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Old 11-24-2012, 04:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Getting a doberman puppy - advice needed please

Hi everyone,

Ok I'm new to this forum and would be really grateful if people could please offer me some advice.
My partner and I are seriously considering getting a doberman puppy, as we both really like this breed; we would definitely buy from a reputable registered breeder, so that part isn't an issue for us.

There are a few things I did need some advice on though please. One is the feasibility of us working during the day - we both work Monday to Friday 9-5 and are out of the house a couple of hours longer than that due to commuting too. However, I work from home one day a week, as will my partner, so really the doberman would only have 3 or 4 days a week where we weren't at home during the day. We have already found a local doggy daycare lady, who is friendly and knowledgable, so for the first 9-12 months we would leave the puppy with her during the day. This would mean that the puppy would only be on their own for approx. a couple (2) of hours in the morning and maybe an hour or 2 in the evening, during which we would be using crate training.

Once the puppy is over a year old, we would start to have the doggy daycare lady coming in to walk the dog in the middle of the day only - we would give her / him a walk first thing in the morning and in the evening. I should also note, we have a 100ft secure garden for any dog to bounce about in!

We would not be breeding from any doberman we get, so would have her (I'm leaning towards getting a female, as I understand they can sometimes be easier to handle?) neutered at the appropriate age.

We have 2 confident cats, which is why we were thinking a puppy rather than an adult rescue dog, as we feel the introductions could be easier that way.

We do have a social life, so would sometimes be out in the evenings, but a lot of the time we would be taking the dog to the pub with us anyway, as we live in the countryside so this is a realistic option (our local pub is dog friendly luckily!). We would obviously want to work on all forms of social interaction from an early age (i.e. other dogs, people etc.) as, living in the countryside, we would want to let the dog run freely off the lead (once trained) in the fields and woods that we would walk the dog in. We would also be attending regular puppy training classes to help with training and social interaction.

Please could anyone let me know if you think it would be ok for us to get a doberman based on the above and any tips would be much appreciated? Also, we have heard conflicting messages about dobermans suffering from seperartion anxiety and so we want to find out as much as possible about this too - I've heard that they, like all dogs, can suffer from this but it can be easily rectified with positive reinforcement training due to their high intelligence, but then other forums seem to imply it's a huge almost unresolvable issue if you work.

We are trying our best to be responsible about this decision and so doing as much research as we possibly can. Sorry for so many questions in one post, but am just trying to be sensible about this decision so that we can do the best for us and any dog we get.

Thank you so much in advance.

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Old 11-24-2012, 06:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi from Watford!

I have not long had my puppy but i work nights and my old dear days so theres 90% of the time someone with the dog.

The sooner you get the dog used to being alone the better, a cage is a must i wouldnt recommend caging the dog for more than 3-4 hours at a time though

Also i walk Caes over an hour a day without fail and at least once a week go up the woods with my mate and his dogs for 3-4 hours. You have to be able to fit in the walking of the dog, Caes is so energetic, if i dont get him out for 2 walks (usually an hour each) i end up with him whining and following me and all restless. As you are in the country its ideal for you plus taking him out in the evening up the pub is good he will get lots of attention/socialization and doubt he will be too bored. Its great that you have a good plot of land for the dog, that is essential, im not a fan of someone else walking my dog but with the need to walk a doberman a fair bit and your situation there isnt much choice

Cats are usually quite good with puppies and the younger the better as cats generally dont go out their way to terrorise dogs and while he is young he will make friends quickly

Caesar walks off lead and he is 4 1/2 months, i live in a town its fairly busy round here, in the country you have far less distractions and far less traffic to worry about

I think you would be fine but you need to ensure that you have the time between work and social to give the dog proper walking and playing with him + training. Ive never taken Caesar to a lesson but my friend who has a few dogs is very good and really between him and the internet i have Caes under control already. Some people feel obedience classes are a must but in my opinion if you have the patience and do some research you will feel far more rewarded teaching your dog yourself than having someone else instruct you what to do

Id wait for a few replies on caging for long periods etc. im not too sure on that as i dont put him in the cage until he is sleeping.

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Old 11-24-2012, 06:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Many people work and have dobermans. You might set up a place for the puppy. You can't just leave it crated all day in a crate. Remember they will eat and chew things up though so can't just leave them running loose either, nor can you leave them outside. It would be better to hire the dog walker for the pup a few days a week now.......by a year old, the dog will be housetrained. My dogs go out in the AM and wait till I get home to go outside. Sometimes Eddie is home to let them out but not always. At a year, mine are already able to hold it.

As far as time, sounds like you will have time. Use the setter now and get the dog housetrained. Puppies can't hold it that long.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tips both, I really am very grateful I agree, I definitely wouldn't leave a pup in a cage all day, no way, as I don't think that would be fair. Do either of you have any issues with letting your dobies off the lead? In terms of recall or issues with other dogs? I definitely want to be able to let our dog run free off the lead once trained. We live in Monks Risborough in Buckinghamshire, so there is a bit of traffic, but nothing major and there is lots of nice woodland and ridgeway walks nearby for a good run.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Our dogs go off lead on our property but have a solid recall. There are no busy streets etc. traffic of dangers like you mentioned. I would Not risk my dog if you are near traffic. It's just not worth the risk. Off lead should be practiced in a safe place until the dog is constant. It also depends on the dogs running loose. Things can happen and it may not be your dog seeking it. Keeping our dogs safe is #1.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum, also from Buckinghamshire

It sounds like you're prepared, providing you go through with the dog walking/daycare solutions you talk about it doesnt sound like a problem to me personally

When I first got my boy, I took a few weeks off work in order to complete house training and get him on the right track for training. He was reliably toilet trained within about a week, I think having this 100% time to catch them in the beginning really helps getting it done, rather than being away and having to almost re-train them over a long period of time. After this, I went back to work and he and my other dog are left on their own Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9am-5:30pm, most of the time I go home for lunch however.

