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Doberman Pinscher: From Playful Puppy to Devoted Dog

Sit, Dobie! :)



If you're looking for information on the breed of dog known as the Doberman Pinscher, or Dobie for short, you've come to the right place! Allow me to explain myself before we get started. I began this page because before I got my own Doberman pup, I had to do a lot of research and I struggled to get a good sense of what owning a Dobie would be like. The purpose of this webpage is to share my personal experience as the caretaker of one awesome Dobie, a female who will turn three years old October 2007 named Marilyn (pictures are finally here - near the bottom!). I am not a breeder nor a professional dog trainer, so please keep that in mind. I only want to provide you with my perspective on this breed of dog as I know them from my own experience.

Black & tan Doberman with cropped ears - just chilling out.

Black & tan Doberman with cropped ears - just chilling out.

Two Dobies at the Park

Two Dobermans with uncropped ears: one black & tan (left), the other blue (right) in their harnesses. Owned by David Fischer.

Two Dobermans with uncropped ears: one black & tan (left), the other blue (right) in their harnesses. Owned by David Fischer.

What Attracted Me to Dobermans

I still remember the very first encounter I ever had with a Doberman Pinscher. It took place in rural East Texas and I was around seven years old. My uncle had taken me out to visit a relative and it turned out that the relative was not home - however, their Doberman was. This massive dog stood chained up in the front yard on a very long chain and barked at us quite ferociously. After my uncle yelled at him to shut up, we proceeded to look at the various other animals that this relative kept around his home. The dog didn't continue to bark at us since he knew my uncle, but he kept a very strict eye on us the entire visit. I'd come to learn later that Dobermans tend to watch over every member of the family, not just humans, but that was my very first encounter with a Doberman. Frankly, it scared the living daylights out of me!

I wouldn't meet another Doberman personally until nearly ten years later. Her name was Underfoot because she was constantly, well, underfoot! She was a four year old black and tan Dobie who'd lost a leg after being struck by a car. Surprisingly, this didn't slow her down one bit and she easily kept up with her other canine pals. Not only did she manage well physically, she had one of the sweetest dispositions I'd ever encountered in a dog.

Ironically, these two experiences stayed with me and when I began researching "the ideal dog for me" back in 2004 the Doberman kept re-surfacing. I'd had experience with a variety of dogs by this point in my life. I'd owned small dogs - a Yorkshire Terrier/Poodle cross and a Miniature Dachshund. I'd raised a Rottweiler and a Pitbull/Rottweiler cross, too, and enjoyed those experiences. I'd learned how to handle a large breed dog with an assertive temperament and now I wanted a dog that could be my constant companion. I did a lot of reading and called several breeders of various breeds before I firmly decided on the Doberman Pinscher as my dog breed of choice.

The things that stood out to me about Dobies were that they were strong, agile dogs with a high intelligence. Because my disability requires me to use a wheelchair, I found those traits to be helpful. I wanted a dog that was loyal and with their long history as both police and military dogs, the courageous Doberman certainly fit the bill. I also wanted a dog that could be gentle and closely attached to its family. When I read that Dobermans had been successfully employed for not only therapy dog, but assistance dog work for the disabled, too, I knew this was the breed I'd always wanted. Afterall, who wouldn't want a dog often referred to as "velcro dogs" because they stick so closely to you?

We'll touch on the reality of raising a "velcro dog" after I share a bit about the history of the Doberman breed. Before we get to that section, though, let's cover what I worried about in regards to being responsible for a Doberman Pinscher of my own.

Red Doberman

Red Doberman smiling as he stands in the grass, photographed by John Adams

Red Doberman smiling as he stands in the grass, photographed by John Adams


This Doberman is definitely alerting his owner to trouble!

This Doberman is definitely alerting his owner to trouble!

What I Worried About

As I mentioned earlier I'd already raised both a Rottweiler (female) and a Pitbull/Rottweiler mix (male) by the time I ever got a Doberman. Both of those dogs were strong-willed (stubborn!), physically powerful and high energy animals. They also came with social stigmas. It shocked me to learn that many people have a knee-jerk negative response to breeds sometimes considered to be aggressive. In fact several people I encountered while out and about with my dogs had no problem critizing their heritage or making insulting speculations about their personalities. Remarks such as "that's probably a mean dog!" or "I bet he's a cat killer!" were less common that you might imagine. Even the small town veterinarian we used at the time distrusted both these breeds. Ironically my dogs loved cats, kids and just about everyone else but the nasty remarks still bothered me. I worried this might end up being the case with Dobermans, too.

Another issue I feared might sour my relationship with my dog was snappishness. I'd heard people say that dogs such as German Shepherd and Dobermans tend to be snappy and reactive. That would make it difficult for me to trust my own dog and no one wants a dog they don't feel they can trust. I needed a dog I could entrust my life to, so this made me quite nervous.

Other than this, my only other worries were about health issues with purebred dogs and the price of actually bringing a puppy home with me. Now that we've covered a bit of my history with Dobermans, let's take a look at the history of the breed itself.

A strong part of the Doberman's ancestry: the sturdy Rottweiler.

A strong part of the Doberman's ancestry: the sturdy Rottweiler.

History of the Doberman Pinscher

As is the nature of history, the details on the precise beginnings of the Doberman Pinscher breed are sometimes disputed and not exact. What I'm offering you is something of a round-up of information I've pulled from various sources and filtered down to what makes logical sense to me.

In the beginning (around 1890 or so) there was Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a German fellow. Mister Dobermann worked as a tax collector and his work required him to travel through dangerous areas carrying money around. It probably also meant he regularly encountered people who weren't all that thrilled to see him since he was there to collect their tax money. He also worked as a night watchman, from what I understand. In both professions he took dogs out with him. On top of both these jobs he apparently also did some work with the dog pound of that day so he had access to a wide variety of dogs from which to found his ideal breed. He sought to create an intelligent, loyal dog that was both physically intimidating and ferocious when need be.

