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Old 01-29-2013, 09:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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To Doberman or not to Doberman - is it a question I should consider?

Hello! As stated in my intro post in the Newbies forum, I'm here to learn about the breed and if this kind of dog really is for me or if am I the kind of owner that would be good for a Doberman. Suitability works both ways!

I love pets - I have a huge soft spot for pets, cats and dogs. Normally I would consider myself a cat person first, but mostly because I've had "my" cats. The dogs have always been the "family" dog or my brother's, so I think this time around I want a dog of my own - and of whom the dog can claim ownership of as well.

I'm currently getting out of the Army on disability from a Left Ankle/Tibia injury in Afghanistan. I can't run anymore (well, I haven't tried as my profile prohibits it and it's a prosecutable offense if I break my profile in the Army and further injure myself) and my walking distance is significantly shorter than it used to be. Nowadays I'm about a 1-1.5 mile max before it starts to pain - and that's if I start first thing in the morning. I'll be frank - I'm nowhere near as agile as I used to be.

I'm not too concerned about the time commitment for a puppy as when I get out, I'll have a pretty good chunk of money as severance from the Army to live off of while I get settled. I won't be working immediately when I get out but I will be working on my Private Pilots License and after that, moving on to a school to get my Degree and Commercial license.

I have done some reading, including the http://www.gentledoberman.com/ site.

The reason I'm looking into a Doberman (as well as a GSD) is two-fold - I want an intelligent, trainable and loyal dog as a companion as well as possibly working as an early warning. I'm going to be Bush Piloting which means I will be out in the back country in some remote places. Dogs can so easily see/hear/smell something before I would even notice not to mention this breed would be good for protection in case we can't scare it off or any of the other possible situations where things could go badly for us.

I'm considering a puppy as the Degree/Commercial license will take the better part of 4 years, so this dog, by the time I might take it with me on flights, would be mature and well-trained.

I am concerned about the amount of exercise this breed NEEDS (I fully understand that for this kind of dog, exercise is not "optional" or "suggested"). I have thought of a way to work with this is I'm still good on a bicycle. Is having the dog run on a lead while I'm on a bike acceptable or might there be another way - I've read about doggy treadmills, but that doesn't do much for the attention. I would be living in an apartment - this is a concern to me as my reading says these dogs need a lot of space to run. To that end, would daily bike rides to the dog park to play fetch and bike back be enough exercise for this kind of dog?

Also if any of you are from the Columbus, OH area, your knowledge on where to get a dog and where to take them for exercise or training would be invaluable!

I guess what I'm trying to say is I want you folks to know I'm not some goofball who thinks, "ooooooo - pretty dog!" and then will get frustrated and abandon the dog because I wasn't prepared going into the relationship.

To that end, I want to make sure that I'm as informed as I can be and have people vet the idea as you all will think of many things that I wouldn't think to ask.

Thank you!
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to DT!

Sorry to hear about your injury.

Both GSDs and Dobies as you know are very active breeds that need a job and need many different kinds of stimulation. The fact that you will be able to put the required amount of time into a puppy is great. I don't personally own or have owned GSDs and this is my first dobie, but as anyone on this forum can tell you, these dogs aim to please and are very clingy.

As in... you are going to the bathroom so I am coming too?!

They can also be a sensitive breed as far as their bodies go... also they are prone to a slew of diseases. Please research REPUTABLE breeders.

I am sure others will come one and comment to the thread.

Enjoy the forum!!
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome from TX. Sounds like you are going about this the right way and we welcome that here.

A couple things to think about...


If you get a puppy you will not be able to really run the dog and force exercise until the growth plates have closed at around 18-24 months. I mean, you can, but you run a huge risk of damaging the bones and joints and inhibiting proper growth, which will cause problems for your dog as it ages. Good breeders will have you sign contracts and if you force exercise a puppy before it's done maturing and it develops HD or other conditions because of you, they will not be liable and responsible for giving you money back or replacing the pup.

