Doberman Pinscher Temperament & Personality | Canna-Pet® (2024)

The Doberman Pinscher may have a somewhat controversial reputation, but this breed can be a sweet, loyal, and obedient pet. If you’re thinking about bringing a Doberman home to your family, read on to find out more about this breed.

Prominent Doberman Pinscher Personality Traits

The personality traits of a Doberman Pinscher will vary between each dog. Some Dobermans are outgoing and fearless, while others may be shy and more reserved. Some Doberman Pinscher temperament can be dominant and aggressive with other pets while others are more social and will gladly cuddle up with cats for a nap. Regardless of the variations in how social a Doberman Pinscher is, this breed is a loyal companion and an excellent family member.

A Doberman is a fearlessanimal and make a great watchdog. However, despite common opinion, they are not attack dogs. The Doberman Pinscher has an instinct to protect their loved ones from intruders. Contrary to their vicious reputation, Dobermans have a big heart and love the companionship of the people. The following are the most prominent personality traits of Doberman Pinschers.


Doberman Pinscher Temperament & Personality | Canna-Pet® (1)

Doberman Pinschers have a fierce reputation and are sometimes viewed as vicious animals. However, they are typically a gentle and loving pet and will defend their family if they perceive to be in danger.

The Doberman Pinscher was initially bred to be an aggressive dog with the intent of defending their owners.

Additionally, they were meant to be a very trainable pet so that they would only attack upon their master’s command. Since these characteristics are good for watchdogs but not as ideal for household pets, modern Doberman Pinschers are bred to be much less aggressive, while still obedient and loyal.

Although Doberman Pinschersare not as hostile as they used to be, this breed may still be suspicious of people and dogs they are not familiar with and may be very protective of their owners. Because of this, Dobermans require careful and consistent training to prevent them from confronting others, especially since he is quite a large, strong dog.


The Doberman Pinscher is one of the smartest dog breeds in the worldand has consistently scored highly on intelligence and obedience tests. Because of their intelligence, this breed thrives in environments where they have a job to do.

In order to avoid boredom, get your Doberman involved with obedience or agility sports. When a clever dog does not have activities to occupy himself, he may become destructive or aggressive. This desire to work makes him thrive in environments where he can learn new tasks. Since Dobermans are naturally a working dog, the Doberman Pinscher’s temperament is also well-suited for working with police officers, security guards, military personnel, or search and rescue teams.


Compared to other dog breeds, the Doberman Pinscher is extremely loyal to their owners. They quickly become a trusted and important member of the family. Because of their loyalty, a Doberman thrives being in close contact with his loved ones, making him naturally protective. This breed can be trusted around their owner’s children, friends, and other guests if they are introduced properly.

Training a Doberman Pinscher

A Doberman puppy is very cute but can be quite destructive if they are not trained immediately and properly. Luckily, Doberman Pinschers are very intelligent and intuitive dogs.

This breed responds well to dog training and will quickly pick up on commands. The breed should be consistently trained from a young age and their owners should establish sturdy leadership and dominance.

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It’s vital that you start training your Doberman Pinscher as soon as you bring him home from the breeder. If you wait toolong to start the training process, he will not respond as well and will be much more difficult to deal with.

Doberman Pinschers are very smart and love to please their owners, which makes them highly trainable, as long as the process is started promptly.

Teaching your puppy commands is the most important part of the training process. As puppies, Doberman Pinschers are most susceptible to new information and commands. Additionally, you’ll want to try to get your Doberman into a puppy training class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old.

Behavioral training is also vital to raising a well-mannered Doberman Pinscher. Take note of any unpleasant behaviors your dog is exhibiting such as chewing, barking, puppy biting, or aggression and be sure to make it clear to your dog that he will not be tolerated. If you teach your Doberman that these behaviors are unacceptable as a puppy, he will grow to be a well-behaved adult dog.

Once it is established that you are “the boss”, your Doberman Pinscher will be easily trained. Since he has an instinct to work alongside people, he is able to take directions well. It’s important to remember to coach your dog in a firmbut gentlemanner. If a Doberman is treated too harshly, he may shut down or become aggressive and destructive.

Activity Requirements

Doberman Pinschers were not designed to be indoor dogs who nap all day. They require daily physical activity and thrive in active families. This breed is a large animal with a high level of energy and can show destructive behaviors if they don’t get an adequate amount of exercise. In order to keep their intelligent minds interested, Dobermans should be given opportunities to participate in a variety of physical activities. This breed enjoys being outdoors and loves to join their owners on walks, hikes, runs, or bike rides.

Dobermans instinctual desire to work means that they need to be mentally stimulated in addition to their regular exercise. Agility competitions are great outlets for the breed to get physical activity while using their mind. Additionally, this breed works well with dominant owners or “pack leaders” who will make the time to exercise, socialize, and train them.

