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Hi,

I'm Tonya. I work in retail and I'm far from being wealthy. However, I've always wanted a Doberman. I've even saved up enough money to buy a Doberman puppy, but today I read from a blog that the average cost of owning a large breed dog like Doberman could be up to $300 a month. Is that true? How much do you have to spend on dog food and other things your dog needs on average in a month?
 

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I spend about $200 a month on regular items such as food, toys, treats, and chews.

I spend about $500 a weekend that we are competing.

I spend about $1,000 a year for vet visits and routine tests (plus the odd injury).

I have a savings account with no lower than $10,000 for emergencies.

I spend roughly $1,000 a year on non essentials (leashes, collars, tags, harnesses).

I hope that helps a little :)
 

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DobieToons
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I have 2...
Other than the weekend competition costs that DogsR4Life posted (since my two are not in any type competitions) ....the costs are about average of what I spend.
We also do not have the $10k in savings....Instead, our vet has a Medical Emergency insurance plan we carry. It is up to $12,500 (with an initial $1250 down payment and $500 deductible per incident) for both Bandit and Smokie and covers everything besides routine visits, testing, xrays and shots.
It is $55 a month.

$500 a month is close for BOTH of my two.
 

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Wow, some people here sound like they are maintaining Audis or Mercedes instead of dogs!
The cost is skewed higher in the first year due to the ears. After that it goes down and levels off. Just figure shots and food and any accessories you want to add.

The real cost with a doberman is not so much the money, as it is TIME. They are high energy and don't wait for you to spend time with them , they DEMAND it. The first three years is non stop energy that has to be expended on a regular basis. So figure that into your schedule along with your budget.

edit: and don't forget doing the toe nails. I do hers about every 7-9 days. Its a hassle.
 

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I'll say it's definitely the time but also the money. He is so far the most expensive dog I ever had in terms of "maintenance".

Monthly I spend about 170€ just in food and treats and on top of that the fish oil and vit.E for supplements.
Adding on that I have the insurance for damages he may cause (law requirment), toys, leads, collars, clothes, bedding, etc.

Vet bills so far nearly 350€ (he's a week short of 8 months old)

I certainly spend more on him than on me.
 

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Feed Me
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I think you'll find a wide range of what folks spend a month, depending upon what they do with their pups. But i think it's important to note, the doberman breed is expensive period.

If you're going to purchase a puppy, it will behoove you to do your research and purchase from a reputable breeder, DPCA is a good starting point, as this breed is plagued by health problems. Reputable breeders will do the proper health testing and further those lines that better the breed, and hopefully reduce the incidence or health issues. It will cost more money than a BYB, 500$ is not an acceptable price to purchase a pup (you may already know that of course). You should expect paying between 1800-2500 for a pup, and then there are the other costs which are necessary; spaying, neutering, shots, training (essential for your doberman and for you) emergency vet visits, insurance etc. An overnight stay at the ER will run you over 1000.

Please don't think i'm saying that it's too expensive to own a doberman, but it is costly breed. You don't need to be independently wealthy, but you do need to be prepared.

Best of luck and welcome to the forum, you'll find lots of great information and resources here!
 

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we spent $10k on vet bills alone the 8 months we had Deckard. half of that went to his emergency care the last 2 weeks of his life. he was also accident-prone and tended to run into...everything. i swear we were at the vet twice a month for rads and NSAIDs.

Ripley, on the other hand, has been pretty problem-free so far. we've had one UTI and one weird limpy pain problem. we DO go to training weekly, though, so that's $15 for drop-in costs for now.

a well-bred puppy will cost somewhere between $1500 and $2500 with ears and tails done for you. please ask us for help in finding a breeder.
cost of supplies for ears vary depending on what you use, but this can be relatively inexpensive and this does eventually end...might be at 7 months, might be at a year. that depends entirely on the dog's ears, the crop, and how effective your posting method is from day 1.
food costs about $90/month.
training costs vary widely depending on what you do with your dog. basic obedience is a must. the dog will want a job, so expect to pay for more than just basic obedience classes.
toys may end up replaced monthly...depends on what your dog likes, how much they destroy the things they like, etc. we don't give Ripley soft toys, and everything she does get ends up lasting a long time.
treats and chewables, again, depend entirely on what you offer. we spent $2.50 on dried beef trachea that lasted her about 20 minutes, and bully sticks last maybe a half hour. himalayan chews maybe 2 hours if we get the big ones. an elk antler i bought her a couple of months ago cost damn near $50 but she's gotten maybe halfway through the massive thing. raw knuckle bones vary based on the butcher/grocer. i use kibble as training treats, so i don't count that cost in my totals since that's part of her meal.

