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We’ve been had by a Doberman breeder! Now do we keep him or get rid of this poor dog whose used to us!?

Question by Fuzzy: We’ve been had by a Doberman breeder! Now do we keep him or get rid of this poor dog whose used to us!?

We got a Doberman puppy (5 mos old) from what we believed was a “Reputable and responsible” breeder who professes to “specialize in Dobermans for first time owners.” It was a BIG deal to pay her $ 4,400 for our dog. He was $ 3,000 plus $ 1,400 for training that meant he never jumped on our furniture or people, and didn’t chew anything other than his toys or bone. After MANY phone conversations & e-mails, I surprised my husband (who REALLY wanted THIS dog as he was described to him) and bought him. He’s a mess! We’ve paid trainers (former Westminster judges) & vets tell us that we’ve been had! His temperament was sold as “IDEAL companion & STRONG candidate for protection training.” He’s been described as “autistic.” EXTREMELY afraid of people & now spent well over $ 2,000 on tests, Rx’s & foods since he’s had diarrhea from Day 1. We love him & it’s just two of us in a very calm environment. We have NEVER yelled at or hit him, yet he’s so fearful it’s sad. What should we do? Thank you!
We DID do all the research and chose this breeder from many! If you look at the web site, you’ll believe it too! MANY phone conversations took place & shots/medical records were provided AFTER we paid. The catch is that if we NOW look at the web site, it’s VERY clear that it’s very deceptive advertising. For example, there’s a photo and mention of the man who trained the Dobes for that doberman pack robbing a bank movie. What it doesn’t say is “NONE OF THOSE DOGS WERE FROM US!” She apparently gave/sold ONE dog to this man and now cashes in! You wouldn’t figure this out right off the bat. The key to all of this is that she told us on the phone all about this puppy’s parents. After we got him and asked for photos of the sire and dam, THEN for the FIRST time, she said, “Oh, I got him from a breeder friend & don’t know the parents, I’ll send the pedigree. We’ve done EVERYTHING humanly possible to help & keep him but the STRESS is unbearable now, not to mention we’re up to $ 7,000..
I wrote this 4 strangers 2 comment because we DID our homework & it took 5 YRS to buy! I want people to know to what degree of deception & sophistication advertising has gotten! We’re hard working, loving, intelligent people & were dooped! Don’t buy a dog from a breeder any farther than driving distance from your home! Know them, research them, pay for background checks, meet parents of the “to be puppy” & visit the litter from day 1! Pay someone experienced in litter testing to pick your pup! Our 1st choice was keep him NO MATTER WHAT! Unfortunately, it’s getting impossible! The training of $ 1400 is COMMON! He arrived house broken, has never jumped on anything or anyone! Smart breeds like Dobermans are COMMONLY well trained (basic commands) by five mos (to that lawyer who attacked us)! His chronic diarrhea is not bacteria or thyroid & she sold us a “perfect companion dog/STRONG candidate for protection. She lied, he’s a sick & fearful/skiddish sad dog who’s breaking our hearts!

Best answer:

Answer by Casey B
you can actally sue the breeder and get your money back. Just be sure that you have proof of everything you have done yourself for this poor puppy.

Sounds like she beat/ neglected the pup before giving it to you. You can sue this breeder for false advertisement.

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  • not much of a “dobe luvr” if you’re trying to get rid of the dog now, are ya?

    If you still dont want the dog, take it to a doberman rescue society–they’re listed on under “rescue”.

    And I wish “good luck” to any future dogs you might have. To the dogs.

  • Unfortunately you have been had… Keep the dog… reguardless of his problems he still needs a home.

    Good Luck

  • Sue the breeder and keep the dog… it isnt his fault and he’s used to you now.

