Aggression in Doberman Pinschers

Aggression in Doberman Pinschers

We have seen in movies and books how Doberman Pinschers are being portrayed as “bad-ass” dogs. These breeds are normally the ones who chase after the lead actor in comedy movies; while they are very intelligent and strong watchdogs, Dobermans are also known to be aggressive. As a puppy we need to make sure that we watch them closely. We need to be able to control this aggression and highlight the loving strong dogs that they are.

Here are some examples of when Dobermans typically show aggression:

1. During playtime
2. When seeing strangers
3. When seeing or being with other dogs
4. When they are afraid (fear aggression)
5. Aggression towards their leash
6. During mealtime or when anyone tries to take their bowl away

During these scenarios, Dobermans will either bark, lunge at their object, growl, snarl, bite, snap or wrestle with other dogs. You will also notice that his back and hair will suddenly stiffen. As their owner, you should be able to instinctively notice when they are about to be aggressive. Their ears will be erect, and you can expect that they will start barking or growling after a few seconds.

What can we do to stop Dobermans from being too aggressive? We should start training them while they are still puppies so we can ensure that they will be well behaved. It is every dog owner’s responsibility to make sure that our dogs will not be in places where he can get aggressive and hurt people. As early as possible, we should already start establishing our dominance over our dogs to avoid any aggression towards us. It also helps to engage them with everyone in the house, your family members and including your household help so that they don’t start showing any untoward behaviour. Socialization, with Dobermans and with any other dog breed for that matter, always works. Having them used to noise, strangers and other animals can help make for a less-aggressive dog.

One of the most important things in treating Dobermans would be to treat them with love and respect. This means we should not be screaming at them or worse, hurt them physically. There will be times that they will disobey, but punishing them will only do more harm than good. You need to establish a specific command that tells them No. It could either be “Stop It” or just plain no; at least they know that you disapprove of such behavior. When things get worse you can also try locking them up in their cages for a while or squirting them with water until they stop.

Although Doberman Pinschers may be instinctively aggressive (especially for males), any form of behavioral problems are also a result of their owners not being able to take care of them well. They do not automatically become aggressive or violent, and it is up to us to provide them a healthy, happy home where they can be trained to become a strong watchdog and a well-behaved pet.

Lea Mullins suggests how to handle aggression in Doberman Pinschers. provides tips on owning a Dog or puppy.

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