Dobermans

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by Dakotah, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. Dakotah

    Dakotah Kotah BEAR

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    What can yall tell me about them?

    Is this a good website for reference, Doberman Pinscher Forums - DobermanHub?

    As most of yall know, Bernese Mtn Dogs are my dream dog, but Dobes are slowly and slowly becoming one of my favorite dog breeds as well.
    I love their coat length, their personality, their temperament, how they can be so Velcro-like but also protect you if need be, and their goofiness.

    I have a couple of questions...
    Energy level, what is it like? I don't mind exercising a dog, so how much of a energy level they have doesn't matter, I just want to know about what their energy level is.

    I want a dog that I can take camping, hiking, rock climbing, swimming, etc etc. Are dobes up for this?

    Can anyone refer me to some breeders that either you personally know or that you know of, so I can ask more specific questions.

    And anything other info would be wonderful.
     
  2. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    Well, I was researching them for a long while and have quite a bit of info:

    A great forum for information!
    Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums

    the DPCA Which has great info on the breed: DPCA | The Doberman | Temperament

    I do know the breed is very versatile and trainable (hiking and all that shouldn't be a problem) but I'll leave more specific answers onto the owners

    The problem I ran into.. is being a student and renting apartments. I'd be careful with that because they are on basically EVERY apartments list of breeds that aren't allowed :(
     
  3. Dakotah

    Dakotah Kotah BEAR

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    Thanks Fran.
    And I wouldn't be getting one until I moved into my own house, or by some miracle, found an apartment that allowed them. Hardly any apartments in GA allow any kind of "bully" breeds.
     
  4. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    Dobermans are wonderful, but they can definitely be trying sometimes. I love my Dobermans whole heartedly and would not trade them for the world, but at the same time, I do sometimes complain about them as well!

    Mine were what I'd consider to be very high energy until they matured around 2-2 1/2 years old. Now I would consider them moderate-high energy. I think the biggest thing, much like what Grace said in a recent Border Collie thread, is to not over stimulate and keep them busy constantly, otherwise they're going to crave non-stop exercise and attention and not know how to settle. I made this mistake with Keira as a puppy, as I figured the more exercise I gave her = the more tired she'd be, & the happier I'd be. Boy, how wrong I was! The more exercise I gave her = the more stamina she gained and the less relaxed and focused she became. She was my first Doberman puppy, and the most high energy dog I've ever raised and we all make mistakes and learn. With Ripley, I gave him just the amount of exercise he needed & did not make a huge attempt to exhaust him. He was instead rewarded for calm behaviour (settling on his own, going to his bed, chewing bones, etc.), and as a result, was a much more relaxed, easy to live with puppy than Keira was. Mine needed a good 45min run/romp at the park every couple of days, and every day I would play with them for about the same amount of time in the yard or I would let them wrestle and chase eachother. Mental stimulation is even more important to my dogs, especially as youngsters, and I tried to work with them a few times a day at short intervals every day. Now that they're adults, they don't need that much. They could still do it and be happy, but now they're content to sleep most of the day or chew a bone or something, and are good with their weekly run at the park and some outside playtime in the backyard + I still work on training a few times a week as well. They don't crave stimulation and exercise like they used to. They're happy when they get it, and if they don't, they're fine. But I definitely try not to go too many days in a row without doing anything with them (happens sometimes in the winter when it's 40 below). Then they start getting a little stir crazy. I find the girls lose a lot of their playfulness by the time they hit maturity, but the boys tend to think they're puppies for life (not all of them of course). Keira will play a bit, but she's not into it anymore like she used to be, whereas Ripley would love if I could just stay home and play with him all day. He likes to be chased, he likes fetch, he loves tug, etc. And he's always up for play with other dogs, too. Where as Keira really couldn't care less after a few minutes... that is if she even bothers at all. She'd rather do her own thing and run aimlessly than bounce around too much or fetch a ball, unless she's in a particular mood. Which can make her hard to exercise, as she's still full of energy, but she just doesn't really want to play -- she just wants to run. This seems like a pretty typical trait between the two genders. Boys are much more clownish and goofy a lot of times, and girls are generally much more serious.

