Am I doberman ready?

TopCat

New Member
I suppose you all have read similar questions but I wanted to put in my specific info. We are I would say semi experienced with dogs ( our last two were female and then male Bernese Mountain dog). Our Bernese died recently at 10 years hence the research into the desire for a Doberman. I live in Czech Republic so I think the dogs are mostly Euro dobermans. I have no experience with working dogs although I would say the Bernese male is quite an independent thinker and a bit stubborn. But I had no problems with these dogs. We have a huge garden ; I was used to going on long walks with the Bernese, I am 55 now. My wife and I have two teenage sons. And two cats. However I am concerned about the huge drive and energy of the working Doberman; would I be wiser to get 'show' lines, a female ? I have no interest in Schutzhund, is that necessary? Or reconsider the Doberman choice? But I absolutely adore the look of them. Seems to be some good breeders here but before I contact them I want to ask the right questions. What do you guys and galls think?
 

Ravenbird

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For your lifestyle, I'd suggest not going with working lines, but still be ready for higher energy and need for obedience training. Some kind of regular "work", even if it's brain games or hiding treats to go find is helpful. Their intelligence is over the top, but they are all different in the way they may challenge you. Read through the puppy threads and training threads here to get an idea of some of the problems (and solutions!) that members have had with their young Dobermans! Welcome to the group - keep asking questions to help make your decision the right one.
 

JanS

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Welcome from Minnesota, USA!

I would research the lines from breeders you're interested to see how high drive they might be. Not all Euro's are high drive working lines and it can go the other way with some NA or SA lines. Our Euro male is really laid back and our SA female has really high drive so a lot of it depends on individual dogs.
 

Oh Little Oji

Formerly Tad
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Welcome! There's not much need to go for a working Dobermann, based on what you wrote. The only reason I'd see is I feel they are better equipped mentally to take care of business in the guarding department. I also have the theory in progress that working Dobes are less prone to injury. They're more of a pain to live with though.

Even show line Dobes are going to be a lot to live with in terms of exercise and stimulation demand.

A Doberman is probably going to be less of a "background dog" than your Burnese. (Thank you, @Lizbeli , for teaching me that term.)
 

DocReverto

Formerly CRD
No one is ever truly “ready” for a Dobie lol. With that being said they are just like any other dog. Slightly different energy requirements but entirely manageable. If high drive is a concern of yours I would lean more towards a confirmation style breeder as opposed to a working style breeder. You will see a lot of folks on Facebook or other apps say that Dobies have this unmanageable extreme energy. I personally have not witnessed that and I’ve had quite a bit of volume come through my doors.
My 3 year old will run and bark all day long if I let her, my ten year old has spent the last 10 years sleeping 20 hours a day. No two are alike.
 

TopCat

New Member
Thank you everyone great info. Actually I dont know if these are show or working Dobermans ( I will contact a few breeders) but from what you say I should be looking at a show line. What about male/female ? Then again i suppose its hard to generalise…thanks
 

Two Dobes

Hot Topics Subscriber
Welcome! I have had 8 Dobermans over the years, currently own 2...and they are all very different. I personally feel that boys are more willing to please, and girls have their own agenda...perhaps being a bit more independent. Love both, but have mostly owned boys. Mine were all into obedience, rally and agility.
So agreed with the statement that they will still have lots of energy and need to keep their minds busy....this leads to a very well mannered protective companion.
Keep doing your research, and read through these forums....and keep us posted on what you decide ;)
 

Kaiser2016

Active Member
Good on you for doing your research! But I agree with Doc that one is never truly ready for a Doberman puppy. And a working line Doberman? No normal person needs that in their life unless they are actually working the dog. You don't need to do Schutzhund, but it is a great avenue for training a dog like this vs pure positive training. The corrections and snappy obedience provide the right level of leadership that this breed needs. Like your Bernese, they are independent thinkers and stubborn, but they're also velcro and mischievous.

It is a good idea to communicate what you're looking for in a Doberman to any potential breeders you become very interested in. That said, you should also know that the breed standard - when adhered to by any reputable breeder - calls for an "alert and energetic" Doberman and even the most relaxed ones will still be crazy :spit:

Our Krazy Kaiser was one of 2 'easy going' males that the breeder picked out for us, and at age 5, perhaps he is starting to become easy going...like after 2 hours of activity to wear him out 😆 He is a Euro more from the conformation side and it's like living with a horse that has shark teeth, crossed by the Energizer Bunny on crack, crossed by a Tasmanian devil. He sleeps with one eye open, so he can spring into action in a heartbeat! It's a pretty impressive display.

