If you’re a dog lover and you’ve narrowed down your search to a Doberman Pinscher, you may be wondering how much it will cost to adopt and keep it healthy. You have little to no idea how this breed will behave under your care. Even if you do, you still have doubts about its personality. Perhaps you have other dogs, and your primary concern is if they will get along with them. Besides their endearing personalities, Doberman Pinschers are costly to keep. Whether you plan to adopt this breed for the first time or already have one, it will be in your best interest to know what to expect from it as a dog owner.
How much do Doberman Pinscher puppies cost?
Having a Doberman pinscher is more like adding one more baby to your family. Adopting one starts by:
- Preparing your budget in advance and preparing for all the expenses you may need to incur.
- You might need to check with your local municipality because some laws may be specific to potentially aggressive breeds like the Doberman.
- Avoiding the temptation to crop your dog’s ears or dock its tail yourself. You might need to see a vet surgeon to perform the procedures, preventing your dog from contracting infections.
Now that you’ve paid attention to all these measures for adopting a Doberman pinscher, it’s time to check how much you will need to adopt and raise one.
Breed-specific organizations vs. rescue shelters: Where should you adopt from?
The first thing you should budget for starters is the adoption fees. Breed-specific organizations will charge the total price based on the vaccinations and other medical expenses they’ve incurred to keep them healthy and alive. On the other hand, Rescue shelters may offer pinschers for free or at a cheaper cost. Should you decide to buy one from a breed-specific organization in the US, you might need to part with roughly $1,000 to $2,500, according to SpiritDog. It all depends on the breeder you choose and where you buy your puppy. Treat any breeder with suspicion if they offer a pup less than $1,000. If you get one from the shelter, you might spend $500 or less.
While you might be lucky to get a pup for free or cheaper, it’s worth noting that “cheap is expensive.” The shelters might not inform you about the pup’s health history and their ancestral lineage information. Also, they hardly provide appropriate healthcare after they are born. For example, breed-specific organizations take them to their first vet appointment and start their vaccinations to keep them healthy and strong. It can get frustrating trying to keep a dog you know nothing about. The worst-case scenario is when the pup falls ill due to genetic factors or develops a condition that they might have inherited from their parents. According to DogTime, adopting a pet from a breed-specific organization is the best idea because they will tell you all you need to know about the pup and advise you how to care for it.
Veterinarian costs ($200-more)
Vet visits cannot be overlooked, particularly if you want to keep this breed. The first year of your puppy’s life is the most important. On average, you might spend around $200 for a vet visit. The amount doesn’t account for the additional visits or procedures. Remember that your pet might have a medical emergency that can’t wait unless a vet intervenes, so you might want to save some money for a rainy day. Dobermans are susceptible to cancer, hyperthyroidism, hip dysplasia, Von Willebrand’s disease, and dilated cardiomyopathy. For this reason, you need to take them for regular vet visits to check if yours is at risk of developing them.
Nutrition ($30-$70 per month)
Pinschers require high-quality foods, which might cost between $30-$70 per month. They need dry foods and occasional treats. Interestingly, the heaviest Doberman ever recorded weighed over 100 lbs. it’s up to you to decide if you want your dog to be overweight by giving more treats, but that can attract a wide range of health issues when left uncontrolled.
Should you adopt a puppy from Craigslist?
Dobermans are hard to come by of all dog breeds, but you will find them on Craigslist and other affiliated marketplaces. Interestingly, you will hardly come across a Doberman from a breeder. Most of them are from accidental litters or backyard breeders. These breeders might have their dogs’ interests at heart, but they don’t know how to raise them appropriately. They probably thought Dobermans were like regular dogs who could be domesticated even in apartments. So, upon realizing that these dogs have special needs, they had no choice but to give them up for adoption. If you choose to buy a pinscher puppy from Craigslist, be prepared to pay for starting vet costs. In most cases, breeders haven’t taken the dogs for health testing, which explains why some puppies inherit underlying conditions from their parents. The starting costs may cover vaccinations and other medical costs. It’s also worth noting that some pups on Craigslist come from puppy mills. Such places are no different from backyard breeders. Their primary goal is to ensure the dogs procreate many puppies to sell at a profit. The worst part is that these breeders separate puppies from their mothers too early to continue the procreation.
What it’s like living with a Doberman pinscher
A Doberman pinscher is a loyal, loving, intelligent, and easy-to-train dog. This dog pays its tribute to a German called Louis Dobermann, who developed it in the late 1800s. Most bred it as an all-purpose farm dog whose primary responsibility was to protect livestock from wolves. They were cross-bred from Rottweiler, Thuringian shepherd, black and tan terrier, and German pinscher. Today, most families consider it one of the most powerful dogs globally, though it’s native to Germany, according to PetKeen.
