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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

This is my first post and I am still learning, so please be kind!

I am considering acquiring a doberman, because I've known a few and I have long been in love with the breed because of their intelligence, elegance, and loyalty. My husband and I both grew up with dogs, but this would be our first as adults. I know that dobermans can be very challenging, ESPECIALLY to first-time owners, so I am researching like crazy: reading about the breed & about dog psychology and training, sitting in on obedience classes, talking to other dog owners, talking to breeders and people at rescue organizations, etc.

Our situation is this: I work from home, so I'm here all the time. We live in a large 2-br ground-floor condo with no yard, but there's a side door to the outside (an enclosed parking area with 6 spots--it's maybe 60 x 60 ft and is enclosed by an 8-ft brick wall and a 8-foot iron gate) in the hall directly outside our apartment door, a fenced dog run 3 blocks away, and an enormous (580 acre) park with extensive off-leash hours a 10 minute walk away. I'm active and love taking long brisk walks. I have the time, the resources, and the desire to bring a dog to obedience training classes indefinitely (they would be for me as much as for the dog...I know I need to learn how best to interact with dogs). We also go upstate to go hiking on weekends fairly frequently, which would provide extra exercise and stimulation for the dog. We have no kids and don't intend to have any in the future (we're in our early 40s).

So my issue is this: I am somewhat inclined toward adopting an adult dog from a breed-specific rescue (I would use DRU), since the dog would be likely to be calmer and might be more suited to our experience level and lifestyle, but I am also worried about the fact that its behavior & history and health issues would likely be unknown. I love the idea of raising a puppy and I would be fully prepared to devote much of my life for the next year or two to the project (and I do think I truly understand how much work it really is), but I also know that it might just be too much for someone in my circumstances. I've had people tell me that as an inexperienced person I shouldn't try to raise a doberman puppy because they would cause way too much chaos, and I've also had people tell me I shouldn't get a rescue because I would not be equipped to deal with behavioral issues an abandoned adult dog might have!!

So, I am not sure what to do, and I'm hoping that you experienced people will have advice for me. Puppy from a reputable breeder? Adult rescue? Male/female? Give up the whole project and get some other breed, despite the fact that dobermans absolutely melt my heart like no other dog??

Thanks in advance for any & all advice!

Karin
 

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Sounds like in theory you could handle either.

DRU is a fantastic rescue and they do a thorough evaluation of behavioral issues prior to placing a dog. Not every dog in rescue has major issues, some have none!

If you went the puppy route, please make sure you get one from a reputable breeder. They will be there for you with advice on how to raise a dobe puppy. You may have to convince a reputable breeder that not having a fenced yard is not a problem.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I do worry about the lack of a fenced yard issue...the parking area right outside my door is a decent size and is fenced, and I think it is better than nothing...but while it's great that there's an enclosed space right outside my door where a dog could run and blow off some steam (it could also be a good area for training), obviously I could never leave a dog there unsupervised!! Fortunately there are only 6 spots and people don't come and go a lot (because we're in NYC many people only use their cars on the weekends), but still I would have to be ultra careful about the cars.
Thanks for the feedback! :)
 

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joie de vivre
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It's a largely held myth that rescues have behavioral problems. Some do, yes. But it is not the rule. Many wonderful dogs are given up through absolutely no fault of their own. I really mean that. Perfectly amazing pets are dumped every day and there is not the slightest "problem" with them. And a good rescue (which DRU is) vets their dogs and evaluates them carefully so they know the dog they're placing. A good rescue will not blindly hand you a dog you can't handle. Going through a reputable breed rescue is not like adopting from a shelter or plucking a dog from animal control. A good rescue will give you as much information on the dog as they have because they want every dog they adopt out to go to their best forever home, first and foremost. Misleading you or leaving out key bits of information does not set a dog up for success, it only puts the dog at risk again and good rescues do not want that.