Some people believe Dobermann and those who carried on his legacy used primarily German Shepherds in the gene pool. Others say German Shorthaired Pointers, Manchester Terriers and Beaucerons or Great Danes were used. While all of these are certainly possibilities, I'd say that the best bets are the three breeds of dog that make the most sense to me: Weimaraner, Rottweiler and Greyhound. Many people uphold this theory and after owning a Doberman myself, it seems the most likely combination to me.

As the breed progressed it came to be used heavily in police and military work. During World War II and Vietnam, Dobermans were used on troop patrols and also (due to their ability to move silently) to search out and kill enemy snipers. As a matter of fact, 25 dogs donated by Americans to the United States Marine Corps served and died in the Battle of Guam during World War II. There is a memorial in Guam in honor of their service.

Today, many Dobermans still serve alongside police officers and military personnel.

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A black and tan Doberman Pinscher, with cropped ears, standing at attention.

A black and tan Doberman Pinscher, with cropped ears, standing at attention.

Breed Standard Today

Since it's the largest club of its kind, I'll be basing my 'breed standard' information off what the American Kennel Club holds to be a proper Doberman Pinscher. If you are from a country other than United States you might want to check with a local dog club to find out if the standards are different for your area.

As in many breeds, the sizes of the dogs can vary depending on what bloodline they come from. Also, in the case of Dobermans, the females are generally smaller while the males are larger. The typical height (measured at the shoulders of the dog - called withers) varies between 24 and 28 inches typically. Females weigh in at around 60 to 85 pounds, while males weigh between 75 and 100 pounds. My dog, Marilyn, weighs around 90 pounds but her mother weighed only 65 pounds. Her father weighed 100 pounds.

The coat of the Doberman is one of my favorite features. They have short, stiff hair that covers their entire body. While they don't have a thick undercoat like a Rottweiler, they do shed, though not quite as much in my experience. Their coat is sleek and shiny when they're healthy and to me it feels rather luxurious. When it comes to coat colors, many people are surprised to learn that Dobermans have a variety of colors they come in. There's the standard black and tan, of course and the "tan" will vary from a light golden shade in some dogs to a rich, deep mahogany in others. Once again, the dog's lineage will come into play here. Besides black and tan, the Dobie comes in "red" which is a chocolate brown or red color overall with lighter markings in the same places of the tan on the black and tan variety. They come in "blue" which is a steel grey or blue shade with lighter tan markings. There's also a shade known as Isabella (or more commonly, fawn) which is a blonde or honey color. Marilyn's mother was fawn while her father was black and tan. The litter of thirteen puppies were primarily black and tan with a few red ones, as well. It was quite a little rodeo of puppies, let me tell you!

The physique of the Doberman should be agile, but sturdy. This dog has a broad chest and square, muscular frame even while it appears slender from afar. The gait of a Doberman is quite recognizable. They tend to "prance" like a deer or horse would when in a happy mood around their family and stalk like a panther when they sense something serious afoot. They don't just run, Dobies gallop - it's an impressive site! In short, the dog should be built like an athlete, have a spring in his or her step and capable of moving with high dexterity once past the puppy phase.

Ears and tails of Dobies are a contest area. Some people prefer the ears cropped (cut) and erect and the tails docked (cut), also. Many people do not know that Doberman puppies are born with quite long tails that curve back over their bodies. It's common practice to dock the pups' tails a few days after birth so most people do not have a choice because the breeder of the litter decides whether or not the tails are cropped. Some argue that the tail is cropped only for appearances whereas other people will tell you that the tail is cropped so that the dog doesn't end up getting it smashed in a door or have some other accident later in life. My dog's tail is docked, but her ears were not cropped. Ear cropping takes place between the puppy's seventh and ninth week of life and after that they have to have their ears held erect so that they grow correctly. I'd been in favor of this because I liked the look, but our veterinarian informed us that it actually causes the puppies pain - which I did not know. We opted not to crop Marilyn's ears and I believe it's helped her appear more friendly to the general public.

This Doberman has the color known as Isabella or fawn.

This Doberman has the color known as Isabella or fawn.

Dobie Temperament

I cannot speak for the temperament of each and every Doberman, but I will give you an overall idea of what you can expect. Dobermans are highly alert and extremely energetic dogs. They love activity and exercise, so it's important to keep this in mind if you're seriously considering taking on the responsibility of owning one yourself. They can be reserved around strangers (more especially the males, in my observation), but rarely act hostile unless you encourage them to - which *I* discourage you from doing! You never, ever need to promote aggression in a Doberman. They are perfectly capable of defending you if need be, but their strength lies in the fact that they generally do not seek out confrontation with humans or other animals. Of course, a dog trained for police or military work may be a different story.

I've found that nearly every Doberman I've met thus far has what I'd call a sunny disposition. They're pleased to meet new people and enjoy being pet. They tend to act more gentle towards children and smaller animals than adults, of course. They seem to be very intuitive, even for a dog, and able to sense actual danger rather than raising a big fuss over something insignificant. The downside to this is that they are also somewhat easily depressed if they feel you are upset with or disappointed in them. They've got a strong drive to please and failure seems to get them down in the dumps. It's important to remember that most of the time they're paying attention to your tone, body language and eye contact - they're going to know if you're mad at them - so try and encourage them to try again when they mess up, rather than scold them.

If you're kind to your Dobie and as willing to work with them as much as they're willing to work with you there's no reason why you won't make a wonderful team together!

Black and tan Dobie with cropped ears, sometimes considered to look "scarier".

Black and tan Dobie with cropped ears, sometimes considered to look "scarier".

