This section of the website is intended as a guide for those desiring to own a Doberman puppy, particularly if this is your first experience in this endeavor. Many of the major considerations that you should address are described below.
Selecting a breeder should be the first step in acquiring a puppy. To obtain a quality puppy, you should find a quality breeder. If you have not decided on a breeder, review the section Choosing a Breeder (see Home Page).
Once you have chosen your breeder, the exciting process of bringing your puppy home begins.
Are you ready for a new puppy? Doberman puppies require substantial amounts of time and patience in order to mature into well behaved adults. Puppies have potty accidents, they nip, they chew, and they make noise. Having a new puppy is not too unlike having a toddler in the house!
Evaluate your current life situation and decide if now is the right time for a puppy. If you are expecting a new baby, considering a job change or about to make a big move, now might not be the best time for a puppy. If you work full time, can you come home during your lunch break to let the puppy out or will someone be home with the puppy during the day? Do you have an adequately fenced yard? Do you have adequate space indoors for crating? Is everyone in your family comfortable with the responsibilities that come with a new puppy? Be honest with yourself and your breeder when assessing your situation.
In addition to the time and patience required, puppies are expensive. The purchase price of your new puppy is just the beginning. Puppies need proper care, which will include weekly ear posting for several months, nail trims, quality food, training, vet visits for puppy vaccinations and routine care, as well as visits for unexpected accidents, injuries, and illnesses. Training for your new puppy, although elective, is essential for your ultimate success, and the cost of monthly classes can add up quickly. You will also need equipment such as crates, collars, leashes, food, water bowls, and toys. Evaluate your budget to ensure you can properly care for your new Doberman puppy. It is advisable to start training early. Puppy classes start as early as when your puppy has all required puppy shots. You may ask your local training facility if you can audit a couple of puppy classes to get a good idea of the training process.
The Doberman is a high energy breed and in order to be a good companion, will typically require several hours of exercise a day. Dobermans are very intelligent, and they thrive when given a job, be it agility, obedience, tracking, field, schutzhund, or therapy work. Dobermans make great family dogs, bonding deeply with their family members.
Contracts: Some breeders may require puppy buyers to sign a contract. Should the chosen breeder require the buyer to sign a contract, the buyer should discuss in depth each requirement or stipulation in the contract with the breeder to gain a full implication of time and money associated with each requirement. Research the contract carefully prior to falling in love with a puppy. Some provisions one might expect in a typical contract are discussed below. If the puppy is sold as a pet, the breeder may require the buyer to sign a spay or neuter agreement, and the puppy may be placed with AKC limited registration papers. Limited registration allows the dog to be shown in any AKC event except conformation. If the puppy is sold as a show or working prospect, breeding rights may be stipulated in the contract, and the puppy will be placed with full AKC registration. Some breeders will encourage the buyer to work toward a championship title in the conformation ring, perhaps within a certain time frame. You may wish to employ a professional handler to help you accomplish your goals. Regardless of whether a puppy is sold as a show/working prospect, or as a beloved family pet, the breeder should be consulted if the buyer determines it is impractical to keep the dog.
Cost of a Doberman Puppy: As mentioned in the Choosing a Breeder page on this website, ethical breeders dedicate considerable amounts of time, money, and care into each of their litters. The cost of breeding a litter can range anywhere from $4,500 and up, and includes health testing on the parents of the litter, stud fees, increased food bills, vaccinations as well as other veterinary care for the puppies and mother, and in the case of the Doberman, cropping and docking. Each breeder is independent and controls their own pricing. The cost of a well bred, cropped and docked, puppy from health tested and titled parents typically starts around $1500. Puppies typically go home around 8-12 weeks of age, after their ears have healed from cropping.
The Doberman breed is not for everyone, and the time to make that decision is before you fall in love with a new puppy. For more information regarding breeders and what to expect from a Doberman, please take a look at our Choosing a Breeder page.
Have you considered a rescue Doberman? If you decide that the puppy experience is too much of an undertaking, please consider a rescue Doberman. The Doberman Rescue of North Texas (DRNT) located in Grand Prairie [dobermanrescue.org] typically has many Dobermans that need a good home. There are a multitude of reasons why an owner can no longer care for the dog. The Rescue dogs are always spayed or neutered. Rescue also sees to veterinary care and temperament testing before the dog is matched with its perfect new home. We have a website page dedicated to Doberman Rescue