Physical characteristics of Doberman pinschers
- They are medium-sized dogs. Adult males can grow to 27-28 inches in height and weigh 70 lbs. Females can grow to 26-27 inches tall and weigh between 60 and 65 lbs.
- They can live for 10-12 years
- They can tolerate being alone, cold and hot weather
- They are a wanderlust potential
- They have a low tendency to drool or snore
- They have shiny and short coats with hues of black, brown, and blue or fawn
- It’s an average shedder and might require minimal grooming
- They have muscular bodies
- They have pointed ears that stand erect for increased alertness
1. They need plenty of exercises
Dobermans are more like human children because they like to play a lot. They can cause destruction when left in confined spaces like apartments. Once you adopt a pinscher puppy, be ready to take them out to play or exercise for 40 minutes per day. According to the American Kennel Club, early training helps a lot if you want your dog to establish good behavior. Exercise doesn’t mean you should take them for a 5-mile run because this will tire them out. They are prone to compulsive behaviors like excessive flank licking if left in confined spaces for their energy. Eventually, they will feel stressed and might even develop anxiety. If you’re unable to play or exercise your Doberman outdoors, consider getting a treadmill for him to exercise on. Remember, you don’t need to run him for more than an hour as he can get exhausted. A 40-minutes run on a treadmill will contain his compulsive behavior, preventing him from being destructive.
2. They need mental stimulation to keep themselves from being bored.
Whether you want your pinscher to be attentive or agile, a tremendous mental challenge can keep them from being bored. They are born intelligent, but the buck doesn’t stop there. The best way to challenge them mentally is by positive reinforcement. You can start by clicker-train them. For example, if you want them to fetch something from the table, use the clicker’s sound to instruct them to do so. Eventually, the dog learns to associate the sound with the treat. Next, move to verbal commands. Your dog should learn when you’re excited, sad, or angry from the tone of your voice. It doesn’t matter which language you speak, as this dog learns quickly. Anytime you give a verbal command, and they obey, reward them with a treat, and this behavior will continue. Pinschers need a strong owner or pack leader who will adequately socialize and train them to keep them busy every day. So, if you’re laid-back or don’t fancy spending time at home, it would be advisable to get someone else to train them.
3. They need early socialization with kids
You have particular reasons for adding a pinscher as your newest family member. Whether you want it as a family dog, guard dog, or faithful companion, the buck stops socializing and training them around kids. The first thing to do is establish a good relationship between them and your kids. Teach your kids how to treat animals with care, behave around dogs, and know when to keep off when the dog is in distress. The same applies to your dog. Teach your canine friend how to handle kids to establish a good relationship between both parties.
4. They are susceptible to parvovirus when left unvaccinated
According to DailyPuppy, pinschers are incredibly vulnerable to parvovirus when improperly vaccinated or unvaccinated. Once you adopt a puppy at six months, ensure your vet vaccinates them for the virus. Keep scheduling vaccination appointments until they hit 16-20 weeks old.
5. They are affectionate around familiar faces
According to HillsPet, a Doberman pinscher is extremely friendly around familiar faces. They might growl or bark at unfamiliar faces as a sign of insecurity, which is a trait almost all dog breeds have. The best way to keep them from causing trouble is by socializing and training them when still young. Being loyal to their owners is perhaps the most significant reason people prefer them to other dogs. Also, they are children at heart, so they prefer socializing with kids.
6. They don’t need special guard training
While their original role was to protect people and livestock from wild animals, it’s not advisable to guard-train them. Doing so only perpetuates over-guarding and aggression, something that might put you in trouble with your neighbors, visitors, and passersby. Besides guarding livestock against wild animals, Doberman pinschers are often used as search-and-rescue dogs. The police also find them productive due to their athletic physique. Because they are easy to train, they make the perfect outdoor companions. So, if you are an inactive person with a busy lifestyle living in an apartment, then this breed isn’t for you.
7. You can increase their alertness by cropping their ears and tails
Naturally, a pinscher’s ear is floppy. Most scientific experts recommend owners have their ears cropped and tails docked to increase their ability to locate sounds. Once you bring your pup home, schedule an appointment with a vet surgeon for these procedures. Remember, these are cosmetic procedures, making them optional. However, it’s in your best interest to budget for these procedures if you want your dog to have a streamlined appearance.
Doberman pinschers might be easy or difficult to raise, depending on the conditions you provide for them. While you might be looking to save money by adopting one from rescue shelters, eventually, you will spend more on vet visits because of the little information you have regarding their health history. Paying heftier upfront costs on a pup from a reputable breeder is the best decision to save money later. Remember, this breed is less susceptible to health problems than other dogs because breeders put their health interests on top of their list of priorities.