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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I am new to Dobermans. Do not have one yet but am looking into one and would absolutely LOVE to have my own.

My only question is if I am a fit owner? I have minimal experience with the breed, and am wondering if a breeder will even let me buy?

I am very experienced around dogs in general, and comfortable training different breeds. I have worked with other large, intelligent breeds (such as Husky, GSD, etc) so have a knowledge of training. I know to socialize/obedience train, etc. I also know to be firm.

I have a large backyard and plenty of time to devote to training/exercise/socializing/off-leash romps, etc. The dog would not have to spend much time alone (around 2 hours a day max) and I plan on utilizing obedience classes as well.

My question is this: Would you recommend a Doberman for me? I have minimal experience with the breed (very difficult since they are very rare in my region) but am comfortable training difficult breeds. I know they are intelligent and require a confident owner, which I believe myself to be. But would a breeder feel this way?

Thanks in advance for any answers!!
 

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Get the bunnies!
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Why do you want a Doberman? Have you met any in real life/what is your Doberman experience? What other dogs have you owned? Do you own any now?

I would expect those kinds of questions from a breeder :)
 

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You can't kill the metal
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If what you say is what you can provide for the dog then I would say yes.

I would look into rescuing one, personally, but to each his own.

I've never owned a doberman before nor have I had experience with one or training them but it's working out well for me!! I believe I got lucky with Lexi, she is a very well behaved and smart girl....most of the time ;)

I believe Male dobermans may give you a harder time if you want the challenge.
 

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Each dog is different but typically Dobermans are high energy. They are a working dog with prey drive. They are extremely smart which is great, but not so great for owners who don't know how to handle it. They look intimidating so unfortunately you will be criticized and discriminated through out your dogs life. They must be in your space all the time, ever heard of a 70lbs cat? They are riddled with health problems, are you willing to spend $1,000-$5,000 a year on vet bills?

The only way you can tell if you really want this breed is to get to know them :) you joined this forum, so you are going to learn many things on here. Next, get some hands on. Find a rescue or even offer to foster a Doberman.

Hope this helps a little, good luck :)
 

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It's hard to judge whether you'd be a good fit for the breed or not based on what you'd told us, but I certainly wouldn't discount you right away. Everyone starts off with a first dog of a certain breed at some point and a breeder has to give new owners a chance, as long as everything else checks out ok as far as what kind of owner they feel you'd be for a breed. We kind of fell into Dobermans, so I don't have an interesting experience of my own to share there as far as getting our first, but I remember feeling like you are now when I was wanting to buy my first Toller. Toller people are extremely protective of their breed and I thought for sure nobody was going to sell me a dog ever. I was young, I didn't have much breed experience aside from my Toller mix, etc. But as long as you've done your research, and the breeder gets the idea that you really want this and have thought hard and learned a lot about the breed, there'll be somebody willing to allow you one of their puppies. Pending of course that you really are a good fit for an active, often challenging to train, sensitive but bold dog such as the Doberman. And that your living arrangements are up to par with their standards, too. There are lots of things a good breeder should and will ask you, and as long as you're able to answer those questions honestly and have an idea of what you're getting into, I don't imagine you should have a problem unless you really aren't a good fit for the breed. I find most good breeders to be very nice, knowledgeable and willing to listen.

I believe Male dobermans may give you a harder time if you want the challenge.
I disagree with this. Males being more difficult seems to be a common misconception. I've owned mostly female dogs my entire life, and the few males I've had have actually been easier in a lot of ways. Males do generally take longer to grow up and find their brain, but aside from that, they're often more eager to do as they're told as they're more concerned with not doing something right than females often are. Females are often more independent minded and have a greater desire to try things their own way, and push more. I personally prefer females for those reasons. Mine have all seemed to think for themselves way more than most male dogs I've known. At least, that's been my experience over the years. There will always be exceptions of course.
 

