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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First a little background:

My wife and I have been trying to decide on the right guard dog for our family. I have always liked the Doberman breed and have read quite a bit on the differences between European and American Dobermans as of late. I have had quite the time finding a reputable breeder as many online sites look good but are just fronts for puppy mills. My wife and our 2 children (15 and 3) with one on the way live on 10 acres of fenced land with 130 acres of roaming land and we are in need of a guard dog. We have a greyhound (rescue) and king Charles cavalier spaniel that we love very much along with two barn cats, but none of those will protect the family. I have been in touch with Rhapsody Dobermans which seems reputable.

Here is my question:

She has a 4yo male raised with another family with small children and other small dogs. They are moving overseas and gave the dog back. Apparently the dog has basic obedience and is house broken. I plan on getting pedigree info, echo results and speaking with the family that had him. So, what would you do? Would you feel comfortable taking in an adult Doberman with small kids in the home? Would you wait for a puppy? Please give me your thoughts.

Thanks in advance,

SC
 

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Got mutt?
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All other things being equal, an adult dog who is a known entity, already has some obedience training, and a history of getting along with other dogs and kids, versus a puppy with needle sharp teeth, who will need to of management and training, and who might grow up to be intolerant of kids and/or other dogs? For me, it would be no contest. I'd take the adult over the puppy any day of the week.
 

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Big Lil pup
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Hi tex:

One question.... What sex are your greyhound and Spaniel? I have a reason for asking.

One comment... Dobermans are not outside dogs. They are indoor dogs who require a lot of mental and physical stimulation. They absolutely need people and comfort to be healthy and happy. So personal protection? Sure, if thats the way they are raised. Home protection? Sure (same caveat). Property protection (especially 24/7)? Not so much, unless you want to end up with a "junk yard dog".

This is just my opinion of course, but I've had a number of Dobe males over the years.

John
Portland OR
 

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Alpha schmalpha
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I agree with 4x4 that dobes are basically indoor breed. I have had one doberman that was a outside property watch dog 24/7 and was great at it. Looking back he was never allowed into the home so he did not know there was a better alternative.
They are not as temperamental to the environment as a greyhound but learn quickly as to what makes them happy.
If i was in your position and looking for a dobe i would take the 5yr old male. They are a great breed and a well bred dobe is wonderful to live with.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi tex:

One question.... What sex are your greyhound and Spaniel? I have a reason for asking.

One comment... Dobermans are not outside dogs. They are indoor dogs who require a lot of mental and physical stimulation. They absolutely need people and comfort to be healthy and happy. So personal protection? Sure, if thats the way they are raised. Home protection? Sure (same caveat). Property protection (especially 24/7)? Not so much, unless you want to end up with a "junk yard dog".

This is just my opinion of course, but I've had a number of Dobe males over the years.

John
Portland OR
John,

My greyhound is a spayed F and cavalier is a neutered M. I don’t think there are many dogs in a Texas Summer that qualify as outdoor. He would be an indoor dog. I don’t actually want him to even have to bark, just give an intruder incentive to move on from my family. But all my dogs are family.

SC
 

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Discussion Starter #7
John: My greyhound is a spayed female and my cavalier is a neutered male. All our dogs are family and sleep inside, on cots, with beds... in their own room. All I ever want my Doberman to do is look mean and act sweet. Scare them off before anything is attempted. However in the event they try to do something I’d be willing to bet it would be their mistake.


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Sorry for the multiple replies, for some reason tapatalk was not registering them as sent. thanks to all who chimed in. I feel better about the possibility of bringing this dog into our home. any other thoughts?
 

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I would suggest a week probationary period to ensure it all plays out well. Kids are not something i would personally want to experiment with. This goes for any dog not just a doberman. In fact I would assume you would be fine but please be safe!
 

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John,

My greyhound is a spayed F and cavalier is a neutered M. I don’t think there are many dogs in a Texas Summer that qualify as outdoor. He would be an indoor dog. I don’t actually want him to even have to bark, just give an intruder incentive to move on from my family. But all my dogs are family.

SC
European vs. American Doberman isn't the issue / but you want one to alert family of strangers, by barking out & causing chaos.

Many will naturally protect, given an abundance of family love.

Some owners make the mistake of when visitors knock on the front door, dog gets discouraged from noise making & dog sent to their crate...never-ever put dog away, when new people around.
- this just makes a soft and confused dobe

The 4 y/o boy, seems like a good fit / your kids will be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
European vs. American Doberman isn't the issue / but you want one to alert family of strangers, by barking out & causing chaos.

Many will naturally protect, given an abundance of family love.

Some owners make the mistake of when visitors knock on the front door, dog gets discouraged from noise making & dog sent to their crate...never-ever put dog away, when new people around.
- this just makes a soft and confused dobe

The 4 y/o boy, seems like a good fit / your kids will be fine.
Yeah, my comment about not barking was really more that the threat of the dog is usually the first level in deterring someone from coming on property. After that, bark away. But you make a good point in how dogs are treated when they naturally react to a certain situation. One of the reasons I'm attracted to Dobermans is for their uncanny intuition of things, though I have no first hand knowledge of this. It is my understanding a Doberman can be taught to not react to seemingly innocuous noises but still be on alert.
 

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John: My greyhound is a spayed female and my cavalier is a neutered male. All our dogs are family and sleep inside, on cots, with beds... in their own room. All I ever want my Doberman to do is look mean and act sweet. Scare them off before anything is attempted. However in the event they try to do something I’d be willing to bet it would be their mistake.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yep , that is pretty much a doberman !
 

