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Old 01-04-2013, 04:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thinking of getting Doberman.

Hi all I am considering getting a Doberman. I am retired military and currently I have a 5 month old female Rhodesian Ridgeback. I have no children or other animals and lead a pretty active lifestyle.

It is important that I have a dog that will be able to keep up with me exercise wise when grown. This is one of the reasons I chose a Rhodesian Ridgeback.

For many years I have been interested in both Dobermans and Ridgebacks and now that I am retired I have the time to spend with what I believe to be high energy dogs. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Would a grown Doberman be capable of running beside a bike(off leash) for 20 miles 3-4 times per week? What problems or issues have Doberman owners had? Both health and personality wise? What do you do to show your dogs are not the animals of horror movies and sensationalized news reports? As I have a female Ridgeback it is probably that I would get a male dog in the future. Of course that is not a requirement as my Ridgy just got spayed and any future dog would be neutered/spayed too. I just felt so bad when my Rhodesian was spayed. Seemed like a lot of pain, and I was worried sick about her while she healed. The whole pain thing is also a reason why I prefer Dobermans with their ears and tail intact.

Other breeds I am considering are a Giant Schnauzer, German Shepard, Boxer, or another Ridgeback. Aside from the Ridgeback I am uncertain how the other breeds could stand up to endurance type exercise.

Thanks for your time.

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Old 01-04-2013, 05:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My dobes, I love them with my life...but a 20 mile straight run, would make me look for another owner with a leather couch, to curl up on...REALLY.
- now if you personally ran on the pavement yourself and trained the dobe to peddle your bike & coast when suitable / sounds fair, to me...SERIOUSLY
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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20 miles holy cow, I'm not even sure if I could survive that and I'm a "5 miles several times a week" person. Someone more experienced in how much dogs can take will give you an answer for that but I'd expect you'd have to train the dog up to it just like you had to train yourself for the military.

I said this in another thread but I'll say it here too. I rescued a doberman that's still a bit iffy with strangers and dogs (barks/growls), however aside from people taking his warning seriously and moving away from him no one cries fowl. I've achieved this by first off walking with confidence and showing that he might make noise but I've got him held quite firmly and I'm also skinny and spindley so I'm much less of a stereotypical Big Ego Big Dog person. Not saying you are, but because my appearance isn't frightening and because I can show that I've got him somewhat under control, people haven't given me crap when I'm out walking. I do get the occasional rumor jab ("don't you know their brains get too big for their skulls?????") but since I also speak with confidence I'm usually believed when I explain how silly rumors like that got started.

Health and personality I'll let someone who's been in the breed far longer than 3 weeks answer. I still don't have Skoll's full health report and his personality isn't quite showing all the way yet. Do be prepared for a dog that wants to be with (on) you all the time. Skoll is convinced that he's a lap dog even though he weighs almost as much as I do and squishes me when he attempts to sit in my lap.

You may have a hard time finding a good breeder that will leave your dog 100% natural. I know some working breeders will though their dogs are a lot more work and demand much more attention and training than a show dobe, and back when I was looking for a breeder there were a few suggestions on a couple show breeders that have left puppies go with natural ears (but docked tails). An easier way to go about that one is to look into a rescue dog or import from overseas, though I still don't see many rescue dobes with their tails. I think the natural dog looks beautiful

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Old 01-04-2013, 05:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi thanks guys. The running would be off leash. So they could stop ,and, or slow down when they needed. Granted if this was to much for the dogs I would change. I ride on bike paths so there is always a grass edge. I do not ride on roads as they are unsafe IMO.

@Jazi, it seems finding a breeder who will leave the dog natural is a problem, just the same with Giant Schnauzers. I have certainly been looking at the rescue societies and also the humane societies. Yeah I doubt if I am really a big dog ego person I have owned everything from Fox Terriers and to Setters and Rottweiliers in the past. It is just that I think a larger breed works better with my lifestyle.