Dobermans do not fit in very well with families that are not active. Before adopting a Doberman Pinscher, think about whether you will be able to take him for a walk or run at least once per day. If you are not available for that level of activity, a Doberman may not be the right pet for you.

Families, Children, & Home Life

Doberman Pinschers can be trusted with children, friends, and other family members. They are typically protective of family and more reserved with strangers. It’s important to establish steady, consistent leadership with your dog so that he knows not to confront every person or animal he meets.

Doberman Pinschers enjoy being a member of the family. They like being close to their loved ones and are trustworthy around children as long as they are treated kindly and with respect. Providing your dog with lots of affection and quality time will greatly benefit his development and help him to get along with all members of the family.

Doberman Pinscher Temperament & Personality | Canna-Pet® (3)

Since Dobermans have the instinct to be protective of their home and family, they may take this job too seriously if they don’t have proper training.

Obedience training beyond puppy school will greatly benefit your pups development and diminish aggressive behaviors. With proper obedience training, you’ll be able to manage your dog’s behavior when you invite friends and family over to your home.

Since this breed enjoys companionship and being around people so much, Doberman Pinschers are known to exhibit some canine separation anxiety. They are happiest when they are in close proximity to their loved ones and get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

Separation anxiety will usually result in excessive barking or destructive chewing but can be prevented if you don’t leave your pup alone for extended periods of time. Because of this, it is advised that people who work long hours outside of their home do not adopt a Doberman Pinscher. Ultimately, Dobermans work well as house pets as long as they are properly trained and get enough attention and exercise.


Since some Doberman Pinschers can have a shy temperament while others are more aggressive, early socialization is vital for getting your pet used to other people and animals.

When they are given the opportunity to get used to meeting other dogs, family members, and strangers, it will make a big difference in their personality development.

Since Dobermans are naturally a protective creature, proper socialization is a vital component to raising a Doberman Pinscher. It’s important that your dog is taught that guests are welcome in your home and should not be barked at, jumped on, or chased away.

Socializing your Doberman can include taking him to a dog park or introducing him to new people and animals. When a puppy is constantly meeting new people and dogs, he will start to understand that it is a normal part of life. It is especially important to socialize your dog and cat if you have a multi-pet household. Without proper socialization, a Doberman Pinscher will grow up to be untrusting and potentially aggressive.


Breeding plays an important role in the temperament and personality of a Doberman Pinscher. Carefully researching and choosing a breederwill help you ensure that you adopt a dog that came from even-tempered parents. Some breeders may “over-breed” Doberman Pinschers, making the line of dogs neurotic.

If you notice that a Doberman puppy is barking excessively or chasing his tail around in his crate, he may be suffering from canine anxiety, which is a troublesome sign at such a young age. It’s important to have a good idea of a dog’s family history and neurosis before bringing him home to your family.

Overall, modern breeders are better at producing dogs with pleasant personalities and even temperaments. There is still a small portion of shy and aggressive Doberman Pinschers being bred, but the number is diminishing. A reliable breeder will be able to help you make the best decision on selecting a dog to bring home that will compliment your personality and lifestyle.

Is a Doberman Pinscher Right for You?

Doberman Pinscher Temperament & Personality | Canna-Pet® (4)

The intelligent, loyal, protective, and trainable qualities of a Doberman Pinscher make them an excellent pet. They are great at filling many different roles including a focused police dog, a loving family member, or even a loyal companion.

A well-behaved and thoroughly trained Doberman Pinscher will be alert, obedient, energetic, and trustworthy.

These positive temperaments typically show up when Dobermans live closely with an active family. When they are able to bond and socialize with their loved ones and get enough opportunities to expel their energy, they will respond by being a lovely pet.

Be aware that a Doberman Pinscher left alone in a house or backyard for too long will not be a loyal and obedient protector. They will become fearful and aggressive.

When you consider adopting a Doberman, think about how much time you and your family will be able to spend with your dog and how much time he will be spending alone when no one is home. Puppies require a lot of time and attention and are most impressionable and trainable at a young age. Because of this, people with busy work schedules who can’t set aside time to bond and play with their pet should not adopt a Doberman Pinscher. However, when they are socialized, trained, exercised, and loved, they make for ideal companions.


  1. “Doberman Pinscher – Temperament & Personality.” Petwave, 16 July 2015, Accessed 22 Feb. 2018.
  2. “Doberman Pinscher Dog Breed Information, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts.” Dogtime, Accessed 22 Feb. 2018.
  3. “Doberman Dog Breed – Facts and Personality Traits.” Hill’s Pet, Accessed 22 Feb. 2018.
  4. “Doberman Pinscher Dog Breed Information.” Vetstreet, Accessed 22 Feb. 2018.
  5. Kriss, Randa. “Doberman Pinscher Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, Accessed 22 Feb. 2018.
Doberman Pinscher Temperament & Personality | Canna-Pet® (2024)


Doberman Pinscher Temperament & Personality | Canna-Pet®? ›

Some Doberman Pinscher temperament can be dominant and aggressive with other pets while others are more social and will gladly cuddle up with cats for a nap. Regardless of the variations in how social a Doberman Pinscher is, this breed is a loyal companion and an excellent family member.

