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I have planned to get a canine companion. This will be my first exposure for practical purpose (my dad used to have a Rampur Hound who passed away when I was 13 months old - so I guess that won't count as practical exposure).

I am doing research and am reading the following scholarly books on dogs:
  • Before You Get Your Puppy - Dr. Ian Durban
  • After You get your puppy - Dr. Ian Dunbar
  • The Other End of The Leash - Patricia B McConnell
  • Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know
  • Reaching the Animal Mind - Karen Pryor
  • Several videos on YouTube
Before I reveal the breed I have chosen, I think it's important to emphasize that I stay around 9 hours outside home (work) (0630 hours to 1530 hours) on weekdays and stay at home in the weekends. I am not a fitness freak but I do exercise daily for one hour to keep myself fit.

I live in a three storeyed house [with my mom] - don't have a yard or a garden but we do have a moderately big and guarded/fenced roof top (where I have planned to train him/her). There are only two persons in the entire residence (no kids, no other pets).

I have mentally decided to take a leave of 15 days (kind of like paternity leave) once I get a puppy to help her/him adjust with the house initially. I am not in a hurry to get one (have planned around December 2016) until I am absolutely sure I am well educated and informed about what I am getting into for the next 12-16 years of my life.

I am 38 years now (from India). I am inclined towards getting a Doberman (for a companion and protection). I am to some extent an introvert and like to keep to myself most of the time - hence the numbers of "friends" (not colleagues) I have are quite low. But I always honor my commitment - and once I am committed - I see the end of that (which will include the joy as well as the nuances and hardships faced during raising a puppy).

My questions:
  1. Is Doberman a suitable breed for my life style? (I fully understand what it means to raise a Doberman as a first time owner).
  2. I am more worried whether he/she will develop separation anxiety and/or aggression as I shall be out of house for 9 hours (Mon to Fri).
  3. I am not going for a Labrador/Golden Retriever. So, kindly don't suggest me those two breeds.
  4. As a primary criteria, I am searching for breeds those have LOW SHEDDING and LOW DROOLING (Slobbering) potential.
  5. Initially, I have planned to potty-train in the balcony portion of the first floor of the house (since he/she will be staying in the first floor with me most of the time and as the stairs are quite steep I am not comfortable allowing him/her to descend and go outside for potty or peeing. Is it possible to change that place once he/she grows up to say, 4/6 months?
  6. What is the most suitable age for a doberman to take him for walking with me?
 

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I don't really have any advice, since I'm not a Dobe owner, but I'm going to tag @kmes since I know she has one!
 

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Let me first commend you on all your research before getting a dog. Most people don't do half that much and you're really doing a great job.

However I have to say that I don't think a Doberman would do well living with a schedule like that. They are highly intelligent and high energy. If you left one alone that long it would very likely develop behavior problems and destroy a lot of things in your house. Getting any puppy with such long work hours typically isn't a good idea (unless you have someone help out) because the puppy needs to use the bathroom every 3-5 hours. If they aren't let out they won't get housebroken and this can be a lifelong problem. Along with that you said you're introverted. It's very important little puppies get socialized to lots of people and places so they don't get scared of them as an adult and become aggressive.

Typically I would add that Dobies don't do the best with new owners either but someone who does so much homework might be dedicated enough to one to manage. But again I don't think your schedule is conducive to such a high energy breed. I think right now you should consider looking at some other breeds. If you are absolutely set on a Doberman you would have to hire a dog walker or have a friend/family member regularly help care for the dog while you are at work. But I would suggest looking at some calmer, less intense breeds first. Are there any others you like?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you are absolutely set on a Doberman you would have to hire a dog walker or have a friend/family member regularly help care for the dog while you are at work. But I would suggest looking at some calmer, less intense breeds first. Are there any others you like?
Thank you sire!

I myself am apprehensive with Doberman and my routine - let alone I have also started to think whether my current schedule at all encourages having a pet in the first place, to be honest with you! Hence, I am so eager to learn from you experienced people.

"Doberman" - this name has earned quite a negative reputation among the un-informed part of the population in my country. So, walking a Dobie is not a pleasant idea anyone will even imagine in their nightmares, even if they are friends.

I am not dead-set on Doberman, but in that domain (companionship and protection), I can't find any finer breeds other than a GSD or a Rotweiler.

GSDs shed a LOT (as heard from the owners, personally and on different forums), which kind of negates my primary criteria. I have also heard of a breed of GSD who has smooth coat (resembling that of a Dobie in terms of quality and thickness) but I am not convinced that GSDs are at all suitable for a humid and sultry climate as India. Besides the GSDs are even smarter and "equally susceptible to separation anxiety like a Doberman".

