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im looking to get a doberman. it will be my 2nd time, and my wife's 4th time owning one. In the past, i was smart enough to go to a breeder to get one instead of a puppy mill. however, i was not smart enough to know the difference between good/ethical breeders and bad/unethical breeders. looking back in hind sight, the breeder i used would be classified as a BYB. After doing weeks of homework on this forum and trying to understand the difference between breeders and their lines, im still confused. first and formost, im looking for a doberman that is a family pet. im not looking to show the dog. however, i believe i want a doberman that has some working capabilities. i'm a very active person. i use to cross train with my doberman by my side in the past. we use to run on the beach, jog hills, bike riding and so forth. im looking to do advanced obedience training as well as security work. as far as schutzhund, and agility, not sure if im interested. so the question is, do i look for breeders that breed strictly working dobermans or strictly show dobermans? or a breeder that breeds show lines with working capabilities?
 

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u mad?
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If you want a family pet and you are not planning on doing any sports seriously than I think you'll be fine with any dog from a reputable breeder, regardless of lines. My boy is from show lines but his breeders dogs are all completely capable of doing other things (dog sports, exercising with people, etc).

I also wonder what you mean by "security" work.
 

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joie de vivre
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I think you'd be fine with a pet pup from either a working or show line breeder.

Don't forget - there are plenty of good, ethical breeders who may work their dogs in protection sport but also breed for conformation and there are also many good, ethical show breeders who temperament test their dogs.

If I were you, I'd go to some AKC conformation shows and find a local schutzhund club and attend some events so you can see the dogs, meet their handlers, and find out who the recommended breeders are in your area in both of those venues. Contact breeders and go from there. It's important to find out about the health testing each breeder does, how they work their dogs, what their ideal Doberman is, and figure out how your expectations align with theirs.

If your main goal is a healthy, stable pet, be clear about that with the breeder. You don't want to end up with a drivey dog you don't like living with because the breeder thinks you're pretty serious about competing in something like protection or agility. I really believe you can get an excellent obedience prospect from a breeder of either lines as long as they're breeding balanced dogs.

Where are you located? Maybe some members can recommend breeders to contact to get you started in the right direction.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
when i say security work, i mean having a guard dog for my family and business. also, im from long island, ny. the breeders i was interested in were bell'lavaro, cara dobermans, and von haus gebet. what do you think?
 

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I can certainly recommend Cara or Bell'Lavaro - I know them both from UDC and they title and work their own dogs as well as appropriate health testing. Those would be my first two choices as I did not see any titles on their own personal dogs.
 

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when i say security work, i mean having a guard dog for my family and business. also, im from long island, ny. the breeders i was interested in were bell'lavaro, cara dobermans, and von haus gebet. what do you think?
I personally know Ray and Vicki, both sell working dogs that make great family pets and are also nice to look at, for those of us who like the Euro look.
 

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Emerald, as others have said, those two are great breeders. However, telling them you want a dog to 'guard your family and business' is not going to get them to excited about giving a dog to you. The protection training (in schutzhund) and drive they have in their dogs is from many years of hard work, strict breeding, etc, and they are not going to send out a dog to be placed as a 'protector' and possibly be put in harms way.

I have spoken to Vicky with bell lavoro as well, and she is very strict with who she gives her puppies too. So I highly recommend figuring out exactly what you want in dog (if you are serious about schutzhund or not), researching more, and be able to convince her that you are 'worthy' of one of her dogs as it will take convincing.

As far as working vs show line. If you do not have the wish to be serious in a sport, I would go with show line. The working dobermans are a LOT to handle, and not the easiest to work with for those who do not have experience with high drive dobermans. They are not the easiest to live with as far as their need to do something, and everything you wish out of a doberman can be found in a show line dog. I have a BYB dobe who is easy to train, can keep up with my active life style, will fulfill my schutzhund needs for now, and at the same time, he is perfectly content laying on the couch all day long if I have a busy day, or if the weather is bad out. He doesn't have to work everyday, but he will willingly and loves to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks for all the input. Im thinking that maybe i should go with the showline that has working capabilities. with that being said, can anyone recommend breeders in the north east that produce euro-showline dogs with working capabilities? Or, should i still try cara and bell lavaro? its my understanding that they produce only working dobermans, correct me if im wrong?
 

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This is just my opinion and I am sure there will be many others on this forum that disagree! If you have the time to devote to your new dog then I highly support getting a dog from someone that imports their breeding stock vs someone that is breeding for the AKC conformation ring. There is no doubt that European lines are far suppior if you want a dog that is what a Doberman is suppose to be vs a Holograph of a Doberman!
 

