement you made about Schutzhund teaching aggression is ridiculous, untrue, and is what spreads fear and gives the public the wrong impression of the sport. You might have dabbled in the sport but you clearly did not grasp the concept of what you were training for, maybe you were working with the wrong people, or maybe you are the type that wants to totally pretend the history and heritage of the Doberman breed doesn't exist and wish they are golden retrievers in a prettier suit.


I've been in dog rescue for a while and some of the most jacked up and unstable tempered dogs I've encountered were ones that were bred just to be pets. I love my GSD but god bless her, she's a rescue and doesn't know she is a GSD. She is so damaged and the root of the problem is some crappy irresponsible breeder who bred without temperament in mind and sold to whoever had the money most likely and she ended up in more irresponsible and unfit hands. I am thankful for good breeders that prove their lines through working/performance sports. It doesn't mean that only people who can work the dog should own them, no, it means that the breeder cares enough about the stability and welfare of the breed to test their nerves, health and temperament to bring the best examples of the breed they can into the world.

Labs and spaniels are sporting dogs. They are high energy and high active dogs. Labs are so common as the choice for the family dog because they look cute and sweet and are. On the flip side, labs are one of the most common dogs you will see in shelters and rescue. They dominate the numbers on petfinder.com and are in the tens of thousands I believe that need a home. Reason why? Well, they weren't bred to be lap dogs.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:43 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ZeldaRules View Post
I'm not passing judgment, i'm being factual and responding to the information you are giving us. The statement you made about Schutzhund teaching aggression is ridiculous, untrue, and is what spreads fear and gives the public the wrong impression of the sport. You might have dabbled in the sport but you clearly did not grasp the concept of what you were training for, maybe you were working with the wrong people, or maybe you are the type that wants to totally pretend the history and heritage of the Doberman breed doesn't exist and wish they are golden retrievers in a prettier suit.


I've been in dog rescue for a while and some of the most jacked up and unstable tempered dogs I've encountered were ones that were bred just to be pets. I love my GSD but god bless her, she's a rescue and doesn't know she is a GSD. She is so damaged and the root of the problem is some crappy irresponsible breeder who bred without temperament in mind and sold to whoever had the money most likely and she ended up in more irresponsible and unfit hands. I am thankful for good breeders that prove their lines through working/performance sports. It doesn't mean that only people who can work the dog should own them, no, it means that the breeder cares enough about the stability and welfare of the breed to test their nerves, health and temperament to bring the best examples of the breed they can into the world.

Labs and spaniels are sporting dogs. They are high energy and high active dogs. Labs are so common as the choice for the family dog because they look cute and sweet and are. On the flip side, labs are one of the most common dogs you will see in shelters and rescue. They dominate the numbers on petfinder.com and are in the tens of thousands I believe that need a home. Reason why? Well, they weren't bred to be lap dogs.
Then I apologize for the misinterpretation.
I done the Schutzhund training with german shepherds with a local police dog handler, though their training may be very different to whats open to the public as the police dogs are trained to take down threats, thought I also entered the training later on so I may have missed some earlier more important points in the training.

I am sure a doberman is the right dog for me, and thats why i'm here to ask and listen to experienced trainers/owners, as they are a rather rare dog in the UK so the chance of me being able to simply meet and talk to a owner face to face is very low.

I apologize if I was rather short with you, but I am a very firm believer of don't judge a book by its cover, especially since I used to volunteer in a special need school during my A levels, the kids were always judged due to there disabilities but they were really intelligent and capable of most tasks others can do, just incapable of a few due to there various disabilities. I don't wish to burn any bridges
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:03 AM   #14 (permalink)
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ovy, no worries my friend you are awesome for doing your research, that's rare, we welcome people like you here with open arms. If you are open to information and advice then you're going to be better armed and prepared as a Doberman owner and can help others in the future that are in your situation now. It's a win win. There's a lot of information on all aspects of Doberman ownership and it can be overwhelming, but you have an awesome resource here and a network of people all around the world willing to help you each step of the way.

And yes, police dog handlers do things a bit differently than sport dog handlers. It's a different type of training. There are different bite sports but again, SchH is more like a fancy game of tug with lots of rules

I live with a GSD breeder that has titled SchH and protection trained dogs. I can roll on the floor with her dogs, get kissed in the face, and walk them loose leash without any direction from my part.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:25 AM   #15 (permalink)
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ovy, no worries my friend you are awesome for doing your research, that's rare, we welcome people like you here with open arms. If you are open to information and advice then you're going to be better armed and prepared as a Doberman owner and can help others in the future that are in your situation now. It's a win win. There's a lot of information on all aspects of Doberman ownership and it can be overwhelming, but you have an awesome resource here and a network of people all around the world willing to help you each step of the way.

And yes, police dog handlers do things a bit differently than sport dog handlers. It's a different type of training. There are different bite sports but again, SchH is more like a fancy game of tug with lots of rules

I live with a GSD breeder that has titled SchH and protection trained dogs. I can roll on the floor with her dogs, get kissed in the face, and walk them loose leash without any direction from my part.
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I would never buy a dog or any other large commitment without knowing all the facts and listening to real life experiences, of course every dog will have its own personality and so training will vary slightly from dog to dog, but i'm glad to have people like you point me in the right direction. I would always commit myself to the dog and do all I can to make it happy and properly looked after, but I would hate to do incorrect training with the dog, as anything it does wrong will be my fault not the dogs, but the dog will be the one in trouble.

I will look into Schutzhund training from the very beginning and properly inform myself on the matter before giving my opinion on it in future

I think when I decide I am ready for one and start looking for a reputable breeder, I will look into crufts show breed lines, as I know they will be properly bred and not came from a puppy factory.
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