So, you’ve made the decision to adopt a Doberman. First, what a good choice you’ve made. Providing you’ve done plenty of research about the breed, you’ll be sure to love the newest addition to your family. Regardless of whether you’re going directly to a breeder or adopting a Doberman, the breed is known for its happy attitude and love of human attention.
Getting a new dog isn’t massively far off having a baby in that you need to prepare your lives for the responsibility. There’s plenty to do before your new Doberman arrives, so here’s a list of important points to cover to make sure you’re fully prepared.
Everything costs money, and often purebred dogs cost plenty of it. By now you may have already paid the deposit for your puppy, but there’s inevitably some money left to pay, not to mention all the supplies you’ll need.
Look into this several weeks (if not a month or two) before your new Doberman arrives so you can ensure you’ve got enough money to cover everything. Do a quick budget to work out roughly how much you’ll need to cover food, toys, and supplies, and the rest of any payments for the actual dog. It’s worth putting an extra bit aside to cover things like unexpected vets bills and such.
2. Secure your home
This point isn’t just applicable for puppies, but is true for adult Doberman too. Make sure any outside space is secure, which means blocking gaps in fences, making sure they’re high enough, and that any areas you want to keep your dog out of are also secure.
Inside the home, make sure there’s nothing left around that can be chewed, and, where possible, power cords are off the floor. This shouldn’t need to be a permanent thing, but it’s better to be safe than sorry until your dog is comfortable in its new home.
3. Do your homework
Caring for your dog properly means knowing about the breed specifics. For Doberman, this means knowing the right feeding and grooming routines, and the amount of exercise they need. The more you know before the dog arrives, the better prepared you’ll be when a situation arises. It’s also helpful to know things like common health conditions, their symptoms, and what to do about them.
4. Find a good vet
If this isn’t your first dog, you’ve probably already got a vet, but if you’re new to this then find a good one. Ask around your friends that own dogs, check out online reviews, or if your breeder is local, ask them which vet they recommend. It’ll be helpful (but not necessary) if the vet is familiar with the specific needs of the breed.
Once you’re happy with the vet, book an appointment so they can give your new dog a checkup, and provide vaccinations and such. Along with your primary vet, look up emergency practices for out-of-hours appointments.
Pet insurance is a lifesaver (sometimes literally). Treatments can be expensive, so having good insurance will make all the difference if/when your dog gets ill. The breeder might be able to suggest the best insurance for Doberman, or you can do your own research. Whichever you choose, make sure the policy covers you for the areas prone to problems (ears, stomach, heart).
6. Get your supplies
If you haven’t already, go out and buy everything you’ll need for your new Doberman. The basics include food and water bowls, a bed, leash and harness, and toys. A crate is definitely a useful addition too, but some owners are less keen on this idea. The best thing to do is write a detailed list of everything you might need, do some research, and then go shopping. It’s better to be too prepared than under prepared.
7. Find a training class
Again, this point isn’t necessarily just for puppies, as rescue dogs will often need to be re-socialized, depending on how they were raised. The breeder might have some recommendations for good training classes in your area, or you could check on local pet pages for any leads.
If you’re adopting a puppy, ensure they’ve had all their vaccinations before they go. Either way, make sure the class covers at least basic obedience, and that there are plenty of other dogs there for your Doberman to socialize with. Obedience training is a fundamental part of building a good relationship with your new dog, so make sure you get it right.
8. Have your vacation plans sorted
One major thing that many owners overlook when getting a new dog is where it’ll go when they go on vacation. It’s best to sort this out before you get the dog, as there might be times when you’ve only got short notice that you need to go away. Check if a friend or family member will care for your Doberman, as this is preferable to putting them in a kennel. However, if this is your only option, do plenty of research to make sure you’re happy with it.
9. Establish your house rules
This doesn’t mean with the dog, although it can. Sit down with all members of the household (both adults and kids) to make sure everyone is on the same page about caring for the new dog. Establish rules about feeding and exercise, and draw up rotas if necessary. This is also a good time to think up names for your new family member.
10. Make sure you’re ready!
If possible, take a few days off work for when your new dog arrives. Moving house can be very stressful for a dog because they don’t know what’s going on, so it’s best to be around for them. Help them acclimatize to your home, spend time with them, and make sure you get your relationship off on the right foot.
Preparing for a new addition to the home takes more work than many might think. However, if you check off these points well in advance you’ll be able to enjoy your new Doberman, rather than stressing about forgetting something. Most importantly, stay in touch with the breeder once your dog settles in so they can see how much the dog is enjoying its new home.