Many people associate Dobermans with guard dog duties. After all, Dobermans guarding property frequently make appearances in movies or other media. It is reasonable to question whether these guarding traits also extend to families.
Are Dobermans good guard dogs?
Doberman Pinschers can be excellent guard dogs and are at their best when protecting their families. Although no dog should be explicitly bred to attack, Dobies will challenge perceived threats.
This video highlights, sometimes in humorous ways, how protective Dobermans can be. These dogs have a strong devotion to their family members of all ages.
How Does the Doberman’s History Make It More Protective?
Dobermans were initially developed as guard dogs. The breed’s lineage may include the German Pinscher, Black and Tan Terrier, and Rottweiler.
Of these breeds, the Rottweiler is the most well-known as a protector. Rottweilers descend from Mastiff-like dogs that traveled with Roman armies in ancient Germany. Dobermans have inherited much of their protectiveness from this breed.
The Doberman is most famous for having been used for personal protection initially. Louis Dobermann, the breed’s founder, bred dogs with traits that German tax collectors could use in a dog for personal protection.
These dogs have also been used in military and police settings. Their loyalty to their handlers helps ensure that they will stick by them, no matter what the adversity. This devotion also extends to members of Dobermans’ families.
A Doberman will effectively protect its family from all threats, real or perceived. Family members often learn that even roughhousing is enough to attract a Dobie’s attention. Dobermans will work hard to make sure nobody is hurt.
In recent years, Dobermans have become a popular breed to use as service, emotional support, and therapy dogs. Although all three of these types of dogs have different functions, the Doberman’s background helps it to excel at all.
Dobermans have a high intelligence level that makes them well-suited as service animals for the blind or deaf. They are also a good size to use as mobility dogs. The Dobie’s calm nature also makes it a great choice as a psychiatric service dog.
Another task suitable for Dobermans is as emotional support dogs. Although not an actual service animals, such dogs help provide support and comfort to benefit their owner’s emotional health. Such dogs play very important roles.
Dobies are also excellent as therapy dogs. Rather than providing support for one person, these dogs provide emotional support for many people. Some of the settings where they might work include hospitals, nursing homes, and schools.
What Traits Make Dobermans Excellent Protectors?
Neeness cites most Dobermans as being somewhat suspicious of strangers. Although they can and will acclimate to new people with proper introductions, they need time to warm up.
Obedience training is one of the best ways to get these dogs to use their protective instincts in a positive way. When attending these classes, Dobermans have a better chance of becoming well-socialized.
Dobermans have a strong sense of loyalty toward their family members. Although loyalty is a trait typical of most well-treated dogs, this trait is more pronounced in Dobermans. This loyalty is expressed through strong protectiveness.
Although well-trained Dobermans are not attacked dogs, they do have an appearance that intimidates intruders. Their size, muscular build, and distinctive ears make troublemakers recognize them very easily.
Doberman Pinschers also take a cautious approach towards unfamiliar dogs. As a breed developed to work individually instead of in packs, Dobermans
must determine whether they are going to accept an unfamiliar dog or not.
Does Gender Make a Difference in How Protective Dobermans Are?
There is some debate among Doberman owners about whether females or males are more protective. A simple answer is that both genders are protective, but the protective instincts are expressed in different ways.
James Davis considers the choice of either a male or female important because your choice may impact whether the Doberman you choose is the best fit for your household.
Females are more likely to bond to one member of the family. A female Doberman will focus most of her efforts on keeping this person safe.
The family member that the dog has bonded to may find that the dog follows them around a lot.
If you take a female Dobie out in public a lot, you can trust her to stay as close to you as possible. Anyone thinking of causing any type of trouble is likely to think twice when they see one of these dogs with you.
Although females are not usually as large as males, they have the powerful build that demonstrates to others that they are very capable of protecting you. Female Dobies are big but seldom so powerful that they cannot walk one comfortably.
In the case of male Dobies, they are more likely to focus on the entire household. If a male perceives a threat to anything anywhere near the property, he will let everyone nearby know about it. This is a reason many males are used to guarding properties.
Male Doberman Pinschers are more likely to greet strangers in public if they have realized that these new people are no threat. Because males of this breed are more devoted to the family as a whole, they are less likely to cling to one person.
With male Dobermans being larger, they are very effective at scaring away muggers or thieves. However, you want to make sure you have excellent control over your Doberman in public. Large, muscular dogs are often harder to control on a leash.
One problem that can happen with dogs of either gender is aggression towards dogs of the same sex. Such aggression is more common with dogs who are unaltered, regardless of gender. Dogs with such issues require a little more care.
Regardless of which sex is better suited to your family’s needs, socialization makes all the difference in your dog’s adjustment level. The better socialized a dog is, the fewer problems it will have with people and other animals.
Are Dobermans Good Guard Dogs with Children?
Dobermans are one of the top guard dogs for families. Dobermans that are well-treated are protective with children.
However, children should still be supervised around these or any dog. No dog should be treated as a babysitter or left alone with young children. Even well-behaved dogs can have enough and bite.
How Easy is It to Train Dobermans as Guard Dogs?
Jubilant Pups highlights the fact that Dobermans are among the five smartest dog breeds. In addition to having a high intelligence level, Doberman Pinschers are eager to please.
Even though Dobermans are naturally protective, training is necessary to make are they use their protective instincts only in helpful ways.
These dogs have a very loud bark and a strong urge to bite, both of which need to be kept in check.
All Dobermans require basic obedience training to be well-adjusted family members. This training may take the form of teaching the dog yourself, using private sessions with a trainer, or taking the dog to classes.
However, training specifically for protection requires a trainer familiar with methods used for training a dog to guard. Sometimes, these lessons are easy to incorporate into obedience training if the trainer has relevant experience.
If you want your dog to learn more advanced commands, you may benefit from specialized training, such as those offered at IPO schools.
This training method is somewhat more expensive, so you will want to keep the increased costs in mind.
Untrained Dobermans can and have protected their owners. However, the Doberman’s size makes it particularly dangerous if it has no set boundaries for its behavior. These dogs are capable of seriously injuring or even killing people.
When your dog has been trained, it will understand what is and is not allowed in your household.
Some of the most important things your dog should know are when to stop barking, how to act with invited guests, and come when called.
Otherwise, good dogs can easily become capable of nuisance barking. Having a dog that barks when it hears something is helpful, but constant barking can become an annoyance. Dobermans have a loud bark that neighbors might not appreciate.
Although you want your dog to alert you to possible threats, you don’t want it barking over blowing wind, either. You will want your dog to learn a command like “Quiet!” or Stop!”, which signals that it is time to stop barking.
Your dog will need to make the distinction between invited guests and intruders. One of the ways your dog can make this distinction is by knowing that it’s okay for someone to be there if you welcome the other person.
If someone visits your house frequently, the dog will likely come to accept them. Whenever a guest is in your home, praise your dog when it quiets down. Separate the dog from everyone else for a while if it keeps barking.
Another command that your Doberman needs to know is “Come!” or some variation. Dobermans take protecting their families seriously and will often try to chase down a perceived intruder. You don’t want your dog getting into traffic.
Teach your Dobie to come when you call its name and reinforce this with treats or praise. Clicker training can be a particularly useful method.
Dobermans are excellent guard dogs, as long as they are socialized and trained correctly.