Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Heat Stroke: what you need to know this summer


As we’re set to see hot and humid temperatures again this weekend and throughout next week, it’s important to be aware of and recognize the symptoms of heat stroke in your dog:

Heat stroke occurs when a dog loses its ability to regulate its body temperature. Dogs don’t sweat all over their bodies the way humans do. Canine body temperature is primarily regulated through respiration (i.e., panting). If a dog’s respiratory tract cannot evacuate heat quickly enough, heatstroke can occur.

A dog’s normal resting temperature is about 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Once a dog’s temperature rises above 105 degrees, physiological changes start to take place, and the dog begins to experience the effects of heatstroke. At 106 to 108 degrees, the dog begins to suffer irreversible damage to the kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract, heart and brain.

ANY breed can be affected, but it is more frequent in long-haired dogs, flat-faced dogs, and extremely active or working dogs during warm months.  It can occur at ANY age, but tends to affect the young and old the most since their bodies aren’t as conditioned.

Excessive panting and drooling, reddened gums, rapid heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea, wobbly or uncoordinated gait, glazed eyes, and lethargy

Excessive Panting is the 1st symptom!

Prevention is easy with basic safety precautions!  Take caution in hot and humid conditions, by taking plenty of breaks in the shade, and offering water frequently.  Keep exercise to early in the morning or late at night.  Avoid asphalt, concrete or other heat-reflective surfaces which will amplify the heat on your dog AND possibly damage their paws.  And of course, make sure to never leave your dog in the car or in an area/enclosure that isn’t well-ventilated or without air conditioning. 

 Remember that working dogs tend to become so focused on their tasks that they don't realize when they need to rest and cool down - it's up to you to monitor your dog and make sure he gets the breaks he needs to stay healthy!  Consider wetting him down or using a cooling vest while he's active, and keep a close watch on him for the first signs of overheating.

-Immediately move your dog to a cooler environment. 
-Use cool or tepid water rather than really cold water, which can cause the blood vessels to constrict and actually slow the cooling process.  Running water is better than submerging your dog – focus on areas with high circulation like armpits, abdomen and inner thighs.
-Blowing air over your dog with a fan as you cool them with water can be helpful
-Offer small amounts of cool water to drink
-As soon as your dog is stable – GET TO YOUR NEAREST VETERINARIAN QUICKLY!  Dogs who suffer from heat stroke can develop delayed complications that are really serious, including death, if they are not properly monitored and cared for.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Volunteering: Think Outside the Box

Make a Difference - sign up to volunteer with United Doberman Rescue!

When we call for volunteers, many minds automatically go to foster homes or home visit evaluators, and while these are critical areas, as a rescue we use and value ALL nature of volunteers!  We will work with folks to use their skills and position them based on how much time they’d like to donate – whether that looks a ‘full time’ job like fostering or dropping a bag of food off at a foster home across the Cities once a month.

Here are some areas and types of people we are always looking for:
  • ·    Techies – website design or helping us out when we run into basic ‘technical’ difficulties like transferring a Word file to an image (no joke – this took us 2 weeks and 3 minds to figure out….).
  • ·     Photography – great photos help get our dogs adopted!  We also love to share photos of our events, but often times our fosters don’t have a spare hand or time to snap quality photos while they chat with visitors and potential adopters about their foster dog.
  • ·     Event planning – did you thrive on planning your kids’ birthday parties?!  Do you throw an amazing Super Bowl party?!  We have events big and small that need planning and organizing manpower from booking the venues, invitations, activities for attendees, vendors, raffles, etc
  • ·     People persons – simply coming to our events to hand out flyers or to just ‘talk dog’ with visitors is a HUGE help.  Assisting in fundraising or volunteer training are other exciting opportunities for those who love to work with people.
  • ·     Travel by car for work?  Help with a leg of transport for a dog arriving to our program or help move needed supplies to a foster home.
  • ·     Dog training skills – no need to be a professional, but someone experienced and willing to share their tips with our foster parents on common problem issues like jumping up on people, pulling on walks, counter surfing or resource guarding  - good manners go a LONG way in helping a dog be chosen by potential adopters!
  • ·     Microsoft Excel whiz?  Help us track vet expenses and program dog information or help us create a template we can work from.
  • ·     Are you an online auction or Ebay aficionado?!  We are looking to expand in both of these areas!

