What should I look for in a Doberman?
More Research Needed
If the description of the ideal Doberman temperament doesn't create second thoughts, then perhaps the Doberman may be a fit for you. More research is needed! Here are some questions you might consider:
Puppy or adult? While puppies are so very cute, and it's true that you will know the training history of a younger dog better than an older dog, puppies can be very destructive, and need careful management for 2-3 years. Think hard about whether you must have a puppy, and if the answer is no, make that option known to the breeders that you talk to.
Specific purpose or pet? Are you looking for a pet? Or do you want a dog for a specific purpose? If you wish to compete with your Doberman in schutzhund or agility, you will have better luck finding the right dog if you look for dogs whose parents have demonstrated their ability in these venues. If you want a conformation show dog, the same applies. While you may find a nice conformation prospect in working lines, you are better off deciding what is MOST important to you and gravitating toward the breeder who is committed to producing that type of dog. It is true that titles don't make the dog, and there are good, untitled dogs out there, but the greater truth is that if the dog is titled, the owner/breeder has shown commitment to the development and training of the dog to demonstrate the abilities of the dog.
Price range? Just how much does a good Doberman cost? You can certainly find a backyard bred pet quality dog in the price range of $800 - $1200. These dogs will often NOT be cropped, and may not have all shots. It is likely that the parents have not undergone any type of health testing before breeding. Quality breeders will want to deliver the puppy already cropped and healed, with the ears ready for posting. A price tag of $2500 - $3500 for a top quality working or show prospect that is cropped, docked, and fully vetted is not out of the question. However, don't be fooled by high prices. A high price does not automatically mean a quality dog. Look for titles occurring within the first two generations in the pedigree, and titles should appear on both sides (sire and dam) of the pedigree. If these prices are beyond your budget, you may wish to consider contacting local rescue organizations to see if you qualify to provide a home for Doberman in need. Please visit the Doberman Pinscher Club of America Rescue Page for additional information.
Co-ownership or Limited Registration? Many reputable breeders will only place an un-neutered dog on a co-ownership or on a limited registration. This is NOT to limit competition, but to ensure that only quality dogs are bred. The last thing that any quality breeder wants to hear is that a puppy from one of his or her dogs has ended up in rescue or the pound, or has been used indiscriminately for breeding. Some breeders will co-own the dog until neutering, then will sign over full ownership. If the puppy is not going to be shown in conformation, some breeders will sell on a limited registration until neutering occurs, then provide full registration.