Side profile of a Dobermann wearing a collar

Are Dobermann Dogs Dangerous?

There is something special about being an owner of a Dobermann. When these fit muscular dogs walk by your side on a busy street, it is hard for the onlookers to avoid the fierce loyalty and love that the dog shows you. 

If you are a parent of a Dobermann, then you know what I am talking about.

When it comes to adopting a Dobermann as a family member, most people hesitate and search for answers to this very question. Are Dobermann dogs dangerous?

Yes, the Dobermann dog can be dangerous but so can the dogs, like Poodles and Chihuahuas. If your Dobermann is trained and socialised correctly, it is hard to find such a gentle dog like them. Dobermans have a bad reputation just because they have worked extensively with the military and police. Dobermanns loyalty to their handlers can often signify being dangerous. Like any dog, they can be aggressive towards strangers, especially if they think you or your family member are being threatened. As an owner, it’s your sole responsibility to control and train a Dobermann, as with any other dog breed owner.

Breed Overview

  • Dog Breed Group: Working Dog
  • Height: 24-28 inches 
  • Weight: 60-100 pounds
  • Life Span: 10 to 12 years
  • Origin: Germany
  • Common nicknames: Dobie
  • Named: Dobermann in Europe
  • Named: Doberman Pinscher in the United States and Canada

What makes Dobermann’s so terrifying?

Most of the time, Dobermanns are trained to work as personal protection dogs. That is why it is easy for others to see them as potentially dangerous and aggressive. The physical traits of these dogs are also enough to strike fear into many people. The Breeder Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann originally bred these physical features into these dogs to make them look very intimidating to people. Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann felt like he needed these traits to help him during his rounds of tax collecting in Germany in the 1870s. Find here a detailed timeline of the Dobermann dog breed.

The Physical Traits

Large Body

Compared to the other dog breeds, Dobermanns tend to be on the larger side. However, they are not so big that their size interferes with their ability. The weight of the male Dobermann is between 75 to 100 pounds, whereas the females weigh about 60 to 90 lbs. The male Dobermanns stand 26 to 28 inches tall, whereas the females are between 24 and 26 inches.

Muscular Build

Dobermann’s have a low body fat ratio which is very good for showing their muscular structure. These dogs are built for strength, speed, and stamina. Dobermanns can run at a speed of 40 mph and maintain it for an impressively long time.

Broad Powerful Chest

The broad and powerful chests of these dogs help them to strike down larger prey. With a single attempt, these dogs can take their prey to the ground with ease.

Dignified Posture

The posture of the Dobermann breed is entirely different from the rest of the dog breeds. These dogs stand tall, proud, and dignified. They can look meaningfully into the eye’s of people and not break eye contact at any point.

Docked Ears and Tails

The ears of these dogs are naturally floppy. But, traditionally, their ear was docked in the early days to make sure the attackers could not take any advantage of it during a fight. The tails of these dogs were traditionally docked due to the same reason. In some countries, like Russia, docking the ears and tails of the Dobermann are still legal. However, In Europe, docking is illegal.

These physical traits give the dogs a distinct and threatening look that can strike fear into people unfamiliar with the dog. Despite their deceiving looks, these dogs are incredibly gentle to their owners and their family members. However, their looks and characteristics have made people perceive them as villain dogs. In many movies, these dogs have played menacing roles, which contributed to their bad reputation.

General Temperament

The dog’s general temperament has also helped it gain a bad reputation and the above physical traits. By Nature, Dobermanns are a bit reserved with people they don’t know. Once these dogs understand that a person is not a threat, then you get to see the warm side of them.

Protective to their owners

Dobermanns have an instinct to protect their owners. After all, that is why these dogs were bred over a hundred years ago. If they sense that anything is going to happen to their owners, they will react. That is true for even the most trained and docile Dobermann as well.


These dogs are exceptionally loyal to their owners and always try to stick by their side. That is why these dogs are often referred to as the velcro dog breed. These dogs make it clear that they love their owners, and they will defend right to the end. 

These dogs are friendly towards every family member. But, they tend to choose one specific member of the family and consider them as the alpha. Also, on the other hand, Dobermanns are pack animals, and they love the united feeling of a family; they can even get along with other animals like a cat if introduced early.

Doberman’s can get along with cats.


Dobermanns have been ranked as one of the world’s top five most intelligent dog breeds for years. They have excellent problem-solving abilities and understand what is expected from them. They are also very good at following and understanding the commands of their owners. Because of their exceptional intelligence, Dobermanns are also considered one of the most easily trainable dogs in the world.

While these characteristic features make the Dobermann one of the loyal family pets, they may not seem friendly to outsiders. The aloof nature and the loyalty of these dogs make them look extremely dangerous. 

Are Dobermanns Mean?

By Nature, Dobermanns are not mean. They only act aggressively to protect their owners or themselves from a perceived danger. Dobermann’s overly aggressive responses are generated from misguided training, lack of socialisation, or mistreatment from the owners.

Truthfully, there is no straightforward answer to the question of whether the Dobermanns are mean or not. If you ask any Dobermann breeders or trainers, they will tell you that they don’t find the Dobermann dog breed to be mean. However, as the dogs’ personality varies from individual to individual, there may be an exception.

Some experts will tell you that they have encountered a dog or two with a bit of a mean streak in them. But, there is always a reason why these dogs tend to behave like that. Once you find the root cause of their mean streak and address the problem, they can change their behaviour fast. Most of the time, the meanness in Dobermann develops from the wrong upbringing. From a puppy, they are gentle, playful and loving.

Cute Dobermann Puppy

If a Dobermann is not socialised or lacks positive human interaction from a very early age, the chances are it will develop some moral issues. Simply speaking, no Dobermann is mean, but their owners can be.

So when it comes to a Dobermann, the reality is significantly different from their reputation. Dobermanns are not mean, and even though they can become extremely dangerous, they rarely show that side. Dobermanns never become aggressive towards another person or animal if they do not feel the need to protect themselves or the owners. Most of the time, people think that Dobermanns are dangerous because they have seen these dogs acting aggressively on television. Those people should understand the difference between reality and imagination and stop castigating these gentle souls.


I hope you have enjoyed the above and gotten to understand the Dobermann dog breed a bit more. If you are a proud owner of a Dobermann, I would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below for others to understand that Dobermanns are beautiful, friendly dogs.

Or if you have the modified Doberman Pinscher dog, which has been bred from the original Dobermann to look less fierce. Would you mind sharing your thoughts?

Sharing is a good thing to do!

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