A Doberman puppy will be a LOT of work(as will a GSD). I am living with a GSD breeder at the moment and we have a 6 week old litter on the ground right now..they are already little hellions! (They are german show line with working titled parents). I did get my Doberman at 5 months from a breeder and he was already house trained, leash trained, crate trained, and used to getting his ears posted and nails grinded. He was also never mouthy. That was a big relief for me and he has been a very easy dog. You can find older Doberman rehomes from breeders every now and then. That might be a good option for you because they will be past the puppy stage and ready to exercise with you. You can also find all ranges of temperaments and lifestyles of Dobermans in rescue. I have fostered a Doberman that literally just lied around all day and was as quiet as a mouse. She was just happy to have a nice place to crash and be comfortable until she was adopted. In rescue, most of the dogs will be in foster homes so you know their exact personalities. Same thing with GSD rescue, I have been a foster of GSDs for many years now and have seen all types of personalities.

German Shepherds and Dobermans have very differing traits. GSDs are a herding breed and are more protective of the property. They tend to be very anxious and loud. Dobermans are a personal protection breed and are very velcro. Their chief concern is YOU. They seem to settle easier than GSDs. GSDs have a double coat and are well-suited for all elements. Dobes have a single coat and are heat and cold intolerant.

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Old 01-29-2013, 10:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome from TX. Sounds like you are going about this the right way and we welcome that here.

A couple things to think about...


If you get a puppy you will not be able to really run the dog and force exercise until the growth plates have closed at around 18-24 months. I mean, you can, but you run a huge risk of damaging the bones and joints and inhibiting proper growth, which will cause problems for your dog as it ages.

A Doberman puppy will be a LOT of work(as will a GSD). I am living with a GSD breeder at the moment and we have a 6 week old litter on the ground right now..they are already little hellions! (They are german show line with working titled parents). I did get my Doberman at 5 months from a breeder and he was already house trained, leash trained, crate trained, and used to getting his ears posted and nails grinded. He was also never mouthy. That was a big relief for me and he has been a very easy dog. You can find older Doberman rehomes from breeders every now and then. That might be a good option for you because they will be past the puppy stage and ready to exercise with you. You can also find all ranges of temperaments and lifestyles of Dobermans in rescue. I have fostered a Doberman that literally just lied around all day and was as quiet as a mouse. She was just happy to have a nice place to crash and be comfortable until she was adopted. In rescue, most of the dogs will be in foster homes so you know their exact personalities. Same thing with GSD rescue, I have been a foster of GSDs for many years now and have seen all types of personalities.

German Shepherds and Dobermans have very differing traits. GSDs are a herding breed and are more protective of the property. They tend to be very anxious and loud. Dobermans are a personal protection breed and are very velcro. Their chief concern is YOU. They seem to settle easier than GSDs.
Then it sounds like the Doberman is the better suited dog for my goal.

I was wondering about the age part - my concern (to which I don't even know if it is a valid concern) is if you get one too old, will it have difficulties bonding with me? To that end, I thought a puppy would be best as it would be learning "with/from" me rather than from the breeder or previous owner and then switching gears to learning how I do things. As well as rescues, I am concerned that the dog may have suffered some sort of psychological trauma from previous owners/experiences that I wouldn't know about and might unknowingly trigger. I truly love the idea of a rescue (all my previous pets have been rescues and every pet deserves a good home regardless of breeding) but I'm not sure if it would be in my best interest.

Though the merits of having a dog that is already house broken, crated and such are very appealing!

Exercise-wise, 18-24mos is good to know. Until then I assume normal play with the dog would be the idea? Fetch outside, frisbee, tugable chew-toys etc?

Thank you for your help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rouleaux
Welcome to DT!

Sorry to hear about your injury.

Both GSDs and Dobies as you know are very active breeds that need a job and need many different kinds of stimulation. The fact that you will be able to put the required amount of time into a puppy is great. I don't personally own or have owned GSDs and this is my first dobie, but as anyone on this forum can tell you, these dogs aim to please and are very clingy.

