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10 Doberman Pros & Cons You Need to Know

Written by: Patricia Dickson

Last Updated on May 3, 2024 by Dogster Team

doberman dog in late autumn

10 Doberman Pros & Cons You Need to Know

Doberman Pinschers often get a bad reputation for being aggressive and mean. However, while they are born to protect, if you raise a Doberman right, provide the proper training, and socialize them early in life, the Doberman makes a great pet.

Dobermans are intelligent dogs, so it’s pretty easy to teach them basic instructions. They’re often used as police dogs and work with the military. However, there are instances where a Doberman wouldn’t make the ideal pet. In the guide below, we’ll discuss a few of the pros and cons of owning a Doberman.

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The 5 Doberman Pros

1. Brains and Beauty

If you’re searching for a gorgeous and intelligent breed, the Doberman is for you. They are medium to large dogs and have lean, impeccable physiques. They’re sleek and powerful, top out at around 28 inches in height, and can weigh up to 100 pounds. Colors for Dobermans include fawn, blue, red, or black, often with rust markings.

Dobermans were developed in Germany and are considered the sixth most intelligent dog breed. They learn and follow new commands quickly and easily, which is what makes them perfect for military and law enforcement jobs.

Doberman shepherd_Anna Mogilevtseva_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Anna Mogilevtseva, Shutterstock

2. Protective and Loyal

As you’ve probably realized, Dobermans are fast, powerful, and muscular. Since they bond with their families and owners quickly, this breed makes a great protector. They have been described as willing to lay down their lives to protect their families so they don’t have to worry about an intruder entering their homes or their property.

In most cases, just the appearance of your Doberman will be enough to send intruders running the other way. They usually don’t attack or bite unless it’s a last resort. They will be aggressive but not attack unless they feel they have no other option.


3. Energetic

Dobermans are known for their high energy, so if you like hiking, going for long walks, or even daily runs, a Dobie will be right there at your side during it all. If you are thinking of getting a Doberman for a pet, you need to ensure that the dog receives the physical and mental exercise needed to release pent-up energy and be healthy.

If you’re not an active person and prefer to sit on the couch during the day, your Doberman will happily join you, but you’ll still have to make sure they get the daily exercise they need to be happy.


4. Versatility

Dobermans have been used by the military and law enforcement because of their agility, power, and intelligence. They are extremely versatile canines that can also work as service animals, blind eye dogs, and guard dogs. Whether a junkyard or a warehouse, Dobermans will guard anything they care about and are loyal to.

In fact, this breed makes an excellent guard dog for your home. Dobermans are also skilled athletes who can compete in canine sports. Owners with large yards can set up an obstacle courses to challenge their minds and bodies.

Doberman Pinscher
Image By: DragoNika, Shutterstock

5. Low Maintenance

As you can imagine, Dobermans have coats that require very little maintenance. The American Kennel Club has said that these dogs are “wash and wear” breeds. All it takes is a quick brushing with a short, bristled brush to maintain the dog’s gorgeous coat.

This will keep their coats glossy and healthy. Dobermans don’t need many baths, so that’s a plus as well. If you’re looking for a dog that you don’t have to groom extensively, you might want to adopt a Doberman. You can take them to the groomer now and then, however, for some special treatment.

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The 5 Doberman Cons

1. First-Time Owners

Even if you think a Doberman is the perfect fit for you, it’s essential to determine if you’re indeed the right fit to be the Doberman’s pet parent. The Doberman might not be the best fit for a first-time pet owner, though if you do your due diligence and your research, it’s possible.

Dobermans can be stubborn, and you’ll need to be around quite a bit to be with your pet. If you’re unable to socialize, train, and spend time with the Dobie, you might need to find another dog. If you can do all of the above, the Dobie is a perfect and loyal pet.


2. Separation Anxiety

It’s important to realize that since Dobermans become attached to their pet parents, they can develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long. However, this condition can start before you’ve even left your home once your dog realizes they will be left alone. Dogs with separation anxiety tend to be destructive. There are other signs you can watch for, including chewing, digging, howling, or even using the bathroom inside your home.

While becoming very attached to their owners doesn’t always lead to separation anxiety, it’s essential to know that it can happen. The Doberman isn’t the best pet for someone who isn’t home often.

doberman pincher exercise
Image By: DragoNika, Shutterstock

3. Same-Sex Aggression

Same-sex aggression is something to be careful of with the Doberman. They have been known to show aggression or try to exert dominance over dogs of the same sex. However, some Dobermans live perfectly happily with other dogs of the same sex in the home.

If you have issues with same-sex aggression with your Doberman, it’s best to get professional training for the dog.


4. Health Problems

Sadly, despite their beauty and intelligence, Dobermans are prone to developing quite a few health issues. Your Doberman can develop a life-threatening condition known as bloat. You also need to be aware that hip dysplasia is common in Dobermans. Your pup can suffer from an enlarged heart, which is a genetic health condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. Another common condition your pet may suffer from is von Willebrand’s disease which is a clotting disorder.

For the best results, choose a reputable breeder that performs health checks and screenings on their dogs and puppies. Even then, you need to ensure that you take your pet in for regular checkups so that any of these conditions can be caught quickly and treated.


5. The Stigma

If you know anyone who owns a Doberman, they can tell you that their pet gets a bad rap when it comes to people thinking the dog is mean and unnecessarily aggressive. This, of course, is a mistake that Doberman lovers everywhere are trying to dispute. As with any dog, a Doberman acts according to how they are raised, trained, and socialized.

Dobermans can be affectionate, and they love their families just as much as other affectionate breeds. Still, you want to be careful with any dog you adopt and realize that they all need to be socialized, trained, and raised to be affectionate and to only attack if there’s a threat to themselves, your family, or your property.

doberman pinscher barking outdoor
Image By: Best dog photo, Shutterstock

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The Bottom Line on Owning a Doberman

Before adopting a Doberman, you must research the breed to determine if it’s the right dog for you. Our pros and cons of Doberman can help you make the best decision. The bottom line is that Dobermans make great pets if they’re trained, socialized, and raised properly. If you’re going to adopt a Doberman, talk to other Doberman owners, take a look at the pros and cons above, and then decide based on what you find.

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Featured Image Credit: elis aksenova, Shutterstock

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