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mrszelly's picture
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Joined: 2012-08-13

We are looking for a European Doberman puppy from a reputable breeder in the South East US.

Should have good temperment to allow for service/therapy work.

We have 2 older male australian shepherds already.

 

Is there any particular reason why you want a european Doberman?  There are many fabulous breeders of American Dobermans that have wonderful temperament for service/therapy work and plenty of European lines in the states that would not do well at it at all.  

If someone told you that European Dobermans have better temperament, then they don't know what they are talking about.  JMHO

mrszelly's picture
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Joined: 2012-08-13

I am not opposed to am American Doberman but the slight size difference and appearance is what I am looking for. The slight increase in height and weight fits more for what I am looking at in a Doberman and I know for most, the slight difference does not make a difference, but for me it does. The more square features is also a draw for me. I am talking to a breeder tomorrow who has a puppy and is an American Doberman. I will see if it fits what I am looking for.

Then you are looking for an oversized Doberman - which isn't good in either European or American Dobermans. Also, bitches are smaller and you already have males in your home. Bringing a male Doberman into the household could be very problematic if your other boys are still around in a couple of years.

I guess I am confused as to what you are truly looking for - and it sure would be easier to tell you what direction to look in if we had a clear picture of why you are looking for a Doberman.

Just as an example, my males tend to be between 27"-28" and at maturity are about 90 pounds of lean muscle - bitches run between 25" to 27" and 68-80 pounds ... with my 27" bitches being about an inch over standard.  These are all American lines - and no I don't have any available.  A good European Doberman is going to be about the same size and bone structure as mine.... larger dogs are not from reputable breeders and if they are ignoring the size standard, then do you think that they care about temperament??

mrszelly's picture
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Joined: 2012-08-13

I am looking for the top range of the males which your males would be, and not any of the oversized, king, or warlock dobermans. I am looking for help with service type jobs around the house as in picking up items, opening doors, turning on and off lights, with help with stability and mobility and for that I would require a dog of about 85-90 lbs. I am also starting training in January to become a dog trainer with the aspiration to develop into a service/therapy dog trainer. I have heard great things about dobermans becoming service and/or therapy dogs and want to be able to utilize my doberman in my training both during my training and when I train other dogs. Per the breeder I am talking to last night and today, the puppy they have is very sweet and is about 14 weeks old and is a male. We know about same sex aggression issues. The trainer that I will be learning from and taking her classes will work with me on dealing with those issues if necessary. I do have the necessary yard space and room in my house to separate the dogs if that becomes an issue. Thank you for your kind assistance as per other forums me and my husband are getting harsh tones about what we are looking for.

Kar-jinx's picture
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Joined: 2012-04-15

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"The trainer that I will be learning from and taking her classes will work with me on dealing with those issues if necessary. I do have the necessary yard space and room in my house to separate the dogs if that becomes an issue. Thank you for your kind assistance as per other forums me and my husband are getting harsh tones about what we are looking for."

your trainer can't possibly deal with male / male aggression unless they can manage to stay fully awake & on guard with the dogs 24/7, for the life of the dogs.  You probably won't even see this coming.  It happens in a snap.  It also may not happen.  

"Thank you for your kind assistance as per other forums me and my husband are getting harsh tones about what we are looking for."

no one is being harsh here, just realistic.  I have 2 males and a size difference of about 80 pounds.  I haven't had issues yet, but I can tell you that being vigilant day & night isn't going to be fun.  I am not an "inexperienced" Doberman owner.  I have had 4 prior to this one.  I wish I had known what Fitzmar is trying to help you avoid.  It is constantly on my mind and if anything happens to my Miniature Pinscher, I will be totally at fault for not doing proper research.  I will be devastated, remorseful, and never forgive myself.  I had never heard of this prior to Fitzmars warning to me when I joined this forum.  But it was too late for me.  The big male Dobie was here, i was in love with both of my boys, and now I must live with my lack of knowledge. 

