Male or Female doberman for my lifestyle?

FutureDobeOwner

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Hi everyone!! I plan to get a doberman in about three years if everything goes according to plan. I have heard that black dobes are better working dogs than all of the other colors so I will probably be getting a black, unless a red comes up with the perfect temperament. The dog will be used for canine freestyle, possibly agility, and most importantly, service dog work. The puppy will be socialized at a young age and temperament tested so I get the perfect prospect.
My question is, should I go with a male or a female? I have always had male dogs, and female dogs just don't seem practical. I am a heavy advocate for later spay/neuter, and I currently have an intact male. I'm planning to keep him intact, but if I get a female I'll have to neuter him.
I want a dog that bonds closely to me and not the family, but I've heard that males tend to love everyone, and females are the clingy one person type, which I'm looking for. Would a male be able to bond closely to me if I was his primary person? I plan on being the only one to do all of his training, and being a service dog he'll be spending a LOT of time with me.
I have also heard that males are less likely to listen to training or obedience, and they mature faster. I love goofy dogs, and I'm worried that getting a serious, solemn female will be kind of intimidating, to be honest. I want a dog that loves life and enjoys whatever you throw at them, which is partially why I want a dobe. I don't mind the stubbornness that apparently comes with males (though to be honest I am NOT looking forward to the doberteens of any gender:fingersx:), but I DO want a dog that has the drive for the work. I have seen many male doberman service dogs and less female service dogs, making me hope that males are able to do the job.
The question is, would a male dog be practical for me? Do you guys see a huge difference between your male and female dobermans? Which gender would be better for the job, if one were more likely to succeed than the other?
 

Oh Little Oji

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I appreciate your questions and your great researching!

Color: I am not aware of any actual difference in temperament or working ability between the colors. Now, it does seem to be the case that you see more Blacks in working sports. There is also the notion that I think (no offense, anyone) is just lore that the Reds (or at least Red females?) are more sort of fiery. That sounds just too humanized an romantic. I guess I've also heard some people say stuff like "Oh, those Red boys are so sweet" and such. My opinion is that there may not be any difference among the colors. I could be wrong. My first Dobe was a Red male (not from any good pedigree, but very very trainable and biddable like a good Dobe should be). My next two have been Black and also have been from working lines. So it's the working lines, with working titles in their pedigrees that makes the difference โ€“ and a pronounced difference it is, with the working lines.

You have heard it wrong on the maturing. The males are actually known to mature more slowly than the females.

I don't think it's true that the males listen and obey worse than females. If there is any difference, I'd guess that males are more compliant and willing to obey. I've only personally owned males though.

I don't think it's true that the males are more serious. I think it may be the case that females are generally more serious. Males tend to be more lovey dovey and goofy. Of course, when still pups, you may not see much difference. I'm talking about personality and temperament in Dobes reaching and having achieved maturity.

It's my sense that the female dog may tend toward their natural roles in life of having and protecting pups (whether or not they ever do have pups) and repelling males unless in heat. In my mind, this may contribute to females being less goofy and more no-nonsense. Again, I've never owned a female Dobe personally; so I hope those who have will weigh in.

Of course, since you have a male already, I would advise you to not get another male. Same Sex Aggression is likely and can be a very big problem.
 

FutureDobeOwner

New Member
I appreciate your questions and your great researching!

Color: I am not aware of any actual difference in temperament or working ability between the colors. Now, it does seem to be the case that you see more Blacks in working sports. There is also the notion that I think (no offense, anyone) is just lore that the Reds (or at least Red females?) are more sort of fiery. That sounds just too humanized an romantic. I guess I've also heard some people say stuff like "Oh, those Red boys are so sweet" and such. My opinion is that there may not be any difference among the colors. I could be wrong. My first Dobe was a Red male (not from any good pedigree, but very very trainable and biddable like a good Dobe should be). My next two have been Black and also have been from working lines. So it's the working lines, with working titles in their pedigrees that makes the difference โ€“ and a pronounced difference it is, with the working lines.

