Doberman through the eyes of breeder and owner
If I had to describe Doberman in one word, that word would be “Aristocrat”.
If this is one of your favorite breeds you have probably read many different texts, descriptions, the FCI standard so I have decided to present you this breed through my personal experience, situations, and mishaps that one Doberman can provide for its owner. These situations are tightly connected to the temperament and the character these dogs possess. I sincerely hope that this will help clear all second thoughts you might have, and most of all to answer the question - “Is this the right choice for me?”
Doberman - first encounter
From a young age, I admired this breed, especially their appearance - their elegance, athletic build, their balance, but also the calmness and composure with which they exuded. The security that the person next to them feels, I’m not even going to mention…
You will think, "child’s impression", but these dogs really are like that. It's was not a case of a child’s story, a child’s experience, or a child’s auto-suggestion. The real Doberman, a descendant of controlled breeding, the result of years of careful selection will give everyone an impression identical to my own - from the youngest of ages. The first encounter with a grown male delighted me so much that I promised myself: "Doesn’t matter when but I will have one, my own Doberman!"
I was maybe 10 years old and was with my friends playing at the park when an older gentleman with Rem appeared. As they approached us, Rem began to look happily in our direction, then at his owner, as if he had asked him, "May I go say hello to the kids?" The owner "understood" him and actually gave him verbal permission, "Go on Rem, go say hello to the guys." He approached us slowly, carefully, softly touching every hand with his snout that wanted to touch him, with his tail all the time waving at lightning speed. After he greeted us all, he pushed himself among us and rolled onto his back. The playing lasted at least an hour. He even played "catch" with us. Adventures with him lasted for many years. And no, this is not a “unique” case, Dobermans really are like that.
Calm, stable, very intelligent, attentive, intuitive, aware of his strength and size, graceful but also thoughtful and very reliable.
After Rem, I was fortunate enough to meet one female by the name of Clea. The liveliest, most playful, curious, and the most active puppy I have ever met in my life. She was 5 months old when I accidentally stumbled upon her. I immediately dropped to my knees and started playing, and Clea... I'm just incredibly sorry there were no smartphones at that time, so I could have an everlasting memory of her - there wasn’t a body part she didn't touch - in the end, she ended up around my neck with her front paws and the only problem was her thinking for 5 seconds about the best way to get down from that position safely, without hurting either herself or me.
The most important thing is to provide them with enough "mental activity", to occupy them during the “puppy period”, both physically and mentally, so that their energy is properly directed and helps develop them into a psychophysically healthy adult dog.
Doberman named Ulysses
The next Doberman I absolutely have to mention is Ulysses. I met Ulysses as a young pup, with a perfect exterior, a strong mind, an unprecedented will to work, immeasurable and unmatched endurance, and on the other hand, he absolutely loved to be petted, extremely affectionate, no dog that loves more to be in the center of attention, and he made that very clear. Ulysses had just become sexually matured (according to veterinary and canine terminology) when we met. By that point, I was convinced that I was really well informed and familiar with this breed. Especially because I spared no time educating myself about the breed and reading both the standard and other texts regarding Dobermans. Meeting Ulysses, I saw the true weight of the old saying: "when you think you know everything, life shows you that you know nothing"
In the beginning, I described the breed - ARISTOCRAT in one word, and now I will describe Ulysses, but I will need two words - ARISTOCRATIC BOMB.
I was lucky enough that I got to know him gradually, through the photos. If I hadn't, I believe I would have experienced slight fainting at the first meeting. It is true that a picture is worth a 1000 words, in the case of Ulysses, everything outside the picture mattered as well. Especially energy. The energy he exuded, how he attracted attention, the energy of his movement, the energy, and the feeling you felt when he looked at you.
Ulysses is "the Doberman." Extremely intelligent, focused, with great endurance, courageous, insightful, and above all affectionate. It is owned by a man who has spent his entire life working and training service dogs. Ulysses is a specimen that the creator of this breed F.L. Dobermann had in mind when creating this breed.
If he is in offense/defense training, he is focused on the sleeve. If he is on the track, he is focused on the trail. If he is throwing a ball, he is focused on the ball. If he is in the show and the temperature is 40 ° C, he will stand and will not move under any circumstances. If he is surrounded by young children, he will focus on the children and keep a watchful eye over them. If he is in the company of a whole litter (10 puppies) that are 2.5 months old, he is focused on animating them all and playing with each puppy for at least a second. And if he is in the yard, his backyard, his focus is on guarding the territory. If he finds himself in the company of other dogs, he will never go on the attack or display aggressiveness. He gets to know everything, he watches, he plays, but he does NOT attack.
With proper training and intense work and engagement, the owner will only encourage the positives in every dog. This certainly does not imply that these dogs have no flaws. Here I would look at possible health problems, as well as the proper way of owning a Doberman.
With proper breeding and selection, as well as timely testing of individual dogs, the possibilities of health problems are minimized. Potential future owners should have a good source of information, as well as prepared questions for breeders of this breed. Some of the potential health problems include Von Willebrand disease, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, cardiomyopathy (DCM), gastric torsion. It is a good idea to test adult dogs before becoming sexually active in order to prevent the transmission of hereditary diseases.
These dogs are characterized by short, shiny hair, which is easy to maintain but not as easy as it looks at first glance. On one hand, this short hair gives them an advantage, in the sense that it is an odorless breed, but on the other, it is a breed that sheds heavily. Due to the specific length of the hair and the lack of undercoat (the undercoat may develop in cold conditions but is not supported by the standard), it is advisable to keep them in the house or in an enclosed space and not to expose them to sudden temperature changes. Outdoor or backyard living is not the best option for Dobermans.
In the end, I would like to thank everyone for the time they have devoted to informing about this breed, but I would also like to ask each individual to be objective and critical enough of themselves and that before buying a Doberman they think carefully whether they have enough time to devote to their new dog. Think about the knowledge they would have to invest, and is there enough room in their home for a big dog that will be with them for the next 10 to 13 years.
This article was made in collaboration with Mrs. Aleksandra Rajković and Mr. Predrag Tasić who is the owner of TasAri kennel.
World Dog Finder team