Doberman through the eyes of breeder and owner
If you are interested in Dobermans, you probably read different texts, standards and asked about the personal experience through social media. However, owning a Doberman cannot be described online, and you will be thoroughly surprised about just how awesome these dogs are.
First time I saw a Doberman
I remember the first time I encountered a Doberman; I was just a kid, and I went to the park with my father. At the time, we had a Golden Retriever, and we regularly took him for a walk in our local dog park. He was the friendliest dog you could imagine. He loved playing with all dogs in the park, and he was afraid of everything. I have a brother that had to walk the dog, and if lightning and thunders started rumbling, you couldn’t figure out who ran home faster, my brother or our Golden.
That visit to the park was a bit different. An older gentleman came with his dog, who was a beautiful mature male Doberman. We weren’t too familiar with the breed at the time. So we naturally wanted to protect our dog from this “dangerous” looking dog that came to the park. The owner saw what we did and walked directly to us, and started talking to us. He said the dog’s name was Apollo and that he was a pureblooded, well-bred Doberman. He told us that we had nothing to worry about and that people are usually scared of the dog’s appearance. This Doberman had cropped ears and a docked tail, which gave this dog an even scarier look. Of course, cropping is something that is forbidden in many states now.
He was entirely right, of course, and Apollo was one of the best-behaved dogs I know to this day. He was focused on his owner and obeyed every command he was given. Apollo’s owner didn’t have to raise his voice or repeat himself 10 times before the dog obeyed. Apollo was very playful with everyone; he even let everyone pet him and throw his toys.
When I finally got rid of fear and saw this dog is actually very civilized and well-behaved, I started noticing things that still fascinate about this breed. Their elegant movement, their athletic build, obedience… At that moment, I knew I will get a Doberman one day.
I was fascinated with these dogs from the moment I first lay my eyes on Apollo, and from that moment on, I wanted to find out everything I could about these dogs. I was 8 years old at the time, and I vividly remember asking my dad to tell me more about Dobermans. The problem is - he didn’t know much either. We lived in quiet, family suburbs, and most dog breeds we encountered were Labradors, Poodles, Irish Setters, and other Golden Retrievers.
The first female Doberman I remember was a beautiful 4 and a half-month-old Zoe. I was driving my father crazy with endless questions about Dobermans, so he finally decided to take me to a Doberman breeder, 100 miles away. The breeder was an impressive man who bred only the best Dobermans. Not only were they stunningly beautiful, but they also had the best characters. He had many working dogs that were specially bred for law enforcement, and to become working dogs, they had to have the best possible working character.
He showed us his breeding dogs and even demonstrated some basic commands. All his dogs were properly socialized from the beginning. That was truly impressive, but nothing could prepare a 9-year-old me for a Doberman puppy. He showed us a female from his latest litter called Zoe.
Zoe was the most playful dog ever. From the moment she stepped out, it was all fun and games. She wanted to smell everything, playfully bite us; she was even on her back, trying to get us to belly scratch her. The thing that most impressed me was when her owner said, “OK, that’s enough,” and she actually listened. I didn’t fully understand what it means to have a 4 and a half-month-old dog that listens to your command, but it was still quite impressive.
Right then and there, I knew I was hooked. There was no way I was going to go through life without having a well-bred Doberman. I even saw my dad getting hooked. He was asking all these questions about how to raise them, how to train them, are they suitable for kids… I was only partially listening, and I was mostly focused on the dogs.
My first Doberman
Luckily, I wasn’t the only one that was impressed with Dobermans. Even though I was just a kid, I could see my dad being impressed. We talked all the way home, and it was mostly me begging him to get a Doberman. “Dad, I will take care of the dog, ” “Having two dogs at home is not that big of a deal” - that was just some of the things I told him. Of course, he didn’t believe me, and we didn’t get a Doberman right away. I can honestly say that it is a good thing.
As a new owner, you must prepare for the time and effort you need to put in your dog. It is not “just a pet.” It is a dog that requires constant training and plenty of mental and physical stimulation.
We got our first Doberman from the same breeder we visited when I was nine. My father kept in touch with him, and from time to time, he even came to our house for dinner. One time he arrived with a beautiful girl called Alpha. I was 15 at the time, and I remember missing school for two days when she came to us.
Alpha was just like Zoe - a playful, intelligent, loving dog that wanted to be around us at all times. She was “my dog,” and I was mostly taking care of her. Her breeder recommended we start working with her from the beginning, so we did. She was already house-broken, and we kept her on a 3-walks-a-day schedule. It seemed that was good enough for her, plus she had a large yard where she would run and play. My dad and I had training sessions with her at least three times a week, and when I didn’t feel like doing it - my dad made me do it.
Dobermans have a short coat that is relatively easy to maintain. Their hair is short and glossy. They are not the biggest shedders in the world, but still, we brushed her once a week to get rid of dead hair.
My second Doberman
After a while, we decided to get a second Doberman. This time we wanted to get a male, so we contacted the same breeder. We made sure that Alpha isn’t related to our new male (briefly, my dad had the idea that he would start breeding Dobermans), and the breeder told us he will have a male for us in a couple of months.
The new male was named Ike. Ike was more of a working dog than Alpha. We even had a professional trainer work with him. Ike’s discipline, intelligence, working habits were nothing less than impressive. When he was playing, he was the most playful dog; when Ike was in defense training, he focused entirely on his handler and sleeve (biting sleeve). I don’t think we could ever wish for a better dog than Ike. He was protective of our whole family, and he was the first thing you needed to go through if you wanted to come to our house. If we introduced you to him properly, he would immediately become your friend, and you knew he would protect you as if you were a part of his family.
Dobermans are active, intelligent, playful, great workers, protective (if you want them to be), and the best possible dog you can get. The only thing you need to think about is if you are the type of owner that can handle a dog with needs like the Doberman.
These dogs require loads of training and activity. They can seem peaceful when they are in the house, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need regular exercise. Make sure you have enough time to spend with your dog. If you don’t, maybe get a breed that doesn’t require so much work.
Another crucially important thing - get your dog from a reputable and responsible breeder. I have tried to describe what a well-bred Doberman is like, and that might not be your experience if you get your dog from a backyard breeder or a puppy mill. This is a powerful breed that needs to have a proper character that goes with its elegant looks.
World Dog Finder team