Hi Mike -
I just wanted to first off welcome you, from a fellow Minnesotan!
If you're working with Doberman Rescue Minnesota (DRM), I can say that I know them pretty well. They do a decent job of screening the dogs they take in, as well as a pretty good job of screening their adopters, to make sure they make a good match for the dogs that are adopted out. If you do decide you want to go the adoption route, the ONLY place I would even consider adopting a Doberman in Minnesota is through DRM - not any of the other Doberman rescues and not through a shelter or any of the other non-breed rescues, since you are new to the breed.
That said, with a puppy, of course, unless there are some pretty major temperament issues, what you see when you get them in is...a puppy. Without an experienced breeder with a lot of experience and years in the game, so to speak, there really isn't a lot of basis for evaluating that puppy. People that aren't breeders generally don't have the same experience to evaluate a puppy to place them in homes. A breeder will match puppies to new homes based on which home is best suited to each puppy's personality. A home that is new to Dobermans is probably going to get a more laid-back, easy going puppy, rather than the pushy puppy with more drive.
On the other hand, there are quite a few breeders that won't sell to homes with young children, and the wait can be long - potentially a year or more. So that may be a factor for you, too. EDITED TO ADD: There is also going to be a *significant* cost difference - a puppy from a good, ethical breeder is going to cost at least $2500, most likely, in addition to the long wait.
In terms of health and longevity...you need to remember that this breed is not necessarily healthy, regardless. Yes, when you buy from a good breeder, you are stacking the deck in your favor, and you have the advantage of the knowledge of what's going on with your dog's parents, grandparents, great-grandparents....and what HAS happened. Forewarned is forearmed. Even with that knowledge, though, and even with great choices from your breeder, Mother Nature can throw you for a loop. Things happen. I always recommend pet insurance to Doberman owners - I find it to be a wise choice, and I recommend enrolling immediately.
I don't know if you have a particular puppy you are applying for, but if there's an option for you to have someone experienced meet and evaluate the puppy, I'd be more than happy to volunteer to do that, and I also know a great local trainer that also offers those services. Personally, behavioral issues are the things that are a deal breaker for me...a shy, anxious dog is something I've had, and it's something I would never, ever want to deal with if I had a choice ever again.
One final question....is this the litter that just came into DRM that was being treated for parvo? I don't know what the long term implications of that is.
Richter & Sypha
Glengate's Mountain Fortress CAA ORT L1V NW1 L1I L1E L1C NW2 L2V L2I ACT1 RATI WAC
& Sirai's Golden Masquerade ORT NW1 L1C L1V L1E NW2 RATI SOG WAC
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you.
What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
― Jane Goodall
Last edited by MeadowCat; 05-11-2019 at 09:45 AM.