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joie de vivre
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Males being more difficult seems to be a common misconception. I've owned mostly female dogs my entire life, and the few males I've had have actually been easier in a lot of ways. Males do generally take longer to grow up and find their brain, but aside from that, they're often more eager to do as they're told as they're more concerned with not doing something right than females often are. Females are often more independent minded and have a greater desire to try things their own way, and push more. I personally prefer females for those reasons. Mine have all seemed to think for themselves way more than most male dogs I've known. At least, that's been my experience over the years. There will always be exceptions of course.
THIS. I don't know why so many people think females are 'easier' than males. I have yet to meet a male that wasn't generally/usually happy to listen, albeit goofy as hell, but if you can get his attention he'll comply. But the bitches will downright challenge you with some serious attitude over some things and that's after exhausting yourself trying to get their attention. Females can be incredibly manipulative and serious.

Dobermans in general are not 'easy' to raise, but I think anyone who gets a female believing they'll be simpler than a male to deal with is a bit naive. Both sexes are going to be exhausting to raise. It's a matter of whether you'd rather deal with a goofy "will he ever grow his brains" male or a sometimes really snotty "you're a complete moron and I couldn't disagree more with what you want me to do" minded female.

Fiona was a fun and hilarious puppy but I am SO GLAD she's finally mature now. She was HARD.
 

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Is there a Doberman rescue near you? That is how I got experience living with Dobermans for the first time. I also helped out at events and did transports, home visits, etc and really got to be around many Dobermans and figure out if we were a good match for each other. You get to experience Dobermans and help save lives without actually committing to one just yet, it's an awesome deal!
 

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Why A Doberman?

We Dobermans are not for everyone. We are very intelligent dogs and learn quickly but we need owners who are willing to work with us and stimulate our intellect. We don’t generally like to sit around all day with nothing to do. We like to be active and be a part of your life. We like regular exercise and excel in obedience training and agility plus many other things. Because of our short coats we are not well insulated so we don’t like to stay outside for long periods of time in the cold and the heat can be hard on us too. We need to live primarily indoors but love to go outside with you for walks and other forms of exercise. We do best with a fence so we don’t get carried away and forget where our territory ends and the great unknown begins!

When we are young we need owners who know how to handle us properly, who can be firm but not harsh. Owners who will show us how to live in the world of people.

What Do You Expect From Me?

Although I am intelligent I was born a canine and still am one. I cannot move into your home and read your mind to know what your rules are and exactly what you want me to do. Unless you work with me I will make my own rules and those may not agree with yours.

If you will take the time to train me I will reward you for life. I will not be 100% trained over night! People take years to raise their children and train them up in the ways of the world but often expect perfection of their canine family members immediately. This is not realistic. Training me to be a good dog and forming our relationship takes time. Learning how to communicate with me in a language I can understand takes time, but when we connect you will feel a satisfaction and reward beyond anything I can explain here.

So, if you are a person who expects to take home a dog, any dog, and expect that we will just know what to do and you have no patience or time to deal with forging a communication and relationship, then owning a Doberman, or any dog, really is not for you. Adopt a goldfish!

What Is Your Personality?

Are you patient and have the time to train? I will do everything I can to please you. If you are impatient and won’t take the time, I will still try to please you. It is my nature to please you. It is not my nature though to read minds. If you yell at me every time I don’t understand your rules and don’t show me the ropes we will be doomed forever to misunderstanding one another. Please just show me what it is you want from me. If you aren’t sure how to tell me there are plenty of obedience schools available to help you. People really do very well in obedience class. I know many dogs who can attest to that.

Occasionally issues may come up where you feel like I am bossing you. Please remember that we dogs are pack animals. You need to assume leadership of the pack and if you don’t we will try. You must be the leader, teach and enforce the rules. There is plenty of back up in wonderful trainers to help you work through any situation that may come up. Please just ask for help and have the patience and we should work it out as smoothly as possible.

Do You Have Time?

Does your job require you to travel a lot? If so, what will you do with me when that occurs? Do you have a babysitter lined up? I can’t be left alone for days. I need someone to feed me and take me outside to go to the bathroom while you are away. If you travel often or that is a future possibility you really need to think about that. You can still adopt me. I will wait for you to come home and I will like my babysitter, but never as much as you! Just as you would not leave a child without a babysitter or give up a child just because you travel you must think of a dog in the same way and plan ahead.

