Doberman Pinschers are believed to have originated around 1890-1900, bred by a tax collector and night watchman named Louis Dobermann, who needed a companion dog to guard him. Breeds included in the Doberman’s ancestry include the Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Manchester Terrier, Great Dane, and possibly Weimereiner. From this mix comes a protective guard dog, and the Domberman’s image for some time has been that of a vicious dog Service Dog Training.
In some ways, that image has helped dog breeders, because the breed was not overbred for many years. In the past 100 years breeders have had time to blunt the Doberman’s temperament, making it a friendlier pet while still allowing it to function as a guard for its family. Breeders have selected dogs with discernment, capable of discerning friend from foe, without being generally vicious or fearful. This selective breeding has helped to place Dobermans on the list of the 10 most popular dog breeds in America.
A Doberman is known for it’s intelligence, and needs someone who can assert him or herself as pack leader. They are also highly energetic, muscular and medium-sized, ideally about 27 inches at the shoulder. They need a lot of activity and play, and room for running around. They have the nickname “Velcro dogs” because they love to be near their humans, and having their heads rubbed is one of the things they like to do most. Dobermans want to be close to their families, being naturally loyal, and are usually trustworthy around children.
Generally, living with a Doberman is a positive experience if the dog is socialized early and taught what is expected of it. Doberman puppies should be introduced to friends of the family, who should sit next to it and pet it, gaining its trust before trying to pick it up. The puppy should also be taken on walks to learn not to fear all strangers and other dogs, and to learn to walk on a leash. Puppy preschool classes are good for the socialization process. With a dog this size, it is important to teach it not to jump onto people so that your great aunt will not suffer a hip fracture. If the dog understands that you are the pack leader, he or she will not feel the need to become aggressive to take your dinner away from you.
Teaching obedience is a good way to make your Doberman understand that you are the boss. Again, if you are unfamiliar with dog training, or even if you are a seasoned dog owner, a class in dog obedience from an experienced dog trainer is a good idea. Some of the commands you and your dog will learn might be “settle,” “sit,” “stay,” “off,” and “leave it.” “Settle” means to stop running around barking and lie still. “Sit” shows your Doberman’s good manners and reassures nervous guests not be afraid. “Stay” is good for keeping your dog from running to overwhelm visitors entering your front door. “Off” means to avoid knocking down your great aunt. “Leave it” is what you say when your Doberman shows interest in your Thanksgiving table.
Choose your Doberman puppy carefully, avoiding those who tend to be overly aggressive or shy. Give him or her plenty of space, toys, attention, and training, and you are likely to have a good all-around companion and protector.