    Dobermans are very versatile. Mine are up for most things asked of them, but just beware that swimming might not be one of them! Ripley can't swim for the life of him (need to get him a life jacket and teach him properly), but attempts it, and Keira thinks she might very well melt. Mine will both go into the water up to a certain point, but they have to be able to touch the ground. That said, some people on the Doberman board I belong to (the one Fran linked to) have had better luck with swimming Dobes! Other than that, mine are game for virtually anything. Just beware that during colder temperatures if you're out hiking or camping or something that they might need to wear a coat. They're about as tolerant of the weather as we humans are with their single coat.

    Dobermans are an odd mix of sensitive but headstrong at the same time. Much more so than any other breed I've owned or have had experience training. They need a firm, consistent handler, but not one who will use excessive force. Most that I know do not do well with anger (ie: yelling or just feeling really mad/frustrated) -- be it directed toward them or otherwise. I've seen more than one cower and tremble over a human's anger, and these are dogs who are otherwise what I would call very stable and virtually bombproof in the majority of other situations.

    I personally don't find them super easy to train. I don't find them really that difficult either... but definitely not as easy as Dance is, or even as easy as my Rottweilers were. They're incredibly intelligent, they are thinkers, and they do like to work and learn. However, many can be very easily distracted/unfocused and not always very people pleasing. In that, I mean that they certainly don't want to upset you, but they don't always go out of their way to please you either. I think focus (in my experience) is the biggest key when it comes to training a Doberman, though. Once the dog has good focus, it is pretty easy to get them to do almost anything. It's just getting that focus sometimes that can be very challenging.

    Dog reactivity seems to be big in this breed. I've known a lot of very leash and/or just simply dog reactive Dobermans, and despite all of the training and socialization that Ripley has had, even he has some minor reactivity unfortunately (on leash, caused by being unsure of and frustrated by not being able to meet another dog). Dog aggression is another common issue in the breed, but mostly in the way of Same Sex Aggression. This is prevalent in both sexes, but it is more common in males and is recommended not to ever have a male Doberman living permanently in the same household with another male dog ever. It is not as common in females, but when it does happen, it is often even more dangerous and intense. So beware and make sure you match the right dog to your household.

    All of the Dobermans I know are very trusting and compliant. I can do absolutely anything I want to do to my dogs without an issue. They take whatever I throw at them in stride and just trust that if I'm (or another person) doing something they don't like, it must be for a reason, otherwise I wouldn't be doing it. So they just take it without fidgeting or complaining or anything.

    They are very, very people oriented. This is a breed bred for years as a personal protection dog, and so as a result, they are naturally very attached to their people. I think they take it a step further than "velcro"... they're more like glue. If they had it their way, mine would have some part of their body touching me at all times, and eyes on me at every single second of the day. Separation anxiety can be a problem if you give in to their (often excessive) neediness, but I personally have not had an SA issues with the four I've had in our home. They can be pushy and rude when it comes to attention as well (headbutting, laying on you, leaning hard into you, screeching for dinner, moaning and whining for attention, etc.), so make sure you stay on top of that and don't let a Doberman get away with all of that stuff. They definitely choose one person as their person in a family, but they do love their family as a whole as well.

    They can be pretty vocal in the way of whines and moans and groans go, and they have a scream that could put most dogs to shame if they're really adamantly demanding something. But mostly I find them pretty quiet, and they don't bark needlessly either. I find males to be more protective of their property as well as their people, and will bark more at different noises and such surrounding the house without thinking first, where as females in my experience are a little more focused on just their people and a little bit less on property, and they think and assess a tad more before they bark at something... to see if it really could be a threat or not. I'm not sure if that's true for all Dobermans, but it is for all of the ones I know, including my own.

