What do you wish you knew before getting a doberman? First time Doberman owner tips? - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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View Poll Results: Is a fence absolutely needed?
yes! 13 92.86%
no! 1 7.14%
Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2020, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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What do you wish you knew before getting a doberman? First time Doberman owner tips?

So, I've decided that I should get a doberman for a number of reasons such as temperament, trainability, and maintenance. I am a bit worried though since it will be my first dog ever. I've read up as much as I could for the breed such as the best training techniques for dobes, how to keep their bodies (and minds) active. But I'm here to ask "What do you wish you knew before getting a doberman?"

Second part of the question, I have a very large backyard which is perfect for a dobe, but its not fenced in. I have my house backed on one side, neighbors fence on another, and tree-lines for the other two sides. Fencing my whole backyard would be expensive due to the size and I'm not a fan of invisible fences for a number of reasons. Do you think It would be possible to have a doberman in an unfenced backyard? I wouldn't be leaving the dog unsupervised and I plan on recall training and maybe barrier training (respecting the tree-line)
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2020, 12:56 PM
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Welcome Ella to DT !

Oh where to start - lol Our first Doberman was back in the early 80's . No internet ! So the first one came from a byb ! Wish we had better knowledge about them back then - the Dog was OK , But it is NOT even close to the Breed of Dobermans we have now - So lack of knowledge was a short fall for us . No excuse in todays world !!!!

I will say that these Puppies can be more than a handful ! And being your first dog ever - Boy you sure are jumping into the deep end right off the bat . I will also add that these Dogs can test yeah , I have read on here that somebody had got a New Dober puppy and was not up to the demands of one , and sent it back to the breeder or worse , sent it to a pound !

I know that one of the first questions on a Puppy app , from a reputable breeder will ask if you have a fenced in area and if not , your app goes in the trash . It is possible , I guess to have a unfenced area - but I can't see it . Oh yeah - that chain link fence is expensive , but I would consider fencing in part of your yard , versus no fence at all .

Even if attended and you let your pup run free - Boy ,that can lead to problems , if off leash , they see a squirrel , rabbit and they are gone in a flash .

Lots more will jump in here with great advice , But from my view - you really need that chain link first .

Best of luck !

Doc
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2020, 02:22 PM
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I wish I had known about reputable breeders before getting my first Doberman - but there was no real internet at that time - 1993, and I knew nothing.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2020, 04:33 PM
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I knew from their reputation that Dobermans were very smart and trainable.
What I didn't know was how sensitive, needy and devoted they are!
The bad rep Dobes have for being vicious is baloney. Both our two Dobes are certified Pet Partners therapy dogs and just crave human affection and contact, including small children.


Spock, our male is extremely Velcro and I'm sure Eva would be the same if she was the only Dobe in the household. (Spocks sucks up much of her attention)

They have to be near their humans 24/7 if possible. The worst thing you can do is go outside without taking the Dobes with you, so they can "protect" you (from rogue squirrels). Inside the house, they will wake up from a sound sleep and will follow you to the bathroom...

My wife says after 10 years of owning a pair of Dobermans- "If they could, they would jump inside your skin!"

Example, I was laying on loveseat to take a nap last week, taking up entire length of the sofa. I even pulled the Costco dog beds next to the sofa so Spock could sleep next to me. Well, Mr. Spock tried that dog bed, then another and was restless for about a half hour. Finally he came up to me and kept poking my hand... Yep he just had to share the sofa with me, so he managed to pretzel his way in there, where he finally settled for a nap! (see pic)


Dobermans Want to Jump In Your Skin!





Our first Doberman, Spock was obtained from a reputable breeder. Eva was adopted from HADR (Houston Area Doberman Rescue) Being new to Dobermans, we didn't know about the health issues affecting their longevity. We've consider ourselves lucky to have them both reach 10 years of age this year!
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Ten Doberman Rules
Poke Everything.
It's New? Bark At It.
Moves? Chase It.
Doesn't Move? Smell It.
Liquid? Spill and Dribble It.
Treat or Food? Wolf It Down.
Not Food? Chew It Slowly, Be Quiet & Hide From Human.
A Toy? Shred & Destroy It.
Stuffed? De-Stuff It.
Bites You Back? Wrestle It!
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2020, 05:03 PM
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Hi ella and welcome from the Pacific NW!

Fencing. Me? I definitely recommend a fenced part of your yard for a Doberman.

That being said, I still would never consider a fence an insurmountable and guaranteed barrier for a determined dog. I have had Dobes who faced with extreme temptation, such as an intact male sensing a bitch in heat somewhere, or a dog with a very high prey drive sensing a target, would have had very little problem breaching any kind of barrier.

