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Old 06-18-2012, 06:04 PM
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Ok, think I have a new found love for Dobermans. They always appealed to me aesthetically but never thought I'd be the type of person who could actually live with one, or enjoy the breed, or whatnot.

But I visited a friend who was house sitting for her sister and they had two gorgeous Dobermans! I was really excited when she told me they were Dobes because I've never been around them in person to be honest.

I fell in LOVE with the boy, Gemini. And he loved me back equally. Oh my he was just a sweetheart. He kept leaning up against me and wanting a good butt scratch. The girl, who was the black & tan, named Roxy was a sweetie too but I just had a connection with Gemini. I loved his brown/chocolate whatever you call it coloring too. Also, their ears were cropped but they were kind of short, which I think I may actually prefer. In general, I am not a fan of cropping/docking, but on a Doberman, I just think a crop looks really nice but sometimes can seem a little too extreme for my tastes.

They were the most well behaved dogs I've ever been around too, and listened extremely well.

Here is a photo of Gemini:
[IMG][/IMG]

(he looks WAY better in person. The pic does not do him justice).

Anyways I wouldn't even consider them for a loonnggg time. But am curious if it's typical of the breed to want/need so much attention, and allow such from strangers (I literally had just met him). They weren't like "in-your-face-lick-you-all-the-time" attention wh*res but if you invited them over, they'd gladly lean against you and enjoy a good petting.

How big of a problem is the DA thing? I know I've read it's mostly males that have same sex aggression right? How would most be with small dogs? These guys were fine with the cat, and didn't seem to care about it at all. That'd be my only huge turnoff. Also, how about health issues? I know they have a few serious issues - average lifespan?

Bascially anything about them.... they've sparked my interest.
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Last edited by JacksonsMom; 06-18-2012 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:51 PM
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Others will be better qualified to answer, but I can tell you that wanting lots of attention and wanting to be touching their people a lot does seem to be Dobe thing.
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:04 PM
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Keep in mind that while I know a lot of Dobermans, most of them are related to one another with a couple of exceptions, so my experience with the breed might not ring true completely to all Dobermans. I know people think my breeder tends to breed softer dogs, though I really don't know how true that is. As even with the time I've spent with my own and with other dogs she's bred, I've seen super soft dogs, even dogs and some pretty hard dogs.

But in my experience what you encountered is fairly typical of a Doberman. Mine are aloof in public, but come into my home and they are all over you. I tell them to leave my guests alone a lot of times otherwise they literally will sit with them for hours to be petted/touched. Boys inparticular seem more lovey dovey with all people, whereas girls are like that with their family but not quite as much with guests/strangers. But yeah, sweet and sucky is definitely a word I would use to describe any of the Dobes I've known and owned.

They are not always the easiest dogs to train as I find them quite bouncy and distracted as youngsters, but once the focus is there, they are quite easy once you find their motivator. Keira works for food the best. She's too amped up to work nicely simply for praise, and to be honest, she's quite selfish and doesn't care about praise that much when training. She is pretty non motivated by toys. Ripley, OTOH, will work for anything. Doberman puppies are not for the faint of heart. They are very trying and I was exasperated more often than not through Keira's puppyhood. Ripley was quite easy until he hit about 8-10 months old and then he was a pain until about 18 months to two years, and he still has days occassionally that I wonder where his brain disappeared to.

One of my favourite things about Dobermans, or at least the three I've had inparticular, is that once they know something and it's enforced, they generally respect it. Unlike Dance who I am constantly telling what to do or not to do or whatever, they Dobermans don't push my buttons like that often. I say get out of the kitchen? The Dobes say "ok, mom says stay out of the kitchen". Dance sneaks by and says "Is she looking? I bet she won't notice... oh, look, a crumb. Totally worth it.". There are a lot of instances like that throughout my day. For as head strong and bull headed as they can be, they also really do want to make you happy and are very respectful of any rules set out for them as long as you stick to them. Not that I don't like Dance's mischevious and devious ways (I actually love it most of the time), but the Dobes are just easier that way.

I don't find that outright DA is a huge thing in the breed. Some Dobes certainly are, but overall I find SSA is much more of a concern. And yes, it is far more common among males, but females can be also. And when it does occur in females, it's often times a lot more serious. Males fight for the sake of fighting but female seem to look for blood. Neither of my dogs have shown any signs of DA or SSA, but that's not to say it'll never happen. Right now though they're good with all dogs, though rather snooty and aloof in that they prefer not to interact much or play with other dogs that they don't know well.

