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Old 01-04-2012, 11:22 AM
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ravennr ravennr is offline
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Default Dobermans?

we keep coming back to them more and more. they seem to fit us quite well and i am now at the point of negligent petfinder searches for Dobes in particular. i've spent some time around them, but i don't know the intricacies of Dobership. every Dobe person i know is so in love with the breed, too!

what can you tell me about their overall personality, trainability, and let's say we don't rescue for some reason and go to a breeder, what specifically should i look out for? should i be worried about smaller pets? will i become addicted and if so is there help for that? anything else?
i've seen a lot of hot debates on Chaz about this breed in particular.


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Old 01-04-2012, 06:52 PM
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I had a post all written up, but it was disjointed and kind of random.... so I'll try again.

To answer your specific questions:

Quote:
What can you tell me about their overall personality?
They're not velcro... they're tumors... they want to be touching their owners at all times. They will follow you from room to room, constantly pay attention to see where you're going to go next. When you sit down, you've got every Doberman you own instantly in your lap. (Mine even pile up on top of each other so they can all be as close to me as possible.)

They're intuitive and empathetic, sometimes to a fault. Dobermans were created for personal protection, so their connection to their owner is quite strong. They are highly devoted to their owners, so if you sully that relationship by treating them too harshly.... you create a rift in that relationship that takes a lot of work to fix.

The girls are more serious, whereas the boys seem to be more sensitive and sweet... but not in a gentle way! The Doberman has been said to possess "the heart and soul of a gentleman" - even as puppies. Doberman puppies are crazy and fun, but they are also wise and respectful beyond measure. I've never seen such innate respect and understanding from any other dog I've encountered.


Quote:
What can you tell me about their overall trainability?
They're very smart and learn quickly if you train them right, but they are not a breed that is very forgiving of training error. If they feel as if they're being treated unfairly, they will not work for you.... I've seen several breeds that cannot seem be overcorrected... Dobermans are not one of them.

If you train too harshly, a Doberman won't be afraid of your or get mad at you - the Doberman will simply say, "well F**k you then" and won't work with you. On the flip side, if you're too soft with a Doberman they'll realize they can outsmart you... and then you have a problem. They read emotions well, so you have to be confident and kind... faking it won't fool a Doberman.

Dobes are versatile dogs - they'll try their best at everything you throw at them... except maybe swimming!


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If we go to a breeder, what specifically should I look out for?
HEALTH TESTING! Health testing health testing health testing. With a scant few exceptions, you want to be seeing fully health tested parents - hips, elbows, thyroid, vwd and a recent holter are my personal bare minimum. Throw in CERF, bile acid and the WSU cardio gene test and I'm a happy camper.

In my opinion, the #1 thing you need to worry about is health testing. Everything else comes second.

As for titles... it depends on what you want to do with your dog. Contrary to popular belief, Dobermans from "show" breeders can and do train/title successfully in protection sports. Your standard North American show-bred Doberman is where you'd probably want to go if you want an extremely versatile companion.... especially if you want to do Agility. Most Agility dobermans you see are bitches, and most are from show breeders.

Do not confuse "European" with "working", and always remember that a Doberman is supposed to be a medium-sized and moderate breed - they're not supposed to look like mastiff crosses - that's all I'll say on that.

Quote:
should i be worried about smaller pets?
You should be vigilant and train the dog to leave small pets alone, but I won't say that having Dobermans and cats is impossible. Dobes do have a healthy dose of prey drive, some more than others, so if you get a puppy you need to keep on them about leaving smaller pets alone. Adults, it's best to get one that has been tested on small animals.

Quote:
will i become addicted and if so is there help for that? anything else?
If they're the type of breed that meshes with your personality, yes - you'll become hopelessly addicted and there is no cure. Nor should there be.


A few parting thoughts...

1. If you get a dog in North America from a responsible breeder, it'll be cropped and docked unless there's a one-in-a-milion fluke. Get used to the idea. (1:1,000,000 Fluke = my breeder has a puppy right now that can't be cropped due to an ear injury - so he'll stay natural.)

2. If you want to excel in Agility, get a bitch. Not saying the boys don't do well, but to be truly competitive IMO you need a bitch. There's a reason why most of the top Agility dobes (and every T20 Agility winner in the past decade) are girls.

