Whether the fascination with the Dobermann temperament directed you to this article or simply the wish to learn if the Dobermann breed is something you could handle: You’ve come to the right place. This highly trainable and affectionate canine companion is an impressive dog as there is so much more to them than just faithful performance.
Read this blog post to understand if their temperament is something you could handle, what to look out for to make them flourish and if they would be a good fit for your family. Let’s dive right in!
History of the Dobermann
The Dobermann originated from Germany and was first bred selectively by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann around the 1860s. Until today the breed bears his name.
Mr Dobermann was a tax collector and keeper of a dog pound. Back then, it was not the safest job on the planet. He was a man of many talents, also working as a night watchman. He needed a dog that could protect him. Someone steady, watchful, and resistant to challenges. Looks came second.
The exact ancestry heritage is hazy as he failed to breed records. There are some good guesses about which dog breeds have influenced the Dobermann. Potentially German Shepherds for stamina and intelligence, the German Pinscher for speed, some Weimaraner for scent tracking and Rottweiler (the ancestor of the Rottweiler) for strength and guarding attributes. Even Great Dane, Manchester Terrier and Greyhounds have contributed to this wonderful breed, although this happened further down the line.
In 1894, Otto Goeller was the first to register two Dobermann into his little Dobermann Pinscher Club. They were called Graf Belling and Gerlinde von Gronland, who were the first two registered Dobermann in the books.
Today, they’re sleek and powerful equipped with a bite force matching their temperament. They’re often referred to as the most effective protection dog and are still part of many police forces worldwide. A working dog supreme. But these dogs can also have a soft side as they can be used as service dogs.
Their head is erect and proud with a long neck giving them a sense of nobility. Their body is powerful and muscular with long legs. Brush the coat regularly and it will be shiny and healthy.
Now that we know about their breeding history, let’s dive into what a life with a Dobermann would look.
What is it like to live with a Dobermann?
The Dobermann demands its exercise as a right. They’re high energy dogs who require loads of time outside and mental stimulation. If you commit to a Doberman, you need to devote all your time to them. Due to their strong guarding and protective instinct, they will stick with you like glue.
Dobermanns are highly trainable with lively intelligence. A well-trained Dobermann will follow your commands without hesitation.
They have an active mind. Consistent training and new environments will make their day and they will be eager to show you what they're able to do.
Training will be successful with consistency and patience as this breed picks up on cues quickly. It will form an unbreakable bond between you and shortcuts should be avoided. Dobermann are known for bonding extremely tightly with their hooman.
Another great trait of this breed is their sensitivity to their master's feelings. They can pick up on small cues and body language and will be able to tell when you’re upset or happy.
They often bond with one member of the family more than with others and are considered one-(wo)man dogs. They are highly biddable and want to please which makes for obedient canines.
Socialising your Dobermann is a necessity as well. It will be beneficial to put them into different situations with various people and smaller animals. This way they will learn to adapt their behaviour. Without proper socialisation, you might get a nervous dog that reacts quickly to situations in a brisk manner. They will grow more confident and learn to react if you expose them to situations early in life.
Due to being highly protective dogs, they need your guidance and leadership to guard you effectively. Otherwise, their instincts will take over leading to stress and anxiety.
When choosing a Dobermann it's crucial to look for a reputable and responsible breeder. Working dogs could have the potential for a higher drive which can be problematic if the dog doesn’t get socialised.
There are dog security companies that train Dobermann from a young age for protection purposes. Those dogs will be effective defenders who will put themselves in harm's way to save their owners. A protection Dobermann cost around £35000.
Let's have a look at some common Dobermann questions.
Are Dobermann dangerous?
Due to their athletic and muscular build, it's not surprising that Dobermann are perceived as dangerous. The cropped ears and some movies are certainly not helping their reputation.
But today's Dobermann don’t have a mean streak in them. The modern-day Dobermann is a reliable, calm and loving dog who will defend its owner. They will watch their environment in an alert manner and scan it for any dangers. Some people might get the feeling that they’re being stared down by the dog.
They would only react aggressively if they feel threatened or the owner is at risk. That’s why the socialisation process and positive human interaction are so important. An aggressive Dobermann is in most cases a product of upbringing and an aggressive owner.
They’re only dangerous if in the hands of dangerous humans. They’re never aggressive for no reason. And this is the case for every dog breed.
When is a Dobermann fully grown?
Dobermann mature quicker than other dogs. They’re considered mature at 1 year of age. They tend to stop growing in height at 12 months old. They will continue to fill out until they are two. So they tend to stop growing in height and are getting more athletic by losing fat and defining muscles. You will notice a more defined chest, a thicker neck and powerful legs.
