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Doberman Adoption

Breed Photo

What do you need to know before you adopt a Doberman Pinscher? We asked the experts!
 

Doberman Rescue Minnesota says:

Doberman Pinschers are not for everyone. This is a dog that requires lots of work on the owner’s part to raise a well-rounded, happy Doberman. These dogs are not meant to live away from their human pack, nor can they mentally or physically tolerate living outdoors. They are very intelligent and need daily mental and physical stimulation or they can become bored and destructive. If you’re planning to adopt a Doberman, you need to be willing to commit, for at least the next ten years, to providing the proper activity and stimulation to keep your Doberman happy. This is a highly active breed, if you’re looking for a couch potato, you will not find it in the Doberman breed.  They need to be socialized at a very young age; if they are not, they can potentially be fearful or aggressive as they grow up to be adults. Dobermans do have some diseases to be aware of, namely cardiomyopathy, Von Willebrand's, and hypothyroidism.

Lone Star Doberman Rescue says:

Dobermans need an experienced owner, or someone willing to enroll with a professional trainer from week one to insure a well-balanced temperament in their dog. They are highly intelligent and, although very loving and affectionate by nature, they need a strong leader who understands how a dog thinks.   

Dobermans have a moderate energy level, and can usually adapt to most any lifestyle, whether active or laid back. Dobermans under two years of age, like most breeds, need more exercise and activity while they are still in their puppy years.   

Dobermans are highly trainable.   

Dobermans prefer to be very close to their family, and prefer to be kept indoors due to weather. They are very lean by design, with no fat and very short thin hair so they do not do well in the cold, and they also do not like the heat, so indoors is their best environment, and that’s where they both prefer and need to spend most of their time.   

Dobermans, like most large-breed dogs are more prone to hip/elbow dysplasia and should be started on joint supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin as early as prevention. We recommend starting this by four years of age.   

Dobermans, like other deep chested dogs, are more prone to gastric bloat and torsion, which can kill them in four hours. All owners of deep chested dogs need to read and study how to help prevent bloat, and to recognize symptoms so they know to rush the dog to the emergency vet if they are ever suspicious.   

Dobermans are not natural swimmers. While some love the water, most panic and sink. They do better when wearing a life jacket that helps them float as they first are introduced to water deep enough that they can not touch the bottom (lakes/pools), but most love water they can touch like the slope entry into lakes, the shore of the ocean, and shallow creek beds. Dogs also can not see steps in swimming pools and many family pets drown each year in swimming pools. It is best to get the dog in the water to show him where the exit steps are several times until you feel confident they have learned the exit area.   

The best pairing of Dobermans is male/female. Most females are "alpha" dogs and do best with males. Many male Dobermans will fight with other male dogs. Two females and two males can and are placed together often, but it must be the "right" fit. In a male/female pair, the male is usually the more laid back dog in general.   

When left alone outside often for long periods of time, a Doberman can become bored, destructive, aggressive, depressed and sick. They are also more likely to have skin and coat issues if left outside alone for long periods of time.   

Dobermans prefer soft surfaces on which to lie down such as carpet, dog bed, and rugs. Their frame is bonier than most and they are most often not comfortable on hard surfaces and they are quick to develop calluses on their legs, elbows, and hocks if left on hard surfaces too much.

Doberman are a breed commonly overfed or underfed. Their ideal structure is to lean but not bony like a Whippet or Greyhound, and certainly not fatty like a Rottie or Labrador. A Doberman of an ideal weight will show a "shadow" of the ribs, even less of a shadow of rear hip bones, and a well-defined, tucked-up waist line. Overfed dogs are even more likely to develop heart conditions, diabetes and hip/elbow dysplasia, and overweight large-breed dogs are proven to have shorter life spans.

More about the Doberman Pinscher

Thinking about adopting a Doberman puppy? Here are three reasons to adopt an adult instead:

1. You have kids.

Like most people, you’ve probably heard time and again that if you have kids, you should adopt a Doberman puppy (or, gasp! find a Doberman puppy for sale). The rationale is that an adult shelter dog is an unknown quantity, so buying or adopting a Doberman puppy is safer. Actually, the opposite is closer to the truth. Puppies are not usually a great choice with kids; they have very limited control over their biting/mouthing impulses, and when you mix that with lots of energy and unbelievably sharp little teeth, it’s a recipe for your small fry to be in tears.  Puppies are tiny chewing machines and can destroy a favorite stuffed animal or security blanket in short order.  Adult dogs, on the other hand, are generally calmer, and their personalities are already fully developed and on display.  When you meet an adult dog, you can see how they are with kids and with other animals.  This takes the guesswork out of wondering how a puppy will turn out as a full-grown dog.

2.  You value your possessions.

Puppies teethe.  They have a biological need to chew, they want to play constantly, and they can’t discriminate between appropriate chew toys and, say, your favorite pair of Manolos.  Puppies eventually can be trained out of this behavior, of course, and there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, an adult Doberman (or any adult dog) is much less likely to shred your drapes like coleslaw or function as a “helpful” canine document shredder.

