Hello everyone! We are about to get a new Doberman puppy. We live in Cleveland Ohio. Maybe you can give me some recommendations on good trainers/classes/ ear crops and pretty much everything in our area. I would really appreciate that! I also need some recommendations on how to help my older Doberman female ( soon to be 9) to adopt to a new puppy. She is really mellow, nice to people and dogs in a doggy day care or parks, but hates small dog next door. Not sure what her reaction might be and how to help them become friends and live in peace. Thank you!
Welcome from Colorado!
Your breeder should be who you are going to for all of this advice. If you're lucky there might be someone here from around that area, but most of us won't know what good trainers are around. You can also go to the dpca website and look for the local chapter club and they can direct you as well. There are MANY dog trainers, very few good ones, especially for Dobermans. I personally love puppy classes they are great for controlled socialization as well as having to listen to you while there are distractions. I suggest staying away from PetSmart and Petco type of classes, upon luck you might find a good trainer but I've heard too many horror stories. You can also look for kennel clubs in your area, they often offer classes. The DPCA | Chapter Clubs
Your breeder should also be cropping the puppies for the puppy buyers. If they are leaving the cropping to the puppy owners I'd also wonder what else they aren't doing, such as proper health testing, yearly thyroid, yearly full blood panels, yearly holter monitoring and echoing of the heart (these last two are super important since about 60% of Dobermans will die suddenly to DCM). If those tests aren't done on the parents and you've seen the results, I'd walk away from this breeder.
As introductions go, introduce them Very slowly. Most people don't want their older dog to give corrections but yet let their puppy act like beasts, constantly beating up on the older dog, yet yelling at the older dog if they react. That isn't fair. Introduce them on leashes allowing them to get just close enough to sniff. If you aren't sensing any tension from the older dog slowly let them get a bit closer... Once you are certain they are ok allow them to interact in SMALL doses. Allowing a puppy to play until they're physically exhausted isn't good for their growing bodies, it's also VERY annoying to the older dog. It's also not good to let them run around with bigger dogs. They chance getting stepped on or pulling a ligament trying to keep up. A little bit of playtime and laxed running is ok but not full out playing with big dogs.