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Dobermans as farm dogs?

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    Dobermans as farm dogs?

    I've been looking through past threads but have only found bits and pieces of information as most of them are about farm dogs in general.

    So...tell me about your experiences with Dobermans The good, the bad, the ugly, anything! My family is looking for a dog for our farm, here are the specs:

    1. Good watchdog
    2. Big enough to not be stolen by coyotes
    3. Not over 100lbs
    4. Sheds very little
    5. Intelligent
    6. Friendly

    Any info is well appreciated!
    flickr | instagram | deviantart

    I would not consider Doberman Pinschers as farm all. They are a great and intelligent breed and they are great at being protective of their home and owner; however, they are not the dog for everyone, need obedience training from the get go or they will be bouncing off the walls, and do not tolerate cold weather.

    My dobermans also HATED horses because they thought when the horses were taking a treat...they were attacking me.

    I love dobermans, and I have trained and owned dobermans, and I do not think they make good typical farm dogs.
    If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
    DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
    Originally posted by talkofthetown
    As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.


      Original Poster

      Just to clarify, by farm dog I mean a dog that has access to about 50 acres of field. We don't have horses at home nor do we have the facilities.

      Thanks for your input!

      ETA: However, there is a possibility that my horses will move home in the future, and the dog would take visits to the barn I currently board at.
      flickr | instagram | deviantart


        Our doberman worked cattle with us, made a right nice hand, although it didn't have the herding instincts of a border collie.

        Any dog will be what you make of it.
        The question with dobies is that they are companion dogs, that thrive being with you most of the time and love living in the house, not the barn.

        Believe it or not, there are more problems with shy dobies than aggressive ones, other than aggressive because they are shy and cornered by well intentioned pushy kids wanting to see the dogie, that is trying to get away.
        Any dog handler will tell you that today, dobies tend to be wimpy, of a more vacillating temperament than many other dogs.
        Ours was a great obedience dog and therapy dog for nursing home visits.

        Do you really need a barn dog, or a dog that you will train well and can go with you anyplace, including the barn?

        Many, many people like the idea of a dog, but once reality sets in and they see how much time and energy taking care, training, exercising and living with a dog, that requires more than turning it on and off at will is, they have second thoughts.

        Good that you are giving this serious consideration, before getting a dog.


          Standard Poodle...barn dog extraordinaire! Fits your criteria to a T except for "sheds very little"...they actually don't shed at all. (even better) Excessively easy to train, very people oriented, excellent watch dogs, excellent vermin dogs (will get rid of everything from rats to possums), not known for roaming or wandering, not livestock chasers, will chase off coyotes...can't say enough good things about the breed as farm dogs. Don't be fooled by the typical show clips they give some of need to make your own Standard look stupid. You can close clip them, leave them with a medium coat, have fun and give them a mohawk.
          It's my all time fave dog..and I'm definitely a big dog person. There's nothing foofy or wimpy about a big poodle.
          Here's one with a normal clip:

          And here's a bunch in a variety of colors:

          You jump in the saddle,
          Hold onto the bridle!
          Jump in the line!


            Original Poster

            Originally posted by Bluey View Post
            Do you really need a barn dog, or a dog that you will train well and can go with you anyplace, including the barn?
            The latter, definitely, as horses are in the plan somewhere down the road but we'd like to get a dog now.

            My mom stays at home and my dad works from home, so there isn't an issue of the dog being alone all day. I'm planning to go to university next year but will live at home, and I'll be the one to take the dog to puppy school, etc.

            Again, in terms of the responsibility - I don't think that will be an issue. We're pretty active and have the best interests of a puppy in mind.

            Thanks again!
            flickr | instagram | deviantart


              We have had a few dobermans over the years and all were great around the horses, other dogs and definitely great watch dogs - very loyal and very easy to train. They do not tolerate extremes in weather very well and are definitely house dogs as a result (at least mine are). Mine (currently I have one female) has three different jackets - her pleather jacket, her polar fleece jacket and her down jacket - all to withstand the cold of Arizona I love dobermans and will always have at least one but the true farm dogs here are the JRTs (2 terrors) and corgi that we also have.