Rotweiler - well, they remind me of the Hades Dog - in short, I am fearful (for the lack of better term) of them (though I hear they can be exceptional family dog with proper training). :eek:

So, that leaves us with Rhodesian Ridgeback (they are even more energetic than a Doberman and are more destructive with separation anxiety - even as puppies), Boxer (brachio-cephalic - too much drooling) - as far as my limited knowledge goes. So, I really need some pointers here. Please. :confused:

"Calmer and less intense breed" - nothing comes to my mind other than a Labrador (which I am really not interested in). I look forward to your recommendation of other breeds in this category.

There is also one more thing to consider. The possibility of acquiring non-indigenous breeds (other than the most common like the ones mentioned above) has reduced drastically in my country over the last 2/3 years (as per the statistics I saw) - and even if they are available - are exorbitantly priced!

One more critical point I missed before was that - whatever the training those are involved will be solely done by me (taking advice from books, manuals and/or videos). The concept of a professional Dog training Institute is still an alien concept in my country or at least in the part where I reside. :eyeroll:
 

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In terms of a calmer and less intense breed, Labs are actually really crazy and energetic before they're about age 3. So that wouldn't even be one I'd recommend. There are hundreds of dog breeds out there, but the rarity of other breeds where you are might be difficult as you said. Have you considered getting a local breed? Or a Greyhound? They're large, somewhat intimidating looking dogs, but they're very calm and content to wait in your house when you work, and affectionate with their owners. And sometimes mixed breeds are the best. There's nothing inherently better about purebreds than mixed breeds.

The thing about dogs wanted for "protection" is that they can be dangerous if you don't know how to handle them. All dogs will protect their owners if necessary. I would also say you are right that dogs like Rottweilers and Ridgebacks are just not for a first time owner, and Ridgebacks need LOTS of exercise. So really I think you might be better off finding a dog that is large (because you want to feel safe), but has a calm, sweet disposition that will enable you to train it easily.
 

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Dobermans are a high energy breed and while in its young years, it would need 2-3 MIN hours of exercise per day. And that is not just walking...it needs to run every day for a good chunk of that time. I honestly don't think that breed will fit in with your lifestyle and living situation.

Also, if you get a puppy, you will need to spend time taking your dog out to socialize and get it exposed to crowds, different people, noises, other dogs, etc. I know you wanted a guard dog, so socialization prevents a dog from growing up and protecting you from EVERYONE vs being able to differentiate between a nice stranger and someone who could harm you.

Mastiff breeds (like the Great Dane, English mastiff, bullmastiff) are generally lower energy, and may more readily fit into your schedule. Many people are intimidated by them on their size alone. But you don't want a dog that drools, so hmmm...

If you are away for 9+ hrs a day, you should find someone who can take the dog out during the day. Otherwise, see if there is a dog daycare in your area.
 

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PS. I like the trainers that you have been reserarching on. Awesome that you are doing the research beforehand. Other good trainers to check out are Dr. Sophia Yin and Michael Ellis. Michael Ellis has some great videos on youtube.
 

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I don't think being alone for 9-10 during the day and then another 6-8 hours when the owner is asleep are good conditions for any dog, but especially working breeds that are extremely handler-centric, like the Dobi or the Schäfi.
Dobis are pretty sensitive dogs, they need a reliable, gentle and present owner/handler.
Dobermänner need more exercise than one hour per day.
they need loads of mental and physical exercise and for the first 1-3 years (they're slow in growing up, like many bigger breeds) they do need much training, socialisation and attention.
that will cost you time.
I would also not advice you to get a dog breed that you're scared of. you need to be confident in handling the dog even if it is a pubescent, hormone-driven teenager arse-cookie that sits on its ears.

most first time owners are already overchallenged with a less sensitive breed even if they did their home work.
with a breed like this: if you make mistakes they can have pretty severe consequences.
things like protection and guarding drive sound awesome, but they need an owner that is able to handle this and manage, lead and train the dog so that it's not a danger for anyone else but the handler.
 

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I think it's great that you are putting so much thought into what kind of dog you are going to get and how it will fit into your lifestyle. I hope I can offer some help as somebody who owns two large, protective, high energy breed dogs. (Akita, AkitaxPitbull)

A Doberman may not be the best choice for you simply because of your schedule. There are not a lot of dogs who can truly thrive in an environment where they are left alone for that long. Unless you are willing to hire help, you are looking at an older dog or a very lazy breed (some toy/lapdog breeds, greyhound, gentle giant type) as the only dogs who will do well in that sort of schedule. That all changes, however, if you can afford a dog walker to stop by once or twice while you are at work. Keep in mind, a dog who is left by themselves for that long as a puppy will likely develope destructive behaviors- which would then cause you to have to crate them for the entire day, leading to different issues.

I am implying from your posts (correct me if I am wrong) that this is the first dog you have owned/raised on your own. If so, a Doberman is not the right choice for a first time owner. I do not say that lightly, as I believe that with enough research and commitment on the owners part, they will be able to successfully raise MOST breeds. However, Dobermans are working dogs who have not been "generalized" in the way that Rotties, some GSD lines, and Bully breeds have. Most Dobermans still have a high prey drive, LOTS of energy, high intelligence, and a penchant towards protectiveness and aloofness that can become dangerous in the wrong hands. Dobermans are right there with GSDs, Malinois, and Dutch Shepherds with their ability to become personal protection or police dogs.