 Volunteering can largely be what YOU want to make of it with regard to time commitment and nature of duties.  We hope you can join in our fun community of Doberman lovers!  You can let us know where your strengths and interests lay by filling out a Volunteer Application on our website:

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Wacky adoption Rules and why we have them!

Why adopting one of our dog makes your business, our business

Once every blue moon we hear this from potential adopters,"Its none of your business how I live" or "No you are not coming to MY home". It is our business to make sure we know everything possible about the home we are placing one of our pups, who I might add, have already been let down by people previously in its life, one way or another. All our dogs are our number one concern and priority, always!

Yep. Adopting a rescue dog is similar to adopting a human baby from an adoption agency. In both cases, the adopter is required to go thorough a screening process to ensure that the pet/baby is placed in a home where he/she will not only be cherished for the rest of his life but also receive the appropriate care and nurturing he/she needs to thrive.

If you’ve ever worked with us, or a even a different rescue, you might be annoyed by some of the hurdles you have to jump over, en route to adopting a pet. The reason is simple: We, as most other rescues, want to make sure our dogs — many of whom have been saved from illness, abuse and death — are placed in permanent, loving homes where they will be spoiled and pampered for the rest of their lives.

There’s no way to determine for certain whether a potential adopter can provide the perfect home, we try hard to ensure this for our dogs, promising them a lifetime of safety and security, which means doing lot of work in screening our applicants who want to adopt. 

The Adoption Application

Our application gathers the data we need to begin screening potential adopters. Those who are not willing to share this information we ask for, are not truthful, or do not give us the proper information ask on the application may be denied. The application consist of basic questions, most of which focus on your home, lifestyle and beliefs in how to properly care for a pet. The goal is to try to match you with a dog that will thrive in your environment. 

Why your lifestyle and activity level are important things for us to understand. 

For example: 
If you live in an apartment and work long hours, we will probably say NO at giving you a young, active dog but depending on the home and situation, might recommend an older dog who won’t mind lazing around all day, provided they have a safe place to potty. 
If you have infants or toddlers living with you, we will put the kibosh on a dog over 6 months old. Often our adult dogs have unknown histories with children. Neither us nor most parents would want to take the risk of a bite. We do place puppies with very young children in most cases. 
If you live in a house, we will want to know about the security and height of your fence. Fencing does provide a safe place for your pet to potty and play and is always viewed as GOOD for our dogs. 

Although not every rescue checks references, we do, by checking with your vet to see how you cared for your animals in the past. We want to see that your current, or past pets, are up to date on vaccines, altered and on heart worm preventative. 



Yes, the one that naysayers, you know who you are, usually find so intrusive — is the home check. If you do not want us to come, you will not be able to adopt-period. It is the most important step in the screening process, and almost always mandatory with exceptions. The exception would be if you are adopting from a remote area, in which case we might request you email photos of your home and yard, do Face-time, send a video or something in that order. Most home visits should take under an hour and include a brief tour of your home and yard. You will be asked questions about your lifestyle, kids and once again, your pets. No, the volunteer rep won’t open your drawers or run a white-gloved finger over your baseboards. They want to meet your other pets, the other family members and to make sure your home is safe and secure for one of our dogs. They are not there to judge your housekeeping or decorating skills. Based off the home visits we may have recommendations for a dog better suited for the home, or ask that you fix something. Many times our volunteers become friends with our adopters just through the connections we make in rescue! 

Apollo, our Belgian Malinois/Doberman mix and adoptable boy Loki checking each other out at a Meet and Greet

Meeting the dogs

Unless you’ve already met the dog at an adoption event, you probably won’t meet one in person until you are approved to adopt after the home visit is completed. You will then be invited to visit the dog at the foster home. If it’s love at first sight, you can plan on getting your home ready for the big adoption day and make arrangements with the foster home and adoption coordinator. If you don’t think the pet is a good match tell us, if you would like to meet others tell us or take time to think over what works best for you to make your adoption successful.

