Is the Doberman suited better as an outside or mostly inside dog?
If a Doberman can be an outside dog, is it able to thrive in the harsh weather of Michigan winters and/or Texas summers (for example)?
Keeping any dog outside, is abusive in my opinion. To answer your question, no and no.
The Doberman was bred to be at the side of his handler all the time, not some of the time and then thrown outside.
If you feel uncomfortable outside in a long-sleeved shirt, so does your Doberman.
Just to clear it up some more:
The Doberman is an inside dog.
Also, the Doberman needs companionship. If you just leave them off on their own they will quickly develop behavioral problems. They're not watch-dogs!
Soooooo, you're telling me the Doberman is an inside dog. Is that right? ;)
You've brought up another point I hadn't thought about; that of the difference between a watch dog and companion dog. Does the Doberman have any watchdog tendencies? Let's say someone breaks into my home; am I going to find him asleep on my bed nestling my Doberman? What about if the dog sees his or her owner or 'superior' being attacked. Will (s)he defend?
By saying the Doberman is not a watchdog, I don't mean he COULDN'T be a watchdog. I mean he would be miserable at it and develop behavioral problem. Actually, most dogs would, assuming a watchdog is left somewhere, only seeing his owner at feeding time, and expected to scare everyone away from an area.
The Doberman is naturally suspicious. There is now bones about it, a Doberman definitely will chase and / or attack anyone he doesn’t recognize who gets on the pack’s space. And holly-hell, if someone messes with a member of the pack, all the attacker will remember, if he survives, are muscles and teeth.
This is actually the problem, in addition to the Doberman’s intelligence and pack instinct. The Doberman was created to stay with a handler ALL the time. Dobermans are miserable without their family.
For a Doberman to become a healthy happy dog, who doesn’t meet EVERYONE with anger, he needs to be socialized. This means from puppyhood he needs to meet new people and things in a positive way.
Leaving a Doberman out as a watchdog will do the exact opposite. He will learn that everything in the world is a threat, except for the person who feeds him. You don’t know if little kids come by and teas him. You don’t know if the neighbors get angry and spray him with the hose. So, when his highly intelligent mind gets board, and he finds his own thing to do, like dig a den that eventually travels under the fence, this wonderful creature will be a very dangerous entity that a man has created and will eventually harm someone.
No dog should be used as a watchdog. It’s like using a car to generate electricity and never driving it. Using a Doberman as a watchdog is like buying a high performance car and letting it sit in the back yard running all day and night just to power your hillbilly still.
To remedy this, some legislators have proposed Breed Specific Laws. Such laws identify certain breeds as ‘aggressive’ and as being dangerous and needing special regulations or in some cases are banned from a district.
Breed Specific Law are not effective. They don’t address the problem. Rather they go after a public misconception. Any dog treated poorly will become dangerous, ‘aggressive’ breeds just carry more fire power, like and SUV.
SUV specific law would reduce car accidents as well as breed specific laws. Sure, bad drivers would have smaller cars but they wouldn’t be less dangerous. Better to create legislation that deals with bad drivers.
The ‘aggressive’ breeds such laws name, raised properly, are actually LESS dangerous. Dogs bit when they’re scared. The Doberman is bred to deal intelligently with fear. You’re more likely to be bitten by a well raised Golden retriever that a well raised Doberman. Golden breeders don’t breed for sturdy fearless warriors.
Actually, you have to do something blatantly aggressive to get a well bred and trained Doberman to bite. Take our male, Drayko. He’s protected my wife twice without delivering a bite. Once, he just put up a Doberman-wall until the police came. The other time he leaped up and knocked a big guy on his ass in a parking lot while she got in the car and started it up – then he got in and they drove off.
Neither time did he feel cornered. In one situation the bad guy didn’t try coming through his. The other time Drayko knew they had an escape rout. Had there not been police in the area in the first case, or had the car not started in the second, Drayko was prepared enter combat and kill.
This same dog willing to kill; also rescues kittens and will let the veterinarian give him stitches while he’s awake and mess with a painful wound without showing even a sign of aggression.
Dobermans are for sure a indoor dog, and as far as their "watchdog" ways, they were bred to protect. Period. A dobe will protect his family/property by nature but should never be vicious.
