Chicagoland - first doberman + cats - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Chicagoland - first doberman + cats

Hello all,

I am new to the forum and wanted to ask for everyone's wisdom on the matter. I am considering getting a doberman, and would really like one to get along with my two cats. One of them is very shy/skittish. This would be my first official dog, but I have fostered many dogs before, including multiple bully breeds and even a 120lb mastiff, so I know how to handle larger dogs. But have never had one WITH cats.

I am thinking, the only way to ensure they get along is getting one as a puppy. I live with my boyfriend, and although we both work full-time our schedules are staggered and he works very close to our home. The idea is, we move to an apartment (with a yard) that is very close to his job, so he can maybe stop by during the day or at least have a short commute. I might need a dog walker on those 3 days. We only have 3 days of the week where our schedules overlap, and even then he starts work 3 hours later than I do.

Because I live in the city, the best way to exercise an active dog is at the dog park. In short - a dog that is very social with animals if of the utmost importance. Am I asking too much considering the breed or are my expectations reasonable? I am prepared to spend the $$ on a well bred dog. I like the breed because of his stature, his intelligence and protective nature, I don't want a dog that is going to lick the hand of a robber. I live in an area that can be dicey and want a breed that will be taken seriously by strangers, but that is loving at home.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 01:57 PM
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I think you are asking too much. Dobermans with a correct temperament are NOT very social when they are adults with humans or other dogs and many will absolutely not tolerate rowdy poorly mannered dogs (what you find at dog parks). Dog parks are not an appropriate place to exercise your dog either. Everyone has this mindset that they are a place to let your dog unwind and make friends, and well, that really is the root of so many problems- dog fights, owners or others being bitten, creating reactivity in your dog etc. I would avoid them, do avoid them.

My suggestion if you would consider an adult is to go through a reputable rescue and find a do who's well adjusted to living with cats. There are dogs out there who are great with them. Dobermans are not really apartment dogs, and many breeders or rescues will not place a dog in an apartment. Moreover, it's very tough finding doberman friendly apartments... overall not a good idea. Honestly, I don't mean to be rude, but unless you plan to make some lifestyle changes this breed does not seem like a good fit. This is a high energy breed who needs a dedicated owner to meet his physical and mental needs, daily.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 02:32 PM
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We started with our first dobe in an apartment but that was some 35 years ago. It was MUCH easier to find apartments that would take dobes then. And we had open fields on two sides of our apartment building for a couple of miles, so walking, even off leash, was OK there too. We hiked or cross country skied every weekend too--so we could manage to keep our guy exercised.

Nowadays I think that would be almost impossible, unless you’re prepared to rent a house with a fenced yard and a landlord who is OK with dobes (and dobes will need more than a yard to keep busy in--they need to be out and about seeing other people and new things to stay well-balanced mentally). Even that might be hard to find.

Dog parks and adult dobes do not work. You could probably get away with it with a puppy, but when he hits maturity, you’re playing with fire. Even if your dog is OK with other dogs, which is often NOT the case with dobes, folks tend to congregate and talk to each other instead of watching their dogs at dog parks. If anything starts between your dog and another, your dobe will be blamed.

It looks like some areas of Chicago have breed specific laws too--as far as I can tell, only against pit bulls right now--but once that kind of mindset gains hold, it is quite possible that your city officials will decide to ban other “vicious” breeds too (and dobes are generally in that category according to the mindless). And then you either have to move somewhere friendlier to dogs, which may end up being a long way from your job, or find your dog a new home.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 06:01 PM
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Sorry, I think your expectations aren't reasonable for most Dobes--exept for the part about living with cats. I've had mostly Dobes since 1959. They've all lived with cats. And so did the Afghan Hound (and a lot of people will tell you that you can't expect a sight hound to live with things like cats--all that prey drive. And the Australian Shepherd--the cats tolerated being herded by the Aussie.

The two Dobes that live with three cats do fine--the shyest (she was a rescue and even after living with me for 5 years can't be approached by humans)--she'll come to you if you sit down or lay down and sleeps with me but she's very clear about the fact she'd much rather deal with the dogs than any strange humans.

As for dog parks--forget it, not a good match for Dobermans--see what others have said about that.

Even though my Dobes are pretty social and quite tolerant of other dogs they are not tolerant of dogs with bad manners, dogs spoiling for a fight or dogs whose owners insist that thier dog just "wants to be friends"--when it is abundantly clear that the dog is giving off nothing but signs of aggression. Far too many stupid owners in dog parks paying no attention to their dogs.

Also see above for problems with trying to rent apartments (or houses) if you have a Dobe.

Too many "does not work with this breed" expectations here.

Good luck...I hve had cats and Dobes in apartments in the past but every year it gets harder. Both to find an apartment that will take Dobes and finding a place to adequetly exercise them. Mostly the exercise issue got handled with training classes and lots of dog walking.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 06:53 PM
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I am only going to make a single comment on this issue. One that dobebug and mel brought up.
I have been a landlord since 1980. Single family, duplexes and small apartment building. That being said, even though Portland is probably one of the most "dog friendly" major cities in US, the problems that dog owners face when trying to rent are substantial. Especially certain breeds, (Pitties, Rotties, Dobes, GSD's and the like.) In fact, I am one of the only local landlords that I know that unilaterally allows dogs, regardless of breed. Of course, I must meet and interact with the dog. (I am a pretty good at reading dogs).

To rent an apartment assuming you can bring in a Doberman puppy is a really bad idea. To buy a Doberman pup assuming that you can find a place to rent is even worse.

Edit to say: Oh... I said one thing. I'll add one other. Assuming your dog will do well at the leash free mess that they cal a "dog park" is also a really bad idea.

Just my opinions

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Last edited by 4x4bike ped; 10-07-2016 at 06:57 PM.
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