PLEASE! First, understand that MANY Dobermans today are bred to be "generic" in temperament. By that I mean not bred for the specific work the breed was developed for, but rather just for house pet or show ring. Many breeders just want a Doberman that LOOKS like a Doberman, but is as goofy as a Labrador, with an "easy" temperament, making them no more challenging to own than a cocker spaniel.
I'm speaking of Dobermans bred to be DOBERMANS. Dogs with the specific traits which should be unique to the breed. This is a Doberman which is loving, loyal, temperamentally sound, but capable of being trained for police, military, dogsport or personal protection; what it was develop for.
So obtaining a true Doberman takes thoughtful consideration. Consideration of not only what YOU want, but what the DOG needs and wants. Please educate yourself as to how well you, your family, your situation, your environment and your interests mesh with those of the canine companion you plan to spend your life with.
I was an animal control officer for over 20 years: the most common reason people turn their dogs into the shelter was one thing - incompatability between dog and owner!
PLEASE! Be fair to your dog - make sure you are an appropriate fit with this breed. WHEN BRED CORRECTLY, the Doberman is not a "starter dog". Bred to its best qualities, it is a complex, intelligent, bold animal. It is not a dog for the casual dog owner who basically wants "yard art" or a couch buddy. Bred by German men who wanted a tough, dependable dog for police and military work, that purpose-breeding has survived in some European dogs. Be aware that American lines and some "show-only" European lines have become generic in temperament after generations of careless breeding for the show ring or pet purposes only.
A Doberman requires a LOT from its owner; owning a Doberman can be likened to a hobby. The owner should put a lot of time and energy into exercise and giving the dog a job to do, be it obedience, tracking, IPO - any dog sport. This is not a dog who can languish in a shipping crate all day while the owner is at work. That is cruelty, pure and simple.
The Doberman is an expensive breed. Ear cropping alone costs on average $500 per pup. Those who breed Dobermans must have ALL their breeding dogs undergo extensive health testing, sometimes yearly, for heart disease. DCM (Doberman Cardio Myopathy) is a very real threat to every Doberman today.
But, a well bred Doberman is worth it! This is a dog which will fulfill your dreams in appearance, intelligence and fun. A worthy life companion that offers humor, protection and loyalty to those who deserve him.