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Sadist's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-30

Hi, I've been doing a lot of research about different breeds and about owning a dog in general (will have half a year or more to do further research, so i wont ask too many redundant questions answered in this site as well as other such as socialization and etc). And right off the bat i was very interested in the doberman as it had many qualities that I value.

From what I've read, many concerns were with Doberman and family, especially with kids. But what I'm wondering is if a Doberman would be a good companion for a college student. One of my big concerns is my lack of presence during classes and etc.

Of course i won't be crazy enough to get start raising a doberman during an active semester, as if I was to raise one, I would surely to do it in the summer then move into the apartment in the city during the semester.

So I guess my question is, would a Doberman with high/medium energy level be alright (given my effort) in such setting? In his first three months of life I'll always be there for him but once school starts he'll have to get used to frequent absences and sometimes gone the entire day. Of course my roomate(s) will be there but I don't want them to be burdened, distracted, or negatively affected in any way.

Sadist's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-30

Also, I guess i should mention my main purpose of raising a Doberman would be for its multipurposeness. Ranging from training his guarding side as well as just being a good companion that I can spend time with when i'm living alone

Wolfgirl_121's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-08

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I think you should speak to your roomates first, get their opinions on having a doberman as your "dorm dog". I would also see if they would be okay with watching him/her during the day. As for your busy schedule, you might want to just wait until you are out of college, though many people have been able to make it work with good training and a sturdy crate. 

HarleyBear's picture
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Joined: 2011-08-17

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I really really really wanted a dog when I was in college.  I understand the feeling, but thank goodness I didn't get one!!  I would suggest waiting.  Really, please wait.  You probably have all these plans on how your life is going to go, but let me tell you, life is full of twists and turns!  I strongly suggest waiting until you have a stable job, home, and income.  Dogs costs money, a lot more than you think.  And your roommates may say it is fine... but I they change their minds.  Trust me!

May I suggest you foster for right now?  It might hold you over until you are ready to make the commitment to your dog. 

sweetpea's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-25

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I agree with Harley, I think fostering would be a great idea!  It's more of a short term commitment, and you could volunteer with a doberman rescue or a local shelter(where you would get to experience possibly a range of breeds, and see what works for you and what doesn't). 

I'm a college student right now, graduating this april.  I got Dakota in August 2010.  Mind you I am also married so I didn't have to worry about roomates approval.  I think it is doable to have a dog while you are in school, but you really need to think a few things through carefully before you decide.

1. Like it's been stated, do you have a solution as a backup plan if your roomates decide they no longer like living with a dog?  They might think it's a great idea now, but what if they change their minds when a crying puppy keeps them up at night, or their belongings get chewed, etc.  Also keep in mind that it can be hard to find a place to rent(I'm assuming - most students do rent) with a doberman, since they are sometimes on breed ban lists, and most(not all) landlords don't want tenants with big dogs. 

2. Any dog is a time commitment...dobermans especially need a lot of attention and exercise - be prepared to not get much work done when you're at home and a sad eyed puppy wants you to throw a ball every 30 seconds lol.  As a puppy they will need to be let out for potty breaks every few hours.  Are you able to hire someone to come and let them out when you are at school, or trust a friend/roomate to do it for you?  (For me it actually worked with my class schedule that I was only gone 4ish hours a day, but for you this may not be the case)

3. Money is a big one. (I know!)  Puppies are expensive, and dobermans are generally a pretty expensive breed in terms of purchase price(unless you rescue), food(most have sensitive stomachs and don't do well on cheap kibble) and vet bills.  Be prepared for your puppy to cost you several thousand in their first year of life - not including purchase price or any emergency - this includes things like shots, food, toys, training classes, and spay/neuter if you choose to do so.  It adds up and as a student it's good to be prepared for issues that come up - emergencies happen! 

My advice is to think it through carefully and be honest with yourself about what will and won't work for you.  It is better to wait until you are out of school if you think any of the things I mentioned will be an issue. 

