Before you buy a cheap Doberman you need to consider a few things.
For people looking to buy a Doberman pinscher, the cost is an obvious consideration. When deciding on a purebred puppy that’s for sale, remember generally you get what you pay for. The price of a Doberman can range widely and some people may not understand why the difference in pricing.
At the low end, you may find a Doberman pup for under $1000. Beware anyone claiming a purebred for a low price. A cheap Doberman is NOT a bargain. You will pay more later in medical costs and maybe heartache. You are probably dealing with a BYB (back yard breeder) or a puppy mill dog. BYB’s do not place a priority on breeding the best dogs. They don’t screen for health problems, temperament and you have no guarantee that you’re not getting inbred dog. These things are extremely important for Dobermans.
A reputable breeder depending on how many pups they have available will usually cost over $1500. This is for a “pet-quality” Doberman. Note that champion bloodlines are good to have but what is even better is having champion parents. This will increase the price of the Doberman, expect to pay over $2000 for a “show-quality” Doberman. Also, note that there may be a wait list to buy a Doberman puppy. Breeders cannot predict how big a litter will be so plan a purchase months or years in advance. Also, note that some popular breeders may have all the litter on hold even before birth.
Other things that affect the Doberman price, ear cropping, tail docking and other costs such as dew claw removal and puppy vaccinations. Doberman breeders have many expenses they need to cover, from feeding, to housing, to medical bills, to registering the Doberman with their country’s kennel club.
This Is Important
You want peace of mind knowing your Doberman has been screened for major health problems (which the Doberman has some serious ones). Health testing done should include: hip dysplasia, von Willebrand’s disease (vWD), thyroid disease, genetic eye disease and heart health screening.
You also want to be able to look at your dogs family tree, not only for lineage but to ensure you didn’t get a dog that was inbred. This is obviously serious to the health and longevity of the breed. If a Doberman is “purebred” it should come with registration papers. In some countries, this is legally mandatory. If a breeder claims their dog is purebred but doesn’t provide paperwork, report them to your local dog club.
The other important consideration along with health testing is temperament and titles. What temperament is the breeder going for? Generally American dobermans breed for a more family-friendly temperament, whereas the European Dobermans want more of a working dog temperament. This is generalizing of course but something to keep in mind.
Lastly, what titles if any does the breeder provide? Does the dog or it’s parents have any recognized titles? This may include conformation or working dog titles.
When you visit a breeder ask all these questions and have them prove it! Don’t just assume they’re telling you the truth. Good breeders document everything so have them show you the paperwork. Also, be prepared to be interviewed yourself. Good breeders will ask you questions! They want their dogs to go to suitable homes and not need relocating a second time. Don’t be offended if they ask you lots of questions, this is a sign that the breeder truly cares about his Dobermans.
Here is a handy guide to choosing a breeder. It’s from a Weimaraner website but the questions are applicable to dobermans as well. I hope it helps you.
Dogs Are Expensive
Dogs are expensive, big dogs even more so. Don’t forget to consider that this is just the initial cost of the puppy. You’ll need supplies, food, Doy Toys, a crate, training classes, more puppy shots, neuter/spaying, annual vaccinations, and checkups, etc. And emergencies! Your dog might swallow a sock, it might get sick, it might hurt himself playing. Lastly, even if you do brush your dog’s teeth every day, you’ll have dental bills when he’s old. Don’t let your dog suffer dental pain.
Start saving money now for your dog’s medical care. Do you have an emergency medical fund ready in case you need to visit the pet hospital or dental doctor?
Don’t buy these, please
Do not buy or pay more for a white Doberman, please read my previous article on Doberman colors. Also do not buy or pay more for “Giant”, “King” or “Warlock” Dobermans. These are dogs that are purposely bred to be larger in size, with no regard for their health. Dobermans should follow the standard for the breed. The standard exists not only for looks but for optimal health. If you want a big dog maybe get a Great Dane instead.
If you absolutely love the breed but can’t afford breeder pricing, consider using a Doberman rescue or checking your local humane society. Please avoid buying from pet stores, puppy mills or back yard breeders. They do not respect or promote ethical breeding and don’t care about eliminating genetic diseases that affect the breed. Save yourself the heartache of having a pet you love get sick and die. Also, these breeders probably won’t give you any after sale support. You should be able to contact your breeder in the future if you have a question or concern with your Doberman.
I hope you now understand better what goes into the price of a Doberman.
Remember a Doberman that costs more can give you some assurance that you’ll have a healthy family member for a long, long time.
Did I miss anything else important about breeders and price?