I certainly understand your desire for a Dobie. They are georgeous, smart, and intelligent. I would love one as well, but I have my hands full with the 'keeters (my breed of choice). I would steer you towards something similar, but maybe a bit more "user friendly". If you are looking for protection as well as companionship and the ability to adapt to an athletic lifestyle, look into these breeds (or any mix of): Australian shepherd/cattle dog, Rhodisian Ridgeback, wiemaraner, standard poodle, dalmation, maybe Great Dane. A bully could be good for you (Pitbull, staffie, bull terrier) but look at the individual because some have TONS of energy. Stay away from Boxers, every single one I have met has been WILD. The best choices for you though, IMO would be either a Rottie or some kind of mastiff. A Rottie will give you that protection and loyalty that you want, while being a bit more low energy than a Dobie and generally friendlier. Mastiffs are usually pretty low energy (out of the entire range) and basically just low key, calm dogs, yet they have a protective instinct as well as looks that will deter anyone from any sort of shenanigans.

Finally, let me just put in a plug for a shelter dog. You can find a lot of breeds you want, as well as some mixes that can give you a wider variety of desirable traits. You can get the dog knowing what you are getting- whereas with a puppy, you won't have an idea of temperament until they are almost 2 years old. There are so many great rescues out there, even purebred rescues, that it seems like something to certainly consider that the perfect dog for you may not be from a breeder.
 

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Owned numerous GSDs and never had an issue with separation anxiety perhaps I have been lucky?
My field of expertise is not Canine kingdom or for that matter, zoology. I merely quoted the bold text from the Dog Bible book.

I am quite sure I have zero knowledge of the breeds compared to that of you folks, who have been having loyal canine companionship for a long time.
 

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A Doberman may not be the best choice for you simply because of your schedule. There are not a lot of dogs who can truly thrive in an environment where they are left alone for that long...

I am implying from your posts (correct me if I am wrong) that this is the first dog you have owned/raised on your own. If so, a Doberman is not the right choice for a first time owner...

... If you are looking for protection as well as companionship and the ability to adapt to an athletic lifestyle, look into these breeds (or any mix of): Australian shepherd/cattle dog, Rhodisian Ridgeback, wiemaraner, standard poodle, dalmation, maybe Great Dane. A bully could be good for you (Pitbull, staffie, bull terrier) but look at the individual because some have TONS of energy...

The best choices for you though, IMO would be either a Rottie or some kind of mastiff. A Rottie will give you that protection and loyalty that you want, while being a bit more low energy than a Dobie and generally friendlier.

Mastiffs are usually pretty low energy (out of the entire range) and basically just low key, calm dogs, yet they have a protective instinct as well as looks that will deter anyone from any sort of shenanigans.

Finally, let me just put in a plug for a shelter dog...
I was skeptical about that myself; hence the thread.

Yes, you got it right. This would be MY first dog. And I am equally informed as well that a Doberman is NOT for first time owner. But in fact I don't get the concepts like "... first time owner", "... second time owner". I believe, if you're committed and are eager to learn and try new things, you can even tame a polar bear. That's EXACTLY where I am falling short. Though I have the dedication/commitment, the only thing I lack is the most precious resource - TIME. Hence I have buried (however hard and painful it might be) my intentions of getting a dog. For the time being (until the period I have enough time)

"Rhodesian Ridgeback, Wiemariner, standard poodle, Dalmatian, maybe Great Dane" - all these breeds sound ecstatic but they all require enormous amount of TIME within your daily schedule. Besides, Weimariner is NOT available in my city (I need to import it - too much cost prohibitive); Dalmatian - too much skin problems with this breed in a tropical country like India.

Mastiff and Rotties drool way too much (contrary to one of my primary conditions). Plus Rotties are too scary for me, to be honest and I have already mentioned that in one of my previous posts. And they have behavioral mood swing way too often than a Doberman.

Believe me when I say this - my initial idea was to get a retired racer greyhound from a shelter, but there are only two note-worthy dog shelters in my city - none of them has any non-indigenous breed (almost 95% of the canines are local mongrels, and three or four old labradors).
 

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Hi SogaBan,

I've been following your thread and am impressed by the research that you've been doing. I applaud you for asking advice and carefully considering which dog you'll bring home. I would caution you, however, not to confuse book-learning with real-life experience. I was particularly struck by this comment:

Is Doberman a suitable breed for my life style? (I fully understand what it means to raise a Doberman as a first time owner).
Actually, you don't fully understand what it means to raise a Doberman, or any dog for that matter, as a first time owner. How could you know? You've never done it. Reading and learning about dogs is important, but it's nowhere near the same as taking care of and training a dog.

