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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Are all Dobermans very high-energy?

Hello all,

I am an experienced dog owner, but am new to Dobermans. I was hoping to get my first Doberman within a year. I have located a very reputable breeder, and her next litter is planned for next spring or summer. I have no problem with waiting. I want to do this right!

I have admired Dobermans since I was a kid, so I am very excited! But I am now wondering whether a Doberman is really right for me. I am in my late 50s, and although I walk on a daily basis, I would not describe myself as a very active person. I have an average sized fenced backyard in the suburbs. From what I have read, Dobermans are a high-energy breed, and I am wondering whether I can provide enough exercise to a dog like that. My current dog (a whippet) is a couch potato - and that describes me to a great extent, too.

So, my question is whether there are Dobermans who are relatively mellow, even as puppies? The breeder I have contacted really does her best to match puppies' temperaments to their new homes.

I'd appreciate thoughts and advice from those who have experience with Dobermans.

Thank you!

Hannah
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 08:46 PM
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This is a higher energy breed but there is some variation in what you can get. Genetics play a big factor as does the individual dog/puppy. Do you have a large fenced yard and a willingness to train or compete in some kind of sport with the dog? Dobermans do need some kind of regular mental stimulation regardless of their energy level.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenkouki View Post
Do you have a large fenced yard and a willingness to train or compete in some kind of sport with the dog? Dobermans do need some kind of regular mental stimulation regardless of their energy level.
I have what I consider an average-sized backyard (completed fenced); it's about 1/3 of an acre. I was planning to do competitive obedience or rally with my Doberman.

The reason I am hesitating is that I have not had working dog breed previously. I want this to be a success, both for me and for the Doberman!

Hannah
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 09:55 PM
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Now is the time to express your concern to the breeder. Explain your expectations for energy level and what you think would be too much. Ask her for feedback on how realistic your expectations are for a Dobe.

Dobermans are what I consider to be an active breed, especially puppies and young adults. There's some variation among individuals but I would say they range from moderate to high energy. Drive also affects how much and what kind of activity they need, too.

Ideally, they're active but come with an off-switch. Meaning, as long as you keep up with their exercise and training needs, many Dobermans will generally settle each day and be a couch potato with you. Some Dobes might need more or less activity than others to settle. And all Dobes benefit from being taught to settle as puppies.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 11:13 PM
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Puppies are boundless energy and insatiable curiosity. Couple that with super intelligence and there are days you wonder "what the hell was I thinking". Training and physical/mental stimulation a necessity. There are dogs and then there are Dobermans.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VZ-Doberman View Post
Puppies are boundless energy and insatiable curiosity. Couple that with super intelligence and there are days you wonder "what the hell was I thinking". Training and physical/mental stimulation a necessity. There are dogs and then there are Dobermans.
I think we have a winner ! SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOO True
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 11:19 AM
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Love that, VZ....'there are dogs and then there are Dobermans' So true. I tell people there really isn't a dog I have met that I didn't like - maybe the owner, but not the dog. But, Dobermans are in a class of their own.

After cutting my teeth on the Staffordshire Bull Terrier for 40 years, and then getting a Doberman 9 years ago, I have to say Dobermans seem sooo easy. Not that they can't be a challenge, but they can mellow out. They so adapt to your personality. They have the ability to recognize a smile on your face, or a tear, or anger. I find they can recognize antagonism in TV characters, too. They are such special dogs that I think after you have one you will want another and never be happy without one by your side.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 01:17 PM
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I think if you are honest with your breeder and you have a GOOD breeder, they will match you with the right puppy. Both of my dogs are happy to chill with me if they get appropriate exercise and, most importantly, a good amount of mental stimulation. If you're planning on obedience or rally and plan to do training regularly, I think you'll be fine. The mental training is far more tiring than physical stuff (although of course they need that, too). I find my dogs are WAY more tired after a Nosework class than after agility class. Thinking is hard!

There was a wonderful post on the APDT page the other day that I think is an EXCELLENT reminder - quoting below:

"Woofs of Wisdom: "If you exercise your dog every day until he is physically tired, you are creating an athlete." --Lily Clark.