If moving could be in your future there are plenty of places that will accept dogs but again, you need to think things out before you adopt one of us. It is very hard to have a happy home and then be given up.

Also, if you have children, figure out how we can all live together safely and harmoniously. Dobermans are good family dogs but small children can be unnerving to a lot of us dogs. They make loud strange noises and move quickly and sometimes hurt us without meaning to. Again, a little forethought on your part will help these things to transition smoothly.

What Is Your Lifestyle?

Are you active or do you like to come home from work and sit in front of the computer or the TV? I am not against computers or television but I will need exercise before you sit down for the night and then I am more than happy to be there with you as long as you give me affection while you are sitting. Dobermans love the companionship of their humans. We crave our time with you and need to know we are loved.

We do shed. Most dogs do. If you don’t like dog hair and that really cramps your style you should maybe consider adopting something without hair.

Can You Afford a Dog?

I really have no concept of what things cost. Dogs have no use for money but it does cost money to own one of us. The cost of dog food is one element. I don’t eat that much but my food will still cost you money. I also get goodies to snack on just like you do. I will need veterinary care at least once a year for my shots and it’s always best to plan for emergencies and contingencies. Sometimes we get sick or wounded and need to see our doctor. Sometimes we develop health issues like a low thyroid and need daily medicines.

As we age we usually need more medical care just like humans do. Please don’t get one of us, keep us until we are old and then discard us because you don’t want to deal with the aging aspects. We live for approximately 10-12 years so plan on a long commitment. You won’t be disappointed.

What Do Dobermans Like To Do?

Just as all people are not the same, neither are dogs. Generally, we are working dogs so we like to have something to do for parts of our day. Almost all of us love to go for long walks, or runs with you and many of us are all too happy to snuggle with you afterward.

Sometimes we get pretty rowdy. We like to jump off of furniture and box and chew on each other. Our humans understand that this is how dogs play although they don’t understand why it is fun.

We like to have good things to chew on, like Nylabones, and Kong Toys and those puzzle toys where we have to figure out how to get smaller toys out of a bigger one are really great for our intellect.

We also enjoy doing our part to help around the house. We watch our humans paint and wallpaper and clean and encourage them when they get frustrated. We always make sure to put a nose print on the doors and mirrors to remind our humans to wipe them off once in awhile.

Please note that we have no opposable thumbs so we can’t do any kind of house work that requires such things. We will, however, try to be good when you pick up our toys so you can vacuum and wait until you are finished before dragging them all back out again.

Most of us love people and love to be admired. We are very loyal, want to please them and live to be with them. Some of us don’t say a lot and others like to talk to our owners. Our owners and families are our life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all answers so far!

I have been researching this breed to death and feel confident I can handle them. I want one because I am in love with the breed. I have always wanted one. They are beautiful to look at, and I adore the type - which is to say, large, strong, intelligent, athletic breeds with plenty of personality. I feel confident that I can meet their needs in regards to mental and physical stimulation as I have been blessed with time, a large yard, and a great location.

My big concern is if a breeder will feel the same of someone with very minimal experience in that breed. I have been around a few Dobe-mixes, but due to the fact that they are largely uncommon in my area I have almost no opportunities to help out at rescues or clubs as some suggested.
 

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Eat Poo and Die
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THIS. I don't know why so many people think females are 'easier' than males. I have yet to meet a male that wasn't generally/usually happy to listen, albeit goofy as hell, but if you can get his attention he'll comply. But the bitches will downright challenge you with some serious attitude over some things and that's after exhausting yourself trying to get their attention. Females can be incredibly manipulative and serious.

Dobermans in general are not 'easy' to raise, but I think anyone who gets a female believing they'll be simpler than a male to deal with is a bit naive. Both sexes are going to be exhausting to raise. It's a matter of whether you'd rather deal with a goofy "will he ever grow his brains" male or a sometimes really snotty "you're a complete moron and I couldn't disagree more with what you want me to do" minded female.

Fiona was a fun and hilarious puppy but I am SO GLAD she's finally mature now. She was HARD.
Lol, I don't know how you raised Fiona. I probably would have been found curled up and crying in a closet. I love the goofy "will he ever grow his brains" male personality. The most they do is grumble LOUDLY about how they could be treated in such a way (no girl scout cookies for Niz) and throw you dirty looks. And boys are easy to forgive if you do hurt their sensitive little feelings.
 