I think an adult rescue could be a great option for you. I don't think it would be impossible for you to raise a Dobe pup but it could be trickier since you don't have immediate access to a dog safe yard and you don't have previous breed experience. Doberman puppies are quite the little monsters. :)

To some degree, no matter what breed you consider you'll be facing the same challenges - no attached yard, first dog as an adult, and so on. So I don't think the answer is necessarily to just find a different breed. Dogs are work as pets. Some people want to make them "easy" by falling short on meeting their needs but any dog you bring home will need exercise, training, attention, and care. Those things cost time, money, and energy. That's just part of having a dog. But it sounds like you're committed and understanding about what having a Doberman might demand and I would encourage you to continue your research and contact both good breeders and good rescues. Even if you do decide an adult rescue is the best option for your lifestyle you will probably learn a lot about the breed in general by speaking with good breeders as well.

Good luck!
 

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Dobermom
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Welcome to the forum. We rescued our girl at 2.5 years old. As I love puppies, I would adopt an adult Dobie before taking on a puppy. My thoughts are it is so much work raising a puppy and you won't know what they will be like when they grow up. Adopting an adult allows you to know there temperament, a lot less training, usually lower energy levels and you are helping one in need. Over the years, I have come to only rescue females. My reasoning on this is because males pee on the bushes and flowers and kill them. Living in a condo or apartment without a yard, I would consider a male.

Our girl is amazing and we will rescue again once she is gone. I hope you are as lucky either way you go!
 

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Welcome to the forum. You will get lots of advice that you will have to consider what is best for you. As others have said, puppies of any type of breed are a lot of work and need constant supervision...

Rescuing an older dog sounds like the best scenario as with puppies they need to constantly go out and pee the first couple of months whereas with a rescued older dog, house training may already be accomplished and even may have had some training. My first Doberman was 9 months old I adopted from a rescue and she was the love of my life and the best dog I ever had. I raised Stella from a pup. I actually prefer puppies since they start with a clean slate and I can train them and raise them how I want them to be without any baggage from their past. I prefer females as I find males tend to lift their legs without any thought to it. Whereas my girls tend to be more fastidious where they pee!

Check out DRU and go visit their dogs and see if you connect with any of them.

Good luck!:)
 

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If you are a first time owner, an older dobe for sure! Even if you don't decide to get a dobe id still recommend an older dog. I wasnt aloud a puppy until i was 15!

BUT if you can't find a rescue, as i know how hard it is to find the perfect dog, lots of reefers will have retired dogs that are looking for homes. I suggest a retired show dog because they have a great temperament, they are used to being poked and fussed with an would give you a great look into the breed.

If you want something younger, I would look into getting a doberman rescue, there are alot looking for loving homes.

Good luck :)


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I vote rescue but that's because I don't have the patience or time for a puppy and I have had some of the most amazing shelter dogs.
 

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Owned by Dobes since 1975
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welcome to Doberman Talk.

a dobe around 3 years old would be the perfect first time dobe for someone.

past the puppy and puberty stages and maturity of mind and body is settling in............ :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
BUT if you can't find a rescue, as i know how hard it is to find the perfect dog, lots of reefers will have retired dogs that are looking for homes. I suggest a retired show dog because they have a great temperament, they are used to being poked and fussed with an would give you a great look into the breed.

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The idea of a retired show dog is interesting, and one that I hadn't thought of. Seems like they would be likely to be laid back (as you pointed out) and also beautiful (always a plus!), and also age is not something that I'm worried about per se...if I go the route of getting an adult dog I'd be fine with an older one.
But is this really realistic, and if so, do you have any recommendations about how I might look into this? Call breeders, I guess? I also plan to start attending dog shows when I can just to learn, so that might also produce opportunities?
Anyway, thanks for your help!
Inkybat
(Edited for typo 11:34 pm)

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sadder but wiser girl
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Well, welcome, and I agree with rescue. Especially for a first-timer, a well-matched rescue can be an excellent option, and a great good deed for a dog in need of a new forever home. Many rescues have backgrounds that are not horror stories, and are easy-going, fun-loving and well behaved. The parking lot would be OK for a quick pee on a rainy day, but Dobes do need activity, stimulation, socialization, so the areas nearby, or a good long walk every day, would be important. And glad to hear you'll be taking obedience classes, as Dobes love to learn - it makes them happy and builds their confidence.
 
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