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March 15, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 1

Doberman Pinscher

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Purebred Star Blog Series

Would you LOVE to have a companion dog that is loyal, strong, smart, and active? The Doberman is not the same dog as what was portrayed in the 80's and 90's. Friendly, outgoing, and playful could the Doberman be your next dog?

This beautiful, brave, and bold breed was considered, in the 80's and 90's, a highly aggressive dog. Due to their aggressive profile for 2 decades, their unpopularity grew as the media continued to portray them as an uncontrolled, vicious breed. Many reputable breeders have worked hard to down their aggression trait, making them a more friendly family household companion.

Doberman Pinscher Country of Origin

Germany is the origin of the Doberman Pinscher. Developed around the 1860's, by a German Tax Collector, Louis Dobermann. Due to his need to travel to dangerous areas, he developed a breed that would protect and guard him. First recognized by the AKC in 1908, the Doberman grew in popularity over the years. Often recognized as a military, police, or guard dog, the Doberman offers many other attributes to its working list like therapy dog, search and rescue (SARS), competitive obedience, and Schutzhund (a sport testing for traits for certain work).

The Doberman is known for their distinct look of a cropped ears and docked tail. Sadly, these procedures are excruciatingly painful, and unnecessary. Their ears have an adorable natural fold, and the tail is long and curls over their backend.

Highly Intelligent = Easy to Train

The Doberman is a highly intelligent breed, that learns and adapts quickly to new things. Always willing to learn something new, if this breed is not mentally challenged, they become frustrated and develop unwanted behaviors like: digging, excessive barking, jumping, counter surfing, aggression issues, and more.

Early puppy obedience is imperative for this breed, as well as continual training throughout the years. This breed strives in an environment that offers challenges, and a structure. They excel at agility and competitive dog sports.

Begin training early, and this breed will make a wonderful companion.

Strong and Active

Dobies are known for their strength. They will require training to teach them proper etiquette for walking.  Consider training your Doberman with the Gentle Leader Headcollar or Easy Walk Harness, two tools that make walking a strong breed manageable. Dobermans are a great breed to sport a backpack. Backpacks are a great tool that assist with draining energy quicker, and giving a job for the dog.

These are active breeds, so if exercise is not your thing, a Doberman will not make a good companion. They enjoy running, long daily walks, hiking, or any other physical activity you offer them. Live in a home with a fenced-in back yard? Perfect! Although they will love to romp and play in their backyard, they should not be left outside alone. Dobermans enjoy being with their family, and are not outdoor animals. No dog should be an outdoor only pet.

Doggy Daycare is a great option for the Doberman. While you are at work, your Dobie will spend time playing with other dogs burning their energy throughout the day. You will bring home a tired dog, which makes for a well-behaved Doberman.

Good With Kids and Dogs

The Doberman does very well around children and other dogs. They are not recommended for small children, only due to their size and strength. They can easily knock over a toddler, unintentionally. Even though Dobermans have a high tolerance for rambunctious children, they should always be supervised around each other. They are very affectionate, and enjoy cuddle time with their family members.

Although their previous rap sheet in the 80's and 90's pegged them as dog aggressive, this is not the case. They get along very well with other dogs. Sadly, like many other breeds, a dog that portrays aggression is typically lacking in exercise and early socialization.  Pet-parents need to display proper leadership, provide stimulating activities to keep their mind and body healthy, and start with early training and socialization.

Protective Yes, Aggressive No

These are two different things entirely.A Doberman has no problem protecting their family if danger is eminent. However, this doesn't mean that they are an aggressive and out-of-control breed. They are well known for being loving, affectionate, and friendly towards others.

This is a breed for a dog savvy family. If they are not given the proper training, taught manners, and to respect their family members, the Dobie can cause havoc within the relationship it has with their family. They can have a stubborn streak, so a passive personality should reconsider sharing their home with this assertive, demanding, and energetic breed.

Health and Grooming Awareness

Grooming is a breeze with the Doberman, their short fur requires only a weekly brushing. They do shed during the transitional seasons.

Dobermans have an average lifespan of up to 13 years.

Dobermans can suffer from a variety of health issues such as: von Willebrands disease, obesity, bloat, Wobbler Syndrome (Cervical Spondylitis), skin issues, Hip Dysplasia, heart defects.

Adopt First

As you begin looking for a Doberman Pinscher, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!

At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.

And, on a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!


Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe

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