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Doberman Pinschers are a relatively new breed, originating in the 19th century. The original Doberman was bred by a man named Louis Dobermann, who was a German tax collector and an animal control officer.
He wanted a dog that would protect him and provide companionship. While the breeds he combined are unknown, the modern “Dobies” are nonetheless excellent companions and guards.
According to the AKC, Doberman Pinschers are the fifteenth most popular breed in America as of 2017. They are alert, highly intelligent, and loyal dogs that are somewhat friendly with children and the family.
However, they also are watchful and protective enough to be guard dogs.
Traits of Dobermans
- Doberman Pinschers are sensitive. It is a good trait for a guard dog to have, but it doesn’t necessarily make the best family dog.
- They are affectionate towards their family. They are also relatively friendly towards strangers, but they are also brilliant. With proper training, your dog should be able to identify threats and act accordingly.
- Dobermans are easy to train due to their intelligence. However, they need frequent mental stimulation, or they will become bored and find ways to occupy themselves, which can lead to messes and destruction in your house.
- They don’t have much of a prey drive or a tendency to wander. They’re more likely to stay with you and be focused than some other breeds.
- They’re relatively quiet. While a noisier dog, such as a Chihuahua or a Siberian Husky, is more likely to alert you to the presence of someone on your property, quieter dogs are more pleasant to own and will give you fewer false alarms. However, you can train your Doberman to bark when someone is on your property.
- They can be stubborn. Because of this, it is important to be consistent and firm with your dog. Otherwise, they will take the alpha role.
- They are playful and energetic. It can be a good trait in a family dog, as long as you watch that no one gets hurt during playtime. Make sure to exercise your dog physically and mentally to avoid issues caused by boredom.
- They do not socialize well with other dogs, particularly dogs of the same sex. If you have other dogs, you may wish to choose a different breed.
Guard Dog Training for a Doberman
When selecting a puppy, you should buy him or her from a reliable breeder and look over its pedigree, possibly even meeting some of its family to learn what the puppy will be like once it is an adult. If aggression or nervousness runs in its family, perhaps you should look at different animals.
As with every other dog, it is important that your Doberman is well-socialized. Poor socialization can lead to a host of behavioral issues, such as shyness and aggression. Training is also an important part of ensuring the best experience with that dog.
Dobermans are very devoted to their owner. It means that they are excellent guard dogs, but you must be an active leader. Unless you want anarchy in your house, you should be consistent and firm in his training. You should tell him what you want him to do and expect him to obey. If your dog follows, you should reward him. Consistency is the key.
Once your dog has completed obedience training, you should teach your dog to alert you to the presence of strangers. Train him to bark when someone knocks on the door or enters your property and to stop when you give the order. Reward him for barking and for stopping when you give the order.
When this part of training is complete, your dog is now a watchdog. The dog will alert you when someone is on your property. The liability of having a dog increases with guard dog training, but a dog that attacks real threats is better protection than a dog who merely barks.
If you want your dog to be a guard dog, then you should enroll your dog in protection dog training. It will include simulations of attackers and intruders, and the trainers will teach your dog to defend his property and family in case of threats.
Ideally, the situation will vary and be as realistic as possible so that your dog can discern real threats and respond appropriately without attacking innocent people.
If you want a guard dog, especially one that is also family-friendly, you may want to consider getting a Doberman Pinscher. With its roots as a guardian and companion, in many ways this breed is ideal.
Ensure that your dog comes from a good lineage to avoid many hereditary behavioral and physical issues. Be consistent and firm with him, and you will likely find your Doberman to be a beautiful guard dog.