Dobermanns eat babies, and other myths

Let’s start with a few choice phrases I’ve heard from people walking past me and my dog, or just offering their opinion on Dobermanns, asked for or not. I thought I’d provide a photo reference to show how wrong these perceptions can be.

What vicious dogsYep, so vicious that his favourite place to sleep is on top of you.

They attack childrenOnce he’s finished being made over and posing for the camera, he may find time to hunt down toddlers.

Just a guard dog, not a family petGuarding yes, from the comfort of a warm house, on a leather sofa, against the perils of old ladies crossing the street and the enemy – Cats.

These perceptions tend to be mainly based on Hollywood portrayals. Even in the animated children’s film Up, Alpha was Dobermann leader of the bad dog group. They’ve been Zombie dogs, guard dogs and vicious killers. I’m saying give the breed a break!

I’ll be honest, I always wanted a Dobermann when I was young, probably based on these same film portrayals. Who wouldn’t want a dog that has so much presence? Thankfully we were very much a Labrador, Golden Retriever and RSPCA rescue dog household, as Dobermanns do take some serious attention and training.

Bred to be the perfect dog for the tax man to take on his rounds (you’d pay up there and then, right?), they have a mix of quite a few traits from breeds including the Great Dane and Pointer. Dobermanns are described as the Thoroughbred of the dog world – I used to own horses too, so a psychologist would have a field day with my unconscious choosing a dog that most looked like a racehorse. My other half grew up with a tiny Yorkshire Terrier so it was never going to be easy making a compromise on the dog we chose.

So, as you’ll have guessed by now, I did my research. From reading the breed standard, traits and personality, which describe Dobermanns as loyal and protective, intelligent and fast learners, but most of all in the right hands, a dog so full of character and personality they make the perfect addition to those looking for more than a lap dog. Many other breeds we looked at with the terrier traits, were difficult to train or could rarely be let off the lead with their chasing instincts.

Needing a minimum of an hour off the lead running each day, and boy do they love to run. You must take serious consideration to how much exercise a dog needs, as this will vastly affect their behaviour and training in the home. To say Lupo learnt fast is an understatement. He absolutely loves to learn tricks, so grab yourself a book from Amazon and have some fun!

If you choose to own a Dobermann, personally I think you’ve made a great decision, as long as you have the time, money and energy to put in to making him a great dog to be around. We all know it’s the owner and rarely the dog when something bad happens, and a dog that weighs 6 stone in adulthood can of course be dangerous in the wrong hands. But meeting his needs as an athletic, bundle of energy, will mean you’ll have a lot of fun should you choose to bring one into your home for the right reasons.

Oh and if I had a quid for every time someone comments “they look weird with long tails, much prefer them docked” I mean, a lovely long, natural curly tail is a travesty isn’t it. Lets hack it off at birth for no reason whatsoever. *rolls eyes*

Have I changed your perceptions on the Dobermann or would you still cross the road to avoid us?!

4 comments

  1. I don’t think any character in Up could be considered scary – everyone is surrounded in smushy, cuddly Pixar cushioniness. I’ve never really been scared of dogs, of any breed, but I have to agree, if I were to own a dog, it’d have to be one that would make me weep with it’s cuteness every time it looked at me. I don’t think the Doberman ticks that box. But if you keep insisting on posting cute photos of Lupo, you may force me to change my mind!

  2. Well our second choice was a Shiba Inu, Google that and weep. If you want a dog that does that to you, I’d support your decision, as long as it’s not a Chihuahua. They scare me.

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