Just to agree with the sensible posts so far
a doberman is an indooor dog, they shiver in anything that isnt a nice warm day and love life in front of a warm open fire.
the doberman is a close family dog they have to have a family to live with they absolutly need affection and love.
as a family dog they will defend ,you your home and your loved ones with the last drop of thier blood.
Isolated in a yard a doberman will go insane and will be the worst dog in the world.
a dobe protects the ones it loves, to deprive a dobe of love is cruelty of the worst order
As others have said, the Doberman is an indoor dog. Mine go out to potty and play. Look at the coat on the dog, do you really think it could survive outdoors? The more love affection and closeness you give your dog, the better watch dog , protector he or she will be. I have never found it necessary to use any attack training with a Doberman. If you do go there you better be very experienced and know what you are doing. I have known professionals that have had problems with trained "attack dogs".
The only training needed is obedience training , as they are very strong willed animals. My dogs are always
protective, and on guard when someone approaches the house. They look to me as to how to proceed.
If I acknowledge the guest in a friendly manner they pick up on it instantly and allow access. If I act apprehensive or cautious they hold the person at bay, by barking and advancing,believe me that is all that is needed. They do not attack nor should they. The only time my dogs would attack is if someone threatened me with physical harm. I.E.- knocked me to the ground,or attacked me.
Didn't mean to put my reply in a new category, but that was the only way the computer would accept it.
I spent 50 years on farms in Virginia and West Virginia with very happy, healthy, friendly, long-lived Dobermans. Of course I did not have to deal with traffic and neighbors, another subject entirely. The breeder from whom I just bought my puppy, River View Farms of Carthage, Tennessee, keeps her six (the stud, 3 spayed females, and 2 breeding females) outdoors. All day, every day, on their farm. (Of course they have access to shelter.) Go see for yourself how gleaming with vitality and good will they are. The only behavioral problem I saw was that they seem incapable of barking at strangers. They offer up their heads to be scratched. Neurotic from all that loneliness, I suspect.
You know, the Doberman isn't the only short-haired dog found happily outside roaming his master's/mistress' fields, living his doggy life, happily joining the family when they are available.
As a farmer for all those years, I am a fairly good judge of animal discomfort. If stock is very cold, it gets sick. It dies. Good farmers go to great lengths to keep cows, horses, stock dogs comfortable, I can tell you. And do let me say--as a former Thoroughbred breeder on a modest scale--horses do not eat a great deal of fodder. That's cows, with their four stomachs. A horse depends upon its long winter coat and plenty of protein (grain, alas, unless the hay is very high quality such as alfalfa or first-cutting timothy) to warm it through the winter.
And not to worry about the Doberman being unable to carry the fat he needs. He'll carry just the right amount if you feed him what he'll clean up in 10 minutes once or twice a day. He'll never be too fat running, hunting, playing, working outdoors.
I'm lucky. Very. I have a huge back yard. But if I didn't, I don't think it would be fair to choose a Doberman and pen him up inside.
I didn't say horses had four stomachs. I said they eat fodder and their slow digestion allows it to be broken down producing heat and gas, like fermentation. This is what keeps horses warm. Sure, they grow a slightly thicker coat, but like the Doberman the thick winter coat is like having two t-shits instead of one.
I can't argue specific cases of outside Dobermans without knowing the particulars. The fact is, a Doberman who is not socialized consistently at a young age, and who is not exposed to people on a regular basis throughout life, will develop behavioral problems. It was bred to be with people that it knows and meet strangers with aggression. Not barking at strangers would certainly be a sign of a behavioral problem.
Take a look at a wild dog. They stay inside the den or under the pack's tree most the day or night. They get up and move only to find food. This is not how we should treat domestic dogs but it shows their predisposition.
My Dobermans sleep most the day and all night. When I put them outside they run around and have all kinds of fun for an hour or so, then just sit, or lay, around watching things. Their favorit is when I'm outside with them, especially in the summer. Everyone can relax then and just be dogs - the Alpha is on duty so we can all be goofy. (TM Alpha Admin ;))
The bottom line is the Doberman is not a breed created for staying outside. It is a breed created to be with a handler, putting in a full day of work, and resting with the handler and protecting him all day every day.
