The Doberman, initially bred as a guard dog by a German tax collector in the late 19th Century, is considered an intelligent dog. Its use as a guard dog in the preceding centuries has seen it gain a reputation for being aggressive.
While a family Doberman is not necessarily any more aggressive than any other breed of dog, it is not usually recommended for first-time owners. The dog requires a lot of physical exercise and mental stimulation, as well as careful training and socialization, and its size can also prove a challenge to those that have never owned dogs before.
The Doberman was bred by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann in around 1890. The tax collector wanted a dog that would protect him from angry debtors. He bred a combination of dogs including Rottweilers, Pinschers, Terriers, and Weimaraners to create a breed that was agile, tough, and fearless. The breed continued to be used as a guard dog and is still used for this purpose today, while also being trained to work with the armed forces, police, and search and rescue teams.
As well as being tough and fearless, Dobermans are strong, energetic, and intelligent. They tend to do very well in canine sports, which can help to burn off the huge stores of energy that the breed possesses.
The German breed is generally a quiet dog, but highly alert. It will bark to raise an alarm but is very good at assessing what is and what is not a threat, so it is rare for a Doberman to bark unless actually necessary. It is playful and energetic, and owners will need to provide an absolute minimum of an hour of exercise a day. It will need training from a young age, and socialization is key to raising an aware and well-behaved Doberman.
Because of their strength, intelligence, and fearless loyalty, Dobermans are not usually recommended for first-time owners. They need an experienced hand to be able to ensure that they grow up well-adjusted. With that said, many first-time owners do take on Dobermans and enjoy a successful and enjoyable life together.
The 5 Breeds That Are Ideal for First-Time Owners
While Dobermans are not recommended as a breed for first-time owners, there are many suitable breeds for novices. 5 of the best breeds for first-time owners include:
Poodles come in three sizes, but they are all intelligent, easy to train, and loving dogs. They are sometimes described as being hypoallergenic. While they do still produce the protein that causes allergic reactions, they shed and drool less than a lot of other breeds so are less likely to cause severe allergic reactions in sufferers. Caring for the Poodle’s coat is the most difficult aspect of owning this breed, and many owners, especially those without any experience, tend to rely on professional groomers to ensure the coat remains in good condition.
Whippets run very fast, but they are actually quite calm dogs when they’re at home, apart from the occasional mad moment. They are also very quiet, with owners being surprised when their Whippets do let out a bark. Good with children, Whippets are also great with visitors and their eyes can warm even the coldest heart.
3. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is the archetypal family dog. It adores every family member and will go out of its way to help its humans and make them happy. It is the most popular pet breed in the U.S. and has been for around 30 years. It is intelligent and eager to please, so is considered easy to train, and it will get along with strangers as well as other animals. It does require plenty of exercise, but new owners looking for an easy first breed need to look no further than the Lab.
4. English Springer Spaniel
The English Springer Spaniel is another bright and cheerful breed. It was bred to flush out game birds, which means that the Springer does enjoy running around off its leash and will jump in water at just about any given opportunity. But the Springer very much enjoys time with family and will usually follow family members around.
5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is another spaniel breed but is smaller than the English Springer Spaniel. It gets along with people of all ages, typically gets along with other dogs and even cats, and it is a breed that is considered easy to train. Regular grooming is required but its grooming requirements are simpler than the likes of the Poodle.
Dobermans are strong, energetic, and fiercely loyal. They are not usually recommended for first-time dog owners, although they can make excellent companions and great family pets. Consider breeds like Poodles, Labrador Retrievers, and either the Cavalier King Charles or English Springer Spaniels for a first breed.
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