I learned that the hard way when I very naively brought home my first dog. He was a two-year-old (maybe younger), sixty-pound Great Pyrenees mix. I thought that adopting a dog would be easy. After all, my family had a pet dog. If you click on my username and then statistics, you can read all about my futile efforts to train Maru and integrate him into my life. I didn't know what I was doing, and I was overwhelmed and intimidated. Despite my efforts to learn all that I could on this site as well as spending upwards to five hours of day directly interacting with him (walks, training sessions, and visits to dog parks), after two months, I had to admit that I had failed and found him a new home.

There is nothing like first-hand experience when it comes to owning and training the more challenging breeds. You can't even begin to imagine what the responsibility of dog ownership is like at this point. If you spend any amount of time reading the New Additions and Dog Training and Behavior sections, which I'd highly advise doing, you'll see that my experiences with Maru were not isolated ones.

The breed recommendations you've gotten from squidwana and others are worth considering. We're all trying to help you find a dog that's going to meet your needs and which will provide you with a satisfying, enjoyable experience owning your first dog.
 

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Actually, you don't fully understand what it means to raise a Doberman, or any dog for that matter, as a first time owner. How could you know? You've never done it. Reading and learning about dogs is important, but it's nowhere near the same as taking care of and training a dog.

The breed recommendations you've gotten from squidwana and others are worth considering. We're all trying to help you find a dog that's going to meet your needs and which will provide you with a satisfying, enjoyable experience owning your first dog.
You are absolutely right and I was dead wrong in my statement. I couldn't be more hypocrite! How can I realize what it's like to be a father if I haven't fathered any daughter/son ?!? I'll be more careful from now onward.

The breeds those have been recommended by many fine folks in this thread - are no doubt - with best of their intentions. The issues with those, however, are more dire as I have tried to explain.

Let me tell you something - and for the sake of void - please don't get me wrong. Most of the breeders are not authorized with Kennel Club of India - as per reports and statistics. After reading and searching different forums (most of which are hosted, maintained by "developed countries"), I came to know that a reputed breeder will NEVER ever give two **** about the price of the puppies over the fact that who he/she is gonna give the puppies to. And that he/she will always judge the 'buyer' before even showing the puppies. Well, now here comes the irony - when I called a reputed and authorized breeder (I won't mention his/her name) in my city and paid a visit to his/her residence - you know what he said? He/She showed me the mom (European) and dad (American) of the Doberman puppies. I told him/her about my hectic schedule - he/she simply said that a Doberman gets aggression problems only when they get confined to a small area and since my residence is quite big, the puppies won't be needing much of my time and/or care (only three hours a day would be enough for them) and that they would grow up and start behaving by themselves, provided I feed them quality food and keep them vaccinated periodically!!!

"It's never wise to argue with fools and an uneducated, because at the end they will always drag you to their level." It was so evident that he/she simply wanted to "sell" his puppies. My perspective of interpretation changed - the reason being - most of you fine-minded folks have and will recommend breeds those are familiar to you and probably won't be considering the health of the dogs for a country like mine.

You know, there are some people in my city who have bought (simply because they can) Saint Bernards and there are two Siberian Huskies even! Now just try to visualize the conditions of those poor canines when they are taken out of their residence during the summer when the temperature is 46 degree Celsius (114 deg Fahrenheit) and the relative humidity being 79% !!!

I also gave a careful consideration of getting an indigenous breed. Probably many of you have heard of Indian Mastiff (see this, this and this, if you're interested)? I thought to get one of those (after consulting with one of the local Vets - as he said that this breed is on a much safer scale in context of inherent disease that comes with any breed). But there is no trustworthy breeder in my city. On a similar note, I also considered getting a Rampur Hound but as usual a reputed breeder is missing!

I am sorry for the incredibly boring whining wall of text, but that's it - my situation in a nut-shell.
 

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I was skeptical about that myself; hence the thread.

Yes, you got it right. This would be MY first dog. And I am equally informed as well that a Doberman is NOT for first time owner. But in fact I don't get the concepts like "... first time owner", "... second time owner". I believe, if you're committed and are eager to learn and try new things, you can even tame a polar bear. That's EXACTLY where I am falling short. Though I have the dedication/commitment, the only thing I lack is the most precious resource - TIME. Hence I have buried (however hard and painful it might be) my intentions of getting a dog. For the time being (until the period I have enough time)

"Rhodesian Ridgeback, Wiemariner, standard poodle, Dalmatian, maybe Great Dane" - all these breeds sound ecstatic but they all require enormous amount of TIME within your daily schedule. Besides, Weimariner is NOT available in my city (I need to import it - too much cost prohibitive); Dalmatian - too much skin problems with this breed in a tropical country like India.

Mastiff and Rotties drool way too much (contrary to one of my primary conditions). Plus Rotties are too scary for me, to be honest and I have already mentioned that in one of my previous posts. And they have behavioral mood swing way too often than a Doberman.