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Old 01-04-2013, 05:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wow, where can you ride your bike for 20 miles and have your dog off leash? I'm jealous. I see people mountain biking with dogs off leash, but never for 20 miles. That might be excessive. Since the dog would be off leash, I assume you are going at a leisurely pace and the dog can stop as he/she pleases? I think 10 miles is more realistic for a Doberman. I would be worried about over exercising and creating a dog with endless energy that can't settle down.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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depending on the age, conformation, training, condition and health of the dogs.............

one of my puppy owners used to bike from town to my place once in a while and it was 20k here and back.

or they would drive to the dirt road and bike here and back to their car..........6 1/2 k here and back.

his dogs were in awesome condition!

had a Rhodi for over 10 years....he got along great with the Dobes!

that is him in my sig picture............Kip Kieno's Copper Dan!
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Where about in Ohio are you located? My husband is retired Army and we live in the Cincinnati area. We adopted our 2 red adult dobes from the Columbus Hand Me Down Dobe Rescue. If you decide to look at rescues I can highly recommend them. Adoptable Doberman Pinschers from Hand Me Down Dobes - Doberman Rescue in Ohio and surrounding areas
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Welcome! Keep in mind that if you get a puppy you won't be able to run the dog until its 18-24 months of age for proper growth and health of bones and joints. Dobes are a slow maturing breed.

Dobermans are a personal protection breed, don't be ashamed of it, just socialize, socialize, socialize and train them up right! Mine is a certified therapy dog and when I go out with him in public with his vest on its an excellent way to dispel myths and stereotypes and show the public what a well socialized, trained, and raised example of the breed is like.

Are you a male? Males tend to have a bigger problem with speutering their dogs(emotional attachment to the sex hormones and testicles and all that jazz). Pet quality puppies from good breeders will come with limited registration and a spay/neuter contract.

My Doberman is cropped and docked. I guarantee you he has not been traumatized from the pain or procedure. It happens when they are young. They don't miss their ears/tail just as they don't miss their balls or ovaries from the much more invasive spay or neuter.

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Old 01-04-2013, 06:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by loltraktor View Post
Hi thanks guys. The running would be off leash. So they could stop ,and, or slow down when they needed. Granted if this was to much for the dogs I would change. I ride on bike paths so there is always a grass edge. I do not ride on roads as they are unsafe IMO.

@Jazi, it seems finding a breeder who will leave the dog natural is a problem, just the same with Giant Schnauzers. I have certainly been looking at the rescue societies and also the humane societies. Yeah I doubt if I am really a big dog ego person I have owned everything from Fox Terriers and to Setters and Rottweiliers in the past. It is just that I think a larger breed works better with my lifestyle.
I think provided the dog is properly conditioned / trained and allowed to stop, re-hydrate, etc. as needed it shouldn't be a problem. In Schutzhund there is an AD title which is for a 12.5 mile endurance test (handlers may bike or jog next to the dog). There are a couple of breaks (I think around the 5 and 10 mile marks) where the judge allows evaluates the dogs and if they show lameness, exhaustion, etc. they are to be dismissed. Dogs can easily complete that with the proper conditioning, so I see no reason why they couldn't do 20, again with the proper training, conditioning, and consideration of and attention to the dog's needs.

As far as an all natural dog with ears and tail intact, in North America you might be able to find one in rescue (uncropped ears are common, undocked tails not as much), you could look for a working breeder (there are a few that will leave pups all natural), or you could import from a country where cropping / docking is illegal (much of Europe).
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Wow, where can you ride your bike for 20 miles and have your dog off leash? I'm jealous. I see people mountain biking with dogs off leash, but never for 20 miles. That might be excessive. Since the dog would be off leash, I assume you are going at a leisurely pace and the dog can stop as he/she pleases? I think 10 miles is more realistic for a Doberman. I would be worried about over exercising and creating a dog with endless energy that can't settle down.
Athens OH has great bike paths. Columbus also has several although not as long as the Athens one which is 19 miles one way. I lived in Athens, now live in Columbus but am thinking of moving back to Athens. I am 41 and retired so I have a lot of time on my hands.

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depending on the age, conformation, training, condition and health of the dogs.............

one of my puppy owners used to bike from town to my place once in a while and it was 20k here and back.

or they would drive to the dirt road and bike here and back to their car..........6 1/2 k here and back.

his dogs were in awesome condition!

had a Rhodi for over 10 years....he got along great with the Dobes!

that is him in my sig picture............Kip Kieno's Copper Dan!
Thanks, and yes my Rhodesian is truly awesome. She loves other dogs, and enjoys people too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thor_Red View Post
Where about in Ohio are you located? My husband is retired Army and we live in the Cincinnati area. We adopted our 2 red adult dobes from the Columbus Hand Me Down Dobe Rescue. If you decide to look at rescues I can highly recommend them. Adoptable Doberman Pinschers from Hand Me Down Dobes - Doberman Rescue in Ohio and surrounding areas
Hi I too am retired army. I live in Columbus presently Thanks for the link.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeldaRules View Post
Welcome! Keep in mind that if you get a puppy you won't be able to run the dog until its 18-24 months of age for proper growth and health of bones and joints. Dobes are a slow maturing breed.

