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Old 12-13-2012, 07:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What's up with the publics fear of Dobermans

What's up with the public being fearful of Dobermans. I'm getting my first Doberman, a week from Saturday. Since I've always loved Dobermans, this never occurred to me. When announcing to my friends and co-workers I was getting a puppy, the next question was what kind. After answering a Doberman, I get very polarized respones:
1. Oh, I love Dobermans too; I always wanted one; they are so cool; great dogs; etc..... All positive responses
2. A brief second of silence, with a disbelief look on their faces before they say things like: oh my; they are mean; won't they attack your kids; aren't' they aggressive; those are dangerous; it will kill your cat..... all negative, scared responses

Again, I've never encountered such reactions, as in the past, I had a boxer or a little dog and the responses were always positive, and isn't he cute, etc.

I guess those with negative reactions are misinformed and perhaps fearful of just the Doberman's look? Not really sure. I don't hear about Dobermans attacking little kids or people on the TV; it's always other breeds. So what's up with this. Have you experience this too? Is this a normal reaction to have such polarized responses, or do I just have weird friends? lol Curious what's happened to any of you with your Dobermans.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've only received positive responses when people meet Jaina - typically asking if they can pet him (to which I gently correct that J is a "her" )

From my understanding, and what my mother tells me (she being 64, me being 22), in the 70s/80s Dobes were portrayed as a vicious breed (similar to Pit Bulls nowadays). One example of this that springs to mind is the movie Beethoven, in which toward the end, someone jumps a fence into a junk yard and two black, skinny dogs (Dobes) attack him.

Personally, I think they are lovely looking dogs, and not scary at all - but then, I've had them since I was in high school
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This is a pretty common encounter for dobe owners so the topic comes up frequently.

Here is a recent thread with some good suggestions and responses to the most inane questions from the public....

Why is it that people look at us like we're crazy?
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's normal. Get used to it.

Case in point, I have three dogs, a Standard Rat Terrier, a mutt, and a GSD. I was walking all three one day, when someone said how much the LOVED GSD, and what GREAT dogs they were. I said that, while I liked GSD, and was glad I was able to rescue her, I really wanted a Dobe. His response was "They're dangerous!". I just told him that nothing was more dangerous than a spoiled rotton Chihuahua, and left it at that.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, everyone who's had a Doberman for any period of time will have encountered this at some point. People are just ignorant is the only conclusion I can come to. The BEST thing a dobe owner can do is have a well trained dog who functions as a breed ambassador in public. Its simply a stereotype, and it's our job to change it.

Also, weirdly IMO "off color"(fawns and blues- the dilutes) and natural eared dogs are perceived as "non threating". As if coat color or cosmetic surgery defines temperament. That's when I realized people are just DUMB. Nicest dog I ever owned was a black C/D female. She was bomb proof. Most reactive is my tiny fawn girl. But she's just SO cute, she can't be dangerous... Right???
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Just about everyone I know said all the typical stuff.. They're gonna turn on you one day, their brains get too big, everything you can think of. Ask them what they think now :-)
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think geography must play a huge role in the perception of Doberman!

My Alice is very reactive and often isn't at her best. People still love her and want to talk about her when we are out and about! I really haven't encountered any negativity.

The people who are low grade afraid of her are also afraid of my Labrador, so it's more a size than breed thing.

I think the best thing you can do is raise your girl to be a breed ambassador. Then she can win people over!
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think geography must play a huge role in the perception of Doberman!
I agree. Most often people here don't know what breed they are, and have to ask. As many breeders (both good and not so good) as we have in Michigan and surrounding states, you hardly ever see them.

I still remember when we got our first Doberman in 1968. I was 10. Trina was 6 weeks old, ears weren't cropped and she was just a cute little puppy.

