5 Month old red female in Southern Oregon

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justbrill07's picture
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Joined: 2012-10-20

It pains me to re-home my Doberman but we have attempted to train and work with her for months and while she is one of the smartest dogs I've ever had and learns very quickly, I feel no training will be enough to stop her genetic instinct to chase/eat chickens and nip at any other livestock that moves. I have spent most of my weekends since she started this habit, and many hours, trying to teach her to leave the chickens alone in a positive manner but it's just not working. I would like to keep trying, but to say the least I can't due to the issues it's causing in my family (basically if the dog doesn't go the wife will).

She is not spayed. I bought her about 4 months ago from a family who had produced a litter. Her mother had a great disposition, was very smart and appeared healthy. Same for her father, who also looked healthy and strong. Bella was the pick of the litter in my opinion, I spent time with the litter on two occasions wanting to make the right choice and she was my personal favorite. You can see from the pictures that she is very healthy. She learns so fast- she knows sit, (lay) down, come, go outside, no bite, no bark, no jump, wait to eat, stay, eat it, leave it, and when she makes a mess with her food she knows the command "clean up".

She will come with her AKC papers for pure bred registration. She has so far had the first two shots for Parvo. She will also come with 55lbs of the food she is accustomed to.
About AKC registration- I hadn't registered her yet because I wanted to be sure to have the perfect name for her and was debating over "Bella Bearfoot", because of the litter she had the biggest paws and the biggest appetite. She was the pudgiest of all her siblings. She is great with children (we have 4 kids under 7 and she's great with them), she's a natural protector and deters predators both of the human and animal variety, she is a family dog and is not to be kept outside as she gets cold easily. In our home she has access to her own area of the barn where there are large kennels with hay to keep her warm, or she can come into her own section of the house or even lounge on the deck when she wants. Presently Bella lives with our other (rescue) dog who is part Dachshund/chihuahua and they get along nicely. We almost have her house trained, due to letting her "free range" it's been a challenge. If you have a blanket in the house and tell her "blanket", she will know to stay there.

She must go to a home with land and fencing- she is very active and very intelligent and can find her way around/through most barriers so fencing is a must.
I would prefer to deliver her to make sure she's going to a good home. If you are a trainer, a breeder or Doberman lover that is preferred- Bella is well worth your consideration.

Lady Kate's picture
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So obviously your chickens are more important than your new baby..

I just don't get it!!! I thought chickens had coops, or hen houses or something.. sorry.. not that into chickens but I AM into Dobermans and in my opinion.. this little girl deserves a family who puts her as numero uno!!

Please spay her before rehoming her - unless you don't care about her ... then don't worry about the horrible life she might have pumping out puppies for some byber.... because people lie and rehoming an intact bitch with full registration is one of the worst things you can do IMHO. 

Have you contacted her breeder?  If they have one ounce of decency, they will take her back.

tess's picture
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Chickens and the wife...Im sorry about your situation and Im really sorry for Bella. I have a lot more to say, but I dont want to offend.  Please, please take Fitz's advice and have her spayed before you do anything.  Good luck.

 

Tess

Magnumdobie's picture
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This is a terrible situation to be in i'm sure. Do you really expect a PUPPY to be a prized obedient pet with something such as chickens at her age? Dobermans have a prey drive some lower than others amoung the breed actually many working breeds do for that matter do. Working with her will take a long time as she is a puppy still. The basics such as sit, stay, down, ect come quickly for some puppies (they did for mine) but something as teaching not to run after trample over bark at chickens will take time. I don't mean to offend with anything stated, but maybe before a puppy came into the picture more thought should have been put into it or at least the breed choice? Well anyways I really do hope you find someone to take good care of her or have her breeder take her back,but if all else fails maybe take her into a doberman rescue group where they will place her in a home where she properly fits in. Also I agree spaying her would be a great idea and doesn't necessarily have to be expensive in cost. I did some searching around the internet and found the humane society 3 cities over had been doing spay/neuters that month for $42.00. Definately cheap compared to like $110. 

