Why is it so hard to find a good Doberman?

Trewarzone

New Member
I've been searching on and off for 5 years..(before that I was not ready for one)Dobermans have been my favorite dog since a toddler. My uncle bred working dobermans. He always promised me one when I was older, and to help train on my own.. He lost his wife and became sick and that was that.. Now, everywhere I've looked there is either a crazy contract @ $5000+ and most times don't look as good as his. Im looking for a working Doberman.. preferably European.. but not a skinny dog with no drive... am I asking for too much? What reputable breeders are there? What about a breeder that is trustworthy to ship a dog from overseas? If im paying 5,6 or 7,000 i might as well get an import.. 100% born and bred European Dobermann.. any suggestions
 

Panama

Moderator
Hot Topics Subscriber
Welcome from SE Alabama.

Look for a breeder that breeds and participates in what you're interested in.
I know Kansa Dobermans (not personally) pretty much do it all. A lot of their dogs are Euro or Euro/Am blend. There's a breeder in NY (not NY Dobermans) that breeds & imports but I can't recall their kennel name.

I have heard both good and bad about importing. Some amazing dogs have been imported, but I've seen some that weren't very good specimens. Are you really getting the pup they showed you? What recourse would you have if you got a sickly pup? Language barrier seems to be a big issue sometimes.
So unless you have a good connection with a breeder that can help with the import, I (personally) would reconsider.
 

LifeofRubie

Active Member
I'm curious about the "crazy" contract part.

A reputable breeder will sell a "pet" dog with limited registration (so people can't take that dog and pump out "registered" puppies to sell), some may include an advisory on holding off on spaying/neutering until a certain age, and all will require you to return the dog to them at any time if you cannot keep it. My female Dobe sold as a "pet" dog did include a clause that said I owed the breeder a lot of money if she did get pregnant, either intentionally or accidently.

Otherwise, I've seen more demanding agreements from rescues than breeders, in my experience.
 

Doberman Gang

Hot Topics Subscriber
There is a confirmed breeding of Phoebe and Koen. Only serious working applications will be considered. Masaya’s Doberman’s Phoebe is a sister to my dog Blaze, Koen is a Von Schwartz male.
 

Trewarzone

New Member
"Crazy"
I guess I meant to say 2 year agreement to place im competition or obedience trials(which i plan to do as I am trying to be a certified dog trainer and do IPO work) but 2 year contract, then fill out an application and hope both parties are still alive and we're on good terms to have my full registration invoked. Or being forced to breed in their program or only to their dogs.. or as I mentioned before the year waiting list.. it seems I will have to agree to this but seems extreme for someone who has family and friends that deal with Beagles, Rottweilers, Am Staffs and Pits.. I was too young when my uncle showed and bred Dobermans. So its all new to me..
 

Doberman Gang

Hot Topics Subscriber
"Crazy"
I guess I meant to say 2 year agreement to place im competition or obedience trials(which i plan to do as I am trying to be a certified dog trainer and do IPO work) but 2 year contract, then fill out an application and hope both parties are still alive and we're on good terms to have my full registration invoked. Or being forced to breed in their program or only to their dogs.. or as I mentioned before the year waiting list.. it seems I will have to agree to this but seems extreme for someone who has family and friends that deal with Beagles, Rottweilers, Am Staffs and Pits.. I was too young when my uncle showed and bred Dobermans. So its all new to me..
I am not sure what Brandi’s contract asks for title wise. But if you are wanting to breed or stud the dog you get, it will take you a minimum of 2 years to start getting titles anyway. More like 3-4 years if you are training with a good club and know what you are doing. 3-4 years is about the age you would think of breeding also, that is if health testing all comes back good. Most breeders have sone tons of research and put years into their programs. Their kennel name has meaning so it is only natural they would be particular on what dog you breed to. Don’t take it personal, once you have breed successful and produced offspring to your kennel name you would be free to breed to dogs of your choosing. Who are you training with to learn about the sport and how to properly train it?
 

