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Featured How do dobermans fair with depressed owners?

Discussion in 'Doberman Talk and Discussions' started by Tuppence-and-Gold, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. Tuppence-and-Gold

    Tuppence-and-Gold New Member

    Hello! Apologies if this is oddly formatted or somehow placed in the wrong discussion. I've never actually made a forum post anywhere before lmao....

    I was just wondering if any of you happen to have any form of clinical depression and if a Doberman has helped out in any way with that? and, to those who don't have it, do you suppose Dobermans can still live full, happy lives despite their owners occasionally going through that? I figured i'd ask because i haven't seen the topic discussed much and i'm curious as to people's experiences/thoughts.

    Especially so since i was considering potentially getting a Doberman in future and i'm depressed haha

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  2. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    First let me say I appreciate you asking this question as many people avoid this subject. It is something that needs discussing as many suffer from it and keep it to themselves.

    First I would suggest going to a Doberman Rescue and asking to volunteer for a day or two a week just to be around the Dobermans, to understand their different personalities, their needs and their care.
    Raising a Doberman puppy is super difficult and takes a lot of patience and constant attention with keeping them from eating and or ingesting things they shouldn’t. It will make the most patient person second guess themselves.

    They are Velcro dogs that want to be with you all the time and require a lot of mental and physical stimulation.
    I would talk with the people at the Rescue, work with the dobes and possibly find an adult dobe to adopt that will be a good fit for you. You then will avoid the stress that is often involved with raising a puppy.

    While I have not experienced clinical depression myself, I do experience depression on occasion and must say my two stick right with me through thick and thin. They make me want to get out and do something positive and get exercise. Exercise always helps with depression and having a faithful partner to keep you up and at it, can lead you to a more positive, fuller and happier life.
    Dobes are very sensitive to their owners emotions.

    Just be sure you are getting a Doberman because you truly love the breed and not because you think it can control your depression. The perks of owning a Doberman will shine through in that love of the breed.

    Good luck and welcome to the forum.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
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  3. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $


    I, too, like that you asked this question.

    @Tropicalbri's laid it out well above!

    I don't want to say anything negative, but one concern for me is that Dobes have a constant demand for activity and exercise. (not constant as in they can't be satiated; no, it's just that they need a certain amount pretty much every day or they may start to cause problems – not the least of which is excessive whining!!)

    I don't think I have depression, but many times I just do not feel like taking my Dobe for a walk and just wish he didn't need it, or wasn't there.
  4. Tuppence-and-Gold

    Tuppence-and-Gold New Member

    Thank you both kindly for the welcome! It's much appreciated :)

    I'd really love to volunteer with a Doberman rescue! Unfortunately a quick google search for a Doberman rescue near my area (Lethbridge for anyone curious) seems to come up empty, but i'll be sure to continue the search just in case i might've missed something. As for the puppy potentially ingesting things and needing supervision, i'm lucky in that i currently work from home so i can keep an eye on one. All the same, i understand the stress of a puppy may not be ideal and i'd be better off getting acquainted with older Dobermans in need of homes first!

    That's wonderful to hear! I'm glad to hear that you've found such great companions to stick with you through those tough times. A Doberman's attachment to it's owner and their enthusiasm for exercise was actually what got me interested in the breed in the first place. They seem like they really would make for faithful companions on your trip to wellness!

    Not to worry! I'm certain that no breed of animal can control my depression haha. I'm simply looking for a pet that'd make my own journey to wellness a bit easier, if possible, through affection and fun!

    Understandable concern! In a particularly nasty depressive episode the motivation to do what's good for an animal (and yourself) is lessened significantly. In my personal experience, i don't think i'd be able to sleep at night knowing i'm not offering my pet the best possible living circumstances i can provide, but i know some others that would absolutely find that difficult. It's an important thing to take into account

    on an entirely unrelated note, feel free to speak your mind regardless of how negative it may be perceived! I greatly value the opinions of the people on this forum as i (and i am sure some others) would rather receive criticism than forget to take into consideration something terribly important about the breed, y'know?
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  5. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Sounds like you have a good handle on things and I look forward to following your journey to wellness and health with a faithful Doberman by your side!
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  6. Tuppence-and-Gold

    Tuppence-and-Gold New Member

    thank you very much! :blush:
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  7. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Well, I appreciate that!

    For sure, everybody's different.