KevinK's picture
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lol what an idiot.  This HAS to be a joke, there's no way this is serious

justbrill07's picture
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Joined: 2012-10-20

So to give a bit more background I bought her from what you'd call a "backyard breeder".  At the time I didn't even know of this term or even that it was the wrong thing to do.  What I remember from the Doberman I had growing up was a lot different than what I learned after buying her.  My first dog and best friend was a Doberman and I always remembered her as a great dog.  Many of you are right.  I did in fact neglect to educate myself, to research the breed, I honestly didn't know there was any difference in buying from an individual who put together two pure bred Dobes and buying from a breeder, and my assumption was that any breed could be taught with the right amount of time+love+effort.  I found this site after buying her and falling in love with Dobermans all over again.  I was reading up on training methods, watching all the Cesar Milan I could find when I heard about certain breeds being harder to train in some areas, certain breeds being good for hunting, some good for indoor/outdoor etc.  I don't have a whole lot of experience with animals. I didn't know much about breed specific dogs 4 months ago, other than Golden Retrievers are great family dogs, German Shepherds are intelligent protectors etc.  I'm literally learning from scratch.  I had no idea of the capability of Dobermans until I really began researching the breed- AFTER I bought her.  I certainly don't mean to sound defensive or lacking in gratitude.  I appreciate your replies, and I'm not offended even though some replies stupidly jumped to conclusions like Kate and Kevin, much like how I jumped to the conclusion out of ignorance that any breed will adapt to a loving family etc with the right amount of training/correction/positive reinforcement.  Kevin- if ever in Oregon let me know, we can talk it out.  Kate- that was an ignorant assumption re chickens more important than Doberman. No, not hardly.  Our chickens free range- I have considered portable electric fencing but I don't want my dog to test the fence and get her nose shocked.  I've tried positive reinforcement such as taking her for a walk and praising her with treats and affection when she notices the chickens but then follows the command to "no chicken" and ignores them, as well as correcting when she acts aggressively towards them.  I've literally spent hours of just about every Saturday playing with her, hiking, getting the family involved so they can watch for her when I'm working and correct her properly and trying to get her to not attack the chickens when they walk by etc.  The last resort is to try a professional trainer, but I spoke with one refered by the local PetCo and was basically told that if it's in their genes, and once they eat their first chicken, this instinct cannot be changed.  As for spaying, this is something else I didn't know was wrong NOT to do.  I always thought "the more natural the better".  I now know after the past few months that not spaying could lead to cancer, but if she turns out to be prize winner, wouldn't it be great if she could have pups and pass along those good genes (or is this better left to a breeder) and I could have several spayed/neutered Dobes?  My true goal is to keep her if at all possible.  I honestly don't want to rehome her.  I want to teach her and grow with her.  If anyone has some tips, some favorite Youtube videos, a trainer in Oregon or surrounding states or anything they could point me to I'd gladly make the drive and pay for the help because I am a beginner, and obviously my "training" methods are all wrong.  I made a mistake in not doing my homework and assuming I could make it work since I was getting her as a puppy.  Clearly the mistake has already been made, now I want to make it right.  I'm sincere about this and really would appreciate any help. 

Magnumdobie's picture
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Joined: 2011-10-03

I'm glad you want to try and make this situation better that is noble. I definately suggest using the search at the top of this site and a wealth of already answered posts come up. Feel free to ask if something isn't already up. Please don't give up you owe it to her. Doing the research is always a key step in finding your breed and whats done is already done. Start gathering as much information on this breed as possible. Find sites with doberman owners, general websites, continue researching training methods. Go to your local pet store and see if they offer obedience training or socialization classes. Also Sit down with yourself and your family and ask if you all can mold yourself into a home suitable for her needs. With a doberman your definately in for an adventure. They need alot of exercise, consistant training, alot of socialization with animals and people in different situations, ect to become a well rounded PLEASANT member of your family. She can get better she just needs proper training and a professional trainers advice to answer your questions regarding living with the chickens is highly reccomended. Find a trainer with working dog training success or if you can find one who works with dobermans would even be better. If at all possible could a coop type structure be built for the chickens so the dobie and chickens live on the same property? Many people don't care to spay/neuter, but I feel its important to do so. Intact dogs both female and male alike can develop some unwanted behaviors that can make living with them more challenging. Breeding should be left to the breeders who spend 1000s to properly health test the parents, find the grand champions of studs, put lots of effort to keep both the mother and puppies of the litter in tip top shape, and usually will take back a dog they produced if you can no longer keep it. Everyone else who doesn't usually may fall into the byb category.  