Believe me when I say this - my initial idea was to get a retired racer greyhound from a shelter, but there are only two note-worthy dog shelters in my city - none of them has any non-indigenous breed (almost 95% of the canines are local mongrels, and three or four old labradors).
I wonder if you read my post fully, but let me see if I can explain a couple of things to you. I am an actual student of animal behavior in college, and I think you are missing some important aspects about what it means to actually raise another animal.

As I said, I do not totally buy the concept of a "first time dog" either. Hence, I suggested certain breeds that are generally not considered "first time dogs". I agree, with research, TIME, and the right inherent ability with animals, most people can do well with most dogs. My first dog was an Akita, to emphasize my point. I am not sure if you are familiar with the breed, but under no circumstances is that a dog for an inexperienced handler. However, I read books about behavior like crazy (I have to, it's part of my studies), I have worked extensively and competitively with horses (ex racehorses, show me a dangerous animal and I promise you there is no contest), my family has owned dogs my entire life, I have fostered, and I literally study animal behavior (ethology, if you are interested). So yes, my "first" dog, but I definitely had ability, time, and resources on my side.

However, there are certain types that one does not take the chance with. I said that Dobermans are on the same level as a select group of working breeds. I feel that you do not understand what that means- working breeds, are intense, highly intelligent, and specifically formulated to be constantly WORKING at difficult jobs. Have you seen a police dog at work? Have you seen the training that goes in to personal protection? Have you looked into shutzhund training, visited a club, watched videos? The things that allows certain dogs- Belgian Malinois, GSDs, Dutch shepherds, giant shunazeurs (not even going to spell check, sorry), Dobermans, and sometimes Rotties- is an extremely high prey drive, and defensive instinct.

When I say prey drive, I do not simply mean that they like to chase stuff- like a husky wants to chase squirrels or a pointer wants to chase balls. I mean a specifically breed, obsessive need to chase down and kill things. Dogs with these kind of prey drives will play fetch until they literally have a heart attack, they will do ANYTHING to play with their toy of choice- be it a ball or a tug. Sometimes they develope intense protectiveness over their things if they do not have an experienced handler. They NEED to have this drive exploited and exercised, because it is part of who they are. The dog will become destructive, obsessive compulsive, bored, depressed and frustrated if not exercised and stimulated properly. Dogs with prey drives like this are dogs that you can hit over the head and they will not give up their chosen toy. Do you understand what kind of personality goes into a dog like that? Can you handle the intensity and single mindedness of a dog like that?

Second, working dogs MUST work. I do not believe you understand this, but working breed are not pets. Have you ever met one of the breeds I have described? Have you met an animal that is purposefully bred to do a job like police, personal protection, search and rescue, or "defense sports"? They are almost not dogs. They almost always have some sort of behavioral issues- usually extreme protectiveness to the point where they will not allow guests into your house without special procedures, excessive alarm barking, dog aggression, or resource guarding. These issues can develope even in working breeds who are owned by professional. I once met a Belgian who did search and rescue with a cop. His owner told me that that dog takes months to trust a new person. She told me that he follows guests around the house and analyzes their every move to determine whether they are dangerous or not. He bites if he does not believe he is being handled correctly (not dangerously or aggressively, but the natural inhibition does not exist). Another GSD, who is training SchH, barking obsessively at anything that passes the house. A Doberman, who also does SchH, killed the owner's fiancé's cat. A Belgian Malinois, owned by an agility trainer, is so high strung and drive that she literally cannot lay down and relax- she constantly paces the house and has no "off" switch. Owning one of these breeds becomes a part time job, you just devote a certain amount of hours to the dog, mostly in a training capacity. You must have experts at your disposal. You will spend hundreds on opinions and professional training. You need to chose a job for the dog (no, running and day care does not count- it needs to be a real job).

Finally, the level of anxiety that exists in individuals of these breeds are extremely high. Even if you are able to find a pet quality Doberman, I can almost guarantee that you will put in money to deal with destructiveness, leash aggression, pacing, whining, separation anxiety, or barking- the most common behaviors exhibited by a dog with a high anxiety threshold.

Sure, most of the dogs I am talking about come from working lines- maybe I am exagurating the norm a bit. However, most breeds are pet quality with working lines- these types I have mentioned are working breeds with loosely pet quality lines. You are starting with completely different phylogeny, mental capacity, and drives. Maybe I am being a bit extreme here- but IME there are certain dogs you just don't screw around with. Akitas, Livestock guard dogs, Dobermans, working shepherds, can all become extremely dangerous in the wrong hands.

Yes, I suggested lots of breeds to you that take time and work, however with your level of research and diligence I believe you can handle them. They are nothing compared to a Doberman like what you are considering. A bully would be perfect for you, a mastiff would be perfect for you (some of them don't drool so much, there are tons of different mastiffs, or maybe get over it for the general personality match it will provide, a Rottie would be perfect for you- look, if you are afraid of a Rottie over a Dobie (you shouldn't be afraid of either) than your fears are hugely misplaced.

