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12 Doberman Pros & Cons You Should Know About

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

doberman dog in late autumn

Doberman Pinschers have developed the reputation of being aggressive, simply because they are natural protectors and can be trained to be effective guard dogs. However, the truth is that when raised in a loving home and provided with adequate training and exercise, Dobermans can make excellent family pets.

Like with all dog breeds, though, there are good and not-so-good things about the Doberman Pinscher that every prospective owner ought to know before deciding whether to adopt one either as a pet or as a protection/guard dog. Here are 12 Doberman pros and cons that you should know.

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The 6 Doberman Pros

1. They Are Loyal to Their Companions

Doberman Pinschers are extremely loyal when it comes to their human companions. They will look out for the best interests of everyone living in their household whenever possible. They want to please their companions and will pay close attention to body language, which helps them understand how everyone is feeling. Their loyalty is partially what makes them such good protection and guard dogs.


2. They Require Minimal Grooming

Another great thing about Doberman Pinschers is that they have short, thin coats that do not require much grooming, no matter their age. Brushing them once a week or so should be enough to keep their coats clean and shiny and to get rid of loose hairs.

Their nails should stay naturally trimmed due to all the outdoor exercise that they should be getting each day — gravel and sidewalks are awesome natural nail files! Their ears tend to stay clean, and they generally do a good job of cleaning themselves up when necessary.

european doberman at the beach
Image Credit: GracefulFoto, Shutterstock

3. They Are Extremely Intelligent

Dobermans are thought to be extremely intelligent animals. In fact, they are considered one of the smartest dog breeds in existence. They take to training quickly, they maintain their focus well, and they are great at solving problems. Their intelligence is a big reason that they were drafted as war dogs in WWII, during which time, Doberman Pinschers made up 75% of the military’s dog force. Today, some Dobermans are trained as service and therapy dogs.


4. They Take to Training Well

Due to their intelligence, patience, and attention to detail, Doberman Pinschers tend to take to training quickly and efficiently. These dogs pick up commands and tasks right away, without the need for much prodding or coaxing on the trainer’s part.

They are eager to please, so they want to learn and perform just as much as their owners want them to. Dobermans are sensitive animals, though, so negative reinforcement should be avoided at all costs. Praise and treats can go a long way in ensuring the effectiveness of training sessions.

doberman dog jumping high to fetch a ball
Image Credit: Michsa, Shutterstock

5. They Make Great Adventure Buddies

This impressive dog breed is energetic, active, athletic, and agile, which are all things that make for a great adventure buddy. Doberman Pinschers enjoy the outdoors and love exercising their bodies, so they would be happy to accompany their human companions on hiking and camping trips, beach excursions, and even cross-country road trip adventures. They’d also enjoy visiting an agility course, swimming in a lake, and keeping up on short bike rides.


6. They Are Beautiful

Nobody can deny the beauty of the Doberman Pinscher. Pictures barely do the breed justice. It’s hard not to marvel at the beauty of a Doberman when seeing them in person. Their coats are incredibly sleek and shiny, and their bodies are chiseled to athletic perfection.

black and tan female doberman pinscher dog standing on the bench
Image Credit: Michsa, Shutterstock

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The 6 Doberman Cons

1. They Need Plenty of Exercise

Doberman Pinschers were originally bred to work, which is why they have such athletic and agile bodies. This athleticism results in the need for plenty of exercise every day to ensure a happy and healthy quality of life. Depending on a Doberman’s specific lifestyle and energy levels, they may need 1 to 2 hours of exercise daily, if not more! Owners must be active and have time to spend exercising with their pet Dobermans.


2. They Are Prone to Separation Anxiety

Like many dog breeds, Doberman Pinschers are prone to developing separation anxiety. This is due in part to their loyalty and attachment to their human companions. When they can’t be around their humans, they get lonely and start showing signs of anxiety, such as destroying household belongings, going potty in the house, and showing unwarranted aggression. Fortunately, there are things that can be done to minimize separation anxiety, but it does take extra work and commitment on the owner’s part.

man spending time with his doberman dog outdoors
Image Credit: Lena Ogurtsova, Shutterstock

3. They Don’t Do Well in Cold Weather

Doberman Pinschers have short, thin coats, and they don’t have undercoats like many other dog breeds do. They also tend to maintain low body fat levels, so they can’t effectively keep themselves warm in cold climates. They can handle chilly weather in short spurts, but they should never be left outside to fend for themselves when it’s snowing outside, for example.

Even rainy days can be a challenge for this breed. Owners should be prepared to outfit their Dobermans with coats for outdoor excursions in the cold and to let their dogs stay inside when not exercising or using the bathroom.


4. They Require Extensive Training

Since Dobermans are large, energetic, athletic, and protective, they must receive extensive obedience training from a young age. Without proper training, these dogs can become unruly, unpredictable, and even aggressive. Fortunately, obedience training is all it takes to ensure that a Doberman maintains a well-rounded temperament and that everyone who interacts with the dog is always safe.

doberman-pincher-exercise_-DragoNika_Shutterstock
Image Credit: DragoNika, Shutterstock

5. They Can Accidentally Pose a Danger to Young Children

Due to their size and energetic personality, Doberman Pinschers can accidentally pose a danger to young children. The innocent act of playing with a child could get them excited and result in an accident that injures the child. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure a Doberman is always supervised by an adult owner while spending time around toddlers and babies. There should not be a problem when it comes to interacting with older kids who are bigger than the dog.


6. They Are Susceptible to Certain Health Problems

The Doberman Pinscher is a healthy dog breed overall, but there are a few health conditions that they are genetically susceptible to developing. These conditions may be inherited from a parent or a relative further back in their bloodline.

Conditions to look out for include:
  • Heart disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Liver disease

Sadly, there are no tests that can be utilized to determine whether a Doberman will develop one of these problems. Regular veterinarian checkups, a healthy diet, and regular exercise can minimize the risk of disease development and help you catch problems early so they can be addressed sooner rather than later.

a doberman dog at the vet
Image Credit: Roman Fenton, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

There are many good things about the Doberman Pinscher, but there are also a few cons to consider when deciding whether this is the right breed for you, your lifestyle, and your living environment. Hopefully, this list of pros and cons will give you a better idea of what to expect from a Doberman Pinscher overall.

See Also: Fawn Doberman: Info, Care & Pictures


Featured Image Credit: elis aksenova, Shutterstock

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