Dog Ownership

Is a Doberman a Good First Dog?


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Are you considering adding a Doberman to your family as your first dog? If so, you may have heard mixed reviews about the breed. On one hand, Dobermans are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and protective nature. On the other hand, they can also be strong-willed and may require more training and socialization than some other breeds.

In this blog post, we will explore the characteristics of the Doberman breed and discuss the pros and cons of having a Doberman as a first dog. We will also provide tips for those who are considering adding a Doberman to their family, as well as those who are already living with one. Whether you are a seasoned dog owner or a first-time dog owner, this post will provide valuable information to help you determine the answer to “Is a Doberman a good first dog?”.

Why We Can’t Answer “Is a Doberman a Good First Dog?”

Everyone is different. When it comes to choosing your first dog, you need to choose one that you feel fits into your life well. A Doberman may be a good first dog for you but not for someone else. That’s why the best thing you can do is read the below information so you can come up with your own answer to “Is a Doberman a good first dog?”.

Why the Dog You Choose Matters to Novice Owners

When you have never owned a dog before, you have a lot to learn. Why make it more difficult for yourself by choosing a dog breed that’s a bit more challenging than others?

Dog ownership should be a good experience. One in which you become so in love that you end up being a dog owner to possibly multiple dogs for the rest of your life. You don’t want to make your first dog owning experience a traumatic one or you may never want to own a new one again, and that would be SO sad.

You’re going to have this new dog for at least 10 years, so let’s make sure you learn the ropes in an easy and stressless way with the best dog breed for you.

is a doberman a good first dog

Why Dobermans Are Good for a First Dog

Dobermans can make good dogs for first-time owners for a number of reasons. One reason is that they are highly intelligent and generally easy to train. Dobermans are also known for their loyalty and affection toward their owners, and they are often very protective of their families.

Additionally, Dobermans are generally good with children and make excellent family pets. They are also generally good with other pets, provided they are properly socialized from a young age.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that every dog is an individual and will have its own personality and characteristics. It’s always important for any dog owner, first-time or experienced, to do their research and make sure they are prepared to meet the needs of their new pet.

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Why Dobermans Are NOT Good for a First Dog

While Dobermans can make good dogs for first-time owners, they may not be the best choice for everyone. Here are a few reasons why Dobermans may not be suitable for some first-time owners:

Strong-willed Personality

Dobermans are known for their intelligence and problem-solving abilities, but they can also be strong-willed and independent. This can make them more challenging to train than some other breeds, and they may require a confident and experienced owner who can handle a dog with a bit of a stubborn streak.

Exercise and Training Requirements

Dobermans are energetic and athletic dogs that require regular exercise and mental stimulation. They may not be well-suited for first-time owners who do not have the time or energy to commit to regular walks, runs, and training sessions.

Socialization Needs

Dobermans, like all breeds, need to be properly socialized from a young age in order to be well-behaved and well-adjusted. This means exposing them to a variety of people, places, and experiences in a positive and controlled manner. First-time owners may not have the experience or knowledge necessary to properly socialize their Doberman.

Potential for Aggression

Dobermans have a reputation for being aggressive, although this is largely due to misinformation and stereotypes. However, like any breed, Dobermans can exhibit aggression if they are not properly trained and socialized. This can be especially challenging for first-time owners who may not have the skills or knowledge to address and prevent aggressive behavior.

How to Choose a Doberman for a First Dog

Overall, it’s important for any first-time dog owner to carefully consider the needs and characteristics of the breed they are interested in, and to make sure they are prepared to meet those needs.

Consider Other Breeds

It’s good to know all of your options. Below you will find information about other breeds of dogs of all sizes. This way you know whether or not you’re choosing the right dog for you and your family.

If you do decide a Doberman is the dog for you, here are some tips on choosing the right one for you.

  • Look for a reputable breeder who is committed to producing healthy and well-behaved puppies. A reputable breeder will be able to provide health clearances for the parents and will be able to answer any questions you have about the breed.
  • If you are open to it, consider adopting a Doberman from a shelter or rescue organization. There are often Dobermans in need of a loving home, and adoption is a great way to give a dog a second chance.
  • Owning a Doberman, or any breed of dog is a significant commitment. Be prepared for the ongoing costs of feeding, grooming, training, and providing medical care for your new pet.
  • As a first-time dog owner, it’s important to seek out resources to help you train and socialize your Doberman. Look for a local obedience class, or consider hiring a professional trainer for one-on-one guidance.

By following these tips and being prepared for the responsibilities of dog ownership, you can choose a Doberman that will be a happy and well-behaved member of your family.

Other Good Dogs for First Time Dog Owners

To help us with our list of best dogs for first time dog owners, we’ve turned to some experts on dog breeds.

First up, we have Crystal Hinks – owner and operator of Groundwork Puppy Rearing. She recommends the following to first time dog owners:

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Potential dog owners need to be realistic about their lifestyles. Getting a very active dog (a lab, Weimaraner, border collie) if you aren’t a very active person is a recipe for disaster. So knowing what you can commit to a dog in terms of exercise, training, and general fulfillment is critical.

Liking the look of a dog is not a good enough reason to get a particular breed. Many people think my great Dane looks cool and think they would like one without considering the costs to own them or the utter damage they can inflict on a household if they aren’t exercised or trained. The best way to decide on a breed is to look at the activity level, the purpose of the breed, and the temperament of any potential breed.

