5 Reasons Why Dobermans Attack

Dobermans have a reputation for being a dangerous or aggressive dog breed.  But is it deserved?

Let’s look at some of the main causes of Doberman attacks or aggression.

While these gifs are cute, this is a serious topic. This is a brief look at some of the reasons for dog attacks. If you think your Doberman is having one of these aggression issues, you need to address the behavior problem.  

1. Food aggression:

Doberman attacks may happen if someone tries stealing their food. Sometimes dogs’ don’t want to share.



2. Dominance aggression:

Dobermans need their personal space respected, dominant Dobermans don’t always want to cuddle or receive hugs.


3. Fear aggression:

Dobermans may be startled when someone or something strange surprises them. A nervous dog can attack or nip.



4. Predatory aggression:

Natural prey instincts can cause Dobermans to attack and chase small animals or prey. There’s even a term for this, “predatory drift aggression“.



5. Territorial aggression:

Dogs are territorial animals. And Dobermans naturally protect their territory. This can be a good trait for working guard dogs.


Prevent Doberman attacks and Aggression

In all seriousness dog aggression is a big issue, and you should understand what causes it.

Common types of aggression that can lead to Doberman attacks include dominance, territorial, pain-induced, fear, sexual related, maternal, predatory, disease-induced, and learned aggression. 

If you notice any behavior issues, it’s your responsibility as a good dog owner and a good citizen to address the issue or get help.  We know so much more about dogs than we did years ago. 

Please watch this video for help with Dobermans who bark or are aggressive.  

And for helpful tips to calm down your Doberman read this article. 

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67 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why Dobermans Attack”

  1. I have a 5 month old female Chocolate doberman who injured and young Muscovy duck who was about 4 months old and eventually ended up killing along with a chicken. Should I be worried ? lol has she tasted blood and can never go back now ?

  2. My neighbor has a doberman.. If he’s not tied to a building he’s running around free ..They let their 9 year old son hit him , choke him to the ground. Beat him in his back. He tries walking him with leash but the dog is massive and little over year old. I took my dog out on a leash and the fog was running around free. My dog saw him started barking and he started coming toward us so I put my dog up . I told the kid to get the dog and he grabbed him by his collar and started hitting him in the head and dragging him to house. I tried to tell his parents but they got angry with me. My fear is there’s going to be a day that that dog attacks that little boy or somebody else. Am I wrong?

    • You should call the ASPCA on them, they should not be allowed to have the dog.
      I’ve had dobermans for 65 years now,and they are well trained, and have NEVER bitten anyone. My dogs have been attack trained, and to me, that means they don’t bite unless I tell them to. IMHO.

      • You are well experienced with Doberman if I may ask a question. I have a 3 yr old Doberman she is great! I recently was gifted 2 Doberman pups a girl and a boy. At 1st my 3yr old was not happy with them but mainly with the girl Dobie. Then she got better and just recently seems to be very mean to both. She does not allow them to get close to her. Or when I go to feed them they have separate bowls. My 3 yr old will literally come to the younger once and be aggressive with them I don’t know what has gotten over her or what to do…help

      • Hi there.
        I have a 10month old Doby, which I totally adore. Such amazing loving dogs. Today I received a delivery, and the next moment I see the Ceasar at the delivery bike, all friendly with the driver. I was relieved when I realised he was there cause I obviously don’t want any unnecessary injuries to people. But now Im wondering, since they bred for protection, if I needed protection from the delivery guy, would the dogs natural instinct kick in and would he protect me? I just don’t know, he seems just too loving?

    • I am on my 13th Doberman in 42 years. Most have give-aways or rescues. I understand your situation. What that child is doing, and it seems like the parents don’t care, is simply animal abuse.
      Possibly contact animal control or a local Doberman Rescue organization.
      Speaking with the parents/owners will probably get you nowhere and most likely cause trouble for you, the caring neighbor.
      I wish you luck and will pray for the dog’s pain-free life. it’s something we all deserve. Good luck.

  3. I have a rescue Dobe that i got when she was 5 months, she will be a year old next week. She had no human contact until she came to live with us & has been a handful. My husband has trained dogs for years & has had dogs his whole life.
    My Dobe is the sweetest thing most of the time, but at 1st wouldnt have anything to do with us. She is very aggresive towards my 1 &1/2 year old weimaraner, always biting him & snarling, & we have problems with her outside with neighbors, she doesnt allow people on bikes or skates, or jogging to pass our house. how do we break this behavior?

    • You say that your poor little girl “had no human contact” before you saved her and brought her to a loving home. I’m unclear exactly what that means. If you mean that literally, then I would think of her as similar to a wild animal who has lived on her own from birth. Just because she’s smart and intuitive, you cannot expect her to automatically know how to be a good “domesticated” house dog. She no doubt has been scared and felt unsafe her entire life, and she is really still a puppy. However, as your husband is a dog trainer, I am sure he is aware that a frightened dog is a dangerous dog. Problem is, a Doberman is so incredibly quick and powerful–she could hurt you or your family really seriously, if something sets her off accidentally and there’s no happy ending to that.. My opinion, maybe you should focus less on breaking her of bad behavior and more on what’s causing it and on how to gain her trust and make her feel safe so she can be confident and fearless. Be very careful with her. Clearly you love her, so get some help if necessary. Do whatever it takes. It is very ill advised to have any dog who you cannot absolutely trust and vice versa, most especially a bad ass like a Doberman. Merely my opinion.

