Doberman Pinscher

Overall satisfaction


Acquired: Breeder (hobby breeder)

Gender: Male

Training: Attended conferences / shows

Quick to learn and train


Emotionally stable


Family oriented


Child safety


Safe with small pets


Doesn’t bark a lot




Easy to groom


Great watch dog


Great guard dog


Wonderful Dog, But Not For Beginners


United States

Posted March 21, 2015

Oh stars, I could wax poetic about this breed forever because they are simply the best. They get a bad rap from the media, but you’re not going to find a more loyal dog. My Mom has a doberman at present named Zane. He’s seven years old now and is the most hilarious mix of unimpressed aloofness and downright clownish love depending on who is present. It’s true doberman’s are bred to be protective and they can look and sound intimidating, but just as with any breed, it’s how you raise and train them that determines their personality and ability to obey. We’ve had Zane since he was a puppy. Three days after we brought him home he figured out to tap and scratch at the door to alert us he needed to go outside. He also picked up commands pretty quick and without much repetition. As an adult he is highly intelligent. He’s learned what certain words mean (ball, play, hungry, and people’s names) as well as substitute words we started using to talk about certain things to prevent him getting excited. He likes to play fetch with a ball and will find the ball when it’s time to actually play with it, proudly carrying it around to show us there’s no excuse not to go outside then. He also knows how to play a joke, often by letting us "catch" him stealing socks so we can chase after him.

We have had some health problems with Zane. Dobermans have a high pain tolerance, and we had no idea he had broken his back leg as a puppy, only that he sat funny, until a vet told us the break had healed and fused his knee. That has bloomed into arthritis and back problems from compensating for the way his leg has formed. We also have some trouble with abscesses on his teeth, but are taking care of those. Other than managing the pain he has from his legs and back, Zane is a happy dog and gets around remarkably well.

Dobermans need training and mental stimulation to exercise their minds and bodies, and you’d be a fool not to take advantage of their intelligence. Dobermans are capable of doing so much with the right training and loving environment, and as such are not suited to being couch potatoes or stuck on the end of a chain for hours on end. Although they are big and misrepresented, that misconception does work as a deterrent against people looking to do harm to either person or property. When my town suffered a rash of robberies, break ins, and attempted muggings, nothing ever came down on my block because people knew we had a big dog that alerted us to strangers. Dobermans are also highly intuitive creatures, they pick up on the nuances of your emotions and thoughts, so harsh treatment, even harshly spoken words, are taken personally by the dog.

Dobermans could do well in an apartment as long as they have frequent walks and chores or training that stimulates their minds, but would do best somewhere with a good yard. When socialized and trained they are good with children and people, but you’ll often see them in “serious” mode around guests. They might be aloof and calm, checking people out and receiving petting, but once it’s just the family that lives in the house, dobermans will revert to funny little clowns, playing around and just being generally adorable. This isn’t a beginner dog, and not one that you can leave for hours on end and only play with occasionally. Separation anxiety will be an issue that needs to be addressed. They are also shedders, so I'd brush them out every other day. These dogs are happiest when included inside the house with the family, and need acknowledgement, love, and time from you to be truly fulfilled.

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