Health, the average life expectancy is 10 and there are various health conditions known to affect the breed including heart failure which is incurable with a poor prognosis post diagnosis (good breeders holter, echo, DNA and Troponin test, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, Von Willebrands (hemophilia) and cervical spondylopathy. Rescue more of a gamble, as the sire/dam less likely to have been health tested or picked as a compatible breeding pair using bloodlines and health test results.
A rescue dog is more likely to have a soft or less confident temperament than if bred by a good breeder, who takes pride in producing quality dogs that add something to the breed as a whole, titling the their dogs in conformation, dog sport, temperament and health testing.
The breed requires a specific type of personality to earn its respect and trust. Not suited to anyone who is not naturally firm, confident and calm in their tone of voice and demeanor and willing to follow through consistently to insure the dog knows who is the boss and it is not worthy playing its owner up.
At adolescence it is normal for a Doberman to show a degree of pushiness and see what if anything it can get away with, but will back down, respecting their owner's authority, it they have a what I say goes attitude. Pushy and a young Doberman goes hand in hand.
Male Dobermans from puberty are same sex aggressive and this is a breed specific trait which cannot be trained out of the dog or surgically removed by castration. The combination most likely to get along or tolerate the other Doberman is male/female.
Not suited to living outside in a kennel as it does not tolerate being isolated by the humans in its household well, though as all dogs are individuals some cope better than others and has a single fine coat.
A one person dog breed that thinks the sun rises and sets on the human it has the strongest bond with and will choose to be in their company over anyone else in the household.
Creative thinker and will sit there figuring out a way to get what it wants, independently minded, intractable, willful, determined and driven, with intense focus if the dog is doing something it loves – which may be chasing a rabbit if the dog is born with a high prey drive, a natural instinct which is part of the dog's genetic makeup that an owner needs to be able to put the break on by teaching the dog that it in its best interest to control the impulse and wait/down/sit immediately when told.
Versatile breed that as a mature adult can be taken out jogging, trained in cani-x, agility, advanced obedience, working trials, IPO if the dog is suitable to name a few. A dog in peak physical condition can take as much exercise as you want to give an, is athletic and can cover ground at a tremendous speed in the pursuit of prey animals and birds.
Will follow in its owner’s footsteps when they are at home, napping by the feet as they work at the computer, nearby when they watch television and if the dog can manage it squeeze into the bathroom too, with a hard done by expression if told to remain outside. It is possible combine work and owning this breed, but it does need be tired out to nap until its owner returns and before I worked from home would set my alarm at an early hour to be out with the dogs for at least one hour.
Not a breed to be left to twiddle its paws in boredom or bounce off the walls with unspent energy as it will drive its owner crackers. A bored Doberman is likely to alleviate it by barking at everything it hears or sees because it is something to do, rip up soft furnishing or the carpet and dig holes in the garden. It is an active breed that requires an owner who wants to be outside doing something with the dog and a challenge to apply its mind to.
My current male Doberman minds his own business on when he is out being exercised, but will not back away from a fracas if a male dog gets in his face attempting to bully or dominate him or a disrespectful puppy nip at or jump on him. Instincts can be controlled with training, chase and same sex aggression being two strong in the Doberman, but will always be there simmering away under the surface.
If this sounds like a breed you that you may want and could meet the needs of, I suggest attending conformation shows as a spectator and speaking to breeders/owners after they have been in the breed, many are willing to spend time talking to people with a real interest in the breed, join the breed club and spend time with adult dogs.
Some breeders allow people who have invested time researching the breed to visit meet their dogs in a home environment, perhaps put a dog through its paces with training to see how it responds to them. Dobermans are quick to pick up on who they can walk all over and those who is it’s their best interest to pay attention to and not cross the line.