Close this search box.

Doberman Pros and Cons: 11 Things To Consider Before Buying

Written By: Sharon Waddington

Last Updated:

Dobermans are loyal, intelligent dogs that often get an (unfair) bad reputation due to their large size and intimidating appearance. With that said, there’s still a wide array of advantages and drawbacks to consider before getting one of these dogs, so let’s explore the pros and cons of a Doberman a bit more in-depth.

Dobermans’ biggest pros are that they are intelligent, affectionate, loyal, and athletic dogs with minimal grooming requirements. However, Dobermans have some cons in that they are prone to health issues, are susceptible to separation anxiety, and have a negative reputation.

Whether you’re looking to get a Doberman Pinscher yourself or trying to learn more about the breed, you’ve come to the right place. Below, I’ll go over all the potential advantages and drawbacks of looking after one of these dogs, so make sure to read on!

Doberman Pros and Cons

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Doberman?

Dogs are the most prevalent pets in our homes. For centuries now, they’ve earned their famous title as people’s best friends.

Owning a dog is known to have many advantages for humans, but dogs also have traits that may challenge their owner’s patience, increase their financial burden, and strain their time management.

Like all dogs, one should weigh up a Doberman’s advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a tabled view of the pros and cons of Dobermans.

Doberman ProsDoberman Cons
Dobermans are intelligentDobermans have a negative reputation
Dobermans are extremely loyalDobermans are prone to separation anxiety
Dobermans have a striking appearanceDobermans can suffer breed-specific health conditions
Perfect for athletic ownersDobermans have excessive energy levels
Dobermans have a low-maintenance coatNot the best choice for 1st-time owners
Dobermans are easy to train
Dobermans are loyal, fearless, and alert
Doberman Pros and Cons

In the rest of the article, I’ll give you all the facts you need to know about these Doberman pros and cons in the rest of the article.

Doberman Pros

Doberman pros are the positive qualities of Dobermans that’ll win your heart and make bringing home a Dobie puppy irresistible.

There’s a lot to love about Doberman Pinschers – after all, there’s a reason why they’re currently holding the 15th place in AKC’s list of the most popular dog breeds in the US.

Despite their reputation as aggressive, hard-to-live-with dogs (which is often unfounded), these pups boast a wide array of redeeming qualities that have made them so loved among owners all over the US and even the world. Here are some of them:

Dobermans are Very Intelligent

If there’s one Doberman stereotype that’s true is the fact that the breed boasts an exceptional intelligence level. Some attribute their remarkable ability to think on their feet and understand human behavior to the fact that they’ve been bred to become service or hunting dogs. As such, it has always been essential for them to showcase a certain intelligence level.

These dogs are even often employed in the military, not to mention many of them go on to become therapy dogs, which only goes to show the mental capacity these animals possess.

Watch This Video To Learn The Pros & Cons Of The Doberman…

Dobermans Have a Striking Appearance

Luckily, Dobermans have been blessed with both brains and beauty, as they’re some of the most striking, unique-looking dogs out there. Their large, muscular bodies and their intimidating overall appearance only add to their popularity among aspiring dog owners.

Though visibly athletic, this breed somehow still manages to look elegant, which is more than what can be said about other dogs of similar stature.

Doberman Pinschers are Extremely Loyal

If you’re looking for a guard dog, you’ll struggle to find a better breed. Not only does their remarkable intelligence help these dogs quickly detect and react to potential danger, but their loyal nature makes them prone to go to extreme lengths to protect the ones they love.

Their protective nature complements their muscular, athletic build perfectly, all contributing to the breed being one of the best as far as guarding and protection go. One thing’s for sure – you’ll never feel uneasy taking a late-night walk if you’ve got your trusty Doberman with you.

Perfect Dogs for Athletic Owners

Dobermans will fit right into an active household, so if you’re someone who loves partaking in outdoor activities often, you might find one of these pups to be the perfect companion. They won’t get tired easily, so you can rest assured that they can keep up even with your most extreme hikes or runs.

