Dobermans are very versatile dogs that people have long valued for their protective nature. These dogs are brilliant and willing to jump into any task. However, it is reasonable to wonder if these strong protectors are suitable for families with kids.
Are Dobermans good with kids?
Many Doberman Pinschers are great with kids if adequately trained and socialized. Owners will do well to remember, though, that these dogs sometimes bond primarily with one person in the family.
This video shows Dobermans playing with several small children. Although all young children should be supervised with dogs of any size, this example shows how good Dobies can be with kids.
Why Are Dobermans Great Family Dogs?
Neater Pets regards Dobermans as ultimate companions. Issues like socialization and training aside, Dobies have what it takes to be family friends.
One word of caution that many prospective owners need to regard is that Dobermans are very protective. Without proper training, Dobermans may overreact to perceived threats to their families. Many biting incidents occur this way.
In an ideal situation, a Doberman should be acquired as a puppy so it can grow up with the children in your home. When kids and a dog grow up together, a dog accepts the children as a part of its pack more readily.
When Dobies are puppies, they have a high energy level that suits the needs of kids. Your kids will need to learn to treat the puppy with respect, and they will need to learn boundaries. However, this is a good overall solution.
Doberman Pinschers have a long history as beings guardians and protectors. These protective instincts will often inspire them to protect your children. Threats are not likely to get near your kids with a Doberman around.
Most Dobermans have an affectionate, sweet temperament towards children, particularly babies and toddlers. These dogs will see kids in your home as members of your pack who are puppies and in need of greater protection.
Dobermans have a level of loyalty seldom seen in any other breed. Although many will prefer the company of one person, their loyalty to the family as a whole is strong.
What is the Best Way to Raise Dobermans With Kids?
According to The Smart Canine, Dobermans are superb as family dogs. Their family-friendliness has consistently made them one of the top 20 dog breeds in the United States.
Despite the breed’s reputation for being somewhat fierce, most Dobies are easily described as being people-oriented. The amount of attention a Doberman receives helps increase the dog’s responsiveness to people, including kids.
One of the best ways to make sure a Doberman adjusts to new people in its life, including children, is to give the dog time to get acclimated. Giving the dog time to get used to new faces is also good for visiting kids who spend time with your family.
Owners need to remember that, as a breed used for guarding, Dobermans are naturally wary of strangers, regardless of their age. Once a dog has had a chance to see that the newcomer is not a threat, there should be no problems.
Dobermans are one of the breeds that many liken to “velcro dogs” because they stick so close to their families. Encouraging these dogs to be around children as often as possible is a good way to increase the bond.
Avoid letting kids play with your dog unsupervised, no matter how docile. If your children frequently have friends over, supervision is especially important. Your Dobie might react differently to an unfamiliar child’s behavior.
Kids need to be taught not to do things like pulling a dog’s ears or tail, as well as kicking, hitting or trying to ride a dog like a horse. This type of behavior can prompt a dog to act out, possibly by biting.
Doberman Pinschers should not be allowed to play with infants until these children are older. These dogs can easily injure an infant unintentionally. Older infants and toddlers just starting to walk can be easily knocked over by a curious dog.
How Can You Make Your Doberman and Child Respect Boundaries?
According to Kane Tailor, Dobermans rank as the third most intelligent breed. However, when these dogs don’t have the opportunity for stimulation, they get bored very easily.
A bored dog and a bored child are a terrible combination. Because bored dogs and kids can be destructive, it is important for them to understand proper boundaries. When your dog and child understand what to do, they will be better playmates.
Dobermans may become anxious when they are unsure of where the children in the family are. However, this does not mean your dog should leave the yard with your child if it is unleashed. Make sure the dog can see your child is safe upon return.
If your child is younger, consider removing the dog from the room during dressing or similar tasks. Dobies with a solid protective streak might think that you are hurting the child. Also, remove the dog during roughhousing between kids.
Consider involving kids who are old enough in the training process. Getting involved with training is not only a good way to increase the bond but also teaches your child responsibility. Your dog will also understand that it needs to listen to your child.
Make sure any kids who interact with your dog, including yours, understand canine body language. Your child should understand when the dog is demonstrating that it wants to play and when it wants to be left alone.
Also, make sure your child can identify when the dog is showing signs of stress. A stressed dog is likely to bite with sufficient provocation. Because Doberman Pinschers have a powerful bite, this is a situation to avoid.
What Are Some Important Considerations If Your Dog is a Puppy?
According to the Doberman Pinscher Club of America, Doberman puppies require proper nurturing. This makes a difference in how well-adjusted they are as adults.
Puppies need to learn to accept the humans in their lives as “pack leaders.” Otherwise, they will become adults who try to dominate the household. Dobies with domineering tendencies may behave poorly around children.
When a Doberman Pinscher puppy is teething, that is a time when nipping and biting are more likely. Puppies play roughly, as they would with their littermates, and may inadvertently hurt a child. Babies and toddlers are at the highest risk of injury.
Another problem with the teething stage for puppies is that they are likely to chew everything. Your child’s toys could easily become a target for a teething puppy. Until your Doberman is about six months old, the teething process will go on.
Kids also need to learn to avoid behavior around a young Dobie that might trigger bad reactions. Running and screaming are behaviors that often motivate puppies to jump and bite. Children need to understand how their behavior might affect dogs.
Puppies need gentle corrections when they nip or otherwise get out of line. If consistently corrected when they bite, puppies will learn that this is not acceptable behavior. Learning about consequences for bad behavior is part of socialization.
Children need to be taught not to use abusive corrections on puppies. A dog that experiences harsh behavior from a young age will likely become fearful of people. Dogs with nervous temperaments are more likely to bite.
If you have already done obedience training with your puppy and there are signs of continued behavioral issues, the time might be suitable to seek a trainer’s help. A trainer can help prevent a puppy’s behavior from causing problems into adulthood.
Do Dobermans Enjoy Exercise with Kids?
Your Purebred Puppy highlights Dobermans being a naturally athletic breed. These athletic tendencies are perfect for dogs in a house with kids.
Many kids will love accompanying a Doberman on a walk or run. However, an adult should always accompany a child when walking a dog. Dobies can get overexcited when they see other dogs or small animals like cats.
Activities like walking or running are great ways for dogs and their owners to bond. Going out as part of family activity is one of the best ways to reinforce that bond. You can also help protect your child and dog from other dogs or hostile people.
Agility-related activities are also perfect for kids to take part in with Dobermans. Kids will enjoy helping to put the obstacle courses together. Dobermans are naturally inclined to try to please everyone in their family.
Another fun activity for dogs and kids to do together is tracking. Doberman Pinschers, with their high intelligence, have a strong drive to locate objects. Hiding favorite treats or toys for the dog to find is a great way to pass the time.
Dobermans are excellent with kids when adequately socialized and trained. Although having a Dobie grow up with kids from puppyhood is ideal, they can acclimate at any age. The more time they spend together, the better for both.