Dobermann advice

SaraLab

New Member
Hi , new here

I have always had Labradors ive owned 4 over 20yrs and i still adore the breed but my last labrador Hugo was my soul dog he was everything to me and i lost him last year and am only just ready to start planning for my next dog but i can't bring myself to have another lab and so am considering a Dobermann but before i commit to the breed or even meet the breed i want to be certain i am right for a Dobermann as i tend to listen to my heart more than my head and I'll fall in love with the breed even if there not for me so before i go ahead and meet them i wanted to get advice first.

I live alone and i do work full time 9-5pm , all my labs were happy with this , i would walk them in the moring ( i didn't have 4 at once i had my first and second as solo dogs third and fourth were together) before work them all were happy to be on there own for 4hrs when a dog walker came in and took them out for over an hour and then there on there own for a further 3hrs until im home and they had an evening walk as well.

I am lucky that im off 3 months in the year and always got a pup around that time and spent all 3 months working hard on bonding and training and socialization and then once i went back to work when the pup is 5 months i had a mix of help through my dog walker friend who would dog sit and a good doggy daycare until pup was old enough and well socialized enough to be walked for more than 1hr and then i dropped the doggy daycare and the dog walker took over.

All my labs were fine with this and all were happy but my labs ( for any american friends here mine are showlines or what you call english type) were showlines and i always picked the chilled out pup and its always worked but labs i feel are more laid back than Dobes when it comes to needing a "job". My labs all got plenty of mental stimulation but my impression is from books that Dobes need more and are not as easy going as labs.

I wanted to ask your opinion on if Dobes do need more than a lab?

By more i mean brain game toys are not enough and they need to do somthing like agility or tracking everyday? I am interested in both agility and tracking but can do it every day i can only do it on my 3 days off the other 4 days will be brain game toys , plenty of play and i can do obedience training to help tire his mind.

Would this be enough?

Also i know dobes dont do well with same sex dogs but if the Dobe puppy was brought up around another male can it work? Next door has a male Golden who is amazing with other dogs including other boys and he is very calm and patient with other dogs.

And finally how barky are dobermanns? I have read mixed things on this some say they only bark for a reason and others say there as barky as a German shepherd.

I ask as i suffer from a condition called tinnitus and loud noises make it worse including dog barking. Im fine with short term barking by this i mean my Tinnitus can handle a dog barking at someone at the door ect as long as the dog quitens down .

All my labradors only barked at someone at the door or a cat in the garden , apart from that i never heard them there were quiet dogs. I know Dobes can be vocal but im only interested in the barking side of things as other vocalizations are ok its just the barking , I want to know how quiet\ Barky is your Dobermann and could i teach a Dobe to be quiet so my tinnitus doesn't go worse?

Sorry for such a long post just want to get as much info as i can
 

Ddski5

$ Premium Subscriber $
Hot Topics Subscriber
$ Forum Donor $
My last was a great Lab named Alex. He was more than a dog to me, he truly was my companion. Had him for 15yrs and he helped me through some rough times. I cried like a 5y/o when he passed in my arms, uh I guess it was 4-5yrs ago. His ashes are still on the mantle and my wife bugs me often asking when am I going to go spread them in the yard like I keep saying......

I have two Dobermans now- 3.5 year male and a 8.5month female. I think one can honestly say that breed for breed, dog for dog they can all have different personalities and demeanors. One can have a docile Lab or a mean ass Lab- docile Doberman or mean Doberman. In saying that, yes the breed and genetics play a large part of it.

Alex was a laid back cool dude who didn’t bother anybody, didn’t bark and was usually by my side if he wanted to get up.

Ragnar, 3.5male is ALWAYS at my side, even to the bathroom and would get in the shower if I let him. Freyja, 8.5months female is always there also. This is a big difference I noticed- they are ALWAYS there, no break, no- maybe next time, no- you will be okay, I’ll get up next time....they are always there.

Neither one of mine are big barkers or whiners. They will bark at cats, dogs, or the UPS man but when I ask them to stop they do. Never really had issues with that. You will find a lot of members will talk about their Doberman whining.....this seems to be an issue with Dobermans. Yes, mine did it in their younger years but I just did not tolerate it and used negative reinforcement to quell it- pop on the nose, pinch scruff on neck, and then ECollar when out of reach. Didn’t take long and they got the message.

