Without early socialization Dobermans can be reserved and shy or sharp and overly protective. Puppies should meet and greet 100 people and dogs in their first year of life. Some Dobermans love to chew from about 8 months to 2 years of age and can be pretty destructive with clothes, shoes, remote controls, etc., when unsupervised. This adolescent period is a common age at which they find themselves in shelters or rescue organizations due to ill-equipped or irresponsible puppy purchasers. Dobermans requires intelligent handling and are not the pet for everyone.
Dobermans are best with an indoor life and plenty of human interaction. Dobermans are not for easily dominated owners, or those who don’t want a dog that demands attention. They do not like being outside away from their families, although lying in the sun on a cool day is enjoyed by Dobermans. Most would prefer the comfort of a nice sofa or bed with a daily or twice-daily outing to a park or open space for exercise and play. Dobermans are ready to go when you go or just lie about when you are relaxing.
If you go to a breeder, look for one who strives for good temperament and good health, and perhaps some working ability. If you buy from a poor breeder or raise the dog incorrectly, you could wind up with an aggressive, destructive or timid Doberman. If you are considering a rescue Doberman, patience and understanding are very important. It can take as much as 2 to 4 weeks for a dog to adjust to new surroundings, yet it has been remarkable to see how virtually all Dobermans are ready to love again, given a second chance. How you introduce any new dog into your home can make or break the adoption outcome.
The uneducated public still harbors a pronounced fear of the Doberman and yet they are an excellent choice for a companion in the home. They are not naturally aggressive — they are highly sensitive, social creatures who enjoy the company of people and other animals. Once you’ve been “owned” by a Doberman you can’t imagine life without one. They are comical and intelligent, affectionate and playful. But most of all, they are a loving part of a family and as such should always be with their family.