Welcoming a Doberman
If you are looking for your first Doberman puppy, be sure to learn more about the breed and what it is like to live with a Doberman.
Good breeders don’t advertise in Craigslist, the newspaper classifieds or on bulletin boards — and they are very choosy about what homes their puppies go to. Good breeders care about their puppies for a lifetime. If you are looking, here are some things to consider:
- Health testing. A reputable breeder will be able to show you the parent’s health test such as OFA or PennHIP (hip), CERF (eye) and DNA tests for vWD and other disorders common to Dobermans. Also, ask what those dogs’ grandsires and granddams died of, and how old they were. Find out if there is a family history of any health problems such as DCM (cardiomyopathy). While there are no guarantees when it comes to genetics, a reputable breeder can tell you everything they know about the health of their dogs.
- Titles. Look for letters before and after the dogs’ registered names! It’s not enough for a dog to be of “champion bloodlines” (which means only that somewhere in its genealogy, there was one dog who earned a championship). If your puppy’s sire and dam do not have a few conformation or performance titles, there has been no independent evaluation of the dogs’ physical structure and temperament. In other words, you have only the breeder’s word that the puppies will turn out healthy and sound.
- Contracts. A good breeder will offer you a purchase contract with a health guarantee and a return-to-breeder clause that stipulates they can take the dog back if you don’t keep it for any reason. Good breeders care about the dogs they produce, and they don’t want their puppies to go to shelters!
- Referrals. Talk to local rescue groups, breed clubs and veterinarians and ask their opinion of that breeder’s dogs. Attend dog shows or trials and watch that breeder’s dogs in action.
If you don’t find the right dog or breeder right away, don’t give up; it may take quite a bit of research to find the perfect pet for your family. Take your time choosing, and enjoy the years with your perfect Doberman!
Looking for a referral to a reputable breeder who’s not listed below? Go to the Doberman Pinscher Club of America Breeder Referral at dpca.org
PSDPC Member Breeders
Granite Falls, WA
Black Cat Dobermans
Showing and Training
Dobermans are busy dogs. They love to work and they NEED a job to do — if you don’t provide them with one, they will find something to do on their own (and you might not like the results!) Whether you’re wanting to compete in dog shows, learn agility, get Obedience titles or just want to have a well-behaved companion around the house and go on walks with you, training your Doberman is the first thing you must do!
In the Seattle metropolitan area:
- Gold Star Dog Training offers training in Auburn & Enumclaw (King County), ranging from competition obedience to family dog basics and foundation classes.
- Heather O’Neill offers agility coaching and classes in Auburn, Buckley and Sumner, from puppy foundation to world-team-level competition skills.
- In Arlington (Snohomish County), Kristi Crabtree offers motivational dog training.
- The DPCA has a good page on obedience/training articlesfor the Doberman pinscher
- There’s also a page on understanding and getting started in conformation (many written by our co-breeder Michelle Santana!)
- If your child is interested in learning about dogs, 4-H is a terrific start and will help them learn to be Junior Handlers. Search for your local 4-H extension and contact them.
- Pure Dog Talk the voice of purebred dogs, offering tips and tools to have an awesome life with your purebred dog
- CogDog Radio by Sarah Stremming, focused on agility and dog behavior.
- Fenzi Dog Sports Academy offers extensive online courses, webinars and workshops