You have heard it wrong on the maturing. The males are actually known to mature more slowly than the females.

I don't think it's true that the males listen and obey worse than females. If there is any difference, I'd guess that males are more compliant and willing to obey. I've only personally owned males though.

I don't think it's true that the males are more serious. I think it may be the case that females are more serious in most cases. Males tend to be more lovey dovey and goofy. Of course, when still pups, you may not see much difference. I'm talking about personality and temperament in Dobes reaching and having achieved maturity.

It's my sense that the female dog may tend toward their natural roles in life of having and protecting pups (whether or not they ever do have pups) and repelling males unless in heat. In my mind, this may contribute to females being less goofy and more no-nonsense. Again, I've never owned a female Dobe personally; so I hope those who have will weigh in.

Of course, since you have a male already, I would advise you to not get another male. Same Sex Aggression is likely and can be a very big problem.
Thank you for all of the advice! Henry (my current sd) has always gotten along with males, besides my mother's chihuahua (male). They have gotten into multiple fights, but other than that he loves all other dogs, including males. Would it make a difference if I neutered Henry and eventually my prospect when they're of age? I also plan on giving both of them their space from each other if I do get a male. Different crates, being fed differently, etc.
 

Panama

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I've had both males & females. To me, the females mature both physically & mentally a lot sooner then most males.
In our household, the females tend to favor men & males favored the women. I think whoever they spent the most time with them created that though.
Same sex aggression with Dobermans can go either way (male/male aggression & female/female aggression). Finding an ETHICAL breeder that would place a Doberman pup in a home with another male (intact or neutered) could prove to be a bit difficult.
 

Oh Little Oji

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Thank you for all of the advice! Henry (my current sd) has always gotten along with males, besides my mother's chihuahua (male). They have gotten into multiple fights, but other than that he loves all other dogs, including males. Would it make a difference if I neutered Henry and eventually my prospect when they're of age? I also plan on giving both of them their space from each other if I do get a male. Different crates, being fed differently, etc.
Good questions.

Well hmm. The best thinking nowadays is that neutering does not make nearly the differences in behaviors that it has traditionally been held that it does. That said, might it make a difference to have both your boys neutered when they are old enough (BTW, good on you for realizing that neutering too early is not good for dogs)? Well, maybe. I could see it making somewhat of a difference. However, it is known that even neutered males can have SSA problems with other neutered males or males of whatever status โ€“ intact or not. I would not rely on the neutering to make a sufficient difference.

I hear you though that you would give them their own space and (yes please!) their own crates and feed them apart (like in different rooms behind closed doors, preferably). That's all good stuff, and you could make it work and maybe not have too many problems. It's impossible to say though. Nature is unpredictable.

It's hard, I know when you have your mind/heart set on a certain sex of dog and you hear that it might not be the safest choice. So yeah, just inform yourself as well as you can โ€“ which you are doing :thumbsup2:

Doberman Chat here has a nice feature nowadays where just below this window in which we type is something called "Similar Threads." I see it now, and it has 5, and maybe more, threads on SSA. It'd be a great idea to peruse them. (I use a computer, so I don't know if on a phone it's the same)
 

FutureDobeOwner

New Member
I've had both males & females. To me, the females mature both physically & mentally a lot sooner then most males.
In our household, the females tend to favor men & males favored the women. I think whoever they spent the most time with them created that though.
Same sex aggression with Dobermans can go either way (male/male aggression & female/female aggression). Finding an ETHICAL breeder that would place a Doberman pup in a home with another male (intact or neutered) could prove to be a bit difficult.
I didn't know that breeders won't let you buy a pup if you had a male. Does that mean that I won't be able to get a dobe because of my current boy? I suppose I could email my possible breeder and ask, but there's no way I'm giving up my boy for a new pup. Would a breeder let me get a female with my boy still living with me?
 

FutureDobeOwner

New Member
Good questions.

