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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A week ago, a 6-8 month old male doberman followed us home from the river. Took him to the vet, no microchip. Posted fliers and on local Facebook groups, no responses.

He is the absolute sweetest dog. We are considering keeping him, but we are a bit nervous about the amount of attention and exercise Dobermans require. We have three small children - ages 1, 3, and 7. My husband and I both work from home. We have a large fenced in backyard and a covered deck. We live in Sacramento, so the weather is pretty good year round, except when it's crazy hot in the summer.

With these kids, our days are extremely hectic and full already. But this poor guy needs a home, and he would enrich our family as well.

Reading the posts here, it sounds like lots of doberman owners are able to focus on their dogs for many hours a day. We can't exactly do that - while we can train and exercise him regularly, he won't be the center of our lives. We will need him to fit into our world. Is this reasonable to expect?

I would love to hear what people think, especially from anyone with young kids. (As a side note - should we be concerned about the safety of our children with the dog?)

Here he is :)
Dog Plant Dobermann Carnivore Dog breed
 

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Why not do a trial period and see how it goes? If it doesn't work out, then you can look at finding a good home. A lot of families have dobermans and children. A well trained dobe with a well trained child (lol, one who is taught how to behave around dogs) can be a wonderful combo and the child will have a best friend for the rest of the dog's life. As long as children are respectful and the dog is given structure and boundaries it could work out well.
 

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Welcome to DT !

I'll start with , No kids here as you asked for in response , But think the questions for you 2 to answer are

1. Dobermans do need attention and will demand it !

2.. I read where you have 3 young kids , Dobers take some money to raise . I guess what I'm saying , will you have the extra money to take care of your family and the Dober ?

3. 6 to 8 months , boy them Dobers can be a handful at that age , ( Playing )

4. You will need to spend time teaching your kids to be with him , NO pulling on ears , and if they play hard with him , he will play hard back .

5. Do you and your Hubby have dog experience - puppy ? Large breed dogs ? If No then you may need to just pass .

6. This pup will need to start going to training classes as soon as possible , they will work with you training him and that will make life better

7. You do have a lot going for yourself ! Large fenced in area = great ! You both work from home = another bonus ! Yet you will need to house break him

8. And to me , a important question is : How do you rate your patience ? For both of you ? I will tell you firsthand - they are super smart and they can reason and they will test you somedays , lol This is where you have to have the patience , lol

9 . Good luck and keep in the loop
 

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Dobes Dobles +1
Neo Puppy, Lanah Chi-Cairn X 8 y/o, RIP Eva HADR Rescue Dobe, Sunking's Spock, Lillah Chi-Terrier X
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AGF, welcome to DT! I can't imagine some SOB dumping that poor puppy in the wild! Thanks for taking him in.

Wow, you've got a hard decision to make there... Adding a Doberman to your family is like adding another child, except one that is very needy, with ADHD, grows to 80+ lbs. before you know it and demands constant attention, plus stays this way for entire life! How does you new Dobe act around your children now? Also you hinted about the weather outside, please know that Dobes are people dogs and shouldn't kept out of the house in yard, must be their humans inside or they might develop personality problems.

If you didn't have the infant 1 y/o, I would say yes to keeping him. But I think for the puppy's sake, might be better to contact a Doberman breed rescue to get him adopted out. Picking up a stray like that could bring along problems. He might've been dumped because the original owners couldn't handle him or he might have a temperament problem? A Doberman rescue would be able to professioinally evaluate that. Possibly you could foster him for a while to see how it works out? :)
 

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Knowing how much time, energy, money, and patience my boy took (he turned 2 in late July) I would say you should get him to a reputable Doberman rescue organization for the best result for all of you.

I can’t imagine the awful people that just abandoned him! Shameful.
 

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Hello! I added children to my home that already had Dobermans by way of my now husband, lol. It was sure an adjustment for all of us. That was 12 years ago, but now my oldest stepson has 2 children of his own: a 1 year old and a 1 month old. They were all just at our house over the weekend, where I now have a 6 year old male Doberman and a 5 month old female Doberman. I have been in this breed for a couple decades and, even so, I am STILL exhausted from 36 hours of watching the 1 year old child move around the house while tracking what the dogs were up to. Can it be done? Absolutely. However, I know my dogs' histories and also have worked with dog training long enough to have a good idea of body language and what might happen next. And I was still freaked out.
I don't think you should automatically give this dog over to rescue. I have been actively involved in rescue for a long time, as well, and some of the best Dobermans I've met were/are rescues. But I think you have to have a very solid plan for not just providing a place for him to live, but a very busy/stimulating atmosphere where he gets a lot of attention as well and can be an integral part of the family. This breed demands and deserves it.
There is no shame at all in working with a rescue to find a good home for him, should it come to that. I would just suggest taking a good hard look at what all you can offer him in the exercise, stimulation, attention department as well as financially - this is certainly not the healthiest breed out there.
Thank you for taking him in and keeping him safe, too, while you figure out what is best. That is really wonderful!