              Oh and about the shedding. I have yet to have a doberman that doesn't leave half of itself on its many beds we have around the place (inside and outside) for his/her highness.
              Ranch of Last Resort


                I have had many (7-8) dobes on my farm. Currently have 2 dobes. People seem to l-o-v-e dobes or they don't. If you love them, you're hooked. Mine have been: very high energy, love to run (then come in & crash in thier dog beds), Love to go on trail walks, great with horses (one licks my horse's face (the horse puts his head down so the dobe can lick him.)) Mine bark but not a people. Strangers always look twice & ask about them - so they put off strangers. They are very sensitive, loyal, and adore people. You need to be the boss with them. Don't ever let them play bite as puppies. They do hate the rain & hate the cold. There are doberman rescue leagues around where you can adopt one - look for them on I have adopted 2 mature dobes. Another quirk with dobes is you definitely can not have 2 male dobes in the same house - no matter how sweet and docile they are, the males will end up attacking each other. good luck !


                  I have three Dobies....our youngest is the best "farm dog". My oldest feels the need to put everything in her mouth, so then she gets sick in the middle of the night, and the middle gal has a super high prey drive that would cause her to leave, shall we say, ABRUPTLY, should a bunny/squirrel/small furry critter dash by. The youngest doesn't want to be far away so he does great. They are super intelligent, very loyal, protective and most have an exceptionally well developed sense of humor. They are not dogs that are equipped to live outside, though. They don't have enough coat and they need to be with their people. Mine all HATE the rain, too.

                  Varying degrees of success with the horses. The oldest could care less, the middle one wants to lick their faces whether or not they want to be licked, and the youngest has learned to respect their size and stay away from legs!


                    Oh, all mine have needed invisible fencing - they will take off. They are simple to train to invisible fencing cause they are so sensitive. I trained mine to know when I take the collar off and give them a key word, they can go through the gate to the rest of the farm for a walk or a trail ride.


                      I love dobies!! I had two growing up on my parents farm, they were extremely obedient and great with the horses. No invisible fencing needed, never ran off, etc. I miss them terribly!!
             ....developing riders, NOT passengers!
                      Member of LNHorsemanshipT & Proud of It Clique
                      "What gets me up every morning is realizing how much more there is still to learn." -GHM


                        I've three dogs, two being dobes. One is a female 7 year old fawn, and she rules the pack. The other is a 6 year old black and tan male. The female has "blue dobe syndrome", a genetic condition linked with her unusual fawn/isabella brown coat color that is most often seen in the blue coat color but also appears in her's with a little less frequency. Because of this, she gets a very sparse winter coat and lives in her blankies about half the year up here in Canada. Poor kid, but she loves her wardrobe of sheets, raincoats, and foal blankets.

                        The male I wonder sometimes about his sensitivity as he will bound through snow drifts and only show a chill after extreme cold exposure. He's my boy through and through, and as soon as I grab my shoes he's at the door doing an excited in-place prance, often with snappy teeth, to go wherever I go. He is off leash, uncollared (rubs his neck something awful) and absolutely obedient, but I put my time and effort into his training and he was always oriented on me above any other being. Both are very aware of the horses when we're out with them and stay clear of kicking range. Both are trained to chase off coyotes, and neither challenge their acre fenced backyard when left alone. Few visitors that do not know them are brave enough to come up on the porch, particularly if we're not home as they lunge against the glass doors and have deep toothy barks. But they happily share the bed, share their affection and love their people. The fawn is trying to get me to play fetch at the moment, and the black/tan has commendeered my bed, curled up against my pillow. Typical dobes.

                        The kids






                          Originally posted by BearRock View Post
                          and the dog would take visits to the barn I currently board at.
                          Caution, many people still put a bad connotation on dobermans, and the doberman may not be welcomed at the barn where you currently board.
                          If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
                          DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
                          Originally posted by talkofthetown
                          As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.


                            Original Poster

                            Jengersnap, I sent you a PM!

                            Thanks everyone so far, I'm continuing with my research.

                            One more question: How are they in terms of people visiting their homes? I know it varies from dog to dog but are they generally reserved, or could they care less?
                            flickr | instagram | deviantart


                              One would litterally lick a burgular, once you swallow your nerves to her jumping up at the glass and howling like a banshee to get in the door. The other, he's very reserved and standoffish until he first is introduced as "okay", and second decides he likes you. The few he doesn't warm up to he won't hurt with us around, but he'll hang back with me or my husband and kind of watch what that person is doing. Protective.


