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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Dear friends,

We're Indians living in Europe (Czech Republic). Our 8 year old daughter is mad about dogs :) and reads a lot about them on the net. Knows diff breeds and their characteristics, identifies them while walking on the street :)

I was very keen to have a dog when I was young, but never got to have them ever. I want to live my childhood dream, now with my daughter and have a new companion - preferably a DOBE, rather only a DOBE and nothing else! Please let us know if we are doing the right thing, since we do not want to mix our emotions while deciding.

Here is a bit about us and the background:
- We're complete novice
- Live in apartment (first floor), only garage below our flat and one neighbor on same floor level. No terrace. Old and heritage building and solid walls.
- A large park right next to apartment for exercise
- Commitment level: Daughter-100%, myself-90% (except when travel on work), wife-25%, and full time at home. Wife mindset is - dad and daughter have ganged up and decided on having a pet, she is worried the dog would get dumped on her .......... which is not true, but she is refusing to agree :)
- Prague is a super dog friendly city, so many options for socializing, playing and taking dogs in trams/metro/bus/restaurant and practically everywhere. Sometime I wonder Dogs have more privilege than humans in this city ;) Abundant trainers at all levels, dog walkers, sitters etc etc. Very nice ecosystem.

Our concern is:
a. How much of exercise is minimum and mandatory? My assumption is: twice a day 2 miles of walk (includes fetching exercise). I cannot run everyday, and also I cannot expect my daughter or wife to run.
b. Would dobe's bark a lot. I do not want to annoy our neighbors and the house owner. We do not have option to move out of our current apartment as it is very convenient.
c. Would apartment living be suitable for dobe, given our background. This is a topic deliberated multiple times, but still want to clarify.
d. Novice and a dobe as first dog!

Current status:
- We are going the puppy route from a reputed breeder. More details of the breeder here.
Gujar of Gudas - Dobermann kennel FCI, dobrman
- Both parents are champion dogs (Dam - Czech Rep champion, Sire - Germany champion). See picture for their multiple certifications - temperament, health, korung and other championship
http://s1159.photobucket.com/user/donvenky/media/image2_zpsgl2nfvcg.jpg.html
- Picture of my daughter during "pick of the litter". Chose male puppy and 4 weeks old now.
image1_zpsjd6bv4ke.jpg Photo by donvenky | Photobucket

We've paid the booking amount, but having 2 minds after reading the forum on apartment living and novice with dobe.

Let me know if you've any questions. Basically we want a big YES from you to embark on our journey...... it is a life long commitment and we don't want to start with any hesitation.

Thanks heaps for your time and advice :)

Venky
 

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1. Welcome and thank you for doing research!

2. I do not mind owners living in apartments although I know many disagree with me on that. However, the people I have seen who successfully raise a working dog in an apartment are all very experienced and spend a lot (!) of time exercising and mentally stimulating their dog. Remember, there will be absolutely no chance of "just throwing ball in the backyard" when time is tight / weather is bad / training is plateaued and you cannot give your dog enough exercise.

3. Dobermans are large, strong dogs with lots of energy and motivation to get to what they want. You mentioned traveling and your wife not being to keen on the idea. IS she willing to walk a 30 kg whirlwind who is not only pulling on the leash but also trying to get to that cat / leaf / off leash dog with all his might? Because believe me, no matter how great your training is there will be days when things just do not work "the way they are supposed to" - especially during adolescence.

4. Although it is great that your daughter is interested I would not count on her doing any work with the dog. She is a child, children thrive on having pets but it is not their responsibility.
Regarding walking the dog alone - forget it. My 80 lb could pull me over quite easily if he wanted to and I am 180 cm and has the weight to back it up. What would you do if your daughter looses control of the dog and gets hurt? What if she gets dragged into traffic? What if the dog gets loose and hurt / killed while under her responsibility? Would you make her live with that?
Now, I have this opinion regarding all size and temperament dogs and children. They should not be put in that situation, ever! I love seeing children and dogs together, my 4 year old can walk my dog. But only under extremely safe conditions. He will not be allowed to take any dog of mine out before he is physically and mentally capable of making adult decisions and take the consequences of those decisions.

5. Dobermans are incredibly smart. As easily as they learn good behaviours they also learn bad ones. As a novice it is extremely difficult to notice and stem those troublesome antics before they become a serious problem.

I love dobes! I always will love dobes! But I cannot recommend one in your situation.

I would strongly suggest looking at a small, companion breed. Why? They do not have the need of quite so much mental and physical stimulation to "stay on the carpet". They will be more manageable for you physically (think about your poor wife, please!) easier to bring along and if everything else fails you pick em up and walk away. Any dog will require training! This will be a great opportunity for you and your daughter to learn and get some experience.
Research a lot and stay away from "larming" breeds if you want to keep your neighbors happy!

Sorry to rain on your parade but I would wait with a dobe and save that experience for a few years.

Good luck!
 