I dont give them free reign of the house (dobes are prone to getting into things, especially puppies) when he was little I set up a crate and a puppy pen with lots of safe toys and things to do in (for example frozen kongs) then when he'd finished teething I 'puppy-proofed' the kitchen and put a stairgate on the door so he has more space.

As for recall, it really depends on how much work you put in and to some extent depends on the dog. My boy has extremely high prey drive and was good offlead until he reached adolescence at about 12 months, now he cannot be let offlead unless an area is fully enclosed and there are no small furries! He might get better as he gets older. I have a lot of friends with Dobermanns and some are perfect, others cant be let off.

I would recommend coming along to some of the Dobermann events and shows, so met lots of dobes and talk to breeders, exhibitors and owners There isnt a whole lot left on this year, but if you wanted I can send you some information on some local shows/events for the future?
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Sounds like you'll be a good home. You've been given some good pointers, so I won't repeat any of it.

Good luck in your puppy and breeder search!
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi other things you must considering if you are reliant on a dog walker/doggy day care.

Make sure they have insurance and if it is a day care centre it has to be council licensed.

I'm sure if you are getting a puppy that most centres wont take dogs until they are at least 6 months.
If the same centre runs the dog walking side who will be looking after your baby whilst they are out walking?
If they have staff how qualified are they looking after a group of dogs in a small space.
See what provisions they have for your puppy and where he/she will be kept. Your puppy must not be left alone with any dog regardless of how placid other dogs are. ( council requirements )

Your dog walker won't be able to take your dog
A: when she is in season if you get a female
B: when your dog turns 1 year old unless he is neutered.. If you get a male.
The above are insurance stipulations.

Personally I wouldn't do the day care, I would engage a professional trusted dog walker (please get references and get phone numbers off them of clients you may ring ) ( lots of hand written references aren't worth the paper they are written on)

They should be able to come to your house 2 or 3 times a day to begin with, for toilet stops, play time and feeds. As your new pup grows this can be reduced to twice a day, then lunch time. Before you know it they will be 6 months and then can go on a few group walks. ( on the lead only) this way your puppy can bond and gain trust in your walker whilst staying in familiar surroundings.

Also think about having a back up for when your walker can't make it.
Make sure they also have a back up should they fall ill or their car breaks down.
Also check what car they intend to transport your precious baby in and is it properly equipped.

For a good professional walker expect to pay Premium prices 12-15.00 per hrs walk.

One last point regarding your question about off lead walking.

Dog owners are required to keep dogs under effective control at all times. For the avoidance on doubt, The Countryside Code on the Natural England website is quite explicit about what is defined by the phrase 'Keep dogs under effective control'.

It says:

Keep dogs under effective control

When you take your dog into the outdoors, always ensure it does not disturb wildlife, farm animals, horses or other people by keeping it under effective control. This means that you:

keep your dog on a lead, or

keep it in sight at all times, be aware of what it's doing and be confident it will return to you promptly on command

ensure it does not stray off the path or area where you have a right of access
Special dog rules may apply in particular situations, so always look out for local signs - for example:

Dogs may be banned from certain areas that people use, or there may be restrictions, byelaws or control orders limiting where they can go.

The access rights that normally apply to open country and registered common land (known as 'Open Access' land) require dogs to be kept on a short lead between 1 March and 31 July, to help protect ground nesting birds, and all year round near farm animals.

At the coast, there may also be some local restrictions to require dogs to be kept on a short lead during the bird breeding season, and to prevent disturbance to flocks of resting and feeding birds during other times of year.
It's always good practice (and a legal requirement on 'Open Access' land) to keep your dog on a lead around farm animals and horses, for your own safety and for the welfare of the animals. A farmer may shoot a dog which is attacking or chasing farm animals without being liable to compensate the dog's owner.

However, if cattle or horses chase you and your dog, it is safer to let your dog off the lead - don't risk getting hurt by trying to protect it. Your dog will be much safer if you let it run away from a farm animal in these circumstances and so will you.

Hope the above hasn't given you a headache



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Old 11-24-2012, 01:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sorry forgot to say welcome and well done for thinking about all these points prior to making your purchase.

And I think yes it can be done if you are committed. 😀


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Old 11-24-2012, 01:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Welcome. I would say anyone who has thought this far ahead, done that much research and KNOWS how much time these dogs require and is still willing to commit would be a good doberbrat owner! I was not aware of all these things when I rescued my first girl but learned very fast! I got my puppy while I was still in college (just graduated, I am 45 yr old, late bloomer I guess lol) so I would only be gone for a little bits at a time and mostly be home. If you find someone reliable to walk your dobe and but in some play/training time while you work, you should do fine. Good luck to you and welcome to the forum!
Don't forget to post lots of pics when you do get your girl.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:44 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi,I have nothing to add,but wanted to say hi to a fellow Brit,I am in Hertfordshire . Have you found a breeder yet?
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Welcome and glad you are doing your due diligence. One thing I would add since the pup will hae so much interaction with others who are keeping it til it is older.

1. you need to enroll in obedience classes with the puppy to help with bonding with you.
2. You need to have some guidelines that are consistent from one place to the other as Doberman puppies can be very rambunctious and challenging. Consistancy in training methods is very important.
3.I would never leave a dog off lead in a busy area. If the puppy has high prey drive then you could be asking for problems.

There is nothing wrong with a dog on lead. If you are wanting the dog to have room to run go to the country - start while the puppy is young and start teaching it to stay with you and to always return on recall. Even the best recall is not 100% safe because too many things can happen that are not in the ordinary. I choose to err on the side of caution and keep the dog safe.
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