published 18 March 2020
This month’s breed - The Doberman
The Doberman Pinscher possesses an ease of movement and regal appearance befitting their royal status in the canine kingdom. Originally bred as guard dogs, Dobermans are strong and athletic, with boundless energy and keen intelligence that makes them highly trainable. Equally loving and loyal, these compactly-built dogs are very popular pets – provided their owners can cope with their energy level.
Dobermans are a strong, whip-smart breed, with medium-size square bodies. Their appearance projects elegance and nobility, as well as a sense of endurance and speed befitting their energetic nature. They make excellent watch dogs, as they are constantly alert and observing their surroundings.
The breed is usually healthy, but can be susceptible to bloat (a digestive condition), heart ailments like hip dysplasia and enlarged hearts, and a spinal condition called wobbler syndrome. Potential owners should purchase from responsible breeders, who typically genetically test their breeding stock for these issues.
The Doberman was bred by Louis Dobermann, a tax collector in the town of Apolda, Germany, around 1890 for a specific purpose – protection from hostilities at collection time. While their exact lineage is largely a mystery, it is believed that Dobermann crossed Rottweilers, German Pinschers, Black and Tan Terriers, and several other breeds to create a dog suitable for his needs.
The Doberman’s intelligence and athleticism led to international recognition as a working dog. Today’s Dobermans are celebrated show dogs, excel as therapy or service dogs for the disabled, and continue to retain popularity as guard dogs and trustworthy pets.
Doberman Pinschers have sweet, appealing personalities and stable temperaments. They are extremely loving, loyal, and trustworthy, and even play well with other dogs – provided they can run the show! Dobermans are generally stable and trouble-free. Instances of timidity or aggression can be easily rectified if addressed early in their development, as their high intelligence means they respond well to training.
Dobermans are brush-and-go-type dogs that require little care for their short coats. A few minutes brushing and one wash per week should be enough to remove the soft, fine undercoat hairs that can shed or contribute an unpleasant smell if left alone. We recommend monthly nail trimming, regular teeth brushing, and wiping out their ears with a small amount of baby oil on a paper towel every few days.
Doberman Pinschers are renowned for their natural leadership qualities and protective natures – noble traits that can create dangerous situations if they misinterpret human behaviour, make errors in judgment, or start to determine who is and isn’t welcome at home on their own.
Take King, whose human family included two teenage siblings. Like most brothers and sisters, they would squabble and sometimes roughhouse with each other. King’s protective instincts would kick in, leading him to misinterpret their wrestling as something more serious. King would growl and bark at them, and one day even bit the son when he was wrestling with his sister. He fortunately escaped without serious injury, but it was clear to the family that King needed help.
Our trainer reviewed King’s behaviour and developed a plan to teach King that it was the parents’ job, not his, to police the kids. Being a typical Doberman, he was very smart and took to the re-education very quickly. The family soon reported that King had vacated his duties as policeman and was no longer reacting to the teens’ dustups, instead letting the parents handle any disputes at home.
Like any breed, Dobermans can make poor decisions and mistakes in judgment. Your local Bark Busters® trainer can quickly help establish new patterns of behaviour – often in just a single session.
We are always available to help you develop a consistent, compassionate approach to good behaviour for your Doberman Pinscher. Learn more about our services and schedule an appointment with one of our trainers today!
If you have ever lost your dog, you know that heart-pounding adrenaline of panic. The WaggTagg™ pet identification tag is unique in that it works from a QR code. Free to all Bark Busters® clients. The pet parent enters important dog information plus a picture. Whoever finds the dog can simply scan the tag using a cell phone and the owner gets a text message to say someone has found your dog. This service is available 24/7. No waiting to get to the vet office to scan a microchip and no renewal fees or any extra charges!
Microchips are important and you should always have your dog microchipped as that is a great tool to identify legal owners etc.
The WaggTagg™ is an extra piece of security for your dog and provides peace of mind, that if your dog goes missing, you can get reunited quickly.
WaggTagg™ is a free service for all dog owners when you become a Bark Busters® client.
As previously mentioned, early education is important. Making sure your Doberman walks properly on a lead is an important exercise. If your dog pulls on the lead, it can be damaging its skeletal frame. You should always start this training in the home and start with short walks and make them fun and educational. No need to go for long walks while educating.
Introducing the Lead
Many folks struggle to control their dogs when out on a walk regardless of their size.
We recommend starting when your dog is still a puppy and educating your puppy where you want it to walk. That should not be straining at the lead.
Bark Busters® are often asked why dogs pull on the lead and concerned ‘pet parents’ worry that their dog will be injured with all this pulling. Not to mention the toll the pulling takes on the human, the answer is simple, it’s all down to using the right technique, coupled with the right lead and equipment.
Dogs Naturally Pull Against a Tight Lead
Pressure on your dog’s neck is not good for the trachea or his skeletal frame. It also places unnecessary pressure on your arms and joints. It benefits neither you nor your dog and cannot be fun. Yet we all see this type of walking daily and it has to be because people don’t know there is a better way.
In the wild if an animal is trapped, it will naturally try to get away. It knows it is vulnerable if it is captured or tethered. Although the canine has been domesticated for thousands of years, your dog still has this instinct in its mind. The only way to avoid this natural pulling, is to learn to get your dog to walk on a loose lead.
Dogs are natural pullers. It’s in a dog’s DNA to pull against any restraint.
This is why it is possible to get a dog to pull a sled. When a dog feels a restraint it naturally pulls against the restraint. This is normal dog behavior, but we can alter the dog’s perception if we always keep the dog on a loose lead, where it feels NO restraint.
The Waggwalker® is a walking harness designed by dog trainers to communicate and educate dogs how to walk sedately on the lead.
The WaggWalker® makes it easier to walk your dog because it provides a way of communicating, through sound and with no pain, letting your dog know when it is out of position and exactly where you want your dog to walk, so ‘take the lead and get tails wagging’.
The Doberman is an energetic athlete who needs a lot of exercise and free play. Taking your dog for long walks & hikes is great for their wellbeing.
A great interactive toy is The GameChanger® by Bark Busters®. Not only is this toy safe (made of FlexaPure - durable non-toxic PBA-free polyurethane material), but it stimulates a dog’s natural desire to chew. You fill the toy with some small treats, and your Doberman must decide how to get the treats out through the small holes. Entertainment for hours!