Of course, depending the Doberman you get, I still find a Doberman needs more attention both mentally and physically. Mine need to be physically drained daily after work and are constantly seeking attention when I get home. But then, I am the Alpha and they sit waiting for me to come home from work and then both compete for my attention. To answer your question, I do think Dobermans need more....however, if you keep and train them to a certain schedule you may be okay.

I could go on and on but that’s enough for now. However, there are two things I feel I need to say.
1. A Doberman is not a dog, it is a Doberman.
2. A tired Doberman is a good Doberman.


Others will chime in with more info.


Welcome from Louisiana.
1620994858252.jpeg
 

SaraLab

New Member
Thank you so much for your advice. Your Alex sounds a lot like my Hugo he was so chilled , all my labs have been laid back but hugo was a very chilled guy and was so calm with other dogs and became the uncle dog to puppies he would meet.

I forgot to also point out im also looking into Rottweilers and they seem to be more laid back and there energy levels seem to be the same as labs.
 

Gpcoguy

Hot Topics Subscriber
I also live alone and work all day. I have a dog sitter come by at midday to let Rose out. I'm fortunate to have 40 acres of property so when I get home she gets a good run plus training sessions.seems to work well. As mentioned above, a tired doberman is a good doberman
 

LifeofRubie

Active Member
Welcome!

As @Ddski5 said, I currently have a 5.5 year old female American style Doberman and a 3 year old male English style Lab. My Dobe is red and my Lab is chocolate so the 'crazies' of each breed (from what I've been told!).

I had a whole manifesto written but decided to start over and condense it :D

Overall, my Lab is much 'easier' than by Dobe, for sure. My Dobe has a very strong personality and a much lower tolerance for certain things. She also has prey drive and is very suspicious of people walking by the house (read: she barks quite a bit).

This about perfectly sums them up:

PXL_20210507_192114937._exported_166_1620415439546.jpg

I see your familiar with English Style Labs!

I've actually found that my Lab thrives with having a job. They've both done agility and we're currently dabbling in Barn Hunt. Where as my Dobe is much more independent (which is why Barn Hunt is much more her jam), by Lab is constantly looking to me for direction and instruction (rally or obedience may be in his future but one expensive dog hobby at a time :D).

My Doberman is much more particular about things whereas my Lab is a go with the flow kinda guy.

Dobes are VERY different than Labs, from my experience. They typically need a firmer handler, more boundaries (at least as puppies), have more health issues (generally speaking), very strong personalities, and a "what's in it for me?" type attitude.

Both my dogs are crate trained so I don't think you'll have an issue, there. Of course all dogs do best in crates when they're tired but for some reason, my Dobe has usually always been more than happy to take a nap. We're spoiled in that aspect as they can very usually be go, go, go type dogs. I think my Dobe actually settled down quite a bit when we brought our Lab home as she spends a lot of time terrorizing him :D

Is there anything else you'd be curious about? They are like night and day in their differences so it's really hard to nail down any one things that makes one 'better' over the other.

I'm part of a Doberman Group here in Chicago-land and it's no surprise that when we get together, we always receive comments that it's the best behaved group of dogs people encounter. With Dobes, because they have a stigma, most Dobe owners work very hard to have their dogs be ideal citizens.

PXL_20210328_132210697.jpg

PXL_20210305_004437129.MP.jpg
 

SaraLab

New Member
Yes ive only had English labs ( we call them showlines here in the UK) all mine have been chilled out and laid back. Thank you for your advice a lot to think about
 

SaraLab

New Member
Wanted to add your lab looks just like hugo only chocolate. Here in the UK chocs are known to be the naughty ones and yellows are the mellow guys all mine were yellows.

I'll let you all know what i decide
 

Kaiser2016

Active Member
All the responses are spot on! I'll add that first time Dobering can be really challenging. I like your level of activity plus dog walker for midday break. You're also on the right track with agility and tracking especially the first few years where they need to be occupied physically and mentally.

I think the tinnitus would be the deal breaker for me. They will bark to alert on a lot of things and you can certainly train them to quiet down, but they are a guard dog so there is a certain "minimum number of barks per day" to be had :laughing:

You seem aware, but not worried, about the whining - it's a frequency that hits parts of your brain you didn't know you had :wacky: That said, mine whines because we don't allow him upstairs, as a velcro breed, this is a self-inflicted problem and you may not have that issue - if we are with him, he may have excitement whining but that quickly escalates to excitement howling which is way louder, but less piercing. I'd take barking over whining any day but that is just me - I love the ferocious display of a barking Doberman. But I agree with @Ddski5 that this can be managed through training when caught early enough.

A question for you: What draws you to the Doberman?
 