ETA: Here's some of the controlled chaos from over the weekend. I wouldn't have it any other way! It just isn't for everyone, either.

The 1 year old is obviously never left alone with the dogs. She is also being taught how to be gentle, not take their toys, etc.
Vertebrate Window Wood Brickwork Brick


Our puppy is absolutely smitten with the baby and would rest alongside of whoever was feeding her.
Furniture Leg Comfort Curtain Wood
 

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You've had him a week and think he's a sweetie. By the time you contact a rescue group and have some discussion with them, you'll have had him another week -- or two or three. That ought to help you make up your mind whether he'll fit into your family or not. IMO living with a family like yours automatically provides some of the mental and social stimulation that people like me (older, retired) have to work at providing.

The biggest consideration for you and your husband is can you supervise him with your children, particularly the youngest two, sufficiently. That means kids are ALWAYS under someone's watchful eye when with the dog. That would be true if he was a Chihuahua.

If you do keep him, give serious consideration to at least a basic dog health insurance policy. I didn't used to believe that, but vet bills are escalating like everything else these days -- or maybe more accurately more than everything else.
 

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Hi Abby. Welcome from the Pacific NW

Well.... It will require some effort. And It may not work out in the long run, requiring you to seek a new home for the pup.

That being said.... My adult son and I both keep Dobermans, although I am briefly Dobe-less. My son was born into a home with a male Dobe, and he and his wife have 2 boys, ages 3 and 6 years old. The kids have been raised around Dobermans, and I cannot even imagine them without their black and tan shadows. Their dog, Popeye, sleeps in their room and is always at their sides. The older boy has a a very good grasp of commanding the pup, as he did with my dog. The youngest was only 1 year old when Popeye came home right after they had to let their senior boy go. The pup is a constant in his life. No different than his parents or his brother. The have both experienced the passing away of our dogs (one of theirs and one of mine), and and responded well.

There is a learning curve, that applies to both the puppy and the children. The first consideration should be restricting interactions between the kids and the pup. They should never be together unsupervised. The children need to learn moderation and restraint in their approach, This is especially true, given the puppy's age. The dog must learn his limitations. This can pretty much all be done with positive training. And, in my experience, in a very short time, they will develop a bond that will last for the dog's entire life. The pup becomes an integral part of the family. And, I can tell you in no uncertain terms, that our Dobermans, with proper training, care and love, have been the perfect additions to our household.

The puppy should be crate trained. This will initially allow for "time outs" and a place for the pup to crash when he gets over stimulated. Eventually, the crate can become his safe and secure place to retreat. A den or lair, so to speak. Dogs and kids, no matter how well they get along, need the ability to voluntarily separate.

One final note: The 1 year old aside... Once the puppy matures a bit, and both he and the 3 and the 7 year old learn their boundaries, the kids can actually take some of the responsibility off your hands. The can feed him, crate him, play in the fenced yard with him, teach him tricks and commands. In the not to distant future, maybe a couple of years, your older child should be able to walk him. My oldest grandson, has been walking the dogs, with supervision, since he was 4. And my dog was about 80 lb, well leashed trained and non-reactive.

Oh... One FINAL final note: ECIN, mentioned finances. Today, responsible dog ownership is expensive. Routine vet visits, food, supplies, and even pet insurance and add up. Then, there are the unexpected bills, that always seem to come up at the worst time. Just make sure that keeping this pup would be something that would fit comfortably in your budget.

If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask. There is a lot of experience here.

John L
Portland OR

Edit to add: 3 BEST FRIENDS AT THE OREGON COAST
Popeye 1, Josie 2 , Gabriel 5

Water Dog Sky Cloud Beach
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all so much for your thoughtful input. After two weeks, we have come to the difficult conclusion that the dog and our family will both be better off if he finds another home. My husband and I already have our hands full with the kids, and one more soul to care for is more than we can successfully take on at the moment.

I'm grateful for the time we did get to spend with him - I can see that Dobermans are very special dogs. Happily, we have found a loving home for him that already has two Dobermans, so he will have plenty of exercise and simulation there.

Thanks again!
 
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