Children and the Doberman

The Doberman tends to treat the children of the home as he would puppies. Puppies are valuable in the dog's mind. The Doberman can also sense the children's vulnerability and their importance to the family. Because of this, the Doberman is highly protective of the children.

This attribute is of course helpful if danger is near the child, such as strangers or wild animals.

The Doberman's protectiveness of children is one of the many reasons the Doberman owner must maintain his alpha status. A guest lifting his arms or laughing loudly near the baby may cause an angry Doberman to appear, growling and shielding the child. This can be a little disconcerting to a guest and is a good example of when the alpha should correct a behavior.

This Doberman tendency to treat children as puppies creates other areas of concern. Rough play, for example, could worry a protective Nanny Doberman.

In general, the Doberman is great with kids. However, I recently hear it said, “If you have kids, you shouldn’t risk it – get a dog you know can’t hurt your kids.”

If this is wisdom – remember no dog is safe. Especially dangerous are the cute little innocent looking dogs. Very few people breed these little cuties for reliable temperament. They may not be capable of as much damage as a Doberman, but they are still capable of great damage. Additionally, smaller dogs and dogs not as reliably tempered as the Doberman are more likely to react adversely to things children do; loud screams, pulling on ear, accidental collisions.

The bottom line is: children should be trained in how to act around a dog, and children should also be under supervision around a dog. The Doberman is not a baby-sitter, he is a baby-sitter’s helper.