Acquired: Breeder (professional)
Training: Attended conferences / shows
Posted June 20, 2015
Dobermans have long suffered from public misunderstanding and fear. During the course of my life I have owned and have been responsible for two Doberman Pinschers over an 18 year period. The experience and knowledge I have gained about these incredible animals defies the stereotype Dobermans are unfortunately burdened with. That is not to say that owning a Doberman is in any way as simple as owning a Chihuahua or a cat. Dobermans are complex and demanding dogs. Selecting a professional breeder, early training, socialization and a large amount of personal time are imperative when raising this fiercely loyal and intelligent breed.
Dobermans are working class dogs. I discovered very quickly with my two boys that both walking and running were necessary for them to work out their excessive energy. A very playful and energetic breed means that attention and exercise are always essential. Consistency with daily walking and play time is a must and is also a very enjoyable bonding experience.
From the time my pups were 7 weeks, I made sure to have them around as many people and animals as possible. While Dobermans are not naturally inclined to aggression, socializing them early on can avoid tension and stress in later years when they are exposed to strangers or other children. This is an exceedingly companionable breed. They are not outside dogs. Separating a Doberman from their owner by leaving them outside at night leads to the kind of neurotic behavior that developed negative stereotypes.
Dobermans are extremely intelligent. Both of mine never failed to live up to this attribute. However, their intelligence is a match for their physicality. At the very least, 15 to 30 minutes of training or learning time is necessary on a daily basis. Dobermans must be challenged to use their smarts. The best part about these daily rituals is that they love it every bit as much as exercise. Things as simple as learning to sit is both exciting and increases their bond with their family.
Choosing my two Dobermans, both of them long lasting and incredible companions to me and my family, was a long and studious process. It is necessary to select a professional breeder who is aware of proper protocols and the best breeding and selection processes. Another reason for the unfair stereotypes this breed is accused of is improper breeding. Studying the background of Doberman breeders as well as having a solid knowledge of them personally is always a smart idea. Both of my Dobermans came from breeders with over 30 years of breeding experience and a multitude of great recommendations.
My time with my Dobermans Titus and Sensei was an incredibly happy and loving experience. Unfortunately, this brings up the drawback of owning a purebred canine. Both Sensei and Titus died of cancer after 11 and 7 years respectively. Doberman Pinschers are not an exception in purebred dogs. They are just as prone to the illnesses and diseases as all purebreds. They tend to lead shorter lives than their smaller and mixed-breed cousins.
From my personal experience, owning and loving a Doberman Pinscher has been an incredible and wonderful experience. However, this is not a dog for those who work long days, or those who just want a dog to watch the backyard. Like any purebred, diet is more expensive and important to their longevity. Regular checkups with a trusted veterinarian, a healthy dose of daily learning and play time, and a strong socialization period are essential for this amazing breed to truly flourish.