Acquired: Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Oklahoma, United States
Posted August 10, 2013
I grew up around Doberman Pinschers. Both of my grandpas had them, as well as a couple of cousins. They were always very gentle around us kids, loyal, and protective. Dobermans are neither vicious nor shy by nature. They are ever-watchful, determined, and energetic.
Highly trainable, obedient, fast, and alert, Dobermans are a natural choice for police work, schutzhund, guarding, and military use. Though often thought of as the stereotypical guard dog or "junkyard dog", Dobes don't excel in a chained, yard dog, or otherwise isolated situation. They naturally want to be with their people and thrive as family house dogs. Their very short coats also make it dangerous for them to be exposed to too much cold weather. Their natural bent towards guarding means that no training as a "guard dog" is necessary.
Dobermans are medium sized at around 60-90 pounds and are muscular and powerful. Their short, sleek coats come in black, fawn, red, and blue and require minimal grooming. Black and Tan/Rust are commonly seen, and it should be noted that "blue" is really just a dilution of the black coloring. Lithe and athletic, they will need regular exercise. The classic Doberman you may be used to seeing has sharply pointed, cropped ears and a docked tail. However, many owners choose to leave the ears and tail natural, rendering them almost unrecognizable as Dobermans to many people.
Watch for these health issues: hip dysplasia, wobblers, bloat, heart defects, Von Willebrand's, various prostate diseases, and hypothyroidism.
Keep these dogs close to you as part of your family, and they will reward you by keeping you close to their hearts and displaying undying loyalty.