Last Updated on January 8, 2023 by The Puppy Mag
Can a Doberman protect their owner, even if they aren’t trained to do so? This is a great question with an important answer. So let’s cover everything below.
The basic answer: In most cases, even an untrained Doberman would try to protect its owner. However, the level of protection an untrained Doberman could give is unpredictable.
How far the Doberman would go to protect the owner, in terms of physical protection, would depend on the situation, environment, and training.
Do Dobermans Protect Their Owners?
In general, most Dobermans will try to protect their owner if they think they are in danger or perceive a nearby threat. This kind of behavior is practically built into their DNA.
Trained or not, most Dobies will at least bark, growl, show their teeth and provide an excellent intimidation factor.
But whether or not a Doberman would physically attack and intervene the situation comes down to a few things including:
- The situation
- The environment
- Past experience
- Their age and confidence level
- Your bond with them
Does Your Doberman Need to be Trained to Protect?
The simple answer is no.
In fact, most owners nowadays are not actively training their Dobermans to protect or perform guard dog duties.
After speaking with hundreds of owners about this very topic, it’s clear that the majority almost assume it’s built into their Doberman to offer “some level” of protection with or without training.
And while they aren’t entirely right, they aren’t wrong either!
So unless you specifically need to rely on your Doberman for personal protection, there it’s not absolutely necessary to guide them through this kind of training.
Why Dobermans Offer Protection Without Being Trained
So what is it about Dobermans that allow them to offer some level of protection, even without prior training.
Let’s run through some of the factors that make this breed one of the most formidable personal protectors.
🎯 It comes naturally to them:
Dobermans were literally designed on purpose through careful selective breeding to be guard dogs and protectors.
In other words, protectiveness is practically built into their DNA.
So, with or without training, it’s a part of the Doberman’s natural temperament to protect.
🎯 They have no fear:
Dobermans are known to be fearless in situations that would cause most other dogs to cower and run the opposite way.
Dog behaviorists have a hard time explaining why it’s like this for some breeds and not others, but most think it comes back down to their genetics as mentioned before.
🎯 Attentive to their owners:
What sets Dobermans apart from other breeds is how attentive and connected they are to their owners.
Dobermans watch their owner’s every move and quickly learn to read them like a book!
They’ll know when you’re relaxed, stressed, and even scared. And they’ll react accordingly.
Being so highly aware of you and the situation in a way encourages Dobermans to actually take action instead of just laying there oblivious to what’s going on.
🎯 Naturally suspicious:
Dobermans are some of the most naturally suspicious dogs I’ve ever come across.
Dobermans do not trust people upon first sight, especially if they are on their property or get too close to the owner.
Yes, this is also impacted by socialization levels, but still, suspiciousness is something that comes naturally to Dobermans. They’re pretty much always on high alert to everyone.
🎯 Unbreakable loyalty:
Once you become your Dobermans leader and role model, they’ll be loyal to you no matter what. And this means putting themselves in harm’s way to protect you.
Dobermans are among some of the most loyal breeds known to us, and this without a doubt affects their willingness and ability to protect their owner.
How Dobermans Show Natural Protective Behavior
Many owners are unaware of subtle behaviors that Dobermans exhibit showing just how protective they truly are.
Trained or not, you’ll see nearly all Dobermans engaging in the following.
👉 Constantly checking their owner:
Any Doberman can tell you just how much their Dobie comes to “check in” on them. And this isn’t just them being cute, this is actually them coming to ensure you are okay and safe.
This also happens when outside going for dog walks. It won’t be long before your Doberman voluntarily comes back to you for a check up.
👉 Sleeping in defensive positions:
While some breeds that are more relaxed and obvious sleep on their backs, anywhere, anytime, you don’t often catch Dobermans doing this.
It’s common for Dobermans to sleep in a defensive position. This means facing the door, and never leaving themselves exposed from behind.
👉 Aletered behavior when you feel stressed:
Dobermans are highly intune with their owner’s feelings and emotional state. If you are worried, anxious or stressed, your Dobermans will instantly be in defense mode.
They’ll be on extra high alert with increased agitation, aloofness and aggressiveness. This is their way of getting ready to defend or protect their “worried” owner.
👉 Checking their surroundings:
Dobermans often check their surroundings every so often to ensure nothing out of the ordinary is happening.
This is particularly true when they get let outside in the yard. Dobies will do a quick check around your property, and will likely do the same in the rooms when they come back inside.
👉 Sticking close to you:
Another basic yet overlooked aspect of protective behavior, is simply being by your side. And oh boy, do Dobermans like being by your side!
While this is a common sign of affection, it’s also your Doberman’s way of checking in on you and ensuring you are safe.
Will Your Doberman Attack An Intruder?
Whether or not your Doberman will physically engage an intruder depends on a few factors.
Most Dobermans are smart enough to understand the difference of a situation when it goes from verbal to physical.
An intruder physically attacking their owner could be enough for any Doberman to physically intervene, even without prior training.
Still, without prior training, this cannot be relied upon.
This is when protective training becomes important. Dobermans that have been trained to handle unknown strangers in such a situation can be relied upon to correctly engage.
It’s also important to consider the Dobermans confidence levels, and their bond with you.
The more confident your Doberman is and the better your bond is with them, the more likely they are to physically intervene.
It’s often said that European Dobermans have greater protectivness and are “more likely” to physically attack an intruder, than an American Doberman.
An untrained Doberman is still highly likely to provide some level of protection for their owner, and may even physically engage.
Still, the level of protection they can give will ultimately come down to their training, the situation, their confidence, and your bond.
If owners do want their Doberman for specific guard dog or protective roles, then it’s important to train them accordingly, rather than just hoping they perform naturally.