If you've ever seen one in a movie, or on the street, you've probably thought to yourself: That's a Doberman. Or, even: That's a Doberman Pinscher. If you've ever talked to someone who owns one, you heard "Dobie," because to have a Doberman is to be a Dobie person. And to be a Dobie person is to understand that you will never have a moment to yourself ever again.
Some nerdy facts: The Doberman was developed circa 1890 in Germany by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a tax collector in need of a dog who was excessively intelligent and loyal to protect him while he made collections calls. I'll spare you the particulars - the blending of bloodlines that involved Greyhounds and Rottweilers, among others - and just say that the finished product of years of careful breeding was a dog bred for the rare and exclusive purpose of protecting humans. There are plenty of protective herding dogs: all breeds of shepherd. And there are dogs used for guarding property, but the Dobie guards people - his people. They become deeply attached to their owners and will defend them to the death.
That's the official word. The unofficial word?
They're goofballs. Under all the muscle and murderous fangs, they're the biggest doofuses.
A Dobie will follow you from room to room in the house; and they ARE house dogs. With that short coat and their co-dependant personalities, they are NOT a chain-to-a-doghouse kind of dog.
Dobies need blankets in winter time because their hair is supershort and fine and they will shiver and their teeth will chatter without one. (Riddick's is the Horseware German stripe pattern because he's more fashionable than I am).
Dobies do not play fetch. They do not retrieve balls, duck dummies, or actual ducks. If you throw their toys, they will look at you like you've lost your mind. They're too logical for repetitive games.
Dobies lean. They want to be touching you whenever possible. They want you to pet them at all times. They curl up at your feet and do not take well to separation. This is a good thing, in a way, because a Dobie won't run away from home. In this way, they make great farm dogs.
Dobies WILL terrify the holy hell out of your cable guy/furnace repairman/meter reader. It's the ears. And the size. And the teeth. And the snarling.
Dobies are hyperactive. None of the breed lit tells you this, but they are. They are busy busy busy and need generous time for exercise.
Dobies will love you more than any breed of dog, and when they don't feel well, they cry and whine and lean on you extra hard and keep you up at night...or maybe that's just mine.
Riddick has either torn or ruptured his cranial cruciate ligament and is going in tomorrow for x-rays, scans, and surgery. He's spent the past week waiting for surgery doing a whole lot of crying and very little sleeping because it hurts too badly to lie down. He and I both need some sedatives at this point, because he's like a 94 pound whiny toddler. Post-op, he's looking at 12 weeks of confinement while he rehabs. Lord...
So if posting becomes a bit sporadic, it's because my 94 pound toddler is monopolizing my free time. That's the thing about Dobies - they aren't the dog for anyone who doesn't want the full dog experience. And they don't understand anything about writing novels or personal deadlines.
They've got the sad puppy eye routine down pat, though.