Hey, guys! Diego the Doberman here! If I could have a moment of your time, I have something really important I’d like to talk about today.
Recently, my humans, Dave and Lisa, had a baby. I was so excited! Finally, a new human to play with! I love the new addition to our family.
But I quickly realized that not everyone sees Dobermans like me as child-friendly dogs. Once, a relative asked Lisa if she was worried about having me around the baby. That made me feel sad.
I guess because we make such great guard dogs, a lot of people see us as aggressive and dangerous. But really, we just want to protect our humans!
So, today, I want to explain why Dobermans can be great dogs for families with kids.
Are Dobermans Aggressive?
Let’s start with the biggest question: are Dobermans aggressive?
Well, yes and no. We definitely can be aggressive. I’ve certainly given my fair share of warning growls when a stranger gets too close to the garden gate, and I wasn’t always the biggest fan of the mailman, but I wouldn’t hurt anyone unless I really felt myself or my humans were being threatened.
The reason why so many humans think we Dobermans are naturally aggressive is that we’ve been bred specifically to be guard dogs.
Some of the traits inbred in us Dobermans are intelligence, bravery, obedience, and loyalty/. These all sound like good things, right? The problem is, these traits can become dangerous in the wrong situations.
For example, if we have aggressive owners, our obedience and loyalty might lead us to act in a similar way.
Something else that often leads humans to brand us Dobermans as aggressive is the shape of our jaws.
We Dobermans have very long snouts and something known as a scissor bite. This basically means that our teeth fit very close together when we close our jaws.
We can also open and close our mouths repeatedly in quick succession, which means that if we do choose to bite, we can do some serious damage.
However, as long as we’re socialized properly from an early age, and our humans are kind to us, we’re still very unlikely to do any harm.
In the U.S. between 1982 and 2013, there were 18 reported Doberman attacks against humans, 7 of which resulted in a fatality.That’s one attack every 1.7 years and a fatality every 4 years.
Based on these statistics, humans have less to fear from Dobermans than they do from some other very popular dog breeds, including the Husky and the Boxer.
That’s not to say that humans should necessarily be afraid of these dogs, either! My point here is that we Dobermans have a pretty unfair reputation and that any dog can be aggressive in the wrong situation.
Do Dobermans Attack their Owners?
Unfortunately, based on our aggressive reputation, many humans don’t want a Doberman as a pet because they’re worried we might attack them.
This is really sad to hear because, again, we’re bred to be incredibly loyal. That means that while we might snap at strangers who seem to pose a threat to our families, we definitely aren’t known for turning against our owners.
Apparently, a myth has been circulating that because we Dobermans have such narrow skulls, our brains eventually ‘outgrow’ our skulls, causing us to ‘snap’ and become aggressive towards our humans.
This is absolutely not the case. We Dobermans form very special bonds with our humans and wouldn’t do anything to harm them.
The only likely exceptions to this would be in cases of abuse where we feel forced to defend ourselves.
Are Dobermans a Good Family Dog?
So, are Dobermans good family dogs? I think so! What’s more, plenty of dog experts agree with me.
We Dobermans are very people-oriented. We love to interact with our humans.
I follow Lisa and Dave around wherever they go, and there’s nothing I like more than settling down for cuddles in front of the television with my family.
Because we have a natural instinct to protect, we’re also very good with children as long as we’ve been socialized correctly.
We often exhibit affectionate and caring behavior towards children, from playing with them to comforting them when they cry.
Something to bear in mind is that rates for raising children alongside Dobermans are higher when the child and dog have been raised together.
Also, it’s best never to leave a Doberman unsupervised with a child, which is also true for most dog breeds.
Sometimes, our bonding instinct can be so strong that we exclusively bond to one human in the household.
This doesn’t make us dangerous towards other members of the household since we’ll usually still associate other members of the family with our favorite human, but it does mean that other family members might have a more difficult time training and interacting with us.
Are Dobermans Good for Beginners?
Obviously, I think we Dobermans are pretty great dogs, although I might be a little biased. However, it’s worth mentioning that a Doberman might not be the ideal dog for first-time dog owners.
Even though we can be very loving and playful dogs, we still need to be trained very thoroughly and carefully. Without proper training and socialization, our natural traits can develop in less positive ways.
The way we are trained and raised from puppyhood can have a dramatic impact on our temperaments and behaviors for the rest of our lives, so it’s very important to get the training right straight off the bat.
So, if you’re thinking about getting a Doberman as your first dog, it might be a better idea to start with a breed that demands less intensive training first.
Ultimately, we Dobermans make excellent family dogs and can be great with kids when trained and socialized properly.
We might have a scary reputation, but we’re loving and affectionate companions at heart.
Dobermans interact best with kids when they’ve been raised together and should be supervised during interactions. However, we can make fantastic playmates and lifelong friends if given the chance!