One of the most exciting moments in life is the moment you bring a Doberman Pinscher home. They’re devoted, courageous, alert and surprisingly affectionate. But as parents, you may question whether the big and muscular Doberman is safe for the kids.
When properly socialized and trained, Doberman Pinschers are excellent with older kids. Because they’re such loyal dogs, a trained Doberman will be sweet and affectionate with your children, but only if the two were raised together. However, there are things to consider when bringing home these massive muscular dogs.
The Doberman Pinscher is one of the best family dogs you can buy. They’re big and scary-looking to a lot of people, but they’re excellent and loving companions to the family. In most cases, they will make wonderful playmates for older children.
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Table of Contents
- Why Dobermans Are Great With Kids
- Dobermans and Energetic Children
- Dobermans With Infants & Toddlers
- Does Your Doberman Get Along With Children?
- What Families Should Get a Doberman?
Why Dobermans Are Great With Kids
Doberman Pinschers are a lot of things. They’re diligent working dogs, effective guard dogs, excellent show dogs, but most importantly, they’re superb family dogs. In other words, the Dobermann will thrive in a family setting.
These dogs are consistently in the top 20 list for most popular dog breeds in America. If they didn’t get along with children, why would so many families (often with kids) own these dogs? It’s because Dobermans are actually great with kids! Here’s why.
Dobermans are Protective, Loyal Dogs
Dobermans are some of the most loyal and devoted dogs in the canine kingdom. According to Woman’s Day, the Doberman Pinscher is one of the 17 most loyal dog breeds ever! If treated well, these dogs will never leave your side.
It’s worth noting that Dobermans will sometimes pick out one member of the pack to foster and develop an exceptionally strong bond with. While this may happen, that doesn’t mean these dogs don’t love everyone else in the family.
I think that loyalty means they are always by your side. When I was really sick years ago, Aiden stayed by me the entire time. He never left to play and he never wanted to go for a walk.– Marlee2002 (Doberman Talk)
If these dogs grow up with your children, then they’ll likely be very protective of them and care for them as their own. They can’t help it. For a dog breed renowned for it’s unwavering loyalty, it’s nice knowing these dogs always have your back.
Nevertheless, it’s probably not a good idea to let your Doberman babysit your children. We still recommend parental supervision during play time. But having a second pair of eyes on them is always a nice bonus.
They’re People-Oriented Dogs
Despite popular belief, the Doberman Pinscher is not all-that vicious and aggressive. Sure, they make look it, but they’re not. Rather, they’re very people and family-oriented dogs in the home. They love the attention!
Dobermans love to be around people, though the may take a while to develop trust with the unfamiliar people. After all, to be great guard dogs, Dobermans need to be vigilant and at times, wary of strangers too.
Keep in mind, dobermans are velcro dogs. They NEED to be with their owners. Mine is always under my foot and has got to follow you everywhere.– Damasyn (Doberman Chat)
In fact, they’re often nicknamed “velcro dogs” because they tend to stick by their family’s side all the time. And through proper socialization with the dog and children, they’ll have a great understanding of how fragile they are.
Dobermans know their own strength and will treat kids with affection and respect. They just need a little time to get to know the members of the family first. But very quickly, you will learn just how personable they can be.
Dobermans and Energetic Children
For the most part, Dobermans are great with energetic young kids. Largely because they are working dogs at heart, most Dobermans have the energy to match the kids. Still, there are precautions when letting them play together.
Firstly, you’ll never want to let them play together unsupervised. No matter how long the Doberman has been in the home or how confident you are with the training, you just never know how these animals will react to something a child does.
For the most part, Dobermans can be patient dogs. They’re smart enough to understand the kids’ rough play isn’t a “challenge” and often don’t mind the chaotic mess. That is, if they’re familiar with them.
However, letting rowdy and unfamiliar kids play with them is probably not a good idea. So if your kids’ friends come over, make sure to slowly introduce the dog. Chances are, they will quickly learn that the unfamiliar kids are okay.
Training Kids to Be With Dobermans
Training goes both ways. Teaching your kids how to act around these dogs is perhaps equally important. They need to understand how to respect and treat these dogs. After all, respect is a mutual thing.
I’ve seen a lot of rowdy kids that have absolutely no respect for dogs. They pull their ears, tug their tails, ride on their backs and sometimes kick them. All of these behaviors is a big NO when it comes to Dobermans. What’s worse, it could lead to aggression.
You’ll need to explain what behaviors are acceptable and what aren’t. Your Doberman may react in an aggressive way if they’re intentionally or unintentionally hurt. If your children are too young to respect these dogs, then I would wait until they’re mature to understand.
Dobermans With Infants & Toddlers
I would never recommend letting an infant or toddler play with a Doberman unless you’re very close by. Even then, it may not be a great idea depending on a number of factors (your dog’s personality, how old they are, energy-level, etc.).