As in... you are going to the bathroom so I am coming too?!

They can also be a sensitive breed as far as their bodies go... also they are prone to a slew of diseases. Please research REPUTABLE breeders.

I am sure others will come one and comment to the thread.

Enjoy the forum!!
Thank you!

I'm not concerned with the clingy part as I would be living alone. I'm single with no children, so this dog would be a companion as well as a pet. I'm also 28, soon to be 29, so I'm not the kind of person who has the attention span of a fruitfly. Pets are more than just animals to me and giving them any less than they deserve is unthinkable to me.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I was wondering about the age part - my concern (to which I don't even know if it is a valid concern) is if you get one too old, will it have difficulties bonding with me?
IMO, not a valid concern. Simple as that. It may take a little time, but rescues bond, too. You said your previous pets were rescues. Weren't they bonded to you?


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As well as rescues, I am concerned that the dog may have suffered some sort of psychological trauma from previous owners/experiences that I wouldn't know about and might unknowingly trigger.
I think this is the biggest misconception that there is regarding rescues. Sure, some might have suffered some abuse or trauma, but most of them are given up for issues completely unrelated to the dog - divorce, moving, new baby, new job/less time, etc. The only "psychological trauma" the dog suffered was being given up and missing its owner for a while. Hardly the end of the world.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by CybrSlydr View Post
Then it sounds like the Doberman is the better suited dog for my goal.

I was wondering about the age part - my concern (to which I don't even know if it is a valid concern) is if you get one too old, will it have difficulties bonding with me? To that end, I thought a puppy would be best as it would be learning "with/from" me rather than from the breeder or previous owner and then switching gears to learning how I do things. As well as rescues, I am concerned that the dog may have suffered some sort of psychological trauma from previous owners/experiences that I wouldn't know about and might unknowingly trigger. I truly love the idea of a rescue (all my previous pets have been rescues and every pet deserves a good home regardless of breeding) but I'm not sure if it would be in my best interest.

Though the merits of having a dog that is already house broken, crated and such are very appealing!

Exercise-wise, 18-24mos is good to know. Until then I assume normal play with the dog would be the idea? Fetch outside, frisbee, tugable chew-toys etc?

Here are some threads about rescues that you will find interesting and pleasant

Reasons to adopt a rescue.. (if you're hesitating)

To Rescue or not rescue

>>Calling All Rescuers/Adopters of Dobes<<

Here is a thread with photos of a senior Doberman that was adopted by MeadowCat. I don't think there was any issue with bonding
Simon's Photo Shoot


People rescue older dogs all the time and they happily bond to their new families. Check out Miracle's story, look where he came from and how far he has come..he loves his new dad
Prayers and healing thoughts needed for IDR orphan (warning: contains graphic image)


It is a huge stigma that rescue dogs all come with baggage and issues. Many of the dogs in rescue were once loved family pets that were dumped out of convenience. Yes, there are dogs with varying training/behaviorial problems in rescue, but most are there because the owner didn't do their research on the breed and a BYB sold to them without doing the proper checks. A good rescue will temperament test and know their dogs before they adopt them out. The point is not the first home that comes along, but the right home.

You can let a puppy play and exercise on their own..just no jumping. Agility puppy classes are great for teaching them to be comfortable on different textures, surfaces, and maneuvering around and on obstacles. A great exercise tool is the flirt pole..it would actually be great for you because you don't have to do anything but stand there and wave a giant cat teaser looking toy around so the dog does all the work. Wears them out in 15 mins! Here is a video I made of the flirt pole and my dog. I go to school full time and have a lot of studying to do so the flirt pole is a great way to give my dog the extra mentical exercise he needs.