  • I think that you need to decide whether you really want to keep him, or if he is miserable enough that he should be put re-homing is not really an option for him..
    If you were to sue the breeder, you are likely to win, but the judge can only allow the actual price paid for the pup, and you have to return it…
    So, it all comes down to..Do you love caring for the challenged dog, or would you be happier to have him put down and move on to another dog…
    One ‘therapy’ that may well work, is to adopt a nice pup to be his companion..I have rescued many dogs with ‘mental illness’ and a small, good natured dog does really help them to be more accepting of all situations…One of our best little ambassadors was a Pug,. Others were a Doxie mix, and the other was a Poodle,,

  • would you get rid of a child just because they didn’t turn out like you hoped?

    dogs have feelings too, unless you think this dog is a danger to you or your husband then I should keep him.
    also I would contact trading standards etc and sue the butt off the guy who is selling under false pretences.

    good luck

  • You can sue the breeder for fraud and get part of your money back. If I were you I would be keeping the dog. It isn’t his fault that he is like this. Just keep working with him. Don’t waste your money on trainers, just let him know you love him and he will be ok.

  • Here is the deal.. If you call the breeder and complain, etc… more than likely he’ll take your pup back and offer you another pup from either the same or a different litter. The chances of getting your $ back are slim, unless you get legal councel involved. You say you love your pup – enough to keep him and put up with his medical bills? If you do, then I would contact the breeder and ask for you $ $ back (tell them trading the pup in for another is not an option – you have grown attached to the pup but feel you were robbed), talk about getting legal involved. If you can’t get all of it back, at least half maybe? If you give this pup back in exchange for another who know’s what the breeders will do with him (re-sell him, euthanise. etc…).

    I purchased a full-breed dog a few years ago. I had a lot of problems with him, including constant diarrhea. After many tests and medicines (and hundreds of $ $ s) my vet didn’t know what else to do. I took him to a dog internist/specialist. Come to find out he had a issue with his thyroid. Once on thyroid meds, he calmed down a lot and stopped the diarrhea.

    So, don’t give up hope. Perhaps you just haven’t found the right doctor/vet that can pinpoint the real issue.

  • Sue the breeder, keep the dog and do the best you can. And learn in the future that no reputable breeder will charge that much. I don’t know the going rate for dobies, but I know that if you want a top notch hunting lab that’s been fully trained, you are only looking at $ 2500 and you’ll have proof of it’s pedigree, health certifications and of its hunting ability.

  • What kind of bloodlines is this dog? What kind of guarantee did you get with this price too? First of all, if he was sold for protection, a former Westiminster judge is not the right person to be going to for training. You need to get involved with a trainer that deals with high drive dogs, and does protection and Schutzhund work. I am not saying a heavy handed trainer by this. There are plenty of good Schutzhund trainers now that do not get heavy handed. Do you have a diagnosis for the diarrhea? The fearfullness sounds like a socialization issue , especially if this was an older puppy. You can bring him different places, making sure that people don’t stare at him or touch him in the beginning. Hopefullly a gradual socialization period will help with the fearfullness. Where do you live? I know of a great trainer in Indianapolis. She breeds Malinois , and has shown in AKC, Schutzhund and French ring.

  • i wouldn’t get rid of him.i would try and get some money back tho.

  • Have you contacted the breeder? How exactly have you been had? I know someone who bought a German Shepherd from a reputable dealer and it had a lot of problems too. It wasn’t the dealer’s fault. They have no way of knowing the dog will have the kinds of problems you are describing. Most reputable dealers that charge that much for a dog will take a dog back if it has significant unforseen problems and even find a home for it. The first step would be to contact the dealer. If they can find a good home for your special needs dog, then have them give you another healthy dog. If not, keep the dog and get your money or some portion back. If the dealer refuses to deal, sue him/her as others have suggested.