Bad Rumors

I've heard my share of bad hearsay about the Doberman Pinscher. When I was growing up, in the 1980s they were quite a feared dog. Television and movies regularly showed the snapping, snarling Doberman desperate to tear someone apart. Pretty scary stuff! Fortunately, Hollywood deals in fantasy rather than reality. The dogs you see in movies are trained rigorously to exhibit that sort of terrifying behavior that your average Doberman is going to reserve for the defense of his family's lives.

In fact, prior to the 1970s Dobermans weren't considered to terribly aggressive or evil. It was one movie that changed all this drastically. That movie was The Omen which featured Dobermans as well, the minions of the Antichrist. The movie raised a ruckus among the general public and people began to think more poorly of the breed. Once that downward slide began, things only got worse. People forgot all about the heroic Dobermans who alerted Marines to enemy snipers during World War II and focused on the negative. Absolute craziness ensued.

Some rumors are that the Nazis engineered the Doberman Pinscher to be viscious human predators incapable of anything beyond savage violence and mechanical following of commands. Obviously the Nazis did not create the breed of dog we know as the Doberman since records indicate it existed long before the rise of National Socialism in Germany. This didn't stop people from killing many German dog breeds during and shortly after the second world war.

It is also untrue that Dobermans have been bred to have skulls that are too small for their brains. This ludicrous claim states that since the skull would be too small it would exert pressure on the brain of the dog, causing it to be unnaturally aggressive. In real life if this occurred (which medically speaking, it cannot) the condition would be fatal to the animal. The same urban legend is told today regarding the pitbull, the modern dog breed people love to hate.

Be sure to check out silly stories like these whenever you hear them because the facts are out there and most crazy rumors can be easily put to rest with a minimum of research on your part.

Marilyn Curious About Cameras

She's wondering exactly why we keep pointing the same device we talk into and grab when it rings. Just like a kid sometimes she'll try to get away with things she wouldn't try if we weren't on the phone. ;-)

She's wondering exactly why we keep pointing the same device we talk into and grab when it rings. Just like a kid sometimes she'll try to get away with things she wouldn't try if we weren't on the phone. ;-)

Ginger, a Doberman showing the blue color, owned by Andreas Kolleger

Ginger, a Doberman showing the blue color, owned by Andreas Kolleger

How Puppyhood Went

I selected my dog from a litter of eleven puppies who were five weeks old the first time I met them. There were nine males and two females. I wanted a male, but my best friend (and housemate) would be doing the choosing for me. This isn't often advised - having anyone else choose your puppy - but I'd asked her to select for me so I'd be surprised. She had agreed to help me raise the puppy and I trusted her strong animal intuition. She chose a black and tan female who I named Marilyn and we brought her home when she was around eight weeks old. I was overjoyed to finally have my own Doberman pup and she was such a sweetheart that I fell in love instantaneously.

Then we got about ten miles down the road from the family farm where she'd been born and raised. She'd been quietly watching all that took place, but now she felt ready to explore. She tried resting but simply couldn't find a comfortable spot to lay down. The rest of the two hour ride home involved me gently wrestling her back into my lap - and whining. After getting home I decided it'd be fun to let her sleep next to me in bed, along with my eleven week old kitten. This turned out to be a huge mistake and I ended up feeling like I'd gotten in bed with a furry shark! Like all puppies, Dobermans explore with the world their mouths - which are full of needle sharp teeth. So, we decided a kennel crate would be the best sleeping option to keep her out of trouble overnight.

I say overnight, but we worked graveyard so perhaps "overday" would be a more apt description. My joyous young Marilyn had grown up in the barn on a farm. On farms people and animals get up when the sunrises, right about the time my housemate and I went to sleep. When young puppies wake up they like vocalize at their mother and the rest of the world. You might imagine a rooster and crank the volume up several notches, toss in incredible angst and crank all that up to the threshold of your tolerance for whining. A bit difficult to sleep through, so we decided to read aloud over the noise until she went to sleep. Guess what? It worked! Eventually she began keeping the same schedule we did!

I worked from home so I raised Marilyn myself most of the time. She quickly learned the use of puppy pads, rarely making an accident. She had to be encouraged to eat since she mainly cared about playing and napping - not too unusual for a young pup. Of course, the kitten (Alice) that we had made it her mission to torture her canine companion by sneaking up while she slept and biting her. This ignited a strong sibling rivalry. It also meant Marilyn got her naps interupted sometimes. The first couple months of her young life Marilyn and I didn't get along. In fact, I begged my best friend to please take this awful puppy away from me!

It's possible that not every puppy is such a nightmare, but mine definitely was. She yelled at high volumes, played herself into a frenzy, chewed on anything around her and generally made a pest of herself. During the first couple months of our time together she didn't particularly care to be petted, either. She'd far rather have me throw a toy for her or simply allow her to leap around or chase our kitten. Ironically, she loved nothing better than having my best friend hold her! So here I was stuck with this hellion of a puppy, completely discouraged and certain that all the awful rumors were true: she'd grow into a completely unmanageable dog that turned on me. My best friend steadfastly refused to return young Marilyn to the breeders. She gently insisted that these puppy days would soon end and Marilyn would grow into a wonderful companion for me - she just knew it.

Turns out, she was right! Yes, those puppy days were a test of my resolve and endurance, but Marilyn and I eventually built a strong relationship. In fact, she and Alice (our cat) have quite a strong bond between them, too, these days. I spent hours working with her on how to sit, lay down, pick up things and give them to me. She decided these "games" were fun and put her efforts into earning praise and the occaisional treat. She potty-trained like a dream and soon knew commands before I could finish getting them out of my mouth! I taught her both verbal and hand-signal commands. To this day she can do either of them and she barks on command (in case I ever need her to signal for help), too. Now I can confidently say that no matter how rough of a stat we had together we're a true team and she's earned her place as the best dog I've ever had the pleasure of getting to know!