SaraLab

New Member
All the responses are spot on! I'll add that first time Dobering can be really challenging. I like your level of activity plus dog walker for midday break. You're also on the right track with agility and tracking especially the first few years where they need to be occupied physically and mentally.

I think the tinnitus would be the deal breaker for me. They will bark to alert on a lot of things and you can certainly train them to quiet down, but they are a guard dog so there is a certain "minimum number of barks per day" to be had :laughing:

You seem aware, but not worried, about the whining - it's a frequency that hits parts of your brain you didn't know you had :wacky: That said, mine whines because we don't allow him upstairs, as a velcro breed, this is a self-inflicted problem and you may not have that issue - if we are with him, he may have excitement whining but that quickly escalates to excitement howling which is way louder, but less piercing. I'd take barking over whining any day but that is just me - I love the ferocious display of a barking Doberman. But I agree with @Ddski5 that this can be managed through training when caught early enough.

A question for you: What draws you to the Doberman?

Well i dont want another lab now after loosing hugo as he was my soul dog and cant bring myself to have another and so knew another breed was the way to go.

I wanted a breed who is similar to labs ( not the same as i know only labs are labs but similar to them) but the one thing i wanted was a dog who is more protective naturally of there people , i will be socialising the dog very well and putting the time into training and socialization so that i have a happy , confident dog. The reason is i was burgled at knife point and was more worried about hugo than my own safety luckily he was fine after i was not and even though i now have CCTV and have learnt how to self defend my self i dont feel comfortable around other people ( people i know are fine or if i meet fellow dog walkers im fine its if i see a guy looking at me i feel uncomfortable and need to get out of there) having a dobe or similar breed is not for protection as i can protect myself its more for me to feel safe again and therefor feel confident again.

I do think your right about the barking may be a deal breaker , my nan has Dobes and thats why i admire the breed , my nan was the one who reccomended the Rottie as all the ones shes know have been more lab energy level wise And are silent type guards and only bark if really needed.

She feels a Rottie is a much better fit for me. So i have a lot to think about
 

Kaiser2016

Active Member
Sorry to hear about the burglary. I can tell you that people will cross the street when they see us walking on the sidewalk, whether it's me walking the dog or my husband. Kaiser is visible from the back of our car and we noticed that other cars will stop much farther away so as to keep a safe distance from him, like as if he might get loose from the car. We often have Kaiser pose for pictures on a favorite bridge where we will drop his leash. We stop foot traffic whenever we do this (I wrote about it here: A Day of Adventure) - it's quite an amazing feature when you have this dog! :hearteyecat: Visual deterrence is something you would get automatically. I'd say the same goes for the Rott too. My hb had one of those previously and he says people would cross the street with that dog too. Regardless of which dog you get, during socialization, you will want to make sure that you teach him to ignore other people (focus on you), not introduce him to people.
 

SaraLab

New Member
Thanks , yes that what i want a visual deterrent instead of everyone wanting to hug my lab. I like that people cross over. Rotts are the same nan was telling me rotts are the same. Also i have nan to help me as she has tons of experience of stronger breeds so can help me with my first.

Im going to get more info on the Rottie so i can compare the 2 and then will let you all know what i choose.
 

LifeofRubie

Active Member
I will say a well bred and fit Rotty is a good looking, substantial dog. There is one in our neighborhood and he/she isn't overly excited from their fenced-in yard when we walk by.

Being in the UK, a Dobe would mostly likely not be cropped or docked, I assume? My personal preference is the C/D look because it's just so... Doberman!

And you're so right... when we're out with our two, people either LOVE the Dobe and ignore the Lab or admire our Lab from a distance because of our Dobe. If they ask to pet them, we always send them to the Lab as he just eats up attention. The Dobe is way more aloof and much happier being left alone BUT there are always the exceptions. I follow plenty of Dobes on Instagram (and here, of course!) and some are more like a lab in a Dobe body and some exhibit more traditional Dobe behaviors.
 

SaraLab

New Member
Yes here in the uk ear cropping and tail docking is illegal so all dobes and rotties have tails and dobed have uncropped ears.

I joined a Rottie forum and so far they seem more chilled and laid back than dobes and every reply so far is they are more quiet as well.

Gonna wait till i get more replys before i decide.
 