    Health issues do run pretty rampant in the breed. There is Dilated Cardiomyopathy (which is in every single line -- you can try your best to avoid DCM, but there is always a chance your dog might end up with it), wobblers, different cancers, thyroid, hip displaysia, vwd etc. If you are not adopting from rescue, make absolutely sure whichever breeder you go to has had health testing done on their dogs.

    I have known a lot of "problem" Dobermans as far as rude behaviour (jumping, incessant barking), OCD behaviours, unable to settle, etc. but most of it stems from a lack of leadership and know how. And also, a lot of them are very poorly bred and poorly socialized as well which does not help. I think that a lot of people end up with Dobermans because they're pretty, and don't realize just how much dog they are. They are not easy by any means, and require more work and time than any other breed I've ever had, but they are wonderful for the right owner/somebody who has dog knowledge and is willing to learn.

    Oh, and as an aside, Dobermans are not considered a "Bully" breed. They do recieve the same sort of scrutiny however.

    I am sure there is a lot more I could add, but those are the main things I can think of at the moment. And other Doberman owners around here might have had different experiences with the breed, so hopefully they'll chime in as well. :)
     
  5. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    I don't want to completely dissuade you if a dobe is really what you want but... they are an exceptionally unhealthy breed IMO compared to other breeds of similar size and build and purpose. It along with temperament standards among breeders was enough to make me look elsewhere and will likely keep me out of the breed entirely in favor of either a cattle dog or a dutchie when I finally one day decide to take the dive and do a bitesport.

    Dobes are well known for problems with wobblers, DCM, VWd, thyroid issues, as well as a litany of other large dogs typical problems like bloat, joint issues, back issues. Then you start getting into the coat issues that come with colors beyond black and tan. There is a reason the dobe club has an award for dobes that make it to 10 years old. Breeders would like to change this of course but I don't have a ton of faith in the dca's self reporting system nor the honesty of invested breeders.
     
  6. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    I LOVE Dobermans, I really do, but the health scares me. A lot. And would keep me away from the breed if I weren't in a relationship with a huuuuuge Doberman lover.
     
  7. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    Dobermans are awesome and versatile, but I doubt you are going to find *any* breed that is going to be able to go rock climbing. Unless it is a Chi in your backpack, or this dog:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Dakotah

    Dakotah Kotah BEAR

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    I kind of knew about the training of a Dobe, and to me, that doesn't bother me that much.
    If I were to have a Dobe, then yes, it would probably be the only dog in my house hold. I want a male, female dogs (or any female animal in general) is not my style. I am definitely a one dog kind of girl. I like to focus all of my time and energy into one animal (well except Peanut, he's my cat and he doesn't ask for much, because well, he's a laid back happy fat cat lol). But as far as dogs go, yes only one please.
    The health issues do bother me a bit, but I look at it this way, all dogs have health issues, some worse than others, and I believe if you truly want a dog and are willing to provide for/take care of said dog as its health issues come, than all is good. (Hopefully that made sense).
    I do like that they are very people oriented, I like dogs to be close to me. A dog being up under my feet doesn't bother me, Peanut is worse about being under my feet than any dog that I've seen lol.
    I completely understand about what you said in the first paragraph and referring back to what Grace said in another thread, that makes tons of sense. I like that they are up for anything, that's a big plus.
    I appreciate all the info you've given me. :)
    (I had to take out half of what you said so I could post my reply lol, I exceeded over 10,000 words)
     
  9. Dakotah

    Dakotah Kotah BEAR

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    First off, that is a freakin awesome picture lol.
    I know a lady that has a female Dobie and she will rock climb, to a point. She won't rock climb like the dog in that picture but she will do little bits here and there. Now my cousin, who LOVES to rock climb and does it about every weekend with her boyfriend, has a Boxer and man oh man does that boy love some rock climbing. She has some AMAZING pics of her Boxer boy rock climbing.
     
  10. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    :yikes: Seriously?? How sad. I have a friend whose dream dog is a dobe, I'll have to let her know about this. :(
     
  11. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    DPCA Longevity Program | Home

    Here's the info on it. They did add bred for longevity thing but I have no idea the kind of participation it receives.
     