3.  You work, or otherwise leave the house.

Pop quiz: how often does a two-month-old puppy need to be taken out to do his business during the day?  A) every six hours; B) every eight hours; or C) every two hours?

If you answered B, or even A, you’re an eternal optimist! The correct answer, though, is C: every two hours. When you’re housetraining a puppy, the general rule of thumb is that they can hold their bladder one hour for each month they’ve been alive (up to a max of about eight to ten hours).  So a three-month-old Doberman puppy needs to go outside every three hours, a four-month-old needs to go every four hours, and so on.  If you’re retired, or you work from home, or you’re taking the puppy to work with you or to a doggy daycare (make sure your puppy is up-to-date on all vaccines before considering that last option), great! But if you’re planning on leaving your dog alone during your workday, you’ll definitely want to adopt a full-grown dog, ideally from a Doberman rescue that can help you find the right dog for your lifestyle.

Let’s bust these myths about adopting a Doberman

Time to get real: when we ask people what reservations they have about Doberman adoption, we hear the same things over and over again.  If you’re operating under any of these mistaken beliefs, you just might be missing out on meeting the best friend you’ll ever have.   So it’s time for us to set the record straight:

  • You CAN find purebred Dobermans for adoption in an animal shelter or rescue group.
  • Dobermans and Doberman puppies for adoption are NOT in any way inferior to or different from those for sale.
  • The dogs in the shelter are NOT there because they’re bad dogs.
  • If you want a puppy, you DON’T have to buy a Doberman puppy.  Doberman puppies ARE available for adoption.
  • If you have children, adopting a dog is likely the SAFEST option.

Here’s the truth: you absolutely can find a Doberman, even a Doberman puppy, for adoption in an animal shelter or rescue group.  And they don’t end up there because they’re bad dogs.  In fact, often the only difference between the dog in the shelter and the one on your couch is a bit of bad luck.  Think about it: let’s say you buy a Doberman puppy for sale by a breeder. Your new dog is great; you immediately enroll the two of you in obedience classes, and soon your best pal is housebroken and well trained. But what would happen to your wonderful Doberman if, tragically, something happened to you? What if he escaped from your home and ran away? Your best pal would very likely end up in an animal shelter.  The lucky person who adopts your Doberman would be getting a great dog!  Animal shelters are filled with wonderful, healthy, well-behaved dogs who have been in homes before, but whose owners have fallen on hard times.  Many of them are housebroken and trained.  Doberman rescue organizations often care for their adoptable dogs in foster homes, which means their foster families will be able to tell you if the Doberman you want to adopt is good with other animals or kids, and if he or she is housebroken and knows any basic commands. As you can see, adopting from a rescue organization is likely the very safest way for people with children to add a new Doberman to their family!