Properly motivated, I have had dogs who could leap a 6 foot solid fence, burrow under pretty much any fence and scale a cyclone fence of any height.

"Invisible" fences? Once they learn to bite the bullet and charge right through to escape (which certain breeds will do) the big problem is that the fence may prevent them from returning.

So fencing... Yes, definitely with a few precautions... My boys are always trained to respect visual barriers, both indoors and outdoors. It starts when they are very young with baby gates strategically place around the house and as they get older the barriers become less formidable and more just markers.This is actually a fun form of training and a mentally challenging exercise like any other training session.

BTW, McCoy is never off leash in public and never out of doors unsupervised. He as never known it any other way and it gives both of us a sense of security... The kind that comes incredibly naturally between a Doberman and his human!

The kind that becomes one of the most all consuming parts of your life.

Oh... that is the "one thing" that I wish i had known before I got my first Dobe in 1974. That "all consuming" part! LOL

Best to you

John Lichtwardt
Portland OR
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Last edited by 4x4bike ped; 04-18-2020 at 05:10 PM.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2020, 08:37 PM
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I also wish I had known how to find a reputable breeder.

I personally wouldn't do a Doberman (or any dog) without a fence. Our first we had no fence for nearly the first whole year, and it was miserable. You wouldn't have to fence the full yard, but I would sure consider fencing part of it.

There are so very many things that you learn along the way....finding great trainers, staying IN classes, mental training as well as physical, finding good supportive people, the support you get from the right breeder...it's endless!
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& Sirai's Golden Masquerade ORT L1V L1E L2C L2I NW2 RATI SOG DOG TKN WAC
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 09:17 AM
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I agree! Invest in the fence first!

Don't put the cart before the horse, or you will get even more exercise than you even imagined or anyone warned you about chasing the brat down!

It's hard to let them get their zoombies in without a fence.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 09:18 AM
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OK here ! Who voted for No fence ??? LOL
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECIN View Post
OK here ! Who voted for No fence ??? LOL
That would be "Don't Fence Me In" Chesa!

FYI: It's a public pole, just click on vote tally to see who voted which way...
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Ten Doberman Rules
Poke Everything.
It's New? Bark At It.
Moves? Chase It.
Doesn't Move? Smell It.
Liquid? Spill and Dribble It.
Treat or Food? Wolf It Down.
Not Food? Chew It Slowly, Be Quiet & Hide From Human.
A Toy? Shred & Destroy It.
Stuffed? De-Stuff It.
Bites You Back? Wrestle It!
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 09:26 AM
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Do you know what a zoombie is?

They just might accidentally knock you over and then what? You are flat on the ground and they take off into the sunset without a fence.

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spocksdad View Post
That would be "Don't Fence Me In" Chesa!

FYI: It's a public pole, just click on vote tally to see who voted which way...
LOL - Learn something on this site all the time

Thanks Spocksdad for my DUH moment question
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrykersPerson View Post
Do you know what a zoombie is?

They just might accidentally knock you over and then what? You are flat on the ground and they take off into the sunset without a fence.

That's "Zoomie" Denny... ZOOMIE. A zoombie is a dead person that walks around really really fast eating other persons until you shoot them in the head!

John (STJ! etc.)
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4bike ped View Post
That's "Zoomie" Denny... ZOOMIE. A zoombie is a dead person that walks around really really fast eating other persons until you shoot them in the head!

John (STJ! etc.)
LOL Big John - SP has enrolled in How to spell like ECIN Book sires ! She's a great customer too !
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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So I was able to fix the fencing situation! And I've made a deposit on a dobe puppy! yay
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 10:26 AM
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After owning many dogs all my life, I presently have my 1st dobe.
My breeder is questionable. Not top quality, not byb either.
They are EXTREMELY affectionate. Mine has an huge prey drive. Has yanked me to the ground more than once to chase something.
I would NEVER have one without a fence. A good one. Mine - in spite of good training- at 3 yrs, will still bolt out the front door. As a puppy she’d run down the street and more than once took the ENTIRE neighborhood to catch (corner) her.
They are smart. Need lots of attention. If you are determined to have this be your 1st dog, you have to understand it will be more work than a baby.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 12:10 PM
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I obtained my first dog and Dobie Tyson when he was 9 months.... I was also 6 months pregnant at the time. My stepson got him from a BYB and realized he was too much work so I took him.... It was the best gift I ever received and I fell in love with the breed... BUT yes, it was a lot of work. However, once my first daughter came, Tyson was up with me for midnight feedings, home with me while I did the "stay at home momming", rode with me to take kids to school, etc. He was a family member.... I referred to him as my kids Puppy Brother.
Dobermans are truly the most loving, loyal breed you could find. Accept the chaos, praise good behavior, and don't leave anything of value laying around. And yes, get a fence of some kind.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 09:02 PM
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`when you play with pup wear long sleeves!!
Those baby pupper teeth can leave scars!!!

