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Doberman bitch(19 Posts)
have had dogs before but have wanted a Doberman and think due to age this might be last chance as they need lots of exercise and keeping interested. Am 67 and active. Don't want one for aggression but very intelligent. Anyone got Doberman advice.
Are you thinking of getting an older rescue one?
I would be concerned that if you get a puppy now, you might be 67 and active now, but in 13 years you will be 80 and could be frail. I'd hate to see you have to rehome your dog because your own health was failing and couldn't cope with such a large and powerful dog with high exercise needs, whereas you could have coped with a smaller, easier breed.
Okay, since my gran was 90 and still active and started to become frail from there. I tend to feel that 67 is not that old really and a 13 yo Doberman is not going to want 10 mile hikes. You are in the best position to judge your health, fitness and strength.
I have no experience with the breed but have heard and seen that they are beautiful, intelligent and gentle dogs.
IMHO a young Doberman is going to be far too strong and energetic for a 67year old.
If you were to go with a Doberman, I would suggest rehoming an older one that won't require as much exercise.
You are in the best position to judge your health, fitness and strength.
Trouble is, no one has a crystal ball. While the OP might be fine now, who is to say what's going to happen in 5-10 years? While technically any of us can have something go wrong health wise at any time, the chances increase substantially as you get older.
For someone female currently aged 65, on average you'd expect to live for another 20.9 years, so to 85.9. However, few people get to that age in perfect health before suddenly dropping dead, so the more interesting question is at what point health starts to fail to the point that having a doberman is no longer feasible (and how much longer you'd get with a smaller, less powerful, easier breed).
TBH as a healthy adult several decades younger than the OP, I wouldn't have a doberman, because if something went wrong I wouldn't be able to control it - and I'm thinking in terms of the doberman seeing a cat on the other side of the road that it wants to chase. I'd probably "just" be dragged into traffic, but an older person would be much more likely to sustain substantial injuries from the fall alone. A smaller dog wouldn't have the strength to pull you over unless you were really very frail.
Right, so someone on the internet is better qualified to judge someones life expectancy and morbidity? A doberman may be an unusual choice for a pensioner but I don't see it as anymore unrealistic than a spaniel or a labrador for example.
The OP clearly states that she feels that she will be able to give the dog the exercise and training it needs she is asking for advice about the breed.
The stranger on the internet pulled the stats from the Office for National Statistics, and included a screenshot for reference purposes...
She asked for advice, and we are giving her it. Dobermans are large and powerful. Even the most well trained gentle Doberman is still 30kg of pure muscle and if she decides to go one way attached to a lead even a young healthy adult will struggle to control her.
Either get a smaller breed or an older dog. And make provisions as to what will happen to the dog if you have to go into a home/hospital/die before the dog. Sounds harsh but will your family really be in a position to look after her? You need to think about the practicalities.
Plenty of 67 year olds are fit and active. The only concern is lifting the dog if it was sick / injured but that could be a problem for anyone owning a larger dog if they didn’t have help.
I would think plenty of retired dog owners would have a better capacity to give a dog lots of attention than a time poor younger person. Sometimes I wonder if the only people ‘allowed’ to have dogs on mumsnet are SAHMs with school age children.
Stats tell you about populations not individuals. I know people who are in their 70s still competing on horseback at international level. I know people in their 50s who have let their advancing years disable them.
I also think that an experienced retired indevidual is going to be very well placed to give a dog a great home with potential for undivided attention.
What weird answers this thread got...
If you needed to be strong enough to actually man handle a dog into going where you wanted - nobody should be owning anything bigger than a chihuahua... my neighbours westie drags him across the road all the time, though is that somehow ok because he’s only in his thirties?
I think there are valid considerations brought up here, but only Dosy knows what applies to her situation, not us. I hope some Doberman owners show up with advice
Yeah, who's dosy? Me maybe. I meant Dopey
You could rehome an older doberman or manchester terriers have the look but much smaller
In all honesty I think it's going to come down to how confident you are training a dog without physically manipulating them.
What I mean by that is training loose lead walking without having to restrain the dog physically for any length of time etc. Unless you are a super strong 67, which you might be. I watched my 61 year old father pick up 25kg of springer by the harness - straight up in the air vertically - the other day to avoid a fight with another dog. I am 38 and couldn't do that to save my life. He did it with ease.
A dobe is a big dog and so positive training methods are going to be key here. They are on the lower end of average lifespan so you are looking at 10-13 years. In reality, a 13 year old doberman is unlikely to need the same exercise as they did when younger as dogs (like people) tend to slow up as they age. Though someone needs to tell my JRT that!
If you've the time, patience and aptitude then why not. Find a GOOD breeder so you know the right temperament has been bred in. You don't want to risk any aggression being in the lineage. Find a good training class, preferably one run by someone who really knows guarding breeds. Put massive effort into socialising the dog to all types of people and animals as these dogs can be shy, I think.
My 66 yo mum who walks with a stick and weighs all of 7 stone soaking wet always owned GSD's. She doesn't have her own any more but frequently dog sits for some. The ones that are a bit strong on the lead just get walked in a halti and she has no problem at all keeping them under control.
She walks them at least 3 x per day.
I was ideally looking for a rehomed bitch.
I am pretty fit for my age swimming 30 - 40 lengths 3 or 4 times a week and I'm hoping that the extra exercise that I would get with a dog would help keep me that way.
I am reluctant to go walking alone for obvious reasons particularly after dark even though I live alone in a nice area.
I don't know what's around the corner but who does.
I see plenty of ladies with dogs that aren't small perhaps I should tell them they could be dragged away.
Thanks everyone who gave constructive advice
We have a male Doberman, just over a year old now (got him at 12 weeks)
Absolutely amazing breed. He’s so loving and funny, full of character. (He’s currently sitting on my lap His nicknames are Doberdick or Dobegoof!
They are an intelligent breed, needing stimulation and daily walks. But so loyal and loving. Yes they are strong / heavy- ours weighs about 45kg and he’s not overweight. I can’t hold him if he sees something if his lead is attached to his half choke collar. But we walk him in a Dogmatic (like a Halti) and can hold him one handed. He only pulls if he sees a cat etc otherwise he loose lead walks - loads of training though!
They are called Velcro dogs and can suffer separation, so that is something to consider if you have a busy life.
I’ve heard that Brown Dobermans are a bit more lively then the black ones, although that maybe an old wife’s tail.
A rescue dog would be a great idea, apart from giving a dog another chance, you get to see how lively they are (ours has his moments, but on the whole is pretty calm). Sadly some people give them up when they’re about 9mths old as they go through the teenager stage and can be quite challenging, so quite a few in rescue at that age. Ours went through it, but training, training, training he’s coming out the other side.
Enrolling in a good training class would be envaluable, the one we go to does the KC Good Citizens awards - nice to have something to aim for!
I got my GSD puppy when I was 63 yo and another 3 years later. Ten years later and I don't have any trouble walking them. If you need extra control use a head collar.
I think the most important thing is to look for a good breeder who knows her puppies and will choose the right one for you. And who cares about them and is willing to take the puppy back and look after it if problems arise.
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