Are Dobermann good with kids?
Dobermann, especially European lines, are family dogs and get on well with children if socialised. They will be gentle and kind but they might not have the patience of a Great Dane for example.
It's important to teach your kids how to behave around a Dobermann. Kicking and hurting them should be avoided. You can rest assured that if someone hurts your child, they will very likely react to protect them.
All in all, Dobermann are great with kids but the usual supervision should apply as with all dogs. Their sensitivity towards humans helps them understand how to behave around younger or older people.
If you’re an active person with a lot of energy and you have time to dedicate to this dog, the Dobermann might be the right breed for you. Your dedication and leadership will make them thrive to be the best version of themselves.
We think this dog is only for people who love this breed, are willing to learn with their dog and dedicate a lot of time to them. A nervous dog with an intelligent mind and a robust body can be a recipe for disaster.
Dobermann Temperament in a nutshell
You can never take the protection dog out of this dog. They will be alert at all times
Training is crucial and should start as early as possible
Socialisation is important to expose the Dobermann to many situations and lower their stress level
Shouldn't be left alone as they love to be near you
Dobermann are great with kids and will protect them
Potential diseases in the Dobermann breed
As a new owner, you should be prepared to pay medical expenses associated with the breed. The size of this dog will make medical treatment expensive. Thus, always opt for comprehensive insurance. Medicines are dosed based on body weight so a Dobie might set you back a bit.
Hereditary diseases are genetically predisposed. For this reason, always choose a reputable breeder who has screened their dog's DNA and knows from which family they came. Good pre-work and research can help minimise the below upsetting conditions.
Von Willebrands: A type of bleeding disorder causing blood clotting problems. In a US study, 35% of Dobermann are genetically affected, 50% are carriers and 15% are clear of the disease. A genetic test before breeding is advised.
Head Bobbing Syndrome or Wobblers: A sort of head tremor that is very common in the Dobermann. Its believed to be a hereditary condition that is not harmful to your dog. The head will move side to side or up and down in quick movements. Try to distract your dog if it starts with treats or games. As the gene for the syndrome is unknown, there is currently no gene test for this condition.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy: enlarged heart and thinner walls of the heart which can lead to arrhythmia, decreased activity level and sudden death. Speak to your vet if you feel that your dog is showing symptoms. The Dobermann is very often affected by this disease.
Many of these conditions can be treated if caught early, but it's important to work with a reliable veterinarian familiar with this breed to ensure your dog receives proper care.
Most diseases are inherited in a recessive manner. It means that the puppy must inherit the gene from both parents to become affected. If the mutation is only present in one parent, the puppy becomes a carrier. Choose a reputable breeder who has done genetic testing on their litters.
The more aware you are of these diseases, the higher the chances you can prolong your dog's if problems arise. Same as with your child, be mindful of all required vaccinations, risks and even risks outside your home. This blog post, for example, outlines all toxic spring plants that can be harmful to your dog.
Many dog owners underestimate the danger in some pet toys and accessories that can worsen health issues when they innocently buy cheap products from the Far East. Avoid synthetic rubber play things like chew bones or tug o' war ropes from polyester; polyester collars could cause skin irritation and are not breathable like natural materials. Swap out those harmful materials with eco-friendly pet products from hemp here at Hooman’s Friend. Breathable, eco-friendly and sustainable!
Dobermann Fun facts
A Dobermann was the first dog buried in the United States Marine Corps War Dog Cemetery. There is a monument that depicts a Dobermann called “Kurt”, who saved the lives of soldiers by alerting them of an impending attack. Unfortunately, he didn’t survive the attack. The monument is in memory of all Dobermann who lost their life. They served as messenger dogs, and scouts, they detected mines and booby traps. The inscription bears the words “Semper Fidelis”, Latin for “always faithful” or “always loyal”.
German Shepherds and the Belgian Malinois are preferred as police dogs over the Dobermann because of their single-layer coats. The Dobermann also reasons internally before acting. Meanwhile, the Shepherd reacts quicker to learnt content.
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In conclusion, Dobermann have a very loyal and devoted temperament. This dog breed has caused our hearts to beat faster. Their protective streak is simply impressive and we couldn't imagine a better dog for the job.
These dogs are great companions and will enrich your family life if you have the time to dedicate to them.
Dobermann Summary Info box
68cm - 72cm
Tendency to drool
Tendency to bark
Tendency to dig