Acquired: Breeder (hobby breeder)
Posted October 26, 2013
We purchased our Doberman from a neighbor who was a casual breeder. Both parents were dobs, however our pup came without papers. She was adorable!
At the time we had small children but were assured by the breeder, if we received early obedience training of the non-aggressive sort; Dobermans make excellent family pets. This is absolutely true.
At the training, we were instructed to create a den area for her. This helps to reduce the anxiety Dobs may sometimes have when there is too much activity in the house. If she was ever feeling overwhelmed, she had a space that was her own retreat. Very important if dealing with dogs that are easily excitable.
She did have some health problems being the runt of the litter, however we were fully aware of this as the breeder gave full disclosure of possible issues.
No matter, she became an excellent family pet. Very good with the children. Listened well to instructions.
She needed a lot of exercise to remain calm. Without it, she was edgy and nervous. As she aged, her "guarding" instincts became more and more apparent.
This was particularly true with new faces at the door and/or others she deemed as a threat to the family. Although it was comforting to know she was on alert, sometime it just was not warranted. Such as visiting relatives she had never seen before.
Our Doberman took a long time to warm to new people and places.
When nervous or feeling threatened, she tend to shed excessively.
After 5 years, we realized our home may not be the best for her. This was due to growing children, lots of activity with the kids and their friends, which sometimes added to her anxiety. For her sake and for ours, we did not want any accidents to happen such as an accidental bite due to confusion or fear.
In no way did I feel this breed was a danger to my family, we loved her and she was very good with the children; however they do have a very high strung personality and the need to guard their territory. Not the best mix for a busy household.
She remained in our family until her passing. Just not in our household. In the end, she found a great home with my mother-in-law, whom she was comfortable with and the children visited her often. Plus it was only the two of them which suited the breed.
If thinking of a Doberman, I would recommend early training, lots of exercise and perhaps a household with older children or adults.
The picture is of a non clipped Doberman. This is how our dog looked as we could not have her clipped. As you can see a non-clipped Doberman is adorable!