Doberman Pinschers are very keen, super energetic with tremendous strength and stamina. Dobes like to be with their people and are not suited to kennel or backyard life; they need human interaction and leadership. Loyal, tolerant, dedicated and affectionate with the family. Determined, bold and assertive while working, they are very adaptable, highly skilled and versatile. They are intelligent and very easy to train. They are an outstanding watch and guard dog and do not need additional protection training. This breed is not for everyone. The Doberman needs an owner who is willing and able to display a natural authority over the dog. All family members must be firm, confident and consistent, setting rules and sticking to them. Everything must be on the human’s terms. The dog is the follower, and the humans are the leaders. The dog will appreciate knowing his place in his pack and feel secure about it. He should be thoroughly socialized when young to prevent skittishness. Mental stimulation and a lot of daily exercise are important in order to produce a happy, stable-minded Dobe. The Doberman needs to be consistently and thoroughly trained. Dobes can be good family dogs if the alpha role belongs to the human and if they receive enough exercise, are well trained and are socialized with children. Although the Doberman has the reputation of being a very aggressive dog, this is just not the case. For example, Dobes make great therapy dogs. They are sweet and gentle with nursing-home patients—tippy-toeing over IV tubing and walking at the resident’s speed (which can be very slow), while at the same time will fiercely defend their masters if it becomes necessary. Dominancy levels vary, even within the same litter and the breed’s temperament will vary greatly depending on how well the owners understand canine behavior and how willing they are to take the time to provide what the dog instinctually needs. Will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised, but does best with at least an average-sized yard. Dobes are very cold sensitive and are not outside dogs. That is why police in areas where it gets cold are not able to use them.
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