SaraLab

New Member
Ok so after further replys and doing some independent research as well, ive chosen the Rottweiler , i feel there more suited to me not only as there more quiet there barking is the same as a lab and they dont make high pitch whines either they make whats known as the rottie purr, but there energy level is more close to my energy level and there more laid back and easy going like a lab than the dobe ( were talking a well bred , well socialised and well trained rottie here)

I do have a question though that id like your thoughts on , on the difference with stronger breeds like dobermans and Rottweilers and what are considered easier breeds like labradors.

From a behavior point of view i am interested in why dogs like Rotties and dobes are always described as challenging and considered "stronger" breeds, how are Rottweilers\Dobes more challenging than a labrador?

I just find dog behavior so fascinating and i know Rotties, Dobes,GSD, mastiffs ect need more socialization and need more training to control a more powerful dog but you always hear people say they will dominate there owner or are more challenging to own than a lab, how do they challenge there owners?

Im interested in knowing fully what it really means when people say these breeds are challenging or "stronger minded than labs" ect.

I know people say there not as forgiving of mistakes ect and ive met people who said there German shepherd was easier than there lab so i know not everyone finds labs easier
 

LifeofRubie

Active Member
From my experience, my Lab is "easy" because he's eager and will work just as hard for praise or kibble as he will for cheese or hot dogs, for example.

My Dobe is "harder" because she's more independent and has a "what's in it for me" attitude and is not super praise or food motivated.

It may take my Lab a little longer to catch on to something than my Dobe but they're both smart and good problem solvers. Once my Dobe has learned something, she seems bored with it. My Lab will do the same thing 100 times in a row if there is a reward of any kind.

Dobes will challenge by misbehaving, especially during the Dober teens.

They will "know" they're not supposed to be on the couch, for example, but they will do it anyway. If you as the handler do not correct, redirect, or address their challenges, they will and can become quite unruley as they recognize there are no consequences. Rules must be set and consistent and fairly enforced.

My experience is still a bit limited as my two are the only dogs I've raised from puppyhood as an adult but there are several folks with a lot more experience with different breeds!

I think you should stick around even if you've decided on the Rotty over the Dobe! We love puppy pictures :D
 

SaraLab

New Member
From my experience, my Lab is "easy" because he's eager and will work just as hard for praise or kibble as he will for cheese or hot dogs, for example.

My Dobe is "harder" because she's more independent and has a "what's in it for me" attitude and is not super praise or food motivated.

It may take my Lab a little longer to catch on to something than my Dobe but they're both smart and good problem solvers. Once my Dobe has learned something, she seems bored with it. My Lab will do the same thing 100 times in a row if there is a reward of any kind.

Dobes will challenge by misbehaving, especially during the Dober teens.

They will "know" they're not supposed to be on the couch, for example, but they will do it anyway. If you as the handler do not correct, redirect, or address their challenges, they will and can become quite unruley as they recognize there are no consequences. Rules must be set and consistent and fairly enforced.

My experience is still a bit limited as my two are the only dogs I've raised from puppyhood as an adult but there are several folks with a lot more experience with different breeds!

I think you should stick around even if you've decided on the Rotty over the Dobe! We love puppy pictures :D
Rottie are similar to dobes , ive been told the exact same thing by rottie owners that rotties will fetch a tennis ball for example 3 times before getting bored and saying i need somthing else now were labs will keep fetching until ghey drop.

And rotties are more independent thinkers.
 

Ddski5

$ Premium Subscriber $
Hot Topics Subscriber
$ Forum Donor $
My experience:

Labs are more laid back and go with the flow. A Lab can lay there and be okay until summoned and they are happy with that.

Dobermans are more intense, pushing the barriers wanting to go go go.

My Dobermans will lay there for about 3mins and then get up looking for something to do or bug the shit out of you until you do something with them. They are not satisfied until you do.....

Rain 4days in a row is horrible with Dobermans- with Labs? it’s really not a big deal

Smarter?? Eh... I don’t know about that, I think it really depends on how much time and energy you put in to them.

I find that Dobermans are more into challenging the pack hierarchy. Maybe I am a smarter person and know what to look for now x2 Dobermans but I’ve never had a Lab challenge or position the way mine have. I don’t mean they are menacing or growling at my girls but you can see the little things they do and I call them out.

Good Luck with your path.
 

Ravenbird

$ Forum Donor $
They are all different even within the breed. I would def say Rotties are easier, not as high energy and not as demanding. A friend of mine had working rotts and use to joke they could attack an intruder and be asleep at the fireplace by the time the cops got there. Easy off switch, nothing happening? asleep & snoring, content to be still. Dobes seem to never have enough action and have to be told to settle for at least the first 2 years.
 

Top