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Welcome!
I too would not suggest a Doberman, much less one from a strong working background, for a first time dog owner with a wife who is not also 90% on board and a child that young. For all the reasons Corminta gives.
I've had dogs all my life, and my first 3 Dobes were all rescues, all adults - it was a great intro into the breed and prepared me for my present girl who I have raised from a puppy. I'm retired, so home most always, but it was still a challenge at times, requiring diligence, constant vigilance, PATIENCE, and a lot of work!
I too second the idea of a smaller companion breed as your first dog.
Best wishes and good luck!
 

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Hi Venky. I'm sorry but I would have to agree with Corminta and CRDobe. I'm a new dobe owner but not a novice dog owner and Darcy the dobe has completely changed my life. She is just 14 months old and is a rocket fuelled, solid steel whirlwind, capable of free running for miles without breaking a sweat. She needs a lot of exercise and a lot of training. They are a fantastic breed I think but, in my limited experience, you have to be prepared for the huge amount of time and attention they need and be 100% committed.
I'm really sorry, I'd love to say the opposite but it wouldn't be true!
 

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If you truly have your mind set on a Doberman, I would wait. All the points other posters have made are valid. Your wife is only 25% on board and she truly needs to be 100% on board and dare I say, she is also correct that the majority of the hard work will likely fall on her shoulders ( not dumped, exactly)

I was raised with Dobermans and large breed dogs ...all working dogs. I have owned 5 doberman in my adult life ( and a daschund, and two French Bulldogs ). Maybe you can find an adult Doberman from a reputable breeder who already has gone through all the puppyhood stages and is chill.

They say it takes a Doberman 2-3 years to mature (some more, some less ��). Could you do it? Sure, is it wise at this time, maybe not. Have you thought about a daschund? I can say, the one I had acted just like the Doberman that was her partner in crime!

Talk to the breeder and explain what you explained here. Ask if you can get a refund and that you only want the very best for this puppy, and right now it's not with your family.
 

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I agree with all the above and like to add one more thought for you to consider.

If you go through with a getting a Doberman you will get the male which you already picked. Image you daughter walking him when he is about a year old! He will in all likelihood not be very friendly with other males. There are always some ignorant people that let their male dog come up to yours to say "Hi". There is no way you daughter could control him should he or the other dog show any aggression. You don't want you daughter in the middle of two dogs getting in a fight; that is a recipe for disaster.

Our Max, walking him on his leash, is OK with other males and is just curious as long as the other dog is friendly. Totally different story if he is challenged....he will not back down.

Sorry for the long post but to many Dobies end up in shelters because owners aren't aware of what they are getting in to. A better choice for you would be an adult female (4 years +).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for your time and advice. Really appreciate them.

I see most of the response are:
No-go because of XYZ reasons.
Can someone help me understand:
Go-"if you meet this" criteria.

So far I've gathered the following:
- City living in apartment is ok, provided twice exercise daily
- Should not let kids to walk the dog on their own

Update since yesterday:
- Commitment 100% from my daughter and myself. Working on improving wife's commitment. She just had a long conversation with another family friend of ours who have GSD all their life. She's getting there but not yet 100%. I'll remain patient with her.
- Breeder is willing to refund in case of change of mind.
- Breeder has a professional trainer in mind to recommend for [a] training our family and training dobe (and in that order)

For me any other breed is not possible, since I've my mind set on Dobe. So options like smaller breed will not work as a stop gap arrangement (I do understand your advice on graduating to owning dobe in stages). Also I'm unable to consider rescue and adult dobe for the moment, as I've learnt so far from various sources to socialise puppy with kids is the better approach.

More-or-less I sound stubborn, because I think it is possible. With professional help, I can cover some of the steep learning curve. With commitment we should be able to make it.

Still too cocky?
 

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Probably not a most popular opinion on here, but I think as long as you're 100% commited, and get your wife's approval, you should get the dog you want.

I have been wanting a dobie since I was a kid and I never had dogs before because my parents didn't believe in having animals. I got my first dog, a dobie a little less than a year ago. I don't think I would've been as happy with any other breed because my heart had been set on one for over ten years.

I live in an apartment and it's been fine, as long as you are committed to keeping your dog exercised mentally and physically. This means walks at least twice a day, finding a safe place to let your dog run off leash(keep in mind that dobies are prone to same sex aggression and are generally not dog park dogs), and training! I've taken mine obedience classes from the week I got him and I practice with him daily. Luckily for me, Morgynn is not a barker, he might bark once or twice a week but that's about it. But talk to the landlord first, dobies are usually on the denied breed list.

That being said, I do suggest reading up on the breed and doing your research before going through with it. I really suggest NOT getting a working dobie for your first one. I have my hands full with an American conformation dobie who doesn't have an extreme work drive and I definitely cannot imagine handling the drive and energy of a working line doberman.

And please consider a rescue/adult dobie. While it's easier to socialize a puppy than an adult, it's much easier to find an adult that's already potty trained and is known to be good with kids rather than training a puppy on your own, especially if the wife is going to be the one at home with him all day and isn't 100% on board with puppy potty training and probably wont be thrilled when teething comes along.

