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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone! I've been doing much pondering lately on whether or not this breed would be right for me and am looking for y'alls expert opinions 馃槈

A little bit about us: We are a family of 6 with our youngest child being 4. We currently have a cat and female maltipoo currently in the house. We have a 3 thousand something square foot house with a large fenced in yard. Have plenty of space to play fetch, frisbee, etc. We also have lots of trails in our neighborhood for hikes, and a dog park 10-15 minutes a day.

My daily schedule looks a little something like this:

7-7:30- Morning chores
7:30-8- Morning walk (with our maltipoo)
8-11- (this changes depending on the day of the week) Work part time for about an hour before coming back home.

And after noon working at home for the rest of the day. This above schedule applies to Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and weekends. On Tuesdays I'm gone 7:30am-6pm and on Fridays I'm gone 10am-3pm.

Also technically I could bring my Dobie with me (although not at first when it's a wee little pup) to my part time work in the morning because it's an hour or two of working at a horse barn that's fenced in all around with plenty of room to romp and roam and other dogs to play with as well.

Why I want a Dobe: I want an intelligent and loyal dog that will want to be mentally stimulated with training sessions. I also want a dog that will be protective of its family when it senses a threat. Also low shedding. Dobies seem to fit all of the above.

No, I am not looking to get a Dobe anytime soon. The soonest I see myself getting one is in a year or two. Currently I am saving up for my future companion and will be certain that I am financially stable before even making first steps to buy one.

I am not going to buy from a byb. Plan on finding a pup from the best breeder I possibly can in my area.

So all this aside... will the Doberman be right for me?
 

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I don't see any red flags that might make a breeder reluctant to place a puppy with you--except the age of your youngest. But it sounds like he'll be older by the time you are truly looking. Go ahead and start teaching your kids now about how to act with a dog around, and how to treat a puppy. (Respect the dog's space; don't suddenly grab and hug him; don't try to take toys or food away; don't run and scream around the dog...that sort of thing)


Adult dobes are not necessarily good with other dogs. So you shouldn't be counting on using the dog park as a place for him to exercise and it's possible he won't get along with the other dogs at the stables either. You'll need to give him at least an hour of exercise/training/walks/backyard fun a day in addition to just being around him--dobes are indoor dogs and need to be with their owners. They are not happy in a backyard by themselves, and outdoor dogs tend not to exercise themselves when they are alone anyway.

You should get the opposite sex to whatever other dogs you have--definitely don't get a male dobe if you have another male dog. Dobes are prone to same sex aggresssion--it can develop suddenly even in dogs (neutered not) that have gotten along for years. It is NOT something you want to have to deal with.

As things open up, make an effort to get yourself to dog shows, or make connections with breeders or other doberman owners so you can find out more about the breed and be around them enough to see what their personalities are like and whether that is something that attracts you.

Edited to add:
I just reread your write-up. With the schedule you describe, Tuesdays will be a problem for you even with an adult dog if you cannot get home to let him out for pottying, feed him etc for a span of 10 hours. There are work-arounds--maybe someone else (even a responsible older kid) can make sure he is let outside. I wouldn't expect a kid to be able to walk him by himself until the kid is 14-15 or so (depending on the dog and his training [both the kid and the dog's training that is]) but he could certainly be able to manage letting him out into your back yard/feeding, etc. You can also hire a dog sitter or find a friend who is willing to come in somewhere in the middle of that time so the dog can stretch his legs for a short while and will not be in a crate for more than about 5-6 hours at a time.