Now that I've covered the less than pleasant aspects of owning a Doberman pup, please allow me to pass on some recommendations if you *still* feel you'd like to raise one.

A Dobie in its bed with uncropped ears and undocked tail looking right at home!

A Dobie in its bed with uncropped ears and undocked tail looking right at home!

Toys for All Age Dogs!

Personal Reccommendations

First off, and I cannot stress this enough, a Dobie needs your time. If you've got a busy schedule and won't be home more than a few hours a night this may not be the dog for you. They form incredibly strong connections with their families and have a deep need for their people. I do know people who take their Dobie to work and if you can do this I recommend it. I also suggest training as early as possible because a pup that begins learning early will learn to love it and continue their whole lives. Few things are troublesome as a bored Doberman and I certainly wouldn't want to see that cute puppy you fell in love with end up at the Humane Society, in the pound or with a Doberman rescue. Training gives your puppy a job and you'd be surprised how much a Dobie loves to work!

Good chew toys are a must with a young Doberman. You'll need solid, strong toys because these little guys and gals have amazingly strong jaws and perseverance when it comes to chewing. I recommend avoiding cloth toys because you won't want your puppy mistakenly going after your clothing or your children's stuffed animals. Tug of war is okay, but make sure not to do it too much because it's better not to give your puppy the idea that it's okay to challenge you because believe me, they will! A constant supply of chewies will keep your pup entertained and their teeth clean, too, so these are a good idea to have on hand at all times. They help calm the nerves, also.

The biggest crate you can get will make a nice, safe bed for your pup. When you aren't home you're not going to want it getting into everything and if you don't give them their own space to wait for you, they're going to. It'd be understandable to be angry if you came home to a torn up sofa or a television cord chewed in half, so please try to avoid this scenario ahead of time by thinking ahead. Eventually you'll be able to trust the dog in the house alone, but wait until you're absolutely certain they'll behave.

Besides the obvious leash, a harness is a good investment for your pup. The thin neck of a Dobie allows them to easily slip their collar if they decide to give chase while you're walking together. A harness lesses the direct stress on the dog's neck and gives you more control over where your dog goes. Dobies love walks, but start out gently so as not to wear them out (especially when they're young!) and always check their paws to make sure they're not getting to scraped up.

Other than lots of good toys, a vast supply of chewies, a large crate, a leash and harness, you shouldn't need too many more things to keep your Dobie sunny and upbeat other than vet care. Like all dogs, Dobies need a vet who understands them and doesn't dislike the breed so make sure your vet is ok with Dobermans before you ever take your puppy in. Nothing's worse than a veternarian that dislikes your dog!

Well, that wraps it up for me. Hopefully I've covered everything and given you a glimpse into what it's like to own a Dobie. They're not for everyone, but they are for me and I've gotten back far more than I've put in. Thank you for visiting my site and I wish you well in your pursuit of the ideal dog for you and your family!

My Marilyn

Here she is looking up at a friend, wondering why we feel Iams is *enough* food.

Here she is looking up at a friend, wondering why we feel Iams is *enough* food.

I've written a novel!

I've also written an urban fantasy novel you can read for free online by clicking here: Swimming the Streets. Yes, there are a whole lot of dogs in it! :)


Amayo nathaniel pauk on April 21, 2015:

Am a Nigerian an intend to buy a male dobberman puppy in july as my birthday dedication,my twin reali like dubb,how can i teach em command when i have the puppy?love this info

scharmon baldwin/sativa on January 01, 2014:

Not only was I was a first time dobie mommy, I was q first time doggie mommy of TWO beautiful dobies- ignorant ignorant ignorant of the breed my husband & I asked our friends with a boy & girl dobie for the first dibs on the litter- my husbad wanted Isabell(y) before conception & we got her (that was a crazy story altogether but they were destined to be together) - whenvwe went to get her, I saw Dayzee...we got two! We had so much love for our girls that we went homeless a few times because we cudnt find a place to live that allowed this breed after we sold our home- it never occurred to us that we wud be sneaking our babies out to potty or hide them as we pulled into r.v. parks, hotels, etc- but we don't have children & we cudnt just leave them with anyone so we suffered a bit more than they did- anyway, many many adventures later, Bella was sick & we had to let her go & I am missing her oh so badly- I have never EVER met any dog with so much brains & personality; my dog Dayzee is smart too, but Bella(y) was a cut above- we calld her grandpa cuz she looked like an old man since she was a pup with her gray/blu coat; our hearts are broken & I don't think I can ever bring myself to go thru this pain again- once Dayzee has her turn to go, will be all she wrote for me- I wud do it all again; but the one thing nobody ever mentions is how difficult it is to find a place to live if u not a home owner OR that they do not like cold, so to hell with the dignity, & spring for the doggie booties & sweaters if u love ur dobie & do not like dobie doo doo in the house- there are many other things I can give advice...GOOD advice about, but I've written a novel already- I really really hope if anyone has any questions that my experiences both good & bad won't be for not & will ask me ANYTHING without shame

Missa Lester on November 22, 2013:

Great info! My fiancé got me a doberman pup for my birthday this Sunday. We have only had him for a day and we are aleady smitten! We looked into the breed but didn't really look into testimony of owners before hand. I feel like all the information you gave will help us out tons! Thank you!

mike Beaver on May 11, 2013:

dobermans are the only breed for me have put down 2 so far and have 2 now

ron on January 21, 2013:

i want adoberman cheap i got my quad stoldon from my property on July 26, 2012:

I was so happy to read your comments on the beautiful Doberman breed. I have owned four, my present dobie is a 3 year old red male and the sweetest dog I've ever owned. If these dogs are bred by reputable breeders and raised by responsible owners there are no natural aggression problems. Only dogs with irresponsible owners who train them to be aggressive are such. It's a shame this wonderful breed carries a bad reputation, bad breeding coupled with aggressive training techniques are the only reasons you would see an aggressive dobie. It's the same in any breed. My boy has the most loving personality with "0" aggression. He encourages play in any dog he encounters and shies away from an unbalanced dog

