Patience is definitely a virtue and taking the time to make sure you find a breeder you "click" with is good. It sounds like you are on the right track with looking at DPCA breeders as a first start. The first thing to know is that breeders can be VERY busy, between their dogs, showing, "real" jobs, etc. Take the time to write up a "resume" of sorts...when you email to inquire about their breeding plans, introduce yourself with a longer email of why you are interested in them and their dogs, what you are looking for in a Doberman, some background, etc. What you want to avoid is the short email that says something like, "when are you having puppies and how much?" (I'm not suggesting you are doing that, but a lot of breeders get a TON of those types of inquiries, and it's easy to ignore them as they don't seem very serious). You may want to indicate that you'll follow up with a phone call in a couple of weeks to see what their plans are, and then do so. Some people are much better at phone calls than they are at emails. A lot of breeders are very put off by discussing anything to do with money until much later in the process, so that's often something to avoid.
The DPCA Breeder listings group on Facebook is another great resource, as someone mentioned: https://www.facebook.com/groups/323279287742250/
. You need to request to join.
I would also suggest that you may want to expand your search - sometimes the best "match" for you isn't nearby. Neither of my dogs is from anywhere near me. My boy is from Canada (we took a road trip) and my girl is from Texas (she flew up to me and it was easy peasy - she did great with the flight). I'd be open to the right breeder anywhere, to be honest.
Finally, on a last note, you mentioned not leaving your pup alone too long...while it's *awesome* you have that amount of flexibility, I do want to make sure you plan to leave your puppy alone on a regular basis, or you could end up with serious separation anxiety issues. I see too many people that don't leave dogs alone enough when they are young and they have real problems being alone. I leave pups alone from the time I bring them home, at least a couple of times a week for a few hours at a time, even if I don't HAVE to, so they get used to being home alone.
Thanks for taking the time to reply- Here is the Template letter I send out to prospective breeders:
I am interested in learning more about Doberman adoption with the goal of moving forward with a new family member by the end of this year.
A couple things about my family:
For now its just me, my wife, and our two cats + roomates. In the next few years we plan on having children and kicking the roomates out.
We live in an 1800 sq ft home with a large fenced in backyard - several parks nearby.
I am very into training my animals. My cats sit/lay/come when called and use a regular human toilet - no litter box whatsoever.
I work full-time 6am-2pm, my wife works part time from 3pm-11pm. Our schedules mean the dog would rarely be left alone if ever.
I grew up with nothing but large sized dogs - in particular I have fond memories of my doberman "Thor" who would walk me to and from school everyday.
We would be looking for a rust colored doby (like thor) with a mild temperament - My personal priority would be compatibility with our cats. Our cats have plenty of exposure to dogs and we made sure they got in quality time with them as kittens, however they have never lived with one.
Again our target adoption date would be in the last quarter of this year. I want to set up more high ground locations for our cats to feel confident before welcoming a dog to our home.
Thank you for your time,
I tried my best to not be pushy and sound like someone who is very serious about taking on the responsibility of a pup/not opening up with a price discussion.
Also thank you for reminding me of separation anxiety, I had forgotten to incorporate some alone time into our planned daily routine. I will be sure to do that!