 

Please understand that the members here have a burning passion for the doberman pinscher breed and will advocate for them. So don't get too offended.

justbrill07's picture
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Joined: 2012-10-20

Thanks a lot, your post was very helpful.  I'll definitely make sure she is spayed, sounds like the best decision for her and could make training easier.  I admire the passion for the breed that others have, and I can see myself having that passion but I have a lot to learn and have come a long way in just these last 4 months, from a guy who knew nothing and bought on impulse to someone who will never buy any animal without going through a breeder and researching thoroughly first (I can't believe I didn't know this).  So there's good reason why prices are so high coming from breeders.  I'm starting to worry now what her health and that of her siblings might be like coming from a BYB.  We heard one of her siblings passed shortly after being adopted which prompted me to get the very best food I could find (I was told BB Life Protection was good and switched to Lamb flavor thinking this would divert her tastebuds away from chicken lol).  Thanks again for your post, I'm reading a lot tonight and am going to start fresh tomorrow.

Kim
Kim's picture
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Joined: 2012-02-05

I know you're reluctant to use an electric fence, but if you want to keep Bella, and keep your chickens alive, it might work well for you.

We've talked about "hot wire" here before - all I can say is when I had my farm, Dobes, and horses, there was a hot wire along with the wooden fence for the horses. The dogs touched it once, and never went near it again. For the rest of their lives.  The shock won't physically harm them - just startle them enough they know they don't want to do it again.

Good luck!

Shirlieann's picture
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Joined: 2012-12-01

Hmm, i had a female dobe in my 20s, we lived on a farm, chickens, cows, geese, ect, Ziare never bothered any of them. I just joined this site as i am looking for a new female dobe puppy to be a part of my husbands and my life on the new farm we are buying in Idaho and wanted to make sure i am currant in my knowledge base before i purchace. What advice can you all give me?

tess's picture
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Shirlieann,

Dont want to hijack a post, but what exactly do you want to know.  This site is chock full of information from ear posting to crate training and everything in between. This is a site where people are extremely passionate about their Dobermans and take everything personal when it comes to the well being of this magnificent breed.  We have knowledgable and reputable breeders on site that in my opinion are the best of the best (Fitz and Glen), so ask away but maybe start a new thread. Sometimes its easy to get lost in someone elses thread.  Oh, and welcome.

 

Tess

 

Lady Kate's picture
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Shirlieanne.. Thank you for joining the Forum and thank you for your question. I'm hoping you will post it on the " Doberman Breeding, Breeders and Buying Puppies" thread so it will be seen more people and you'll get the answers you're looking for.

I'll start here with what I know:

Research.. read, study, ask as many questions as you can think of.. If the price of the puppy you are looking at, once you find a reputable breeder ( not as easy as it sounds) is out of your range. ( They are expensive upwards to $2,000.00) consider adopting or rescuing.

"But I just want a pet, why spend that kind of money for a show quality Doberman if all I'm looking for is a companion?"

GREAT question and one I had myself.

Show quality means good health, longevity, good temperament ... all the things one wants in a companion dog.

Please do not purchase a Doberman from a Back Yard Breeder. Although there are many lovely Dobermans for sale through these people, they are harming this glorious breed by risking health through greed.

It's expensive to breed, I have a friend ( who is actually a member of this Forum) who spent close to $20K to breed her last bitch.. There were complications during the pregnancy and delivery was a nightmare resulting in losing one puppy and almost the life of her beloved girl.

I'm sure you'll get many many answers and suggestions on where to find a reputable breeder in your area or at least close enough for you to obtain.

Good luck and once again, welcome to Gentle Doberman. You'll find us an extremely passionate group who adore the breed and would go to the ends of the earth for their welfare.