Thank for your positive words, I hope some day these magnificent dogs will be viewed as the wonderful, well-balanced, intelligent dogs they are.

eric7363 on April 25, 2012:

Im eric who commented about my dobie rocky who is stubborn when walking... what can i do?

eric7363 on April 25, 2012:

Im eric who commented about my dobie rocky who is stubborn when walking... what can i do?

eric on April 25, 2012:

Hello!!! Well for my bday 20days i got an 8week old male dolbie.... So far hes been a wonderful experience and is very smart i have got him to learn the command sit, stay and paw.. They only probably is that every morning before i go to qork I try to take him for a short walk but he seems to be a hassle he just doesn't want to walk but i guess i will be investing on a harness next.. Thanks for ur wonderful site ive learned a lot more about my dolbie...

Rated-R-Senadheera on April 24, 2012:

The greatest hub on dobies. I love it. Thanks for spending so much time on it.And your Marilyn is really nice and pretty. Good luck for both of you!

STEVE on March 31, 2012:


Dash's Mom on February 01, 2012:

I love your site! This site covers pretty much everything I read as I researched dogs for 2years prior to getting our red female Dobbie, Dash. Everything pointed to a Dobbie being a fit for our family. I never imagined that after having many diff breeds of dogs growing up I could be turned into a one best breed for me person, but I am! I will only have Dobbies from now on! Dash is only 1 1/2 yrs but has been a pleasure since day one. Don't get me wrong, she was a puppy and tested boundaries. She had a serious stubborn streak (she would actually look you in the eye and sit down if called when she didn't feel like it. I had to prove that stubborn or not she was going to come if called. Lol) She worships my son who is now 7. In her eyes he can do no wrong. Her world exists to please him in her mind. In my research I read they can be stand off-ish to strangers. This is not at all the case with Dash. I was very careful to socialize her, around kids especially. She loves everyone! The two people she hasn't liked I believed the dogs insight. My only complaint would be her flatulence. Lol. Which is still 100% better than the Rott we had (and I never fed either people food.) Dobbie Girl Forever!

Pearl on January 26, 2012:

i have a dobe puppy called yuki.. she's almost 15 weeks old and she's very sweet puppy.she was shy at first. she wouldn't make a noise and wont play. but she's very smart and she knows that she has to go outside my room to pee and poo. after a few days, she started coming out of her shell and got more playful. she's very friendly towards other dogs even if they are aggressive toward her. also she's friendly to all people, kids or adults. the only problem i have is i can NEVER leave her alone in one place. she gets lonely and barks loudly(i think she cries). she doesn't care if she's on her cage as long as there is someone beside her. i love her so much and she's my baby. ^_^

Caroline on January 21, 2012:

Excellent, couldn't have said it better myself. I have had Doberman's in my life and am going through the 10 week old puppy stage right now with a total hellion. He's a devil for sure and I nicknamed him trouble even though his real name is Kane. I did opt for the ear crop but, my vet had sent us home with plenty of pain meds, a 2 week supply, and this vet believed in complete comfort for my little Kane. He already had 2 ear infections at that young age and our vet decided the ear surgery would prevent this. So far so good. Thanks for your hub!

christinepurr on November 07, 2011:

Oops.. I didn't mean to just write that, LOL, I also wanted to say that your article was extremely informative and very well-written. Dobermans are my favorite breed, and so much of what you pointed out in this amazing breed is in my wittle dobie boy. :)

christinepurr on November 07, 2011:

Unless there's a scene which I've not seen in The Omen, that movie features Rottweilers, not Dobermans.

Art 4 Life from in the middle of nowhere.... on August 30, 2011:

wonderful hub~ I am a true lover of the Doberman..I just lost my doberman, Moose, to dilated cardio myopathy, a few months ago...and I can honestly tell you, in the 13 yrs that I had him, he was the best dog I had ever had in my life...


Roshan Udugama on August 30, 2011:

i think the Weimaraner cane after the Doberman, correct me if i'm mistaken.

Serrano on August 19, 2011:

I thought your information on th breed was awesome.

WIKIpc on June 03, 2011:

so informative...wooow..I like dobermans too...very inteligent faithfull:)

navalvet on April 18, 2011:

i read your site, great information,i have a m large boned male doberman named panzer, and your so right boy he tests my patients at times , mstly with jumping i have tried many of training methods to stop him, including using a monks. traing of holding his paws up. lets just say he is a stubborn one lol.. but on the brighter side he is extreamly intellegent, i got him at 8 weeks and within 48 hrs he was sitting and laying down. have to say i like what all you wrote very informative. and i do love my dobbie. i would like to know more about crate traing sine i haven't gotten his crate yet but paln of it in a couple of weeks. ty again for your site.

D New on March 31, 2011:

It touched me to read about the last post with the doberman with cardiomyopathy- I too lost a 10 year old male to that as well as recently a 7 year old male to throat cancer. I debated about getting another but was inconsolable; as I have shared my life with a doberman for the past 17 years. I found another boy, and he is a bit of a hellion at 11 weeks. He will definitely keep me on my toes. I believe with all my heart there is nothing like a doberman. It is not about whether you crop and dock, but about the breed itself- Cudos to whatever you choose but dobermans are the best! Love them, Love them.