Dude, seriously look into adopting. I don't think you can find what you want in a purebred, you may even be able to find a really nice Doberman that is already proven to be suitable for newbie owners or alone for long periods of time!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
However, there are certain types that one does not take the chance with. I said that Dobermans are on the same level as a select group of working breeds. I feel that you do not understand what that means- working breeds, are intense, highly intelligent, and specifically formulated to be constantly WORKING at difficult jobs. Have you seen a police dog at work? Have you seen the training that goes in to personal protection? Have you looked into shutzhund training, visited a club, watched videos? The things that allows certain dogs- Belgian Malinois, GSDs, Dutch shepherds, giant shunazeurs (not even going to spell check, sorry), Dobermans, and sometimes Rotties- is an extremely high prey drive, and defensive instinct.

When I say prey drive, I do not simply mean that they like to chase stuff- like a husky wants to chase squirrels or a pointer wants to chase balls. I mean a specifically breed, obsessive need to chase down and kill things. Dogs with these kind of prey drives will play fetch until they literally have a heart attack, they will do ANYTHING to play with their toy of choice- be it a ball or a tug. Sometimes they develope intense protectiveness over their things if they do not have an experienced handler. They NEED to have this drive exploited and exercised, because it is part of who they are. The dog will become destructive, obsessive compulsive, bored, depressed and frustrated if not exercised and stimulated properly. Dogs with prey drives like this are dogs that you can hit over the head and they will not give up their chosen toy. Do you understand what kind of personality goes into a dog like that? Can you handle the intensity and single mindedness of a dog like that?

Second, working dogs MUST work. I do not believe you understand this, but working breed are not pets. Have you ever met one of the breeds I have described? Have you met an animal that is purposefully bred to do a job like police, personal protection, search and rescue, or "defense sports"? They are almost not dogs. They almost always have some sort of behavioral issues- usually extreme protectiveness to the point where they will not allow guests into your house without special procedures, excessive alarm barking, dog aggression, or resource guarding. These issues can develope even in working breeds who are owned by professional. I once met a Belgian who did search and rescue with a cop. His owner told me that that dog takes months to trust a new person. She told me that he follows guests around the house and analyzes their every move to determine whether they are dangerous or not. He bites if he does not believe he is being handled correctly (not dangerously or aggressively, but the natural inhibition does not exist). Another GSD, who is training SchH, barking obsessively at anything that passes the house. A Doberman, who also does SchH, killed the owner's fiancé's cat. A Belgian Malinois, owned by an agility trainer, is so high strung and drive that she literally cannot lay down and relax- she constantly paces the house and has no "off" switch. Owning one of these breeds becomes a part time job, you just devote a certain amount of hours to the dog, mostly in a training capacity. You must have experts at your disposal. You will spend hundreds on opinions and professional training. You need to chose a job for the dog (no, running and day care does not count- it needs to be a real job).

Dude, seriously look into adopting. I don't think you can find what you want in a purebred, you may even be able to find a really nice Doberman that is already proven to be suitable for newbie owners or alone for long periods of time!
You see, the process of learning never ceases. A big thanks for the useful information and pointers you put in there. I can understand how intense the said breeds are and also that these breeds have been bred FOR a purpose. And seriously, your fifth paragraph ("Second, working dogs MUST work...") was quite scary!!!

Prey Drive is quite intriguing in the sense that the evolution developed "motivation" in certain groups of animals through that and is also something I have given a very careful consideration. I watched too many Schutzund training and demonstration videos. I am also informed with reasons that Schutzund training philosophy is quite different than personal protection training philosophy - as the motivation (aka drive) for each of the cases are different.

During my research while choosing Doberman, I came across several articles where it is mentioned that over the time of past 150 years (approximately, 12-14 dog-generations) the Doberman (even the European bloodlines) has lost much of its prey drive from what Mr. Dobermann intended. I also came across an article where it explains why Doberman is considered much less successful in Schutzund training than say, GSDs, the Malinois or the pit-bulls and which also explains why the Doberman are more successful in personal protection training. While I am on the topic, it's contextual to mention that even the Kennel Club of India acknowledges the gradual decline of the prey-drive in the Doberman. In my country, even the Rotweilers are believed to have better chance in Schutzund training success over the Dobermans and as a consequence of which the Dobbies are much preferred nowadays as protection dogs in our police force. But anyways...

And I am genuinely serious when I say that I am willing to adopt from an animal shelter - but only if it's a greyhound or an Indian Mastiff (or in extremely rare case a Doberman :eyeroll: just let me say, I am obsessed about this breed, for apparently no reasons). Unfortunately, I haven't found one yet!
 

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Try not to get too frustrated waiting for the right dog. With your schedule I'd be keen on an adult if nothing else, puppies are too unpredictable and take way more time than I was prepared for. I jumped into getting a working line border collie because I got so frustrated with the rescue process here, it has been very rough despite all my preparation. I'm going to need to spend a great deal of time working with this dog every day of her life just to keep us both sane.
 

