How to Choose a Doberman Puppy from a Litter?

Are you planning to get a Doberman for your family? If yes, you must be wondering how to choose a Doberman puppy and how to check whether the Dobie is healthy or not, and many more. Seeing a litter of Doberman puppies might be an exciting endeavor, but it can be overwhelming. That’s why you should be aware of the facts, like what to focus on?

One of the best ways to choose a Doberman puppy from a litter is to do some basic research, a visual inspection, and a series of temperament tests on each puppy to ensure that you choose a healthy puppy with a good personality.

Let’s discuss it in detail below:

Do your research

Before deciding which Dobie puppy to take home, it is essential to do basic research on the bloodline or linage of the litter. It will give you a broad idea about the accomplishment, lifespan, and health tests that have been conducted on dogs in the same bloodline as your future pup.

Any reputable breeder will give information about the lineage of the Dobie puppy. You should ask the breeder about the bloodline information of the Dobie Puppy. Enquire about the registration names and the AKC registration number for four generations back.

You can do research about the puppy’s previous four generations by using the data given to you by the breeder. You can check their lineage, cause, and age of death by visiting the website of However, not all Dobermans are mentioned in their database, but they have data about most of the Dobermans.

Choose a Reputable Breeder.

It is recommended to buy or adopt your Doberman from a responsible, local, and reputable breeder. You can get information about local breeders by browsing through a local classified listing, consulting with a vet, or getting a reference from other local Doberman owners.

Always avoid buying a Dobie puppy from a pet store. All the puppies that you will see in a pet store come from puppy mills, which are essentially puppy factories with deplorable conditions, and this is a place where they exploit the puppies for profit. Puppies raised in pet mills are more likely to carry parasites and suffer from health problems.

Visually inspect the litter and their environment.

Before purchasing, it is advisable to inspect the litter and its environment visually. Insist on visiting the premises, and if the breeder decline, that means they are hiding the true condition of their breeding operation. Checking the condition of your Dobie puppy’s first home and the state of its mother is essential to determine whether the breeder is trustworthy or not?

If the breeder allows you to visit the premises, then observe how the puppies react to the breeder. If they are not friendly, afraid, or shy away, then it is a sign that the breeder is not taking care of the puppies properly.

Inspect the health condition of the Dobie Puppy

While inspecting the health condition of the Dobie puppy, look for the following signs:

  • If the puppy is coughing or wheezing
  • Is the puppy being overly lethargic or not responsive?
  • Sneezing or excessive sinus drainage
  • Look for abnormal or unusual behavior symptoms, such as in their walking. 

Dobie Puppies should be clean, happy, and playful. If any puppy behaves differently, it is a red flag, and you should not buy that puppy.

What to ask the breeder about Dobie Puppies?

A good and responsive breeder who invests a lot of time in caring for their puppy will not hesitate to answer when asked questions. There are specific questions you should ask the breeder, such as.

  • Your potential new puppy must be fit and healthy. Ask the breeder whether the litter’s mother is well vaccinated or not? As puppies get their early immunity and diseases directly from their mother.
  • Ask about where the puppies are born and whether they are born on the breeder’s premises or not? 
  • Inquire about the mother’s age- she should be at least two years old.
  • Query about how many litters the bitch has had; it should be less than 4 in her lifetime.
  • Ask about any possible genetic defect. Dobies have inheritable health issues such as cardiomyopathy, hyperthyroidism, Wobbler’s Syndrome, and von Willebrand’s Disease. Hence you should ask to conduct a genetic test before purchasing the puppy.
  • Ask the breeder whether they offer any guarantee with the sale of this puppy? And in case the puppy is found severely ill, then what will they do?

Take the suggestion of the breeder which puppy would be best?

If you find that the puppies are in good condition and there is no red flag with the breeder or their facility, then you should ask the breeder for their opinion about which puppy would be best or suitable for you? They will ask you different questions to analyze your lifestyle so that they will be able to help you with selecting the puppy that best fits your lifestyle. As the breeder spend most of their time with the puppies, they know their individual personalities very well. And based on your need and the Dobie Puppies’ personality, the breeder will suggest a perfect Dobie for your family. Apart from the breeder’s suggestion, you still need to do your investigation to figure out which Dobie is best for you.

See Also: European Doberman Breeders

What should you not do while choosing a Dobie Puppy from a litter?

  • Never purchase a Dobie puppy without seeing it with its mother.
  • Never allow someone to deliver a Dobie to you.
  • Do not try to find a puppy on the internet.
  • Never buy a puppy advertised as Full pedigree but no paper.