I would also be careful claiming to know when an animal is uncomfortable - ecpecially a Doberman. My male was attacked by a rescue Doberman we took in (he was kept outside - a litter of ten - he and his brother survived the rest froze to death). My male had a couple big bleeding injuries and was happy as can be, tap dancing around while I tried to access his wounds. I took him right to the vet, who had to leave so he did the stitches without pain meds. Drayko just stood there waging his damn tail, nervous, while the vet sowed him up. The same when he got stung on the eyelid by a yellow jacket. Happy as can be with a big swollen shut eye.
What is your Virginian deffenition of all types of weather? My Doberman shivers after just a few minutes under 40 degrees.
Out stupid neighbor, they got a Lab and kept it outside in our Michigan winter. It froze to death. We called the police but I don't think anything even happened to them! I'm glad those idiots finally moved. They left their home like THEY were dogs. Dogs that knew how to take drugs that is....
Perhaps we should let two Wisconsin veterinarians decide the question of Dobermans and cold weather? Take a look at what they say.--Harriet Hodges
Dog Houses: Design and Construction
Race Foster, DVM
Marty Smith, DVM
Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.
Building a doghouse that is just right for your dog can be fun and rewarding. However, if it is done without a plan and an understanding of how it fulfills its purpose and function, it can be a disaster. Talk to ten different dog people and you will probably get at least ten different plans for dog houses, all of which are promised to be perfect. If you do construct a doghouse that fulfills your dog’s needs perfectly, none of these ten experts will be ready to quickly criticize your architectural dream. We deal with many breeders who have outdoor facilities and they get to the same end in many different ways. Some just make more mistakes than others along the path. When building a doghouse, you must consider the proper size, design, building materials, construction, placement, and bedding for the doghouse.
To fulfill the needs of its canine occupant, the doghouse need not be plush or complicated. A doghouse’s purpose is to allow its occupant to be dry, out of the wind, cool in summer, warm in winter, and provide it with a place to feel safe. Remember, we practice in northern Wisconsin where temperatures can easily range from 100º to -40ºF. Therefore, a doghouse built in this climate to accomplish these purposes will probably function anywhere in the United States.
How dry I am
The primary function of a doghouse is to be dry and stay dry. Nothing can stop Rover from tracking in some water on a rainy day, but that really is not the main concern. Assuming the house is waterproof, the major problem from water in a doghouse (or in any enclosed kennel building) is humidity. When humidity rises, bacteria and viruses can easily become airborne and carried in atmospheric microdroplets. This is obvious in a kennel building housing several animals where there is inadequate air exchange or turnover. It gets stuffy and humid and disease problems increase, especially respiratory ones like bronchitis, and pneumonias. Even parasites are more of a problem with humidity at these levels. Clean this building with a high pressure hose using hot water and it gets even worse. Kennel buildings need a way to get rid of the humidity and replace it with fresh air. Sometimes this can be accomplished by opening windows and doors, but often it is necessary to utilize exhaust fans. It is the same in a single house. Put one dog in the correct-sized doghouse with a tight door and you will see problems caused by excess humidity. The house has to breathe...either through the walls or via a door that is partially open or with some form of louvers. Wood houses because of the properties of this material, usually breathe to a certain degree. Add a cloth or canvas flap-type door or a metal one with vents and you have eliminated humidity as a problem.
It's too hot in here
Every year, we have a client that has just moved into the area and builds the "ultimate canine palace." He builds a very large, wooden doghouse, puts 3 to 4 inches of fiberglass insulation in the walls and roof, paints it to match their home, and adds an electric heat pad or lamp to keep it at a toasty 72ºF. Winter arrives and on nights when the temperature drops below zero, the owner turns on the heat. However, the shorthaired Doberman, understanding his own needs and comfort level, decides to sleep in the snow. He is probably more comfortable there than he would be in the palace.
People often do not realize just how well their dog can cope with the elements. Dogs, unlike humans, have their own built-in-insulation in the form of body hair. Shorthaired dogs have the same ability to keep warm as longhaired dogs. This is because their hair is different. Take the Doberman for instance. His hair is short but very stout. In fact, it is hollow. In the hair shaft are air pockets, the perfect insulating material. Now look at an English Setter. He has lots of fine, longer hair. His insulation is provided by the air pockets between layers of hair, sometimes referred to as undercoat and outercoat. We are not saying the Dobermans will not shiver on a cold day (which is nature’s way of increasing body heat), but we have seen Setters and Malamutes do the same.