If you're not at the point in your lives that commiting to a dog 100% is possible, I'd wait on your dobie. It's not a breed that can be ignored, they're a bit too smart for their own good sometimes.
 

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Probably not a most popular opinion on here, but I think as long as you're 100% commited, and get your wife's approval, you should get the dog you want.

I have been wanting a dobie since I was a kid and I never had dogs before because my parents didn't believe in having animals. I got my first dog, a dobie a little less than a year ago. I don't think I would've been as happy with any other breed because my heart had been set on one for over ten years.

I live in an apartment and it's been fine, as long as you are committed to keeping your dog exercised mentally and physically. This means walks at least twice a day, finding a safe place to let your dog run off leash(keep in mind that dobies are prone to same sex aggression and are generally not dog park dogs), and training! I've taken mine obedience classes from the week I got him and I practice with him daily. Luckily for me, Morgynn is not a barker, he might bark once or twice a week but that's about it. But talk to the landlord first, dobies are usually on the denied breed list.

That being said, I do suggest reading up on the breed and doing your research before going through with it. I really suggest NOT getting a working dobie for your first one. I have my hands full with an American conformation dobie who doesn't have an extreme work drive and I definitely cannot imagine handling the drive and energy of a working line doberman.

And please consider a rescue/adult dobie. While it's easier to socialize a puppy than an adult, it's much easier to find an adult that's already potty trained and is known to be good with kids rather than training a puppy on your own, especially if the wife is going to be the one at home with him all day and isn't 100% on board with puppy potty training and probably wont be thrilled when teething comes along.

If you're not at the point in your lives that commiting to a dog 100% is possible, I'd wait on your dobie. It's not a breed that can be ignored, they're a bit too smart for their own good sometimes.
I won't repeat but completely agree with this ^^^!
 

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Hi Venky - Welcome from Canada / hard call here, but I'm leaning to your side on this one.
- anyone that wants a dobe pup, has to start sometime
- your daughter is 8 years old / not 8 months old
- too bad your wife wasn't sold 100%, but my mother said "those are vicious dogs, why the h*ll did you get one of those"?...back in 1977
- we visited on most weekends, soon my mother fell in love with our Doberman
- first dog my Mom ever napped with, on the couch...LOL..and followed mother around the kitchen, like a loving shadow

As a 1st timer (almost 40 years ago), we got a FM from top NA show lines - I was told to get a girl, right or wrong / as they are smaller.
- 1st year we lived in an apartment, on the ground floor beside a park
- took OB training seriously, practiced daily and finished the advanced level off-leash
- mom & dad became very consistent
- girly sleep with wife on couch, when Dad worked night shift / added to wife's safety
- she was our baby, for life

It all worked out really good, but try picking a more milder/calmer puppy vs a high prey driven one.
- great, you picked out a good breeder
- great, you picked out a good trainer
Your wife, should be breed converted in no time / if the puppy work is done & taken seriously - its a 24/7 initial job, to start with.
- good luck / you got my puppy blessing...you appear driven to succeed, in this decision
 

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Your wife is correct that most of the responsibility will fall to her if she is the one that is home all the time since the odds are that the dobe will bond with her and she will forever have a new shadow. This is not a bad thing but just the nature of the breed.

It sounds like you guys are well thought out on what you plan and the big choice is to find the right breeder who can deliver a pup that fits your desire.

This is a fabulous breed that i find to be such a joy to live with. A fun , loving and thinking dog. I can only encourage you on your choice for a dobe!
 

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Wife NEEDS to be 100% on board. Dobes (well, possibly any dog, but especially dobes) are a lot of work, particularly if you start with a puppy in an apartment. (potty training, obedience work, etc.). She will have to be doing a lot of the work if she is the one home most of the time.

If she is not enthusiastic about the dog, and having to do a lot of the scut work with it, resentment can set in very quickly--not good for the dog or the person. Relationships with resentments built in rarely work.

So be sure EVERYONE in the family is ready, willing and able before you move ahead with your plans.
 

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Welcome to the forum. My impressions:

1. You ask for advice but you have already taken your daughter to pick a puppy? That action, plus your comments, indicate you will get a puppy no matter what.

2. It's terrible to allow an eight year old to pick a puppy when the pups are very young. Shame on that breeder. A puppy should be picked BY THE BREEDER at a later stage in development, when activity/personality/drive are more developed, with the main criteria being a choice of qualities that will fit your lifestyle.

3. I am very sorry for your wife as it appears you are forcing her to be responsible for caring for a puppy she doesn't want, and a very challenging breed to raise, at that. You are being "patient" with her but you took your daughter to pick a puppy??? That's not patient, that's unkind.

4. It's blarmy for people to assure you that your wife will love the puppy so go ahead and get it. We see plenty of situations on here where people are flat out overwhelmed by raising a Doberman puppy and that's when they were on board with the decision. I'd be so angry if my husband brought home something that will require all the work this breed demands without my solid okay. You try to make it seem so simple and easy with little jotted lists, "twice exercise daily", but that is the tip of the iceberg as to what will be required from your wife. Very unfair to overrule her objections.
 
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