    Years ago, my then best friend and roommate struggled with some issues. I think he said a couple of the things he was diagnosed with were sociophobia and agoraphobia. I don't know if that first one is a thing. Spell check says no. He also struggled with overuse of alcohol. During a time when he was trying to quit, he got a German Shepherd puppy to help him through the time. The dog wound up becoming his drinking partner. It was, however, an excellent companion for my good friend – so faithful and, I think, a source of comfort and a needed constant. As time went by, though, it was clear my friend was not giving this dog enough exercise or activity. The dog faired well, and was given plenty of love and a nice life otherwise. The dog did get overweight as it aged and began to have hip problems. If I remember correctly, it did outlive my Doberman that I got at about the same time, however, and whom I gave lots of exercise, training and activity.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
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  8. Tuppence-and-Gold

    Tuppence-and-Gold New Member

    I'm glad the puppy could offer comfort to your then best friend. I hope the loss didn't hurt him too terribly, considering the problems he was facing at the time. My sincerest condolences for the loss of your Doberman around that time as well

    The comfort and love a pet can provide can be really beneficial to those suffering, but i do offer my sympathy to animals not properly exercised because of the suffering of their owners. Can't imagine the myriad of health problems/hours of boredom they endure without routine play and exercise in addition to how awful the owner must feel being stuck with the afflictions they're stuck with. It's a tough situation for both, to be sure.
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  9. Logan 45

    Logan 45 $ Premium Subscriber $ $ Forum Donor $

    This is something that I think depends more on the type of depression. My brother is depressed and my Doberman puts a smile on his face and he tells me how much he loves my dog. My dogs goofy nature and cuddly nature really seems to help my brothers mood if he is feeling down.
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  10. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I think you have to add the treatment in there also. Effective treatment goes a long way.

    I have seen dogs really help and times when a dog and the attention they need cause the person to sink further into the depression because it can feel overwhelming.

    I have a disease that one of the symptoms is depression. Personally I feel depression is just part of having a chronic, debilitating disease. I've had my low spots since being diagnosed but have never really gotten to that dark ugly place some of the people that share my disease have. I think my very supportive family and my dogs have helped me stay away from that place. I have to get up, feed them and exercise them and that is very helpful for me to keep me from dwelling on where I'm headed. I think a back up plan should be in order just in case it becomes too much. I have seen that happen and it's not pretty.
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  11. LifeofRubie

    LifeofRubie Active Member

    Welcome and this is a very interesting subject!

    I'm very lucky in that I have not experienced depression myself but I wonder... There are always senior Dobes that are looking for foster or adoption homes. They would certainly require less physical or mental stimulation but the shortened life span of a senior dog or one with health problems could certainly exasperate depression, I would think? I've read comments from people who foster/adopt mostly senior dogs and they definitely suffer more losses but the fact that they gave that dog their best life while in their care is very satisfying for them.

    My dogs give me motivation, purpose, and joy but they also cause me a lot of grief and worry. Just this morning my Dobe puked up grass, mulch, and nice big chuck of blanket and my first thought was "somehow we've made it 3 years without a blockage so our luck must've run out." She ate breakfast so she's totally fine but my first thoughts are always worrisome and then I stress.
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  12. I have depression and have some days when it’s worse then the other, regarding exercise for your dog, having lack of motivation definitely does not out-weigh the love I have for my dog and not going out with him isint even a question. Seeing him happy makes me happy. Now not everyone is like that but if your the type too feel upset and guilty for causing others trouble and pain ( this includes your dog) then I think regardless of your depression you will do what’s best for the dog and take care of him ( better then yourself aha I know I do )
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  13. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Welcome and it's great you've asked this question since I don't really think it's been covered much before.

    Thankfully I've never suffered real clinical depression but I did go through a really down period when I was sick about 10 years ago. Our dogs were always the ones to give me strength and give me motivation to get out and do things with them.

    It sounds like you're a very responsible person who wants to do things right so I think it could work for you, if you're willing to put in the time and effort without giving up.
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  14. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Interesting topic. It’s awesome that you’re doing your research! As first time owners, I can tell you that this breed is extremely demanding and overwhelming. If you’re the kind of person who values alone time, then this is not the dog for you. If you’re looking for constant companionship, then this dog is gold! For us, it really took a village to help us get through the first year of puppy mayhem and adjusting to the Doberman lifestyle. We used boarding, dog sitters, play dates, toys, chews to keep this beast busy. Of course, some :martini: for the people too because OMG they are like terrorist devil dogs on crack. One detail that sticks out to me is that my sister was visiting and she said she was exhausted just being around the dog! They are constantly moving and following you, so much so that if you wear flip flops, they will step on the back of them and trip you!

    Since you asked about the negatives! :D They are noisy! A dog barking in the distance warrants your dog barking back until all the other dog owners give up and take their dogs in. Seeing a dog while you are driving requires your backseat-driver-Doberman to erupt into barking right into your ears. How much do you value quiet time? Their whining is just out of this world - imagine a dog that looks like a beast on steroids and then you hear it whine like a bitch! Their howling is as if they are being tortured. Then there are nose whistles and other sounds. Endless noise. Never mind the size - it’s like having a horse in the house!

