Looking at a Doberman Pinscher may conjure up images of a fierce guard dog (held back on his leash by an obvious criminal mastermind inside an abandoned warehouse…but we digress). While this breed can, and has been, used as guard and police dogs, they’ve more recently been bred to be family companions (and even service dogs). If you’re not a first time dog parent and are willing to put in the training it takes to have a Doberman that can follow commands, this could be the breed for you.
Male: 75-85 lbs. Female: 65-75 lbs.
Dobermans require long walks (or runs in the park) every day to keep their bodies in tip-top shape. Dobies make excellent exercise partners and will happily join you on a jog or run. Mental stimulation, like playing ball or agility competitions can also help to keep this highly-intelligent breed from becoming bored.
Dobermans shed, but their short coat means that your pad won’t be overrun with hair. Another plus? This breed has minimal “doggie odor”.
Barking and Volume:
This breed is not generally “barky,” but Dobermans can definitely amp up the volume if they aren’t exercised on a regular basis.
Due to their assertive personalities, Dobermans require early training and need a parent who asserts the “alpha dog” role. First-time dog parents may want to consider another breed. If you’re willing to put in the work, however, the Doberman is relatively easy to train due to its intelligence and desire to please. Keep in mind: a Doberman’s training should involve the entire family. Every member of your household needs to handle the dog with confidence.
Health Factors: Common health problems of this breed include: dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), Wobblers Syndrome and von Willebrands disease. About 40% of DCM cases are found in Dobermans. Male Dobies are also susceptible to prostatic diseases, but owners can reduce the risk of these disorders through neutering. *A responsible breeder can help minimize the risk of genetic disorders.
Grooming: Weekly brushing is more than enough to keep a Doberman’s coat shiny and healthy.
Training: A puppy class is an absolute must. You may need additional classes if this is your first time owning a dog.
Since Dobermans have a short and smooth coat, they only require weekly brushing and an occasional bath.
Despite their tough reputation, the Doberman can be a sweet and loving companion to young children. Due to selective breeding, Dobies today are friendlier and less aggressive than their predecessors. But remember: it all depends on training. A Doberman trained to act as a guard dog will not make the best family pet.
10 to 14 years.
Friendliness: Towards Animals
If a Doberman receives the right guidance and socialization, it can get along just fine with other dogs and pets in your home. You may encounter problems with strange dogs, though — Dobies can become aggressive towards dogs outside of their pack.
Friendliness: Towards People
Although known for their strength and aggression, Dobermans are people-oriented dogs who love spending time with their families. Some Dobies are even used as therapy dogs in nursing homes. Training is key to bring out the best in this breed — Dobermans can become skittish if they aren’t socialized at a young age. Dobermans should never be left alone for long periods of time. They need frequent interaction with their humans to stay happy and affectionate.
BE PREPARED FOR: A fierce-looking dog with a soft heart.