as said, your biggest investment will be in time. they're a full time job. my fiance' and i don't go out together during the week - not even for a grocery trip. Rip gets a mile walk first thing in the morning and another at night, as she can't handle the full two miles in one go...though, by the time she can, she may require 2 miles twice a day. training is about an hour, broken up into half hour sessions...we usually do those after our walk. i don't get to watch TV at night during the week, as once she's done with her walk and training, we play indoors (or in the yard, weather permitting) for a couple of hours. if she DOESN'T get this much interaction, she's a bit of a menace. it's a good thing i like her. :D
 

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food costs about $90/month.
For some, for others it only costs $10 month.

Why is everybody listing expenses that apply to all dogs as if they are Doberman specific? Also preferences are not Doberman specific.

My dog gets bulk milk bones biscuits and bulk raw hides at Samsclub, that's her treat.

And a tennis ball (.75). It lasts months.
I bought her a harness for the car ($50) and doggles to ride in my convertible($30)
Spaying I forget ($100?)

I swear some here spend more in one year than i have spent in the last 7.

Except for the ears, the rest is typical dog expenses.
 

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...well, if i were the person making this thread, i'd have posted because i didn't have a clue about any of it. i had no idea how much a dog costs before i brought home Deckard...because i'd never had a dog. so yes, it's possible the OP needs this information. better to be thorough than not provide enough information, don't you think?

tennis balls last 30 seconds in my pup's mouth, so we don't offer them. that's not a typical expense for us. we also don't feed rawhides - Deckard choked on one, not willing to risk that again. we don't feed milk bones because they're useless calories. again, not a typical expense for us.

sure, you can get away with spending very little on your dog. but i'm not one of those people. i also dropped $5k on my dog when i knew he wasn't going to survive. i guess i'm atypical.
 

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joie de vivre
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I spend about $250/month per dog on my two just for the basics like food, treats, HW meds. One of them also goes to the chiropractor each month (she gets down in her hips and lower back from an agility injury) but not ever Dobe will go to the chiro on a monthly basis so I've not included the chiro expense in my above estimate (nor does it include how much I spend on training, seminars, equipment for home…yikes LOL). My other dog only goes to the chiro once every 4-6 months, as needed for an old shoulder injury that gives her some trouble.

Annual check-ups at the vet are reasonably priced in my area. It's about $300 per dog for annual check-ups; HW test, physical evaluation, bloodwork, thyroid, whatever shots are needed. A little over $300 per dog for dental cleanings (but they don't get dentals every year and I was able to get a slight discount). Both my girls are healthy so we might go to the vet a handful of times per year for various injuries; cut paw-pad, sprain, etc.

I'd say as long as you have a healthy Doberman they cost about as much as any other dog their size. The great expense tends to come into play when you end up with a sick dog and Dobermans are not generally a very healthy breed. They're at risk for some pretty serious heritable diseases. So, I'd just encourage you to do your homework when picking a breeder and learn how to read a pedigree and research CODs of dogs in it.

If you have questions about where to look for breeders and how to research pedigrees you can post what you're looking for here and people should be able to help guide you to finding the information.
 

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Alpha
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I don't even think you can feed 'Ol Roy for $10/month. My 3 Chihuahua's cost more than that and they get Costco food. My new pup will be raw fed and I estimate that at $80/month.

Also, actual real tennis balls have glue in them that will that strip your dog's tooth enamel.
 

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Love the Nub
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For some, for others it only costs $10 month.

Why is everybody listing expenses that apply to all dogs as if they are Doberman specific? Also preferences are not Doberman specific.

My dog gets bulk milk bones biscuits and bulk raw hides at Samsclub, that's her treat.