Hinks recommends the following for the best dogs for first time dog owners:

Small Dogs

Small dogs are the best dogs for first time dog owners for many people. They don’t require a lot of exercise, don’t eat much, and as long as you choose a dog that isn’t too high strung, you’ll likely have an easy time with the care of your first dog. The following are some dogs you may want to consider:

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These little dogs are not only adorable, but they make sweet, quiet, loving pets for first time dog owners. They are highly trainable, bond well with their owners, and love children.

Bichon Frise

These fluffballs are quiet, easy to train, and do not often have the same Napoleon complex as many other small breeds. They love cuddling with their humans and don’t require a ton of exercise.

Medium to Large Dogs

Just because you’ve never had a dog, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a medium to large dog. You just need to choose from low maintenance dogs for first time dog owners. The following are some of those dogs:

Bearded Collie

These dogs are intelligent, boisterous, and happy-go-lucky. They love everyone, including strangers, children, other dogs, and other pets (such as cats).

Golden Retriever

I always say it’s pretty hard to screw up a golden retriever. They have friendly, loving, happy personalities and are great with people, children, other dogs, and other pets. They aim to please, which makes training a breeze.

Large to X-Large Dogs

Again, just because you’ve never had a dog, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a giant dog. You just need to choose from the many low maintenance dogs for first time dog owners. Here are two to get you started:

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog / Bernese Mountain Dog (BMD)

The family of mountain dogs makes solid pets for first-time owners. The Great Swiss Mountain Dog has a short coat which may be preferable to owners that don’t want the responsibility of grooming. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has a more serious personality, whereas the Bernese Mountain Dog is more bubbly. Mountain dogs are incredibly loyal, are excellent with children, and are intelligent, highly trainable, and even-tempered.


These huge shaggy dogs are a great choice for first-time dog owners that want a giant breed dog. Although hair maintenance can be a deterrent, their sweet personalities are more than make up for the work. They are very low energy, social, easy-going giants that need moderate exercise.

We have a Newfoundland/Chow and he’s absolutely amazing. The best temperament, obedient, and just an all around great dog. You can see him here.

Nick Kustka, a licensed pet behaviorist and author at Pango Pets recommends:

Labrador Retriever

Labs are well-known as one of the most popular dog breeds, and they make excellent family pets because of their playful demeanor and friendly nature. They love to spend time with people and get along well with other dogs.

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Beagles are one of the friendliest and most affectionate dog breeds. They’re very energetic and love to run around outside, but they also enjoy being inside with their families. Beagles can be trained easily and are easygoing enough for even first-time owners to handle.


Bulldogs were originally bred in England as hunting dogs, so they’re known for having a strong prey drive—they’ll chase after anything that moves! But if you’re not an active person who likes to go running around outside, this might not be the best breed for you—they tend to get bored easily without plenty of toys or activities to keep them busy indoors instead.

Dog Breeds Novice Owners Should Avoid

On the flip side, we turned to Dr. Linda Simon, a veterinary surgeon, and consultant for FiveBarks, for her recommendations for what new owners should stay away from when choosing their first dog.

“What we wouldn’t advise would be to get a breed with a requirement for a lot of training or one who is prone to aggression or guarding behaviors. Breeds including the Belgian Malinois, Chow Chow, and Akita should be taken on by experienced owners only.

I’d urge owners not to be swept away by dogs they see on social media or in marketing campaigns. Popular breeds like Huskies and Cockapoos won’t always make the best choices for first time owners as they can be demanding and need a lot of attention and experience.”

How to Choose the Best Dog Breed for Your Home

Low maintenance dogs for first time dog owners is the way to go when it comes to choosing your first dog. The other consideration is energy level and the size of your home. If you have a large home, a large size dog with a moderate energy level may work for you. If you live in a small home or apartment, you may want to consider a small breed with low energy levels.

With any dog, keep in mind there is still work involved. Daily walks are great for all dogs no matter their size or breed. Regular brushing is good for connecting with your pup and for good skin and coat health. If none of this “work” concerns you, you’re on your way to becoming a first time dog owner.

dog breeds for first time dog owners

Where to Find Your New Dog

The local shelter is a great place to find a new dog. Many of them are not puppies and are housebroken, so you’ll at least not have to worry about that training. On the other hand, some doggies come with some behavior problems due to coming from a bad situation. It may take some time for your shelter pup to get used to you, your home, and your family. Love, attention, and some discipline are usually enough to make shelter pups into great dogs.

You can also find a breeder that has puppies for the breed you’re choosing. While you will have the puppy stage and everything that comes along with it, some people believe it’s worth it. Brand new puppies may not be very low maintenance at first, but after a few months, they are trained and easily cared for even by those who have never owned a dog.

A First Time Dog Owner’s Checklist

As you’re getting ready to welcome a doggie into your home, be sure you review our First Time Dog Owner’s Checklist to ensure you have everything you need for your furbaby.

This is such an exciting time and we’re so happy you’re here learning all you can about owning a dog. Always remember – Happy Dogs ~ Happy Owners.

Feel free to leave comments below with questions for us about choosing your first dog or owning a new dog. We would love to help!

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Dog Ownership Guide – D.O.G. – launched in 2021 to meet the needs of dog owners and their dogs worldwide. Our website is a place to not only learn, shop, and entertain, but share as well. Leave a comment, contact us, or learn more about the founder.

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