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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

Georgia Peaches Puppy Rescue
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Seattle Animal Shelter
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Washington Rescue Dogs
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Fox Terrier Fanciers of Puget Sound Rescue
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Little Blessings Pet Rescue
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NBRAN Washington
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Pet Pros Seattle WA
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Tiny Tails Toy Dog Rescue
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Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue
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Charlie's Guardian Angels
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Finally Home Humane Society
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Ginger's Death Row Dog Pet Rescue
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People United for Pets (PUP)
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Ribsey's Refugees
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Saint Bernard Rescue
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Lil' Waif Puppy Rescue
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King County Animal Control
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Forever Home Dog Rescue
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S.A.F.E. (Saving Animals From Euthanasia) Dog Rescue
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Motley Zoo Animal Rescue
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Basset Rescue of Puget Sound
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Greyhound Pets, Inc.
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Homeward Pet Adoption Center
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Academy of Canine Behavior Adoption Dogs
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BMDCGS Rescue Program
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Collar of Hope
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Animal Rescue Families
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Italian Greyhound Club of America Rescue - Puget Sound, WA
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Puget Sound Italian Greyhound Rescue IGCA
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Irish Setter Club of Seattle Rescue
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Northwest International Pet Rescue
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National English Shepherd Rescue
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Rockey's Rescue
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Second Chance Ranch
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Rescue Pup
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CJ's Dog Rescue
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Vizsla Rescue & Referral - Washington
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Animals In Need
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Project Buddy Rescue
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Rescue Every Dog
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Boxer Rescue
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Tiny Dog Rescue
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Heart To Heart small dog rescue - Auburn Chapter
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K9 Rescue & Rehab
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Ratbone Rescues (WA Chapter)
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Top Dogs Rescue
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Kitsap Animal Rescue & Education (KARE)
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Kitsap Humane Society
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Love A Mutt Pet Rescue
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P.A.W.S. Progressive Animal Welfare Society
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The Big Dog Project
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Rescuing Animals In Need (RAIN)
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Wolf Pack Animal Rescue
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PVCA Seattle Washington
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Prison Pet Partnership
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Bulldog Haven NW
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Animal Angels Network
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Puget Sound Rescue
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Canine Connections
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Seattle Beagle Rescue
Snoqualmie, WA

Three Rivers Rescue
Snoqualmie, WA

Compassioned Animal Rescue and Education
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Coonhound Opportunites Organization Northwest
Bremerton, WA

Petsavers
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Friends Of Rescued Mastiffs Reg. 10
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Friends Of Rescued Mastiffs Region 9
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Pawprints Rescue - Washington
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S.A.F.E. (saving animals from euthanasia)
Everett, WA

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