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Raising a Puppy



Every attempt is made to match a Rhapsody puppy with a prospective buyer, with our approach being to first understand  what an owner proposes to do with their Doberman, and the type of dog they may prefer.

Observation and testing play key roles in this process, which begins at the birth of the pup. We meticulously evaluate each pups temperament, innate strengths, and instincts in order to match it to the type of home that will ensure the best possible outcome for both dog and owner.


Socialization, an important part of any dogs early training, starts at birth with adults and children of all ages. This is to establish a good foundation of trust before they go to their new homes at about 10-12 weeks.

puppy photoPuppies are raised in my home. They have their own room for the entire time they live with me, and are socialized with my adult dogs after they reach 4 weeks. They are exposed to and learn proper behavior from both male and female adults in the household.

After all, the greatest joy of having Dobermans is living with them and having them share not only one's heart, but also one's home.

puppy photoEach puppy is individually played with and held daily and taught to establish a loving relationship with people. We raise our puppies using the Bio Sensor Program originally developed by the US military for their canine programs.

These exercises impact the neurological system by kicking it into action earlier than would be normally expected, resulting in an increased capacity that will help to make the difference in the performance of our puppies as they reach adulthood.

Since Rhapsody dogs started out as competitors in Obedience Trials we are firmly committed to doing our best to ensure our puppies will be active, successful competitors in all arenas.

Puppies are exposed to different surfaces to play on; such as carpet, grass, gravel, asphalt, concrete, linoleum, hardwood floors, tile, etc. They are introduced to puppy agility obstacles to ensure early habituation to a variety of new stimuli.

They are introduced to car rides at 6 weeks and go for their first car rides with their littermates. This helps to reduce any fear they may have of being in a moving vehicle. It also prepares them for going home with their new owners.
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Ear taping headgear: this phase doesn't last long,  with the first stage being "cones". A bit odd looking, but an important part of the ear taping process.

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The next stage is the "reindeer" headgear....leading to the finished cropped ears.

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After cropping the pups begin crate-training. This facilitates their transition to their new homes and when they arrive at their new homes there should be no crying. At 7 weeks, they are introduced to lead-breaking and house-breaking.

After the puppies have been cropped, they are separated in order to develop independence; first they sleep with a littermate, then they sleep in a crate alone. However, they continue to play with their littermates and our adult dogs in order to continue the socialization process.

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Puppies bred by Rhapsody are out of dogs and bitches that have been health tested for normal thyroid function, for blood clotting factor/von Willebrand, for normal cardio function, whose hips and elbows are certified as normal by OFA and eyes are certified normal by the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF).

Puppies are guaranteed healthy and will be replaced if found genetically unsound.

All puppies are cropped, docked and properly immunized before leaving.  We do not place our puppies un-cropped, so please do not ask for an exception.

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