And a tennis ball (.75). It lasts months.
I bought her a harness for the car ($50) and doggles to ride in my convertible($30)
Spaying I forget ($100?)

I swear some here spend more in one year than i have spent in the last 7.

Except for the ears, the rest is typical dog expenses.
If anyone is spending $10 a month on food, then they need to switch foods. Dobermans should be on a quality kibble.
 

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Love the Nub
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I'd say around $500 a month, including toys, but NOT including collars :)

As falnfenix said, cost of purchasing a puppy from a reputable breeder is going to be around $2000-$2500 generally. There are also Dobermans in rescues and shelters looking for homes, which costs significantly less. However; long run - you could end up spending significantly more, esp. if you buy from a byb. And then there is the whole ethics of it as well.
 

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Food and treats 150-200
Health Insurance 60
HW 80
extras 50
per month for 2 dogs--350-400 per month
my dogs don't eat that much and
this is not including check ups, boarding, traveling ect...
 

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I'd say around $500 a month, including toys, but NOT including collars :)
Jasmine has collars the way some women have shoes…….. LOL

It might be a good idea for you to go for a rescue--the initial cost would be less. But I would recommend that you start up a rainy day fund to pay for the dog's medical needs in the future--you could start with putting the puppy money you would save by rescuing into it.

You didn't ask this, and I'm being somewhat nosy, but if you rent--I do want to emphasize how hard it can be to find a place to rent that will take dobermans. Make absolutely sure that wherever you live accepts dobermans in particular--they can and will say they accept dogs, and then turn around and say your new eight week old dobe puppy has to go because he is a big mean vicious doberman :rolleyesww: And if you are in a situation where you may need to move in the future, take that into account in your dog-owning plans.

Good luck! I'm glad you're thinking ahead before jumping into the doberman owning life. It's amazing how many people get themselves (and their dog) into trouble by jumping into dog-owning with their eyes closed.
 

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Why is the rum gone?
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I run less than a hundred a month, too. That includes food (Annamaet), treats, medications (Griff is on a daily med plus occasional painkillers), and toys. I have some toys that have lasted years, including a Kong and several Orbee toys. Others, like the squeaky racoon have a lifespan of a few months. Tennis balls live for about ten seconds, so those aren't common around here. You'll also need to factor in heartworm and flea preventatives, which in my area are not needed year round. So my costs there will be lower than other areas of the world.

I didn't factor in vet costs. I keep those separate, because I have a savings fund for my dog. Last year, Griffin ran through over a thousand dollars in vet expenses in a couple of months, while we were trying to narrow down why he was suddenly losing weight and having all sorts of digestive problems. Logan did the same, after he was diagnosed with cancer (osteo, and I chose to do pain relief and hospice care at home).

If there was one piece of advice I'd give, it would be to have insurance or an emergency vet fund. Because one medical emergency can blow your monthly budget apart. It's not just that Dobermans have so many health problems with the breed (which is why you want to make sure your breeder health tests), but they are active, intense dogs. They do things like run into fences and need stitches, or break a tooth doing dog knows what, or eat something weird and land in the e-vet's.

Which makes the insurance or vet fund important for any dog you own, not just Dobermans. It's absolutely true, the purchase price or adoption fee is the cheapest part of owning the dog. Griff's adoption fee was $250, a couple months later he broke a molar and had to have it extracted. Adios, $700 and one dog tooth. Technically, that tooth cost more than the dog did! :D

Edited to add: Griffin is 9, and I'd call him retired now. I don't have fees for training, Nosework classes, or equipment right now. We still do Nosework, but it's just around the house. So if you're planning on competing in something like agility or obedience, add those costs in. For a puppy, definitely put aside a couple hundred for puppy classes and beginner obedience. Those are very good things to do with a pup.
 

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Alpha schmalpha
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It mostly depends on your dogs needs to live a comfortable life. Some get lucky and live with a dobe that requires only attention and good food. Just accounting for the basics
Food cost easy 50$ insecticides 20$ a month. Vet cost thru out ones life on the very very very conservative side would be 25$ month. I have a pit mix which cost me practically nothing , she never goes to the vet for anything other than a blood draw and mandatory shots. If the world was to end today she would be around tommorow the dobe would perish with the rest of us.
 
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