Skip to main content.

Breed Information

by Frank H. Grover

We had neighbors once who watched our Dobermans and then one day announced, “We have decided that a Doberman is the Cadillac of dogs.” Most persons who have owned Dobermans will agree. There are other fine dogs, then there are Dobermans—the dog of dogs.

Talking about Doberman ownership is a little like trying to explain a family relationship, for a Doberman demands and takes a full place in your life. A Doberman either trains you, or is trained by you, and for most of us, it is a little of both. You can’t put a Doberman away, forget about him and take him out when you want to show him off. A Doberman isn’t built that way; he wants to be with you, to help you, torment you, love you and guard you. And he will work out ways to get what he wants.

A Doberman is an affectionate animal, but his affection is noble. You can’t bribe a Doberman with a pat on the head. He doesn’t enjoy “just being petted” the way other breeds do. He wants to be close to you, to have your hand on his head, to rest his head on your knee, or to sit on your shoe with his back to you. He won’t leave you for a stranger who offers to scratch his ear. Scratching an ear may be nice, but it isn’t as nice as resting his rump on your shoe.

Seldom do you find a “licking” Doberman. A single kiss—a touch of the tongue, a touch of his nose to your ear—that is his way of special greeting. To lick (unless you have a wound that needs healing) would be too undignified for most Dobermans. Yet, with his black eyes, short tail and graceful body he can tell you more plainly how special you are than could all the licking and rubbing or petting in the world.

A Doberman is an energetic dog with the firmness of the strong. He win let a baby teethe on his cars and nod with pleasure. He will take his six year old mistress walking to show her off and guide her with the mature judgment that knows it is well to let a six year old have her own way unless it is dangerous.

A Doberman is a sensitive dog, keenly alert to your feelings and wishes. If someone visits you whom you don’t like, watch the dog, for he will be watching your visitor. After he has been with you for a few years, you will find often you don’t need to speak a wish. He will know and respond. You become part of him, and he becomes part of you; and the only tragic part of owning a Doberman is that a part of you is buried with him when he dies.

November 1993