                                I have had two dobermans. Bart, our first was of the guard dog breeding. He was all the man. When I took my kids with me (and Bart) to the horse shows Bart guarded the tack stall and guarded us. He was fine to take along and have others pet, but please dont raise your arms up and act like you might hurt myself or the girls. We loved loved loved him. He was perfect around the horses, actually never bothered them at all. He was huge, at his prime was about 120 lbs. His heart was not good in his later years, and he died at my feet, at the barn at age 10. I could not even look at another dog for 2 years.

                                Then came Winston. He was just lovely. So beautiful and was shown in breed. He came from all International champions.
                                But as far as a guard dog, or a dog to bark, or to protect...............NOPE!!!! He was a lover. And a crotch dog. He could stand and look the part, but put your hand out and all he wanted to do was be petted. He died at age 12. I never looked back.

                                As far as shedding goes, they shed a lot. Black hair everywhere. Hyper? Nope. But then we have 70 acres and a hard working farm. When they come in the house they were ready to be quiet. I never remember either of them being hyper at all.

                                I still moon over the dobermans. I watch Westminister and root them on. A good looking shepard or doberman are hard to beat.

                                Now, the standard poodle. I had one. Loved her. No shedding. Had to keep her groomed, but such a happy people dog. Never bothered the horses, and was super easy to live with around the barn. And she slept on my kids bed at night. Not hyper at all, but then again i say, we had a farm and my dogs are tired at night.
                                hunter/jumper ponies


                                  rode for years at a barn with Dobermans

                                  And by the end I despised the poor dogs.
                                  One was super insecure and had bitten people, including a lesson kid. One was perpetually underweight. They all got hysterical when a horse got longed, barking and leaping at the gate to the indoor. If a horse ran, they chased it. The horse I rode (not mine, or there would have been hell to pay) got its tail ripped out by the dogs chasing \ -- while someone was leading it!
                                  And they liked to kill stuff. All but one of the barn cats got it. The survivor came out only after dark when the dogs had left for the day. Groundhogs might not be good for horses, but Dobermans tossing groundhogs in the air and shaking them seems bad for business.
                                  Obviously any dog is a reflection of its owner, but I wouldn't even consider having a Doberman around a barn again.
                                  "I never panic when I get lost. I just change where I want to go."
                                  -Rita Rudner


                                    Originally posted by Sugarbrook View Post

                                    Then came Winston. He was just lovely. So beautiful and was shown in breed. He came from all International champions.
                                    But as far as a guard dog, or a dog to bark, or to protect...............NOPE!!!! He was a lover. And a crotch dog.
                                    I'd forgotten that part.
                                    Lots of uncomfortable looks from people new to the barn who were greeted with a snout to the crotch. Ah, the memories.
                                    "I never panic when I get lost. I just change where I want to go."
                                    -Rita Rudner


                                      Long time Dobe person here.

                                      Mine have all been good barn dogs in the way that you describe it, but they definately don't do the weather very well, esp. cold and wet, so do not suit as living-in-the-barn dogs.

                                      My last one, Warlock, passed away on Christmas Eve 2006. He was, literally, the perfect dog. Friendly, funny, great with dogs and people, but could look protective enough to keep marginal folks away. The only thing he couldn't handle was spectating cross-country. He was a dressage and show jumping dog.

                                      My current dobe, Odin, is great in a lot of ways, but he is definately more insecure than Warlock with things like loud, unexpected noises or movements--especially when perfromed by strangers. I am working constantly with him in this regard, and we've had some improvement. But I don't think he'll ever be as trustworthy as Warlock.

                                      I love these dogs. Love them, love them, love them. But, they aren't a dog for just anybody. FWIW, my vet has a standard poodle, and he swears it's the best farm dog he's ever had.
                                      Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
                                      Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
                                      Check out my new blog:


                                        I will painfully weigh in. I have had dobermans and doberman crosses for over 20 years. I put my best friend, Search and Rescue partner and barn dog to sleep last week. He is the last of the "tribe". A barn owner that I boarded with also has a doberman, and she is superb. My guy was pretty high drive, so he was "busy". I did have 2 males in the same house, but it was an uneasy truce, it worked because I put alot of work into it. Griffyn was appropriate around the horses after a time. He did not spend his early years with them. With strangers he had very good discretion, being watchful, but not overly concerned, unless something was "off". They do have some genetic trouble, and they vary WIDELY in temperament. You must know the breeder and do your homework, but dobermans generally are terrific companions. The downside is that they leave a hole in your heart forever when they go. Dobestar's Party of One, "Griffyn"-- it isnt Christmas without you. Sorry to go on so- but if they make your heart sing, do your homework, and GO FOR IT.