Doberman with Flirt Pole - YouTube


Ok, I know I have given you a lot of stuff to read, but you asked
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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IMO, not a valid concern. Simple as that. It may take a little time, but rescues bond, too. You said your previous pets were rescues. Weren't they bonded to you?
Indeed the cats did, though my expectation was that since this is a dog and a very different breed of animal than an ASPCA shelter cat, things wouldn't be the same. I didn't want to assume that they would bond and be wrong - err on the side of caution!




Quote:
I think this is the biggest misconception that there is regarding rescues. Sure, some might have suffered some abuse or trauma, but most of them are given up for issues completely unrelated to the dog - divorce, moving, new baby, new job/less time, etc. The only "psychological trauma" the dog suffered was being given up and missing its owner for a while. Hardly the end of the world.
I think I should say I'm not concerned that the Doberman is a "vicious" breed. I'm not a believer in that - some dogs may be more aggressive than others, but they only stay that way because of poor owners.

My concern is that for what my role for this dog would be, companion/protection, that a possibility of previous trauma from a poor owner was too much of a risk to take. Of course, I'm brand new to the world of Dobermans and have no experience with any of them - precisely why I came here to find out from the experts!
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It's a common misconception about the bonding with a rescue, at least until you have done one. I'm on my third dobe rescue and to be honest, never had bonds like these.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'd recommend spending quite a bit of time around the breed before considering it much more. Being that you're a self-described "cat person" you may be a little overwhelmed with the in-your-face neediness of a Dobe. Not to mention how damn boisterous they can be when excited/happy.

Also, if you've never trained a Dobe before, I'd caution you against thinking trainable means easily trained (not that you think that, but just in case...). It really just means they have a high capacity for training but they're not generally recommended for inexperienced dog owners because some Dobes can give a novice a fairly hard time.

Have you had the opportunity to spend time around Dobes yet? That'd be the first step I'd recommend, for sure. Also, make sure to read up on the common health problems of the breed. Dobes can be pricey and full of heartache in the health department.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think it would also be wise to note that Dobes are not necessarily great outdoor dogs, in the sense that.. well, they can be pretty wimpy in the winter, lol. They may not be best suited to be you companion in the bush.. but there are other members here much more qualified to comment on that than myself.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:43 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Zelda: Thank you for that wealth of information! Reading all those links make me feel a little silly about rescues. I also found on there Hand Me Down Dobermans, which is based in Columbus OH. Meant to be I wonder?...

brw: According to the HMDD, they have events on the first Saturday of every month. Sounds like a great place to go and meet a few to see if they're something that would work with me.

Cover: I'm not sure yet where I'd be flying, but Maine, Colorado, etc wouldn't be out of the question. AFAIK, I wouldn't be staying out on extended trips, but you never know - I'm new to that world as well.

Thank you all for your input thus far - this is exactly why I came here.

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Old 01-30-2013, 07:16 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Thank you!

I'm not concerned with the clingy part as I would be living alone. I'm single with no children, so this dog would be a companion as well as a pet. I'm also 28, soon to be 29, so I'm not the kind of person who has the attention span of a fruitfly. Pets are more than just animals to me and giving them any less than they deserve is unthinkable to me.
I am 23 and feel the same way. I gave up a social life for my pets years ago!
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:01 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by CybrSlydr View Post
Zelda: Thank you for that wealth of information! Reading all those links make me feel a little silly about rescues. I also found on there Hand Me Down Dobermans, which is based in Columbus OH. Meant to be I wonder?...

Thank you all for your input thus far - this is exactly why I came here.

Oh you should definitely contact that rescue and see if you can meet some of the members and their dogs. Before I had any Doberman ownership experience I started volunteering with a Doberman rescue to get experience with what it's like to own one and see them in public situations. It wasn't long before I knew they were the breed for me a good rescue will jump at the chance to help you along on your path for more education and Doberman experience.

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I am 23 and feel the same way. I gave up a social life for my pets years ago!
Girl, you don't even know!

