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After seeking advise and doing online research I finally decided a Doberman is everything I'm looking for in a dog. Their super-protective and loyal nature combined with a love of attention and affection is exactly the right combination. I also appreciate their active lifestyles becaus I want a dog I can go running with or just be active with in the park. Plus I just love the way they look. I have a couple of questions.

I plan on buying as a puppy and I prefer to buy from a rescue so I can "save" a dog. Plus it's probably a lot easier on the wallet. But I also want to make sure I can buy the qualities that I'm looking for. First, and foremost I want to avoid buying a dog that will be proned to health problems. Aside from the cost invovled I also don't want to feel bad all the time because my dog is sick or not feeling well. I also want to make sure it is truely a pure Doberman and has the right temperment. I prefer one that is not overly aggressive but is also not shy, timid or passive. I've read that the latter is generally against their nature, but you can find some in that category.

I think being able to consult with a quality breeder would give me a better chance at getting what I'm looking for. But at the same time I'm not helping the problem with homelessness and I'm (guessing) they will probably run in the $1000 range? I don't mind spending the money but if I can fair just as well from a rescue that would be my preference.

The other factor to consider is location. We're stationed just outside Fort Bragg, NC and I would only want to buy a dog from a quality breeder or rescue. I'm willing to drive long distances within reason.

On an unrelated note; is it considered crewl to crop the ears and bob the tail? I plan on leaving mine natural but I was just curious. It seems to be a common practice.
 

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No decent breeder is going to give you a natural-tailed pup. It's done at 3 days - well before the breeder knows which pup he or she is planning to keep. (The exception is if you import, which I wouldn't recommend at all - you don't have enough experience and there are a LOT of scammers out there.)

Secondly, you are not going to find a healthy puppy to 'buy' from rescue. Generally, dogs end up in rescue between 6-8 months when the new and cute wears off. Older puppy, yes, baby, no.

Are you planning to do serious protection training or just have the dog as a companion?
 

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No decent breeder is going to give you a natural-tailed pup. It's done at 3 days - well before the breeder knows which pup he or she is planning to keep. (The exception is if you import, which I wouldn't recommend at all - you don't have enough experience and there are a LOT of scammers out there.)

Secondly, you are not going to find a healthy puppy to 'buy' from rescue. Generally, dogs end up in rescue between 6-8 months when the new and cute wears off. Older puppy, yes, baby, no.

Are you planning to do serious protection training or just have the dog as a companion?
It's just going to be a companion dog but I did pick the Doberman, in part, due to it's loyal protective nature. From another thread I was told you cannot soley depend on a non-working dog for protection, which is fine by me. But that being said I still prefer a dog that isn't overly timed or docile.

If the tail is already bobbed (or even the ears) that won't bother me. I just can't bring myself to lop off body parts even if it's done humanely. I would prefer a puppy because I want the bonding with our family to start as early as possible. Plus, I'm not gonig to lie. I realize the "cute puppy" stage is short lived but I still want it. I guess it's kind of like not wanting to miss the baby years of one's children.
 

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There is NOTHING wrong with being just a companion- but if you were planning to do protection training, I would tell you to go to a good breeder OR get a trainer who is really experienced with the breed AND protection training to select a dog from rescue for you (and get a MATURE adult, not even an older puppy- you need to know what you're working with, temperament-wise, if training a dog to bite is in the cards.) So if you want a puppy, you're pretty much looking at breeders.

Here's where I would suggest starting out: http://www.dpca.org/

Plan to attend some dog shows, working trials, and training clubs for protection sport when you get back. Plan to spend at LEAST 4-5 months (and a year is honestly better but I do understand not wanting to wait that long) getting to know folks, meeting dogs, and learning everything you can. ALL puppies are cute, all litters are full of outgoing pups who will terrorize toys and pant legs and shoelaces.

Take a look at the requirements for a CHIC for Dobes here - http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/brdreqs.html?breed=DP and look ath the OFA (http://www.offa.org) database for dogs that meet all those listed requirements.