  4. I’ve read all ur remarks,I’ve Grown up with all types of dogs,had them during my 21 yrs.in the Army and now.All Doberman s have different personalities,I breed them,All the puppies I’ve had have on occasion got aggressive towards me when they want me to release them,I have my own way to correct this problem and I try to explain ,there are always people that don’t know what they’re talking about.I have 3 big Dobermans,1 m and 2f,they most always do what I say the first time.Have 2 m pups from 6 since last weekend,AKC,tails,dews,shots,cute and brave,9 wks,11-2-2018.

    • You don’t say what your method to correct the problem is. What is it? I’ve raised many large supposedly aggressive breeds of dogs, but my 5 year old male is my first Doberman. He fascinates me because I find him to be very weird compared to any other dog I’ve known, so I am very interested in what other people who have Dobermans, especially those of you who have owned more than one, have to say. Thanks.

      • I’ve had 2 Dobe’s. One a rescue, about two years old. I was a little afraid of him at first. He seemed to want to talk to me because he would look at me and make funny sounds, not a growl. My four year old started putting t-shirts on him about 3 months after he came to live with us. My 2nd Dobe I got as a pup. Both of my dogs love to cuddle. In fact they insist on it. If we sit on the sofa these 100 pound dogs would jump up and put their heads in your lap and sometimes their upper body, when we lay on the sofa they both would spoon with us. All dogs need their own beds and personal space but my two guys always wanted to be with us. The dog I have now can pick up a favorite toy and when I reach for it he growls and acts like he wants to take your arm off but if I as him to give it to me he put it in my hand. I taught him to “let me have it ” when he was a pup. Also I would reach for his bowl, move it a little and give it back to make him feel like it wasn’t a threat.
        I did rescue work for years and always had dogs as an adult. I love Doberman’s. With any dogs you should take your time, visit different home that own them before you decide to get a dog of any kind. I bought my last and current guy from a police officer. His name is Brees. After Drew. I swear all that is missing is he can’t talk but he communicates better than any dog I’ve had. He been a wonderful companion to me and my two grandchildren.

      • The first thing to know about Dobermans is they are a dog of extremes. Dobermans are extremely unique from other dog breeds because the one and only thing they were ever bred to do and their one and only job is to protect their human. This is embedded in their DNA. You can’t train this and you can’t untrain this. The good news is they are extremely intelligent, being one of the most intelligent breeds on earth. They are extremely fast because this is important when protecting their human. They are extremely muscular and strong because they need this strength to protect their human. They can be extremely aggressive if they feel their human is being threatened. They may perceive a threat differently than their human perceives a threat. This is why socialization is paramount for a Doberman puppy. They need to see and learn what is and is not a threat at an early age, so they can respond appropriately as an adult, but even a puppy can be dangerous and especially to young children. If you remember that absolutely everything a Doberman does and every behavior they have is to protect their human, it puts their behavior into better perspective. Dobermans aren’t for everyone. This is a hard cold fact. You have to be willing to spend a great deal of time with consistent training (because they will assume alpha over you) or send them to a trainer familiar with German protection breeds and better yet someone that works with sheriff or other police K9. There needs to be a solid command to get your dog to release a bite. These types of trainers totally understand why your dog is behaving the way he is. The other side of these extremely remarkable dogs is their extreme need to be with you at all times. This makes some owners a little crazy, but from your dog’s perspective, he can’t protect you unless he’s with you. The other side is their playfulness with their human! This dog will make you laugh with his antics. They usually reserve their goofy playful side only for their human or their human’s family. But this dog can go from goofy playmate to extreme protector in a nanosecond. Some get along with other dogs, some don’t. Some can live with cats, some can’t. Some are all right with children, some are not. Most rescues have already “tested” them and can let you know what they’ve observed. Getting a dog as a puppy allows you some leeway as to behavior in certain situations, but it’s not guaranteed. If you want a dog that will die trying to protect you — Doberman is your dog.

      • I personally use my voice, I can make mine grovel on the floor just by telling her she’s a bad girl, for other things like trying to run when called, the electric collar works like a charm,but only after a warning buzz,and then only for reinforcement of the word NO. Had them for 65 years and no problems ever.

  5. I think those 5 reasons are absolute BS! I’ve had dobermans my entire life and they have been the sweetest dogs. NONE of them have ever shown food aggression. I took in a stray cat once and the damn cat and Bruno (dobe) were best friends! They slept together and Bruno would even put his paw over the cat! Dobermans are gentle giants. They get a bad rep from Hollywood in their stereotypical role as a viscous dog. I will always own a Doberman. They’re loyal, highly intelligent, obedient and loving!

    • I don’t think that’s the issue, Nathan. You didn’t say whether or not you’ve raised all your dogs from babies, and if so, and all of them have been treated with kindness and love for their entire lives, then that’s all they know. They are lucky dogs. Brendan’s dog was horribly abused until he was rescued by Brendan. His question was whether or not his poor, beloved girl had possibly already been damaged beyond repair by the hideous treatment she endured before he brought her into a loving home or despite his best efforts, did he fail her? He is obviously heartbroken plus maybe beating himself up a little wondering if he’d done something differently he might have saved her. I completely agree with everything you said about the stupid Hollywood stereotyping and that Dobermans are the smartest, sweetest, most loving dogs ever. No need to be so belligerent.

