When Is It Too Soon To Contact A Breeder? - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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When Is It Too Soon To Contact A Breeder?

I recently lost my heart dog, Penelope. She was "inherited" at 5 years old from my parents after a divorce and an Adalmar dog (thankfully, they no longer breed). She was gorgeous doggy bitch with an expressive head whose genetics caught up with her at 7 with an aggressive osteosarcoma. Despite amputation and chemo, it moved to her lungs in 3 months and I lost her soon after.

I'm a medical student in my 2nd year and presently in no position to adopt a "fresh" dog. Penelope initially had many issues (zero ob, dog reactivity, child aggression, high prey/hunt drive, barrier aggression, resource guarding, etc.) and I was able to use mindful training and behavioral modification to give her an enriching, active life. We dabbled in barn hunt, rally, non-competitive ob, coursing, the WAE, nosework, and tricks.

I will be a lifelong breed advocate and wish to more seriously compete with a doberman again. Pen was a blast and, if not for the poor management she received in her formative years, we could have gone much farther as a team.

Looking ahead, I will be in a position to own a doberman in 2-3 years with my preference being an adult from a reputable breeder. I foster now and will do so until my 3rd year rotations.

**For clarity:
Year 1 of medical school: classroom-based didactics
Year 2 of medical school: classroom-based didactics + board-prep
Year 3 of medical school: 5+ core specialty rotations ("worst year")
Year 4 of medical school: elective rotations, preparation for residency application ("laidback year")
Residency (3+ years): dependent on the specialty, either grueling or laidback

TL;DR With that in mind, when is it "too soon" to make contact with a breeder? I don't want to waste anyone's valuable time but am serious about my commitment.
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Last edited by steris56; 09-21-2019 at 08:01 AM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 02:55 PM
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I would start by looking for and deciding on one (or maybe two or three) breeders whose dogs you've seen and liked. I know breeders in my area who would be happy to hear from and keep in mind someone with your experience for an adult dog somewhere down the line. You know that adults are often owner returns and you might be looking at the same sort of early lack of training and exposure as with your Penelope? Although some breeders get returns of older dogs when an owner dies and there is no one (family or friends) who wants to take on a Doberman. But breeders sometimes get back post puppy dogs--young adults for a variety of reasons and one of those might turn up.

So the answer to when is it too soon--is, it's never really too soon--and you can keep in touch--go to a few local dog shows a year and see breeders there--talk to them after judging is over so they remember you are the med student who is looking early for an adult Dobe in two or three years.

There are some very good breeders in Florida and adjacent states so start looking and checking them out now. Also if you are fostering (Dobes?--are you going through a Dobe rescue?) make sure the foster operation knows what you want and when you want it so they can keep an eye out for the dog of your dreams.

Very good luck with your plan--I'm greatly impressed by the thought that has already gone into this so that you are not in the position we've seen a few med students and some vet students get into where they hit the most demanding years in school and find that they aren't able to give the dog as much as it should without skimp on their studies.

dobebug
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dobebug View Post
I would start by looking for and deciding on one (or maybe two or three) breeders whose dogs you've seen and liked. I know breeders in my area who would be happy to hear from and keep in mind someone with your experience for an adult dog somewhere down the line. You know that adults are often owner returns and you might be looking at the same sort of early lack of training and exposure as with your Penelope? Although some breeders get returns of older dogs when an owner dies and there is no one (family or friends) who wants to take on a Doberman. But breeders sometimes get back post puppy dogs--young adults for a variety of reasons and one of those might turn up.

So the answer to when is it too soon--is, it's never really too soon--and you can keep in touch--go to a few local dog shows a year and see breeders there--talk to them after judging is over so they remember you are the med student who is looking early for an adult Dobe in two or three years.

There are some very good breeders in Florida and adjacent states so start looking and checking them out now. Also if you are fostering (Dobes?--are you going through a Dobe rescue?) make sure the foster operation knows what you want and when you want it so they can keep an eye out for the dog of your dreams.

Very good luck with your plan--I'm greatly impressed by the thought that has already gone into this so that you are not in the position we've seen a few med students and some vet students get into where they hit the most demanding years in school and find that they aren't able to give the dog as much as it should without skimp on their studies.

dobebug
Yep! Fostering a young dobe right now. The void Penelope left was unbearable (I couldn't even study) so it felt fair to offer my space up to another dog in need.

I would much rather prefer any adult past the puppy stage (2 years+). I can handle behavioral "quirks" and troubleshoot problems but puppies deserve significantly more time. While an adult is perfectly content to sleep away the work day, a puppy may unintentionally lose out on needed enrichment and it wouldn't be fair.

Your words are appreciated! With pending rotations, potential residency locations, breed restrictions, my choice in specialty, there are a lot of factors to consider and it's tough to wait!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 12:04 PM
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I agree with Bug - in your shoes I'd try to get involved with your local chapter club, start going to shows when your schedule allows, and just make some connections with breeders. Finding an adult rehome is...tough, especially if you're looking for one from a particular breeder, so I think starting to form relationships now is not a bad idea.

You might consider being open to an older pup, instead of just an adult? Many times breeders keep a puppy longer...waiting to see if they might turn out as a show prospect. My Richter came to me at 5 months, for example, instead of 10 weeks....and a 5 month old pup is a lot easier, IMO, than a 10 week old. I've seen a LOT of similar circumstances, and sometimes the puppies are even older - six, seven months old. Just something to keep in mind.

Good luck in your search!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-24-2019, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeadowCat View Post
I agree with Bug - in your shoes I'd try to get involved with your local chapter club, start going to shows when your schedule allows, and just make some connections with breeders. Finding an adult rehome is...tough, especially if you're looking for one from a particular breeder, so I think starting to form relationships now is not a bad idea.

You might consider being open to an older pup, instead of just an adult? Many times breeders keep a puppy longer...waiting to see if they might turn out as a show prospect. My Richter came to me at 5 months, for example, instead of 10 weeks....and a 5 month old pup is a lot easier, IMO, than a 10 week old. I've seen a LOT of similar circumstances, and sometimes the puppies are even older - six, seven months old. Just something to keep in mind.

Good luck in your search!
You make a good point. I only have adult experience so I worry about missing critical fear periods but, honestly, I have plenty of time to read up on that.

I am looking at beaucerons as well but I just love dobermans so much. Seeing a well-built dobie move just makes my heart sing.
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