Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: South Georgia
Dogs Name: RIP Red, RIP Princess, Jake
Dogs Age: Red passed at 8 (7/12/11), Princess passed at 6 (1/3/15), Jake is 3
Gallery Pics: 3 Visit R Green's Gallery
Thanked 170 Times in 53 Posts
My experience with Dobes indicates that almost all have several stages of protective mode, from sleeping soundly on the couch on their back (totally relaxed) to full on protection. Each mode has it's verbalizing up to what I call the Business Bark, the full deep throat bark that rattles the windows next door. Rescues may not fall into this until fully rehabilitated into a loving permanent home.
Dobes are extremely perceptive and are very SA (Situation Aware). If you are anxious or concerned then your Dobe will be on alert and very sensitive to the surroundings. If you are very calm and comfortable, the Dobe will be as well. If your demeanor suddenly goes from calm to alarm, your Dobe will go on full alert in 0.2 seconds.
My first experience with a Dobe on full alert was when I was visiting my late parents for Christmas only 4 months after getting my first Dobe, and she was only 8 months old at the time. We had been visiting with my parents for several days and my father was laying down taking a nap and Windy (my Dobe) was asleep in the sun in the den at the back of the house. I was in the kitchen talking with mom at the front. She asked me if Windy really had a bark, because all she had heard was Windy's soft bark to say she wanted outside. I made the comment that oh yes, she had a good bark. As if on cue, I suddenly heard the window rattling deep business bark followed by a low growl coming from the living room, Now, I recognized that it was Windy, not my parents older Lab.
I immediately went around the corner to the living room to see Windy standing in the middle of the living room, ears back, hackles up from between her ears to her nub and she was displaying all her pearlies. Her gaze was intent on the intruder - my father. He had gotten up, put on a heavy jacket and cap and had gone out to the garage to get something. She heard the door but neither mom nor I (less that 10 feet from the door but around a corner) had. Dad, very experienced with dogs, knew exactly what to do - he froze. I sized up the situation and I told dad to speak to her and he did. Now she was a bit confused, she recognized the voice but not the shape it came from. She tip toed up to him, with half the hackles down and her ears forward. Once she smelled him, she was all wiggly welcoming Dobe.
Mom was upset, I was concerned but dad was pleased and was praising her. He pointed out to us that she did exactly what she was supposed to do. Mom after a few more days became one of her biggest fans, as dad already was.
A Doberman in full protective alert is a thing of beauty - from behind. From the front, not so much. Although I had less than 7 years with Windy before she lost her battle with cancer, she converted me and two years later I got my second, a red male puppy she loved and they have been followed by 12 more (including my current duo).
I never have doubted that any of my Dobes was a protector, but it only comes out if the situation calls for it. There is nothing like coming home and being greeted by the door by your Doberman, for you know the house is secure. (It may be trashed if they have been battling the dragons, but it is secure).