Sadist's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-30

Thanks for your replies! It really gave me some things to think about. I wasn't really worried about roommates as I've known them since middle school and I would be on top of training the dog very well so he/she doesn't cause harm to anything/one. But time commitment is a huge one, as I would be turning junior and will start really taking major-specific classes and i may not have the time. But I have more than 4 months to think further thorough and through.

I may be able to make it work because my parents live 30 minutes away from my college so I can have them look after but I'm wondering if that's stressful to a dog? I would work hard to counter and prevent separation anxiety but heck, if i was a dog, i wouldn't want to be kept traveling between two homes over and over. What are your thoughts on this?


Also, if anything, I will look into fostering. Thanks for the suggestion!

Hickory67's picture
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Joined: 2011-07-20

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Fostering is good, but be mindful of the fact you may have to deal with behavioral issues and be expected to socialize and thus "rehab" dogs that are being re-homed. That was my fostering experience with GSDs, and the approval for me to do so was that I already had a couple of well-trained, even tempered dogs.

I think the proximity of your parents is a good thing, so long as the Dobe has frequent contact with them and is comfortable in their home surroundings.

Lori's picture
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Joined: 2010-04-03

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Even the most well trained puppy is going to chew a few things.  I feel we did overall a really good job of watching Rocky but our couch would not agree :)  neither would a few others things that are shredded now...it happens, no matter how well you watch them.  Much like a child in seconds they can be into something they shouldn't.  So your roommates may not feel the same after he eats their research paper or text book...or fav shirt, etc

 

The Apt is another possible issue as I don't know many Apt's or dorms that allow dogs over 50lbs and many that do restrict certain breeds like Dobermans.  They require a lot of exercise or they become bored and destructive.  So while in school you will find you won't be able to ignore your Doberman and just study.  They won't leave you alone....(trust me on this)  They are a lot of work for my husband and I together. I can't imagine being that responsible at 22ish....and doing it alone. 

 

Dobermans are also very Velco - meaning they become very attached to their people.  So shuffeling them between homes would probably not be the best for them but I won't say it can't be done.  They will tend to bond with the person that is with them the most so if that turns out not to be you for 4 months, you may find your dog chews or become destructive when seperated from them.

Sadist's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-30

Yeah.. After reading a lot more about the Doberman and the inputs/comments from the owners from this forum from various threads, I guess it's probably best that I wait until I graduate and really settle down. Like many have said, who knows where my life will take me and having such a big responsibility (as I want to be a responsible owner) right now will be too much. Not to mention even if I can find an apartment that allows and somehow get my shit together really well and do a good job of raising one, I can't say for certain where I would be after graduation. I would be heart broken if I put all those effort and time only to abandon him/her because of relocation or other unforeseen conditions.

Thanks for the constructive advice guys, preciate it. I'll probably still lurk in the forum and post as a future aspiring owner :)

Kinda really sad that I have to wait for so long though :( Although on the flipside, it will give me even more time and likely more and better resources so that I can really do a good job of raising one in the future.

Once again thanks!

sweetpea's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-25

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Thank you Sadist for being so honest and responsible!  Once the time comes where you are ready for a dog it will be well worth the wait.  Of course you are more than welcome to stick around and continue posting! 

Ashlee's picture
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Joined: 2013-05-27

Ok my friend has 2 female Dobermans and he siad that he 

did not have to train it to guard the house he siad that he was sleeping and his Doberman will bark at the door or ouside when they see something he also siad that growl and attack too 

so  do I have train to bark at the door and stuff like that 

Bina4206's picture
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Joined: 2014-12-18

I absolutely do not think that a Doberman is good for anyone who doesn't have the time nor patience to raise them correctly. They're such a special breed very lovely, strong, and beautiful. I'm a stay at home wife and I've specifically not gotten a job Becuase I want time with my two dobies.