All the Doberman above wanted or needed was a place to get out of the cold, and to him that probably meant getting out of the wind. He curls up inside a snowdrift to protect him from the wind and provide insulation, allowing the use of his body heat to stay warm. He did not want to be hot and after becoming used to the decreasing temperature during the fall, he was ready to deal with winter. Unless a doghouse is going to be used for whelping, we never put any heat source in it.
That's just wrong Harriet, regardless of any vet who thinks they know Dobermans. There's no way a Doberman will survive a winter with below zero temperature outside. Maybe if you build a doghouse with similar conditions to a home.
Regardless of the health dangers of the Doberman being left outside, there are the temperament issues. Of all the responsible Doberman breeders I've known, none will sell to an owner who would leave their Doberman outside and all have different tricks of finding out if the person has that intention.
Check some credible sources in addition to this website:
In a summary, a Doberman needs----
------to live with his family INSIDE the home---interacting and living next to and with all the family members. He is NOT AN OUTSIDE DOG---under ANY circumstances! He must be a family companion and protector in the home WITH the family. Did I say INSIDE the home with the family? Just wanting to make the point that the Doberman is not for outside living.
THE DOBERMAN, with his short coat, does not stand extremes of temperatures well. HE IS NOT AN OUTSIDE DOG!!! This does not mean that he must spend all of his time indoors, but he must never be left outside when it is very cold, raining, or when it is very hot. A corner of a room, furnished with a soft bed, away from drafts, is a good place for your Doberman to learn to call his own.
How to train your Doberman to stop being aggressive
--Try not to tie up your Doberman outside for long hours.
Please do NOT consider a Doberman if you want an outside-only dog. Because of their short coats, Dobes do not tend to tolerate weather extremes very well. And, again, it must be re-emphasized, this breed needs quality human contact in order to be well-socialized and happy. A poorly socialized Doberman can be a danger to both humans and other animals, and a legal liability to his owner.
Dobes are very cold sensitive and are not an outside dog. That is why police in areas where it gets cold are not able to use them.
I have 2 separate heat lamps in our dog house, 1 that is always on, except in the summer during the daytime (it gets up to 95 easily here), and 1 on a remote switch that we use when it gets colder out ( it gets down to 0 pretty easily here too). And there is a thermometer that displays the doghouse temp. on the digital therm/clock in our living room so it never gets to warm or cool out there. And my dogs sleep in bed with me every night and spend about 1-4 hours outside per day, but that is spaced out over about 10 outside breaks a day, and walks, etc. My dog will play in snow, but she shivers outside in anything under 45 degrees, unless she is actively romping around and even then she has her limits for being outside. So anyone that thinks a doberman would sleep in snow on it's own accord is just ignorant. It is common knowledge, at least I thought it was, that these are not outdoor dogs. They like to burrow under blankets & are easily chilled even at temps that most breeds of dogs wouldn't have a problem with. They aren't malamutes, they weren't bred for cold weather existence. Or isolated existence. I know for sure a doberman who was given the choice of snow or a heated doghouse is NEVER going to choose the snow! I would like to hear from any doberman owners that agree w/this Harriet. Bet there isn't 1. Because if they did believe what she does, I can't imagine they are doberman owners any longer- not since their dog froze to death, i would bet! Hope no one believes her and causes an easily avoided tragedy due to 1 persons ignorant ideas.
Yeah eileennellie, I can't imagine a Doberman liking the winter. My ninny Dobermans would be putting up a huge fuss if I left them out in the snow longer than it takes to empty and run around a bit. Even then they come in shivering. But - this is one of the reasons for this website - to educate away some of these wild ideas.
Really, I'm not sure why people who would decide to get a Doberman and keep it outside even want a dog. It's like those people who buy jet skies and motorcycles and never ride them - or hang clothes on the tread mill. Impulse and novelty I guess....
Hey, let's buy one of those $3000 TV's for the closet.