There's at least one good Doberman forum out there, but I can't find it in my bookmarks.

Also, stay the HELL away from Kimbertal or anything with them in the pedigree.

There's also a really fun Dobe blog here: http://otchrah.blogspot.com/ - that I can't recommend highly enough.
 

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Totally agree with you about lopping off body parts. Messing with nature just to fulfill somebody's arbitrary definition of what looks good. I find it rather sick.

I know $1,000 is a lot but in terms of the total life time costs of owning the dog (food, vet, toys, etc) its not really that much. IMHO a much better choice then getting some potentially messed up older dog from a rescue.

Another alternative is finding a doby cross from a casual or accidental breeder. Maybe not as reliable (esp health history) as a breeder but it is a cheaper option. Bottom line for me would be i) 8 weeks old no more ii) see the mother and iii) comfort zone that people have taken good care of the pups from day one. Can't get that at a rescue.

Good luck.
 

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I am now retired military, USA/USAF. I got my first dog a doberman when I had only three years to to go, so there would not be a chance I would have to give up the dog because of a special assignment my dog could not come.

To me a doberman is truly a special dog and not for any one! As far as protection goes, I am the protector as you should be if you AB, they look intimidating but they are to me the most human like good natured you can ever find in a dog. They are not for every one because these dogs want to be with you every minute of its wake up time, They have to be involved, for us that was boating, camping in the forest, chasing rabbits and gophers, running free in the meadows with me supervising. But he never protected me, but woud give me earlly warning when someone was approaching, if you get my meaning. So it is commitment from day one until that horrible day when he or she gets too old to go on. If new members come into your family, and you find yourslf leaving the dog alone more often this would be a most horrible punishment to impose on a doberman. I know you can say that about alot of other dogs, once you bound with a doberman only then will you know what I am talking about. My dog's name was Stryker, and he was my shadow for his whole life, I still miss him dearly!
 

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I am now retired military, USA/USAF. I got my first dog a doberman when I had only three years to to go, so there would not be a chance I would have to give up the dog because of a special assignment my dog could not come.

To me a doberman is truly a special dog and not for any one! As far as protection goes, I am the protector as you should be if you AB, they look intimidating but they are to me the most human like good natured you can ever find in a dog. They are not for every one because these dogs want to be with you every minute of its wake up time, They have to be involved, for us that was boating, camping in the forest, chasing rabbits and gophers, running free in the meadows with me supervising. But he never protected me, but woud give me earlly warning when someone was approaching, if you get my meaning. So it is commitment from day one until that horrible day when he or she gets too old to go on. If new members come into your family, and you find yourslf leaving the dog alone more often this would be a most horrible punishment to impose on a doberman. I know you can say that about alot of other dogs, once you bound with a doberman only then will you know what I am talking about. My dog's name was Stryker, and he was my shadow for his whole life, I still miss him dearly!
I have a wife and daughter at home. We're both going to have schedules (my wife will be in school) at some point. The dog might have some time alone during the week, but that's about it. I hope that is something they can handle.

The protection aspect is for the family for days I'm in the field or deployed, or if maybe my wife wants to take my daughter to the park.
 

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You may also want to consider that decent breeders are going to need time to get to know you and your family. Fair or not, a lot of people have a negative impression of miltary families' commitments to their pets- especially in breeds with which it is frequently VERY difficult to find rental housing.
 

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You may also want to consider that decent breeders are going to need time to get to know you and your family. Fair or not, a lot of people have a negative impression of miltary families' commitments to their pets- especially in breeds with which it is frequently VERY difficult to find rental housing.
I can see their apprehension in that regard. But we're about to close on house so we're not at the whim of landlords. As far as dedication to their pets I'm not sure where that comes from. Perhaps by the "alpha male" stereotype.
 