3. Dog aggression. Expect it in males, no matter how much you try to train it out. If you have multiple males (irregardless of age, neuter status and breed) expect to crate 'n' rotate. Same sex DA is less common in bitches, but when it does happen it's 100x worse than the boys.

4. Dobermans are expensive.... breeders charge $2000-$3000.

5. I'm sure someone will mention the longevity program. Keep in mind that just because a breeder's dogs aren't on the list, that doesn't mean their dogs aren't long-lived. There's politics in everything.... hint hint.

Oh, and because this thread is useless without a photo or two....











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Old 01-04-2012, 07:11 PM
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yes! thank you!

i went through your photos since i've been gone, today with the boyfriend, and he is drooling over your girls (though he has expressed he wants a boy). he is also in love with Revy haha. i told him no Corgi right now

i used to be very iffy on cropping, not just the idea but i think the taping, for whatever reason, very much intimidated me. i'm much better with the idea of it now. i love the look and i'm confident i can take care of any ears in recovery

we have gone back and forth on where we would want to get a dog from. if i could show, i would really love to do it. i imagine it would be best to own the breed before investing that sort of time into it, though? i've never gotten the chance to show before and it is a little intimidating. mostly though we are just looking for an all-around companion. maybe i could try my hand at some sort of dog sport though!

are there any skin issues associated with any of the colour variants? i'm partial to black-and-tans myself but i've seen some gorgeous blues and fawns up for adoption that got me a tad bit hooked.

i will definitely be paying very close attention to health testing with any breeders we may look at.

thanks so much!
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:19 PM
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Sizzle, do you have a few of your dogs sitting? They're beautiful and I love the breed. I actually, very seriously, think about them often. The overly deep chest bothers me with the way it juts out when they sit.

I train with a lot of them from winmar kennels.

They're great dogs and the most intradog affectionate dogs I've ever met. With their housemates they make out, constantly, it's adorable.

The rock back sit kills me from my obedience views.

They have a very interesting drive, imo, they have a lot of it and great sustainability but it's a quiet, calm, not spastic drive.

That's about all I have right now having not owned one.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
Sizzle, do you have a few of your dogs sitting? They're beautiful and I love the breed. I actually, very seriously, think about them often. The overly deep chest bothers me with the way it juts out when they sit.
Greyhounds were used in the development of the breed - they have the deep chest for lung capacity, so it's not entirely incorrect. However, chests have become overdone (IMO) and the crazy-huge ones bother me too.

Here's what I found of my own dogs...











(Haha I see a trend.... Jayne doesn't sit much!)


Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
The rock back sit kills me from my obedience views.
Honestly, I think the dogs do it more than the bitches. Kaylee doesn't rock back, but she's a pretty stellar obedience dog if I do say so myself. I think with most issues with Dobermans, it's all in how they're trained and what they're allowed to get away with while learning their fundamentals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
They have a very interesting drive, imo, they have a lot of it and great sustainability but it's a quiet, calm, not spastic drive.
Yep! It's a hard drive to explain, isn't it? It's not bad, but it's different than what people are used to when they think "tons of drive."

PS... You totally should have gotten in on Kaylee's litter if you wanted an obedience dobe. She loves it... even when she has to wear a thong.



(I need to get good obedience photos of her, I really do.)
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:51 PM
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i am a sucker for their necks. i love a good collar on a Dobe's neck, for some reason.
i'm sure that's where my money will go to.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:21 PM
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I'd love a Dobermann, but they seem like they would be a bit out of my control compared to what I am used to. Still, beautiful dogs.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SarahHound View Post
I'd love a Dobermann, but they seem like they would be a bit out of my control compared to what I am used to. Still, beautiful dogs.
Not if you got a Saga. All she does is sleep. I joke that she is an oversized cat. Most Dobes do have a pretty good off switch, Saga's is so good that I can't find the ON switch.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:35 PM
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Maybe in the future, some seem a bit similar to greyhounds in someways (like having an off switch!). I would worry about the training though, they seem like the type of dog that would be quite easy for me to go 'wrong' with.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:24 PM
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Sizzle, your dogs are definitely not bad. The dobes at my work are beautiful standing but I would like a less exaggerated chest.

On the left is the most over done but several others are similar.
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