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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Question Need Expert Advice on Doberman Pinscher

I have planned to get a canine companion. This will be my first exposure for practical purpose (my dad used to have a Rampur Hound who passed away when I was 13 months old - so I guess that won't count as practical exposure).

I am doing research and am reading the following scholarly books on dogs:
  • Before You Get Your Puppy - Dr. Ian Dunbar
  • After You get your puppy - Dr. Ian Dunbar
  • The Other End of The Leash - Patricia B McConnell
  • Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know
  • Reaching the Animal Mind - Karen Pryor
  • Several videos on YouTube

Before I reveal the breed I have chosen, I think it's important to emphasize that I stay around 9 hours outside home (work) (0630 hours to 1530 hours) on weekdays and stay at home in the weekends. I am not a fitness freak but I do exercise daily for one hour to keep myself fit.

I live in a three storeyed house [with my mom] - don't have a yard or a garden but we do have a moderately big and guarded/fenced roof top (where I have planned to train him/her). There are only two persons in the entire residence (no kids, no other pets).

I have mentally decided to take a leave of 15 days (kind of like paternity leave) once I get a puppy to help her/him adjust with the house initially .

I am not in a hurry to get one (have planned around December 2016) until I am absolutely sure I am well educated and informed about what I am getting into for the next 12-16 years of my life.

I am 38 years now (from India). I am inclined towards getting a Doberman (for a companion and protection). I am an introverted person (the way I see it) and like to keep to myself most of the time - hence the numbers of "friends" I have are quite low. But once I am committed - I see the end of that (which will include the joy as well as the nuances and hardships faced during raising a puppy).

My questions:
  1. Is Doberman a suitable breed for my life style? (I fully understand what it means to raise a Doberman as a first time owner).
  2. I am more worried whether he/she will develop separation anxiety and/or aggression as I shall be out of house for 9 hours (Mon to Fri).
  3. I am not going for a Labrador/Golden Retriever. So, kindly don't suggest me those two breeds.
  4. As a primary criteria, I am searching for breeds those have LOW SHEDDING and LOW DROOLING (Slobbering) potential.
  5. Initially, I have planned to potty-train in the balcony portion of the first floor of the house (since he/she will be staying in the first floor with me most of the time and as the stairs are quite steep I am not comfortable allowing him/her to descend and go outside for potty or peeing. Is it possible to change that place once he/she grows up to say, 4/6 months?
  6. What is the most suitable age for a doberman to take him for walking with me?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 10:48 AM
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Welcome to the forum!

Although I have had dogs for the past 40 years or so I don't consider myself an expert but will try to answer you or comment on your questions in the order you asked.

1. Do not get a Doberman, he/she will be to time demanding for you and needs more exercise than you are willing to or can provide.

2. Not all dogs develop separation anxiety. With that said, you can not leave a puppy alone for a whole working day! They need a lot of potty breaks and need to be fed several small meals throughout the day.

3. I not suggesting a any breed for you. If I were you I reconsider getting a dog, you just don't have the time for it.

4. Dobermans will shed, just like any other dog (Poodle excluded). All dogs will slobber......just show them a treat.

5. You need a fenced in yard not a balcony or roof top (to hot, especially where you live. Doberman don't do well in extreme heat).

6. They need to be walked every day at any age. Obviously, the amount of exercise depends on the dog's age.

I don't mean to be harsh, just being realistic. Please don't get a dog.

Longtime HSUS member and dedicated local no kill shelter supporter.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 71_340 View Post

3. I not suggesting a any breed for you. If I were you I reconsider getting a dog, you just don't have the time for it.

I don't mean to be harsh, just being realistic. Please don't get a dog.
Thanks for being honest and straight to-the-point. I am quite apprehensive myself too - whether my life-style is conducive to having a pet or not. (but you know this stupid thing called human emotional surge which makes me feel so lonely when I see people playing with their dogs... it's so heart-wrenching to abandon the thought of having one myself)

Thanks nonetheless.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 11:32 AM
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I will agree with the poster above and ask you maybe delay in getting a dog until you can be around often enough but knowing full well that most people don't take that advice, if you DO get a dog, any breed that it may be:

1. Get your mom involved if you cannot be around for the pup 9 hours a day. She will have to walk him, take him out, help potty train him, play with him, etc. Honestly not the most ideal situation because you're the one that seems to want this dog and it's quite unfair if she doesn't have a say in it. Or you can shell out the price of a pet sitter/walker to come once or twice a day while you're at work to do this.

2. Don't get a Doberman if you're concerned with shedding. Their hair might be short but it sheds just as much as any other dog. Maybe a poodle might be better....?

3.Don't leave your dog outside on a balcony or roof in India. It's hot enough outside but hot concrete would be unbearable. I am not going to say you need a backyard since I've raised mine so far in apartments, but if you don't have a yard, you have to be committed to find outdoor space to play and walk your dog. Leaving him inside because you were too lazy to go out isn't a good excuse and you'll have a bored aka destructive pup.

What I'm saying is that it's not advisable to get a dog at this point, but if you do, please keep in mind that everything will take longer with you being away so much. Potty training, house manners training....etc.

