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joie de vivre
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I tried to search DT for a similar thread (just guessing there is one) but no luck.

So, how aloof is your Dobe? A side discussion in the Westminster GSD thread got me to thinking about temperament and personality characteristics of the Doberman breed as well as my dogs individually.

Tali's not really what I would consider aloof. She's *very* aware; she observes and takes in Every. Little. Detail. She doesn't want someone trying to force interaction while she's still sizing them up but she's not aloof in the sense meaning "conspicuously uninvolved", which is how I typically interpret 'aloof'. Although she is distant and reserved with strangers, it's just in a highly critical and very involved manner (she's clearly 'engaged' in her surroundings). And she's friendly but reserved when she does like someone, only being super affectionate with a select few that she adores and loves. If that makes sense.

It's odd because Fiona is more likely to love people near instantaneously but only if she decides to pay attention to them. Fiona is what I consider far more aloof than Tali, yet super gregarious when she does pay attention to someone (and they're normal and give no reason for alarm). She's just in her own head 99% of the time - conspicuously uninvolved and uninterested. As far as she's concerned, everything we do and everywhere we go is all about her and nothing else, so she pays attention to herself and her desires. Whereas Tali gets very wrapped up in her surroundings and others, to the point of stressing out at times.

So that's how I kind of read my dogs. Fiona is aloof but ridiculously friendly when you can engage her, and Tali is very connected/engaged but reserved in her interactions.
 

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Chase is aloof with most men, it's as if they don't exist to him. People get offended, because they kneel down, big smile on their face, and all they get is his butt lol. When it comes to women he turns into a big mush ball, ears back, nub wagging, body lean, a 'pay attention to me' attitude.
 

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Ripley really couldn't care less about anyone who is not family or someone he doesn't know really well. He's pretty aloof when company comes over and tends to keep to himself. If somebody wants to pet him, he's game, but if not then he just couldn't be bothered. However, if you're somebody he loves, he's all in your face and won't go away and is rather annoying about it sometimes. He gets extra clingy with me actually when we have company. We joke that he thinks I met get jealous of he lets somebody else pet him, haha.

Keira is aloof, but selfish. She only has a select few people she really loves, but she'll seek attention from any guest because somebody just might touch her. As long as there is petting involved, she's there and loving every minute of it, regardless of whether she actually thinks you're worthy or not. That said, it has to be in her own time. She thinks it's a bit rude if she doesn't get to observe and sniff first. She likes to know who will be doing the petting. And if we're out in public, don't expect her to even look at you. Unless you're sitting on a comfy couch or chair, and will be comfortable touching her for a while, then there is no point in her getting to know you. She has better things to be doing.
 

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Mine not at all....she is a social butterfly, especially with other dogs, she just wants to play. She is pretty hyper so when people want to pet her she kind of squirms but once she gets the idea she gets very excited and loving.
My GSD actually is the aloof one, ok with people if we are ok but not overy friendly right off the bat.
 

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Sea Hag
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To Connor, a stranger is just a friend you've never met. The complete and total opposite of aloof.

Razzle takes longer to size people up, but 99 times out of 100 she'll eventually approach them with tail wagging, looking for some pets and attention.
 

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It depends on the situation. With visitors to our house, once they've been accepted in by we humans, they are both dogs' new best friends. Our dogs will try to fit in people's lap, snuggle up to them, give kisses, etc. Total love bugs and pretty pushy about it. Out in the world, Simon is reserved until he's introduced to people, then obnoxious about getting affection. Shanoa is more likely to approach and give kisses immediately, but we've done a lot of work with her because of doing therapy work.
 

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Pula and Tali are twins in the personality department. I used to think Pula was aloof, but I didn't understand what that meant. She is hyper-vigilant...sees everything, notes it, and tries to assess it. She does not like to be approached until she has made her assessment (which is not quick), even by people she may have met before. She is only affectionate with a select few people, and not overly so in general. Just because she now accepts you being around does not mean she wants to interact with you.

She can also stress over this, in particular when she is trying to please me but it conflicts with her "need" to be aware of everything else. I understand that now and am working with her knowing this is who she is.

She does, however, like about 5% of the people we meet almost instantly and seems to be more affectionate with them. Must be an energy thing. IT is not specific to men or women.
 

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Both of my dogs act COMPLETELY different depending on whether they are meeting new people in their home or out in public.

In public, Nietzsche will let just about any adult pet and hug on him, and he wants nothing more than to meet every passing dog. Kids between about 3-7 are the only exception because a friend of my niece's hit him in the face with a plastic bat when he was a puppy. He'll let kids he knows climb all over him, and he'll play fetch with, run with, and have a good time with strange kids as long as they stay 3-4 feet away. When they crowd him, or go in to hug, he looks fearful and backs out of the hug. I try to prevent random children from doing such things, obviously.

Liberty will sniff strangers and look them over for at least 30 seconds or so before she will welcome any petting. If you just rush in to pet her on the head, she'll step back and bark at you like, "excuse you!" This is when we are out for an evening walk and only encounter a passing person on occasion. The exception is if she is in a very crowded place (e.g. a patio at a restaurant or a dog show) where she will let anyone and everyone lean over her, stack her, pet her, etc. She has learned that crowds = bait = yum, but she was always quite tolerant of people in large quantities.

Whenever a friend or someone that the dogs have not met before come to visit, Nietzsche is very aloof. He will not let anyone pet him until he observes them for five minutes or so. He usually stays by my side until he realizes they are acceptable, at which point in time he presents his hiney for some scratchin'. Liberty will bark at the doork, then follow the newcomer around the house and promptly try to sit in their lap for loving as soon as she realizes that a.) we know they're there, and b.) we do not believe them to be a threat.
 