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Yeah, my comment about not barking was really more that the threat of the dog is usually the first level in deterring someone from coming on property. After that, bark away. But you make a good point in how dogs are treated when they naturally react to a certain situation. One of the reasons I'm attracted to Dobermans is for their uncanny intuition of things, though I have no first hand knowledge of this. It is my understanding a Doberman can be taught to not react to seemingly innocuous noises but still be on alert.
I would have no problem with adopting an older dog returned for the reason this Dobe was returned from a breeder like Rhapsody.

There are a lot of points of view about barking. I've had Dobes since 1959--none of my dogs have been noise sensitive but I am--so I encourage no barking. My dogs don't bark if someone comes to the door and knocks, they don't bark if someone rings the doorbell BUT--they will go to the door with me and I've never had anyone even think that they wanted to come through my door without an invitation.

If one of my dogs barks --it's something very unusual and I will go to see why they are barking--one of my sweetest dog ran someone out of my back yard at 2 am when I send him out to see what made him bark. The intruder made it over the fence but my dog got a piece of a levi pant leg to prove that he wasn't kidding.

For the most part Dobes are great deterrents--just the look is enough to keep everyone honest.

Getting an arrangement for a try out for two or three weeks is a great idea--and since he was raised with kids he sounds like a good match...
 

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I guess I’m the only naysayer. You have a VERY complex situation:

Toddler
Teenager
Baby on the way
Female dog
MALE dog (neutered doesn’t matter for Same Sex Aggression)

You want to bring a very intelligent, sensitive, powerful, busy, intense, adult male canine athlete into that complex mix of needs/demands that already exists in your home. Who in the world is going to do the teaching and training of the humans involved so things have a chance to work?

What professional do you have lined up to make and help implement the plan for integration of the Doberman so that you don’t set him up to fail? Again, there are so many aspects to consider that you aren’t even aware of, so many bits that could go wrong.

How in the world will you manage to keep those two males from having a meltdown, particularly one in which a child might be caught in the middle? That’s a very long term question because you have to vigilantly guard against SSA forever.

Have you considered a cutting edge security upgrade instead of a “guard dog”??
 

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I agree with Triciakoontz. I would add that unless you work from home and will be there during the day to help, I would not introduce a doberman to your family (especially a puppy) with a newborn in your immediate future. Your family will have a three-year old and a newborn to care for while introducing a new, high energy dog who may already feel displaced and uncertain due to the loss of his other family. JMHO.
 
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I guess I’m the only naysayer. You have a VERY complex situation:

Toddler
Teenager
Baby on the way
Female dog
MALE dog (neutered doesn’t matter for Same Sex Aggression)
I absolutely agree this is a complex situation, but not uncommon, and I don't believe impossible.

You want to bring a very intelligent, sensitive, powerful, busy, intense, adult male canine athlete into that complex mix of needs/demands that already exists in your home. Who in the world is going to do the teaching and training of the humans involved so things have a chance to work?
I tend to think humans are pretty smart and adaptable, especially the humans I live with.

What professional do you have lined up to make and help implement the plan for integration of the Doberman so that you don’t set him up to fail? Again, there are so many aspects to consider that you aren’t even aware of, so many bits that could go wrong.
Would you suggest hiring a handler to help with the transition?
Can you give some insight on the aspects I am not aware of, I really mean it, I really want this to be successful and shedding light on anything that is not obvious to me would be helpful not just for me but for others considering the same.

How in the world will you manage to keep those two males from having a meltdown, particularly one in which a child might be caught in the middle? That’s a very long term question because you have to vigilantly guard against SSA forever.
That's a good question, would you recommend going with a female?

Have you considered a cutting edge security upgrade instead of a “guard dog”??
Of course, I will be installing one. I haven't found one yet that will bring love and satisfaction to the family the way a new furry family member will though. Protection is important, but we love dogs also.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I agree with Triciakoontz. I would add that unless you work from home and will be there during the day to help, I would not introduce a doberman to your family (especially a puppy) with a newborn in your immediate future. Your family will have a three-year old and a newborn to care for while introducing a new, high energy dog who may already feel displaced and uncertain due to the loss of his other family. JMHO.
I agree. We wouldn't plan to bring an adult dog home until after we have settled in with the baby. As for a puppy, I would not even consider that until next spring. We do have a nanny that helps with the children.
 

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texdoc quote:
" I will be installing one. I haven't found one yet that will bring love and satisfaction to the family the way a new furry family member will though. Protection is important, but we love dogs also.''



Thats a great line when speaking of security systems.:2smile::wink2:
 

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I still would be open to the possibility that the adult may be a good fit. It really depends on the personality of that particular dog, your dogs, your family...I think you need to have good, honest conversation with the breeder, meet the dog, etc.

Have a very good conversation with the breeder about male/male aggression in this breed. Did this dog live with another male dog? Get a really good assessment of temperament and make sure you understand and are prepared for how males in this breed can interact. That would be the biggest hitch in the plan, because it often does and can go wrong with multiple males, and people inexperienced in the breed would be at highest risk for disaster. It can be successful, but it's definitely a risk.

I do absolutely think your family could be a good fit for a puppy. There are breeders that won't do a pup with a baby, but there are good breeders who will, for families that are experienced with having dogs and kids together. If you decide to go that route I'm sure we can help you find a good breeder.
 
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