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Discussion Starter #1
I've been lurking around these parts for a while now. We're new to the breed, but not to dogs. We lost our 11 year old labby mutt man last year to liver failure and we currently have a 6 year old adopted bagel girl (Basset/Beagle mix...seriously, it looks like someone welded the top of a beagle to the bottom of a basset).

After mourning our big man and realizing we were a two dog household for life, all of our research led us to dobermans, we started meeting a few and well, you know the rest!

After researching breeder v. rescue (and we're really lucky to have an amazing breeder in Austin, as it seems Patchwork Robot can attest to!) we decided that rescue was the best fit for us. We're not looking to show, but would like to do obedience and agility work with our new guy, as well as lots of snuggling.

Our home visit is today with a Doberman-specific rescue group and there's actually the possibility we may meet a new guy tomorrow. We met with our probable trainer the other night who gave us some great advice about how to read the descriptions of the dogs on websites, what to look for in meeting the new guys at first, and other general pointers.

I'd love to hear from some more rescuers around here, both from those who have adopted and who have placed Dobermans, about things we should look for. We're definitely looking for a male, preferably under 4, but we'll go up to about 7 for the right fit.

My main worry after lurking around here are the major health issues of the breed. If we're adopting, we're not going to know about this in the dog's family history, and really, even if we did, would this and should this stop us from adopting our new guy?

I'm excited to be around these parts and learning all we can. I've got the distinct feeling we're going to be here for a very long time!

TL;DR-Adopting a Doberman in Austin. All advice and opinions needed and wanted, especially about health issues and adoption.


Patsy, the Bone Collector (of past...after the broken tooth incident of 2011, bones are no longer allowed lest we be broke from tooth removal bills)


RIP Ru-bear. May you play in one thousand sprinklers in heaven.
 

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sweep the leg
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Hello from San Antonio!

So sorry for the loss of your boy, he looks like such a sweetheart. I know many will chime in with advice specific to your questions but thought I'd give a formal Texas howdy to 'ya and wish you the best in your home visit today.
 

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u mad?
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TL;DR-Adopting a Doberman in Austin. All advice and opinions needed and wanted, especially about health issues and adoption.
While I read your whole post I truly appreciate this addition to it.

Welcome to DT! There are many here from Texas and a few from Austin. I'm sorry about your loss but bless you for rescuing and good luck (!!!) on your home visit! Please keep us posted!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Our home visit went well and the rescue org called me to arrange a meeting for us and one of the dogs we were interested in tomorrow. However, so many red flags were raised in the conversation that I ended up letting them know that we weren't a match not only for that dog, but their organization in general.

I'm disappointed, but more disappointed in the organization. All of their dogs that we are interested in are HW+, yet this isn't mentioned in one description of any of their dogs. We were interested in a few of their dogs, but she seemed to really only want us to look at one, tomorrow.

This dog already had my guard up a little because through some Facebook investigation, I learned he'd already been returned by one family because he didn't get along with one of their dogs. Of course, this wasn't disclosed either, and she was incredibly defensive when I asked about it.

I pushed on asking about the other dogs, but it seemed that all of them had meet and greets starting today and going through next week. And they're all HW+ on slow-kill regimens.

So, back to the drawing board. If any of you have a recommendation for a rescue organization in the Texas area, I'd love to get their name.

TL;DR-We passed the rescue organization's tests, but they didn't pass ours. Recs for reputable Texas Doberman rescues needed.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your experience. As we don't know which organization you were working with, there seem to be quite a few good looking gentlemen at the San Antonio Doberman Rescue, though I cannot vouch for them or their services.

I can, however, state that if you are interested in looking further afield, Gulf Coast Doberman Rescue has done wonders in this community and is well respected.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks! We are very willing to go further out in our rescue efforts, but I'd been under the impression that most wouldn't go beyond a few hours of their location.

I'd rather not mention the name of the org as I feel that while I'm initially disappointed today, this just wasn't a good match for our particular needs. There may be people out there who would love to rescue one of the organizations dogs and perfectly fine with HW+ no matter when it's disclosed to them. It's just not the right move for us.

I'll check out both of these orgs, thank you!
 

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As far as rescue goes, I'm an active volunteer with Doberman Rescue Minnesota, and adopted an eight year old boy from them last year. He was NOT what I was looking for at all, and he's been the perfect fit for us. My female is highly dog selective, often dog aggressive, so finding a dog that she not only tolerated, but actively liked, was our priority. We also needed a dog that was cat safe. Simon sort of fell into our laps. He came over to be cat tested for the rescue, and our girl fell for him, instantly and hard. We didn't want a senior, didn't want a red...but there he was.

