As a breed, dobermans are naturally somewhat aggressive, protective and dominant animals. Dobermans are often purchased for protection and generally are not recommended as good household pets when compared to more laid back, less aggressive breeds such as the Labrador retriever. Some insurance companies refuse to insure customers who own dobermans or charge extra money for insurance because the likelihood of these dogs injuring someone is considered higher than with other breeds. The good news is that plenty of dobermans do make good, loyal and happy pets and with proper training and care you can do a lot to reduce the risk of your dog biting anyone.
Start teaching your doberman that biting is an unacceptable behavior when he is a puppy. Even play biting can be a way that your doberman is trying to show dominance over you. His behavior is much easier to correct at a young age than it will be when you are dealing with a full grown dog with full grown teeth. Firmly tell your puppy "no" if he attempts to bite or chew on you and then redirect his behavior onto a toy or bone that is acceptable for chewing.
Socialize your doberman at an early age. The more time your dog spends around people, the more likely he is to learn how to interact properly with others. Do not put your doberman in your backyard and leave him there for months with limited social interaction and wonder why he is aggressive and territorial. You need to take your puppy out and allow him to meet both people and other dogs in a friendly setting. Make him comfortable with other animals and human interaction and reward him with praise and treats for behaving well.
Enroll your doberman in obedience school and take the lessons that you are taught and put them to good use.
Monitor your dog's activities as he gets older. If your adult dog has displayed a propensity to bite, you cannot pretend everything is fine and ignore the behavior. Post signs on your property that you have an aggressive dog and make sure he is not kept in an area where he could encounter an unsuspecting victim. If you have guests over and are concerned your dog may be a problem, kennel him. If you are afraid your dog might bite while out on a walk, purchase a muzzle and use it. Never allow your aggressive dog out in public without a leash and harness on him so you can control him if you have to.
- Aggressive behavior in a large dog is undesirable and can lead to severe injury or death. You may need to discuss your options for dealing with your biter with a veterinarian as well as an attorney to determine what your liability is for your animal's actions. An aggressive dog who bites regularly may have to be humanely euthanized.
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.