  • I am a Doberman owner of 17 years and I work as a behavioral trainer with a Doberman rescue group.
    First off you paid far to much for a dog even if it came trained to cook and serve you dinner $ 4,400 is enough to buy 4 show quality dog from most breeders.
    Did this dog come with any type of healt guarantee? If so I would be looking at finding out what the breeder is willing to pay for.
    What type of tempermant gaurantee did the dog come with.
    Any dog that woud be decsribed as a “strong candidate for protection training” would and should NEVER be placed with a first time dobe owner. This is a HUGE red falg to me that the dog may have some serios tempermant issues.
    A fearful dobe is a dangerous dog. Fear biting and fear aggression is very very dangerous and with a dog like a dobe it is even worse.
    You need to find a reputible behavioral trainer and have them eveluate this dog. Get something in writing. Speak with the breeder and see if you can return the dog. If not I would go after them in court as this is not the dog that you were told he was.
    If you are afraid of this dog either place him in rescue and be truthful with the rescue about the dog and why you are placing him. Or have him humanely euthanised.
    Dobes have many health problems and can be neurotic wrecks. They take a very firm hand and lots of time and training effort on the part of the owner. If the owner does not train with the dog the dog will rule the house.
    If you really want to keep this dog in your home get with the trainer and work one on one with them on each of the problems one at a time and work through them until you have a bearable living siuation.
    I would be very sure to contact the BBB and possiblely the AKC about this breeder.
    If you would like me to answer specific question feel free to e-mail me.

  • Definitely try to get your money back or get some compensation for vet bills. And file a complaint with any clubs this breeder belongs to.

    It is NOT a waste of money to hire a trainer, as another poster suggested. This dog is not going to get better if he just knows he is loved (in fact, this is true for most dogs with troubles). You have serious behavior issues; you need a professional behavior specialist to help you. Being a show judge is not an indication of a knowledge of behavior or training; judges simply know what a given breed is supposed to look like. Ask your vet for a referral, or go to and search for a trainer with CPDT after her name.

    If you feel this is all more than you are capable of handling, contact Doberman rescue about placement. Otherwise, euthanasia is your only option. Certainly sad, but not as sad as a dog living his life stressed and afraid.

  • depending on which state U live in (assuming U’re in the USA), there may be a ‘puppy lemon law’ that U can use; keep ALL those bills, and sue the #*!#.

    OTOH, the pup didn’t do any of this; U were scammed by a real, live, thinking Homo sapiens, not a Canis familiaris. don’t be mad at the pup for something he didn’t do, and cannot change.

    go to , get a clicker, and find a local POSITIVE reinforcement trainer; U can rebuild this pup from the ground up. it will take time, but if U build on every prior lesson, it won’t take as long as U think.

    also: see Barking Mad, a BBC-program that shows on Animal Planet TV channel, 6 days a week: from 8:30 to 9 am M – F, and from 8 – 9 AM on Sundays.

    it’s a group of experts in animal behavior, who together help pet owners, or zoo-keepers, or riding-stable owners, etc, to improve the environment, or the behavior, of animals in their care.

    they use safe, R+ techniques – there’s no ‘don’t do this at home!’, as in Cesar Milan (do NOT emulate that man – his techs are dangerous! that’s why the disclaimer runs on the bottom of the TV screen.)

    agility can help build confidence in Ur spooky pup; but start EVERYthing at home – don’t flood him, or put him in situations that are too overwhelming. start small, build one step at a time.

    patience is important; speed can really make him worse, not better.

    hope U get every penny from the breeder- and THEN SOME! shame on them…

  • $ 4,400 is a lot of money for a dog….particularly one that isn’t what you wanted. I’d seek the help of the lawyer and get in contact with that breeder ASAP.

    To help with his fear issues, try finding a trainer that specializes in training abused dogs. Ali Brown has a book out about reactive dogs.

  • YIKES!!

    I’m 99% sure you did NOT buy the dog from a breeder listed with the Doberman Pinscher Club of America did you?

    That was definitely someone who set themselves up and did a website – running a scam. Whoever it was saw you coming a mile away. Even the puppy who is a top show or performance candidate won’t be more than $ 2000 and at 5 months ought to be pretty well housebroken.

