The Doberman is one of the top dog breeds that are deemed aggressive and dangerous. Because of his poor reputation, many ask, “Is a Doberman a good family dog?
Are Dobermans Aggressive to Humans?
Early Doberman Pinchers were originally bred to be guard dogs and protection dogs by a tax collector named Karl Louis Dobermann in the late 1800s.
These bold and loyal Doberman dogs were used in various military work when World War II began. They also took part in the war and were fearless in battle, earning them the title “Devil Dogs.”
The Doberman breed turned into an aggressive dog because of the extreme stress and anguish that he suffered during the war. Many Doberman Pinschers died in warfare, whilst others lost their lives to exhaustion and illnesses.
Sadly, the terrifying experiences that Dobermans had to endure during battles were often overshadowed by their notoriety for being vicious war dogs.
Doberman breeders knew how mangled the breed’s reputation was after the war. Thus, they initiated breeding programmes that placed big importance in producing Doberman Pinschers with low aggressive tendencies.
Throughout their years of tireless work, the Doberman breeders were able to mellow the modern Doberman’s temperament.
Thus, to answer the question, Doberman Pinschers used to be highly aggressive towards humans. However, they are now more mild-mannered and friendly.
With that said, Doberman Pinscher’s innate instinct to protect their family is strong. But their amiability does not extend to strangers who have bad intentions. They will not hesitate to attack if they feel that their loved ones are in danger.
For this reason, Dobermans should be socialised and trained as early as possible. So when they become adult dogs at 1 year of age, they will know who’s a friend or not. It will keep them from mistakenly harming innocent people.
Do Dobermans Bite Their Owners?
No. Dobermans turning on their owners is one of the biggest misconceptions of the breed. Keep in mind that these dogs were bred to protect their family. Thus, it is not normal behaviour for them to attack or bite their owners.
Several factors can lead a Doberman to cause harm to his owner. Here are the top reasons that can set off this alarming behaviour:
1. Experienced maltreatment from their owners.
Any dog could develop aggression towards his owners if he suffered abuse under their care. In this case, Dobermans attack and bite their owners out of fear and desire to protect themselves.
People who are considering owning a Doberman must know how to handle their dog without resorting to using harsh punishments.
2. Lack of proper socialisation and training.
Living with a Doberman who lacks socialisation is a recipe for disaster. The breed is naturally protective. And if he is not properly exposed to the world around him, it can make him distrustful of anybody, including his owner.
Also, keep in mind that the Doberman Pinscher possesses a domineering and intense personality.
If the Doberman does not receive proper training on how to control these traits, it can lead him to challenge his owner, which can come in the form of biting and other undesirable behaviours.
3. Bad genetics due to unethical breeding.
There have been countless reports of unscrupulous Doberman breeders selling sickly or neurotic Doberman puppies over the years. These people are more focused on earning money than producing healthy and stable-tempered dogs.
Feeble pooches are quick to snap at their owners because their illness causes them pain and discomfort. Dogs with unstable temperaments tend to be high-strung or aggressive, which increases their likelihood of attacking their owners.
Potential Doberman owners should be careful about who they acquire their dogs from. Look for reputable breeders who raise and breed their dogs with utmost care.
Do Dobermans Make Good Family Pets?
Is a Doberman a good family pet? Yes, he is a great family dog, provided that his owner is capable of handling him.
Doberman Pinschers are needy as much as they are protective. They are “Velcro dogs” who cannot bear to stay away from their loved ones.
Trailing after their human companions and checking what they are up to is one of the Dobermans’ favourite hobbies.
It is very common for the Doberman breed to develop separation anxiety because he is highly people-oriented. Due to this, he is not suitable for busy families as he needs constant human interaction.
Many Doberman Pinschers are one-person dogs. This means they form strong bonds with a particular family member. Although this is not entirely a bad thing, it can lead them to be possessive of their favourite person.
To prevent your Doberman from exhibiting this behaviour, people in the household should work hand-in-hand to establish a strong relationship with him.
Split tasks that involve caring for your Doberman. Each family member should be responsible for looking after him.
Are Dobermans Good with Kids?
Doberman Pinschers get along well with children provided that they are raised together. These dogs have high energy levels. So care should be taken when they interact with young children.
The Dobermans’ large size and eagerness to play make it very easy for them to accidentally knock down small children.
Do not let your Doberman and young children play together unattended. An adult should always be there to monitor their interactions. Make sure that all children inside your home know the importance of treating their furry friends gently.
The Doberman breed is highly protective of children within the family. He may try to scare off other children if they are playing roughly.
So make sure to slowly introduce your children’s friends to your Doberman when they come over to play. It will teach him that they have no bad intentions against his small human companions.
Dobermans are tolerant of children, but they may react aggressively if their ears or tails are tugged too roughly.
Are Dobermans Good with Other Dogs?
Male Doberman Pinschers usually do not get along well with other dogs of the same sex, especially if both dogs are intact. However, they tend to be more friendly with female dogs.
On the other hand, female Dobermans are fine living with either a male or female dog companion.
If you are housing a male Doberman with a male dog of any breed, it is a good idea to neuter both dogs. Doing so will lower their instinct to assert dominance towards each other.
Are Dobermans Good with Small Dogs?
Dobermans can live peacefully with small breeds of dogs if they grew up together. Mind that some small dogs have small dog syndrome. It is a behavioural problem wherein they will try to dominate bigger dogs.
This should be corrected through training to prevent the danger of your Doberman attacking his furry companion.
Is a Doberman a Good First Dog?
The Doberman Pinscher needs an experienced owner who has a deep understanding of the breed. Novice dog owners will find him difficult to handle because:
He is an athletic and workaholic dog.
The Doberman breed was bred to be an active dog that requires a sense of purpose. He should be given tasks to do throughout the day. Otherwise, destructive behaviours may develop.
Since Doberman Pinschers are packed with so much energy, they need a lot of exercises and mental stimulation. Consider looking for another breed if you are not an outdoor type of person.
He can be overbearing during training.
Dobermans are one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs. Unfortunately, they are also domineering and often want to do things their way. Obedience training is a must for these dogs.
However, it will be ineffective if dog owners are inconsistent and indecisive in carrying out their training techniques.
Dog owners will be met with deaf ears and disobedience by the Doberman. New dog owners may find this exasperating to deal with.
He has serious health problems.
A Doberman Pinscher can live around 10–13 years. However, his life may be shortened due to certain health issues. Major medical conditions found in the breed are dilated cardiomyopathy, wobbler’s disease, cancer, and dog bloat.
Some minor health problems common in the Doberman are hip dysplasia, sebaceous adenitis, and allergies. Keeping your dog in good health will require regular visits to the vet and spend large sums of money for preventative treatments.
The Doberman is not a breed of dog that is suitable for just any dog lover. Before welcoming him into your family, thoroughly consider the things mentioned above first.
If you don’t meet all of the criteria, it is best to search for other breeds that are more fitting for you. Avoid making rash decisions as it can lead to dire consequences, especially for your dog.