Frequently Asked Questions
Ten Myths About Adopting a Rescue Doberman
Often times, when people hear the term “Doberman Rescue” they immediately think of search and rescue–that is, dogs employed in the use of locating people lost in the wilderness or by some other peril, such as natural disaster. Doberman Rescue is different. It is people rescuing Doberman Pinschers from peril, such as threat of euthanasia by animal shelters and other at-risk situations.
Yes, there are costs involved. The adoption fees you pay help us defray costs we incur when pulling dogs from shelters. The others costs we incur include spay & neuter fees and other miscellaneous medical expenses. We must also pay for the cost of advertising the dogs in order to find new homes, grooming, transporting animals, phone calls responding to potential adopters (many of which are long distance calls), and food and supplements for the dogs. All of the money you donate is used toward Southwest Ohio Doberman Rescue. Our volunteers receive no pay. Usually, the amount requested for a particular dog does not even cover the cost of having rescued that dog.
Some dogs have problems and will continue to have them to some degree; others come to us with problems that we have been able to successfully eliminate through extensive training. Others come essentially ready to go with no serious problems at all other than they have been unjustly abandoned. Most rescued dogs have had little or no formal training, and most have had poor care. Sometimes the dogs have been abused in one way or another and come with some degree of baggage (a lot like people).
We assess each animal on an individual basis and are able to determine what we have to work with. Most medical issues have been either resolved or constructively addressed by the time the dogs are ready for adoption. Generally speaking, most behavior problems simply require time, training, tender loving care and, mostly, commitment on the part of the people who are giving the dog his or her new lease on life. Those that have been in foster care have a head start on their new life and most foster parents try to address any transition issues the dog is displaying. We will always disclose to you all we know about an animal. If an animal has a serious medical condition or behavior problem, we will discuss this with you so that any decisions you make regarding adoption will be informed decisions. There have been occasions when animals that have come to us were eventually assessed as “unadoptable”, mostly due to aggressive or unpredictable behavior. In this event, these dogs remain in our care.
We have a lifetime commitment to all of our dogs. Should any unforeseen situations arise with the adoption party and the dog can no longer be cared for by them, we will always accept the dog back into our organization. In fact, our adoption contract includes a “return to rescue” provision in which the adoption party must agree to return the dog to us if or any reason the proper care of the dog becomes impossible.
We will take a dog from a private owner when we have the space, and, we require a donation to help with the costs while the dog is in our care. Because of the terrible shortage of foster homes and the abundance of dogs who are at risk of being killed, we sometimes do not have the space. Our first priority is to rescue from the pounds that are “kill facilities,” that is, where animal euthanasia takes place (and most of these facilities kill on a daily basis). However, if we know of a situation where a private party is about to give up their dog to a shelter or give it away, we try to persuade them to hang on to the dog a bit longer (providing the dog the benefit of a familiar environment) and to work with us as we attempt to get a kennel space, a foster home, or the dog placed. We hope that the private owners who are trying to place their dog through Southwest Ohio Doberman Rescue are committed enough to their animals that they will be that animal’s foster home until kennel space or another foster home is available.
Many of our dogs come from shelters. When the shelter is unable to hold the dog any longer due to conditions of space, or because of the health of the dog, we will pull the animal as we can. Our ability to pull dogs from shelters rest entirely on whether or not we have the space, this is why foster homes are so important. Foster homes buy the animals time, something they don’t have in a shelter. It is not unusual for animals to be euphemized the same day they are surrendered to a shelter simply because there was “no room in the inn” especially if they are owner turn-ins. For this reason, the availability of foster homes is an essential component of the rescue effort. If you feel you might like to have a pet but you’re unsure, providing foster care to a dog is an excellent way to spend time with a potential pet to see if it’s a good match for you and your life style. If you would like to consider being a foster care provider, please get in touch with us to discuss the matter further. Be sure to read the section on our website about Fostering.
We take pride that we do not discriminate against an animal because it’s too old, because it has a tail or doesn’t have a tail, because it’s the wrong color, size, shape, or parentage.
This might NOT be one of our most frequently asked questions, but we WISH it were. There is so much to do that our volunteers have a hard time getting it all done. The need for safe and loving foster homes is enormous – but this can’t be just a couple day commitment. We need homes that will watch the dog until he or she is placed. We need phone volunteers to return calls and, when trained, counsel people on how to place – or even better – how to work with their dog to try to keep him or her in the family. We need people to copy, collate, and prepare adoption packets. We need collars, toys, bedding, and flea and heartworm medicines. Click here to see our wish list of needed items
Without a doubt, this is the most common reason people want a puppy. A sweet, small puppy just seems like the best choice for sweet, small children.
You know that cute Kodak commercial with the puppies climbing all over the giggling little boy? Have you ever noticed how short it is? That’s because they could only film for a few seconds before the welts rose, the blood dripped, and the boy began to scream for his mother. Puppies have needle-teeth that they happily sink into anyone who walks by. They also have sharp nails that scratch when they jump up — and on little Ryan, those front feet land right around his face.
Puppies leave “presents” that your toddler always seems to find before you do. Puppies wake your children during the night. And a puppy doesn’t know the difference between his stuffed toy and Sarah’s Piglet that she MUST have to fall asleep.
And suppose you get a puppy when little Morgan is 2. In six months, Morgan will be about 1 inch taller and 3 pounds heavier. However, the 8-month-old puppy will now be as tall as Morgan and outweigh her by 20 pounds. And those baby teeth will have been replaced by big snappers that need to chew.
Of course, puppies and small children do successfully co-habitate. But, in our experience, your child will go through far less Neosporin and Band-Aids with a calmer 2+ year old dog who is road-tested with children.