Adoptable boy Thor meets a Princess 

The Adoption Contract

Every good rescue will require you to sign an adoption contract before you complete the adoption including our rescue. If a rescue doesn’t do this, then they aren’t careful enough with their animals, and you shouldn’t work with them. We do require adopters to return dogs to our rescue, if for what ever reason, adopter can no longer care for them. All good rescues and breeders will offer this and spell it out clearly in their adoption contracts!

One of the Miller Dozen babies getting a vet check!

Although contracts vary widely among organizations, you’ll see these required provisions in our contract: 
You must provide basic care. In addition to food, shelter and water, you must commit to providing the animal with veterinary care, heart worm preventative, exercise and, of course, love. 
You are adopting the animal for the rest of its life. If you cannot keep the animal at any point in the future, you must notify our rescue immediately, before finding it a new home altogether. Adopters may never resell their pets after they have adopted either. We feel once a dog comes into our rescue, it is one of our family members, and our doors are open should it need to be returned for any reason for it's entire life! 
You must keep you dog current on vet care. You must spay or neuter the animal when we ask, per our contract, if its a youngster, and complete scheduled rounds of vaccination when they are due per your vet. Preventative medications are also mandatory for our adopted dogs, such as heart worm and flea and tick meds. 

Full house!

The Adoption Fee

For those of you who are ANTI-RESCUE- This is not a sale price. We are nonprofit, and need every bit of funding we can get our hands on. Most of our money to help the rescue dogs, comes from adoption fees. These fees help pay, going forward, for food, vet care and supplies for dog coming into rescue. Very few rescues, including us, charge adopters the exact amount of money that they have spent on caring for a rescue dog. If we did, that 7 year old dog, such as our adoptable boy Scorpio (adoption fee $300.00) would cost you well over $1000.00 as he was treated for heart worm and now is going through costly dental work. People simply won’t pay that much for an older animal, or would you? Often times, the majority of our fosters that come into rescue are sick, old or are in need of major vet care. Foster care providers do get the option to adopt their fosters, BUT they too must pay the adoption fee! I highly recommend calling around to vets and asking what the going cost is for spays and neuters, vaccines, and more. We as a nonprofit rescue still have to pay for these services, they are NOT free!

After the adoption expect to hear from us from time to time, especially the pet’s foster parents. As a foster parent of hundreds of foster Dobermans, it is heart warming to get updates on how well they are doing in their new homes!! 

So I was rejected!

If you were rejected there was a reason. It might be a temporary situation you need to resolve, like building a fence or waiting for a child to get a little older. Don't be mad, be glad! Take time to invest in a fence, or grow those kids bigger!

This is what I think of that applicant.......or 

Some of the other reasons you may get rejected:

AWWW, shucks! HUH, How did you find out? 

You lied on your application, you called our volunteers names or had an attitude, you hid important facts from your application or failed to tell everything that gets discovered later. 
Your home is unsafe. We will not place an animal in a home where its safety is in question. If you don’t have a secure yard, if a young child or family members chronically leave the door or gate open, or if you have dangerous home improvement projects going on, then don’t expect us to approve you. Lets talk and see if you can remedy the problem. We love applicants who willingly take our recommendations to heart! 
It wasn’t a good match. You might think Twinkles is the perfect dog for you, but  we may think otherwise. We know the animal and what it needs in terms of its perfect home. If it isn’t a good match, don’t get mad. Talk to us about another pet that might be even more perfect for you, or be willing to wait for that perfect match to come in! 
You’re under 21. In addition to insurance liabilities, we don’t like to adopt to young people because they don’t usually know where they’ll be in 5 years. If you go to college, you won’t be able to take your pet with you. If you move to a restricted breed building or home, you’ll need to find a new home for the animal. There are exceptions, of course: If you’re living a stable life, especially if you’re married or in a permanent relationship, and live in your own purchased home, these things will be taken into consideration. 
Yours is a military family. Sadly, Dobermans are NOT allowed on any military base anywhere on this planet so, we will not adopt to anyone in the military. 
You’re questionable. Okay, this is the single biggest reason we reject applicants, even though it’s completely subjective. If an applicant argues with us, gets angry with us, that’s it, application denied. If at any point in the interview process someone does not feel right about adopting to you, we are done and your application will be filed in the DONE section.

Add caption

Remember: WE don’t exist to just supply people with pets. Our goal is to find good quality FOREVER homes for our animals. Animals that WE promised to keep safe for the rest of THEIR lives. They have already had a tough go before coming into rescue. If you are denied, know, there will certainly be another suitable home that we feels fits better for that dog. 

If you are approved and adopt, thank you for working with us, for following our suggestions, and being willing to let us be intrusive into your lives. You are their saviors with us, in giving a loving home to a homeless animal. There is a reason for our wackiness and expectations in digging in your business. We do it, and we know you let us do it, for them.

Adapted from Petful  

Thursday, May 10, 2018


Cass was Momma to the Colorado Fab 5 litter.  She now goes by the name Daisy, and her owners report she is a very sweet and happy girl that they adore! 

Daisy (f/k/a Momma Cass) and her Fab 5 pups

What is Daisy up to these days?  She loves chasing butterflies, laying in the sun, going for car rides, and playing chase with her toys.  Daisy is happiest getting her belly rubbed, going for walks, and running with other dogs at the dog park.   Daisy’s adopters report she is very outgoing and highly social with others.

Physically Daisy has had some challenges recovering from her former life.  Her fabulous owners have diligently helped get her through treatment for hookworms, multiple ear infections, and an antibiotic resistant staph infection from her spa surgery.  Poor girl!  Luckily sweet Daisy has been the most patient of patients, and is on the upswing.

Getting her Epsom salt and antibiotic hot compress
What a GOOD girl!

As needed for all UDR’s adopted dogs, Daisy has completed a basic obedience course at her local humane society.  Her adopters report it was very helpful and is making a big difference out-and-about and on walks.  True to her Doberman breed, Daisy is a quick learner and eager to please.

Spoiled and LOVING it!

We are so thankful to Adopters Star and Keith for their update on Daisy!  They have truly gone above and beyond as adopters, and Daisy’s health and happiness shows.  The BEST part of rescuing is knowing alumni dogs like Daisy will be dearly loved for the rest of their days!

Looking beautiful and healthy, Miss Daisy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


It is a common myth that dogs in rescues or shelters must be “damaged” or to blame for their surrender.  Dobermans come to United Doberman Rescue from a variety of avenues: 

1 – We help fellow Doberman rescue groups that are overwhelmed.  All rescues are limited by SPACE and can quickly fill to kennel or foster home capacity.  We work with partner Doberman groups across the country, and particularly with Doberman Rescue of North Texas, to offer a helping hand when space and transport is available in our program. 
Including our current Adoptable dogs: Abbi, Misty Blue, Rhonda, Sylvia, Millers Dozen momma & pups
Roadtrip for transfers from Doberman Rescue of North Texas

2 – Owner Surrender.  Often times owner surrenders aren’t the fault of the dog at all.  Unfortunately life happens, and it’s not always pretty:  divorces, moves, allergies, family crisis, or death of the previous owner are sadly not uncommon.
Including our current Adoptable dogs: Bear, Luke, Luki, Maggie, Prada, Sunny

Sunny's elderly owner had to move into an assisted-living facility

3 – We pull Dobermans from shelters into our own program.  Shelters and humane societies frequently look to place dogs in breed-specific rescues, as this saves two lives: the life of the Doberman in the shelter who may be facing a euthanasia clock, and making room for another dog to come into the shelter.  With our foster homes being experienced and trained in the breed, we are more apt to have a successful, lasting adoption.
Including our current Adoptable dogs: Bianca, Bruno, Sheba

Bruno came from a shelter all the way in Louisiana

We are very fortunate to be able to help dogs in need that are well outside of a ‘standard’ coverage area.  Our 2017 dogs came from Minnesota, Montana, Texas, New Mexico, Idaho, Colorado, Kansas, Ohio, Iowa, Louisiana, California, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Dakota and even internationally from India!  We are excited that 2018 is bringing even more connections.

Monday, March 5, 2018


UDR needs fosters!  We get weekly or even daily pleas to help Dobermans in need….but we can only take in as many dogs as we have foster homes for!

Here’s some things to consider:

Don’t want the expense of another dog? No worries-we have you covered on food, supplies (as donated), vet expenses and boarding or temp foster care if you go on vacation!  We just ask you to supply love, structure and occasional transport to our meet & greet events.  As a 501c3, you can hold onto your receipts for anything extra you buy (toys, chews, bedding, etc.) for your role as a foster home as a potential tax write-off.

As a foster home YOU let us know suits your home and lifestyle the best- a puppy, teenager, adult, or senior - male or female! 

Fostering can range from a few weeks to several months.  We are always in need of temporary foster homes as well – typically a week or less in case the existing foster has a trip or vacation.

REALLY like a dog that comes in?  Foster homes have the first option to adopt, and you can join our extensive Foster Fail community.

We often hear “I could never foster a dog, I would get too attached!” The truth is, yes, foster homes DO get attached. But we are saving their life by being the bridge between their old life and their new life. We often times get to see them go from rags to riches. We get to be their savior in a time of desperate need. And seeing our foster dogs in their forever home, is more rewarding than the ‘pain’ of letting them go, and often times we get multiple updates on them.

And ya know tons of WARM, FUZZY FEELINGS knowing you have saved a life….often times TWO lives – the life of your foster dog, and the another dog for the space you have opened up for the overwhelmed shelter or rescue that your foster came from.

If you have any questions – send us an email at:
If you’re ready to apply to be a foster home, visit our website for an application at:

Here's some of the fun you could be having as a foster home:
We encourage you to Adventure with your foster dog!

Join us at fun meet & greet events!


You and your own dog can soak up the love!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Adoptable Abbi needs your help!

Did you know February is National Pet Dental Health Month? We bring you Adoptable Abbi’s story to show the importance of maintaining your own pet’s dental health:

Abbi is expected to have lived outdoors for most of her 6 years of life, and because of a potentially scavenging lifestyle and inappropriate diet, her teeth are horribly ground down and cracked.  Frankly, they are some of the worst teeth we have ever seen in rescue.  Once Abbi has fully recovered from heart worm treatment and is safe to undergo anesthesia, she will require extensive and VERY expensive dental surgery.  Though UDR knew of Abbi’s teeth issues, and the likelihood of incurring thousands in vet bills, we have been happy to welcome and help this sweet and gentle girl. 

WHY – Abbi is the epitome of a rescue dog’s spirit overcoming her difficult past - she LOVES humans and attention.  She is currently residing in boarding, and does very well with the other dogs.  Abbi is easy going and obedient – she knows sit, shake and takes treats nicely.  She has been enjoying the ‘good life’ as an indoors dog, and would love a quiet and loving home of her own.

Abbi with her doggy daycare pals and fellow Adoptable Luki

-By donating to her care and surgery costs.  Where to send mailed donations and to our online Paypal (note you don’t have to have a Paypal account to use the host) is on our Website  
-By sending her a goodies care package from our Amazon Smile Wishlist
-By completing a foster application for Abbi – we would love for her to recover from her dental surgery in a peaceful and caring foster home.  UDR will pay for all approved vet care and medication costs while Abbi is in foster care.
-By completing an adoption application if you’re looking to permanently add this loving girl to your home 
-By sharing Abbi’s story with anyone else who might be looking for a sweet senior Dobergirl.

Thank you so much to our supporters - You are true heroes for dogs like Abbi!!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Alumni Pupdate - Storm

Storm was part of our Fiesta Litter, which was born into rescue on Valentine’s Day.  Little did we know how apt a name ‘The Fiesta Litter’ was for this gang of 8 pups, as a DNA test showed that Dad was a Chihuahua!  We had a guessing contest for what breed Dad might be, and needless to say no one guessed remotely close...

