Because the Doberman Pinscher (spelled Dobermann in some countries) came into existence at the end of the 19th century, they are, in the world of dogs, the new kid on the block. This hasn’t stopped the Dobie, as they’re affectionately called, from becoming one of the most popular and recognized breeds in the United States.
Their look is elegant and their style is athletic; the Dobie is also intelligent, alert, and loyal. They’re a courageous guard dog as well as a beloved family companion.
The Dobie’s fierce reputation precedes them. They’re feared by those who don’t know them, stereotyped as highly aggressive and vicious. True, they’re a formidable guardian, but they’re usually a gentle, watchful, and loving dog. They don’t go looking for trouble, but they’re fearless and will defend their family and turf if they perceive danger.
The Doberman Pinscher enjoys being part of a family. They like to be close to those they love and, when this love is present, they’re a natural protector. They’re trustworthy with their family’s children, friends, and guests as long as the pooch is treated kindly.
In spite of their positive qualities, the Dobie isn’t the right breed for everyone. They’re large, at 60 to 80 pounds, and they’re extremely active, both physically and mentally. They need a lot of exercise.
They also need plenty of mental challenges to keep them from becoming bored. They need a strong owner/pack leader who can take time to properly socialize and train them, and who will keep them busy every day. This may be too much to handle for people who lead a more laid-back lifestyle.
The current look of the Dobie is slimmer and sleeker than that of past years. Their temperament has also changed somewhat, say breed enthusiasts, softening a bit from their early days in Germany, though they’re still an excellent guard dog.
Originally, Dobies’ ears were cropped to increase their ability to locate sounds, and tail docking gave the breed a more streamlined look. North American breeders usually dock the tails and crop the ears of Doberman puppies, though it’s not mandatory. Docking and ear cropping is illegal in some countries.
Those who know them say that a properly socialized Dobie is an excellent pet and companion, suitable for families with other dogs, gentle with young children, and overall a loyal and devoted family member.