    For all those who say a “Westminster dog show judge” wouldn’t know if the dogs behavior is a problem. got some news. To judge a breed, you have to have raised and finished a certain number of dogs. To judge a Group (like Working where Dobes are) , they have to demonstrate expertise on the conformation AND temperment of every breed. To judge a Best In Show – same expertise but for EVERY breed. To judge at Westminster, hey will have been doing BIS judging for well over 20 years. We are not talking some johnny-come-latelies who have all of 5-15 years experience in dog shows, breeding or training – and certainly no those who fancy themselves experts because they have pets and have done and obedience class or watched a CD or TV or read a book.

    Anyone who claims that they were going to supply you with a 5 month old puppy who would never chew or jump or do anything else that puppies do would only have one way to produce such a dog – beat it and terrify it almost to death. What I find remarkable is that you BELIEVED IT!! That will hurt any litigation since most people on a jury will if it incomprehensible that you fell for it and assume that there is more to the story and maybe you are exaggerating. (After 30 years of doing litigation, I’ve heard greater and more extensive naiveness and ignorance so it isn’t unbelievable – just remarkable.)

    You fell for – the “if I spend enough money I can get what I want without any effort and have it all ” attitude and here it was- the perfect dog but still a puppy – an unheard of miracle

    Would you expect to adopt a 2 year old child (about the same as a 5 month old puppy) that never wet its pants or colored on the walls and acted like a mini-grownup from the day it got to your house???

    First – if he has that many personality problems – terrified, fearful he has a very dim future. If he can’t be rehabilitated, he will haave to be killed.

    Even breeed rescue will have a very very very tough time placing him. Before you make any decisions, I suggest you contact them and ask what the odds are of finding a home for the dog with some one has the experience to cope with him.

    Doberman Pinscher Club of America – COPE/Rescue
    Kim Capella Gowland,

    (2) Find a behavioral specialist who can help you and he learn to cope with each other. He need to be completely reeducated about people. This is going to take time – I’m talking 1-2 years kind of time.

    I suspect the scam artist seller was not exactly skilled in handling and training. In Dobes there are a lot of psychotic sadistic loons who are into proving how tough they are with “Protection Dogs” and think beating the bejesus out of a dog makes it aggresive. If he were subjected to that insanity as a baby he will

    (1) Be very fearful

    (2) Terrified to the point of immobility

    (3) Probably have chronic colitis from stress – which means diarreha. (That can be helped with tranquilizers and diet. I’ve worked with dogs who came out of those situations with that problem and gotten them over it.)

    If all you had ever known from the time you were born was mistreatment, how would you be?

    He can be rehabilitated into a loving pet with correct handling and attention – but he will never ever be a “protection” dog.

    Ask the vet and trainers for the name of some one who specializes in rehabbing severely abused dogs. Contact them and do as they say. This is not a DIY job for an amatuer trying to do it from a book or CD or TV show or website.

    I’ve been showing training and handling for 43 years and that some psychotic scam artist got that much money out of someone for a dog astounds even me.

    Now I’m also a retired lawyer who specialized in contract litigation.

    If the vets and trainers will all testify, great you have your expert witnesses.

    What you should be looking for are monetary damages.

    If you care about animals at all you do NOT want to return this poor pup to that person for your money back and the amounts spent on him. That can be avoided if the vets/trainers wll testify that they believe the puppy was beaten and abused which caused him to be like this.

    What you would be looking at is

    (1) the difference between what you paid and what a terrified fearful puppy with severe health problems is worth. (Fairly easy $ 4400 -o =4400)

    (2) the amounts spent to date on vets and trainers (2000 +)

    (3) the amounts that will have to be spent to rehabilitate the dog so he is at least a pet less his value as a pet after rehabilitation (Estimate From trainer – $ 200 or so = your out of pocket loss)

    (4) The costs of maintaining the dog for its lifetime and providing it with a home (14 x $ 1400 food/vet etc a year = 19,600)

    (5) The cost of procuring a dog who could be a protection animal
    (This is a make weight amount since if you get the money back and the costs of helping this dog, you can afford another. But it does ante up the damages to shock the scam artist defendant.)