Doberman Sitting

Doberman Pinschers Have a Low Maintenance Coat

A Doberman’s short, low-shedding coat requires little to no maintenance. So, those who don’t feel like taking their pup to the groomers every week will love their experience with a Dobie.

With that said, daily brushing with a short-bristled brush is recommended. However, that shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes out of your day, and regular baths aren’t necessary.

Don’t let their low-maintenance coat fool you, though. Dobermans are not hypoallergenic. While no dog truly is, some breeds are better suited to people with sensitivities than others. Unfortunately, Dobermans aren’t part of this group.

With that said, as long as you don’t have any dog fur allergies, you’ll love how easy it is to take care of these dogs’ coats.

Dobermans are Easy To Train

Though you might’ve seen this one coming based on what’s mentioned thus far, I still wanted to note how easy Dobermans are to train. Though intelligence isn’t always positively correlated with trainability (sometimes a dog’s stubborn personality gets in the way), when it comes to these dogs, they are.

So, if you don’t feel like spending months teaching your pup desirable behaviors, getting a Doberman might be the right choice for you.

Though starting training from a young age is obviously the best approach, Dobermans are so smart and eager to please their humans that they’re more than capable to take on new tricks and behaviors even later on in life, provided you’re patient enough and rely on positive reinforcement.

Despite the Doberman’s many pros, these dogs do have a few cons as well. Read details on Doberman’s cons below, with some info on how you can counter these pros.

Doberman Cons

Unfortunately, like all other breeds, Dobermans come with their own set of potential drawbacks, which all aspiring owners need to consider before making a long-term commitment. There are several reasons why someone wouldn’t want to get a Doberman, so let’s explore them a bit more in-depth.

Dobermans are Prone to Health Problems

Dobermans are more prone to certain health conditions than other breeds. These conditions include:

Hip Dysplasia

Interestingly enough, hip dysplasia is a condition most commonly found in smaller dogs, so you’d think opting for a larger breed like the Doberman would be a safe bet. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

These dogs are highly prone to this genetic disease that leads to an abnormal conformation of the hip joints.

Though external factors can also affect the probability of your pup suffering from this condition, the bad news is that it’s usually inherited, so there’s little you can do prevention-wise. Even if you have the parent’s hip scores checked as a precaution, there are no guarantees.

Depending on how advanced the condition is, it can also lead to a plethora of other joint issues, including arthritis, imbalances, and limping.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus

While hip dysplasia can manifest itself in several stages of severity, gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV) is a condition that’ll require urgent intervention every time. The term refers to the phenomenon where the stomach fills up with too much gas, experiencing excessive pressure.

As a result, the organ will turn, not allowing the necessary amount of blood to come in. If not treated immediately, GDV can lead to a plethora of life-threatening side effects and, in severe cases, even death.

Some of the most common symptoms to look out for include:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Retching at abnormal times
  • Distended abdomen
  • Weakness
  • Elevated heart rate

Dilated Cardiomyopathy 

As the name suggests, this is a heart-related condition that refers to the degeneration of the heart muscle. Generally speaking, this disease progresses at a slow but steady rate, becoming more prominent as the dog grows older.

If left untreated for too long, it can lead to heart failure. That’s why it’s essential to screen for this condition as often as possible. On top of that, it’ll also help to keep an eye out for worrying symptoms, such as:

  • Weakness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Lethargy

Von Willebrand’s Disease

This is yet another condition that’s common among several dog breeds, and unfortunately, Dobermans are part of this group. Von Willebrand’s disease is a blood disorder that can cause a protein deficiency, which, in turn, can make it easier for the blood to clot. How does this affect the well-being of a pup?

Well, clotting is the phenomenon that keeps us (and our dogs) from losing too much blood when we get injured. Without it, we would lose dangerous amounts of blood, even from the simplest scratch.

Unfortunately, Dobermans’ genetic predisposition to the disease is made worse by their innate need to run and jump around, which makes them more prone to getting injured in the first place. That’s why it’s essential to screen your Doberman for Von Willebrand’s, especially before any planned surgeries.


Chances are you’re already familiar with hypothyroidism, as it’s a condition that affects humans as well. However, what you might not know is that Dobermans are especially prone to this hormonal disorder.