    • I so agree with my baby is the sweetest girl. She so gentle to my daughter and loves to cuddle who ever said dobermans do not cuddle they are full of it. The best dog I have ever owned I can take her bowl of food while shes eating it with out a growl. I also feed her by hand to though.

      • Well, I said my big boy is very sweet, affectionate and he is as gentle as can be; very, very careful with his big giant teeth too. However, although he does want to be as close to me as he can get, he’s like “cuddling” a steer. Those long, strong legs with hard toenails poking and peeling out on my skin, stepping on me, etc. Then there’s the accidental head butts that give a black eye or nose bleed . . . . During the 6 years he’s been my constant companion, I’ve learned to practice defensive cuddling. Ha! Still the sweetest dog I’ve ever known.

        • I agree I’ve had a female and she was so different than my Male. He is a hugger and a lover! Loves to cuddle and lick you. But he has a habit of pinching you if you aren’t paying attention to him. Recently he was being a knotty boy took an insole out of one of my shoes made him give it back and he kinda snarled at me I said that’s not a good boy he knew he messed up and started licking me as to say he was sorry for how he acted! This boy is a TV watcher and just a character . We have a female German Shepard and she is four she puts him in his place but he is the alpha that’s for sure love my dogs so much! First time he has snarled at me he never had before.

  6. My 3 year old Doberman this year started agressive behavior out of no where . She was loved. We got her as a puppy at the age 5 months from people we turned in. She was in a cage with a tarp over it wearing a shock collar, so damn sure she was traumatized from it. Around after we had contractors remodeling are bathroom with all the crazy work around Xmas last year and and my 7 year old male with many guest and food she went after him never drawing blood but had his back and neck. A month later when bringing dog food in and they were near it another one broke out little more worse . We decided to get a trainer and went thru all the steps she was classified as high aniexty and alert . Reminder she was a sweet heart and lover with all people. We had since then another small situation this summer. But nothing to crazy . In the finals of this … we have been having our kitchen redone and it’s been raining heavy House is torn apart loud noises , Monday they dogs were out side playing as normal and when my mom let them
    In she dropped piece of food , the older one didn’t want to come in the younger was already inside . The older came inside and she lunges at him with worst fight ever , she tore into his chest he has 27 stiches and was admitted to the pet er for emergencies. She was taken to the vet the next day and after talking to everyone and specialist my mom made a decision that has me a mess , she was put down.

    My thoughts or question is . Did we not do enough or was she messed up from
    A puppy and no way to go back. By the way she was bit by another dog as a puppy and also by another one on first interaction so she was fearful of everything . I am just at a lost here and have. Giant hole in my heart . Did I fail?