When my Grandmother saw her, she said, "What's that?". My Mom tells her, "It's a doberman puppy". My Grandmother literally screamed at my Mother to Get rid of that puppy now, "it will kill your girls!" LOL! I have 2 sisters, both younger than me, some 44 years and countless Dobes later, nary a fatality among us.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah most of the reactions to me were the same when I told everyone I was eventually going to get a doberman. "they are temperamental" "brains grow to big.." They are mean... all that ignorant stuff. It even took some time to convince my mother into the idea. In the past she had been bitten by one so she wasn't to fond of it.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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When something is conveyed in media (tv shows, movies, video games, etc) as vicious and willing to attack at any moment, like the doberman, the public is going to fear it. It doesnt help that the doberman is a breed made to look intimidating also.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I think geography must play a huge role in the perception of Doberman!
Agreed, people around here have only complimented me on my boy. I think the further south you go, the worse their reputation gets.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Welcome to the world of doberman ownership.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
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When I brought home our first dobe pup I was outside in the backyard with her and saw the neighbors on either side of me in their windows on the phone.

The nicer neighbor told me she had a call that went something like this:

"I think we have a doberman in our neighborhood"

Both neighbors did end up moving. I'm stuck with a worse neighbor but she hates my GSD more. The other side became a rental and they don't really care what we have.

A co-worker just tut-tutted me and said I'd regret a dangerous dog with a shallow cranium.

Even last week, I had lunch with a previous client and was talking about the dogs and she asked politely "why dobermans?" She still had the old perception. I told her I'd drop by one day and show her.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Once upon a time long long ago, the Dobermann breed was created.

This dog was bred to protect a tax collector.

He was a dog of courage, nobility, strength, fight, and to portray an image of deterrence.

Somewhere along the lines, people set out to complain about this
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:44 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Since Hades is albino people rarely guess he's a Doberman. I once encountered a family in petsmart (mom and two kids) hades was licking the little girl on the face, the boy was petting him, the mom was petting him. She said after a few minutes, he's so sweet what kind of a dog is he? I said we'll he's a Doberman, but he's albino. She immediately took her hand away and said ohh really a Doberman? I said yeah then said ok hades lets go. I could tell she went from thinking what a big sweet dog to omg he's going to eat us.

I guess the one good thing about hades being albino is people regularly will approach us and pet him when they see he's friendly... Then ask what kind of dog he is. Most are shocked to find out he's a Doberman and some are immediately scared.

People are idiots.




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Old 12-13-2012, 10:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrairieGirl View Post
I think geography must play a huge role in the perception of Doberman!

My Alice is very reactive and often isn't at her best. People still love her and want to talk about her when we are out and about! I really haven't encountered any negativity.

The people who are low grade afraid of her are also afraid of my Labrador, so it's more a size than breed thing.

I think the best thing you can do is raise your girl to be a breed ambassador. Then she can win people over!
Part of the problem may be that I live in a relatively small town (pop 10k) so there aren't too many Dobermans around. Perhaps, in time, those nay sayers will feel more comfortable. Ironically, it's not the younger generations with "fear", it's the older generations (40+), so it may be, as mentioned by others, from movies, etc back in the 70,80s....
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:18 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I understand the polarized responses but fortunately most of the ones I've received we're nothing but positive. I take Rams on his weekly tour of Tractor Supply, Lowes, and Atwoods and it seems Dobie owners, past and present, appear out of the woodwork. A quick trip for an item or two turns in to an hour long session of lovin and story time. It seems nearly everyone had one as a kid, lol. I'll admit, having a Dobe with factory ears does make him look much more approachable.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:22 PM   #19 (permalink)
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These are all comments from family/friends before I've brought my puppy home. I think many of them will convert to positive responses as they see her grow and get to experience a live, loving, Doberman.... not the mean TV actor ones
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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These are all comments from family/friends before I've brought my puppy home. I think many of them will convert to positive responses as they see her grow and get to experience a live, loving, Doberman.... not the mean TV actor ones
I think you're right.
I received only positive responses except for MIL. She had kept saying let her go somewhere. One year later we had Elza, we were ready to take her to MIL for the first time; potty training was done, basic commands, and well-socialized. Right after she saw Elza, her response was VERY positive and welcomed her. She even prepared Elza's favorite snack, Apple
"A picture is worth a thousand words"
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:34 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Asmit you hit it out of the park with this!!!!! Can I borrow it for a signature line?