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I can see their apprehension in that regard. But we're about to close on house so we're not at the whim of landlords. As far as dedication to their pets I'm not sure where that comes from. Perhaps by the "alpha male" stereotype.
Less that and more that an absolutely disgusting number of miltary families are NOT responsible pet owners. I don't think it's so much that they're any less responsible than the average not-a-dog person except that they're required to move with a fair amount of frequency and they typically live in rental housing- so they'll have to make a special effort to find pet-friendly housing. It's just a visibility issue. I know when I'm placing dogs with families who are active military, I'm very cautious and want vet references going back at least 5-6 years- I want to see PROOF, not just hear words, that they spent the time and money previously to move their pets.

This is NOT a slam on military families. I know a lot of great pet owners who are - but I also have pulled QUITE a few dogs (and a few cats) out of the shelter in Killeen whose parents 'couldn't' find pet-friendly housing when they got orders that they were moving.

(and lest you think this is crazy and I hate military families, it's NOT that I won't place with them- I'm just careful. Ditto grad students, disabled folks who do not work, and people with small children - you have to look at each individual situation- but YOU can help minimize that by being prepared with a plan for how you'll handle it if- or rather when- when you move.)
 

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Based on what you want, you'll need to go to a breeder, because it's highly unlikely you'll find a puppy in rescue, much less one you'll have access to pedigree. You MIGHT be able to get a quality pup for $1,000, but don't be surprised at twice that amount. The tails are docked at 3 days old, so any pup you get from a breeder will have a docked tail. As far as health goes, there are problems in Dobes, and even the most ethical, reputible, and responsible breeders can, and do, have health issues in their lines.
 

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Less that and more that an absolutely disgusting number of miltary families are NOT responsible pet owners. I don't think it's so much that they're any less responsible than the average not-a-dog person except that they're required to move with a fair amount of frequency and they typically live in rental housing- so they'll have to make a special effort to find pet-friendly housing. It's just a visibility issue. I know when I'm placing dogs with families who are active military, I'm very cautious and want vet references going back at least 5-6 years- I want to see PROOF, not just hear words, that they spent the time and money previously to move their pets.

This is NOT a slam on military families. I know a lot of great pet owners who are - but I also have pulled QUITE a few dogs (and a few cats) out of the shelter in Killeen whose parents 'couldn't' find pet-friendly housing when they got orders that they were moving.

(and lest you think this is crazy and I hate military families, it's NOT that I won't place with them- I'm just careful. Ditto grad students, disabled folks who do not work, and people with small children - you have to look at each individual situation- but YOU can help minimize that by being prepared with a plan for how you'll handle it if- or rather when- when you move.)
I do plan to continue owning simply for that vary reason (and financial reasons). The condo we're living in is a rental. Of course we had to pay a heafty pet fee and be told "no" by many renters. The house we're closing on is our first home, and *plan* to never rent again. I've had dogs in my family (as a kid and such) but I've never had one of my own. I've always wanted one but it is hard when you rent. People don't want them in their home and appartments don't have the room for them. I'm really excited about my first home purchase because it's like new found freedom. (I) get to decide if I own a dog and what kind, and everything else for that matter.

Our pets are an extention of our family and there is no way I'm going to get rid of them over inconvenience. I couldn't just leave my dog in some strange kennel or shelter and then abandon him/her.
 

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I think most people plan on never surrendering their pet to the pound. Preventing that from happening, imo, involves getting an animal that's right for you, with good temperment and spending tons of time, energy and money training and socializing him/her. Easier said than done! Especially with work, kids, etc.

I've had 2 dobies in my life. The first was well bred, properly trained/socialized. What a dream dog. Smart, fun, loyal, the epitome of a great, great dog.

The second, was cat/dog/human aggressive with no training or socialization. I don't know about her breeding, but I don't think she fit the standards very well.

Wherever you decide to get a dog from, I would follow the advice above -- have the dogs checked out, make sure you go to a very picky breeder who only meets the highest standards and protocols, or look into getting an older dog with known temperment and possible training from a rescue/the pound (you can be put on a list there) -- that makes things kind of easy when you get an older dog-- and that's good cause there's tons of really hard parts even with that scnenario.:eek:
 

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Check with your insurance company's policy. Some home owners insurance will not insure certain breeds of dog (dobermans being one of them). I think that Allstate does cover all breeds of dog without question.
 

