Duty of the Doberman Owner

The Doberman is a breed like no other — bred with purpose for a purpose. If an owner doesn’t understand this, you deny the animal its purpose. It is like having a child prodigy and refusing to provide it any opportunities to develop the talent.


Why Doberman Breeders Are Picky

Doberman breeders are sometimes criticized for being picky and prickly. There is truth to cliques and competition; there also is a lot of good will and help for those who are genuinely interested in the breed.

This elegant breed is designed for obedience work; like the Sheltie, a Dobe “will work its little heart out for you” as one Airedale owner remarked to me.

What Is Your Duty to Your Prodigy?

If you are fortunate enough to share your life with a Doberman, it is criminal to consign it to a life of lounging about and chasing balls. If you had a child prodigy, would you deny that child the best education you could get her?

I was mentored by amazing breeders and trainers who had a passionate respect for the Doberman Pinscher — even when some of them preferred other breeds themselves.

Breed Temperament Is Critical

I have shared my life with a standard poodle, an Airedale, and a selection of good-natured All-American mutts. Each breed has its temperament. It is critical to understand the temperament of any breed for a happy experience for animal and owner. For example, a friend spent years rescuing “shaggy dogs,” because the Disney films create a false profile of animals that are endlessly cuddly. In fact, sheep dogs like to herd their charges — and that may include some ornery nipping, especially at heels. It is not what the family expects.

The Doberman Pinscher is singular in its devotion, intelligence, and focus. A Doberman has a job to do as a personal companion. I loved going to training and our daily training sessions after walks. L’Ombre was a dog about town, at my side at many places were supposedly dogs weren’t allowed because he presented himself as the service dog he was. He loved showing off his ability — going to parties and discussion sessions at church where he was much admired.

The Joy of a Symbiotic Team

I never thought of L’’Ombre as a fur baby, and I am a little offended by the idea. We were a symbiotic team. I loved him dearly. I dreamed of him routinely for a decade after he had passed. I wish he’d been with me longer than 9.5 years.

Remember, when acquiring a Doberman, your animal needs training and desires to accompany you at all times. To live that life, the animal must be well-behaved. “A well-behaved Doberman can go anywhere,” Roz Terhune (who helped create the Marines Devil Dog unit) told me. She was right.

Are you in or out?