Well hmm. The best thinking nowadays is that neutering does not make nearly the differences in behaviors that it has traditionally been held that it does. That said, might it make a difference to have both your boys neutered when they are old enough (BTW, good on you for realizing that neutering too early is not good for dogs)? Well, maybe. I could see it making somewhat of a difference. However, it is known that even neutered males can have SSA problems with other neutered males or males of whatever status โ€“ intact or not. I would not rely on the neutering to make a sufficient difference.

I hear you though that you would give them their own space and (yes please!) their own crates and feed them apart (like in different rooms behind closed doors, preferably). That's all good stuff, and you could make it work and maybe not have too many problems. It's impossible to say though. Nature is unpredictable.

It's hard, I know when you have your mind/heart set on a certain sex of dog and you hear that it might not be the safest choice. So yeah, just inform yourself as well as you can โ€“ which you are doing :thumbsup2:

Doberman Chat here has a nice feature nowadays where just below this window in which we type is something called "Similar Threads." I see it now, and it has 5, and maybe more, threads on SSA. It'd be a great idea to peruse them. (I use a computer, so I don't know if on a phone it's the same)
I would definitely prefer a male, but if that isn't ideal for me and my boy, a female it is:wacky: gender differences or not, dobes are dobes. I do loathe dealing with heats. I work with unspayed female dogs and they just fight all day when one of them is in heat. But I've also heard that spaying, even if done later, can change the female's personality/temperament. Is this true?

I'm trying my best to become fully educated before buying a dobe!! I have picked out an amazing breeder and some ethical backups if anything happens, and plan on hiring a trainer with experience. I know it'll be a while but I have spent years wondering what breed will fit my lifestyle and I think I have finally found the one.
 

Panama

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I didn't know that breeders won't let you buy a pup if you had a male. Does that mean that I won't be able to get a dobe because of my current boy? I suppose I could email my possible breeder and ask, but there's no way I'm giving up my boy for a new pup. Would a breeder let me get a female with my boy still living with me?
It's not that they wouldn't sell you a pup. They wouldn't likely sell you a male pup if there is already a male in the home. Same with placing a female pup in a home with an intact male.
 

Oh Little Oji

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I would definitely prefer a male, but if that isn't ideal for me and my boy, a female it is:wacky: gender differences or not, dobes are dobes. I do loathe dealing with heats. I work with unspayed female dogs and they just fight all day when one of them is in heat. But I've also heard that spaying, even if done later, can change the female's personality/temperament. Is this true?

I'm trying my best to become fully educated before buying a dobe!! I have picked out an amazing breeder and some ethical backups if anything happens, and plan on hiring a trainer with experience. I know it'll be a while but I have spent years wondering what breed will fit my lifestyle and I think I have finally found the one.
I have no direct experience with living with an intact female. My wife's Husky was spayed young, before I met her. To answer your question: In general, I have heard accounts of spaying/neutering dogs where it makes them less active and more prone to putting on fat. I think that last factor is pretty well established โ€“ the possibility of getting overweight (thought it does not have to happen). So will spaying a female later change its personality/temperament? I don't exactly know, but I would say it might calm the dog down some. Doesn't it tend to slow down the metabolism and such, folks? It removes the hormone producing parts.

Anyone?
 

Panama

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So will spaying a female later change its personality/temperament? I don't exactly know, but I would say it might calm the dog down some. Doesn't it tend to slow down the metabolism and such, folks? It removes the hormone producing parts.
If there's any change in personality/temperament, I've only noticed it during the times they would typically be in heat. I don't think any of our girls have put on much weight (maybe a little) after being spayed, but we've always kept them active. I've found that a lot of spayed or neutered dog tend to put on weight due to length of recovery time. Owners have to keep them (especially females) low key for 2 wks, and it becomes routine. I guess a little bit of guilt might creep in, so they give them a few (or several) extra treats.

@JanS - Della stayed pretty fit. She was spayed fairly early though wasn't she?
 

JanS

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Della stayed pretty fit. She was spayed fairly early though wasn't she?
I think she was 15 months when we had her spayed.