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Based on what you want, you'll need to go to a breeder, because it's highly unlikely you'll find a puppy in rescue, much less one you'll have access to pedigree. You MIGHT be able to get a quality pup for $1,000, but don't be surprised at twice that amount. The tails are docked at 3 days old, so any pup you get from a breeder will have a docked tail. As far as health goes, there are problems in Dobes, and even the most ethical, reputible, and responsible breeders can, and do, have health issues in their lines.
Ditto, in fact I would expect to pay closer to the $1500 to $2000 mark for a well bred dobe. Considering their health problems I wouldn't try and bargain shop for one either. When buying from a reputable breeder you should also expect to have the tail docked and the ears cropped.
 

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Totally agree with you about lopping off body parts. Messing with nature just to fulfill somebody's arbitrary definition of what looks good. I find it rather sick.

I know $1,000 is a lot but in terms of the total life time costs of owning the dog (food, vet, toys, etc) its not really that much. IMHO a much better choice then getting some potentially messed up older dog from a rescue.

Another alternative is finding a doby cross from a casual or accidental breeder. Maybe not as reliable (esp health history) as a breeder but it is a cheaper option. Bottom line for me would be i) 8 weeks old no more ii) see the mother and iii) comfort zone that people have taken good care of the pups from day one. Can't get that at a rescue.

Good luck.
Given the level of health and temperament problems in the breed, this is an exceedingly DUMB thing to do if money is an object at all.

Hip replacements, lifetime drugs for treating skin conditions, ACL repairs, thyroid meds (cheap, to be fair, but the constant bloodwork ISN'T), special diets.... Dobes aren't a breed to get into unless you love sending your vet's kids to Ivy League schools. :p
 

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How does your wife feel about a doberman? Where she may be left home alone with the dog, is this a type of dog she is comfortable handling while you aren't there? Will she have time with child and school to exercise and commit to training the dog? Otherwise you will have a willful, destructive little bugger and your wife will be cursing you left and right!
You could also check with breed rescues in your area or pop into the shelters down there and see what's available. I know the southern shelters are brimming with dogs. My nephew is stationed in AL, previously in GA and he sees strays all the time in his apartment complex.
Good luck with your search.
 

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Reputable doberman breeders are VERY serious when it come to placing a puppy. If you are a first time dog owner too, you will probably have a VERY hard time getting a pup. Dobe pups take A LOT of work, especially if your puppy is cropped. You have to post the ears for around 6 months, sometimes longer, and it's not a simple task. You also have to be very diligent with training and socialization. There are A LOT of Doberman "greeders" (BYBs) out there that are very convincing. Do A LOT of research with this breed as they have some really serious health issues such as cardio and cancer, and it'll cost you way more in the long run if you get a poorly bred pup.

I recommend going to dog shows, emailing as many breeders as you can, ask them questions about health testing, health guarantees, puppy contracts, etc. Avoid breeders that do not title their dogs in either schutzhund or in the show ring. RUN AWAY from breeders that tout "oversized" or "big boned" dobermans. These dogs are NOT within standard and are poorly bred. RUN AWAY from breeders that have "paypal" links. RUN AWAY from breeders that breed white/albino dobermans. "Champion Blood Lines" mean NOTHING unless the dogs are champions themselves.

Best of luck with the search. Take your time, do your research and be patient.
 

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There is NOTHING wrong with being just a companion- but if you were planning to do protection training, I would tell you to go to a good breeder OR get a trainer who is really experienced with the breed AND protection training to select a dog from rescue for you (and get a MATURE adult, not even an older puppy- you need to know what you're working with, temperament-wise, if training a dog to bite is in the cards.) So if you want a puppy, you're pretty much looking at breeders.