What is the temperament of a Doberman? ›

Doberman pinschers are considered people-oriented dogs that are affectionate and sweet with people, if socialized and trained properly. They are loyal to their owners and are good with children if raised with them however, some Dobermans bond only to one person.

What is a Doberman weakness? ›

Doberman Pinschers are especially prone to a life-threatening heart condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, in which the heart becomes so large, thin, and weak that it can no longer effectively pump blood to the body.

Do Dobermans like being alone? ›

While every dog, even those in the same species, will have a different tolerance to being alone, most Dobermans don't like being left alone and will usually start to get upset after about 8 hours.

Are Dobermans well behaved dogs? ›

Remember that Dobermans are not always friendly. They can be quite aggressive and unmanageable if you don't focus on their behavioral training. Start with socialization and teach your puppy about how to behave in public.

How difficult is a Doberman? ›

Dobermanns are really intelligent and easy to train in the right hands – they've even been known to outsmart inexperienced trainers! Despite their reputation as a tough, hard-wearing breed, Dobermanns are actually very sensitive to the cold. Dobermanns are brave dogs and were used in WWII.

What are Doberman best qualities? ›

Dobermans are primarily companion/house dogs that are hardwired to be protective of their people, more like a personal body guard than a property watchdog. Dobermans are one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Some are bold and outgoing, some are mellow, and some are reserved and suspicious.

Why are Dobermans not popular? ›

There have been a lot of cases where families buy a doberman from a breeder, looking to bring home a pet dog, but later realize that these were bred to be working dogs. Working dogs are intense. They have been bred to be extremely protective and need structured training or they will be out of control.

Why is Doberman aggressive? ›

Certain breeds are also known to be more aggressive than others, and the Doberman's guard-dog DNA certainly causes them to have a dominant streak, resulting in aggressive behaviors towards strangers and other dogs without extensive training, especially dogs of the same sex.

What damage can a Doberman do? ›

A single bite can tear through skin and flesh and cause terrible fractures and partial disability for life. They're intelligent, loyal and fearless, and they make terrific guard dogs for families. They might seem somewhat aloof with children, but they do well as companions with adults.

Do Dobermans pick one person? ›

As a general rule, and as compared to many other dog breeds, Dobermans generally bond a little tighter to one specific person in the household. With male Dobermans however, this is almost not noticeable as they're generally pretty welcoming of others and do very well in family settings.

Do Dobermans like to be cuddled? ›

Yes, in short, Dobermans are much like other dogs and do like to cuddle. In fact, they love affection from their owners and will ask for cuddles as much as any other pet. Unknown to many, they are loving and social dogs and will not want to be left alone for too long without human interaction.

What to do if your Doberman growls at you? ›

You cannot punish an emotion out of a dog (or a human). Growling is just your dog's way of trying to tell you something important, and you should listen and genuinely thank your dog for the honest feedback. Growling is your dog's way of begging you to stop what you're doing and move away.

Do Dobermans have a bad reputation? ›

Unfortunately, Dobermans have been given a bad reputation as a “bully breed” for a couple of reasons: Their history as military and police dogs.

Are Dobermans couch dogs? ›

This dog is no couch potato. A Doberman needs plenty to do to be a happy, healthy dog. The key to ensuring that your Doberman fits whatever role you have for them — family pet, police dog, etc. — is proper training, starting with a young puppy.

What to know before getting a Doberman? ›

As large, active dogs, a Dobermann needs lots of exercise – at least 2 hours each day. They also need lots of ongoing training and should be well-socialised as puppies. Dobermanns are best suited to experienced owners who can invest the time their pet needs.

What are Dobermans behavior problems? ›

Because Dobermans love to work alongside people so much, they are often prone to separation anxiety. The separation anxiety can get even worse when the dog does not get enough activity. The anxiety usually results in barking and destructive chewing.

Are Dobermans high maintenance? ›

Loyal, obedient and protective, a Dobermann can be a very loving companion for any owner. However, because they love human company so much they shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time. Although they are a not a hypoallergenic breed, Dobermanns are low maintenance in terms of grooming.

Will a Doberman cuddle? ›

Yes, in short, Dobermans are much like other dogs and do like to cuddle. In fact, they love affection from their owners and will ask for cuddles as much as any other pet. Unknown to many, they are loving and social dogs and will not want to be left alone for too long without human interaction.


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