    • I don’t think so. I believe that puppies who are subject to abuse and most especially fear retain deep scars inside and that those wounds can be reopened by a trigger of some sort that we cannot foresee. When my black/tan male, Fang, was 2 years old the breeder, Randall, from whom I bought him called me and told me he was dying of cancer and asked me to take Jesse, Fang’s 4 month old little brother who he’d kept from that spring’s litter. Randall and I had become friends since I’d gone to his home to be “interviewed” and deemed acceptable to purchase one of his puppies. He had 2 female Dobermans, one black and one red who he bred once every spring with his black/tan male, Dracko. Dracko and the two females who Randall called “his sweet girls” lived in the house and were loved, well cared for and spoiled rotten like any ordinary beloved pets. Randall allowed each of his girls one litter a year by Dracko because all 3 dogs were exceptional in every way and the puppies they produced were in high demand, very costly and you had to know someone to get one because despite the very high purchase price his girls’ puppies were “sold” before they were born each spring and there was a waiting list. I got in only because my vet happened to be Randall’s vet too so when he found out both Randall’s girls were pregnant, he called Randall and told him he could not find a better owner for one of his puppies and asked Randall to meet me and he agreed. Randall wouldn’t sell his puppies at any price unless he and Dracko approved of the person. Randall and I liked each other immediately so he said he figured Dracko would approve so I sat down on the sofa while Randall went into another room to get him. He’d told me that Dracko was a one person dog, distant and aloof at best with strangers and was extra touchy when the girls were in heat, pregnant or nursing and that it was better that I sit still and not approach him until Randall saw how he reacted to me. He returned with the most beautiful dog I’d ever seen wearing a heavy pinch collar on a short leash held firmly by Randall. I said “Oh my goodness! What a pretty boy you are!” and Dracko immediately began wagging his stubby little tail so hard it wiggled his whole body and strained at the leash wanting to come to me. So Randall brought him over and was shocked when Dracko fell down on my boots on his back exposing his belly for me to scratch, which I did, making him wiggle even more. I told Randall I thought it was okay to let him go so he did and Dracko immediately climbed onto my lap and laid his head on my shoulder and Randall stared while I loved on him and told him how pretty he was. Randall couldn’t believe his eyes and told me Dracko had never done that with anyone except himself and his kids and other members of his pack. Then a large red male entered the room and also immediately lay down on my boots belly up. He was beautiful too but missing one of his eyes, most of one ear and had many ugly old scars as well as several fresh wounds. I asked “Who is this sweet boy and what’s happened to him?” and Randall told me he was a 2 year old son of Dracko’s, Max, and that whenever Dracko thought Max was out of line Dracko beat him up and that Dracko and Max fought regularly and even though Max was much bigger than Dracko, Dracko was a badass who always won, which was clearly true because I couldn’t find a single mark on his body. When I asked Randall why he would allow this to go on he said Max had to learn that Dracko was the boss so he let them fight it out. I said I didn’t think he should allow it and Randall said our vet didn’t approve either, but that’s how he chose to handle it so I had to let it go. When he called I said of course I’d take Jesse and went over to get him and found a timid, obviously terrified puppy and when I finally coaxed him over to me I examined him for wounds or other signs of abuse, but found nothing to indicate he’d been hurt. He was clean, clear eyed, well fed, had a glossy coat and no signs of illness or parasites. I knew Randall well enough to know he wouldn’t hurt Jesse, but Jesse was so afraid I knew something was going on and I wanted to know what. Randall told me that Dracko and Max continued with their frequent savage fighting, which was obvious since Max was missing more body parts and bleeding from several fresh wounds, and that although Dracko had never hurt Jesse, his and Max’s constant, violent fighting had terrified Jesse since the day he was born. I found that very upsetting, but I couldn’t bring myself to chew out my dying friend. I’d had my dad drive me over to get Jesse so he could drive while I held Jesse and it took forever for Randall, Dad and me to coax him into the back seat of the car with me where I held him and tried to soothe his violent shaking. Randall took off his shirt and we wrapped it around him so at least he’d recognize a familiar scent, but he was so scared as we drove away with him Randall, Dad and I all had tears streaming down our faces. It was awful. Dad and I drove him straight to our vet to check him over before I brought him home to meet his big brother Fang and my mean, shitty old cat, Cookie. Fang and Jesse hit it off immediately and by that night we were all in love with Jesse, including Cookie and in just those few short hours Jesse transformed into an entirely different puppy; completely relaxed, totally laid back, affectionate, well behaved and sweet as could be. Jesse was only 4 months old, but since red Dobermans tend to be much larger than the black/tan like Fang, he wasn’t as tall as his 2 year old brother, he was bigger boned and more muscular and weighed a little more than Fang. That night 2 big dogs and a big, fat cat slept on my bed with me. We settled into a happy family immediately. Fang and Jesse were inseparable. They both hit the backdoor running at daybreak and kept it up all day everyday. Neither dog ever showed any sign of aggressive behavior whatsoever, no possessiveness of me, food, toys, Cookie adored them both and vice versa–everything went beautifully and all of us were very happy together for several weeks. Then one day out of the blue with no warning whatsoever Jesse savagely attacked Fang. Fang had grown up to be the spitting image of Dracko but had never shown the slightest hint of Dracko’s bullying personality but when Jesse attacked him, turned out he was every bit the badass his daddy was, except although Fang refused to take any crap from Jesse and he was so quick and agile in defending himself it was clear he could’ve easily killed Jesse, but was doing his best not to hurt Jesse even though Jesse definitely was definitely trying to kill him. When I dragged Jesse away Fang, Fang did not try to continue the fight but just stood where he was looking hurt but Jesse snarled and snapped viciously trying to get away from me and back to Fang the entire time I dragged him through the house and out the back door. It was extremely shocking and horrifying. Not knowing what else to do, I loaded Jesse, who’d immediately reverted to his docile, sweet self, into the truck and took him over to my vet where he stayed several days while my vet and I tried to puzzle out what to do. I convinced myself it was a one-time weird thing but bought 2 heavy studded leather harnesses that both boys had to wear during the day so I could more easily drag Jesse off Fang just in case and brought Jesse back home. Everything went great for about a week then with no provocation Jesse suddenly savagely attacked Fang again and I had to drag Jesse doing his Cujo thing out the back door and load him into the truck and back to my vet’s again, crying the whole way while sweet Jesse tried to lick my tears away and comfort me. My vet told me there was no way he’d let me take Jesse back home again, that since there was nothing to indicate what triggered Jesse’s rage, it had to have some sort of connection to Jesse’s lifelong terror seeing the big dogs fight and heartbreaking as it was, he believed Jesse to be a dangerous dog who needed to be put down. That was 3 years ago. Fang’s heart was as broken as mine and we’ve never gotten over losing Jesse.

  7. There are soooo many sad uninformed comments on this thread, I will not be returning. I find it EXTREMELY sad that most of these people got Doberman without any prior knowledge of the breed! Doberman are the Biggest snugglers, and always want to be by their humans! IF you want a well balanced dog, train them, socialize them, and NEUTER or SPAY them!! I have had several Doberman in my 51 years, Both male and female, both singley and in pairs or triplet. I have NEVER had a Doberman show aggression, or attack ANYONE!! They are natural protectors, and I have had several prove this, without aggression. Get a grip people, you are the reason so many Dobies end up in shelters across the country!!