Health wise they are prone to heart issues (DCM is huge), thyroid issues are common, you can see hip dysplasia, VwD, cancers (bone cancer seems very common) and more. Overall I don't find Dobermans to have more issues than a lot of other large breeds, but a couple of the ones they do have are devastating. Life span is about 8-10 years. I've known several now to have only make it between 5-7yrs but I also know a good amount between 12-16yrs old.

I find Dobermans to be complete goobs and sucks with their people. If they could they would find a way to permanently attach themselves to you at all times. Velcro is an understatement. They are always watching, too. Mine don't like me out of their sight for long but they're used to me leaving them alone also. I am not one of those people who lets my dog follow me into the bathroom and wherever else they don't need to go (like a quick run down to the basement to get something out of the freezer, for instance). My two never, ever get tired of attention and it's up to me to tell them when I've had enough and to please leave me alone now. Dobes can be quite pushy and demanding for attention, which again is something I don't let mine get away with. I'll pet you, but you have to be polite. When they're young and learning inparticular they are very wirey and a lot of owners have been slapped by a big paw, run into, whipped in the head with a giant dober nose, etc.

It is my experience, especially after watching my mom interact with my dogs (who is a dog person and knows a lot but can be lenient), that Dobermans thrive best in a home with an owner who is willing to lay down boundaries and rules and be consistent with those boundaries and rules. Give a Doberman an inch and they'll take a mile. Or more. Keira is a dog that I nearly can't stand when my mom takes over her duties, but with me, she is very pleasant and quite easy to live with. It's like night and day.

They are very active dogs but as mature adults, I find that mine do well with a good run a couple times a week and then the rest of the week mostly they play in the yard, or (in Ripley's case) play fetch for about a half hour in a little park. They are good about having do nothing days also, though are certainly less busy in the house when they've had good exercise.

You get out what you put into this breed (as with any dog) and they will give you your all. I can honestly say that I don't think any dog has ever loved or been quite as obviously devoted to us as the Dobermans are. As much as I can find Ripley's always worshipping gaze and need to sneakily rub himself on my unsuspecting outstretched hand or foot a little nauseating at times, it's just who he is. Keira is equally as needy and lovey but she's not as pushy about it (with me). They are beyond sweet and loving.

Dobermans come in four colours. Black, Red, Fawn and Blue. The dilutes (fawn and blue) are often frowned upon in the Dobe world as they are very prone to skin and coat issues (CDA) and most end up almost or completely bald by mid life.


I'm sure Sizzle and others have slightly different experiences, but those are mine. And hopefully it all made sense - it's hard to focus on telling you everything I want to about the breed while I'm also trying to work, haha.

Edit: They sure have a special way of digging deep into your heart. Now after writing all of this out I just want to go home and hug my Dobes, haha. As sappy as that sounds. I adore this breed so much and would continue to have many more if not for a few things that make them a little less than ideal for me. The biggest being is that: 1) I enjoy spending time with large groups of dogs and the potential for SSA is too high and worries me and 2), I am terrified that I might lose my dogs young and it's a horrible feeling.


This is the face that looks at me pleadingly for attention every day (my brother took this picture a few months ago as Ripley was looking at me):


ripley by Devan K, on Flickr
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Last edited by Toller_08; 06-18-2012 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:17 PM
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I think Toller pretty much covered everything, LOL

I will agree with the attention whoriing....big time. The leaning thing? Ya, that's Orson up and down. It's never enough for him to be near you, he must be leaning on you, sitting on your feet, or touching you in some fashion.
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:22 PM
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I can't say much other than the ones I have all met have been pretty close to what you just described.

He is a very handsome boy!
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:02 PM
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Thank you Toller for that AMAZING description! It pretty much sounds like the limited time that I saw of the two I was around for a full day and a night.

Now, granted, these guys were a bit older (the boy was 5, the girl was 7). So, being around a puppy I am sure is entirely different! Lol.

But yeah, all you had to say to these two very calmly was: "get off the carpet" and they completely totally respected that and would go lay in their open crates. They were sooo well behaved and seemed to enjoy just going in the backyard for a bit and they'd come back in sort of excited and bounce for a second, but very aware of their size, and never jumped or was too rough or anything.

