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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Considering Another Doberman, some concerns

Hello,

I am a long time lurker, seeking advice.

I had a doberman girl for a number of years, and she was lovely. She was intelligent, protective, eager to please, affectionate... wonderful wonderful dog, assuming it was me she was interacting with. I got her when she was 8 weeks old, and as long as I had her, she never knew a cruel hand or a mean word. I clicker trained her and socialized her and hired trainers for her. She did agility, and was in puppy classes.

Despite all of this, she was awful with children. She would get anxious and snappy around them. She was extremely possessive of food and toys. She snapped at my younger sister once, and while she did not make contact, it was still frightening. After that I just kept her far from children, and managed her anxieties the best I could. She never ever growled or snapped at me. I could take anything from her without her complaining.

She was also a sickly dog. She could never keep weight on. She had nearly constant diarrhea and the worst gas. She threw up a lot. I tried so many different foods... raw, Acana, Orijen, and a vet prescribed diet. She never did have proper bowel movements though, despite following the vet's recommendations.

She had issues, but I desperately miss her. I have had a few chats with a local breeder (not the one who bred my first dog) and she assures me that dobermans can make fantastic family dogs, and she suggested that my first dog may have been poorly bred. It is very likely that she was, and I feel badly for buying her before I had done my research... but I am trying to avoid making the same mistake.

Are dobermans good with young children? Did my girl have an atypical temperament? I have relatively young children, and while they are well behaved with dogs... I would not feel comfortable with a dog like my first doberman in the home with them. The breeder I am speaking with seems to be a very good breeder. She does health testing, and shows her dogs. Her dogs are beautiful, and she offered to let me come and meet them.

I just don't want to set another puppy up to fail.

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 10:53 PM
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I've had two Dobermans, both adopted as adults, one from a rescue, one from a reputable breeder. They have both been great with our kids, who were 8-12 with Hannah and are now 11-15 with Adele. No resource guarding, seeking attention from them.

The first one didn't actively play with them, but loved getting pats. However, she wasn't comfortable with toddlers when we saw them out and about. One time when we were out with her one was very loud and Hannah hid behind our legs.

Adele loves to play with them, fetch and learning tricks and such. The breeder we got Adele from had younger kids, a toddler and an early elementary age child.

So yes, I think Dobermans can be great dogs. If you have doubts, I would recommend getting an adult dog with a known history with kids. My current Great Dane is from a reputable breeder and he was raised with our kids from a pup, and while he was great with them when he was younger, at about 10 months he became uncomfortable with them and still is. Some dogs are just more sensitive to the noise and movement of children, and he is one of them.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 10:55 PM
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I was raised with Dobermans, my children were raised with Dobermans and my Grandchildren are being raised with my Dobermans, and the Dobes love the kids.

A well bred, properly socialized Dobe is wonderful with kids. However, children do need to be respectful and supervised.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 08:46 AM
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Zuko loves kids. The neighbor kids would come over and play with him when they still lived next door and throw toys across the yard for him and he'd love it. He licked a baby someone brought to the dog park in a stroller. I would not trust him in a room alone with an infant, mind you, as he can be clumsy where he walks, so obviously you'll want to be careful with smaller children (they can get knocked over easily with any large dog) but Zuko does love kids of all ages.

I totally agree with the above -- a well-bred, well socialized Doberman will rival any golden retriever on love and affection for their family

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 10:29 AM
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Just my cent and a half here - First a little story on our Dobie's - Kasia came here at 8 weeks - She was a great pup to train - We also had a 20 x 40 pool here + lots of nieces and nephews = there was somebody here all the time - lol
Kasia was raised from the start with kids and plenty of friends and family - she was Nation wide as the song go's - everybody knew her - she loved it !

At 7 years old - we got Big girl a play mate - Ali ( also a Dobie ) Ali just loved Kasia - But big girl - just didn't like sharing the love I guess - Ali was on the end of the nieces and nephews deal - and was also great with them all - But as Ali has got older - Soon to be 10 - When she takes a nap - if you were to touch - or give her a pat - she gets real snippy some times - you just never know when it will happen ! I think that she is so sound asleep - it scares her - she in 2 shakes of a puppies tail she is OK .

That brings me to Kadin ( 2 1/2 ) HE has never been around any kids - they all grew up and moved away - and we really don't have any friends with young kids .