Art 4 Life from in the middle of nowhere.... on March 12, 2011:

Great hub~ very informative about the doberman and puppy hood~ I have always had dobermans in my life, and now have my faithful companion Moose at my side. He's a big 100lb red male...He just turned 13, and was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyophaty last week. I am heart broken about his dignosis, but am grateful he has had a wonderful long life, considering all the health and genetic issues with the breed. I think they are the most loyal of all dog breeds~ they are indeed "velcro" dogs...nice hub, I rated you up. I will be dedicating a hub to Moose when he passes...and have some cartoons I drew dedicated to him also on my hubpage~


Missey on January 08, 2011:

I have two blue dobberman males, littermates. This was not intentional. They fell in my lap. The owner didn't want them because they had parvo and he was going to let the die. I took them in and treated them at home. We were hooked. These boys are now 11 months old and they are the sweetest pups ever. Although a lot of work to walk them and feed them separately so they have independance from one another they play great together and are loving. They are very allert. But like you mentioned, you have to be committed to spending time with them, they long to be next to you. Treat them like small dogs where you have them with you more than not.

dawn on January 06, 2011:

you are very right about these dobermans i own one myself that's a min pin an a full blooded all american pitt bull people hate on my pitt just because shes a pitt but shes very well manared an listens very well shes from a championship blood line i love her very much on the other hand my min pin that ive had for about 3 years shes red an i dare not leave her alone for one second they do chew EVERYTHING up that's the only thing i hate about these kind of breed dogs i have came home to a deystroyed house looks like a tornado went through it but she knows better an ive always had a hard time potty training her but now shes the sweetest an most precious dog ever an has turned into a lap dog i just cant leave her alone an shes very protective when someone comes up aggressively shes bit a few no harm to anyone its funny how when she knows something is happening shes always up an barking an rasin nine kinds of cane but never really does much except for the time i was training my pitt to attack if some stranger walked through my door and i got my pitt to attack me my pin min poor baby tried to protect me but she couldn't excatly do that being a little dog but i really liked your story about these dogs and its very true trust me i wanted to get rid of my min pin when i first got her but now im glad i didn't i love both my dogs!...thank you for the sharing of your experiences

raiz&h4 on December 16, 2010:

My mother just passed away July 28th and I have to be in denial. I've been handling it too well, although I feel the anxiety building inside me. She was an alcoholic and the liver finally gave out after she took a fall and broke her hip. Watching her in ICU for two weeks dying was the most horrible thing I've ever been through. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Noone has a clue what it's like to lose your mother until it happens. I lived with her so that is a whole other thing I have to deal with. I saw and talked to her everyday. It's really unlike anything I've ever experienced. I know I'll see her again one day and that's about the only thing that gives me comfort. I hope everyone here who has lost a parent or someone else close to them finds peace.

Connie 3 months ago

Hey stylezink. Thank you for your beautiful words. I can't believe how much I can relate to them, especially that of going to the wake and having strangers act as though they miss your mum as much as you do. I know that they mean well, but it makes you feel angry sometimes. Your detail description of everything you've been through is very like mine. If I were to write it all down, I could remember it like yesterday.

I lost my mum nearly 3 months ago, and I was only 19. She passed away from cancer. I miss as though a part of me has gone. Everyone tells you that she's always there, watching over us, but it is of very little comfort, because she's not there physically, laughing, smiling, breathing, talking. It is so hard for me, because my mum and I were two peas in a pod, we were inseparable, friends, and soul mates. When I go to the shops and I see other girls hanging out with their mums, it breaks my heart, because I would give anything to do that again. Part of me is still waiting for her to come back, and giving her a kiss. Losing my mum, has also meant the breakdown of my family. She kept us all together, but now we are just individuals living under the same roof - not a family anymore.

Her death has affected me physically, I struggle with my uni studies, and I have retreated from social life almost completely. I think about her constantly, wondering what she is up to, if she's ok. Whilst I know that this is not what she would have wanted for me, I cannot carry on. It's funny how people just assume that since time has gone by, you are over everything, you don't want to talk about it. This is the hardest part - internalising your feelings and putting on a happy face.

I hope you, and everyone out there who has lost their mother take comfort in the fact that the bond between a mother and child can never be broken, not even by death. She will still be loving you, only it will be communicated differently, you just have to learn to read the signs she gives you. Hang in there, because sooner or later you will meet again.

Derek on November 07, 2010:

Just want to say that this is probably one of the best threads I've read about a Dobie. I own an Isabella named Ava Isabella who was the hardest playing, craziest, and ironically the hardest sleeping pup ever! We actually were able to pick her up and move her without her waking up! Sweetest dog I've ever owned! I'm definitely hooked and I will only own Dobermans, pits, and Rottweilers! I love them and they make me feel safe living around army posts!

MattyJ on November 03, 2010:

awesome the write up! i have 2 dobermans, one(the mom) name is hera and she is bout 2 years old and the other (the puppy) is bout 8 months old. and you are absolutely right about cloth toys......the puppy tore up everything like that even his own bed lol. and the i love the energy these dogs have......even after 2 years the mom is still full of energy even after a very long walk......absolutely the best dog breed in my opinion

Eiddwen from Wales on September 27, 2010:

I loved this hub. In 1985 I bought a brown and tan Doberman dog, he was 10 weeks old. We called him Major and he instantly became a special member of the family. We also had a Miniature Schnauzer called Pepper and guess who the boss was? Yes you're right it was Pepper.Everyone in our little village knew him and loved him.he was so much more than just a dog and we couldn't have asked for a better companion for myself and for my children.He was a descendant of The Tavey Doberman and I had a book about them in which I could follow his pedigree line from reading the book and looking through his pedigree certificate. It was a very sad day indeed when he passed over, but he's always in our hearts and our memories. Thank you for sharing this hub as it bought back some wonderful memories. I will vote it up and bookmark it. I now look forward to reading more of your work. Take care.

