Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Durham, NC
Dogs Name: Mercury's Prince of the Universe (Boon)
Titles: CFFII,NW1, NW2, NWE1, CFFIII, CFFIV
Dogs Age: 12/29/12
Gallery Pics: 22 Visit triciakoontz's Gallery
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Thank you for your service to our country and welcome to the forum! I do hope that you will consider rescue because there are young dogs in rescue that often have a perfect temperament to be a service dog. You know exactly what that temperament is because they are not a baby puppy.
Unfortunately, with Dobermans, there are not really any true health guarantees because of all the diseases that are in the breed, especially heart disease. A good breeder will give you a guarantee but, in general, if your puppy's health crashes, that guarantee would be a replacement puppy. In other words, no one can guarantee that a Doberman is going to be a healthy dog that lives a long life. Those of us who love this breed all know that we are taking a chance when we take a Doberman into our heart and that chance is that they will not live long and or be healthy individuals.
I so hope that you will consider a young adult dog that might be a breeder rehome. This could possibly be the way to get a nicely bred dog who has already had some training, doesn't require you to go through all the trials and tribulations of puppyhood, and you can know the personality of the dog with quite a lot of certainty. Dobermans are easily trained for any activity at any age. There is no need to worry about training a young adult dog to be a service animal because Dobermans are such eager learners and so willing to please at every stage of their life, not to mention their brilliance.
Be prepared to sell yourself to any breeder that you are talking to. What have you done in the past in the way of dog training? Do you have a good local source of classes that you can go to with your dog? If you post the city that you live in there may be folks on this forum who can help you with training resources. A good breeder would be thrilled to know that you had already investigated and lined up ways to learn how to train with your new dog. Many cities have a program called Vets to Vets and they offer wonderful intensive service dog training to veteran-dog teams at no charge. Our group in the city near me even provides transportation to the veterans; they train four days a week and they go on field trips with the service dogs, it's a really incredible program.
It would be great if you were able to find a local Doberman rescue and volunteer some time there so that you could learn more about the breed up close and personal. That would help fill in the time while you are searching for just the right dog and it would also look fine on your "resume" to a breeder if you end up going that route. Not to mention that you will get so much out of volunteering with the very special rescue Dobermans.
Please keep us posted on how things are going!
Last edited by triciakoontz; 02-06-2014 at 09:45 PM.