Temperment & Training
The Doberman Pinscher has a reputation for being a fierce and vicious dog. This is because they have often been used as guard dogs and police dogs. They have been unjustly stereotyped in the media, leading to this reputation. By nature a Doberman will be protective, but will not attack unless they feel that their family or property are truly in danger.
They are energetic, and will be happiest if you give them regular opportunity to run off this energy. He should be thoroughly socialized at an early age so that he is comfortable around strangers.
If your Doberman is properly trained to be a family dog you have absolutely nothing to fear from having this breed become part of your family. You'll find no more loyal dog breed and they are an effective watch dog, should you need one. They are great with children and with other pets in the home, but they should be introduced to them at an early age. They are extremely intelligent, and they're quick learners who are eager to please their owners.
The Doberman is a very intelligent breed, but does need extensive training. It is best to start their training at a very young age. They have a dominant personality and must be taught early on that you are the "alpha dog". In addition, due to their size and strength, it is imperative that their owners be able to handle them. They are assertive but not aggressive unless they are trained to be such. However, if they sense that you fear them or that you cannot show dominance over them, they are quite happy to be the dominant one in your household. If you have other pets, it's likely that your Doberman will be the dominant animal in your home.
Some owners run into training issues with Dobermans because they are afraid of them. It is imperative that every member of the family be taught to handle the dog with confidence, or the dog will become dominant. Training should be through positive reinforcement and should include the entire family. If you spend time with your Doberman and take the time to train him appropriately, you'll find no better family dog. They will want to be with the family and will require regular interaction. This is not a dog that can be relegated to living alone in the back yard.