Dobermanns are intelligent, affectionate and loyal pets. That being said, they need an experienced owner that knows how to handle dogs with strong guarding instincts. While the breed is calm and friendly to its owners, it has to be treated with respect but made to understand its place in the pack. Early socialisation and training are important to be able to set ground rules and boundaries for puppies. When it is treated with kindness and love, it grows up to be a trustworthy companion. However, it is not the best choice for families with very young children because of its size and overprotectiveness toward them. It is also not suitable for people with hectic schedules since it has high exercise needs. While Dobermanns can do well with other pets they grew up with, extra caution is needed as their strong prey drive might get the best of them.
Dobermanns are sometimes misjudged as vicious dogs because of some irresponsible dog owners and partly due to their intimidating appearance. Naturally, these dogs are protective of their families and are wary of strangers. However they are usually warm to guests especially when introduced by the owner and treated with kindness. They should never be aggressive for no reason. They don’t usually look for trouble but they definitely won’t back down in times of danger.
Many people do not know that Dobies are not outdoor pets even though they were originally developed to protect people and their property. They need to stay inside the home as they long for human companionship because they develop strong bonds with their families, thus, making them clingy. Being left for long periods will make them noisy and destructive.
The Dobermann is a smart dog with a strong desire to please its owners, making it highly trainable. It usually excels in various canine activities, which is why it is often used by the military and police. It needs guidance from a firm and consistent owner to become a well-rounded dog. First-time dog owners will have a hard time handling a wilful dog like the Dobie.