When prime was a wee one, I thought I had the perfect guy(a handsome cop), the perfect house that we bought together, and the life I wanted. Well...we all know dobermans are a working breed and Doberman puppies require a LOT of work to raise and train them up the right way so they are a well adjusted and stable adult. That boyfriend was all on board and cute about prime in the beginning, but eventually started majorly fighting with me about how much time I spent working with him(mind you I did not neglect the bf!) and even seriously told me that I take better care of the dog than him. I gave him a chance to take it back but he got to the point to where he was very resentful toward prime, even to the point of saying he was "scared" and couldn't trust him because prime would look at him weird(stare blankly with ears back). Um. Yeah, dude. It's because you didn't want anything to do with him! I told him he is a grown ass man who can take care of himself and he was being so petty and childish.

And then dun dun dun, another one bit the dust!

Dogs are my social life and I don't hesitate to walk away from toxic people in my life that want to fight over dogs. So OP, I hope you know what you're in for if you raise a puppy! There are some people on here who have posted about their SOs being resentful and jealous of the puppy getting attention.

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Old 01-30-2013, 08:19 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Welcome to DT.

Okay my 2 cents worth.

Exercise.
As pups you start with a little and build up. No pup, not even one of 5 or 6 months needs or wants to go too far. Their brains are far more into exploring (as long as it doesnt mean going beyond 20-30 yards from your side) So for the first year I wouldnt worry about meeting a Dobes requirements with regards distance, nor speed. Heck you couldnt keep up with a Dobe at full tilt even if you were the blooming 'Flash'.
Where most folk seem to stumble in the beginning before the Dobe has you trained is the stimulation / velcroness side of things.
Oh boy is that an eye opener.
First and foremost Dobes do not like you going out of there sight. Not even to go to the loo, take a shower, go put the kettle on. They follow you everywhere and usually have to be able to nose poke you at will whilst doing it.
On the rare occasions they aren't stuck to you, you can bet they are somewhere where they can keep on eye on you whilst you are doing whatever it is you want to be doing.
For instance, when I take a shower, Toby lays on my bed watching me, moment I come out, he comes up to me and licks my right leg for a couple of seconds, then off he toddles back to the bed and waits for me to get dressed.
When I go cut wood for the log burner, Toby my boy comes and sits close by, he knows not to come too close, but he has to be somewhere where he can see me so he comes along, finds a place out of the wind and plonks himself down, as I jokingly call it to 'supervise'.
When I go to work on the land (I am a farmer) Toby comes along to watch over me. Yes he runs around, rooting about, pouncing on unsuspecting lizards etc, but hey, they could have been 'komodo dragons' about to come eat his mum. But you can bet your last dollar he is keeping an eye on me, what I am doing and if I move or make a sound he is with me in an instant.
This from what all the others on this forum have ever posted is what their Dobes are like too so to have a Dobe who isn't stuck to you is rare. Yes some may allow you out of their sight, but they know where you are, what you are doing and don't you dare think otherwise.
I have also come to learn my boy (who is fear reactive which is not so rare as one might presume) is all about..
'What's that, can I chew it, oohh look, shall I bark, can I play with it, are you my friend, go away I don't like you, mum/dad save me, oh no, I am supposed to be saving you, ha, take that you, whatever you are, I can run faster than it, oooohhhh zoomie time.'
I have learnt to channel some of this energy into stimulating games, fetch, search for it, look at it, leave it, zooooooomie to help tire him out.
When we go for a walk he carries a bite toy with him. (he carries it) he runs around with it in his mouth, drops it, runs along and I ask him, 'where is it, fetch it,' and off he runs, finds it brings it to me and I throw it as a reward.
Finding a friend he/she can play with is also a great way to stimulate/exercise your dog. But be aware, this breed can suffer from male on male/female on female (to a lesser degree I believe) issues, so choose you dogs playmates carefully, because today it might be fine, tomorrow yea gods war is declared.

As for being outdoors dogs, nope, not one jot, well mine isn't, saying that he is now outdoors sunbathing (21 degrees C / 71 degrees F here today) But our Canadian/colder regions of the US members will tell you, there are some really decent all weather coats to be had on the market and you can even buy Jammies for the night time too. lol!

