Need help

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Volgirl's picture
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Joined: 2017-03-19

My husband and I are looking at purchasing our first dobie. We have researched a lot about the breed and just fell in love with them. I was bitten by a chow when I was a teenager so I am actually afraid of large dogs. I found this site through my research and read two stories on here where two different dobie bite their owners. One worked at a vet and took their dog with them often so it had the best care and was well socialized. It bit her fiancé in the face one night seemingly out of nowhere. One of the responses to that thread was another gentleman whose Dobie attacked his wife leaving her in the hospital. At the time of the posting she had been in there a week. Both stories are in the site so I should be able to find them. Of course this is my concern since I have a 13 and 10 year old here in my house. We have found an amazing breeder who has helped a lot but I need some other owners to help with my fears. I in no way think dobies are mean dogs my fear is actually for all big dogs. If I were getting a lab I'd have the same question just would be asking lab owners. Thank you all in advance for ur help. 

Dogs can bite. That said, I've had Dobermans for almost 25 years, and have never been bitten by one of my dogs beyond puppies chewing on me - haha. 

One of the keys to making sure you have a dog with good temperament, is finding a truly reputable breeder. Things can still go wrong, but a good show breeder is really going to be careful about temperament. Most puppies in a show litter are going to pet homes, and the show dogs are also pets most of the time.  A show dog requires a good temperament - they have to stand perfectly still while a total stranger runs their hands all over them and looks in their mouth. So breeding for excellent temperament is important. 

Then, socializing a puppy, and taking it to a puppy class then a basic obedience class is also very important. 

I have two children that are now both in college - they were raised with Dobermans. A good Doberman is a great family dog. You do need to realize that they are not always good with strangers in your home, and being dog aggressive is not a fault in our breed.... so not a great dog park kind of dog.... especially males.

Dobermans are not an easy breed - Labs are definately easier. Dobes are also expensive and have several health issues. So if you are looking for an easy to keep breed, I'd keep looking. 

DOGMAN45's picture
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Joined: 2013-09-06

       I love Dobes and I currently own two that we have raised from pups.  You sound like you may be first time dog owners and as such you may want to pick a different breed.  My Dobes were not too difficult to raise compared to other dog breeds.  They were well socialized and trained from the start.  I've heard Dobes are supposed to be high energy but that has not been my experience.  My pups were pretty laid back.   As adults I think they are pretty typical of the breed.  They are very loyal and obedient.  They are not that interested in making friends with strangers.  They are not agressive but they are indifferent and do not seek attention from people.  They are great with family and animals they know but can be scary to strangers.  My female in particular takes a while to accept a new visitor to our house.  They require a firm and confident hand. I think any dog will sense fear and indecisiveness.  You sound like you may be predisposed to fear your pup as it gets older and that would not be good for you or your dog.  I don't mean to imply that you will be attacked or bitten but you and your Dobe may be on edge all the time and neither one of you will be happy.  A friendlier breed such as a Lab or Golden Retriever or maybe one of the Doodle mixes might be a better pick.  These dogs are naturally more friendly and outgoing and I think they bring this out in their owners. 

Atticus's picture
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Joined: 2012-05-18

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I agree with Fitzmar.  My boy loves, loves, loves people and is good with 'some' other dogs.  But my neighbor just brought her female pit bull puppy over that was very rambunctious and Atticus was getting an annoyed demeanor.  He definitely wasn't showing signs of wanting to play with this puppy.  I've never been totally comfortable putting him with other dogs.   I never take him to a dog park.  It would be to unpredictable.   But I have zero worries with him around children or people.  He adores everyone.   Of course, I'm sure he clues in to us as we have always shown good emotions to our friends.  Who knows what he'd do on someone we hated.   *

Atticus's picture
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My experience with Atticus is the opposite of Dogman.  When anyone comes to visit he grabs and toy and runs for them!  He thinks anyone that visits our house is there to play with him. Lol

DOGMAN45's picture
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Joined: 2013-09-06

   My first Dobe was friendly and leaned up against people at the dog park, waiting to be petted.  I've seen other Dobes that are outgoing like that.  I think most current breeders are more interested in breeding that kind of Doberman.  Dobes started out as a guard/protection breed and that was the emphasis for a long time.  There are Dobes who act like Labs and vice versa.  The breeding that Dobes originated from make them more likely to be standoffish than a Lab or Hound breed.  If possible get a look at the parents.  My male Dobe is 4.5 years old and my girl is 2.5 years old.  They came from different breeders but have similar personalities.  If you do get a Dobe hope your experience is as good as mine has been.  Had to add a couple shots of Zeke and Ruby. 