I grew up in a family that always kept Dobermans. I will not claim to know better than anyone in this forum but I did want to give an opinion. I myself keep my Dobes inside simply because I love to have them with me at all times. My father always kept his outdoors in the warm months and inside in the cold with interaction either way. These dogs seemed to be content both ways. From experience with indoor and outdoor dogs I can say that around 40/45 degrees both would be shaking and shivering and it is my opinion that to leave them in the cold even with a warm dog house to get into is neglect at the least. I do agree with letting them have some time to run on their own on a farm or ranch etc. but never to be turned loose to run free as an outdoor dog permanently. These animals were created to be a man/woman's companion not a sheepdog. If a person needs a permanent outdoor dog maybe this would be a better choice.
In that situation, krugerspop, with nice weather and their owner being outside more than in, a Doberman would certainly be happy. I know my Dobermans get upset if I go outside without them. In the spring and fall, when the weather is not cold or hot, I keep those ninnies outside all day. I let them out in the late morning and keep them there until lunch. After lunch they usually take a nap but before they start fogging the house noxious gas it's outside again. They role around in and eat the grass, chase each other, lay in the sun - it looks like great fun.
When I'm outside with them they get extra happy, running around barking. I try to take advantage of every bit of good weather because most of the year it's bitter cold or just muggy hot.
I'm a little off the subject but but I know what you mean about your weather, I have family in Flint. 85 percent of the year here in Tennessee is nearly perfect I just never seem to have the time to let my dogs run like they would like. About 20 hours a day. One is a Boxer Bullet. ;D
Yeah, Flint is about 2 hours north of us. Some of our puppies live around there! Michigan weather is no year-around treat. I grew up in the south so I really hate this winter business.
I've never owned a dobie but do have pit bulls.. whose coat is simialar... would you like it if we made you stay the night out in the cold just wearing pannyhose (guess thats how you'd spell that) No dog is an outside dog. Dogs are pack animals.. they need their "pack" or family. I've only had one dog, which was a 12 year old lab when she was dumped at my house and delivered pups that was an outside dog. She'd lived all 12 years of her life outside and would not go in the house.
This is a great forum! I have been an admirer of Dobies for years, and recently purchased my first one. I went against all my own advice LOL, and bought a cute puppy at a flea market for $100, on impulse. I have had so much fun with him, he is the best dog. Sooo smart, funny, charming, I could go on and on.
Back to topic, I am working on housebreaking, my baby Nemo is 5 months old, and doing really well, but not trustowrthy to leave loose in the house alone yet. So my choice is, while I am at work, either crate him, or tie him up. (I don't have a fenced in yard, landlord doesn't want a fence up.) So I chose what I thought would be best for my puppy, and I bought a 65' aerial trolly, ran it from my house to my garage, and he has the run of that all day while I'm at work. After work, he comes inside, sleeps inside, and spends every spare second with me. We are together every possible second we can be. He goes everywhere I am allowed to take him. He is very well socialized, loves everyone he meets, loves cats, other dogs, chickens, baby birds he finds in the yard, everything. For the 8 hours I am gone, he entertains himself, he has plenty of fresh food and water, a nice dog house, toys galore, and 4 inside/outside cats to play with. In a few months I am going to get an underground fence so he can have run of my 8 acres. We have no neighbors and very very few stray animals, my German Shepherd mix and my pit bull take care of that.
Do any seasoned Dober-people see anything wrong here? Is there any advice you can give a first time Dobie owner? (I have owned and bred American pit Bull Terriers for 7 years now, so yes I am very familiar with large, strong, stubborn, and potentially dangerous breeds.)
Savannah and Nemo
Well, tying up a Doberman is a bad idea. They can hurt themselves. I'd worry about leaving a Doberman outside too. What happens when you come home and he's gone? Eventually someone will steal him. The underground fence is a good idea but I wouldn't leave him out while you're gone.
It's just irresponsible to get a Doberman for $100 at a flea market. I'm not trying to bust your brow, but understand responsible breeding is very expensive. By purchasing a dog like that, you're promoting bad breeding and furthering the destruction of the breed. The terrible thing is that it's so easy. There you are at a flea market, falling in love with a cute puppy, 10 minutes later you've bought a pup. To counter this purchase in the Doberman world, a person has to spend months, likely over a year just finding a good breeder....
I hope things go well for you and your Doberman, but don't buy any more dogs from flea markets!!! You might have gotten lucky this time. And I wouldn't leave hi outside. People do some horrible things to dogs they steal.