Here's where I would suggest starting out: http://www.dpca.org/

Plan to attend some dog shows, working trials, and training clubs for protection sport when you get back. Plan to spend at LEAST 4-5 months (and a year is honestly better but I do understand not wanting to wait that long) getting to know folks, meeting dogs, and learning everything you can. ALL puppies are cute, all litters are full of outgoing pups who will terrorize toys and pant legs and shoelaces.

Take a look at the requirements for a CHIC for Dobes here - http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/brdreqs.html?breed=DP and look ath the OFA (http://www.offa.org) database for dogs that meet all those listed requirements.

There's at least one good Doberman forum out there, but I can't find it in my bookmarks.

Also, stay the HELL away from Kimbertal or anything with them in the pedigree.

There's also a really fun Dobe blog here: http://otchrah.blogspot.com/ - that I can't recommend highly enough.

LOL, Having a Dobe I have that forum bookmarked http://www.dobermantalk.com/ is a GREAT place to ask questions and get guidance toward both rescue and reputable breeders. One word of warning though, they're great people, but don't ask a question you don't want the baldface truth about, LOL. They don't candy-coat things when it comes to certain issues.

Yes, Kimbertal is not a desireable line AT ALL!!!! Also, if you get a pup on S/N contract (as you will if they're to be a pet) it's best done after maturation with large breeds.

Given the level of health and temperament problems in the breed, this is an exceedingly DUMB thing to do if money is an object at all.

Hip replacements, lifetime drugs for treating skin conditions, ACL repairs, thyroid meds (cheap, to be fair, but the constant bloodwork ISN'T), special diets.... Dobes aren't a breed to get into unless you love sending your vet's kids to Ivy League schools. :p

The incedence in Dobes are no higher than in other large breed working dogs. Buying from a reputable breeder will reduce the chances even more as well as the breeder will BE THERE if any issues DO come up! Dobes are longer lived and healthier than Rotties and as healthy and long lived an GSD's. I love all three breeds and I've dealt with alll three as well.
 

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If your first priority is health, you're going to have to pay for it and search like heck to find it.

Dobermans have a wide range of health problems that could end up costing you 10 times the payment for the puppy just to keep them comfortable. My older female has older had 3 surgeries for Wobblers( a neurological condition). She is also now on thyroid pills and is due to start yearly screening for cardiomyopathy. I could be wrong, but I believe that dobermans are the only breed where treatment for cardiomyopathy actually lengthens their life. We have one of the best national clubs, since they are actively doing health research on the breed.

I have a male dog form a supposable good breeder that suffers from horrible skin allergies. I have to keep him on steroids all spring and summer just to make him comfortable. This is due to repetitive line breeding without concern for the health problems that keep repeating.

My third dog came from an amazing breeder. And so far Olivia has been very healthy. Her breeder keeps in contact with all of her puppy buyers. This gives her a good idea about how all her dogs are aging and if the owners are still taking good care of them.

I just want you to realize that you have just as much of a right to be critical of your breeder as they have to be critical of you. This dog good very well live with you for the next 14 or 15 years. Yes, it is possible for a well breed doberman to live that long.

As far as the temperament issues you mentioned, that is mostly going to come down to LOADS and LOADS of socialization. Dobermans can't be socialized enough. I would take that dog everywhere you go for at least the 1st 6 months. And after that, still do outings every couple of days to keep at it. That is what will give you the most well rounded pet.

The dog should also never be coddled and soothed if it is afraid. That is a great way to produce a shy fearful animal. Research fear periods, so you know when to be extra mindful. The dog should always be praised and encouraged for outgoing and brave behavior. And by brave I don't mean aggressive.

Also keep in mind that dobermans are working dogs. The need to work in order to be fulfilled. You will find that a dog with a job will be much more comfortable alone when you have to go to work or run errands. You need to do puppy kindergarten classes for socialization, and then a good obedience class. Teach that dog as much as he will absorb.

As for breeders, I haven’t been doing this long enough to give you great referrals in North Caroline. I know everyone in Texas a few breeders splattered her or there around the country. Join this forum. They will give you great opinions on breeders in your area.

http://www.dobermantalk.com/
 
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