This breed is very muscular and I think you should check out a female if you are decided on this.  A female might do just as well.  I know that in our world, size isn't all that matters.  Eg.  My coworker is much smaller than I, not a body builder or weight lifter, but is so much stronger than I am.  Same goes for dogs.  Everyone thinks a Pitbull is so strong, in actuality a German Shepard has more bite force than a Pitt.

Life is a learning experience.  No one knows it all.  I was missing a fact on Dobermans, this one that you are being advised on.  We aren't trying to be harsh, just to save you from stress and anguish of this male / male aggression possibility.  The odds aren't in your favour or mine.  I will never make this mistake again.  When I learned about this from Fitzmar, I did my own research.  Surely there can't be so much out there on this subject if it weren't based on facts.  But the choice is yours.  You also I mentioned a "service dog". So I assume some disability.  Will you be fast enough or strong enough if a fight breaks out?

mrszelly's picture
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Joined: 2012-08-13

It was not meant that we were receiving the hash tone here. We have gotten nothing but good helpful comments here. On other forums we are getting the hash tones.

And as far as the teacher helping me with the aggression it was more that she would educate me on how to avoid the possible situations that would cause the possible aggression and how to handle it if it occurs. With the age of our dogs it appears that we will not have both of the for much longer. One dog is in his last days now and the other is also at 12 years of age and an Australian Shepherd. And when both are gone we are looking at staying a one dog household or getting a mixed couple. Male female. Possible German Shepherd female (Husbands dog) and my Doberman male.

My disability is more on grip strength and a need to help picking up dropped items at time and shoulder range of motion with a need for some stability assistance at times. I am a fit middle age person able to keep up with teenagers during my daughter's band season.

You mentioned a female but with the need for stability work and per others in the assistance/service dog sites state that the dog should be a minimum of 1/2 my weight and that would mean that the dog would need to be a minimum of 80-90lbs. And females of this size are not within the standards for the breed.

Thank You again for your assistance and patience.

DJ's Dad's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-04

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I have to agree that if you're looking for a doberman to use as a good service dog, buying one just because of it's potential size is taking a shot in the dark.  For one, you can not predict accurately how big a dog will end up being at the age of 2 - 2.5yrs when they reach their adult size and weight, even if it comes from oversized, or European bred stock. 


I'm currently training my dog to be a service dog for my wife, who has similar disablilties to what you described. DJ is not a large doberman at all....at 1 yr of age, she is weighing in at 68+ pounds, and is about 26" at the shoulder.  She looks like she is going to be 'average' size and weight when she's done growing, but that doesnt matter to me.  When she was 4 months old, I was teaching her to pick up items that were dropped :  pencils, my sunglasses, my keys, a fork....small things.  Now she will pick up almost anything I tell her to 'pick up' as long as it isnt too heavy for her to get in her mouth.  She can open a door that we installed a lever type handle in place of a round door knob. (Not the front door, or she would be letting herself out all the time LOL) 

A couple of weeks ago, I was in agility class with her, and running her from one obstacle to another, and I failed miserably at the 'agility' part myself....stepped my right foot sideways into a depression in the ground and took a tumble & roll to the ground, while still holding DJ's leash.  She didnt spook or panic...she stopped dead in her tracks.  I grabbed hold of the loose fold of skin at her shoulder area and used HER while she braced herself to not move away from me, as my assistance to get back up on my feet.  Now, tell me that a smaller dog cant be a good service dog/assistance dog. I would definitely argue that point. 

In my opinion, your best bet in looking for a dog to use for this purpose is going to be in finding one with the personality it takes to be a good service dog more so than it's physical stature. 

Just sayin'.

I will say that if your other dogs are in the 12 year old range, then male on male issues probably will not be a problem as long as moving forward you don't bring another one in.  If you are not in a rush, I would recommend going to some dog shows to see what is out there.  You might be surprised at how diverse Dobermans can be from different breeders.

Most males will fit your needs size wise, but temperament is really going to be key to what you want. It is not a decision that I would make lightly.  If I might ask, who is the breeder you are talking to and what are the bloodlines?