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Are Dobermans Good With Kids? Pros & Cons

Written by: Lindsey Lawson

Last Updated on May 10, 2024 by Dogster Team

Doberman sitting aside a little girl on a park

Are Dobermans Good With Kids? Pros & Cons

For the safety of children and animals, parents and caregivers should always err on the side of caution when having any pets around children. It’s no secret that certain dog breeds do better with children than others, so knowing the breed and their typical behavior around little ones is vital to have.

Dobermans are a German breed originally bred as protectors. They are sizeable, powerful, intimidating, and make excellent watchdogs, but how are they with children? It turns out, the Doberman is generally excellent with children and makes incredible family dogs when properly trained and socialized.

About the Doberman

The sleek and stunning Doberman Pinscher was first developed in Germany during the late 1800s by tax collector Karl Frederick Louis Dobermann of Apolda. He was also a nightwatchman and dog catcher, so he had experience with different breeds. Tax collectors weren’t always a welcomed presence so he decided to develop a protective and dependable dog that could remain at his side.

Dobermans not only excelled at their guard dog duties but also as working dogs in many different fields including police and military work. To this day, they remain one of the most popular watchdogs and still perform their working dog duties and are even popular service dogs and therapy dogs.

Obedient blue doberman female dog sitting on a chair outside in the front yard
Image Credit: Zaranda, Shutterstock

Temperament

Dobermans are extremely loving and intelligent. They are also very vigilant and watchful and will be very protective of their people. Unlike a lot of other guard dog breeds, they tend to be very friendly and welcoming with strangers as long as they are welcomed by their family.

Dobies are incredibly loyal, playful, and have the drive to work. They are also easily trainable and quick to respond. This is a highly adaptable breed that can make loving, affectionate, and devoted family dogs that do well in a variety of living situations.

The 4 Reasons Why Dobermans Are Great With Children

1. They Have Great Temperaments

Dobermans are extremely loving and intelligent. They are also very vigilant and watchful and will be very protective of their people. Unlike a lot of other guard dog breeds, they tend to be very friendly and welcoming with strangers as long as they are welcomed by their family.

Dobies are incredibly loyal, playful, and have the drive to work. They are also easily trainable and quick to respond. This is a highly adaptable breed that can make loving, affectionate, and devoted family dogs that do well in a variety of living situations.


2. They Are Excellent with Both Young Children and Older Kids

Dobermans may be large dogs that range from 60 to 100 pounds, but they are one of the best large dogs for homes with both younger and older children. They are very intelligent and are typically well aware of the small size and fragility of a small child. They view children as members of their pack, proving they have been raised with each other.

A Dobie will see the children as members of their pack and will generally be very loving and affectionate toward them. They often display a lot of patience, especially when they get the right amount of mental and physical stimulation.

girl and brown doberman dog
Image Credit: Primorac91, Shutterstock

3. They Will Love Having Playmates

Dobermans are naturally energetic and playful. They will adore having fellow family members that meet their energy and are prepared to get in on the fun. This will not only further solidify the bond between the dog and the children, but it will also help each of them burn their seemingly endless energy.


4. They Are Very Protective

Dobermans have a reputation for being vicious guard dogs because of their natural protective instincts but these dogs are incredibly smart and know how to read a situation. They have a special knack for distinguishing between potential threats and harmless interactions.

Children that are part of a Doberman’s family will be protected as such. When a Doberman has bonded with its people, he will stop at nothing to ensure their safety. Their looks alone will typically deter a potential threat, but these dogs also won’t hesitate to act.

doberman dog lying at the edge of the cliff
Image Credit: OlgaOvcharenko, Shutterstock

The 5 Things to Consider Before Committing to a Doberman

Like any dog breed, the Doberman Pinscher is not for everyone. Each breed has unique traits and particular needs that must be met for them to be the most well-balanced and well-behaved family members. Before you commit to bringing home a Dobie, you must consider the following:

1. Dobermans Need a Lot of Exercise

This is a working breed that is very intelligent and has an abundance of energy. They require a minimum of two hours of daily exercise, which can be difficult for many families to make time for.

If your Doberman does not get enough exercise and mental stimulation, it can lead to weight gain and boredom, and could even result in undesirable and destructive behaviors. Having energy outlets is essential for this breed and if these needs cannot be met, this is not the dog for you.

doberman pinscher walking in a grassy field
Image Credit: Nick Chase 68, Shutterstock

2. They Need Firm and Consistent Leadership

All varieties of Doberman require a firm and consistent handler. While they are very responsive and easy to train, they should have a consistent schedule and know what is expected of them.  They enjoy getting lots of attention and respond best to positive reinforcement training.

A Doberman owner must begin training and socializing from the moment the puppy is brought into the household. They will naturally look to you for guidance and this will help them develop a more confident and well-balanced nature that allows them to thrive in the home.


3. You Must Remain Vigilant When It Comes to Children

Any dog should be supervised around little ones at all times, regardless of how great their reputation is with children.  No dog should ever be left alone with little ones since they do not yet know how to properly handle family pets.

The size of the Doberman will naturally put small children at risk of being knocked over. Regardless of how careful the individual dog is, accidents can still happen. This is especially true when either the child or the dog is being especially energetic and active.

The Doberman Pinscher Club of America advises against getting a Doberman puppy when you have infants, toddlers, or young school-aged children. As puppies, they have extremely high energy and are very rambunctious. Puppies will nip and scratch, which can spark fear in young children.

A lot of times, parents feel like punishing the puppy for this kind of behavior since it is disturbing the child, though it is completely normal behavior. This could lead both the child and the puppy to have a negative association with one another and could lead to behavioral issues later on.

mother looking after her daughter and their doberman dog at the beach
Image Credit: Purino, Shutterstock

4. They Want to Be with Their Family Constantly

Dobies are a demanding breed that will want constant attention from their family. We currently live in a society where most members of the household are constantly on the move and away from home for long periods each day.

If that is the case for your household, you should rethink bringing a Doberman into the home. They have needs that must be nurtured and if you cannot provide them at this point, it’s best to hold off until you can.


5. They Aren’t Always Great with Other Pets

While the Doberman is known for being great with families and children, the same cannot always be said for other pets. Dobermans have the potential to get along well with other dogs, but it will require socialization from an early age and lots of exposure to various situations. It is more likely that there will be same-sex aggression between both males and females.

They also aren’t the ideal breed if you have smaller pets unless they have been exposed since puppyhood and have been raised around them. Dobies have a particularly high prey drive and will enjoy chasing small animals like cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, or even smaller dogs. They should always be properly introduced and monitored around any strange animals.

Final Thoughts

Dobermans are generally great with children of all ages. They may have a ferocious reputation, but that’s because of their strong protective instincts and desire to keep their family safe. This is a very loving, affectionate, and devoted breed that can make wonderful family pets in the right circumstances. Like any breed, the Doberman is not going to be well suited for everyone, but if you have what it takes to meet the Doberman’s specific needs, you and your children can be in for a lifetime of love and companionship.


Featured Image Credit: Lena Ogurtsova, Shutterstock

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