Be prepared to put a lot of training/socialisation into your Dobe, for some this is off putting, but the rewards of just putting in are reaped a hundred/thousandth fold, trust me.

My boy as I have said is fear reactive, some dogs can be helped to get over it, some you manage, some never really get over their fears.
Bad breeding may play a part, (my boy is from a BYB) but not always. I know of a woman with 3 such Dobes and she bought from the best working lines Holland and Germany could offer and they are so fear reactive it is scary. Socialisation helps, right from puppyhood upto and beyond adulthood, but only with dogs who are steady influences.
Oh my, this sounds so negative in places, honestly, I wouldnt trade my boy for the world. He is my shadow, my friend, my big brown hero, my teddybear and my protector. But know this, if anyone thinks I will not kill them if they were to ever harm him, boy have you got it wrong. Your a$$ is toast because at the end of the day, he protects me, I protect him.

Good luck in your search and again welcome to the forum, you are going to make such good friends here and get some really good advice in the process.

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Old 01-30-2013, 08:27 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Girl, you don't even know!

When prime was a wee one, I thought I had the perfect guy(a handsome cop), the perfect house that we bought together, and the life I wanted. Well...we all know dobermans are a working breed and Doberman puppies require a LOT of work to raise and train them up the right way so they are a well adjusted and stable adult. That boyfriend was all on board and cute about prime in the beginning, but eventually started majorly fighting with me about how much time I spent working with him(mind you I did not neglect the bf!) and even seriously told me that I take better care of the dog than him. I gave him a chance to take it back but he got to the point to where he was very resentful toward prime, even to the point of saying he was "scared" and couldn't trust him because prime would look at him weird(stare blankly with ears back). Um. Yeah, dude. It's because you didn't want anything to do with him! I told him he is a grown ass man who can take care of himself and he was being so petty and childish.

And then dun dun dun, another one bit the dust!

Dogs are my social life and I don't hesitate to walk away from toxic people in my life that want to fight over dogs. So OP, I hope you know what you're in for if you raise a puppy! There are some people on here who have posted about their SOs being resentful and jealous of the puppy getting attention.
Oh geez. What a jerk.
I am sorry to hear that, but Prime is a fine substitute He knows how to treat a lady! Seems like he knew as well.

I have said it before: I would like a cottage in the woods, away from people, where it is just me and my dog... My SO I guess can come too if he behaves.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:35 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your input!

It's really sounding like for a first dog, a rescue would be a better idea than a puppy.

I've never been a very social person - it's something I've wanted to work on but never found the impetus to do. A Doberman sounds like an excellent way to get out in the world more (a lot more - lol). I'm sure HMDD would have information on groups or clubs in the Columbus area as well.

The good news is the more I read on here the stories you folks post and your experiences the more I'm liking the sound of this kind of dog. Is there a difference between male/female in temperment or the like? Is there a reason to get one over the other?

BTW - that Flirt Pole vid was a great watch. Good exercise for the dog, not too strenuous for me!
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:42 AM   #17 (permalink)
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It is my understanding that a few of Rou's litter mates went to rescue @ a few months old. You never know what you will find when you look.

My next dobie, unless an opportunity comes around like with Rou, will be rescued.

Speaking of temperament, I was told when I went to pick a pup from Rou's litter that a male would be more inclined to sit in the car and wait for me and that their personalities are more easy going that that of females. I have met some pretty laid back females, but I felt that for a first time doberman owner, a male was truly the best route to go in my situation. Everyone's situation is different, and if you are thinking of rescue, a male may not be the one that catches your heart.

Dobies are prone to same sex aggression - male/male. So our next dobie will most likely be female although Rou has not really had any same sex aggression with his buddy as of lately. I feel genetics and socialization play key roles, but it is just a fact of owning a dobie.