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I want a Doberman that's far suppior!

Seriously though, way to insult those with NA bred Dobermans. You can just as easily purchase a Euro pup with a temperament that leaves much to be desired, just as you can with a NA pup. Plus, there is only a handful of breeders in the states with Euro lines that are reputable and ethical breeders. They typically don't breed often and already have waiting lists.
 

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This is just my opinion and I am sure there will be many others on this forum that disagree! If you have the time to devote to your new dog then I highly support getting a dog from someone that imports their breeding stock vs someone that is breeding for the AKC conformation ring. There is no doubt that European lines are far suppior if you want a dog that is what a Doberman is suppose to be vs a Holograph of a Doberman!
Everyone is entitled to an opinion no matter how ignorant and uninformed it may be.
 

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joie de vivre
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thanks for all the input. Im thinking that maybe i should go with the showline that has working capabilities. with that being said, can anyone recommend breeders in the north east that produce euro-showline dogs with working capabilities? Or, should i still try cara and bell lavaro? its my understanding that they produce only working dobermans, correct me if im wrong?
I would recommend contacting Cara and Bell Lavaro directly and asking them about their lines. Who better knows their lines than the breeders themselves? :)

If you get a good stable pup from show lines you should be able to dabble in protection sport, it's just unlikely you'll be competitive. So it depends on how far you think you may want to go with it.

Also, I disagree with this idea that a pet pup from working lines may be too much to handle. Dobermans aren't easy puppies to raise in general; just because a pup is from show lines doesn't make puppyhood all daisies and cupcakes. There are plenty of good working line breeders who know how to properly match the right pet pup to each home.

ETA...As for the "suppior" comment, I tried to Google that because I'm unfamiliar with that term but apparently Google doesn't recognize it as a word either. :confused: If all European Dobes are "suppior" I sure hope it's not painful!

Everyone else, remember: Don't argue with a fool. People watching may not be able to tell the difference.
 

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You are right everyone has the right to their own opinion, however it is not ignorant. Get away from the very political conformation group and talk to real doberman people!
 

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You are right Rainbow, there are some NA show line dobermans who do not have the best temperaments in the world. But then again there also some show line doberman breeders who put a ton of time and effort into making sure their dogs have fabulous temperaments and at least some degree of working ability. (Which the op is not even sure he wants to do dog sport)

There are also plenty of Euro line dogs with terrible temperaments, 0 working ability, low drive, hypothyroid, and dying at the age of 4 from DCM.

"Europe" is not to be confused with that dreamy place where the perfect puppy owner lives on a farm out in the country and everything is wonderful and perfect and dogs live until the age of 20. Europe is a continent. Not sure how an entire continent of 47 countries can be filled with perfect dogs that are ALL better than any dog you could find here in the US.
 

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You are right everyone has the right to their own opinion, however it is not ignorant. Get away from the very political conformation group and talk to real doberman people!
FYI......I don't show in conformation. We title in other venues. :nicejob:


I "talk" to real doberman people here on this forum everyday. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the varied owners/breeders/competitors who are members and learn before throwing out your uninformed statements.
 

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Yes, I've seen a few breeders breeding for structure who regularly produce poor temperaments, but I wouldn't recommend them anymore than I would recommend a breeder producing poor health or structure. Every breeder needs to be striving for the entire package- if they aren't achieving it with some consistency they need to stand back and re-evaluate their breeding stock.

OP, please be careful, many people have gotten this idea that just because something is farther away it's automatically better. These people seem to get off on telling people "My Doberman is from SERBIA." I'm not saying the dogs in that area dont have heir strengths, but the interesting part is the people the most excited about them seem to care about location only. You'll notice from Rainbow Dobes post that you've learned nothing about their dogs other than what continent they prefer... Funny, isn't it?

There are several people on this forum who would be wonderful sources for learning about European lines, Incredible Dobes and Kansa are just two that come to mind (there are others and I'd love to give shoutouts to them all but I just can't remember their screen names) please speak with them to hear their opinion on importing.
 

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im looking to do advanced obedience training as well as security work. as far as schutzhund, and agility, not sure if im interested. so the question is, do i look for breeders that breed strictly working dobermans or strictly show dobermans? or a breeder that breeds show lines with working capabilities?

OP..

No matter what venue you decide to train in, having a dog that is put together correctly AND has a working temperament is essential. I was like you, I only wanted a pet.....and the rest just happened. Looking back I was matched with the perfect dog for me. Good conformation and one helluva work ethic.
 
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