Dobermans are a personal protection breed, don't be ashamed of it, just socialize, socialize, socialize and train them up right! Mine is a certified therapy dog and when I go out with him in public with his vest on its an excellent way to dispel myths and stereotypes and show the public what a well socialized, trained, and raised example of the breed is like.

Are you a male? Males tend to have a bigger problem with speutering their dogs(emotional attachment to the sex hormones and testicles and all that jazz). Pet quality puppies from good breeders will come with limited registration and a spay/neuter contract.

My Doberman is cropped and docked. I guarantee you he has not been traumatized from the pain or procedure. It happens when they are young. They don't miss their ears/tail just as they don't miss their balls or ovaries from the much more invasive spay or neuter.
Yes I am a man. I do believe in getting my pets fixed, both female and males . I have been around working dogs my entire life. I grew up on a large sheep and cattle ranch(farm) in New Zealand where I used to work and train hearding dogs, Fox Terriers and Jack Russels. My brother had labs and the family also had a German Shepard and a setter All pet dogs as were fixed. I absolutely believe in socialization. I like the idea of getting the dogs certified as therapy dogs too. Actually I am meant to start classes to become a dog trainer later this year. Also will be doing an apprenticeship with an assistance dog organization. Really looking forward to the whole thing. I start volunteering at a local humane society next week.

Good remark about not being ashamed of the protection aspects of the breed. I remember many years ago when my fiancÚ and I had a pair of Rottweilers how many negative remarks and looks we received. Yet the dogs were well socialized and trained. Thankfully over time, at least in out neighborhood the dogs built up a great reputation. It would be my goal to do the same with a Doberman. I remember when I moved into the place I am currently living my landlord stated "no dangerous dog breeds." Such as I said "Dobermans" was the reply. I said. "So are Rhodesian Ridgebacks or Giant Schnauzers okay?" "Oh yes" said the landlord. I just rolled my eyes. Anyway I just bought some property and will be moving from here soon. Lots more room for the dogs and no ignorant landlords.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tnh317 View Post
I think provided the dog is properly conditioned / trained and allowed to stop, re-hydrate, etc. as needed it shouldn't be a problem. In Schutzhund there is an AD title which is for a 12.5 mile endurance test (handlers may bike or jog next to the dog). There are a couple of breaks (I think around the 5 and 10 mile marks) where the judge allows evaluates the dogs and if they show lameness, exhaustion, etc. they are to be dismissed. Dogs can easily complete that with the proper conditioning, so I see no reason why they couldn't do 20, again with the proper training, conditioning, and consideration of and attention to the dog's needs.

As far as an all natural dog with ears and tail intact, in North America you might be able to find one in rescue (uncropped ears are common, undocked tails not as much), you could look for a working breeder (there are a few that will leave pups all natural), or you could import from a country where cropping / docking is illegal (much of Europe).
Thanks for the information. It is not a deal breaker necessarily if the tail is not cropped, just a preference. I would definitely take breaks to give the dogs a breather while biking. The 5 and 10 mile marks sound like a good idea. How do Doberman's handle the heat in your experience?

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Old 01-05-2013, 10:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum I think you sound like a good dobe home, I think it's great you're doing your research in advance.

If you're looking to add a puppy, id perhaps wait until your girl is a little older and more mature before adding another. Having two puppies at the same time is *a lot* of work and means training can be a lot harder since they tend to stay puppies longer and can become quite 'doggy' if they don't have a lot of alone time. But that's just my opinion

As for health, dobes are not a particularly long lived breed and do have some health problems like a lot of breeds. There is loads of information if you use the search box at the top to go through previous threads, and the breeders sectio. Has a list of health tests that breeders should perform on the parent (for example hip scores, vWD, eye tests, thyroid tests ect) to give your pup the best chance of a long, happy and healthy life.

I have an all natural dobe and will always own all natural dobes, IMO again go with what you want Rescuing is awesome if you want to give a dog another chance, they have so much love to give. There have been a few all natural dobes members have fostered on the forum, so they do come up.

I love ridgies too, I know a few ridgeback breeders and exhibitors over here and they're quite good at matching dobe play!
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum I think you sound like a good dobe home, I think it's great you're doing your research in advance.

