ARE DOBERMANS GOOD FOR FIRST TIME OWNERS
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ENERGY/SPACE Let's jump right in and go over the Doberman's exercise requirements because they are as demanding as you would expect from the favored police and military dog. The Doberman has a moderate to a high energy level, which is, of course, higher until they reach maturity. Once they are fully grown they are still high achieving canines that need a job to do. They aren't going to exercise themselves since they are quite bonded to their family, which means you'll need to spend at least 2 to 3 hours a day working off their mental and physical energy. You need to be mindful of their joints their whole life, but especially until they are fully grown. TRAINABILITY/INTELLIGENCE You're probably aware that the Doberman is a larger breed with impressive guarding instincts and is quite intelligent. But did you know that intelligence goes both ways? Sure, it can make them easy to train, but they can also train you just as easily if you're not experienced with working-class canines. Your Doberman may refuse to eat one night, so you add something different to make it more appetizing, and they happily eat it. The next night, same story, and on, and on until you're cooking a whole dinner for them. I know it sounds silly now, but I promise things like that happen far more often than you think with this breed. GUARDING You might be considering a Doberman because they are known to be excellent family guardians both in instinct and size. And while they are wonderful protectors, their instincts and size can put them at risk in everyday situations. People who are afraid of dogs, or even just not comfortable around them, can set their instincts on edge as they seek to always protect their family. You should absolutely not consider bringing a Doberman, or any similarly imposing guardian breed, into your home as a first-time canine leader. I don't say this to be dramatic, but it's a sad fact that so many beautiful canines, Doberman’s and others, end up in shelters because they require more time and training than their family could give them. AFFECTION/INDEPENDENCE Doberman's are laser focused on their primary person and very aware of everyone else in the home as well. Their families affectionately call them Velcro dogs, because they are literally touching their person most of the time. Moving from room to room, sitting on the couch, in bed, and anywhere else you go, they'll be as close as they can get. It's easy for boundaries to blur when their affection melts your heart, but their devotion and willingness to please are satisfied best when they know what's acceptable and what isn't. Another massive consideration with this breed is their affection because it means they won't be happy being outside only or if their family is gone for most of the day. They can be prone to boredom and will destroy even the toughest kennels if they aren't thoroughly exercised multiple times a day. It's not a requirement, but Doberman's do best when someone is home at least several times a day. WRAP UP To say it plainly, Dobermans are NOT good for first-time owners. They might not even be a good choice for experienced owners if they haven't developed the skills to be the calm, consistent canine leader this breed demands. There are many wonderful breeds out there that are better suited to inexperienced owners, and jumping right in with such a demanding and powerful breed like this is a recipe for disaster. No matter what breed you choose, or your experience level, seriously consider your lifestyle and how happy the canine you choose will be with it. If you've decided the Doberman isn't the best choice for you, make sure you check out the other videos over on the Fenrir Canine Show and round-ups of the best breeds for first time canine leaders.