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Breeding Philosophy

In our breeding practices we strive to always improve the breed. We breed to the standard, and we pay special attention to temperament and working ability. Breeding determines temperament, type, and working ability and should always be considered in the purchase of a companion, show, or working dog.

The Standard:

The standard is the 'blueprint' of the Doberman- it outlines the physical and character type a Doberman should have to be an efficient worker. The standard describes the ideal Doberman and discusses physical type and measurements and temperament as well. The goal of our breeding program is to produce healthy, structurally correct dogs with excellent temperaments and working ability; Rhapsody Dobermans are bred with the 'total Doberman' as a goal.

graphic The Doberman was originally bred to serve man as a personal protection dog. That original purpose has broadened to encompass many jobs - Dobermans are used as police dogs, search and rescue dogs, guide dogs for the blind, drug detection and other service

Dobermans are also used as performance dogs in a multitude of competitions. In order for the Doberman to do whatever its owner asks of it, it must have proper temperament, working ability, and must be willing to work for a person. It must have confidence and correct structure.

A Doberman with correct temperament is bold, outgoing, and confident. The Doberman is loyal and naturally protective of family and friends, and should be trustworthy in any situation.

At Rhapsody, dogs are trained and compete in many different dog sports to showcase the versatility of the breed. Working ability is an integral part of the Doberman breed.

Our Breeding Objective:

Our breeding objective to produce healthy, intelligent and eager to please dogs that look like a Doberman should and can do what the breed is meant to do - dogs that are easy to live with and easy to train as your companions, dogs bred for success in performance sports like obedience and agility and in the conformation ring.

We research pedigrees at length and try to educate ourselves about the ancestors of our dogs. We want to have long-lived dogs, and a result we do the following health tests on our dogs – vWD DNA, OFA hips, thyroid and echocardiogram/holter monitor tests (for cardiomyopathy) and CERF for eyes. We do our best to ensure a long life in a puppy, but we cannot control genetics.

All Rhapsody Dobermans puppies are born and raised in our home, where they have their own room until they leave for their new homes at 8-12 weeks of age. Home raising puppies and giving them dedicated human attention and socialization during these crucial early weeks results in dogs in tune with their owners, who love people and want to be with their people at all times.

All puppies have their dew claws removed, tails docked and ears cropped prior to leaving us.

Our Mission:

Our aim is always to improve the breed – to create puppies better than their parents. We raise our puppies with love and care, and their well-being is always upper-most in our minds. As a result, we are very picky about who takes our puppies home with them.

We breed only when we feel the combination will produce superior specimens of the breed - puppies are not sitting on a shelf in our home, waiting for the first interested person claim them. We have a waiting list, depending on what you are looking for in a puppy and the timing at your end and our end. If we don’t have a puppy for you, we will help you by referring you to other breeders who share our breeding philosophy.

Our Litters:

We invite all puppy buyers to visit us and our dogs. We are honest and up front about health problems and known genetic problems in our bloodlines. If you cannot keep your dog after adopting him or her, for whatever reason, we will always take him back.

If you are interested in a Rhapsody puppy, we have an application we ask you to fill out. We are looking to understand why you want a Doberman and why you want one from us.

If you have never had a Doberman before, we urge you to research the breed to make sure it is the one for you and your entire family. Consider your lifestyle, time available for training, what kind of temperament you want in a dog, the expense of raising and feeding a dog, taking it to obedience and other training classes.

Raising a puppy takes time - a lot of time and love. Puppies need to eat 3 times a day, and they need to get out of the house and explore the world. They need to spend time with you one on one to cement and strengthen the bond between you and your dog. We recommend puppy kindergarten and basic obedience for all puppies.

We actively participate in conformation, obedience, Schutzhund, tracking, and agility with our dogs.
After all, how can we ask others to do what we don’t do ourselves?


Dobermans are a very special breed: elegant, intelligent, beautiful dogs...a truly versatile breed that has been expanded beyond its original purpose as a personal protection dog. They are not for everyone, but for those dedicated to sharing their life with a companion who will always be at their side.

Dobermans are not meant to be backyard dogs or kennel dogs, they do best when they can be right next to their owners. So if you are looking for a dog to guard your property and live outside, please don't get a Doberman.

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to call or email us. We are here to answer your questions.