    • I suggest you get down off your high horse, madam. Irresponsible, lazy, cruel, indifferent and all around losers get their nasty hands on EVERY EXISTING BREED OF DOG and that poor animal is trapped and subjected to unbelievable horrors day in and day out. Exactly like children born to awful parents. The kids and the puppies are all innocent and helpless until cruelty turns them into vicious fear-driven dogs and lunatic serial killers. How about putting the blame on THE ONES WHO’RE CRUEL AND NOT ON THOSE OF US WHO LOVE AND CARE FOR OUR PETS? HOW ABOUT WE LOBBY FOR LEGISLATURE FOR PROVIDE FOR HARSHER PUNISHMENTS FOR THE JERKS WHO CREATE THE PROBLEM? And since you appear to be replying to my comment, I DID EVERYTHING YOU DEEMED NECESSARY BEFORE GETTING MY FIRST DOBERMAN AND MORE. Just curious, what exactly did I do wrong?
      ND SINC

    • I have had two dobermans, very sweet, took walking all the time, got along with other dogs and loved people. Then 15 years after my last doberman I got a European Doberman Red, prior I only had black and tan dobermans. At about 7 months after spending many months going to the dog park, she started acting up and barking at dogs and people. Then she started to chase people on bikes on the back country trails. Then she would started barking at people walking by the house, really aggressive. So I went to dog training with her, no improvement. I hired the best training facility in my area, spent two months training had to use a shock collar, still no changes. So I learned with her breeding she was bred for protection and she is always in guard mode. So not all dobermans are the same and until you own one like the one I have now, you will never believe it. I know the difference because I owned two dobermans prior to this European doberman.

  8. I have a question. I brought my 5 year old male Doberman, Fang, home as an infant about the size of a squirrel so he’s lived his entire life by my side. He is my first Doberman. He has been well socialized and I’ve taken him through rigorous formal obedience training. He is the sweetest, friendliest dog ever and loves all people and other dogs. My question is this: although Fang would never pick a fight, he is highly protective of kids or cats or old people he perceives as weak, but he has never behaved protective of me. For example, a drunk former gardener I’d fired showed up at my door one night and forced his way in. I am a single woman in my sixties, but I’ve been an athlete all my life and was easily able to subdue the guy and throw him out. Fang was right by my side all interested and alert but never showed the slightest aggressive behavior toward the guy–not even a lip curl. My previous dogs, all German Shepherds, would have stepped in and disabled the guy immediately. Fang is extremely alert to any remote threat to a kid or kitten and reacts immediately, but I don’t understand why he doesn’t seem to think I need his protection and I wonder whether he actually would save me if I were not able to handle the situation. What?

    • I wish I had an educated opinion about your dog’s lack of action. My doberman wants to attack the very same things your dobe wants to protect. It’s embarrassing, really. Obviously, my dog doesn’t know what is a threat, or isn’t a threat.

      • I guess my situation, though odd, is preferable to your problem. My vet’s opinion is that he doubts Fang has ever sensed any fear in me in any given situation, and if or when he ever does that he will immediately change from a cupcake to a badass protector of me. Maybe.

        • That makes sense! Fang may never feel the need to have to come to your aid. He knows you’ll handle yourself. I think my dog is just an asshole. He knows I am not afraid of cats, kids, nor bicycles. In fact, should he die before me, I’m getting cats..lots of them…lol

          • Ha! The fact that Fang is very sweet and friendly does not preclude him from being an asshole. And cats! They’re all born that way, at least mine have been. My 10 cat believed Fang was her dog and merely tolerated me. She would come in the house, bite me hard on the leg then go curl up next to Fang. She was sitting on the porch sunbathing a few months ago when a pit bull came out of nowhere and attacked her. I knocked the pit bull off her with the storm door, Fang rushed out behind me, jumped on the pit bull rolling down the porch steps and killed him as quickly and easily as he would a rat for attacking his kitty. I’d hate to be a target of a Doberman attack. They are amazingly quick suckers, aren’t they?

            • I’ve had cats all my long life b and I’ve never had a cat be hatefully aggressive or stand offish or mean.

      • Just to be fair, I neglected to mention a possible downside to my vet’s opinion which was along the lines of [of course, since he’s never seen you afraid there’s always a chance that if we do run into someone/something where I am afraid, Fang will think that if I am scared there’s probably a good reason and head for the hills.] Thanks, Doc.

    • To oversimplify things for the sake of brevity. There are basically two types of American Dobermans in the U.S. differentiated by temperament. Your basic pet type doberman and Schutzund type dobermans. Schutzund type dobermans are bred to have a “sharper” temperament much like European dobermans and their original breeding. They are more assertive and dominant, less prone to putting up with what they consider foolishness, and most importantly, fearless. Obviously a dog like this takes more skill and knowledge to handle and, historically, people didn’t do such a good job. Thus the doberman stereotype.

      All that to get to this. Most dobermans bred today are pet type dobermans. Their temperament is all over the board. They are generally more docile and less assertive. While it tends to make for better untrained pets it makes it more difficult to predict their response in situations.