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Old 01-30-2013, 08:54 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Cybr,

Good plan, I also think you should contact some responsible breeders and look into adult rehomes. Every now and then they will have some available and they will be from good breeding with health tests and titles in their pedigree. The breeder rehomes are dogs that have had to come back to the breeder for various reasons, either there was a situation with the owner and they needed to give up their dog, or maybe the dog didn't work out for the type of work they wanted it for, or it didn't work out in the household.

One of Brw's girls is a rehome from the breeder of her first Dobe.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:07 AM   #19 (permalink)
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What was Prime's reason? If you don't mind me asking of course
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:41 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum, and thank you for doing some research before posting! It's a rare find nowadays

I don't want to necessarily steer you away from a rescue, but I feel like I need to share my story about adopting a rescue since our situations are similar in many regards.

My hubby and bought our first home after we got married, and I made sure it had a fenced in yard since the plan all along was that we'd get a dog once we moved from the apartment into a house. We wanted a larger, protection-ish dog so (like you) we had to decide between a Doberman and a GSD. We ended up choosing the Doberman for no other reason than the hair factor!

We had our two 4 year old cats that we've had since kittens, and they were our kids. Like you, I'm more of a cat person but have grown up with family dogs and wanted a dog of my own finally.

After doing some research, I thought adopting a rescue would fit our lifestyle better since we wouldn't have to worry about housebreaking, etc. So I found a Doberman rescue and we went to look at the place and the dogs one day. We ended up choosing a 2 year old male who was very sweet and who had apparently been fostered with cats and did very well. Getting along with the cats was my first priority since I would never put them in danger.

He was quiet as a mouse on the way home and seemed like a very calm, well-adjusted dog. We were so happy! We got him home and I kept him on a leash just in case. The moment he saw the first cat, he zeroed into prey-kill mode and lunged. Luckily I had the leash on him so no one was hurt, but he clearly would've killed the cat if he had the chance.

Thinking maybe it was just since he had never met these cats before and it was a new environment, I didn't think much of it. But my cats had never really been around a dog before, so I was afraid they would be traumatized from almost being attacked.

All day, the dog laid by our feet and didn't move. He was a very calm and nice dog, but whenever he'd spot one of the cats, it was back to kill-mode.

Fast forward to that night, we put him in his crate in the room across the our bedroom (our house is pretty small so we could still see us in bed from where he was). He went completely ballistic ALL NIGHT. Barking and howling and trying to claw his way out. It was horrible, but I couldn't let him free for fear of him finding one of the cats.

Sleep deprived from being up all night, we both went to work in the morning. We crated him again and when hubby came home on his lunch break to check on things, the dog had mangled the bottom of his crate (mind you, this was a large, sturdy wire crate), dug up the brand new carpet and padding under the crate, chewed the bars and managed to weasel out of the crate door somehow. There was blood everywhere from him digging and chewing so frantically. There was a 3 ft x 3ft hole down to the plywood where he completely trashed the carpet trying to dig his way out. Luckily we had shut the door to that bedroom, so even though he got out, he wasn't able to get out of that bedroom and get to the cats.

I felt bad for the dog, since he obviously had horrible separate anxiety - who knows what had happened to him in his previous life - so we decided to give him another night. It was a repeat of the first, and worse.

The day after that, we decided we could not keeping doing this. I drove him back to the rescue, sobbing uncontrollably the entire way. This poor dog being shipped around place to place, and who knows what would happen to him now. I explained to the rescue that he tried to kill our cats and had extreme separation anxiety and we could not keep him. I felt like a horrible person, but I knew we couldn't handle this dog. Maybe if we didn't have any other animals and one of us didn't have to leave to go to work, but that was not the case for us.

That ordeal almost put us off owning a dog forever. Six months passed and we decided maybe if we got a puppy and could raise him around the cats, it would be fine. I did a ton of research on reputable breeders (this was even before I joined this forum), and found one in my area. He was expensive, but I knew the difference, even then, between BYBs and reputable breeders and he was worth every penny plus some.

