The three key words that I would use to describe the Doberman are strong, energetic and affectionate.
Although every pooch is different, it would still be wise to assume the most dramatic breed tendencies of your new pup.
If you do not particularly enjoy physical exercise or active endeavours – it would probably be wise not to consider adopting a Doberman.
This breed is full of energy, and all the training in the world will not mean a thing if they are under-exercised.
Most breed related websites will suggest that the Doberman requires on average about 40 minutes of exercise a day. In my opinion, this is far too little and it is also dependant on what kind of exercise this 40 minutes consists of.
A 40 minute walk once a day, will do very little in tiring out a young Doberman; on the other hand, a 40 minute run might have some effect.
The exercise requirements of Rottweilers & Dobermans are quite similar and therefore I will give you some insight on how much exercise Zeus requires.
Zeus is an almost three year old male Rottweiler, and I could walk him for hours a day without him loosing the bulk of his energy. The only way for me to keep his energy levels in check is by having him participate in group walks three times a week.
On every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday Zeus gets picked up by 6 – 8 other dogs and they go to a park where they run, play, and cause all kinds of mayhem for several hours.
Without these 2-3 hours of ‘hardcore’ exercise & socialisation 3x a week ; Zeus would not be the lovely, calm dog that he is. On the remaining days of the week he gets 30+ minutes of walking outside, and roughly 45 minutes of play time in our garden.
If you want to read more about whether you are suited to be a big dog parent than read my blog post Are you a big dog parent?
The Most Important Doberman Facts that You Should Know
- Very high Energy Levels ; a LOT of exercise is required
- Very loyal & affectionate with their family
- Very easy grooming & physical maintenance
- Low slobber & snoring tendencies
- Easy to train & love to please their families
- Jumpy – they have a tendency to want to jump on people
- Not particularly dog friendly – unless socialised extensively and vigorously from Day 1.
Temperament & Children
When raised with children, Dobermans make wonderful family pets. As with any other large breed dog, there is always the chance that a playful dog may knock over a small child. Boundaries and rules need to be set for both dogs and children so that they understand how to interact with each other in an appropriate manner. As much as your dogs should not be allowed to tease your child, your child should also never ever be allowed to tease your dog; ear pulling, hitting, etc.
Children need to be taught how to approach a dog and how to pet a dog respectfully; your dog deserves as much respect as your children.
As kind, loyal, and devoting as Dobermans are with their families, this is not always the case with other dogs. When you decide to adopt breeds such as Dobermans, Rottweilers, Mastiffs etc. you have a responsibility to yourself, to your dog, and to society.
If you are living in a city, you MUST ensure that your dog is well socialised with other dogs; this will most likely include hiring professionals and a dog walker. This is just one of the many reasons why owning such breeds will not come cheap.
The same principle applies to strangers; these dogs will be kind to strangers if taught to be, and if they have an abundance of positive encounters with strangers before the age 1. After the first year of your Doberman’s life, it will be much more difficult to correct unwanted behaviours.
Adaptability & Exercise Needs
THEY NEED & DESIRE A LOT OF EXERCISE !
I personally could not imagine living with a large dog and not having a garden. Although Zeus and I survived for a year and a half without having one – it was not easy and looking back at those times I don’t know how we managed!
Having the use of a garden can make training an adolescent Doberman far easier. For example, when Zeus was at his most energetic – we would play an intense 15 minute ball game in the garden before putting him on the lead and taking him for a walk. It made things so much easier as he was able to release the bulk of his energy before we went outside !
These dogs will adapt to apartment living, but again – only if they receive thorough amounts of exercise.
Health & Grooming
Dobermans grooming requirements are minimal – which makes them wonderful companions for hikes, adventures, and anything outdoors !
Compared to other large breed dogs such as Rottweilers, Dobermans are considered healthier and less prone to issues such as dysplasia. They can however be prone to serious conditions such as Wobbler’s syndrome, cervical vertebral instability (CVI), and cardiomyopathy.
Dobermans are wonderful yet demanding dogs that require owners who are patient, active, and determined to put in the required amount of work, dedication, and commitment.
In my opinion, they are most suited to owners who live or work outdoors and for whom an active lifestyle is the way of life!
Although a Doberman’s affection levels match those of a Rottweiler; I would consider Dobermans far more energetic than Rotties.
If it is an energetic and an abundant kind of love that you are after – than this could be the ideal breed for you!
Love, Zeus & Anna 💜