EDIT: I was posting at the same time as Tess... . good ideas

Magnumdobie's picture
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Maybe the sibiling had gotten parvo or another illness at the home of the byb. typically 1 parvo shot wont be enough for a puppy sometimes even 2 Parvo shots aren't enough in my area puppies should have had 4 with 3 weeks apart to be considered to have safe immunity against that nasty illness. My doberman got his first Parvo shot at 6 1/2 weeks by the breeder then I took him in 3 times more once I got him. Yes there is a reson reputable breeder charge very high and sometime they won't recover all they spend to verify the parents don't have major health problems thru holter testing and DNA tests, get the puppies ears cropped, provide high in food, vet care, ect. You pointed out Blue Buffalo it's a great one I started my puppy on that in Lamb formula, wellness puppy formula, and Taste Of The Wild are other good brands in that price range.

Dobermans are a high drive & prey driven breed.  If you want to keep her, then the chickens need to be contained away from her at this point.... a small free range area vs a big one  :-)

I can also pretty much guarantee you that she isn't breed quality, so spaying her is the best thing for her AND for the breed. 

For more information on the breed, check out the Doberman Pinscher Club of America's website at www.dpca.org  there is also a section on approved rescues - which would be my first avenue if you do need to rehome her and the breeder is not an option.

Shirlieann's picture
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Joined: 2012-12-01

I fixed my girl as soon as the vet said it was safe, i am a firm believer in spaying and nuetering! I have never stopped loving Dobermans since i had my girl Ziare, now that my husband and i are buying a retirement home with plenty of land for the new puppy and i to get around on, and a river for her and i to fish on, it is very important for me to find the right puppy, would love to be able to spend 2000 on her but may have to look more in the 1000 range, is that possible or am i going to have to come up with more? I told my husband that it is the only dog that fits my personality, energy levels and hobbies and interests, i hike in mountains, do nature photography, camp, travel around state taking pictures, work few hours a day only, garden, want my new girl with me everywhere i go except work and stores, have large kennels next to our home, with dog doors into garage with sleeping quarters inside for when i have to work, but prefer her inside with me or outdoors with me. My heart aches for a new girl, but i need help to find a good breeder that i can trust and afford!

I know that the price for a well bred dog seems high - but there is so much that goes into producing truly good Dobermans.  Start contacting breeders in your area - start with the DPCA breeders list but know that you still need to ask a lot of questions as not all of them are wonderful.  While you are looking - and I recommend going to local dog shows to see the dogs and talk to owners and breeders - continue to save money. 

Pet puppies on a limited registration and a spay/neuter contract cost around $2200 in my geographic area - it does vary some by location as cost of living does drive the price somewhat.  If you can't bring yourself to pay that much, then look into rescues rather than supporting unethical breeders.

Shirlieann's picture
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Thanks for the advice, no i will not help the bad breeders to continue their practice, will do as you suggest, keep adding to what i have and keep contacting the breeders in Washington, Idaho and Oregon, this will be my last dog most likely, want her healthy and happy, and i know that takes good breeding!

talisin's picture
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As for the chickens I would suggest a fenced confined area for the chickens, they can still be "free range" without having full range; behind a stable fence would be best that way when you need to get to the chickens you go to them and the dog stays out/away and everyone is safe and no one has to find a new home. And you can even put a top on the fenced area in a smaller section - I have seen dog lots put together for containing chickens and that way they can be expanded if need be or shrunk if need be......chickens won't care if they are contained in the fence they will only care if they are chased and killed......this will also allow you to work with your doberman on learning that the chickens are a part of the family by watching you come/go from their territory......chicken containment is the solution, hot wire I don't believe in just because someone will find a way around/over it; but a fence that is a permanent solution without a fail unless you leave the gate open.

As for dobermans being a perfect fit for the farm - I would probably veer away from a prey drive breed and choose one that has a history of being a "farm" "livestock" breed and one with high energy like an australian shepherd, great pyrenese, border collie, australian cattle dog, all these dogs have high energy but should not have high PREY drive they were bred to work the farm and care for the livestock not eat them.....