Hoss
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 03:50 PM
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the chaos = LOL

I'm not right - But that is one of my most favorite things that go with having a Doberman
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-24-2020, 04:13 AM
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I agree with the fence! Need a fence as others commented. Glad you got that taken care of

I may have missed it in the previous posts if below was stated.

But fences are not only to keep your puppy inside - but keeping other dogs, animals and people outside.
Even if your dog is trained to stay on your property - other dogs/animals are not trained to stay off your property....could be disaster.

One year a couple of pit bulls (male and female) would wander around the area. We had just let Molly out one day. We were just a few seconds behind her and we heard a heck of a racket. Molly and the female pit bull were going at each other. They could see each other through the chain link fence we have in the back. If we did not have a fence in between I couldn't imagine - well I do not want to imagine. As it was we got Molly away chased the other dog away.

At some point we were able to lure the female pit into the back yard (ours were inside) and called animal shelter....she really was a nice dog. No tags - looked fed. Didn't see the male afterwards either. We had tried to find out who they belonged to a few times but no telling.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-24-2020, 11:01 AM
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I'm probably a tiny voice out there that says having a dobe can be done without a fence, but......(and that's a great BIG but.......)

It was my first dobe. We got him from a BYB (I didn't know any better). We lived in an apartment, both worked, were total novices, and of course....no fence. A real breeder probably wouldn't have even considered selling a puppy to us.

He was our baby though; if we were not at work, he was getting attention, walks, hikes, training--walking every single day, off-leash for about an hour, hikes and cross country skiing on the weekends, training and learning with us constantly, formal training classes once a week.

Fortunately we had a huge area on two sides of our apartment complex. It was an abandoned plant nursery/tree farm, and it went on for a long long way with no road or buildings close by. It was a great place for him to run off leash. Every.Single.Day. Rain, shine or snow. In good weather, and in the dark and cold (days were short in the winter), we were out there walking.

That is one thing I think needs mentioning--a lot of not-too-knowledgeable dog owners think "Oh, I've got this lovely big backyard. Doggie can just be put out there every day and he'll get plenty of exercise." But dogs don't really exercise in a back yard. They do a bit of a sniff around to see if anything has changed, take care of their business and then find a place to sack out. They need a place to be outside, to stretch their legs a little and commune with nature--but they won't "exercise" themselves.

YOU need to be out there spending time with them. A dobe, in particular, is not an outside "yard dog." He will not be happy without a LOT of time with his people--dobes like to sit at (on?) their people's feet.

In fact, I've always found with mine (we did eventually find a place with a yard) that yes, as adult dogs, they could go outside (more or less alone), do their pottying, hang around a little--but then they wanted right back in. When they are puppies, of course, you need to be right out there with them--and even when they are adults, you need to be aware of what is going on the whole time they're out. But they would much rather be in with us than spend time out alone.

AND they need to be walked in different places; see different sights; meet different people--for a puppy it is especially important that he sees the outside away from his own house. That is the way he will gain the confidence and experience to develop into a well-balanced dog, without a distrust of unknown things which can lead to a lot of behavior that people call aggression (and that some think is great--MY dog is such a great guard dog! Look how fierce he is! He always barks and lunges at people if they get too close!!) but that is really based on fear.

So you don't ABSOLUTELY need to have a fence--but it takes a lot of work to go without one (and it is work sometimes. I didn't come home from my job always feeling like devoting most of my free time to the dog)

AND you're unlikely to find a good breeder who will even consider you.

You may be able to build a good relationship with a breeder, show him by your actions that you will be a good dog owner, do your research into dog owning and training and present him with a game plan for how you will handle life with a dobe and no fence--and find one you can work with.

But a breeder knows that people are willing to promise the moon to make sacrifices and spend extra time making their homes just right, day after day, year after year, in the first stages of the "I want a puppy" fever. And he also knows that if there is a condition in the new puppy home will will mean extra work and attention to make it work for their family, people (most, actually) will eventually stop with all of the extra stuff they need to do, and puppy won't be happy there. And if puppy isn't happy, his behavior won't lead to a happy family either.

A good breeder has lots of good places to choose from when he's ready to send those puppies to a new home. There is no reason he needs to take a chance on an unknown home, already with obvious strikes against it, for his puppies. Your puppy application is likely to go in the trash right away.

Last edited by melbrod; 04-24-2020 at 11:20 AM.
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