  12. Dakotah

    Dakotah Kotah BEAR

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    I have a friend who has a female Dobe that is 13 years old. She is in great shape, she gets a little more irritated because she is old and they just got a 3 year old Lab mix from the shelter. But other than being irritated by a bouncy, go go go lab mix, she is in great health.
    So I was surprised when I heard that most barely live to be 10.
    To me, how long they live matters but its not going to be the deal breaker on a breed. Bernese Mtn Dogs average life span is 7 years, but they are my dream dog and I WILL have one, one day lol.
     
  13. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    It's the cardiac events you have to watch for. Fine one day, possibly dead the next, often times with nothing you can do to forsee or prevent it. It came to my attention really after hearing of a dog death at a schutzhund event. The dog finished the obedience section and died heading back to the car. 7 years old - there was nothing they could do - she was gone. We have a forum member who just lost a dog a few months ago due to congestive heart failure - 8 years old as I recall.

    While it can happen with any dog breed, it happens far more commonly in dobes and anyone considering the breed should be aware of it. If you're ok with such a short life on a really expensive dog go forth and purchase. Just don't say no one warned ya.
     
  14. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    I know a 16 year old Doberman, and I've known a few between the ages of 11 and 14yrs old... but no, it's not the norm. Just nice when it happens. I've known I think about 5 now to have dropped dead of DCM with no warning all around 6-8 years old. Seemingly healthy one day, and suddenly gone. Sometimes you get a warning and can prolong the dog's life somewhat with medication, but often times you do not have any warning whatsoever. I've also known two more young dogs to die of liver failure. And this is in a health tested line of dogs who'd had good longevity up until a few years ago without any cardio or liver disease to really speak of.

    There are health issues in any breed, and while Dobermans really don't have that many more than most, the ones (specifically cardio) they do have are pretty devastating.

    I'm undecided whether or not I'll have more Dobes in the future, and health is a pretty big reason. I've lost enough dogs young and don't really want to knowingly risk it. I live everyday with the knowledge that my Dobes parents both died relatively young (one at 5 and the other at 7 1/2), as did 3 aunts and uncles. While I live with my dogs like I would any other dog, Iit is always in the back of my mind that at 4 years old, there is a good possibility that Keira might only have a couple more years left. While I sincerely hope that is not the case, it is a possible reality.

    But at the same time, we did know of the breed's health issues when we got them. And I am not at all sorry that we have them. The experience of owning Dobermans has been wonderful, and I hope that we have many more years to enjoy them. :)
     
  15. Dakotah

    Dakotah Kotah BEAR

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    That is terrible... I read more about a Dobes health on the DT forum, and it was very sad to read some of the stories on there and on other forums.
    It is a sad thing and it is terrible that Dobes have a bad road with Cardio, and sometimes there is just nothing that anyone can do.
    After reading more about their health (I have read about their health a bunch, but I just haven't read about peoples stories about their Dobes and their individual health issues and what happened to them), it does concern me more and more.
    I love the breed, and I am still considering getting one, the health issues have just become more eye opening over the last few hours I've been reading about their health issues, and to be honest, it scares the living sh!t out of me.
    I guess its a little hard on me since my first dog was a black lab when I was around 10(?) and he had to be PTS because he had severe mange that turned into something more serious and made his intestine bleed out, I was 10 so I don't really remember all the details.
    But the health issues is a big thing for me, as well as how fast and young it can take them. But again, I will still consider them but I do want a dog that has a longer life span and not so many health issues, I know every breed has health problems. I hate the thought of my dog being gone at 5 or 6 years old.
     
  16. Hillside

    Hillside Original Twin

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    I love Saga beyond reason, but I really don't know if I will have another Doberman. Toller summed it up pretty well for me. Dobermans have always been one of my favorite breeds, but the health concerns are well, a concern for me. Saga is 4 and from a byb... I'm paranoid about losing her. Already.
     
  17. Dakotah

    Dakotah Kotah BEAR

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    Aw Hillside, that's sad :(
    I hope she has MANY years left.
     

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