Definitely have a new love for them though! I think, like said above, the only thing that would turn me off would be SSA, as I like male dogs as a whole so it would be nice if I could trust to have two males and have them get along. I also enjoy doing other dog related activities that something like SSA would put a damper on.

But something to think about in the far future!
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:31 AM
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Gorram it. I lost an entire post. I'll paraphrase, because it's after midnight and I'm tired.

SSA = not to be trifled with. If you have a male dog when you are looking to add a Doberman, get a female Doberman. And vice versa. Size, neutered vs intact, and age rarely have any affect on SSA in Dobermans. Don't risk it.

House manners = mine have always been excellent house dogs. Dobermans can be mischievous, but for the most part they are extremely in tune with their owners and seem to instinctively know how to behave.

Health = Health is paramount. Do not go to a breeder that does not health test... and I don't just mean hips and vWD status. Do not sacrifice health for anything. The most health testing seems to be done by show breeders... but do not assume a show bred dog cannot have an impeccable temperament. They are not as "watered down" or as "soft" as some people would lead you to believe. Many show bred dogs have more than enough natural protective instinct for the everyday owner.

Things to consider = If you do end up with a dobe that is naturally protective (as all of mine have been) - make sure you're mentally prepared to deal with it. My dogs have all responded aggressively to human beings at one time or another, and it can be scary.... but it's partially why I own Dobermans. Dobes are powerful, frighteningly fast, bold, egotistical and territorial, and mine have never been afraid to square off with people they think are either up to no good, or simply somewhere they shouldn't be (i.e. my property or too close to my car.)

Ears - unless you go to rescue, BYB, or a breeder that primarily breeds dogs for protection sport, you won't get short-cropped ears. And to take on a protection sport bred dobe purely because of a preference of short-cropped ears... that would not be a good idea. That's like a person with tiny hands and no firearm experience getting a Desert Eagle to use as a concealed carry, because they think it's pretty. There are some show breeders that have shorter crops done on their dogs, and some breeders (i.e. Foxfire) that are known for their super-long show crops. Kaylee's puppies actually didn't get super long ears.... here are a couple of her puppies:



(Kaylee pup on the right, Jayne's sister on the left)



I actually wrote a blog about dobes, after I met a particularly foul Doberman BYB last month: http://www.prairiedobecompanion.com/...dobermans.html
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:39 AM
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And because he's adorable.... heeeheee.....











And 'cuz she's pretty.....







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Old 06-19-2012, 10:09 AM
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Sizzle, I've always admired your dogs! They are GORGEOUS.

Also, I saw some photos while googling, of these Dobes with HUGE chests. It just didn't look right to me - it looked... abnormal. I really like how your dogs don't have that look, they seem more proportionate. Is that a show dog thing, a BYB thing... or just preference?

Interesting on the ears too. These dogs I visited with had been bred - apparently the female had two litters but was now spayed. I highly doubt these people were qualified to do so. They seem into their dogs, pictures of them all over the walls, and obviously well cared for, so I'm not going to judge without knowing them, but anyways... I have to wonder where they got their dogs with such short crops.

Honestly, I think the SSA is just the biggest turn off. They would probably be a breed I'd consider way down the road (after Jackson is gone) and I maybe wasn't as into doing doggy things and events. Because with my life now, I really enjoy not worrying about Jackson and being able to take him anywhere and be around any dogs or heck even bring any dog into his house and it be okay.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:34 AM
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We have a lot of female loving female dobes at my work but each male dobe has been a total douche to all males he's met.

We have some really big chested, some very quiet tempered, and heavy on "show only" line dobes. While they make very nice dogs (and several are doing agility here) I never really cared for the breed, even after working with them, until I got two sporting bred dobes in my agility classes and I was head over heels. (of course based on my dogs this is more my style anyways)

They (the working bred) remind me a ton of a standard poodle and a malinois mixed by way of temperament. High drive but goofy drive, they love to leap four off the floor and spin. They are excitable and silly, they want chase games and leap like fawns when they're going. They (the working bred) have tug drive and its a great tool because all the dobes I work with can can be extremely chompy on your hands. They tend to be a bit less biddable than my malinois and more humorous, they're also able to calm and intensely swoon over their owners though, even at a young age. Meaning, they appear to be owner devoted for the sake of devotion, at a young age I'm pretty sure my mals only swooned because I was the keeper of all that were toys.

Given this is super minimal in experience but I work with anywhere from 1-3 dobes a day so this is my take. The health seriously scares me though.
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