Hypothyroidism either causes the thyroid gland to be replaced with fat or makes the body attack said gland – either way, it can have life-threatening consequences. Luckily, the condition is treatable, which makes keeping a keen eye out for any unusual symptoms that much more important.

Some tell-tale signs that your dog is suffering from hypothyroidism include:

  • Weight gain
  • Skin infections
  • Lethargy
  • Excessively shedding coat
  • High cholesterol levels

Now that you know a bit more about the health conditions Dobermans are most prone to, it’s time to move on to some of their other potential drawbacks.

Doberman on Leash

Doberman Pinschers Have a Negative Reputation

Though, as I’ve already mentioned, Doberman’s negative reputation is generally based on untrue stereotypes, that doesn’t change the fact that most people will still react negatively upon seeing this type of dog.

Handling a few dirty looks shouldn’t be too much of a challenge; however, the negative reputation that precedes Dobermans everywhere you go can practically affect your day-to-day life.

For example, hotels and other establishments might have strict rules against these types of dogs entering their premises, even though other breeds might be accepted. In the same vein, it might be more challenging to find a sitter when you’re planning on going away, which can create unnecessary stress and headache.

Dobermans are Prone to Separation Anxiety

As it turns out, a Doberman’s loving, loyal nature can be a bit of a double-edged sword, as these pups are also extremely prone to separation anxiety. So, if you’re planning on not being home for extended stretches of time, getting one of these dogs might not be the best choice for you.

That’s why Dobermans are best suited to large, active households, where members can each take turns looking after the dog. That way, your pet will be far less likely to feel neglected or understimulated.

The fact that they’re so big and muscular doesn’t help here either, as they can quickly become destructive if left alone. Keep in mind that that’s on top of barking or urinating.

Dobermans Have Excessive Energy Levels

Though outdoorsy owners will have a blast taking their Dobie along for their daily hikes and walks, many aren’t fully prepared for just how energetic this breed can be. Dobermans need at least 1-2 hours of exercise a day, ideally even more.

This translates to at least two moderate-length walks, which can be more than what most aspiring dog owners can pull off.

“Keep in mind that I’m only discussing the bare minimum here, and that chances are that most Dobermans will need even more mental and physical stimulation than that.”

World of Dogz

That’s why it’s best to only get one of these pups if you live somewhere with a big backyard where they can roam around and burn off some of that excess energy between walks. In short, if you’re someone who’s short on time, space, patience, or overall energy level, getting a Doberman might not be the best idea.

Not the Best Choice for First-Time Owners

If you’ve read everything that’s been mentioned thus far, this last disadvantage won’t come as a surprise. Though their coats are low-maintenance, Dobermans are still very demanding dogs that call for the patience and strategic thinking of an experienced dog owner.

So, if you’re searching for your very first dog, it’s best to opt for a smaller, more docile, less high-maintenance breed. Of course, as long as you do your research, you can start off with a Doberman as well, but I assure you that doing so won’t be easy.

So, if you know someone who already has one of these dogs, why not volunteer to pet sit for a day? That way, the owner gets a day off from dog-tending duties, and you get a taste of what life with a Dobie will look like.

Keep in mind, though, that you’re likely getting an already-trained dog for a couple of days at most, so don’t forget to consider all the extra work you’ll have to put in as an actual owner.

Learn All About The Doberman In This Video…

Final Thoughts

Dobermans are intelligent, loyal, easy-to-train dogs that require very little maintenance. They can also be very affectionate if properly socialized from a young age, so their overly aggressive tendencies are somewhat of a myth.

With that said, there are still a few drawbacks to consider before getting one of these adorable dogs. They’re susceptible to a wide array of health issues, prone to separation anxiety, and often overly energetic. Moreover, they need to be trained from a young age in order to behave, not to mention they require lots of space, time, and effort.

If you’re thinking of owning a Dobie, I hope learning about Doberman’s pros and cons has helped you make an educated decision.

Related Posts You May Like:

Photo of author

Sharon Waddington

Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs.