Dobermans have earned themselves a bit of a ferocious reputation and it has to be said, these elegant, statuesque dogs do make great guard dogs. They are a very good deterrent, putting anyone who is thinking about getting access to a property right off the idea. But dobermans do make great family pets too, as long as they see their owners as the “leader of the pack”.
These days docking tails and cropping ears has been made illegal which has changed and softened the look of the breed for the better. The only thing to watch out for are the dewclaws, which can be a problem. They snag on things and this can lead to all sorts of infections which is why it's often better to have them removed by a qualified vet when dogs are still puppies.
Doberman Pinschers make great pets, as long as they know who is boss and have been well socialised and trained as youngsters. They are lovely looking dogs who really don't deserve the bad reputation that's been bestowed on them. However, a doberman is not the sort of breed to choose as a “first” dog, or if you live in a flat or apartment because they are extremely energetic, and they boast being super strong with lots of stamina which means they really do enjoy nice long walks.
If the truth be known, dobermans just like many other breeds love to be around their owners. They are not really the kind of character that likes to be tied up in a back garden or that likes living in a kennel. The breed is incredibly loyal and very tolerant, unlike the image that's normally portrayed of them. They adore interaction with their owners, and they respect leadership so once they trust you, they are dedicated, affectionate four legged creatures which all adds up to dobermans really being “man's best friend”.
With this said, they are not a great choice as a first time family pet. They are determined by nature which makes the breed bold and assertive, they need an experienced person on the other end of their leads. However, because dobermans are so intelligent, they are incredibly easy to train and they do love and need to go through training, but in a very positive and gentle way, all the while teaching the dog just who is the boss.
Dobermans are renowned as being very good watch and guard dogs because they are so easily trained. But because they are such adaptable creatures they make lovely family pets. But this is only true if everyone in the household is firm with their pet, always showing them consistency when being handled. Dobermans need a firm, but gentle hand and they appreciate rules being set in place as long as everyone sticks to them.
If left to their own devices, a doberman can turn a little stubborn, and this leads to a wilfulness which can be hard to cope with. However, the breed is a true “follower” which means they are always keen to follower their leader. This naturally is an owner who they see as the leader of their pack. Dobermans, like many other breeds, like to know their place in the pack, it gives them the feeling of security they need.
If you are thinking about introducing a doberman puppy into your home, then you need to contact a very reputable breeder so you know the pup has been well bred, that they have all their papers, and that they have received all the right vaccination. On top of this you need to know the puppies have been well socialised as a youngsters. Another place where you will find many dobermans, whether they are young dogs or an older ones, is at one of the very many rescue centres and animal shelters.
All too often people take on these statuesque dogs not really understanding how much attention and exercise they need. They then give on these lovely dogs which then get put up for adoption or sent to an animal shelter. Very often there's nothing wrong with the dog's nature or personality, but simply a case of becoming an “unwanted” family pet – although there are cases where the poor dogs have been rather let down by their owners and have had to be rescued which makes it a whole lot harder for them to find new and loving homes.
A doberman needs to be given lots of physical exercise, but they also need lots of mental stimulation as well because this keeps them happy and content. Training should continue throughout their lives because dobermans enjoy and need this kind of stimulation – it keeps them on the ball and focused.
The breed only becomes “aggressive” or ferocious because they are trained to be that way, or because they have been mishandled when they were young, and not socialised enough either. People who take on a doberman are sometimes too intimidated by their pets and forget or fail to show their dog the sort of leadership the breed needs to be shown which ends up in disaster for both the dog and their owner.
Very often dobermans are used as “therapy pets” in nursing homes because of their loving and caring natures. However, when it comes to defending their owners, the breed shows tremendous loyalty and will protect them without a second thought.
The temperament of a doberman, much like any other breed of dog, will depend on their lineage which is why it's important to contact a reputable and well respected breeder if you are thinking about getting one of these magnificent creatures. You have to remember, dobermans are one of the medium to larger breeds with males standing at anything from 26 to 28 inches (66 – 71 cm) tall. Females of the breed are usually a couple of inches shorter than their male counterparts and a healthy doberman will weigh in at around 66 – 68 lbs (30 – 40 kg). For a largish breed, they can to the ripe old age of 13 years too!
These lovely dogs don't need much grooming but enjoy it nonetheless, they are clever creatures and they make great family pets. Their proud ancestry is fascinating with bloodlines thought to stem from German Pinschers, Rottweilers, Beaucerons, Greyhounds and Manchester Terriers. They were bred by a German tax collector whose name the breed was given – Louis Dobermann, to guard him as he did his rounds collecting taxes owed in times long past.