Have you been thinking about a Doberman pinscher with kids? The Doberman loves human companionship but it is not the best breed for small children. Despite being loyal and protective, if improperly bred or raised, the breed can be mean or aggressive. The Doberman is intelligent but can be domineering and is not the best breed for the first time dog owner. To learn more about the Doberman breed, go to Everything Your Family Needs to Know About the Doberman Breed.
When it comes to Dobermans and kids, there are many pros and cons to consider. For instance, Dobermans are no longer the vicious, aggressive dogs we see on TV. Many of these characteristics have been bred out of the breed, giving you a dog that is very loving, playful and affectionate – as long as you take the time to train your dog that way.
Some say that Dobermans are great with kids as long as they are raised together. As long as the dog is well trained and the children have been taught to respect the dog, everyone should be able to get along together. However, there are those who say that a Doberman is not a suitable family dog with small children. A Doberman puppy is very playful and rambunctious, and may not understand that small children can get hurt with this behavior. Also, children may play a little too roughly with a Doberman puppy, causing the dog to lash out at the child. Another problem area may be when your children’s friends come over to visit. If your Doberman observes rough play between them, they are naturally protective and may attack your child’s friend.
Doberman and Children: The Protective Instinct
The Doberman pinscher is a very protective dog. A Doberman will consider the children in his family to be the puppies in the pack. He knows how valuable they are to the pack and he is going to protect the children in the family.
The protective instinct of a Doberman pinscher is highly developed, which makes the Doberman one of the best guard dogs. But the Doberman may attack a relative or friend who goes near the child because he is under the impression that the person is dangerous and wants to hurt the child. When the person is in front of the child laughing loudly and showing his teeth, it may trigger this type of protective behavior in the Doberman.
It is important that you control the Doberman’s actions as the alpha in the pack. Introduce your friends and relatives to your Doberman so that he understands that these people are also part of your pack. It is also important to teach your Doberman to understand this type of play behavior.
Children and Doberman Puppies Are Not a Good Mix
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America warns that young children and Doberman puppies are not a good mix. It is not a good idea to get a young Doberman puppy if you have babies, toddlers or young school-age children. “Young Doberman pups are very high energy bundles of sharp toenails and teeth. Young children can be absolutely terrified by nipping puppies and the puppy can be absolutely terrified by running, screaming children that cause their moms and dads to harshly discipline the puppy for normal puppy behavior. This sets the scene for a very bad experience for both toddler/child as well as the young Doberman puppy and is frequently the start of major behavior problems that will follow. The puppy gets locked up more because the kids are afraid and pretty soon the puppy is in the basement or garage or even worse – outside – and the puppy grows up with no family socialization, fear of children and possibly adults.”
If you want to get a Doberman pinscher and you do have children, your children should be trained how to act around a dog. The children should also be under supervision around a dog.
Dominance-related problems can occur at about one and a half years of age when the child becomes a toddler. During this time the child will inadvertently challenge the dog by interfering with him while he is eating, patting him on the head, or disturbing him while he is resting. It is up to you to protect the dog from the unwelcome advances of children. Teach your young children to pet dogs appropriately, but only under close supervision. Here are a few simple rules to follow with dogs and children:
- Never leave dogs and young children unsupervised together.
- Supervision means that the dog is on a lead and the child is under a grown up’s watchful eye.
- If there are children in the house, the dog should be neutered.
Some people think there is no such thing as a bad dog, and mostly they are right. However, some breeds are more likely to get into trouble if their genetic inclinations are not fully appreciated by their owners. Know your dog. Puppies should be socialized to children and strangers from a very young age. To learn more about behavior problems with dogs and small children, go to How to Keep Dogs and Children Bite Free.
So when it comes to Dobermans and kids, there are many pros and cons to consider. In the end, only you can make that decision. Take the time to do your research. Make sure you will be committed to training the dog and socializing it from a young age. To learn more about the Doberman breed, go to Choosing a Doberman Pinscher.