    The claim is breach of contract and the torts of fraud and misrepresentation (much better because you can toss in emotional distress as an amount of damages.)

    The current damages are $ 6400. The future damages are his maintence of up to $ 19600 plus rehabilitation for a total of $ 26,000+

    You will have a tough time getting anyone to take the case for $ 6400 in damages but maybe for $ 26000. No lawyer in his right mind would agree to a contingency fee (no win/no fee) since there is no insurance company from which to collect – just some scumbucket who probably doesn’t have a bean to his name and you will be trying to collect against his home and wages.

    Figure you will have to ante up a retainer and pay by the hour for an attorney no matter what.

    If your state allows small claims cases for under $ 6400, you could try doing it yourself but most per se palintiffs lose in something this involved as they don’t know the rules of evidence and what to put on.


    There is an outside chance that you could file a criminal complaint with the police for fraud – think of the cases where contractors take the money, do a half-baked job or a part job and disappear. Go talk to the prosecuting attorney in your jurisdiction. SInce the dog was sold into your area, they would have jurisdiction no matter where thei yohoo is since he defrauded you there. He could end up in jail and be ordered to pay restitution – ordered does not mean that it wil really happen if he is broke.

    If I can help with the dog, email me:

  • Good Gracious! I’m glad to see that at least a few people gave you good advice. I agree with Tlctreecar. No doberman should have been sold to you with that strong of protection drive for a first time doberman owners…although it doesn’t sound as though he has it. His fearfulness can be dangerous in any dog, but especially a large dog. I also train dogs, own and compete with dobermans and have worked with rescues. Find yourself an experienced positive trainer – and research them – don’t just take what they say at face value. Get references and speak to their clients. Find out what type of methods they used. Be patient, it won’t happen overnight.

