Hi, Tada. Welcome to the forum.
First off, and most importantly, DO NOT LIE TO BREEDERS. I know you want what you want, but its in your own best interests too that you don't lie in order to get a pup/dog.
Since you are not an experienced dog owner AND you are preparing to begin graduate school - without knowing anything else about you, I agree with the breeder who recommended you consider adopting a mature rescue.
I grew up with Dobes and got my first (all my own) Dobe puppy when I was finishing up my bachelors. It was a ton of work to raise her but I managed. I had about 3 year between my BS and MSc, during which time I added a second adult Dobe. So, when I started grad school, I had two adult Dobermans. I also just happened to be in a serious relationship and we were living together by that time, so my partner was able to really help out with their exercise needs and feeding and vet appts. when I would get stuck in the lab for many long hours or was just otherwise swamped with my work. It would not have been possible to successfully complete my MSc and meet their needs without his help. Period.
I could not have realistically committed myself to either my grad work or those two girls to the extent either one needs without his help.
After completing my MSc, I immediately began my PhD. Both girls were seniors by then and I lost both, close together, toward the end of my 2nd year / start of my 3rd year. Again, I could not have handled that without the incredible support of my partner. We now have a 5 yr old Rat Terrier, whom I got at 3.5 yrs old, and just brought home a Dobe pup in August, so she's just now 9 months old.
Fortunately, at this point, I've achieved candidacy so I'm what's considered "ABD" or All But Dissertation, which basically means I'm in that sweet spot of a PhD where I get to focus 100% of my work time on my research. I get to set my own work schedule in the office and lab, I've been fortunate enough to be able to hire a couple of Undergrad workers who I've trained and are now producing small experiments and results for me in the lab, so I can focus on other components of my work that can't be delegated out to anyone but me. So, I'm able to shift my schedule around to fit in my dogs needs and my hobby, which is training and competing in sports with them.
I work approximately 4 hours per day on Saturday and Sunday. And I work anywhere between 8-15 hours per day Monday through Friday. My partner and I have one night per week designated as "date night" (and we run pretty fast and loose with that term because it often just means we make a point to eat some meal together - not necessarily nice or romantic - and we spend our evening playing board games, talking / catching up, or watching a movie, i.e., I fall asleep on the sofa next to him and he tells me what happened the last 1/3 of the movie). He is exceptionally supportive and understanding that he gets so little of my time and energy because my dog hobby is my answer to work stress. I need it in order to keep functioning because my work is all consuming. So, its a hobby but its also about maintaining my mental health by scheduling in time and energy to take care of and train with my dogs, which brings me immense joy in life. I *need* it in my life.
So, why do I drone on about this? Because, really, at this point in time, you don't know what you're getting into with your graduate work or a Doberman.
Graduate work isn't something you just work really hard at and succeed. It is your life for anywhere from 5-8 years depending on your field. I don't know what your field of study will be but there's no such thing as an easy graduate degree or else you're doing it wrong. I don't care if you're Stephen effing Hawking. The point of a graduate degree is to go beyond what is currently known. Its challenging for everyone.
And Dobermans are not a good breed to learn on about dogs in general. You can do all the reading and watching videos you want. You can talk endlessly to experienced Dobe owners. You still won't quite be able to grasp what you're taking on until you do it.
The benefit of having experience with other dogs or breeds before a Dobe, is that you've figured out the basics - you would have already built that foundation of teaching them the basics. Its so much easier to raise a Doberman if you've got your timing figured out with redirecting or rewarding behaviors. If you've already proven yourself successful in committing to an exercise schedule and dependable routine. If you already know who can watch the dog when you travel (which is also, IME, a consistent theme as a grad student), if you know what might require a vet visit NOW vs something maybe you can wait a bit and see.
If you already had Dobe experience and you were starting grad school, okay, that's probably doable.
If you were already comfortable and successfully advancing through grad school and wanted to take on a Dobe without prior dog experience, that might be doable, too.
But I strongly recommend you re-think your current plans of getting a Dobe puppy AND starting graduate school. I'll even go so far as to say I would question the judgement of any breeder who would be willing to sell you a Dobe puppy if you've been honest about your current situation. And you don't want a dog from that kind of breeder. There's enough risk in Dobes anyway without getting a puppy from a sh!t breeder.
Personally, if I were you and based on what I know about graduate work and Dobe puppies based on my firsthand experience with both - wait to make any decisions about a puppy or dog until after you start your program. I would even encourage you to consider waiting to make any decisions about dog ownership until after qualifying exams and your proposal defense. Once you've found your footing in grad school, then come back to the dog stuff and get serious about it. You just don't know what you don't know right now and you're kind of setting yourself up for failure in both because of it.
Old Drum's Crimson Crisp CGC, "Fiona" 04-21-2009 - 01-15-2018
Old Drum's Fiery Rumors of Taliesin CGC LC-10D, "Tali" 05-09-2008 - 08-19-2018 Sirai's Novel Weapon, AKC S.T.A.R. puppy, "Cypress" 05-08-2019 -
AKC/UKC CH Bur-way's Unscripted, CA, "Dempsey" (Rat Terrier) 11-04-2014 -
Last edited by brw1982; 02-09-2020 at 03:31 PM.