While a Doberman pinscher may be the quintessential guard dog, your Dobie puppy offers so much more than protection. Very loving and affectionate to owners and family members, this large canine is also obedient. Teach your puppy the right way and he's your best friend for the rest of his life.
While good training is important for all canines, it's especially important for your Dobie puppy. He's a big, strong boy, and needs to know right from wrong. He'll probably excel in puppy obedience training, because he's smart, learns quickly and wants to please you. Dobermans have a reputation for not just picking up training quickly but retaining it. That means he should easily learn housebreaking if taught correctly and consistently.
As you already realize, your Dobie puppy possesses abundant energy, and needs plenty of exercise. He makes a good jogging companion or for going on long walks. Because the breed is smart and athletic, consider agility, flyball, Frisbee or other competitive venues for him. If he doesn't receive sufficient exercise, his natural energy and exuberance could result in destructive behavior. Your Dobie needs exercise not just for physical fitness and burning off energy, but for the mental stimulation getting out and about gives him.
Dobermans are very loyal to their people, truly becoming members of the family. He's alert and active. Despite the stereotype of the vicious Dobie, most breeders aim for a sound temperament in their puppies. A nasty Doberman with an uncertain temperament threatens family and friends, becoming a liability. Even the best Doberman needs an owner who sets the rules and makes sure the dog follows them. This is not a breed for the timid owner.
It's important to purchase your puppy from a reputable Doberman breeder, who should guarantee the dog's health and temperament. Common hereditary problems in the breed include the heart muscle disease cardiomyopathy; the bleeding disorder von Willebrand's disease; hip dysplasia, a malformation of the joint; Wobbler's syndrome, from spinal cord compression; the eye disease progressive retinal atrophy, which leads to blindness; and hypothyroidism, inadequate hormonal production by the thyroid gland.
A year from now, your puppy will be an adult dog. He'll stand between 24 to 28 inches high at the shoulder, weighing between 66 and 88 pounds. His short coat requires minimal care, just an occasional brushing.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.