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Well, I think if you are dead set on a Doberman, which is the sense I am getting from you- make absolutely certain that you find one from the right lines. Make sure you ask the owner lots of questions about how that dog does in a family environment. Maybe speak to other people who have bought one of the bitche's puppies before. Please, PLEASE get a dog walker and take obedience classes. I think if you follow these steps you can end up with a relatively happy Dobie, but you need to make sure you are getting the right temperament on the front end.

I totally get where you are coming from. My purebred Akita came in as a foster and I remember how many people tried to convince me not to keep him because of the breed. While they never told me I wasn't ready, for the reasons I have already stated, they just simply said that the breed does not fit my lifestyle. I ignored every single one- and my Akita has grown up to be a very happy, well adjusted, confident and mostly friendly individual. However, there are special considerations I have to make because I have a dog who isn't exactly fit to my needs. For example, he is protective of me and the apartment- he does not like to let people inside and will bark and growl at strangers who need to enter. I have spent about $300 taking professional training to work on a strategy to help him learn who is and isn't allowed inside the house. He needs his alone time from non "family" members, if I have friends over or something- so I have spent money, and devoted lots of time to make his crate a very comfortable and safe place for him to retreat to when he is overwhelmed. He (actually both my dogs) are very family oriented breeds and have extreme seperation anxiety, they have to stay in their crates and they panic if they are left alone for more than 6-7 hours. I have to work my schedule or get somebody to check on them to accommodate for this, even when it means leaving class early or losing money by not taking on an extra horse for training. He is a protective breed, I know that he is capable of shifting into defense mode for things that may not actually be dangerous- but seems so to him. So, I walk him in a muzzle to keep him and others safe.

If you have your heart set on a Dobie, consider these sacrifices I have made and know that you will make similar ones if you want to have a happy and safe dog.

Lastly, I tried to add this to my first post but I think I should explain to you some more about the protective nature of the Doberman. I have a good friend who does SchH as well as another who previously trained police dogs, so I have learned a lot of good information about what exactly makes a person protection or sport dog. Most of these dogs are worked primarily in prey drive- this is why they grab the sleeve, because it is a game and they have been slowly worked up from their tug toy. They are given balls to play with as a reward. As the dogs become older and more advanced, or geared towards actual protection rather than sports like SchH- their defense drive is accessed and shaped. When a dog has entered "defense mode", it is a state of single mindedness that is unparalleled and unshakable. The dog has one purpose and that is to protect property or person. You can hit the dog with a metal rod and he will not come out of defense drive unless he physically is incapable of biting, holding, or driving away any longer. I don't think you understand this until you have seen it- which I have. In dogs who are protection bred but not trained, maybe they never enter a true defense mode, but it lies closer to the surface than in other types. You cannot be certain if the dog will perceive something as dangerous in a situation that is unwarranted and you could have a scary moment or a bite to deal with.

Don't get me wrong- I am not saying that protective breeds are inherently more dangerous. I am speaking of purebreds here that have some working lines in their pedigree. I believe any dog can and will defend a person in a real emergency, and obviously all dogs are able to bite. However defense drive has been bred and fine tuned in certain breeds- especially the working dogs I have mentioned, as well as some Asian breeds like Akitas and chow chows- to be something that is alittle bit different.

Dobermans as well, are different than other working breeds. As you have mentioned, they are specifically formulated to be protection dogs. That is actually a unique history in the types that are used for the purpose today. Sure, they have a high prey drive which allows them to excel as sport dogs, but you better believe that protective nature is what makes the breed unique.

I asked my friend who has seen Dobies work extensively for protection purposes. Her opinion is that a conformation/show line/bred to be a pet Doberman could be alright for a first time owner who is honest about the time requirements, is willing to get help, and understands to energy level.

There is a show called its me or the dog, with a trainer who uses R+ methods that you can watch via iTunes purchase. There are several episodes that feature Dobies with issues such as: over protectiveness, destructiveness, leash aggression. I would encourage you to find and watch those episodes to get a better idea of what you are looking at.

Finally, I bet there are some people on here who could help you locate some rescues or specific dogs that are adoptable and also a breed that you want. If you give us more information there are probably some computer savvy posters who can be a second pair of eyes in your search!
 

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Well, I think if you are dead set on a Doberman, which is the sense I am getting from you- make absolutely certain that you find one from the right lines. Make sure you ask the owner lots of questions about how that dog does in a family environment. Maybe speak to other people who have bought one of the bitche's puppies before. Please, PLEASE get a dog walker and take obedience classes. I think if you follow these steps you can end up with a relatively happy Dobie, but you need to make sure you are getting the right temperament on the front end.

