Understanding Doberman Temperament

The Truth About the Doberman

The Doberman Pinscher is a unique dog. Its two most profound unique traits are its beautiful athletic body and strong intelligent mind. It has been said, “The Doberman is not for everyone.” This is true and must be properly understood.I have encountered many false notions concerning the Doberman’s temperament. Two of the most destructive are, “The Doberman is just like any other dog.” and “Dobermans are stubborn and can be vicious.”

It is true, any dog not properly cared for can become dangerous and all dogs need to be respected. The Doberman is unique in that it owns an extremely powerful set of tools that it should not be held responsible for. The Doberman owner must harness these tools reliably under all conditions, with thorough training.

One must understand that viciousness is a behavior, and all behavior is a result of instinct and conditioning. Viciousness in a dog is a reaction to a situation where it feels threatened. Dobermans are bred to have sure confident temperaments, so they do not often feel a threat unwarranted, and are in fact less likely to overreact with viciousness or biting.

The Doberman is bred to be at the side of man, assisting him in some of the most intense and dangerous jobs. For this the Doberman must be strong in all areas.

The American Kennel Club’s book The Complete Dog Book describes the Doberman temperament as this: “Among the endearing qualities of the Doberman has come to be its devotion to hearth and home, and its discriminating service as friend and guardian of the whole family. The proper bred and trained specimen has a sane mind and a sound body; the heart and spirit of a gentleman.”