If you're looking to add a puppy, id perhaps wait until your girl is a little older and more mature before adding another. Having two puppies at the same time is *a lot* of work and means training can be a lot harder since they tend to stay puppies longer and can become quite 'doggy' if they don't have a lot of alone time. But that's just my opinion

As for health, dobes are not a particularly long lived breed and do have some health problems like a lot of breeds. There is loads of information if you use the search box at the top to go through previous threads, and the breeders sectio. Has a list of health tests that breeders should perform on the parent (for example hip scores, vWD, eye tests, thyroid tests ect) to give your pup the best chance of a long, happy and healthy life.

I have an all natural dobe and will always own all natural dobes, IMO again go with what you want Rescuing is awesome if you want to give a dog another chance, they have so much love to give. There have been a few all natural dobes members have fostered on the forum, so they do come up.

I love ridgies too, I know a few ridgeback breeders and exhibitors over here and they're quite good at matching dobe play!
Thanks for the suggestions and info. I do get the impression that Dobes and Ridgies are a fairly well matched energy wise.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by loltraktor View Post

Yes I am a man. I do believe in getting my pets fixed, both female and males . I have been around working dogs my entire life. I grew up on a large sheep and cattle ranch(farm) in New Zealand where I used to work and train hearding dogs, Fox Terriers and Jack Russels. My brother had labs and the family also had a German Shepard and a setter All pet dogs as were fixed. I absolutely believe in socialization. I like the idea of getting the dogs certified as therapy dogs too. Actually I am meant to start classes to become a dog trainer later this year. Also will be doing an apprenticeship with an assistance dog organization. Really looking forward to the whole thing. I start volunteering at a local humane society next week.

Good remark about not being ashamed of the protection aspects of the breed. I remember many years ago when my fiancÚ and I had a pair of Rottweilers how many negative remarks and looks we received. Yet the dogs were well socialized and trained. Thankfully over time, at least in out neighborhood the dogs built up a great reputation. It would be my goal to do the same with a Doberman. I remember when I moved into the place I am currently living my landlord stated "no dangerous dog breeds." Such as I said "Dobermans" was the reply. I said. "So are Rhodesian Ridgebacks or Giant Schnauzers okay?" "Oh yes" said the landlord. I just rolled my eyes. Anyway I just bought some property and will be moving from here soon. Lots more room for the dogs and no ignorant landlords.
You will make a fantastic Doberman owner with that mentality! The awesome thing about the breed is that they are very versatile and you can pretty much train them to do anything and they can excel at so much. Just to give you an idea of how great breeding, training, and socialization comes into play...



My dobie in therapy/awwww mode:


In public and stable enough to handle a very loud Hockey game! Players were slamming each other against the glass and fighting and music was blaring, my dog didn't flinch or act our aggressively or fearful at all.


Urban mushing, on this equipment for the very first time and next to a dog he had never met before


Extreme tolerance and great obedience


Turns on guard mode when needed, no one messes with his mama!


Great athlete
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeldaRules View Post
You will make a fantastic Doberman owner with that mentality! The awesome thing about the breed is that they are very versatile and you can pretty much train them to do anything and they can excel at so much. Just to give you an idea of how great breeding, training, and socialization comes into play...



My dobie in therapy/awwww mode:


In public and stable enough to handle a very loud Hockey game! Players were slamming each other against the glass and fighting and music was blaring, my dog didn't flinch or act our aggressively or fearful at all.


Urban mushing, on this equipment for the very first time and next to a dog he had never met before


Extreme tolerance and great obedience


Turns on guard mode when needed, no one messes with his mama!


Great athlete
Thanks and fantastic photos.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum.

I regularly walk 10 -12 kilometres with my boy over pretty rough terrain. He seems to handle it pretty well, and in truth probably covers double the distance what with him running round as if his nub is on fire. To be honest the only thing holding my boy back is me, I am the one who can't keep up.
Toby is now 2 years old, his exercise regime was built up very slowly to the level it is at now.
Even so i am careful not to run him constantly on hard ground for fear of causing joint problems and i am ever watchful for heart problems etc
Personally i would think 20 miles is a bit far, but my view is of course coloured by my own inability to keep up and the conditions where we have to walk.

My boy neither handles the heat or the cold well. I don't think he is alone in this, rather he is pretty normal in this regard.

Last edited by Toby'shuman; 01-05-2013 at 05:38 PM..
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