    A Doberman has high prey drive, will your cat be able to handle that? Do you like to sleep in? Can’t really do that with a Doberman because even from one floor below me he will know when I’m waking up - it’s like he’s inside my head :wacky:

    I think the happiest Doberman would be one that gets to sleep with his people in the same bed. I read somewhere that if a Doberman could crawl inside your skin, that still wouldn’t be close enough, some people love that about them - to me, it just screams Hannibal Lector :spit:

    Before this turns into a rant :smilecat: I’ll add something positive: They are sweet when they snuggle, gorgeous to look at, and when people see your Doberman coming, they will get out of the way ;)
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  15. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    One of my top peeves!! One of my pairs of flip flops was trashed this way.
  16. Tuppence-and-Gold

    Tuppence-and-Gold New Member

    That's wonderful to hear that your Doberman offers your brother some happiness. Goofiness and cuddles certainly do make for good feel-better material

    An excellent point. I'll be certain to consider all my options and plans beforehand!

    that's very sweet! thank you very much :) i think i'm willing, but i'll be sure to do more research and visit some rescues to get some hands-on experience first to be certain

    Certainly. Loss is never easy, especially so with people already suffering, but i'm sure that some find the grieving process easier through the knowledge that they gave their adopted Doberman a lovely last few years. Personally, that line of thinking helped me in my own grieving process with my older dog awhile back.

    Oh man that reminds me way too much of my cat. Always shaking up my nerves cause she keeps trying to eat plastic (i'm constantly chasing her and putting things out of her reach so she can stop making herself sick). Glad to hear your Dobe is doing okay!!

    oh i can certainly relate to that. My cat gets the best treatment ever and then the moment she's satisfied i'm going back to bed to throw myself into a coma haha

    good to know! I actually was wondering about the noise a fair bit. From what i've seen some people say they're quiet and others say they're really loud? i suppose it'd depend on the individual dog. I think i'd be okay with the noise but my family may run away to the local coffee shop haha

    strangely enough, my cat really likes being chased as a form of play so i'm not quite sure if it'd bother her. She's been around dogs before (i had a german shepherd mix who was around when i first got her) but i suppose i'd still have to look into it further to ensure she doesn't get stressed out. If anybody has any advice on how to find out whether or not your cat would be okay with that i'd love to hear it!

    as for sleep, i'm a night owl type in addition to being a light sleeper. If i wasn't already awake by the time a dog barked, the shock of being barked awake would definitely help get me outta bed haha

    I actually find that really sweet! (the bed thing. The skin quote is kinda morbid, even if the sentiment is still adorable lol) i've actually only ever shared my bed with my cat so i don't know how i'd fair with an entire dog on me, but if i were uncomfortable i'd probably tough it out for the sake of love. Ah, the sacrifices of loving a pet

    Gotta love snuggly pets!! The people avoiding can be a nice bonus i'm sure
  17. raym0016

    raym0016 New Member

    I am finding that after 8 weeks of having my boy in the house that many of the stereotypes that Kaiser2016 and others have talked about are... true. But, I do believe that each dog is completely an individual, most take to training really well, they are very smart and I hear by the time they are 2, most of the nonsense that makes you want to pull your hair out, goes away. Regardless of what you decide, I think it is great that you are opening up the dialogue on this topic and doing your research! Best of luck, you are doing the right things.
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  18. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Hannibal Lecter! Oh my God I laughed my ass off with that!:rofl: Some really good points, or should I say bad? LOL A horse in the house! Yep! Galloping! LOL I just came in from a nice walk with Buddy and Kali and as I'm posting this, Buddy is behind me giving a little whine. I wish it was the other wine. :spit: Why is he whining? I have no clue LOL Maybe he just wants to go outside again. He does like to go out there and just chill in the grass. But I never let them out by themselves and right now I've got things to do!

    Also, I almost tripped over him again. Standing on the sidewalk this morning talking to my husband and I take a step back and I'm stepping on his toes! And almost fall! Damn it, do you have to be right behind me ....stealth?!:rp: :spit: Yup. Velcro!!

    And one of the best companion dogs out there!:love:
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  19. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Yes! We can be outside and then it gets too hot for him so he starts to seek shade. Well WE are outside for him and already sitting in the shade so there’s no room for him and we come inside. Then he stands by the back door whining to go outside again! I just know he is fooling me half the time, but then I let him out and he pees a river! Like how can you walk around so full and not think to pee until I shut the door?!
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  20. RexsMom

    RexsMom Member

    Hello there!
    First off I've been diagnosed with depression since a young age mainly due to a chronic illness I developed at age 10. Unable to work or drive, it gets very lonely. Then my boyfriend I bought our first home together. He works 2 jobs and is rarely home including night time. About a month later we knew it was time to get a dog to keep me company.

    Why did we go Doberman?
    - Being a petit female alone a lot including night, we wanted an intimidating & loyal breed for protection & peace of mind.
    - I wanted a 'velcro dog' aka follow you everywhere for the constant companionship.
    - Not just motivation, but HAVE to exercise & get myself out of the house because trust me, they need it.
    - New hobbies in the form of training & now starting up agility classes.

    Overall, Doberman require A LOT of work and time, and the key to depression is to keep yourself distracted.
    But I HIGHLY recommend getting a rescue, a year or 2 at the youngest, I can not stress this enough. Having a puppy just sunk me in deeper, but that was just my personal experience. Now at 14 months, Rex and I are best buds & is one of the best decisions I've ever made! I never feel alone & if I feel down, we go for a walk or do some training & play out in the yard to benefit the both of us :)
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