Trewarzone

New Member
I grew up around beagles, but I dont hunt anymore.. but I really miss the work going into it.. watching a dog work doing what its bred to do..
There is an IPO club near my house and I was thinking I missed out on my calling with dogs.. I want to start going there, but I want a good working dog to start training and eventually become certified as a trainer myself.. maybe start working and training on my farm with the family..As a business..
 

Ravenbird

$ Forum Donor $
The breeder @Doberman Gang refers to will have puppies that work. You don't have to pay $5K for a good working dog, but you may need to be willing to get on a waiting list, to not get too obsessed with Euro dogs, and to walk on if you don't like the what you see, AND be willing to travel to go get your puppy. Ask to see pedigrees of sire & dam. If you want to do IGP, look for at least 1 or 2 parent/grandparent to be IGP3. Look at United Doberman Club - online website, it is all working Dobermans, whether bite work or other sports. I spent a year looking, waiting, backing out when I smelled something rotten, small litters where I got ousted off the waiting list, re-grouping, starting over etc. Well worth the wait. In the mean time, go visit the club you mentioned, ask if you can watch & learn or help. You may find some Doberman owners there.
 

Oh Little Oji

Formerly Tad
Hot Topics Subscriber
$ Forum Donor $
Welcome!

I agree that it is hard, and it is also hard waiting to hear back from breeders. Most of the time, you don't hear back from them at all.

The good news is, I've found it way easier to deal with working Dobe breeders than confo. Dobe breeders. Working folks are less pretentious, and more down to earth (generally).

My last two Dobes have been from working breeders. Yes, they all would love for you to title your dogs! I have not run into any contract that states that I must do so, though.

I can say that I got lucky to get "in" with working Dobe breeders. Once you've bought from one, you've got a great "in," as long as you stay on good terms with the breeder.

That first working Dobe breeder did seem to be disillusioned with me, and there was a slight misunderstanding I suppose. I told her that I want a Dobe that can do well at Schutzhund. She seems to (understandably, I guess?) have taken that to mean that I was saying I would compete and try to title the dog. I didn't necessarily mean that. So, for whatever reason, it seemed that breeder was eager enough to sell the pup that she sold to me and the rest is history.

As for price, I can tell you that I paid $1800 (which seemed like a pretty good deal even at the time, especially for a Dobe whose sire was at the time an 11-time Schutzhund III) and my current boy I paid $2500 (also from IPO III parentage). He is a full Euro working line Dobe, and in case you don't know, working Dobes from legitimate performance backgrounds tend to, yes, look skinny and unimpressive. They're built for speed, agility and maximum performance. Looks often run counter to this.

So, it seems to me that one of the foundational breeders for working Dobes in the US (maybe I'm overselling her a bit?) is Tammy Marshall Weldon of Swift Run Dobermans in Kentucky. Masaya Dobermans was started with a dog from her, and my breeder started with a dog from her.

I would be surprised if Tammy is charging upwards of $3k, but I don't know for sure. It seems, lately especially, that everyone is being given the green light to charge more for stuff.

As for contracts: Again, working Dobe breeders are so much easier. I personally do not want to neuter my dogs. Well, it is actually in my contract that I am not allowed to neuter him – at least not without checking with the breeder first and allowing them to collect from him if they need to. Most all confo. breeders want you to alter your dog ASAP, and go on a "limited registration" and all that sort of crapola.

So, I'd say especially if you can honestly tell the working breeder you intend to try to title the dog, they will be happy to sell to you. Good luck!
 

Panama

Moderator
Hot Topics Subscriber
A discussion popped up on my FB page and I came across this breeder. Have no idea what their contract consist of, but might be worth checking out. Looks like they're planning litters for Spring/Summer.
Apexe Dobermans
 

Doberman Gang

Hot Topics Subscriber
A discussion popped up on my FB page and I came across this breeder. Have no idea what their contract consist of, but might be worth checking out. Looks like they're planning litters for Spring/Summer.
Apexe Dobermans
Ashley would be a good choice for a working dog, not sure what her contract agreement is though.
 