Spend time with each Dobie Puppy

All the puppies look the same, but each puppy is apart from another. So, it is essential to spend time with each puppy individually. You can ask the breeder if there is any separate area available such as a different room or any separate site where you can interact with each puppy separately.

You will need approximately 10 to 15 mins with each puppy to check whether they have any signs of health issues and, most importantly, run them through a personality test.

How to perform a basic health check?

It is essential to do some basic health checks on the Dobie puppy. To do this, you don’t need to be a pro in it, but you should be able to spot some basic issues. A few examples are given below:

  • Make sure that the Dobie puppy is walking straight without any difficulty.
  • Their coat should be soft, sleek, and smooth. Do not forget to look for uneven or bald areas that may showcase an underlying injury or nervous chewing.
  • The skin of the Dobie should be soft and supple, and it should be free from excessive dandruff, bite marks, and red splotches. Always check around the stomach area and on its back between the shoulders.
  • If you are buying or adopting a purebred puppy whose ears are supposed to be pricked up, then be aware that their ears don’t stand for 12 weeks. Ensure their ears are clean and free from redness, irritation, and inflammation. There shouldn’t be any sign of mites or other infestation.
  • Examine their eyes; young puppies might have blue eyes that will change with age. Their eyes should be clear and bright, and the irises of both eyes should be in the same shape and color. Similarly, the pupils of their eyes should in the same size. There shouldn’t be a crustiness and seepage around their eyes.
  • The nose of the puppy is considered as a fantastic indicator of the overall health of the Dobie puppy. Hence it should be healthy, smooth, and moist.
  • The teeth should be clean and uniform in color, and the gum should be healthy. Always check whether there are any cracks or damaged teeth.
  • Lastly, check the paws; they should be soft and free from the crack. The nails of a Dobie puppy should appear smooth and free from any damage.

Temperament Testing

Temperament testing helps in determining the Dobie puppy’s personality, and it also helps in redirecting the adult temperament of a dog based on the traits shown during their childhood. Dobie Puppies inherit many personality traits from their parents, so if you like the character of one of the parents, look for a Dobie puppy who resembles their parents.

A few examples of temperament testing

  • Social Attraction Test
  • Following Test
  • Restraint Test
  • Social Dominance Test
  • Elevation Dominance Test

By conducting these temperament tests, you will get a broad idea of the personality or characteristics of the Dobie puppy.

Narrow Down Your Choice

If the titan of litter is very big, then focussing on all the puppies in front of you becomes a bit difficult. Therefore, you should limit your choices. Pick a few puppies whom you want to take home with you, then examine and compare them thoroughly.

Finding a few best puppies is difficult, but once you have identified them, you can start looking for the best option from the top-picked Dobermans.

Trust Your Instinct

You should always listen to your instincts; there shouldn’t be any doubt in your mind related to whether you have chosen the right one or not. Be aware of all the warning signs and try to find a puppy with good health and an excellent temperament. Always keep all the advice mentioned above in mind and find a puppy you will be excited to take home.

Bottom line

Dobermans are a healthy, loving, and very loyal dog breed. Following the tips above, you can easily choose a Dobermans puppy. Though it is a lengthy process, it is not very difficult to choose the right Dobie from the litter. You need to be patient and have knowledge about your needs.


How do I pick a Doberman puppy?

While selecting the Doberman puppy, check their coat, eye, ear, dewclaws, and tails. Along with this, don’t forget to check their lineage and temperament.

What is the best age to get a Doberman puppy?

Dobermans should not be sold until they reach eight weeks of age, and the best age to get a Doberman puppy is when they are between the age of two to four months.

What should I ask a Doberman breeder?

A good and reputable breeder will appreciate your interest and respect your concern. You can ask several questions to a Doberman breeder, such as

  • Whether the Dobie Puppies are AKC registered or not?
  • Ask them to show pedigrees
  • Ask them about the lineage of the puppy
  • Health records of parents
  • Age of the mother
  • How many litters has the Dobie mother had?
Jason Morgan

Jason Morgan

I'm Jason Morgan, founder and author at I just love Dobermans - they're the best dogs in the world! I got my first Doberman, Max, when I was just a pup myself. Max was my loyal friend and protector for over ten years. Since then, I've been working hard to learn everything I can about these amazing dogs. I started DobermanWiki as a place to share all that knowledge with other Doberman enthusiasts like me. My goal is to help every Doberman owner have the best possible relationship with their dog. I'm always happy to chat with other Doberman owners, so feel free to reach out anytime!

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