One thing I might do differently in the future is to get pet insurance for a newly adopted dog. You're right that it's a roll of the dice in terms of health. Simon was also heartworm positive when we adopted him. He'd tested negative just before coming into rescue, but when I had a senior panel run on him at our vet that first week he came up positive. DRM, of course, funded his treatment. But it was hard to go through. (By the way, there were shortages of the heartworm drugs to treat heartworm disease, so the rescue dogs may be on the slow kill protocol for that reason. Of course, they should still disclose that to potential adopters!) I also wasn't as prepared for the medical costs as I was when we got a puppy. With Shanoa, I knew I'd have a ton of expenses the first year. With Simon, we had several unexpected expenses. He had an episode of serious vomiting that resulted in some expensive tests (including ultrasound and biopsy - it looked like cancer, but wasn't - cost: $1K). He had two very rotted teeth that had to be pulled (cost: $1K). He's also had a persistent lick granuloma that we've been trying to treat for almost a year (cost: probably around $500). So, in one year, I've spent a lot more than I planned for (thank goodness for Care Credit!). I know insurance wouldn't have covered all of it, but it would have helped.

I'd also say with rescue dogs to expect that you won't see their "true" personalities for a while. Some dogs take up to about six months to really settle in and show you who they are.

I think if you are patient, find the right rescue group, be clear with what you want, you'll find the right dog. If you're open to it, you might even consider fostering - that's a great way to "try out" a Doberman, see if the breed is right for you, and get established with the organization. Some rescues will even do a "foster to adopt" situation, to make sure the dog is a good fit for you before the adoption is official.

You might send a Private Message to member ZeldaRules, if she doesn't see this thread. I believe she's really active in rescue in Texas and may have some recommendations for rescues.

Best of luck to you, and please keep us updated on your search!
 

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Sirai Dobermans
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PM me with the rescue you were working with. I'm sort of curious.

I'm active in rescue in the Houston area. Welcome to Houston Area Doberman Rescue . ZeldaRules is involved with another Houston Rescue whose name escapes me at the moment, but I'm sure she'll post soon.

Bare in mind, that many rescues will allow heartworm positive dogs to go out on a "foster to adopt" situation until they complete treatment. We have done this a few times when there have been major shortages in immiticide and we didn't have much of an option other than the slow treatment until more meds were available. We still pick up all the cost of the treatment when the drug is available and the adoption will be finalized AFTER the dog completes treatment and tests negative 6 months later. Also, when a dog undergoes heartworm treatment he/she will be clear of all heartworms. I just want to make sure that you are aware that a dog that has been treated for heartworms is not defective or a bad dog to adopt. In fact, it's much more common in this area for rescues to be positive for heartworms. The mosquitos are just so bad here.

I had one foster returned because "he didn't get along with the adopter's dog". This was after extensive meetings with the existing dog. Turns out, when pressed further, the existing dog didn't enjoying sharing her house at all and they weren't willing to work through it. So the rescue Dobe was returned even though he wasn't reacting at all. As a foster, I can honestly say I do everything in my power to match up a dog with the right family. I want it to be a lifelong home. I've also had a doll of a female returned because the adopter "didn't realize they shed so much" after we had a 20 minute discussion on the fact that Dobermans DO shed. So, I'd want to know the exact particulars of any return. IE: What about the other dog was causing a problem, what were the behaviors, did the rescue have any reaction, what methods were used to discourage any discontent, were any behavioral evaluations done on the dog, etc.
 
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Sirai Dobermans
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My main worry after lurking around here are the major health issues of the breed. If we're adopting, we're not going to know about this in the dog's family history, and really, even if we did, would this and should this stop us from adopting our new guy?
No. There are many people here that have dogs from reputable breeders and know their entire family history, yet they still succumb to some of the health issues this breed has. It's just a breed with a lot of health issues.

Sure, a breeder is a valuable resource to what illnesses may have shown up in their lines, reputable breeders always health test....but a responsible owner will also holter/echo, do regular blood panels, etc. no matter where the dog comes from.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks to all of you for the great information. Thanks to you, we've got some great questions to ask to probe further, and get better ideas when meeting new dogs. It's just so helpful.

We're well prepared for, and aware of, all of the things that happen when you own a dog and the expenses we incur over our pets' lifetimes. Poor Patsy has had to have a few skin things cut out, teeth removed, cleaned, etc. and Rudy had his share of issues with skin and later, his liver. All of the testing in the world can't predict the future. Sometimes, things just happen, and not for any reason, so we deal with them as they come.

Our goal is to make sure we get to start with the healthiest guy possible and go from there! I'm confident that if we're patient and trust our gut, we're going to find an awesome dobe for our little family. Finding this forum is going to contribute to that greatly.
 

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Sirai Dobermans
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Best of luck in your search for a new family member! Keep us posted!
 

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Welcome to DT. :) I don't have any useful advice to add to the discussion, but hats off to you for the way you've handled your dog search - it sounds like you are asking the right questions and going through good channels, which too often isn't the case. Commendable. Hope to see you around the forums!
 
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