Seems to make sense, except the exact opposite is true. All puppies are cute; all puppies love everyone. It’s not until a dog hits sexual maturity that some innate behavioral problems start to surface. We can’t even estimate how many calls we’ve had from people who paid thousands of dollars for a purebred puppy, who is now a year or two old and biting people, attacking other dogs, or engaging in some oddball neurotic behavior. Purebred is not the same as well bred, and sometimes it feels like the disreputable breeders grossly outnumber the responsible ones.
The truth is this: when we list a 4-month-old puppy, we can only guess what kind of adult she’ll make. When we list an 18-month-old dog, we can predict pretty accurately what kind of dog you’ll have forever.
Many people believe this, right up until the moment the dog is hit by a car, eats poison in the neighbor’s garage, or is stolen. We insist on a fence or leash walks. Rescue dogs are typically either strays (which means they have a history of wandering) or owner-surrenders (which means they’re going to go look for their ex-owner first chance they get). We just can’t risk it.
No, you didn’t. Trust me, he was only perfect because you were 8 and didn’t have to clean up after him and be responsible for him. I know you believed he was perfect, but you also believed in Santa and honest government then, too.
I had a perfect Doberman named Max when I was growing up. He died in my freshman year of college, and has since, in family lore, gone on to be canonized. St. Max. Bow your head when you say it. Everyone in my family seems to forget the time St. Max was hit by a car he was chasing. Or the time he bit the kid biking by. Or how he used to sneak in and sleep on the furniture when no one was home. Or the time he had diarrhea all over the hardwood floors. Or how he used to eat the Christmas ornaments off the bottom half of the tree.
Since I’ve been an adult, I’ve never had a perfect Doberman–but every single one of them was perfect for me.
BUUUUZZZZZ! I’m sorry. Try 2 or 3 for most. Many Dobermans don’t calm down and hit their stride until they’re 4 or 5.
In the wacky world of Dobermans, that’s just not true. For starts, it’s impossible to make gender-based absolutes. But once you spend time around Dobermans, you’ll start to notice there are plenty of hyper, dominant females out there. You’ll also notice lots of mellow, roll-with-the-punches males (especially after they make that all-important trip to Dr. Knife).
It all depends on the individual dog, but don’t think for a minute that a female is a sure ticket to a passive, submissive pooch.
Myth 7: My 8 month old Doberman is biting people. He’s not lunging or growling, but he makes little nips on arms and legs. I can’t keep an aggressive dog.
This is called mouthing. It’s what happens when those cute little puppy bites go uncorrected. And if your dog’s doing it, he will continue to do it–and do it harder and stronger–until YOU correct it.
Fortunately, it is relatively easy to fix in most dogs. There’re lots of tips on the internet (just search for “dog mouthing”) and your vet can probably help as well. If the problem is really out of hand, you may need to call in a trainer for a few sessions.
That sound you hear is all the people with rescued dogs falling over laughing. Because the exact opposite is nearly always true–your rescue dog will CLING to you.
Look at it from the dog’s perspective. She’s spent the bulk of the last year on a 6-foot chain in someone’s back yard because she committed the unconscionable sin of no longer being a puppy. At some point during the day, someone may remember to bring her food and water. The only attention she gets is when they yell at her for barking.
Finally, they take her for a car-ride–dumping her in a wooded area where she can have a “fighting chance.” Despite everything, she waits there for their return or tries to get back home. She finds water somewhere. She raids trashcans and gets sick. If she’s extremely lucky, she survives long enough for an animal lover to find her and bring her to the shelter.
Then she sits in the loud, scary shelter run, starting to lose faith that her family will ever find her. The kennel people are nice, but she is one of a hundred needy dogs they have to care for.
Finally, the shelter calls us. And you take her home.
You not only bring her into your house, you give her her own bed and bowl, and a crate where she feels safe. You speak quietly. When she messes on the carpet, you don’t seem to mind–you just take her outside and then clean it up. You feed her regularly AND give her toys and treats and nylabones. She sleeps in your room. She may even have a big brother or sister to play with. She gets kisses. And when she goes out in the car, she always comes back.
Your rescue dog’s biggest fear is that you will spontaneously combust.
She’s not going to let you out of her sight for one minute. People with rescue dogs learn to function with a 70 pound shadow following us everywhere.
That said, there are some dogs who just never learned to connect with people, but that becomes apparent very quickly–long before we place him with you.
Wrong. Think about it- the dog is smart, so he learns to figure things out. He may housetrain easily, learn basic obedience easily, but what else can he learn? My Doberman has learned to open doors, steal laundry, and climb a tree. He’s also learned that he can entertain himself by digging or barking. What makes him stop digging or barking? Learning something new and getting a lot of exercise- every day. Not once a week, every day. Dobermans are like that super-smart nerdy kid in Chemistry class- he successfully completes the class experiment, and then blows up the lab because he wants to see how the chemicals interact. Super smart kids make super big messes.
Myth 10: I don’t want to have my dog spayed or neutered because it’s not natural, she should be able to have a litter, and/or I want my children to see the miracle of birth, etc.
If everyone prevented irresponsible breeding, we’d be happily out of business. Do not humanize your dog–no one’s asking you to neuter yourself. Your dog will be healthier and more comfortable once s/he’s shifted into neutral–and will also be a much more pleasant companion.
Neutered male dogs roam less, mark less territory, and are generally less aggressive. Spayed female dogs avoid the messy and annoying heat cycles, and are not at risk for unwanted pregnancy. And both males and females are less likely to get certain illnesses.
As for the miracle of birth, well, there’s another rite of passage occurring to 20 million dogs a year in this country, 25% of them purebred. It happens every day at your local animal shelter. But most parents are not as eager for their children to see that.