Breed Photo

Rescues and shelters near you

Dogingham Palace Rescue/Ashburn
Ashburn, VA

FOHA - Dogs
Aldie, VA

Pet Rescue Foundation, Inc.
Gloucester, VA

Virginia German Shepherd Rescue
Sterling, VA

With Our Regards, Inc.
Sterling, VA

Dogwood Sheltie Rescue
Sterling, VA

Blue Ridge Border Collie Rescue
Herndon, VA

PAWS Rescue of Northern VA
Reston, VA

SCMR - VA
Herndon, VA

Furry Suits Rescue
Herndon, VA

New Love Animal Rescue
Herndon, VA

Humane Society of Loudoun County
Leesburg, VA

Open Hearts Rescue
Leesburg, VA

Friends Of Homeless Animals - Cats
Aldie, VA

Love Shack Dog Rescue
Aldie, VA

New Rattitude - Maryland
Poolesville, MD

NBRAN-Virginia
Reston, VA

Akita Rescue Mid-Atlantic Coast, Inc.
Silver Spring, MD

Boxer Rescue and Adoption Inc.
Reston, VA

Dogingham Palace Rescue/Great Falls
Great Falls, VA

A Forever Home Rescue Foundation
Chantilly, VA

Collie Rescue, Inc.
Chantilly, VA

Potomac Valley Pekingese Club - Chantilly
Chantilly, VA

Blue Ridge Great Pyrenees Rescue & Education
Fairfax, VA

Little Buddies Adoption and Humane Society
Centreville, VA

Home At Last Sanctuary, Inc
Potomac, MD

Healing Hearts Animal Rescue Group
Catharpin, VA

Loudoun County Animal Services
Waterford, VA

Sweetheart Sanctuary
Vienna, VA

Loudoun SPCA
Middleburg, VA

Middleburg Humane Foundation
Middleburg, VA

Annies Orphans
Gaithersburg, MD

Dewey Animals, Inc.
Centreville, VA

Independent Animal Rescue
Germantown, MD

Rescue BC
Germantown, MD

United Maltese Rescue
Germantown, MD

Mutt Love Rescue
Fairfax, VA

PetConnect Rescue
Potomac, MD

Nova Rottweiler Rescue
Germantown, MD

Lab Rescue LRCP - Purcellville VA
Purcellville, VA

City of Fairfax Animal Shelter
Fairfax, VA

The Commonwealth Humane Society
Fairfax, VA

The Humane Society of Fairfax County
Fairfax, VA

Whitney Foundation
Fairfax, VA

Dachshund Rescue of North America Inc.
Manassas, VA

Raleigh County Animal Rescue, Inc
Manassas, VA

American Lhasa Apso Club Rescue - Northwest Region
Gaithersburg, MD

Westie Rescue MidAtlantic
Dunn Loring, VA

Forever Homes Animal Rescue, Inc.
Rockville, MD

Gentle Creatures
Rockville, MD

Hedgesville Hounds
Rockville, MD

K-9 Lifesavers
Rockville, MD

Montgomery County Humane Society
Rockville, MD

Chesapeake Area Alaskan Malamute Protection, formerly Potomac Valley AMR
Virginia, Maryland, DC, MD

Sheltie Haven Sheltie Rescue, Inc.
Adamstown, MD

Hope for Donghae Paws
Fairfax, VA

Appalachian Great Pyrenees Rescue
Clifton, VA

Blue Ridge Border Collie Rescue
Mclean, VA

Montgomery County SPCA
Gaithersburg, MD

Pet Pros Maryland
Bethesda, MD

BB&G Pomeranian Rescue
Lovettsville, VA

Friends Of Montgomery County Animals
Germantown, MD

Jasmine's House, Inc. - MD Chapter
Clarksburg, MD

Ambassador Pit Bull Rescue
Gainesville, VA

Blue Ridge Doberman Rescue
Bluemont, VA

Promises Animal Rescue, Inc
Gainesville, VA

Saint Seton's Orphaned Animals
Falls Church, VA

Lab Rescue LRCP - Frederick MD
Buckeystown, MD

Empty Shelter Project
Manassas, VA

Mid-Atlantic Chinese Shar-Pei Rescue Operation
Bethesda, MD

Tailed Treasures of MD Inc.
Rockville, MD

Bull Terrier Rescue of Virginia (BTRVA)
Manassas, VA

Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue, Virginia Chapter
Manassas, VA

DC Area Weimaraner Rescue
Manassas Park, VA

on the rebound bulldog rescue foundation
manassas, VA

HART (Homeless Animals Rescue Team)
Fairfax Station, VA

Best DAWG Rescue Inc.
Bethesda, MD

Doberman Assistance Rescue & Education
Arlington, VA

Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation
Arlington, VA

Maryland Bichon Frise Rescue
Rockville, MD

American Maltese Assoc. Rescue--Virginia
Bristow, VA

Mutts Matter Rescue
Rockville, MD

Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue Inc. District of Columbia, Virginia
Washington, DC

Allbreed Rescue & Referral Inc
Gaithersburg, MD

Lab Rescue LRCP - Falls Church VA
Falls Church, VA

Bring Home the Brindle Dog Rescue
Ijamsville, MD

Lonely Hearts Animal Rescue
Frederick, MD

MerryLea Rescue
Frederick, MD

Operation Paws for Homes - MD Chapter
Frederick, MD

Dog World Rescue, Inc.
Alexandria, VA

Mid-Atlantic GSP Rescue
Arlington, VA

Grand Dogs Rescue 2
Silver Springs, MD

Homeward Trails Animal Rescue
Arlington, VA

SPCA of Northern Virginia
Arlington, VA

Chow Chow Rescue of Maryland
Silver Spring, MD

Roxie's Fund, Inc*
Silver Spring, MD

USNMC Rescue
Jefferson, MD

Lucky Dog Animal Rescue
Washington, DC

Capitol Canines Animal Rescue
Washington, DC

Caring Hearts Rescue
Springfield, VA

To The Rescue Inc.
Springfield, VA

Ozark Mutts and Stuff, Inc VA
Springfield, VA

Pups 2 Luv Rescue
Springfield, VA

Purrs, Paws, and Claws - Springfield Chapter
Springfield, VA

Capital Animal Care
Arlington, VA

Dogs Deserve Better - Virginia Chapter
Arlington, VA

Dogs Deserve Better, DC Metro Area
Arlington, VA

Dogs Deserve Better-DC Metro Area
Arlington, VA

Rescue Angels, Inc. - Virginia Chapter
Arlington, VA

Tara's House Animal Rescue, Inc. - Silver Spring Chapter
Silver Spring, MD

American Brussels Griffon Rescue Alliance, Inc. - VA
Alexandria, VA

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
Alexandria, VA

Webberpack Animal Adoption And Getaway
Delaplane, VA

Washington Humane Society - GA Ave
Washington, DC

Animal Welfare League of Arlington
Arlington, VA

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