So with all this rambling - here's my take - for what it's worth - Kaisa was brought up with kids around all the time - I think that was the game changer with her - Ali - I have no idea with her snapping when woken - Kadin and Ali are not aloud around any kids - Even though they act very good in social events - I take Kadin with me all the time - like to the bank - Rural King - TSC - John Deere - you name it - Every time - every time - I will be asked if it's OK for a kid to pet him - Which I say - No - Boy - that gets rid of them fast - I don't mean it to be mean - Yet - What if they were to grab his ears - or spooked him in some fashion - He knows no better . The key to me is to bring the pup up with the kids - and that can only be done with kids around : ))

Sorry for the rambling here - but this is just what I have seen with our own Dobie's

I don't think you could go wrong having another Doberman around - And totally agree that they are just as good if not better that them yellow or black dogs

Best of luck !
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 10:55 AM
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For what it's worth...I would take the time to make a connection with a breeder that has a history of their dogs routinely being placed in homes with homes with children, and living successfully with children - genetics are a STRONG thing. Obviously, early experiences matter, too...it helps shape a puppy, but research is also showing that REALLY early experiences matter a lot, so I'd also be looking for a breeder that exposes their litter to POSITIVE experiences with small children. A good breeder that perhaps has small kids or grandkids that are dog savvy and routinely visit the pups? A breeder that is comfortable placing their dogs in homes with kids and has done so quite a bit, so that you can talk to those homes and get a good sense of a wide range or what the temperaments are like? You should be doing your due diligence just as much as the breeder is on you. Ideally, you'd like to go and meet some of these dogs with your own kids and see how they interact. Some of this, too, is that you'll need to accept that each dog is different so that you aren't stressed and worried with another dog, or that's going to carry into a new pup, and you don't want that. I think it's more than possible to have Dobermans be great family dogs that are great with kids, if you find the right breeder that will place the right puppy with you, and your kids have good "dog manners." Patience, taking it slow and doing good research is key.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 11:03 AM
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but research is also showing that REALLY early experiences matter a lot, so I'd also be looking for a breeder that exposes their litter to POSITIVE experiences with small children

Great post MC -- I didn't think about that - To think about it - Both Kasia and Ali came from a breeder that had small children + The puppies were playing with the kids .
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelianDobe View Post
I was raised with Dobermans, my children were raised with Dobermans and my Grandchildren are being raised with my Dobermans, and the Dobes love the kids.

A well bred, properly socialized Dobe is wonderful with kids. However, children do need to be respectful and supervised.

Welcome to DT!
Boy - weren't you the lucky one !
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 11:21 AM
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This is a little bit off topic, but this is a really good resource on how to teach kids to interact with dogs and read dog body language. 77% of dog bites are from the family dog or a friend's dog. Stop The 77

This is a good blog on keeping dogs and kids safe together: Front Range K9 Academy: Keeping Kids and Dogs Safe Together

This is a good article on socialization and some of the pitfalls people fall into: https://clickertraining.com/dont-socialize-the-dog

There are a ton of other resources out there...good breeders do a really good job, and then it's your job to continue. I also like to work with a great trainer.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 11:28 AM
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My 35 yo son was raised with Dobermans. He is now raising his 1 yo son with a Doberman. My grandson also is frequently around McCoy. The child loves the Dobes and they really like and accept him. In fact, McCoy is very comfortable around all children.

My experiences aside... All dogs are different. As a result, there are even well bred dogs who do not do well with children (or other dogs for that matter).

Also, I agree with everything MeadowCat said about connecting with a breeder known for breeding dogs with accepting temperaments and a good record of successfully placing them in families with kids.

John
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-11-2017, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all very much for your thoughtful input
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-11-2017, 02:11 PM
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I have raised my two girls with Dobermans - and they were always great with the kids (who were raised to be respectful with dogs). The first one was pure BYB and she was the best kid dog ever.... not that I recommend a BYB Doberman.
My kids are now both in college, and one of my dogs I would not trust around kids. She is from one of my own litters and comes from an excellent pedigree with great temperament. Several of her siblings live happily with children. So while a well bred Doberman is usually an excellent family dog, they are all individuals. I think my Jezebel would have been fine with my kids when they were little, but I would never have left her out when their friends were visiting.
My advice is to find a truly excellent breeder, get on their list and let them pick the puppy for you.
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