Do you guys see a huge difference between your male and female dobermans?
I think more of it depends on the bloodlines and individual temperament of each dog. We've had both as well and the females definitely mature faster.
I love goofy dogs, and I'm worried that getting a serious, solemn female will be kind of intimidating, to be honest. I want a dog that loves life and enjoys whatever you throw at them, which is partially why I want a dobe. I don't mind the stubbornness that apparently comes with males (though to be honest I am NOT looking forward to the doberteens of any gender:fingersx:), but I DO want a dog that has the drive for the work.
This is the sort of thing you want to tell the breeder when you find one. They can evaluate the pups when they're the right age and pick a pup that's best suited for what you're looking for.
 

Gelcoater

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. But I've also heard that spaying, even if done later, can change the female's personality/temperament. Is this true?
My experience is purely anecdotal.
My previous female was a red (and yes fiery๐Ÿ˜‰) and wasnโ€™t spayed until she was over 5 years.
I saw no real change in her personality or temperament after.
She was sort of a bitch towards Rocky before as well as after๐Ÿ˜‚
Iโ€™ve never had a black female so I could not say as an owner, only as a friend, they have a fire as well. But reds are somehow more? Whatโ€™s the term? :evilgrin: Is the emoji I would use, lol.

I agree with Oji and others, females mature faster than males.
On the same sex aggressive topic, both my females have been social with other female and male dogs. They can alter their play to suit.

Rocky on the other hand, has only one mode regarding other male dogs.
Asshole mode is the best description.

Itโ€™s good you are asking questions.
Lots of really knowledgeable people here.
 

Ravenbird

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I currently have an intact male. I'm planning to keep him intact, but if I get a female I'll have to neuter him.
If you are responsible, you don't have to neuter your male. You will have hassles, yes, but you will have to deal with all that and more with SSA, so plan ahead. A female will probably get along forever with your male, just have to keep them separate for a few weeks 2x year. SSA could appear as early with another male and be crate & rotate 24/7/365.... SSA seems to be more prominent in some breeds, the Doberman being one of them. What breed & age is your current male? Is he also a service dog? When you say "working Dobe" is that bite-sports working or just athletic sports as you mentioned? First hand experience, bite-sports lines are a different can of worms. Said with love, :hearteyes: but some working lines would not make good service dogs, depending on what your service needs are. I've only had female Dobermans and I love the seriousness and loyalty of them. My first two were sticky on me, but loved everyone, but the one I have now is extremely serious and takes a while to warm up to anyone outside the home. I think breeding lines will tell you more of what to expect than male/female. If your current potential breeder has successful service dogs produced from their kennel I'd think that's most important. Lots & lots to think about, you are smart to think years ahead of the project! Some great people here to answer all your questions as they come up.
 

FutureDobeOwner

New Member
If you are responsible, you don't have to neuter your male. You will have hassles, yes, but you will have to deal with all that and more with SSA, so plan ahead. A female will probably get along forever with your male, just have to keep them separate for a few weeks 2x year. SSA could appear as early with another male and be crate & rotate 24/7/365.... SSA seems to be more prominent in some breeds, the Doberman being one of them. What breed & age is your current male? Is he also a service dog? When you say "working Dobe" is that bite-sports working or just athletic sports as you mentioned? First hand experience, bite-sports lines are a different can of worms. Said with love, :hearteyes: but some working lines would not make good service dogs, depending on what your service needs are. I've only had female Dobermans and I love the seriousness and loyalty of them. My first two were sticky on me, but loved everyone, but the one I have now is extremely serious and takes a while to warm up to anyone outside the home. I think breeding lines will tell you more of what to expect than male/female. If your current potential breeder has successful service dogs produced from their kennel I'd think that's most important. Lots & lots to think about, you are smart to think years ahead of the project! Some great people here to answer all your questions as they come up.
Henry is an English Springer Spaniel that just turned one, and yes, he is a service dog!! I'm not planning to do bite sports as they don't seem fun to me to be honest (no offense to all of the amazing people on here that do them of course!! I just don't have it in me haha.) so I am probably going with a show line American dobe. And I'm very glad you think so!! Most people think I'm crazy for thinking so far ahead:whistle:
What exactly do people mean by "lines"? Like genetics? Do dobes differ drastically depending on what breeder they come from?
 