Quote:
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Once upon a time long long ago, the Dobermann breed was created.

This dog was bred to protect a tax collector.

He was a dog of courage, nobility, strength, fight, and to portray an image of deterrence.

Somewhere along the lines, people set out to complain about this


I'll paraphrase in a less PC manner-
Once upon a time a breed was created to kick a$$ and scare the snot out of people. For some reason there are folks who wish to own the breed then bitch if it does it's job.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:26 AM   #22 (permalink)
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There was a movie called "The Doberman Gang" about a group of "vicious" dobies trained to rob banks. The way the movies portray our breed in the media. When a set,, director,, producer,, etc need a mean,, vicious dog,, they normally get a doberman or pit,, both of which are sweetie pies. IMO of course....
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:14 AM   #23 (permalink)
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There was a movie called "The Doberman Gang" about a group of "vicious" dobies trained to rob banks. The way the movies portray our breed in the media. When a set,, director,, producer,, etc need a mean,, vicious dog,, they normally get a doberman or pit,, both of which are sweetie pies. IMO of course....
I always wonder how different the point of views by the non-Doberman owners to this movie.
After Elza came our home, I watched this movie for the first time. My husband kept telling me how much those Dobermans are smart and can act, and I should watch it. Growling and showing their teeth are their actings. I think such actings are difficult for other breeds, i.e. Golden Retriever(lol). I couldn't see any vicious but simply they are so adorable. Because I, like other members, am crazy for Dobermans!! I'm biased, in a sense
So whenever I hear the negative comments about this movie, I always tell them "those are acting (=indirectly, "don't you get it?")" that means they are smart enough
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:48 AM   #24 (permalink)
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A guy came to my home one day.
There at the gate stood my 2 Terriers barking, snapping, growling, basically telling the guy to take a hike or else to which he laughed and smiled, saying to me how cute they were, even though I had told him to be careful, not to touch them.
As I walked up to the gate the man saw my other dogs, one of which was a Boxer girlie and of course my Doberman both walking to heel beside me.
The mans eyes literally popped out of his head.
'Oh you have a Doberman' he says, 'does he bite?' He ignored the Boxer.
'Only if I tell him too!' I replied.
At this point he sticks his fingers through the gate mesh and snap, my small Terrier got hold and bit down hard.
Screaming the man pulled back his fingers and said, 'You said they didnt bite.'
'No!' I replied, 'I said the Doberman only bites if I tell him too, the Terriers will rip your skin off your legs as soon as look at you, I did warn you not to touch them.'

I have a sign on my fence, it clearly says, 'Take care with the dogs!' I have underlined the word 'Dogs'.
Now to some it may seem that my dogs bit without warning. Not so, my Terriers were being very aggresive at that gate, I had warned him to be careful as I walked up to the gate and yet the man stuck his fingers through the fence to pet the little dogs.

Mental or what.

Everyone I meet takes one look at Toby (my Dobe) and either runs for the hills or shrinks back asking me if he bites. They never bother about my Terrier, (sadly my Boxer and my small Terrier have passed away now), for some reason they think my surviving Terrier is such a cutie.

How wrong can one be. Very as it happens.

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:47 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Blahahahhah! I had to look first to see how many posts you had. You are new. Welcome to DT. Second, I had to think you are young, because otherwise you would have realized that ALL the killer dogs on TV in the past were portrayed by Dobermans.
Again welcome. And, yes unfortuneately, there are many uninformed people in the general population that still hold onto the stereaotype that Dobermans are killer dogs. After all, their brains will outgrown their skulls causing them to turn on their humans and eat them up after tearing them limb to limb. Uh, I'm joking about that last part.
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