I totally get where you are coming from. My purebred Akita came in as a foster and I remember how many people tried to convince me not to keep him because of the breed. While they never told me I wasn't ready, for the reasons I have already stated, they just simply said that the breed does not fit my lifestyle. I ignored every single one- and my Akita has grown up to be a very happy, well adjusted, confident and mostly friendly individual. However, there are special considerations I have to make because I have a dog who isn't exactly fit to my needs. For example, he is protective of me and the apartment- he does not like to let people inside and will bark and growl at strangers who need to enter. I have spent about $300 taking professional training to work on a strategy to help him learn who is and isn't allowed inside the house. He needs his alone time from non "family" members, if I have friends over or something- so I have spent money, and devoted lots of time to make his crate a very comfortable and safe place for him to retreat to when he is overwhelmed. He (actually both my dogs) are very family oriented breeds and have extreme seperation anxiety, they have to stay in their crates and they panic if they are left alone for more than 6-7 hours. I have to work my schedule or get somebody to check on them to accommodate for this, even when it means leaving class early or losing money by not taking on an extra horse for training. He is a protective breed, I know that he is capable of shifting into defense mode for things that may not actually be dangerous- but seems so to him. So, I walk him in a muzzle to keep him and others safe.

If you have your heart set on a Dobie, consider these sacrifices I have made and know that you will make similar ones if you want to have a happy and safe dog.

Lastly, I tried to add this to my first post but I think I should explain to you some more about the protective nature of the Doberman. I have a good friend who does SchH as well as another who previously trained police dogs, so I have learned a lot of good information about what exactly makes a person protection or sport dog. Most of these dogs are worked primarily in prey drive- this is why they grab the sleeve, because it is a game and they have been slowly worked up from their tug toy. They are given balls to play with as a reward. As the dogs become older and more advanced, or geared towards actual protection rather than sports like SchH- their defense drive is accessed and shaped. When a dog has entered "defense mode", it is a state of single mindedness that is unparalleled and unshakable. The dog has one purpose and that is to protect property or person. You can hit the dog with a metal rod and he will not come out of defense drive unless he physically is incapable of biting, holding, or driving away any longer. I don't think you understand this until you have seen it- which I have. In dogs who are protection bred but not trained, maybe they never enter a true defense mode, but it lies closer to the surface than in other types. You cannot be certain if the dog will perceive something as dangerous in a situation that is unwarranted and you could have a scary moment or a bite to deal with.

Don't get me wrong- I am not saying that protective breeds are inherently more dangerous. I am speaking of purebreds here that have some working lines in their pedigree. I believe any dog can and will defend a person in a real emergency, and obviously all dogs are able to bite. However defense drive has been bred and fine tuned in certain breeds- especially the working dogs I have mentioned, as well as some Asian breeds like Akitas and chow chows- to be something that is alittle bit different.

Dobermans as well, are different than other working breeds. As you have mentioned, they are specifically formulated to be protection dogs. That is actually a unique history in the types that are used for the purpose today. Sure, they have a high prey drive which allows them to excel as sport dogs, but you better believe that protective nature is what makes the breed unique.

I asked my friend who has seen Dobies work extensively for protection purposes. Her opinion is that a conformation/show line/bred to be a pet Doberman could be alright for a first time owner who is honest about the time requirements, is willing to get help, and understands to energy level.

There is a show called its me or the dog, with a trainer who uses R+ methods that you can watch via iTunes purchase. There are several episodes that feature Dobies with issues such as: over protectiveness, destructiveness, leash aggression. I would encourage you to find and watch those episodes to get a better idea of what you are looking at.

Finally, I bet there are some people on here who could help you locate some rescues or specific dogs that are adoptable and also a breed that you want. If you give us more information there are probably some computer savvy posters who can be a second pair of eyes in your search!
 

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Well, I think if you are dead set on a Doberman, which is the sense I am getting from you- make absolutely certain that you find one from the right lines. Make sure you ask the owner lots of questions about how that dog does in a family environment. Maybe speak to other people who have bought one of the bitche's puppies before. Please, PLEASE get a dog walker and take obedience classes.

...

There is a show called its me or the dog, with a trainer who uses R+ methods that you can watch via iTunes purchase. There are several episodes that feature Dobies with issues such as: over protectiveness, destructiveness, leash aggression. I would encourage you to find and watch those episodes to get a better idea of what you are looking at.
An astute observation! Yes, you sniffed right - it's either a doberman or NOTHING. Though I have set my mind on the breed but I am not an obstinate fool, who likes to bury his head under the sand and pretend the problem to disappear.

As it seems, from all the suggestions and/or the advises that came pouring through, it's for the best interest of me and my would-be-companion to postpone the decision of my purchase to later time when the parameters are much favourable. And I do agree with this.

There are no authorized and reliable canine training institutes/classes/sessions/organizations in my locality (believe me, it's altogether a concept too foreign!).

Thanks for the recommendation. I shall watch those episodes from iTunes (or Netflix, if available).

Thank you, once again for your time.
 
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