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 the dog shows you. 

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

When adopting a Dobermann as a family member, most people hesitate and search for answers to this 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, finding such a gentle dog like them is hard. Dobermanns have a bad reputation because they have worked extensively with the military and police. Dobermann’s 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 are threatened. As an owner, it’s your sole responsibility to control and train a Dobermann, as with any other dog breed owner.

A happy girl sitting on a Dobermann which is laying down being happy and friendly

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 in 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 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

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

Muscular Build

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

Broad Powerful Chest

These dogs’ broad and powerful chests help them strike down larger prey. These dogs can easily take their game to the ground with a single attempt.

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 people’s eyes and not break eye contact at any point.

Docked Ears and Tails

The ears of these dogs are naturally floppy. But, their ear was traditionally docked in the early days to ensure the attackers could not take advantage of it during a fight. The tails of these dogs were usually docked due to the same reason. In some countries, like Russia, docking the ears and tails of the Dobermann is 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. These dogs are incredibly gentle to their owners and family members despite their deceiving looks. However, their eyes and characteristics have made people perceive them as villain dogs. These dogs have played menacing roles in many movies, contributing 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 reserved with people they don’t know. You get to see their warm side once these dogs understand that a person is not a threat.

Protective of their owners

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


These dogs are exceptionally loyal to their owners and always try to stand by them. These dogs make it clear that they love their owners and will defend their rights to the end. These dogs are often referred to as the Velcro dog breed. 

These dogs are friendly toward every family member. But, they tend to choose one family member and consider them 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.

A Dobermann puppy playing with a cat
Dobermanns can get along with cats.


Dobermanns have been among the world’s 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 their owners’ commands. 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 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 whether the Dobermanns are mean. 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 they have encountered a dog or two with a bit of a mean streak. 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 sitting on some steps with yellow ribbon around neck
Cute Dobermann Puppy

If a Dobermann is not socialised or lacks positive human interaction from a very early age, it may 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; 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 their owners. Most people think Dobermanns are dangerous because they have seen these dogs act aggressively on television. Those people should understand the difference between reality and imagination and stop castigating these gentle souls.


I hope you have enjoyed and understand the Dobermann dog breed 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, bred from the original Dobermann to look less fierce. Would you mind sharing your thoughts?

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