  • Well it looks like you have fallen into the same rut that allot of people who are looking for a quality animal fall into ,,,,, We found out the hard way too ,,,,,,That before you even talk to the breeder about any thing ,,,,, you first investigate the breeder and with out his knowing it ,,,,, That’s the first and most important thing anyone can do ,,,,,,,You may not find anyhing out about him which is in his favor because the bad ones should be reported to the better business beaurau and the AKC ,,,,,,Any valuable dog that is handled buy a reputable breeder is registered with the AKC but so is the breeder himself,,,,,, Bad reports creates a papper trail on these slip shod breeders and some of them put themselves out of businees because of a bad reputation and the shoddy way they do business,,,,,,That’s the reason why anyone in business no matter what it is should be reported if they run their business in a disreputable manner ,,, There are allot of breeders and they are all in it for the money because there is big money in it ,,,, but some of them don’t care what they put out as long as they get their money ,,,,, Reputable breeders aren’t hard to find but you do have to search for one ,,,,,Another thing ,,,,,, before any money changes hands ,,,,,,, insist on him showing you authenticated and official medical records on the animal to make sure it’s shots and medical records are current ,,,,,, A reputable breeder shouldn’t have any problem with that ,,,,,,And remember ,,,, if you purchase the animal ,,,,, the first stop on the way home is your vets office with the copy of the medical records given to you from the breeder Our situation involved a Yorkshire Terrier ,,,,,,, The animal was of pure bred stock alright and he was a wonderful ,, loyal and loving little guy ,,,,, The problem was that he had fits of temper and he would bite to draw the blood of strangers or people he wasn’t comfortable with ,,,,, He was prone to eppelleptic (sp) seizures and we had to make sure he was properly medicated to control that along with all the other problems,,,, We took him to several different vets and they all said the same thing ,,,,,, That he was of a pure blood line and all but it was what one of them refered to as too pure ,,,,,, In other words the problem was inbreeding ,,,, this can be just as bad or as dangerous in animals as it can be in humans ,,,,,, this is a practice some Pit Bull breeders use,,,,,They carefullly monitor the breeding of their dogs and breed the animals with the relatives of the same family blood lines but one or two generations removed from the animal being bred ,,,, I’m not clear on the exact procedure but I do know that this method of selective breeding will produce a very ferocious and blood thirsty animal ,,,,,, This method of controlled inbreeding produces the type of animal that some people will pay thousands of dollars for ,,, and they are a VERY dangerous animal ,,,,This is how the Pit Bull got it’s bad reputation ,,,,You might see some Pit Bulls that are docile and friendly ,,,, but remember that any Pit Bull is the product of selective breading and that selective breeding was meant to make money ,,,,They definitely have a serious bad side to them ,,,,,,, But this is the intentions of the breeder and is what some people are willing to pay alot of money for ,,,, The meaner the animal ,,,,, the more he’s worth ,,,,,,this sort of breeding should be outlawed and carefully monitored ,,,,,There is no possible or decent use for this breed of dog at all ,,,,They are known to attack their owners because of who knows what provacation ,,,,, or eat the face off of a three year old family member and that is NOT an exageration,,,, I don’t know for sure about your animal of course but it sounds like to me to be an inbreeding problem for you too ,,,,, The symptoms you describe indicates to me that this might be the problem you are trying to deal with,,,,,, as explained to me by competent vets ,,,,, The information I just talked about concerning Pit Bulls is information given to me from one of the vets when he was talking about the problems with inbreeding where my own animal was concerned ,,,, We had to finally face the enivitable and have the dog put to sleep ,,,, This was very painful for us because we’d had the chance to bond with the pup ,,,,,, He just loved to play ball ,,, and fetch and frizzby ,,,, I think this effected the kids allot more though ,,,, We called him Sparky ,,,, We will never forget him ,,,,, I was highly upset and in a very ugly mood when I went back to the breeder to talk with him about this ,,,,, but when I got there ,,,,, his business had been shut down and another business was taking posession of the property ,,,, The breeder had given me papers for my dog that authenticated the animals breeding and blood lines ,,,, His signature was on the pappers too and I had copys made of the pappers and went to the better business beaurau and reported him there ,,,, I then reported him to the AKC,,,,, This is what people who have been taken by a breeder should do ,,,,This is something you might consider where the breeder you’ve dealt with is concerned,,,,, You’ve put out 6400 dollars according to your figures all totaled ,,,,, He should have to remburse you the whole amount ,,,,,, And I would advise maybe contacting a lawyer to find out just what other options you have ,,,,, Reporting these problem creates a papper trail on these outlaw breeders and they will suffer the consequenses of their actions and irresponsibility ,,,,,, Reporting these breeders also helps other people to run a check on any breeder they investigate nation wide because there are breeders in every state of the union including Alaska and Hawaii ,,,,, You didn’t mention wheather you got pappers from your breeder but I imagine that with the amount of money you’ve put out ,,,,,, then you do have pappers for the animal ,,,,,, You need to make it hot for this guy ,,,,, If possible help put him out of business ,,,, Reputable breeders are not happy with a person like this because he makes all breeders look bad ,,,,,But this guy needs to be reported and you have proof in black and white or you should have with his signature on it ,,,,,, And like I said a lawyer just might be able to get your money back for you plus leagle fees or at least part of it anyway ,,,,,,, Give it a try ,,,,, It would’t cost that much for a counseltation ,,,, in fact initial counseltations are usually free so it wouldn’t hurt for you to just check it out ,,,,,,, Hope what I’ve explain to you helps in this matter ,,,,, Yoda told you all of this ,,,,,, good luck ,,,,,

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