AborableYorkiePup on September 16, 2010:

such a wonderful story =D and shes SO cute!

if you ask me NEVA EVA got a dogs tail/ears clipped EVA!!!

there cute the way they are.

im a total dog lover i hate NO dogs all of them i love.

anyway this story was so awesome i just kept reading it.

my prayers are with all your dogs for healthy happy.

you most Forthelove.

jensad on May 25, 2010:

Thank yo Anna060 as we never docked the tail and never cropped the ears. I believe these gentle and loving dobies have been misconstrued on TV and movies. And the ears cropped and tail clipped just makes a gentle and loving dog look mean and nasty, and that is NOT what a dobie is.


Anna060 on May 21, 2010:

I'm still researching and came across these two points - wanted to share -

Left as nature intended the dog has a hound-like tail and ears that fold neatly forward, protecting the ear canal and inner ear from the damp, grime and bugs which are such a major cause of nuisance and pain to docked dogs which are not constantly being injected with ear mite drops and the like.

When in Germany recently, I visited the home of a Dobe owner. The Dobe was docked to the hilt, ears and tail. I noted a total of FIVE bottles of Canaural (ear drops) in the kitchen alone! Not to mention the inter-dog communication importance of the tail, and the agility and balancing benefits (having owned BOTH docked and undocked Dobes), suffice to say we are avidly against docking in any form, other than for a specific medical reason.

The benefits of the tail are clearly demonstrated as its use comes to the fore when the dog is jumping or turning at speed.

Taken from

jensad on May 16, 2010:

We raised a little girl Dobbie who loved us and blessed us with being a member of our family. Her name was "gretchen" and she lived with our son, and two daughters who loved her greatly as my wife and I did.

She would eat the cherries that our kids dropped when picking and she would always want to be loved and walked.

She died at 10 yrs and we immediately got another dobbie, we named "neu morgan", new morning in Deutche. She was beautiful and I hand trained her to sit, down, ect...

She also died at 10 yrs and again my wife and I cried. We creamated both dobbies and their ashes are in wooden boxes on our mantel.

We have a goldie now and when she crosses over, I shall again get my dobbie to share my later years along with my beautiful wife of 45 years. Thank you for HONORING the wonderful Doberman Pincher!!


M Selvey, MSc from United Kingdom on April 13, 2010:

From a fellow Dobermann lover and owner, I loved reading your hub!!! I had always wanted a Dobermann but grew up with all of the rumours about them being vicious, turning on their owners and the nonsense about their brains outgrowing their skulls.

When I was in high school, I worked in a pet shop. I'll never forget that the day I started, someone brought in a litter of puppies to sell - Dobermanns! They were all so sweet and so cute. I looked forward to seeing them every day and was so sad as they were sold off, one-by-one (I was happy for them to have found homes but sad to not see their sweet faces every day and have them clamouring around me for my attention). From then on, I was determined to someday own a Dobermann. When my husband and I decided on a dog, for me there was only one choice. Fortunately, meeting other Dobermann owners was enough for him to also become a convert.

We have heard that Dobes can be terrible puppies. We were very lucky. Our girl was quick to learn and has been mostly an angel since the day we brought her home 3 years ago.

Doberman Training on February 28, 2010:

good pics and good hubs, thank you ^_^

cap on January 11, 2010:

i prefer natural ears.

CUS- Red Dobe on November 18, 2009:

Good site. Great info and good pic's too. Yo Guys! You have to dock those ears!!! Come on yall... What about the "look of eagles?" The breed deserves better than that.

Jared Balis on October 23, 2009:

Great webpage. A lot of valuable and good information. We just bought a doberman pinscher. Her name is Hazel. We haven't got her yet, but are super-excited for when we do. I have trouble finding an insurance company that would cover us with a doberman, so I wrote a blog entry about how we found good, inexpensive insurance. You can read more at Thanks again for the great info!

Quill2Script from Greater New Orleans on September 28, 2009:

I love dobermans. Thank you for the wealth of information you provided. I use to have a fawn doberman. Unfortunately, I had to move and my new landlord had a no-doberman policy. They are such smart dogs. SO many people misunderstand the breed.

Thank you for giving such a wealth of information.

Dave UK on September 25, 2009:

Hi, came across this whilst surfing, I would like to say I own a Doberman, but own aint the correct word. Me and my wife share our house and life with Digby. He is our second dog, previous dobbie was Copeland. Copeland had a docked tail but not ears(always illegal in the UK) It is now illegal to doc tails also. It took me 4 years to bring myself to get another dog, and when getting Digby, I thought, will I ever get used to a big tail, now, I wouldn't have it any other way. Enjoy your time with your Dobbies, Time goes past just to fast with them, Digby is now 2 and it feels like it I brought him home. Everything you wrote on this page s so true. Never a more loving animal one can have and the knee jerk reactions when he out walking can be laughable.

sean-ti on August 24, 2009:

thanx for what u wrote in the page,,, ive had 3 puppies and a cat, 2 english pointers and german shap. i left the country for a month n i came back n found out the 2 pointers r dead n the german sh. ,, so i never had the chance to rais a proper big dog ! i love dogs special dobermans! but to be honest im scared to have 1, it looks scary n it seems like it would react on its owner !!

Tom on August 18, 2009:

How many of you use a Dobermans as a service dog like I do!

I wouls like to hear from you please write and tell me!

Crazdwriter on August 03, 2009:

Great hub, FortheLove. Dobermans are so beautiful and I enjoyed reading your information as well as how you have met your own pups. Very sweet!

Kim on June 14, 2009:

I have a part dobie & part rot dog. She is four yrs old. She has a very point top head. Is this normal? We will be sitting on the couch & my husband will put his hand down to pet her & she will try to bit him. Is this normal? I have three grandbabies & a little afraid of her being around them. Should I worry?

mgill on May 07, 2009:

I have been researching for so long. Actually to have a website written by an owner of a dobie makes it more personal and appealing to me a future (hopefully soon) carer of a dobie then just reading what the experts have to say.

I truly appreciate the hard work you have put in. And your website should become a source for all future dobie owners.

