Doberman Pinschers often get a bad reputation for being aggressive and mean. However, while they are born to protect, if you raise a Doberman right, get it the proper training, and socialize it early in life, a Doberman is no different from any other dog and makes a great pet.
It is an intelligent breed, so it’s pretty easy to teach them basic instructions, and they’re often used as police dogs and work with the military. However, there are instances where a Doberman wouldn’t make the ideal pet. We’ll discuss a few of the pros and cons of owning a Doberman in the guide below.
The 10 Doberman Pros and Cons
1. Pro: Brains and Beauty
If you’re searching for a gorgeous and intelligent breed, then the Doberman is for you. They are medium to large dogs and have lean, impeccable physiques. The breed is sleek and powerful, tops out at around 28 inches in height, and can weigh up to 100 pounds. Colors for Dobermans include fawn, blue, red, or black, often with rust markings.
With a German origin, these dogs are said to be the sixth most intelligent dog breed. They learn and follow new commands quickly and easily, which is what makes them perfect for military and law enforcement jobs.
2. Con: Health Problems
Sadly, despite their beauty and intelligence, Dobermans are prone to developing quite a few health issues. Your Doberman can develop a life-threatening condition known as bloat. You also need to be aware that hip dysplasia is common in Dobermans. Your pup can also suffer from an enlarged heart, which is a genetic health condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. Another common condition your pet may suffer from is von Willebrand’s disease which is a clotting disorder.
You’ll want to make sure that you choose a reputable breeder that does health checks and screenings on their dogs and puppies for the best results. Even then, you need to ensure that you take your pet in for regular checkups so that any of these conditions can be caught quickly and possibly treated.
3. Pro: Protective and Loyal
As you’ve probably realized, Dobermans are fast, powerful, and quite muscular. Since they bond with their families and owners quickly, this breed makes a great protector. It has been described as willing to lay down its life to protect its family, so you don’t have to worry about an intruder entering your home or your property.
In most cases, just the appearance of your Doberman will be enough to send intruders running the other way. They usually don’t attack or bite unless it’s a last resort. They will be aggressive but not attack unless they feel they have no other option.
4. Con: Separation Anxiety
It’s important to realize that since Dobermans become extremely attached to their pet parents, they can develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long in your house or even on the property.
However, this condition can start before you’ve even left your home once your dog realizes it will be left alone. Dogs with separation anxiety tend to be destructive. There are other symptoms you can watch for, including chewing, digging, howling, or even using the bathroom inside your home.
While becoming very attached to their owners doesn’t always lead to separation anxiety, it’s essential to know that it can happen. The Doberman isn’t the best pet for someone who isn’t home often.
5. Pro: Versatility
As previously mentioned, Dobermans have been used by the military and law enforcement because of their agility, power, and intelligence. They are extremely versatile canines that can also work as service animals, blind eye dogs, and guard dogs. Whether a junkyard or a warehouse, Dobermans will guard anything they care about and are loyal to.
In fact, this breed makes an excellent guard dog for your home. It is a sporty dog, so you’ll want to spend a lot of time with it and get out there and play. If you’re looking for a pet with extreme agility, intelligence, and versatility, this is the dog for you.
6. Con: First-Time Owners
Even if you think a Doberman is the perfect fit for you, it’s essential to determine if you’re indeed the right fit to be the Doberman’s pet parent. The Doberman might not be the best fit for a first-time pet owner, though if you do your due diligence and your research, it’s possible.
Dobermans can be stubborn, and you’ll need to be around quite a bit to be with your pet. If you’re unable to socialize, train, and spend time with the Dobie, you might need to find another dog breed. If you can do all of the above, the Dobie is a perfect and loyal pet.
7. Pro: Low Maintenance
As you can imagine, Dobermans have coats that require very little maintenance. The American Kennel Club has said that these dogs are “wash and wear” breeds. All it takes is a quick brushing with a short, bristled brush to maintain the dog’s gorgeous coat.
This will keep their coats glossy and healthy. Dobermans don’t need many baths, so that’s a plus as well. If you’re looking for a dog that you don’t have to groom extensively, you might want to adopt a Doberman. You can take them to the groomer now and then, however, for some special treatment.
8. Con: Same-Sex Aggression
Same-sex aggression is something to be careful of with the Doberman breed. They have been known to show aggression or try to exert dominance over dogs that are the same sex. With that being said, some Dobermans live perfectly happily with other dogs in the home that are the same sex.
However, if you decide to bring another Doberman into the home or another dog that’s the same sex, you need to be forewarned that this could happen and make preparations for it. If you have issues with same-sex aggression with your Doberman, it’s best to get professional training for the dog. If that fails, it’s best not to have the same sexes in the same house.
9. Pro: Energetic
Dobermans are known for their high energy, so if you like hiking, going for long walks, or even daily runs, a Dobie will be right there at your side during it all. If you are thinking of getting a Doberman for a pet, you need to ensure that the dog receives the physical and mental exercise needed to release pent-up energy and be healthy.
If you’re not an active person and prefer to sit on the couch during the day, your Doberman will happily join you, but you’ll still have to make sure it gets the daily exercise it needs to be happy.
10. Con: The Stigma
If you know anyone who owns a Doberman, they can tell you that their pet gets a bad rap when it comes to people thinking the dog is mean and unnecessarily aggressive. This, of course, is a mistake that Doberman lovers everywhere are trying to dispute. As with any dog, a Doberman acts according to how it is raised, trained, and socialized.
Dobermans can be affectionate and loving, like any other breed, and they love their families just as much as other affectionate breeds. Still, you want to be careful with any dog you adopt and realize that they all need to be socialized, trained, and raised to be affectionate and to only attack if there’s a threat to themselves, your family, or your property.
The Bottom Line on Owning a Doberman
The bottom line is that Dobermans make great pets if they’re trained, socialized, and raised the way they should be. If you’re going to adopt a Doberman, talk to other Doberman owners, take a look at the pros and cons above, and then decide based on what you find.
Featured Image Credit: Aysun Kahraman Öktem, Pexels