I guess I should start with general background info. I'm 50 something, married with four kids in various stages of the military, career, college and soon to be marriage. I'm the new Daddy of a 9 week old Dobe girl whose short name is Karma. She has a little big sister, a seven year old Dachshund/Jack Russell mutt named Dogma. We had to put our Golden Retriever Niki down last month after 12 wondrous years as she blew out her ACL chasing a deer. The overwhelming grief has morphed from profound sadness to a lonely emptiness that seems like it will never end... but it is getting better with time. Needless to say, she was my best friend and I miss her terribly. See here for a video tribute I did for her and listen to the lyrics of the song as they perfectly describe her last day with us:
Dogma was having just as hard a time as us dealing with the loss. She would go up to Niki's grave, lay down and sleep there, wouldn't eat, just moped around all day, etc. So we decided that it was time for all of us to start looking for a puppy. Having been spoiled by the intelligence and sensitivity of a Golden, and knowing it would not be fair to have another Golden try to follow in Niki's footsteps, we decided to get a Dobe. We'd had one 20 years ago and felt it was the only other breed of dog that had what we were looking for our new family member.
Now a few words about our search for a Dobe. After doing numerous days of web research I was getting a bit frustrated as there seemed to be either Show/Working Dobes available for $1500-2000 or backyard breeders selling puppies for $100. Not being able to afford one group and knowing better about purchasing from the other, I turned to the DPCA website for assitance. Living in Western NC, I found an officer of the DPCA lived close by so I called her up a told her what I was looking for, basically pet quality, not raised in a large kennel with solid parental temperment. She essentially stated that $1500 was probably the minimum I would have to pay for a "quality" puppy and if I couldn't afford that, I should probably go look at the Animal Shelter. Some people don't seem to realize that not everyone can afford $1500 for a puppy. She directed me to the Breeder Referral page, which I had already seen. In short, so she was no help whatsoever.
Then I remembered an ad I'd seen at terrificpets.com when I was looking for the Rainbow Bridge poem before we put Niki down. I contacted the breeder, had many long-distance discussions and to make a very long story somewhat shorter, we got our baby from her for $400. Quite a few Ch's and Shutzhund's scattered about in generations 3-5 but the breeder was very specific that anything past 3 gens would have no impact on the overall character of the puppy and that the parents and g-parents were not titled. I saw both the stud and the bitch and their temperment was a typical Dobe, reserved and aloof but not aggressive. Most importantly, the breeder obviously cared a great deal about her dogs and raised the babies just as I would have, lots of love and human socialization. I had no problem with limited AKC registration as we are going to spay her and don't plan on any Confirmation showing although the Obedience training sanctioned by the SDA does sound intriguing.
We've had Karma a little over a week now and she's almost fully integrated into our household routine. I work out of my house so I'm with her 24X7 and have the time to train her. She is already leash trained, she sits before we go out or come in the door, and has sit, down and stay almost mastered if there's no distractions. I've only had two wee wee accidents so far and then only because I didn't pay attention to her. Have read and am following the info in Before and After Getting Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar and obviously getting good results. I've scoured the web and looked at various forums and sites concerning Dobe's and think this one is the best fit for me so... here I am. I'll post a few pictures in the puppy gallery so everyone can see how positively adorable Karma is.
I am so sorry Mark to hear about the desmise of yor dog. Most if not all of us have been there and definately understand. When you join a group like this, you will be associated with people who are totally commited to their pets. Not that I am suggesting that people who do not join pet discussions are not as caring, but to take the time to come here and become active like this, you know their pets are dearly loved. I enjoy it here and love all the wonderful caring and helpful members.
Thanks to all for the warm welcome. I'm still working my way through old threads so I don't waste time/space on questions/subjects that have already been covered. The amount of practical information on this site is truly phenomenal. My thanks to all contributors who have shared their knowledge and experience.