Because of how fragile infants are, Dobermans can unintentionally cause injuries. All it takes is for an energetic Doberman (and trust me, they are very active dogs) to accidentally bump into them or whack their face with the tail.
Dobermans are like people, each have their own personalities. But never, no matter how much you trust the dog, should they ever be left alone with a baby/child.– Damasyn (Doberman Chat)
One of the top concerns for parents with infants is that the dog’s barking, which can scare the baby. As parents, we know that loud noises (such as barking) and young babies don’t go well together. Plus, Dobermans aren’t known to have a quiet bark.
This is a tricky topic to cover because Dobermans are moderate barkers. Some are quiet, while others excessively bark. You won’t know until you start raising your dog. But, there are ways to train your Doberman to be quiet, especially around your infants.
Training Dobermans to Be Quiet
If you’re concerned about the Doberman’s loud barking, there are things you can try to stop, or at least minimize this. The first step is to find and prevent the motivators for barking. A dog doesn’t bark for no reason – there’s always a reason.
This could be because people are passing by the house, sounds from the TV or even the microwave beeping. The next time your Doberman starts acting out, you’ll need to be extra aware and attentive to find the source.
You can also teach your Doberman the “speak” and “quiet” command. To do this, you will need to start with the “speak” command. Say “speak” and wait for your Dobe to bark a few times. Immediately after, you’ll want to give them positive praises and treats.
Dobermans have extremely high obedience and working intelligence, so they’ll easily get this down with a few repetitions. Next, you’ll want to use the speak command, followed by the “quiet” command. As soon as they stop barking, give them praises. Then, repeat.
Does Your Doberman Get Along With Children?
To get a good idea of how Dobermans actually are around children, we asked real parents that own a Doberman. For this, we collected responses from the popular Doberman sub Reddit and other forums. Here’s what these Doberman owners had to say:
Real Owner Answers:
1. Slopmad says Yes: “I’ve owned and raised two male doberman pincers around children and I have never seen a more calm and loving dog. They’ll belly crawl around babies, run full speed everywhere until they see a baby and then they walk on eggshells.”
2. Volchitsa_2018 says Yes: “My boy (5) is really gentle with children, he gives them very soft kisses if he does, and treads lightly around them.”
3. Reptilefood says Yes: “The only people she has NO aggression to are children. She is not phased by them at all, and when we’re out (everyday) and kids want to play with her it actually calms her.”
4. Uemcgill says Yes: “He loves his kids, regularly puts himself between them and perceived threats. He loves nothing more than being in the yard with them while they play on the swings.”
5. Belinck says Yes: “Now that my boys are toddlers, our dobie is starting to realize that he’s got two new playmates and is mostly enjoying it, at the very least, he has two new faces to give kisses to.”
6. Auserhasnoname says No: “She’s our wild child, ridiculous intelligent, but so hard to train because she’s stubborn. It’s mostly our oldest, he’s not a fan of children. Of course I would never leave a baby, or child alone with any dog, but especially not him.”
7. Thunderturdy says Yes: “We didn’t raise our doberman around kids but even so… recently our friends toddler learned to walk and came running over to our dog who was chewing on a bone…He then took her bone and walked away. She just patiently waited while one of us got her bone back.”
8. Flaxeater says Yes: “When I got my girl, the breeder who kept both her parents as pets, gushed about how her mamma was too sweet to her grandchildren.”
9. Nmyunit says Yes: “While there’s always risk, the Dobe’s I’ve owned are very docile with children. If not protective and watchful. My current dobe gets rowdy but has never knocked anything/one over.”
10. Ygdy says Yes: “My dobe was almost a year old when my son was born. He was very curious about the baby but was scared when he cried. He would run away!”
What Families Should Get a Doberman?
Doberman Pinschers are great dogs for all types of people, situations and environments. It’s because they’re so adaptable that they’re able to thrive in family environments (with multiple people) but also with a single owner.
Despite their adaptive nature, I would not recommend these dogs for homes with multiple infants, toddlers or babies. It’s not because they won’t get along, but because it’ll be difficult meeting the needs of a Doberman.
These dogs are working dogs and have a ton of energy that needs to be “released” every day. This means daily walks, catch, frisbee and other physical activities. All of which, may be a little difficult with many small infants around.
Failure to provide Dobermans with the necessary mental and physical stimulation will often result in destructive and obnoxious behavior (such as excessive barking). So, it’s pretty important to meet their needs.
On the other hand, I think Dobermans are perfect for households with young energetic children. Having your Doberman play with your kids can become a win-win situation. You’ll be able to tire out your children and Doberman at the same time!
Dobermans are great with children as long as they’re properly socialized and trained. The kids need to also learn to respect the dog. But most importantly, you’ll need to shower your Dobe with love and affection.
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