The Doberman Pinscher is an intelligent, loyal dog that is considered gentle and loving with family members. With early socialization, the breed will get along with other people, including strangers. It is also said to get along with other dogs of the opposite sex, but there can be some aggression between dogs of the same sex. This is especially true of female Dobermans, and it is generally recommended that owners do not get two females unless they have experience with the breed.
The Doberman is a relatively new breed. German tax collector Louis Dobermann wanted a dog that he could take with him on his tax-collecting rounds. The dog would need to be protective and guard against would-be thieves. But it needed to get along with Dobermann himself because it would act as a companion on the road.
Although there are no records detailing the exact lineage of the first Doberman, Dobermann likely combined several German dogs including the Rottweiler, German Pinscher, and German Shepherd. The resulting dog was alert, intelligent, loyal, and willing to protect his owner, while still being affectionate and even kind to Dobermann. This blend of traits made the Doberman breed the de facto guard dog and it is still used for this purpose today.
While many examples of Dobermans are bred and kept as pets—rather than as guard dogs for tax collectors—they do still adopt some guard dog traits. They have retained their intelligence and are considered trainable in experienced hands. They are very loyal to their owners and family. However, they can be very protective and alert to what they perceive as danger.
Dobermans and Other Dogs
The Doberman’s traits mean that it can be very good with children, although care should always be taken with young children and any breed of dog. The same traits also mean that the breed can be wary around strangers, at least until it has determined whether they are considered a threat.
Dobermans are also generally good with dogs of the opposite sex, regardless of the breed. However, they may not get on with dogs of the same sex. This is especially true of female Dobermans with other females but can also be true of males. The problem is especially pronounced in rescue dogs and those that have had multiple homes. According to research, the aggression is usually instigated by the younger of the two dogs.
Early socialization is often cited as being an effective way to prevent canine aggression of all types, and it can help with same-sex aggression in Dobermans. However, sexual maturity can change the characteristics of a dog and the relationships they have with other dogs. So, two dogs that got along well before sexual maturity might become aggressive once they reach maturity.
Dobermans are known for showing signs of same-sex aggression. It is especially common in females and dogs that have had multiple families or that have come from a shelter. When it does occur, it is usually the younger of the two dogs that instigate the aggression, and it can be difficult to overcome. Prospective owners are generally advised not to get two Dobermans of the same sex, but all dogs are individuals and exceptions do exist.
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