I love big dogs and I was wondering whether to get a German Shepherd or a dobie. Your great website has probably swayed me to get a dobie.

Do they shed a lot?

How did you potty train Marilyn?

You said potty training was breeze. How long did it take Marilyn to learn it? And how did you do it?

What type of crate do you use? Does it take up a lot of space? I paln to put mine in my bedroom.

How about food? What does she eat?

Regards to you and your faithful companion,


ForTheLove (author) from Godforsaken, Iowa on April 25, 2009:

I am very glad you guys enjoy the hub! I hope it's given some good advice.. Dobies can be rather trying pups but the end result sure is a great companion :)

Michelle on January 12, 2009:

I have a 10 week old dobie, that loves to bite almost all the time, I am sure she is just being playful, any suggestions? Is this normal will she grow out of this?

Michelle kelly on December 07, 2008:

This has to be one of the best web sites ive been on. We are getting our new dobermann puppy on sat. Thanks a million for all the information, you have covered everything and it has been a joy to read. Cant wait for saturday. Thanks again. Michelle

AL on October 10, 2008:

i have a 4 yr old dobie named Lucy. we adopted her back in may, she is a great addition to our home. she's very loving and is the poster dog for "velcro dogs." i'll walk to my kitchen from my room and she'll be right behind me, watching to make sure nothing happens to me. she is so freakin great, i can't wait to get off of work to go home and play fetch with her. great info by the way...

deeboe1 on August 12, 2008:

great info i just got a red female dobe shes 13 weeks and a hand full i travel a lot and got her to ride shotgun with me i love her to death thanks for all the great info...

jls2982 from Pittsburgh, PA on July 23, 2008:

great information! I just got a new doberman puppy 4 weeks ago- he is now almost 11 weeks old. His name is Diesel- He is VERY energetic- and i second guessed getting & still am. I hope with good training and lots of walks he will chill out a little. He is a beautiful dog, & I love him so much!

ForTheLove (author) from Godforsaken, Iowa on May 29, 2008:

Basically, from what I understand the tails are docked within the first few days of their lives. It's a very painful procedure so it's not something you want to do later in life :) besides, that naturally curving tail's kind of cute!

AMBER on May 29, 2008:

I just got a puppy and i have to say he is the best dog ever! Wow.. they really are a smart breed! Very lovable, to the whole family! I couldn't be happier! I do have a question maybe you can help me out with, how old is to old to get they're tail docked?

Jorge on May 26, 2008:

great site man, thanks for the info

Miniature Pinscher Checks on April 29, 2008:

I missed my Cara! she was a very wonderful Doberman that we lost a year ago and when I saw this hub, I can't help but cry a tear. Thank you very much,ForTheLove, for your wonderful hub! It brought back the memories of Cara. Good thing I have some pictures of her and I even got my own personalized check with her photo up front to preserve the wonderful memories we had with her. Thanks again.

ForTheLove (author) from Godforsaken, Iowa on April 24, 2008:

Thank you, Mallory and Natalia and EVERYONE who's commented on this labor of love! I really appreciate all your guys' feedback and totally delighted that the page has proven useful as well as entertaining.

Thank you!!

Natalia on March 30, 2008:

we just rescued a puppy doberman from the humane society. the information you provide here is very accurate and helpful. I have researched through lots of web sites and i found everything i wanted to know here! Good job! marilyn is beautiful, i hope you enjoy your life with her for many years to come!

Mallory on March 05, 2008:

I have come to own my first dog, and a course its a doberman, one of my favorite breeds. Her name is Akasha, and like you and probably many others have done, I had researched for hours and hours making sure that I would be a good owner and what to expect. Akasha is getting her ears cropped Friday, and the more I keep researching the more I pull away from cropping her ears, I never relized how much went into cropping the ears (pain wise) the thing that bothers me the most, is the taping, im sure its not as bad as it looks, but i dont know if i could put her through that. I got her at 10 weeks, I had already gotten her a kennel, and the first night she cried for 15 min and that was it, the following day she went in there on her own, as her safe haven, and I was impressed! I grew up with labs, and it seemed like it took them forever to get them trained. You did a great job with your research, its all the research I read for hours. Only if i had found yours first, it was all combined on one page and one site. Thanks.

ForTheLove (author) from Godforsaken, Iowa on January 27, 2008:

Glad you guys are enjoying the page! I poured a lot into it so glad it's helping people out. :) I recently got another pup of a different breed and she's quite good at showing him what to do (play with toys) and what not to do (jump on people or the cat lol)...

Glad I cleared up the "skull too small" rumor. I actually asked a veternarian about that and he had a good laugh explaining that it'd be genetically impossible to breed a dog with a skull smaller than the brain within it! :)

Basel on January 23, 2008:

It is also untrue that Dobermans have been bred to have skulls that are too small for their brains.

Thanks A LOT,I've searching for this rumor if it's true or not.

many people told me that the Dobes should be killed after about 6 years from birth because of this "Rumor" !!!! I didn't believe so!! & now I'm more sure. Thanks a lot your hub is JUST great.

Tom on January 09, 2008:

I heared pup'parel on-line has rainbow cloud service dog patches and round Siazure Alert Dog patches for people in wheelchairs with the wheelchair symbol if you don't see it e-mail her and ask for them. Tell them Pami Sent you to her website.

EDITH LEE on December 30, 2007:


Michael Houser on December 07, 2007:

We have had five dobermans over the years and just got a new red female puppy. Your page contains an excellent overview of the breed.

ForTheLove (author) from Godforsaken, Iowa on October 25, 2007:

Why thank you, Marisa! I worked hard on this one, since it's only my second hub and I'm delighted you like it! Dobermans really are a passion for me :)

Kate Swanson from Sydney on October 25, 2007:

Great information! In fact, there's enough here for more than one Hub!

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