Is the Doberman the right breed for me?  

Before you get a Doberman, be honest with yourself about what you can and cannot do to make life with this breed a long and happy experience.

  • This athletic dog needs brisk walking every day and all-out running as often as possible. Too little exercise and too little companionship can lead to restlessness and other behavioral problems. Mental exercise (advanced obedience, agility, tracking, Schutzhund) is just as important to this thinking breed.
  • Though some Dobermans are big softies who love everyone, most are reserved with strangers and protective of their family. Early and extensive socialization is mandatory to avoid either shyness or sharpness.
  • Some Dobermans are dominant with other dogs. Some are confirmed cat chasers, while others love small animals.
  • Some excel in advanced obedience competition, while others are hardheaded and will test to find their place in the pecking order.
  • Calm, consistent leadership is a must, and obedience training must be upbeat and persuasive rather than sharp. This breed does not tolerate teasing or mischief.
Dobe water dusk

If you want a dog who...

Is large and strong, yet sleek- and elegant-looking
Has a short easy-care coat
Thrives on exercise, athletic activities, and challenging things to do
Looks serious and imposing, so makes an effective deterrent even when friendly

A Doberman Pinscher may be right for you

If you don't want to deal with...

Providing enough exercise to keep him satisfied
Aggression, sharpness, or shyness when not socialized enough
Possible aggression toward other animals
Emotional sensitivity to stress and loud voices
Physical sensitivity (tendency to react defensively when startled or mishandled)
A multitude of serious health problems that can equate to a short lifespan
Potential legal liabilities (public perception, future breed bans, insurance problems, increased chance of lawsuits)

A Doberman Pinscher may NOT be right for you.


Here are some questions to ask yourself: 

  • Are you prepared to see your Doberman through to old age?
  • What's your lifestyle and how will a large, energetic dog fit in?
  • Are you prepared for an inside only dog?
  • What do you plan to do with your dog while on errands, or vacation?
  • Do you have a large proper fenced yard or are willing to go exercise several times a day in all weather conditions?
  • Who will be taking care of the dog?
  • If you work, what will your dog do while you're at work?
  • Do you have a trainer/training classes arranged for your dog?
  • Do you have children? Are they mature enough to treat the dog with respect? If they are quite young, are you prepared to raise a puppy (basically another child) and your child simultaneously?
  • Does your housing, city, homeowner's insurance, or neighborhood allow Dobermans?
  • Can you afford a dog right now? Are you prepared to make that financial commitment for the life of the dog?
  • Are you considering a puppy from a reputable breeder or rescuing an adult?