You will need to adjust your schedule/find alternatives when the dog is a puppy and you work your way through house breaking and teaching house manners. Usually you don't want to leave a puppy in a crate for more than a couple hours at a time during the day, and they will need a lot of attention too. And you cannot expect the dog to be ready to be left alone outside a crate or dog-safe room until he is a year or so old--some dogs are never safe left alone. They can get themselves (and your house) into a lot of trouble in a very short time when they are unattended.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I don't see any red flags that might make a breeder reluctant to place a puppy with you--except the age of your youngest. But it sounds like he'll be older by the time you are truly looking. Go ahead and start teaching your kids now about how to act with a dog around, and how to treat a puppy. (Respect the dog's space; don't suddenly grab and hug him; don't try to take toys or food away; don't run and scream around the dog...that sort of thing)


Adult dobes are not necessarily good with other dogs. So you shouldn't be counting on using the dog park as a place for him to exercise and it's possible he won't get along with the other dogs at the stables either. You'll need to give him at least an hour of exercise/training/walks/backyard fun a day in addition to just being around him--dobes are indoor dogs and need to be with their owners. They are not happy in a backyard by themselves, and outdoor dogs tend not to exercise themselves when they are alone anyway.

You should get the opposite sex to whatever other dogs you have--definitely don't get a male dobe if you have another male dog. Dobes are prone to same sex aggresssion--it can develop suddenly even in dogs (neutered not) that have gotten along for years. It is NOT something you want to have to deal with.

As things open up, make an effort to get yourself to dog shows, or make connections with breeders or other doberman owners so you can find out more about the breed and be around them enough to see what their personalities are like and whether that is something that attracts you.

Edited to add:
I just reread your write-up. With the schedule you describe, Tuesdays will be a problem for you even with an adult dog if you cannot get home to let him out for pottying, feed him etc for a span of 10 hours. There are work-arounds--maybe someone else (even a responsible older kid) can make sure he is let outside. I wouldn't expect a kid to be able to walk him by himself until the kid is 14-15 or so (depending on the dog and his training [both the kid and the dog's training that is]) but he could certainly be able to manage letting him out into your back yard/feeding, etc. You can also hire a dog sitter or find a friend who is willing to come in somewhere in the middle of that time so the dog can stretch his legs for a short while and will not be in a crate for more than about 5-6 hours at a time.

You will need to adjust your schedule/find alternatives when the dog is a puppy and you work your way through house breaking and teaching house manners. Usually you don't want to leave a puppy in a crate for more than a couple hours at a time during the day, and they will need a lot of attention too. And you cannot expect the dog to be ready to be left alone outside a crate or dog-safe room until he is a year or so old--some dogs are never safe left alone. They can get themselves (and your house) into a lot of trouble in a very short time when they are unattended.
While researching through this forum I've realized that dog parks aren't the magical place they're cracked up to be as far as socialization and exercise! So definitely will stay away from those. I definitely have time and the desire for the hour+ of exercise and mental stimulation. On Tuesdays I have family members at home so they'll definitely be able to take the pup out. Also planning on getting a male after reading about same sex aggression since we currently have a female. Also currently researching obedience classes and plan on taking our future pup :) Puppy will definitely not be crated for super long periods at a time. It'll be my dog and a 24/7 velcro dog/companion is exactly what I want, lol! I've seen people complaining about their dogs needing to go everywhere with them (including the bathroom) but that's honestly what I want and would love.
 

Big Lil pup
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Hi Kay

I also don't see anything in your "resume" that would concern me. My son is raising their new pup with their 2 yo and 4 yo boys, with the typical Dobe pup considerations, but no problems. They do have an advantage in that both kids were born into Doberman families (theirs and mine! LOL). The 4 yo already has some practical command of My 6 1/2 yo male, and is actually looking forward to working with the new pup. He has, with supervision, already walked him on leash quite successfully.

Also, I commend you for coming onto this forum to research and ask questions. I got my first Doberman in 1974. At the time, I was a dog naive 21 year old and I have learned a lot since then. Still, there is always more to learn. IMO, a personable and knowledgable forum like DT is priceless for folks thinking about Doberman ownership.

Best to you in your potential puppy endeavor.

John Lichtwardt
Portland OR
 

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... It'll be my dog and a 24/7 velcro dog/companion is exactly what I want, lol! I've seen people complaining about their dogs needing to go everywhere with them (including the bathroom) but that's honestly what I want and would love.
Yep! :)

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