Ravenbird

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What exactly do people mean by "lines"? Like genetics? Do dobes differ drastically depending on what breeder they come from?
Just the pedigree, what the parents/grandparents/great & gg grandparents were good at. A "line" would be a dog's offspring that stays consistent in whatever talent you are trying to achieve by breeding. Not so much the breeder because several breeders can use the same lines from years back. If you want a show dog, they would have proved themselves in that venue, or agility or obedience/rally etc. If you aren't familiar with the Doberman breed you need to look at the many health problems that come up too often and you should screen your breeder to be sure they do as much health testing as possible and decide mates accordingly. Honestly, not many Dobermans are used for service dogs, although there are many success stories with them. We have a member here who has or has had them for service. Dobermans can look scary to some John Q Publics so aren't as well received in public places, so I think it's their looks rather than trainability that could be the reason.
 

FutureDobeOwner

New Member
Just the pedigree, what the parents/grandparents/great & gg grandparents were good at. A "line" would be a dog's offspring that stays consistent in whatever talent you are trying to achieve by breeding. Not so much the breeder because several breeders can use the same lines from years back. If you want a show dog, they would have proved themselves in that venue, or agility or obedience/rally etc. If you aren't familiar with the Doberman breed you need to look at the many health problems that come up too often and you should screen your breeder to be sure they do as much health testing as possible and decide mates accordingly. Honestly, not many Dobermans are used for service dogs, although there are many success stories with them. We have a member here who has or has had them for service. Dobermans can look scary to some John Q Publics so aren't as well received in public places, so I think it's their looks rather than trainability that could be the reason.
I understand the risks of having a dobe service dog, so I'm doing all of the research I can and preparing beforehand to set me and the dog up for success. All of the breeders I have chosen health test, and one breeder I found breeds dobes for guide dog work or something similar to that, which would be exactly what I'm looking for, not guide dogs specifically but dogs bred to have the right temperament for the job.
 

Lisak444

Jr Member
Hi everyone!! I plan to get a doberman in about three years if everything goes according to plan. I have heard that black dobes are better working dogs than all of the other colors so I will probably be getting a black, unless a red comes up with the perfect temperament. The dog will be used for canine freestyle, possibly agility, and most importantly, service dog work. The puppy will be socialized at a young age and temperament tested so I get the perfect prospect.
My question is, should I go with a male or a female? I have always had male dogs, and female dogs just don't seem practical. I am a heavy advocate for later spay/neuter, and I currently have an intact male. I'm planning to keep him intact, but if I get a female I'll have to neuter him.
I want a dog that bonds closely to me and not the family, but I've heard that males tend to love everyone, and females are the clingy one person type, which I'm looking for. Would a male be able to bond closely to me if I was his primary person? I plan on being the only one to do all of his training, and being a service dog he'll be spending a LOT of time with me.
I have also heard that males are less likely to listen to training or obedience, and they mature faster. I love goofy dogs, and I'm worried that getting a serious, solemn female will be kind of intimidating, to be honest. I want a dog that loves life and enjoys whatever you throw at them, which is partially why I want a dobe. I don't mind the stubbornness that apparently comes with males (though to be honest I am NOT looking forward to the doberteens of any gender:fingersx:), but I DO want a dog that has the drive for the work. I have seen many male doberman service dogs and less female service dogs, making me hope that males are able to do the job.
The question is, would a male dog be practical for me? Do you guys see a huge difference between your male and female dobermans? Which gender would be better for the job, if one were more likely to succeed than the other?
I've always had males until my current dobie, Nymeria. My males were the obedient, easy to train, one-person dogs. Ny has been the independent, hard-headed, goofy dog. But she is also very loving and too smart for her own good. Lol. Guess I'm trying to say you don't always get stereotypical dobies.
 

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