      My girl comes from a mostly pet line. Her sire was 105 lb. calm dominant dog that I saw in action at a park where several dogs tried to provoke conflict and he just laid there and ignored them. Her mother is Schutzund on one side and 80 lbs. My girl is only 70 lbs. But was bought to run with and protect my wife. She is afraid of nothing. She won’t let strange men get close to my wife when I am not there. For example, the moment my wife stops and talks to a male Brisa ( the dog) stands between them. If he comes towards my wife he gets barking and hackles. Never had anyone try to go past that. Am sure she would attack if he kept approaching. My wife can calm her if needed, generally. My wife twisted her ankle pretty severely while running and a man stopped to help but Brisa wasn’t going to let him near my injured wife.

      With me a completely different story. Dad is 6′ 3″ tall 200 lbs and lift weights. Dad is alpha male (in Brisa’s eyes). Dog behaves completely different around me. She lets me asses people and puts up with being petted by people. (Female dobies tend to be less gregarious and more aloof than males) Brisa loves children. One of the selection criteria we had for breeders is that they had small children or grandchildren coming over. Have never had a tense issue with someone so am not positive how she would react. She would probably let me handle it with just low growling on her part.

      Brisa does not have the temperament required for Schutzund. She isn’t sharp enough. Too much cuddle bug.

      Fang is definitely not sharp enough to be a good Schutzund candidate. That said you could talk to a trainer or find a club and talk to them. You might be able to nudge those protective instincts a bit. Stage 1 Schutzund,which lots dogs can do, is a charging bark (no bite) that will make most people wet their pants. Would give you a better understanding of how he will behave and helps him understand it’s OK to get mom-s back in that situation.

      My 2 cents. Keep the change.

      • Really? Well for your information, sir, I did take Fang to meet one of the most well respected breeders and trainers of Schutzund dogs in the entire country. Her dogs are superbly trained and ranked extremely high as badass competitors in this sport–very tough to beat. After spending a very short time with Fang around her and her dogs, she told me that he was extremely bright, very confident and clearly not scared of anything. Her exact words were “he doesn’t need this type of training. We don’t want to ruin him.” I did not say he is not protective. He put himself between a vicious Mastiff and my nephew and tore a gash in the big dog’s throat and chest so big the Mastiff dropped from blood loss before he took more than a few steps. A big mean pit bull escaped his yard and ran up on our front porch to attack our cat and Fang was out the door and on that pitt bull, snapped his neck as if he were possum. Fairly lengthy advice for the sake of “brevity” from a self appointed know it all who has the audacity to make a judgment on a dog on whom he’s never even laid eyes. Not worth two cents.

  9. We have a three year old male that still has all his parts. He is very aggressive towards everyone. We got him as a puppy from a breeder and all was fine till about a year or so ago. He attacked my husband first and we are pretty sure my husband didn’t startle the dog but we aren’t sure. Next was my grandson, the dog has his own chair and my grandson got on the arm of the chair and before I could think the dog bit him. We love the dog but now everyone except my husband is scared of the dog. If you talk baby talk, he will bite, if you touch his tail, he will bite. Just yesterday we were all outside, everything was fine the dog was getting his ears scratched by my daughters boyfriend and out of no where the dog attacked the boyfriend. Not even two hours later I was petting him and he attacked me.

    • Your dog needs serious training! I have had Several Doberman through the years, male and female, and I have NEVER had a dog attack anyone! Neuter him immediately and get a trainer before he hurts someone!

    • I am shocked and appalled that you are putting yourself and family in such serious danger. I also disagree that neutering him will make you safe. I have a 5 year male old Doberman, Fang, who I had neutered at 4 years old because he developed a mild prostate infection and knowing that for some unknown reason intact male Dobermans are more prone to prostate cancer. My vet was shocked because I have always had large breed male dogs and in spite of the constant pressure by everyone in the world to neuter any of them I have stubbornly refused and he told me although he’d like me to neuter Fang, a mild prostate infection was no indication whatsoever that he might develop cancer, I couldn’t risk losing him and had it done anyway, and I regret it very much because it radically changed him in many ways, none of them good. Aggression of any kind has never been an issue with Fang, but besides making him fat overnight it changed him from a very happy, laid back doggie to a whiney, unhappy, somewhat cranky boy. He never, ever barked or growled at other dogs but he does now and although he wouldn’t dare growl at me, now when he hogs the bed and I try to get him to move over, he sort of rumbles at me and right after he was neutered he began getting in my face and curling his lip showing off all his giant choppers. I was shocked but responded by curling my lips and showing him my teeth and he stopped doing it. These all sound like trivial examples of aggression, but they are wildly aggressive behaviors compared to how he was before neutering. I love and spoil all my dogs ‘way too much and I’ve never treated any of them with anything but love and kindness–no hitting, kicking, yelling or rough handling of any sort, but more than 20 years ago my husband and I had a 3 year old intact male German Shepherd we had raised from infancy and we decided to get another. We brought the puppy home and my husband went in first to take our big Shepherd, Liefer, out into the back yard first then I stepped out onto the back porch and set the puppy down. The second Liefer laid eyes on the puppy he became enraged and charged up the back steps and savagely attacked me and grabbed my arm. I was shocked, but before he got a solid grip on me I managed to kick him in the ribs hard enough that he let go and went rolling down the porch steps with me after him and kicked him again before he regained his feet and would have killed right then and there him if my husband hadn’t grabbed me by the waist and dragged me off him. I stomped into the house and told my husband I was going to get my .38 and to get that dog off the property for good or when I came back I’d blow his head off. Liefer was gone when I returned and I never laid eyes on him again. It completely broke my heart and I cried and grieved for him a long, long time, but I knew I had to do it because I could never trust him again. I loved Liefer with all my heart, but for any dog of mine who attacks me it’s the death sentence. Period. Get rid of him.