Oh Little Oji

Formerly Tad
Hot Topics Subscriber
$ Forum Donor $
A discussion popped up on my FB page and I came across this breeder. Have no idea what their contract consist of, but might be worth checking out. Looks like they're planning litters for Spring/Summer.
Apexe Dobermans
I recognized the name of the woman immediately. She's a friend of my breeder, and I see she's also part of the let's-not-crop & dock-anymore contingent :rolleyes: But I feel she's probably a good breeder of working Dobes.
 

Panama

Moderator
Hot Topics Subscriber
I recognized the name of the woman immediately. She's a friend of my breeder, and I see she's also part of the let's-not-crop & dock-anymore contingent :rolleyes: But I feel she's probably a good breeder of working Dobes.
I did see on her puppy questionnaire a section asking if you preferred cropped or natural
 

Trewarzone

New Member
Im not completely sold on European dobes, but if u seen some of the Dobermans I've seen, skinny bones, over bred and the early death stories.. I want a well bred working dog.. and yes the average price im finding for full registration is 4.5-8K which is rare finding full reg... what I'm finding is 3-5K with limited reg., co ownership, or a neutered dog by 18 month.. I've been so set on a Doberman these past 5 years I'm not sure what my back up dog would be..over my years I've had a Rottweiler, a Beagle & Pitbulls.. these are great dogs.. but with my daughters I want a dog thats more protective and yet sensitive and very personal.. Rottweiler would be a bit much to handle for an all girl household, Pitbulls aren't really protective as they are defensive.. and.. well Beagles are #ing awesome.. but my memory of Dobermans growing up was special..
 

Ravenbird

$ Forum Donor $
I see she's also part of the let's-not-crop & dock-anymore
I think she knows that some of her buyers intend to go International Level. I don't know how many American Dobes get to International Level, but if that's your goal, you won't buy a C/D puppy. I think her dogs are that kind of potential. And like @Panama said, it's a questions on the puppy application. Even so, since the tails (does Europe law include dewclaws too?) & dewclaws are usually done at about 3 days, this may be a litter by litter choice by her, rather than giving you a choice whether to have them done or not. Definitely outstanding dogs coming from that kennel.

what I'm finding is 3-5K with limited reg., co ownership, or a neutered dog by 18 mo
I'm pretty sure you can get what your looking for without these restrictions, maybe I'm wrong. Keep visiting websites and if they don't have a contract online, ask for one. I filled out many puppy applications even when a litter wan't in the makes. I also got zero replies to inquiries quite often. Being a good fit goes both ways. If you've never titled a dog, you may be down the list for some very successful breeders who want to promote their dogs, but smaller breeders who have worked their own dogs and achieved success may not be as stringent or as expensive. I think @Doberman Gang got Blaze because he was too much for the original owner and has now achieved IGP3 with him. (correct me if I'm wrong DG!). Anyway, some really good dogs out there, keep looking & be patient - it will all fall in place.
 

LifeofRubie

Active Member
For clarification, are you looking to train in protection work with your dog?

Any Doberman is considered a 'working' dog and they are a very versatile breed. A true "working" Doberman in the sense we're using is a LOT of Doberman.

And to be honest, I don't care if it's a 10lb yorkie; any dog coming legitimately coming after you is scary. Dobermans are a medium size dog by design. My petit, 60lb female alarms people and she's usually just minding her own business. I think there is a 'warlock' type trope that larger is scarier. The AKC defines the size of a male Dobe as 26-28 inches tall and 75-100lbs. Quite a range and I don't think I've seen any Dobe that weighs 100lbs and looks healthy but they are solid muscle.

Most of the 'early death stories' are because of DCM which is an issue with the breed, overall. Annual monitoring and early detection would be key for a Dobe from any breeder.
 

Doberman Gang

Hot Topics Subscriber
I think ]@Doberman got Blaze because he was too much for the original owner and has now achieved IGP3 with him. (correct me if I'm wrong DG!). Anyway, some really good dogs out there, keep looking & be patient - it will all fall in place.
Yes, Blaze was just supposed to get my evaluation to be rehomed but he need someone that knew how to handle him. Not for a first time owner or handler. Getting a nice Doberman that will work but has an off switch would be more ideal for someone knew to these kind of dogs
 

Top