Similar to going to the gym, the more exercise you do, the stronger your body becomes until the original amount is no longer sufficient to tire you out. The more exercise you give your dog, the harder it will be to physically tire him and the more he will expect. Teach your dogs tricks and give them games and puzzles to engage in. This will tire your dog out mentally and engage their problem-solving skills.

Lily created Suppawt as a bespoke service providing realistic training for normal people and normal dogs. She specializes in rehabilitating rescue and reactive dogs.

Excerpt from Woofs of Wisdom by Tony Cruse. #APDT

This is also excellent from Denise Fenzi: https://www.fenzidogsportsacademy.co...Ko5awsbJbqxU-Y
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 01:47 PM
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My previous Dobe was from a reputable Doberman rescue. I was very specific about my lifestyle and activity level. They made a perfect match and I got exactly the dog I was hoping for.
My present girl is from a breeder and I also specified what I was looking for - middle of the road energy. I was 65, active daily but with a bit of couch potato in me. Again they chose the perfect pup for me , and 5 yrs on I couldn't be happier. She's always ready for a good hike but also enjoys just chilling with mom.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 02:08 PM
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Dobermans are on average a medium to high energy breed. They are supposed to have an off-switch and sometimes need to be actively taught how to turn the "off" button.
But for the most part this is not a problem if mental (v important) and physical needs are met.

There are dobe owners who are disabled, overweight, old, injured etc. and they usually can still find a way to make it work. A popular solution I've seen (especially for inclement weather) is using a treadmill.

That being said yes there are absolutely lower or mid-low energy dobermans who have more couch potato in them, sometimes within the same lines and even the same litter. You definitely have some dogs I'd qualify as "smooth" and for the most part many dobermans in general do tend to chill out as they mature out of adolescence.

As long as you've been honest with your breeder and say that while you are interested in competitive OB or Rally for instance, you aren't willing to sacrifice winning performance for a dog that is pleasant to live with. You're looking for a companion who CAN do competitive OB and Rally - rather than looking for an OB or Rally star at all costs.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 02:22 PM
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That's the way mine have been. Ready for a walk, very active if they can be off leash on one, couch potatoes at home.

When I had dobes and in the places I lived, they could generally be off leash on walks, and they'd go 2 or 3 times at least as far as I did, often at a full run.

You probably should plan on about an hour long walk a day. Play in the backyard--things like fetch, flirt pole, or search/hide and seek games are fun (though exercise that involves a lot of jumping or twisting and turning like fetch and flirt poles do are not good for puppies) and help a lot, but you shouldn't count on that for your dog's main source of exercise. Even if you can't take them out on a true walk, they really benefit from going anywhere away from their house and backyard, for many reasons. Classes and training are a HUGE release of energy for them, but even heading out to a store where they can go in with you is a help.

A big back yard is a fun place for them to run around in and play with you, and makes it easy for you to let them out to do their business, but most dogs will not play when left alone in a backyard. They'll do a little perimeter sniffing, and then sack out for a snooze. Dobes especially need to be with their people (that characteristic is an important piece of a dog breed who can be easily trained to be a personal protection dog--it's part of what makes a dobe so suited for that.) If you're planning on keeping your dog out in your back yard for a large part of the day, a doberman is not for you.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate all of the responses. I am very willing and motivated to do whatever I need to do to meet my puppy's needs. In addition, I have found an awesome breeder (long-time DPCA member who has received a lot of praise within this forum). She takes the time to match each puppy to its new home, so I feel that I making a good start.

Again, thanks to all!

Hannah
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cressrb View Post
they are such special dogs that i think after you have one you will want another and never be happy without one by your side.
this ^^^
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 02:40 PM
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I've only ever had one doberman, but I would say he is more mellow than others I have met. He is content to sit on the couch most of the day, or spend the whole day at the park, or play quietly with his human brother.

As a pup he was pretty mellow, although he did have a few trying stages. Exercise definitely does help with that though.


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