  10. I have a fawn doberman, his name is Prince.He came to us because he had been abused. He has the skin issues that I have read about. He lives with 10 other dogs at our ranch. We have several breeds of dogs from very small to a large Bloodhound. Our German Short hair pointer and Prince play together but Prince is the dominate one. We also have a 130 pound Bloodhound. These 2 hate each other. They fight through a kennel fence, and when we turn the bloodhound loose, they are constantly fighting. It can become very violent and both of them will not listen and stop. We are not sure if we can correct Princes behavior as he doesn’t do this with the rest of the dogs. I would like to get some information on this problem as I am worried that this will eventually get worse and one of us will get hurt as well as the dogs.

    • Dogs are like people, sometimes they just don’t get along. I would suggest that you keep them separate at all times. If possible exercise and feed them away from each other. Why force a relationship if you don’t have to. Breaking up a dog fight is dangerous for humans so just avoid problems if you can.

  11. I have a question. My Doberman is aggressive with toys around other dog. If the other dog tries to take it she will get mad and growl and snip then there goes a fight. Is there anyway to stop this?

  12. @Danielle Dogs need rules and boundaries… either you looked him into the eye which is a sign for challenge or triggered him with your actions or the owner of the dog is stupid to not train him and put him on a leash. Btw not all dogs are the same.

  13. I have been traumatized today. I was gardening in my back yard today. My neighboh’s house is less that’s a 1/2 a mile from ours. He does not have a dog. However, while preparing the ground for planting the garden, I heard a dog barking out on his deck. I looked and noticed a Doberman Pinscher barking at me. Did not think anything of it. I continued digging the hole to to plant.. the dog continued barking I looked up towards the deck this time he was on the front of my neighbor’s deck. The owner of the house was on the deck she looked at the dog, then looked st me and went I side the house. Before I knew it that dog had in split second left their enclosed deck and was barking comeing towards me… I was petrified..it barked while coming towards me. I said. “No , please No. Stop.. ” then a young man came walking slowly from my neighbors deck he called the dog..the dogs ear went back, he looked back and continued barking while approaching me. I kept saying to the dogNo, please, No .Stop. And called out to the man. “Please I am deadly afraid of them Please.”. meanwhile the dog kept barking and approaching me.. again I repeated the same words. That man called out 4 times to the dog. It would turn it,’s head and look at him and disregard the man while barking and approaching me. The dog was now in front of me Zmy voice was soft..Insaid..No please No. Stop” again. Suddenly..the dog turned around and went with the man. I was shaking, in shock, petrified. What happened here why did this visiting dog come to my territory, disregards the owner’s command and insist on barking and attempt to attack me without provocation. I was NOT in my neighbor’s territory

  14. i would also like to react on the 5 reasons why dobermanns attack.

    1 : food aggression : learn your dog not to be agressive when you go with your hands into his feeding bowl. (should be done with every dog)
    some may think that there is no reason to do that,but what if by accident something should not be in his fooding bowl,then it should be easy for you to get it out of his bowl without he being angry and even if that would not be the reason,then its still a good way for learning him he has no reason to be angry if you do.

    2 : dominance : make sure he will never dominate you and learn him that from when he is young,but in a gentill way and dont answer starting agressive with being agressive yourself.

    3 : fear agression : happens alot with a dober because they are hyper from blood. learn him to walk away from the problem when he is surprised so he wont bite if he is surprised.
    4 : predatory agrresion : once they go after something then its not easy to stop them and so that means you have to learn him from a young age not to run after pets or young children. take your dober to as many places as possible from a young age otherwise it may go wrong some day.

    5 : territorial agression : something i dont mind it when my doberman still keeps that.because if i’m not at home then strangers should not come on my property.
    if i’m at home he has to listen to me.
    but i can tell you that dobers are good gard dogs and you dont have to learn them that,because its in there blood.
    garding dog doesnt mean he is a natural attack dog.

    this is my way of thinking and my experience.
    hope my english writing is understandeble.
    and hope to see some more reactions,because i love dobers so much.

    • Daniel, I just saw your comment posted several months ago for the first time today. I am experienced in raising big, tough dogs, but none except Fang were Dobermans and I found adjustments to “regular” dog training methods must be made and I think you expressed it exactly right and very clearly. I agree it works much better being gentle, firm and consistent in what you expect him to do works much better than scolding, but most important I think is the teaching him basically that all the food is yours until you give it to him and that you can take it back anytime you want. A far more effective method of exerting my dominance than forcing him onto his back, or some other undignified thing. I think you provided good advice.

