Do Doberman Pinschers Turn on Their Owners

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Doberman Pinschers famed for their muscular bodies and strength have unfortunately been the subject of a long-held stereotype suggesting that they may be dangerous to their owners.

So, do Doberman Pinschers turn on their owners? The short answer is NO! Dobermans do not turn on their owners without provocation.

Curious to learn more? Continue reading this comprehensive guide to discovering the hidden gem in these dogs as we expose the common myths surrounding their temperament.

Do Doberman Pinschers Turn on Their Owners?

Dobermans don’t turn on their owners without provocation. This assertion is based on a common myth that suggests Dobermans can suddenly attack their masters.

It’s prudent to remind you that Dobermans are the only breed to have been created for the sole purpose of protecting humans.

This selective development over the years made Dobermans affectionate and extremely loyal to their immediate masters.

Do Doberman Pinschers Turn on Their Owners
Image Credit: Yama Zsuzsanna Márkus from Pixabay

John T. Brueggeman of the Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) states that Dobies can show unwavering loyalty and greater trustworthiness to their masters than any other breed.

The stable temperament makes Doberman Pinchers natural protectors of their master’s family or property if they are treated with love and respect.

There are high chance that Dobermans can defend their family unit against real or perceived threats, but the likelihood of them turning on their owners is extremely low.

Debunking The Brain Size Vs. Skull Myth

The most common myth that purports to give reasons why Dobermans may turn against their owners has to do with the breed’s small skull size and continuously growing brain.

It is said that the Dobermans’ brains will grow and explode inside their relatively small skull, causing them to ‘go crazy’ on their owners.

This long-held myth was later revised to accommodate other dog breeds including Pitbulls.

Although Dobermans indeed possess a relatively small skull in proportion to their body size, there is no evidence supporting the claim that any dog breed can have a brain that outgrows their skull.

Additionally, if this myth held any truth, the affected animals would die straight away rather than exhibiting sporadic bouts of aggression towards their owners.

This myth should not be confused with the serious medical condition known as syringomyelia (SM) which causes a buildup of fluid-filled cavities within the spinal cord.

This neurological condition is common in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Some of the symptoms include neck pain, holding the head high at certain angles, timidness, and touch aversion.

Why Dobermans Are Unlikely to Turn on Their Masters

Doberman Pinschers possess a set of favorable behavior traits that make them highly unlikely to turn on their masters without an apparent reason.

Here’s a list of some positive behavioral traits:

1. Naturally protective

Doberman Pinschers rank highly among the protective breeds that you can find today. Dogs with the natural drive to protect their family unit are highly unlikely to turn against their own.

It’s better to assume that a Doberman can exhibit physical assertiveness on a provoking stranger than doing the same for their masters at home.

2. Highly intelligent

One of the standout characteristics of Doberman Pinschers is their natural intelligence shown through their ability to learn and solve problems.

Being extremely intelligent, Dobermans are not naturally aggressive and are highly unlikely to have problems with impulse control. These powerful canines are smart to think before acting.

The high level of intelligence makes them easy to train for obedience or behavior. A well-trained Doberman is less likely to display aggressive behavior.

Do Doberman Pinschers Turn on Their Owners
Image Credit: Yama Zsuzsanna Márkus from Pixabay

3. People-oriented

Dobermans are naturally social animals who derive lots of pleasure when staying close to their favorite humans.

If you’re keen enough, you’ll notice the interest in your Doberman when having an up-close interaction with them.

Dobies are highly in tune with their owner’s body language and emotions especially when seeking attention or approval. Such dogs are less likely to act aggressively on their handlers.

4. Loving and affectionate

The lovely and affectionate temperament in Dobermans is literally written in their DNA. This is most likely because of their historical development as personal protectors.

Dobermans are called ‘Velcro dogs’ for a reason. These wonderful canines will stick by your side and even become lap dogs once they form an emotional connection with you.

5. Steadfast loyalty

Dobermans can be extremely loyal to their immediate caregivers. Dogs who show steadfast devotion to protecting their families will not suddenly act aggressively toward them.

Even though Dobermans, especially females, have a natural tendency to form special connections with one family member, they are always ready to protect the entire unit as a whole.

3 Main Reasons Why Doberman Attacks May Happen

You should be cautious not to generalize the temperament of all Dobermans, as individual dogs may display varied traits including potential aggression toward people.

Below are some reasons why a Doberman might exhibit aggressive behavior to the extent of attacking someone:

1. Lack of training and socialization

An adult Doberman without basic obedience training and socialization can prove to be tough, both to their owners and strangers.

Being high-energy dogs, Dobermans should be socialized and trained from an early age. This will make them respectable and highly predictable in their adult life.

2. Fear and anxiety

Environmental stress can cause your dog to develop fear and anxiety, leading them to act out of aggression.

The anxious Doberman may in this case attack someone with a real or perceived threat for their own safety.

Do Doberman Pinschers Turn on Their Owners
Image Credit: Jessie Hall from Pexels

It’s always important to keep your canine buddy in a calm environment, free from activities that may instill anxiety and fear-based aggression.

3. Health issues

Dobermans, and any other dog breed, can act aggressively when in physical discomfort caused by acute or chronic diseases.

For example, an arthritic Doberman Pinscher may bite someone who attempts to touch their aching joints.

We strongly recommend that you continuously monitor your dog’s health situation with regular and quality vet care.


Do Doberman Pinschers turn on their owners? No, they don’t! The notion that Dobermans will attack their owners is purely a myth.

The temperament of Doberman Pinschers positions them as good household pets, capable of doing everything to defend their family but not harm them.

As a responsible owner, make sure to train and socialize your Doberman from a young age to shape them into becoming well-adjusted adults.

Written By

Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.

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