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Eat Poo and Die
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Niz is often completely and totally aware of his surroundings; his eyes, ears and nose are always on alert, even if he looks completely absorbed into whoever is giving him some love at the moment. I believe this is because of his nervous and unconfident nature though, but people mistake it as being "alert". Outside of home, the car, and agility, he's probably trying to detect nearby dogs he perceives as threats. As for people, it depends on if he knows them and if he feels needy. He always shows love to people he knows, but for strangers it really depends on how needy he's feeling. So, he's never aloof to his surroundings, but he can be aloof to strangers when he's already had a lot of love, attention, and fun that day.
 

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It depends where we are. At home, she's in your lap once mom says you are ok to come in. Places we go a lot, say agility class, same thing. She'll go up to everyone and say hi. She's slightly aloof if we just go out and about, but if anyone reaches out to her, she does make friends easily. She doesn't demand strangers attention though like my Vizslas do.
 

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Luci and Tali are a lot alike. Luci takes a little while to accept someone. She watches, she sniffs and I tell new people to just ignore her. She has to accept someone on her own time and once she does you're in and she will remember you from visit to visit but until she accepts you she would rather you not get in her space. And her acceptance time varies, sometimes its 30 seconds others its much longer. Example, my fiance has a friend who has come over a couple of times, this guy is Not my favorite person and I'm sure Luci senses that, hence she hasn't completely accepted him as far as soliciting pets. She allows him to pet her but she doesn't go up and ask for it.

She's just reserved, critical and selective.......but if you're one of her people then she's a complete love bug.
 

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Baron not! He thinks his sole purpose in life is to be petted and touched by everyone he meets. I watch him sometimes like when we are at a trial or maybe just waiting at the vet and he watches people go buy and when they just walk buy and don't come over to him, he gets this sad look on his face. Like he is thinking "why didn't that person pet me"! All my other Dobes were more on the "aloof" side. They needed to be more comfortable with someone before they got friendly.
 

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It depends on where Parker is, too. At the house, if you have a crotch you have Parker for a friend!LOL

He watches and seems okay with everyone away from the house. He has done pretty well, because when he was younger he would move back if someone tried to pet him and wouldn't let them touch him. Of course he watches EVERTYHING and EVERYONE.

In the car is different. I noticed this when I ran into a friend at the grocery store who hadn't seen Parker since he was a puppy. She and her granddaughter went over and spoke to him thru the passenger side window and he just stared at them. Not too long back at Redbox, a man and his two boys were admiring him. When I got in the car, the father asked if they could pet him and I said I think so. He spoke to Parker and I looked at his tail, which wasn't moving. I couldn't see his face as it was out the drivers side window and I was kinda under him as he leaned forward, but the guy said he thought Parker was protecting Moma, so he must have been giving him a hard look. He doesn't growl or anything and I would like to see the look on his face, but haven't yet.
 

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Paralibrarian
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If you're at my house, Elka feels that you are there to service her and give you her food. She is not subtle about this.

When we're on leash? She watches people, and may or may not want to receive pettings. She's partial to workmen/construction workers, and children.
 

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Aggressive Female
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both of mine i would say are indifferent, not aloof. they will approach and smell everyone, but not care if they get patted or not. Jaguar is a little more social than Elsa.

Elsa will murder you if you come to my house or near my car, and will bite you. She is very protective. Jaguar is just really starting to protect the house at 7 months. I'm curious to see if he'll be as protective as her as he matures.

I personally don't like when my (working) dogs, want to say hi to EVERYONE. I like my dogs not to care and want my attention more than others.

Roxy on the other hand... she likes strangers more than her own family.
 

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Eli is not aloof. He likes people. He is nicely friendly to people outside the house and very friendly to people inside the house. It is funny I thought he would be aloof and was prepared for that. Go figure.
 

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Although Callie is still VERY young, I feel like she is going to be more of an aloof adult. In our puppy socialization class, she'll go up to others for snacks.. nub down, then run right back to me to crawl up my leg. I think other people make her nervous. I'll see how it goes with more work though. Interesting to see what a spectrum is represented here!

Not a big deal though, we have a Shiba. Practically the definition of 'aloof'. He's totally a cat that can bark. If theres not something seriously tempting, i.e. food, he could care less :roflmao: I think he sees us as his personal attendants and nothing more.
 

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Silas isn't aloof, either.

He likes to see what people are doing and say hi. If you stand around talking to me long enough he will probably lean on you (IF there aren't too many distractions). If you crouch down (or are head-height like a kiddo might be), he is right there to sniff your face and lean in. If you're in our home (if I've invited you in... see the "how would your dog react" thread), especially if he's met you more than once, he continuously wants to greet you, nub going, will stand there for pets, will sniff your breath and mayyyyybe give you a kiss, and has no qualms snuggling up with you if you want to share the couch with him. ;) He's not the dog to constantly pester with say a ball, though. And he will respect someone's reactions if they're not into dogs. Overall he's a friendly and people social dog. If he was too aloof I wouldn't do therapy work with him, I guess, as he wouldn't enjoy it.

I am editing to say that there are times when he's more reserved, say we are camping and someone approaches the tent - I have to introduce them/give them the OK because the tent becomes our turf, so there will probably be an initial growl or some barking. So he's not an OMG HI HI HI HI HI to every person type of dog, either. I think it's a good mix.
 
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