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So, I am new to Dobermans. Do not have one yet but am looking into one and would absolutely LOVE to have my own.

My only question is if I am a fit owner? I have minimal experience with the breed, and am wondering if a breeder will even let me buy?

I am very experienced around dogs in general, and comfortable training different breeds. I have worked with other large, intelligent breeds (such as Husky, GSD, etc) so have a knowledge of training. I know to socialize/obedience train, etc. I also know to be firm.

I have a large backyard and plenty of time to devote to training/exercise/socializing/off-leash romps, etc. The dog would not have to spend much time alone (around 2 hours a day max) and I plan on utilizing obedience classes as well.

My question is this: Would you recommend a Doberman for me? I have minimal experience with the breed (very difficult since they are very rare in my region) but am comfortable training difficult breeds. I know they are intelligent and require a confident owner, which I believe myself to be. But would a breeder feel this way?

Thanks in advance for any answers!!
I'm with ya except the large back yard part. I do have a fenced in yard(privacy fence) and a pool though. I just don't know if a reputable breeder would even consider me good enough or knowledgeable enough for one of their pups.
 

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joie de vivre
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Lol, I don't know how you raised Fiona. I probably would have been found curled up and crying in a closet. I love the goofy "will he ever grow his brains" male personality. The most they do is grumble LOUDLY about how they could be treated in such a way (no girl scout cookies for Niz) and throw you dirty looks. And boys are easy to forgive if you do hurt their sensitive little feelings.
There were times I'd have to crate her and go on a walk by myself to regain my sanity and patience. She has been the definition of determined. And stubborn. And independent.

I really wish I'd have kept a daily journal of raising Fiona; my experiences, what she was like, what I learned, etc. I'd have it printed up and I'd give a copy to every person who sees Fiona and says, "Oh she's beautiful! I've always wanted a Doberman!"

I'd give 2 copies to the people that compliment her manners and how well behaved she is, along with a book on dog breeds with other much easier breeds highlighted and tagged for their reference.

Some puppies are just harder or easier than others, and I don't believe sex is the absolute determining factor.
 

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Try not to worry too much about having no experience with the breed. There are people with a lot of Doberman experience who are morons and should not own dogs period. I think to successfully raise an energetic working breed, one should meet these criteria, at minimum: have experience living with or working with one or more working breeds; have a basic understanding of dog body language and calming signals; have researched different training methods and have a plan for how your dog will be trained; have the time and money to provide adequate training, via classes or what not; have the money to provide veterinary care; have the insight to know which breeds would fit into your lifestyle and which breeds wont. And of course you want to look at your home situation- if you have several young children or several other dogs you may want to wait until a better time. I would say a fenced in backyard is a necessity.
Before talking to a breeder or rescue, figure out the answers to a few things: what are your plans for a Dobe? Pet, agility, obedience, working sports? What kind of temperament do you want? Are gender/color/age/C&D important to you?

Sorry for that, didn't mean to go on a tangent, ha! You're in the right place to learn about this breed, that's for sure. The search function is a glorious tool! Good luck to you.
 

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Why A Doberman?...............................

What Do You Expect From Me?

Although I am intelligent I was born a canine and still am one. I cannot move into your home and read your mind to know what your rules are and exactly what you want me to do. Unless you work with me I will make my own rules and those may not agree with yours.

If you will take the time to train me I will reward you for life. I will not be 100% trained over night! People take years to raise their children and train them up in the ways of the world but often expect perfection of their canine family members immediately. This is not realistic. Training me to be a good dog and forming our relationship takes time. Learning how to communicate with me in a language I can understand takes time, but when we connect you will feel a satisfaction and reward beyond anything I can explain here.

So, if you are a person who expects to take home a dog, any dog, and expect that we will just know what to do and you have no patience or time to deal with forging a communication and relationship, then owning a Doberman, or any dog, really is not for you. Adopt a goldfish!...............................
How true...thanks for the DOBER article.
 
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