Bite statisics and details. I want to learn more!

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viper's picture
Joined: 2014-04-30

I was poking around looking for Doby bite reports and found some here!  It seems in most cases of properly cared for dogs, the Doby responded WAY out of character usually biting a known person or handler. 

I am not new to dogs, training, etc (certainly not a pro either), and we have several protocols here to ensure people are not using risky behavior around our Doby but I want to learn more about these bite cases and if there is usually a medical finding, etc?  It seems they don't display any signs, just snap, which is the worst possible situation. 


I teach everyone around our Doby to never put their face by hers, never force her, don;t hit her, and never approach her, let her approach you.  To date, I have had not even one close call or concern other than she is just a big ball of energy that can be too much for people.  She has never been fenced, chained, etc, and goes everywhere with me.  I leave her in the back of the truck for short periods when I can see her and she is always excited to see the world. 


She was attacked mildly by a Shepard once and she ran, did not fight.  She looked at me like "what is that dude's problem dad?"  I try to prevent those interactions because it can cause her to be unstable meeting new dogs. 


I just want to learn more about bite cases with them.  How it happened, age of dog, upbringing, med background, etc.  I like to be proactive as it is just too late AFTER the bite.  They are big with sharp teeth.  One snap and you get stitches at a minimum. 


socialization, good breeding practices, training. Temperament is part genetic and part learned. It sounds like you are doing the right thing. 

In all of my 24 years in Dobermans, I've only had one bite. My Jezebel is reactive and it didn't matter how much she was socialized or trained. She recently bit a friend of mine who was not doing anything - she did inhibit the bite (no blood or puncture) and it was in our house. Jezebel is 4 years old, is medicated for low thyroid and has copper storage disease (again only one in the litter - she just drew a short stick). Both of Jezebel's parents were show dogs and both were temperament tested, and have wonderful temperaments - out of 8 puppies in the litter, she is the only one with any issues. I have to be careful with her, if she were to bite again, she would be put down.  She is wonderful with us, and good with people she knows well.  She has multiple obedience titles and I took her to several puppy classes - we go to a weekly training class. So sometimes it is just bad luck - mental illness happens in dogs too. 

Dobermans are pretty far down on the list of bite statistics by breed - it happens. An interesting book on bite statistics is: "Fatal dog attacks, the stories behind the statistics" by Karen Delise  Another one is: "Dogs Bite but balloons and slippers are more dangerous" by Janis Bradley

This is my Jezebel: 

mybigd2727's picture
Joined: 2016-07-13

Guess I really lucked out with my sweet Rose.  If you got your face close to her, all you got was a slobbery kiss.  We're still missing her!

Most of my Dobermans have had wonderful temperaments - but remember that this is a protection breed and it is not uncommon to find a Doberman to be protective in their own home and not friendly with strangers. They are not a Golden Retriever in a Doberman suit... or at least shouldn't be. 

I personally don't tolerate a dog that will bite unprevoked - which is what she did. However, her Grandmother (Louise) had just died and because Louise was the Alpha bitch in the home, the remaining dogs were still kind of lost.... Louise would never had tolerated Jezebel behaving that way. Since then, she seems to have settled down, but I will forever be very careful with her. The other 7 puppies in her litter all have wonderful temperaments - it figures that I kept the weirdo with health issues and temperament issues..... but better me than another home. Because of Jezebel, I am not breeding anything from that litter. I put a championship on her sister and then let her owner spay her. The sister is super social, and very healthy. Kind of a shame not to breed her, but I'd rather not risk it.

I'm flying out to Kansas later this month to check out the daughter of one of my males, and a granddaughter as well. They are both showing at the same shows that weekend.  I am hoping to get a puppy bitch from one of them eventually and will start over. Not in any rush. 

Volgirl's picture
Joined: 2017-03-19

I have been looking at the samething. I've been reading info about the z factor. Do your dobies the z factor.? Is your dobie American or European?  I'm trying to compare things with what some breeders have told me. 

Sgourle's picture
Joined: 2014-07-18

Pet Profiles

"Z factor" is not a gene, it is a method of registration developed by the AKC in conjunction with the DPCA to flag dogs descended from the original albino. Reputable breeders do not breed to WZ registered ("Z factor") dogs, so you should probably avoid them. 

Dasz88's picture
Joined: 2015-11-10

Stryker is a total dork. He gets bored and, if you look at hom, he flips over onto his belly and starts wriggling and air biting. My old golden retriever was for sure more deadly lol!


Sgourle - no, none of my dogs have ever had a "Z" in their pedigree. Except for my very first Doberman, all of my Dobes are from excellent pedigrees.  I've had 3 litters myself and there are AKC champions in every litter. 

My Jezebel's father is a breed champion with a temperament title and obedience titles that makes him a ROM - Register of Merit..... a very big deal in Dobermans. Her grandmother was a top 20 ROM, her Great Grandfather won our national specialty, and her Grandfather won our National top 20 breed competition. Her pedigree is golden..... but sometimes it does not matter. A reputable breeder recognizes this and spays/neuters dogs that should not be bred no matter what their pedigree is. 

Sgourle's picture
Joined: 2014-07-18

Pet Profiles

@Fitzmar, I never suggested that they did and I know better than that. Are you referring to Volgirl's inquiry if they did?

Yes - I was not replying to your post .... sorry, that should have been directed to the post above yours by Volgirl