  15. nice i found this.
    my mothertongue is not english so it will not Always be easy to say what i mean.
    but for me a dobermann is a special dog.
    for this moment i got also one and its the fourth dobermann i had.
    not every dobermann is the same.
    but when a dobermann is attached to his boss,then noone else can come between them.
    they are very sensitive dogs in a way.
    you can learn them to be agressive,but also to be very gentill.
    and with that i mean is that a dobermann can be agressive if you handle him agressive.
    if you are nice to him and take your time,then you can learn him alot and he will become your best friend ever.
    the dobermann that i got now is a huge boy and weighing around 50 kg.
    he looks visious,but offcourse i know he is not.
    his best friend is a jack russel.
    he also got other petfriends like chickens,ducks,turkeys and even rabbits.
    every time i had to teach him not to do them something,but offcourse it got easier and easier for me,because he knows what i want and he is a smart boy.
    i did had a problem with one of my other dobermanns before,but it was my fault.
    i got to angry at him and you should not do that do a dobermann are even another dog,but especialy not a dobermann,because they can get very afraid or opposit get angry too.
    just teach a dobermann softly,but dont give up and keep your ground,but dont get angry.
    be conseqeunt without being angry.
    dont get fysical but use your brains.

    • Again, I agree. Fang, my 5 year old intact male, is very smart but extremely suborn too, which I understand is a common trait in Dobermans. It can be extremely frustrating as well, but I’ve learned losing my temper and yelling at him does not work at all, and in fact just makes him nervous and act worse. I was warned by the breeder not to be too affectionate with Fang because Dobermans tend to become too attached to their people, but of course I did not listen and have lavished him with affection his whole life and he wants to be with me every second. Whenever he misbehaves, sending him out of the room away from me for a while is harsh punishment for him. I have always been patient with my dogs, but Fang has taught me a level of patience I didn’t know I had. He is very sensitive and yelling at him really upsets him and hurts his feelings. Be consistent, firm but gentle, but most important be patient, patient, patient, right?

  16. I have a 2year old male “Titan” who I love dearly! This afternoon he got into the trash and scattered it all over the house. So I took by the collar and took him to the trash can. Forced his nose in it (as I have done will all other dog breeds I’ve had. Pee. Poop. Trash. Chewed things) and popped him firm on the snout. While saying “bad boy”. After I popped him he growled at me (never happened before) so I got very strong voice and said “no! You don’t do that to me” and popped him again. He turned and bite me and backed me in a corner. What do I do? How do I set an example that he isn’t going to do that to me nor my family.

    • Aaron, you can’t punish a dog like this! He doesn’t understand why you are mad. Unless you catch him in the act, it’s too late. You can’t punish him a minute later, it has to be while he’s doing bad activity.
      He is losing respect for you as his leader and is now scared of you. Never force nose into pee, poop, garbage. He doesn’t understand why you are doing this. Remember to “dog proof” your house just like you would a baby. Lock up garbage where he can’t get to it. Also remember dogs need to pee, after sleeping, playing, eating, make sure he gets lots of pee breaks outside and clean old pee scent inside house. If he’s chewing stuff he shouldn’t, again he doesn’t know what is a dog toy and what isn’t. Maybe sure he has toys he likes and get’s enough exercise so he’s not bored inside the house. Please Aaron treat your dog like a baby, they don’t understand when young what your house rules are. You need to build trust with your dog, it sounds like you are too hard on him and he is showing fear aggression. For exercise maybe make a dog flirt pole. Dobermans love this toy and it will make him tired and he will enjoy playing with you. Good luck Aaron but please stop with nose hurting, no one trains this anymore, it just makes situation worse. Watch this video for good dog toy https://vimeo.com/26279876

      • If that is an old way of training please tell me a new updated way to train (not meaning to sound snappy) but how am I supposed to show power if I don’t get slightly physical. I don’t by any means beat my dog. I love him unconditionally. When I say “pop” I literally mean a quick pop on the nose if that isn’t going to work how should I go about it? And I know about only popping him when he is in the act. It’s never after the fact. It’s within a minute when he gets popped.

        • Sorry Aaron if I came across harsh. Some people still believe in nose in mess treatment. As far as punishment it will depend on the dog and there are different training methods. Some dogs are very sensitive and all you have to do is ignore them and they’ll be upset, others need a firm shake on the scruff and loud NO, and others more. Some people only believe in positive reinforcement. I think you can be firm and fair with some physical punishment. You have to decide what is best for your dog’s personality and your comfort. Personally, I like to imitate how a mother dog would scold her puppies. This older post might also help you. http://dobermansden.com/doberman-training-videos/
          Your dog will respect you if you provide him with what he needs, food, safety, comfort, exercise, and bonding playtime together. He wants you to be the leader, but he might not understand yet what you want. Good luck, I’m happy you love your dog to learn new things 🙂

  17. I have a question as a new owner of a two year old red Doberman. You say that attacks can happen due to Dobermans not being a snuggling dog. My Doberman wants to lay next to me, sit next to me, and wants to be a 75 pound lap dog. Are they cuddlers on their own terms or did I just get a super cuddle bug for a dog?

    • I have had Doberman’s for thirty years and all of mine have been natural cuddler’s a love affection and petting. I think your dog is the norm. Unfortunately, the public at large do not recognize just how nice these dogs are!

  18. My 4year old, deezel is always on guard, even lying on my lap at rest, he constantly watching out my windows and listening, ready to pounce, sometimes he does it, runs barking just in case he sees some one, he has always been hyper.


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