As far as looks are concerned, the Doberman is the perfect package. They are fierce looking yet regal. Elegant and athletic. Beautiful and scary lol. There will be no shortage of compliments from strangers, even though they'll be crossing the street out of fear. It's a good thing they have such good looks, as it buys them a lot of forgiveness too :D
 

JanS

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Our Krazy Kaiser was one of 2 'easy going' males that the breeder picked out for us, and at age 5, perhaps he is starting to become easy going...like after 2 hours of activity to wear him out 😆 He is a Euro more from the conformation side and it's like living with a horse that has shark teeth, crossed by the Energizer Bunny on crack, crossed by a Tasmanian devil.
LOL I couldn't help but hit funny on that one. :D
 

Dobiedad148

New Member
As a first time Doberman owner I will say this, if you enjoy being outside and active and engaged with your dog, you will have a great time. That being said, prepare to be a little overwhelmed by all of the energy! My pup is 5 months old and she loves walks, hide and seek and any other physical activity you throw at her. She is incredibly smart, and equally headstrong. She constantly is demanding me to be a better owner and is always trying to test my limits. I have had boxers my whole life and I have never had a dog like our Zelda. We constantly are introducing her to new experiences and she loves to learn. Be prepared for a lot of zooming around the yard and in the house. If you don’t find things to keep your pup active, he/she will discover their own activities to occupy their time, and 9 times out of 10 you will most likely not approve! Your sons will have a blast with the dog, the cats may be a different story. My girl seems to have a pretty high prey drive. She will ignore our cats up to the point they sprint past her or give a hiss. Then it is off to the races and she gets a well earned time out. I’m far from an expert and I am learning with her every day. That being said, good luck in your search!
 

LifeofRubie

Active Member
Agree with all the above!

My experience is the males are more "sensitive" and females a little more headstrong.

My (chocolate male) Lab will absolutely NOT do something he knows is "wrong." My (female red) Dobe still tries to get away with stuff at 5.5 years old.

With Dobes, you need to be firm, consistent, and fair. Set them up for success. My Lab is social butterfly so enjoys attention from strangers; my Dobe does not (but she can easily sit on a restaurant patio with us). My Lab will gleefully play with other dogs; my Dobe will not (but she will perfectly ignore other dogs in trial and training environments). My Lab can sit outside in the backyard and just enjoy existing; my Dobe is on constant patrol.

My Dobe is also the sweetest, smartest, and goofiest with a little bit of neurotic thrown in.
 

WMBigs

Notable member
Our 8 yr old male is high energy, well behaved. Incredible trail dog, running, biking, hiking, skiing. Extremely demanding of attention.
Our 6 year old girl is high energy, very free spirited, velcroey, mischievous, always on patrol. Everything is her toy, snakes, porcupines, squirrels, cats, etc.
If they don't get their exercise, they can become overbearing. Perfect exercise regime would be off leash, 5-10 mile hike,bike,ski,etc every 2-3 days. Weather has been hot here, 85-100 everyday for 3 weeks straight. Hot weather can be dangerous.
 

TopCat

New Member
Many thanks everyone great info Ihave been reading quite a bit, ive ordered a few new training books . Bit worried about the cats…
 

Ravenbird

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Bit worried about the cats…
Probably not a problem, especially if your cats have lived with dogs before, and if they are pro-active (hiss or slap at the puppy instead of run). Always have a room where the cats can get away and the puppy can't follow, and make clear boundaries for the puppy, not allowing it to chase or pounce after the cats. Lots of members here have cats & Dobermans. My dog at a little over a year old:
 

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TopCat

New Member
Ok so the latest is we are going to look at a Breeder's puppies today. It is a working line so Im a bit apprehensive of the thought of a Euro working line. I suppose theres no harm to take a look and get a feel for the dogs. I also would like to ask the Breeder if she has done the Volhard puppy test with them. She has two males left from the litter. I have a lot of questions- the main one is: can we really cope with a working line Euro Doberman? Im still undecided...
 

Ravenbird

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It would be great if you could meet the dam, maybe the sire is also there? See what kind of social manners they have. I'm assuming they have health tests on both parents available. Volhard tests can be very helpful. A good breeder will take into account your lifestyle & wishes and not sell a puppy that won't be a good fit for you. All puppies will be cute and you'll want one! Are the parents IGP1, 2 or 3? It takes a very tough dog to hit the IGP3 level - and most of those breeders don't sell their pups to families looking mainly for pets. I'd love to hear what you find out today!
 

TopCat

New Member
So we visited the Breeder. Wow that was something! She was in a village beautiful place in the country, first thing I noticed was the height of the fence. Some of it metal sheeting. When we walked into the house with her it was like being hit by a black tornado. That was the mother of the puppies jumping up on us very affectionate like. She had 3 other dogs in crates to separate them from the puppies. She was very knowledgeable about the breed and told us about health checks etc they were good against DCM. Puppies were 3 weeks so all looked beautiful. There was lots of photos on the wall, some champions, tv appearances etc. I walked back into the room with the crated dogs and looked at the nearest and said ‘ hello how are you’?. Growl. So then my wife went in and said hello . Louder growl. Then my 11 yr old son walked in and said hello. Even louder growl.
so I really liked the dogs but I think I will wait for a show line female. Although the breeder was very negative about show lines and moaned about these show breeders with fat dogs. ‘That is not the Doberman standard’ she said very sternly wagging her finger. But fascinating, I love the dogs but that energy is something…
 

Ravenbird

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Thanks for the feedback - it's always interesting! Workingbred dogs for the most part, will be more defensive to strangers than show lines. Depending on the training they put in, they can be social or not. Just saying, the crated dog may have had happy leaps on you like the momma dog, had the owner taken it out first. Or it may have been in the crate because it was uncontrollable. You never know. But I'm glad you got to do a meet & greet and get some first hand experience with the breed. And, also, show dogs are only overweight if you feed them too much - that's something you have control over, unlike genetic temperament. If your gut feeling is that this is too much dog for you, it probably is.
 

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