I just got my ten week old red dobie and I love her already, I went the small terrier route......I almost gave up on dogs in general, but my dobie saved me.... ;D
Hello from Texas
I have had a love for the dobie breed and I have had my time with a few that had no papers. But as of July 23 I got my first papered dob from a good breeder. His paper goes back 3 generation and is registered as of this week. I have already made the decision to have him as an insider and have no trouble with him indoors. As with any young puppy there's alot of training to do and you must be committed to that training. I want a dob to have in my home. I love what the breed offers in loyality, love , companionship and intelligence. With anything you bring into your home, you must love what you are doing. Research, research and research to make sure this breed is for you and your family. Never jump without looking first. That's why forums like this is here.
By the way my dob's register name is Beck Mo Chu, but we call him Becker for short. And I am madly in love with him.
Karen & Becker
Blue Nemo - I have to agree with those who say to never, ever tie a dog. I had a large crossbreed dog when I lived in Dallas in the early 70's with a 4 foot fence, he could clear easily. To make a long story short, I am bothered to this day when I think back to coming home and finding him dead after fighting the chain and getting tangled in it. I know the trolley ties are better than the swivel tie I had but I thought it was ok since he could get inside the back of the garage and that a dog should be outside. I will never, ever tie another dog.
I have a large Dobe, and when I was working (now retired) I kept him in in a large wire crate (30" x 48") during the day and he still stays in it during the night. In fact, when I am up late and he gives up on me, he goes in by himself. It has a 3" thick pad so it is comfortable. There is another large pad now in the living room so he many times sleeps on it.
One thing you need to keep in mind, if the dog is outside and tied, it is at risk. Many can come up with a laundry list of problems, starting with the other dogs you mentioned. While he is now a puppy, he won't be forever. Since he is a puppy, they tend to protect him, but when he is a grown male dog and the area females come into season he will be seen as a competitor. Then there are other risks from dog thieves (the other dogs can be disabled or distracted) who would love to find a Dobe puppy tied out doors.
Texasmyma - there is absolutely nothing better than bonding with and working with a young Dobe. When I was young I had not been exposed to them except in negative terms. Many times when working in the summer installing Central Air Cond in existing homes, I would come in contact with one next door. Of course they were in protect mode and all I saw was teeth. However, in the early 80's I got my first Dobe, a four month old who had been returned to the breeder because she was getting too big. (They had had Schnauzer's previously and really didn't appreciate how large a Dobe could get). She was a joy, and I had almost 7 great years with her before I lost her. When she was 2, I got my second, a red male I had until he was almost 12. For over 25 years, I have almost always had at least one Dobe, and cannot comprehend being without at least one.
Enjoy him, you will have a faithful and loving companion for the rest of his life. There will be challenges as you grow up to maintain him, starting with going to college and then working, just remember he depends on you as much as he loves you. Always do right with him and in the future, you will be able to look back, on your time with him with pleasure. If it comes about that you are unable to keep him, just make sure to find him a good home.
This is a good thread. And the topic is important. Here is what I have gleaned from the posts that needs to be heeded.
Dobes are indoor dogs, this should be observed. Cold weather does take its toll on Dobes. Tying a dog is acceptable when you can see it and the physical environment is not a threat; use a spring at the tether. On a cabled run, these can be usable for short periods, if physical environment is not a threat, the weather and intangibles are considered. And again, at least one (yes, you can daisy-chain these springs) spring should be used at the end where the pulley tether assembly. If there is no fence, an inexpensive roll of garden fence with metal foot derivable support posts are a good idea. We only use this option when we have to keep the gate open for a short while. I must be noted that there is no substitute for a proper fence.
I am never comfortable with tying a dog. I view it as tolerable, as long as it is only a temporary or an emergency fix.
No Fence: Please have one. The garden metal PVC-coated large mesh garden fence can be put us in a couple of hours, and taken down or moved very easily. Metal post, keep, and small fence anchors will make it secure. However, daily inspection is strongly recommended.
Dobe want to be with people. Crating is required, especially when the Dobe believes that it is his place and a refuge, as opposed to where they are sent when they are in trouble.
Buying pups from mills, or from the back of a station wagon or flea market does, not help our cause. The situation is indeed that bad. But, believe me, I do understand.
I hope such discussions take place often.
my guys like it inside for sure...but they love the snow too...romping about and wrasslin.....for about the same time i do.......then ready to curl up again in the warmth of the hearth
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