Doberman temperament has changed over the years. The Doberman pinscher was developed as the ideal guard dog and companion. The original Dobermans were more aggressive than the dog of today. The Doberman club became aware that the breed had developed a reputation for aggression and decided to breed out these aggressive tendencies. The result is that today, American Dobermans have a much more stable temperament and have fallen in the ranking of aggressive dogs. Now, the Doberman is friendlier, but it is still a good watchdog. With proper socialization, the Doberman pinscher is affectionate and loyal and will guard his master to the bitter end. To learn more, go to Aggressive Dogs and Society.
A Doberman is a finely tuned protector capable of doing considerable harm to his foes. Because of his temperament and physical superiority, the Doberman must be managed properly from puppyhood. Modern breeding practices have produced dogs that are much less aggressive, but still, studies have shown that the Doberman breed is still more likely than others to show aggression towards people they don’t know and also other dogs. Because of this, a Doberman needs to be well trained to avoid causing harm to others.
The Doberman: Too Much for the Average Household?
It could be that the Doberman pinscher is simply too much for the average household. It is a demanding breed that requires constant attention and guidance from the family. This is a very athletic dog that needs brisk walking every day and a good run as often as possible. Activities should vary in order to keep the Doberman interested. The Doberman is a very smart dog that bores easily, so mental exercise is also very important. This breed was not designed to be a lazy couch potato. With a Doberman, too little exercise and too little companionship can lead to restlessness and behavior problems. People who work long hours should never adopt a Doberman. To learn more about the Doberman pinscher, go to Everything Your Family Needs to Know About the Doberman Breed.
Dobermans are happiest when they have a job to do. They make excellent police and military dogs, and they do well with canine sports. Because Dobermans love to work alongside people so much, they are often prone to separation anxiety. The separation anxiety can get even worse when the dog does not get enough activity. The anxiety usually results in barking and destructive chewing.
Most Doberman pinschers are reserved with strangers and very protective of their family. Some Dobermans are dominant with other dogs and may not be the best companions for cats. Early and extensive training is a must. You must show consistent leadership with a Doberman.
Early socialization is important when raising a Doberman pinscher. The first year is absolutely critical to the proper development of correct behavior patterns and to the establishment of the order that must be present in the family. The dog must understand that people are in charge. He must comply and follow their lead.
Doberman pinschers are naturally protective of their home and their pack, so it is important that they be taught that guests and other animals are welcomed.
Why Dobermans are Relinquished to Shelters
Many older Doberman puppies and young adults end up in shelters and rescues because people just could not handle them. It could be that the Doberman was aggressive. Maybe they did not use the right training methods or maybe they were afraid of the dog. That’s why it’s so important to do your homework before jumping into anything. Research the breed – they have very specific needs that you must be able to commit to when adopting a Doberman. Observe some obedience classes and see how Dobermans are trained. Make sure that you are ready for this type of a commitment before jumping in.
A Doberman may not be the right dog for you if you cannot provide enough attention, exercise and activities to keep him satisfied. You must be willing to put in the time to train and socialize your Doberman so that he will not be aggressive.
Another consideration with this breed is potential legal liabilities. You may experience an increased chance of lawsuits and may not be able to secure homeowners insurance if you own this breed.
To learn more about the Doberman breed, go to Choosing a Doberman Pinscher.