Fast forward, we got the best puppy in the world (sorry everyone else but he is!). Red was very smart and simple to housebreak, was fine being crate trained (though he earned free run of the house by 1 year old), and is completely fine with the cats. We even added another cat, who absolutely loves Red and is always rubbing up on him and playing with him.

I'm not anti-rescue, on the contrary really since there are so many nice homeless dogs out there who just fell on bad times (like situations that MaryAndDobes mentioned) - but I just want you to know that some dogs may come with issues, and there's no way of knowing which ones until you get them home. I would be especially careful if you have other pets, especially cats. It only takes one mistake and you've got a dead cat.

That being said, there are countless people who have adopted rescues who have been completely perfect with no problems with other animals. They are lucky because I wish it would've worked out that way for us. Although, I'm actually glad it didn't because then we would've missed out on Red, who will never be replaceable in a million years.

Good luck with finding a dog. You sound like you will be a great owner, regardless of the breed you choose.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:56 AM   #21 (permalink)
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What was Prime's reason? If you don't mind me asking of course
The breeders kept Prime for 5 months to see if they wanted to show him, they eventually decided to just send him to a pet home. I was looking for a young puppy but stumbled upon Prime and I'm glad I did!


Burns, was that Doberman in a foster home or in a kennel facility when you went to look at him and take him home?
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:10 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Burns, was that Doberman in a foster home or in a kennel facility when you went to look at him and take him home?
He was in the kennel facility (Second Chance Dobes in Michigan), but they said he had been in a home environment foster home with other animals and children for 6 months prior to that.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:19 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Burns: Thank you for sharing your experience!

Another concern of mine is that my car isn't exactly suitable for a medium-large dog. It's a two-door sports car. Do you folks typically transport your dogs in a crate or do you allow them on the seats out of the crate?

So far it appears that the kind of dog I would be looking for would be a few years old (2-4yrs) and male for starters.

Do any of you live or have lived with your dog in an apartment? The ones I'm looking at in Columbus are in the 600-700sq ft area. 1Bed/1Bath
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:22 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Burns: Thank you for sharing your experience!

Another concern of mine is that my car isn't exactly suitable for a medium-large dog. It's a two-door sports car. Do you folks typically transport your dogs in a crate or do you allow them on the seats out of the crate?

So far it appears that the kind of dog I would be looking for would be a few years old (2-4yrs) and male for starters.

Do any of you live or have lived with your dog in an apartment? The ones I'm looking at in Columbus are in the 600-700sq ft area. 1Bed/1Bath
Crating in a car is ideal, but they do offer seat belt harness' for dogs now too. I have an suv, but have had a 4 door car a crate didn't fit in as well.

I haven't been in an apartment personally with mabel but many members do live in apartments, and it's not a problem as long as the dog gets the proper stimulation. This breed does require some good flat out running and physical activity but mental activity like training and puzzle games are just as important and sometimes even more tiring.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:34 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burns View Post
He was in the kennel facility (Second Chance Dobes in Michigan), but they said he had been in a home environment foster home with other animals and children for 6 months prior to that.
Aw probably got stir crazy. Poor guy, at least you tried.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CybrSlydr View Post
Burns: Thank you for sharing your experience!

Another concern of mine is that my car isn't exactly suitable for a medium-large dog. It's a two-door sports car. Do you folks typically transport your dogs in a crate or do you allow them on the seats out of the crate?

So far it appears that the kind of dog I would be looking for would be a few years old (2-4yrs) and male for starters.

Do any of you live or have lived with your dog in an apartment? The ones I'm looking at in Columbus are in the 600-700sq ft area. 1Bed/1Bath
So I don't have to type it again, here is a thread about dobes in apartments. I have 6 years of experience with multiple big dogs(mainly foster GSDs and dobermans) in apartments. I commented with photos and a video.

Apartment life?


I have a suv but sometimes one of the dogs will ride shotgun with no problem. It's amazing how small and tight dobermans can curl themselves up into.
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