"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does."—Christopher Morley
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 11:37 AM
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Any dog is a lot of work but especially a doberman. If you had more dog experience and a large fenced yard I think you might could make it work. Even then you would need to hire a dog walker to go over during the day and exercise your dog and let him relieve himself. I'm not saying a doberman is not the right breed for you, but the timing seems inopportune. Perhaps you would consider volunteering with a doberman rescue group to gain some experience with the breed. Rescues need help with all sorts of things from organizing fund raising and adoption events to pulling dogs on "death row" from the shelter. There's always some way you can help.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 01:35 PM
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A puppy absolutely positively cannot be left alone for even 5 hours a day, let alone 9+. You need to be able to be around more often to mentally and physically stimulate the puppy. I agree greenkouki - try looking into helping at a Doberman rescue group. You might find the perfect adult dog that you can adopt.A puppy absolutely positively cannot be left alone for even 5 hours a day, let alone 9+. You need to be able to be around more often to mentally and physically stimulate the puppy. I agree greenkouki - try looking into helping at a Doberman rescue group. You might find the perfect adult dog that you can adopt.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenkouki View Post
Any dog is a lot of work but especially a doberman.
... but the timing seems inopportune. Perhaps you would consider volunteering with a doberman rescue group to gain some experience with the breed.
I am quite informed about that as much - that similar to a human child, a puppy also needs full attention/love/time/dedication of its parents/owner/pack. And if you can't give that to them, I don't have any right to own/have one - that's what I personally feel...

We do have dog rescue groups in India - but those are only for street mongrels (and in few cases for dogs abandoned by their owner - which, let me emphasise, is too few - involving mainly older spitz, Labs). And I have been involved with one such group (that's the reason after seeing the cruelty and callousness of humankind, I am afraid to become one of them)

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Originally Posted by Ixi7311 View Post
1. Get your mom involved...

3.Don't leave your dog outside on a balcony or roof in India.

What I'm saying is that it's not advisable to get a dog at this point...
Involving her is not feasible option (since she is too old for that); besides I don't want to shoulder my responsibilities onto someone else's.

I don't intend to leave my pup on roof. What I meant was - while he/she would have stayed inside my room while I was out, we could have trained/played on the roof-top in the afternoon/evening. But, anyway none of these plans matter anymore, I guess...

Quote:
Originally Posted by engstrom View Post
A puppy absolutely positively cannot be left alone for even 5 hours a day, let alone 9+...
I am informed about that. That's the reason I am seeking advice on my eligibility to having a dog as of now.

Thanks to you wonderful folks for being honest (a rare virtue these days) and also thank for your concerns. Adieu!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 11:23 PM
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I agree that a puppy should not be left alone for 9 straight hours. A puppy would need to go potty, at the very least.

I disagree though that they couldn't be left alone for 5 hours. I too, work 9 hours per day, but I was able to come home mid-shift to let her out to potty and stretch her legs.

My girl was 12 weeks old when I got her and I took a week off to get her acclimated and have some sort of routine.

Since some people get pups earlier, that might make the difference.

My girl had no problems at all. I didn't have a fenced yard at the time, got one 5 months later, but I was committed and gave her age appropriate exercise, training and playing.

Only you can know if you are willing to put the time in with a Doberman. Doberman puppies are a lot of work. With your situation, I would definitely consider adopting an older dog. You would get the benefit of owning a wonderful breed, skip the puppy crazies and give a home to a shelter dog. A definite win for all.

Another plus to owning an older Doberman is that you would know more about its temperament and exercise needs.

Good luck with whatever you decide.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-25-2016, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluedobie View Post
I disagree though that they couldn't be left alone for 5 hours. I too, work 9 hours per day, but I was able to come home mid-shift to let her out to potty and stretch her legs.

My girl was 12 weeks old when I got her and I took a week off to get her acclimated and have some sort of routine.

... With your situation, I would definitely consider adopting an older dog. You would get the benefit of owning a wonderful breed, skip the puppy crazies and give a home to a shelter dog. A definite win for all.
That's a favourable information (thank you) - but visiting home mid-shift is not possible in my scenario.

I also had plan to buy puppy older than or equal to 8 weeks and also had plans to take a leave of two weeks (approx) to help her/him settle initially. But since "consistency" is the key to a successful puppy raising - I, honestly, don't think my current schedule allows that (despite how much perseverance and/or dedication I might be having)

The first time I decided to get a dog - I planned to adopt a retired racer aka greyhound (since I learned from various forums that they are usually 'couch-potatoes' after their racing career) - but the entire situation is different in my country (more specifically, the place where I live in). I could hardly find any animal shelter that have greyhound; thereafter I decided to go for a puppy (and a Doberman instead of a greyhound). But here I stand now - only to fully understand the futility of my decision of getting a pet-companion currently.

But thank you for your suggestion(s).
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-26-2016, 05:11 AM
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Well I personally wouldn't choose Doberman as a first dog, especially if you are to work 9 hours a day. Doberman needs lots of exercise and if not given proper exercise to get rid of those pent up energy, you will have a problem eg separation anxiety, destructions etc. And not having a backyard is another problem too for such active working breed. You can't expect them to sleep or lay there for 9 hours a day, and when you come home, play with them a bit then go to sleep again.
Mine need constant exercise, I walk her daily for 5km, and play fetch or hide and seek throughout the day until she's tired, that's why she's never destroyed anything in the house when left alone (plus I study PhD so I basically do most of my work at home, and my mum is a stayhome mum so there's people at home most of the time). A tired dog is a well behaved dog the most we left her alone in the house is 6 hours (once only), anything more than that I'd arrange beforehand to have someone look after her.
Also to successfully house train a puppy you need more than 15 days. I spent more than a month sleeping downstairs next to her crate, waking up 1-2 times throughout the night to bring her out to potty, and she's only ever had an accident once in the house.
I'd suggest a small breed that require less exercise, and you can train them to potty indoor too. Now I am not saying you shouldn't get a Doberman, it's just the timing isn't right for your current situation. They are indeed one of the best breed I had when trained properly. If you insist on getting one, enquire one from a reputable Doberman breeder (they should provide you with more information in regards to suitability in your situation)


Last edited by OceanS; 05-26-2016 at 05:20 AM.
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