 

CRDobe's picture
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Joined: 2014-11-06

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I can't believe Ruby is all grown up! That first pic is one of my very favorites :)

DOGMAN45's picture
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Joined: 2013-09-06

       Those pictures are just 10 months apart.  She was 2 months old in the first pic and 12 months old in the second pic.  We had gone through Zeke's puppyhood only 2 years before we got Ruby.  We said at the time we must have had some kind of amnesia to put ourselves through the puppy raising again.  The good thing was that Zeke took all of the punishment from those puppy teeth. 

Black and Rust's picture
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Hi Volgirl, welcome to the board. Dobermans are awesome dogs. Very loving, protective and great companions but I am not sure anyone should add one to their family with the type of reservations you have.

I believe anyone that adds a Doberman to their family should be confidant that they can be a leader. Dobermans are sensitive to what their owner feels. They can feel your emotions down the leash line. If you have fear they will react. And if you have fear they will see you as weak. That is not a good mix.

I've learned so much since my first Doberman years ago but I have never had a fear of dogs in play, although I have been bitten three times by other people's dogs (Not Dobermans). I do believe if I had been reserved I wouldn't have been a good Doberman owner. My Taegan is my 4th Doberman.

Matter of fact, I just added a Pit bull puppy to our family a couple weeks ago and I thought long and hard about this. With their reputation I needed to evaluate if I would be a good Pit bull owner because I do not want to fail for not only myself but for the little girl I just adopted into my home. I love my dogs with a passion and I want to be successful with them and for them.

I am not trying to scare you, I just don't want you to get in over your head. I would begin with a different laid back family known breed and once you get past those feelings later down the road if you feel confidient then add a beautiful Doberman to your life.

Everyone here has given great advice but if you still decide to go with one, please get it into training for both yourself and the dog and socialize the heck out of him/her. Socialization is so important and it is an ongoing thing.

SIH002's picture
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Joined: 2014-12-15

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I also have to add,  the 1st pic of Zeke & Ruby was one of my favorite pics on the site too. 

We got T'Pol when Tiberius was 3, he also took alot of the puppy punishment, but he also taught her the rules too.  My two are complete polar opposites, Tiberius has all the common Doberman traits, high energy and intensity, he is a Velcro Dobie.   T'Pol is laid back, she lets Tiberius take the lead and is a follower, she was also the runt of her litter.

 

Wolfgirl_121's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-08

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Hi there! Welcome to Gentle Doberman! Dobes are WONDERFUL family pets! If you've got the time, energy, and will to handle their personalities. 

 

I've met dobes of all walks of life and gotten to know them. I've met some who were as friendly as your stereotypical lab and some who were as standoffish as your stereotypical chow. I've met family pets and show winners. Breeder picks and rescues. One thing that I can say for all of them, though, is that they're all VERY sensitive to their owners. 

You sound like a first-time dog owner, and if that's the case, I would highly suggest getting another breed. Yes, Dobermans are loyal and loving goofballs who're highly trainable and very willing to learn (when they're not going through the dreaded doberteens), but they're also super sensitive and will pick up on any insecurity that you might have. They also have a penchant for picking up bad behaviors due to inconsistency and early training mistakes. It is easier to teach a new behavior than to correct a bad one that's already in place, after all. 

With your fear, you may want to start with a breed that's more laid back and less likely to deal with behavioral issues such as same sex aggression. A big male Doberman taking a disliking to other male dogs is a scary thing to see if you've never dealt with another large breed before, and might only exasperate your fears, leading your dog to pick up on your fear and only get more aggressive in an effort to protect you. 

 

Good luck and best wishes, 

Joelle

Volgirl's picture
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Joined: 2017-03-19

Thank you all so much for your comments. I guess sometimes your heart wants one thing and your mind tells you another. I would love a dobie but right now I think I would not be doing the dog or myself any favors if I got one with the fear that I have of big dogs. We have two small dogs and I do good with those but then again they only weight about 15lbs. Lol. You have all given great advice. I think it would be best to start with a different large breed of dog and maybe work my way up to a dobie. Dogman45 I love the pics. Beautiful dogs. 

DOGMAN45's picture
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Joined: 2013-09-06

     Good luck Volgirl.  Maybe a Dobe will be lucky enough to have you as an owner when the time is right.