Storm was adopted in June 2017, and her family tells us it was love at first sight!  She welcomed her new dad with kisses, and then Baby Storm was a surprise for their 5 year old daughter Rylyn….can you even THINK of a better surprise?!?!

Adoption Day - meeting her new family 💖
*We may or may not be tearing up at the sweetness here*

Storm is loved SO much in her Furever Home as she continues to grow up.  Here’s what her family had to say about what she’s been up to since adoption:

Storm is a kind and gentle giant! She loves giving licks, sitting on our lap, and snuggling with Rylyn under a blanket.  She did great in her obedience class, loves her dog park visits, and loves to run around our backyard and check out all the action. Storm is the best new addition to our family and we like to say we are the lucky ones because she is a doll!

Obedience Graduate!

Storm also recently paid it forward by being a Big Sis to two of our Oopsy Puppies - what fun!!  We are so grateful to Storm's family giving 2 more puppies an awesome start to their lives.


We want to wish Storm and her Fiesta Litter siblings a very Happy Birthday this week!  Born with no home to call their own, and now all adopted and United by Love – that’s the magic of rescue!

Thursday, February 1, 2018


Shared by UDR Volunteer, Sara Miller:

As much as I would like to wrap up in a blanket with coffee/hot chocolate and hide indoors through the winter weather, my Doberman Charlie does NOT stop, and I know I'm not alone here...  Here are some tips and some of my personal favorite products we use to avoid winter blues and household crazies:

1 – Dress for the weather.  Minnesota winters are no joke, but most days it’s possible to get out to play or go for a walk if you’re properly equipped.  Like you, your Doberman will appreciate a warm winter jacket.  Protective paw balms, like Musher’s Secret, or even Vaseline can help stave off a little bit of the cold and prevent ice balls from forming in between their pads.

Jacket, Snood and Boots

2 – Beware of salt!  Dobes’ relatively hairless feet are very sensitive to the chemical burn of salted roads and sidewalks.  Protect their feet with booties – Ultra Paws Rugged boots tend to fit Doberman feet well – or make sure that you are washing their feet after they get home to get all the salt off.  Be sure that you are using a dog-safe melting agent on your own sidewalk and deck. 

3 – Indoor fun.  Mental stimulation can be even MORE energy draining than physical activities, and you can do the following right in your own home: 
  • Play hide-and-seek – also a great way to reinforce obedience ‘stays’ while you hide.
  • Make your dog work for their meals through obedience behaviors or extend meal time by scattering their kibble all across the floor for them to track down.
  • Load up interactive toys with treats or daily kibble – I personally love stuffed Kongs (which I freeze for added duration), the Kong Wobbler dispenser, and the Orbee-Tuff ‘Snoop’ dispensing toy from Planet Dog.
  • Heavy Duty chews:  I like antlers, water buffalo horns and Benebones for best holding up to my power chewer.
Ready to stuff & freeze Kongs

4 - Sign up for a new class at your local training or obedience center:  Dobermans excel in tricks, rally obedience and nosework classes, which can be trained largely indoors.  Or give a sport like agility or flyball a try!

Obedience Level 2 Graduation with Pupcakes

5 – Field trips.  Bring your dog along to the local pet store to pick out a chew to keep them occupied.  Home Depot and a variety of other stores are dog-friendly too -  Sidewalk Dog keeps a great reference guide of restaurants, breweries, coffee shops and stores that are dog-friendly in Minnesnowda.

Helping at a meet & greet as a breed ambassador

You can also plan to join UDR at our upcoming INDOOR events in February: 
Feb 17th – meet & greet in Urban Tail’s indoor play and training area from noon until 2pm (Uptown Minneapolis - 2106 Lyndale Ave S)
Feb 18th – pack walk around Rosedale Center (Roseville mall) from 9am to 11am

Playing (ok, begging for treats are the only non-blurry action photos...) at Urban Tails during a UDR meet & greet

....and of course there's nothing wrong with still curling up for naps and snuggles!