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How are your Dobermans when strangers come in to your home?

Discussion in 'Doberman Talk and Discussions' started by AnnV, Jul 9, 2020.

  1. AnnV

    AnnV $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    How do your Dobermans behave when strangers come inside your home? Playful? reserved? on guard? Do you ask strangers to keep distance from your dog for any reason?

    Bedja is still young, 18 months next month, so his young age probably plays a role.
    We had different strangers (all men) come into our home on several separate occasions lately for repair or maintenance etc. and they all liked dogs or have their own.

    Bedja initially barks a bit but not much and when these men wanted to greet him he got all playful and SO sweet and friendly. Of course I'm glad my dog is friendly, but just had slightly mixed feelings about my Doberman warming up like that right away to total strangers haha.

    If someone had shady intentions he would be on guard, I assume, or when he gets older he will become more reserved?

    When we meet strangers outside he does seem reserved.

    As a comparison my old Boxer was as mellow as they come, but he had a bit of reserve with strangers inside the house.

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  2. Lizbeli

    Lizbeli $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    Interesting question!

    Jasper is 18mths also. If he sees someone in the backyard he goes mad. Lots of barking and running to the door. Have no idea if he would bite anyone. But he just seems territorial of his yard.

    He is pretty friendly with people when they enter the house. But I am guessing he senses that the people we let in are friends. If we ever order a pizza or something he is pretty on edge when the delivery guy comes. I usually just hold his collar and make him sit. He sits quietly but he is super focused on the person at the door.

    They can definitely sense who family friends are. Even if they are strangers imo. But I suppose it would be a good idea to have them gated off to be on the safe side. You never know.

    Regarding meeting people..
    I took him to work frequently when he was a young puppy to get used to the officers. He loved everyone. But now when I take him he doesn’t like to be touched. He gets so excited when we walk in. But acts unsure of the same guys approaching him. Ultimately he doesn’t get pet anymore. I don’t let strangers pet him either on walks.

    Was walking past a kid summer camp the other day and got hot. Took a break on a public bench and all of the sudden I have about five young children running towards us. I stood up between them and the dog and told them NO petting, Jaspers really tired (lol excuses for kids). Jasper loves kids. But the liability is just too great. He could lick a kid and knock them down. Then be deemed some vicious doberman. Nope!

    End rant. Lol.
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  3. Logan 45

    Logan 45 $ Premium Subscriber $ $ Forum Donor $

    I found this out on accident with my male. My best friend came over and I told him my backdoor wasn’t locked but to knock and I would let him in. I’m sitting on my couch watching tv the door opens and my male Doberman runs to the back door and is keeping him in the mud room. He didn’t hurt my best friend in anyway at all but was growling showing his teeth and had his hair stood up and I told him to sit and that it was ok. He knows my best friend but I let guests into my house and he understands that’s typically means they are ok. And 15 minutes later he was playing fetch with my friend and sitting on the couch with him my friend understands why I said to knock every time he comes over now.
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  4. AnnV

    AnnV $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Right, and that's how it should be. They take the cue from us. Guess I somehow expected some sort of difference between friends and friendly strangers, Lol.
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  5. AnnV

    AnnV $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    That's the kind of behaviour one would expect from a Dobe.:)

    Now, how do I quote more than one message in the same post? should I ask that question in the forum feedback section?
  6. Logan 45

    Logan 45 $ Premium Subscriber $ $ Forum Donor $

    That’s how I taught mine but Dobermans are obviously smart and pick up things on their own as well. And yes if I let people in they are fine almost right away. But strangers not so much and family that comes over very frequently they are the only ones I’ve seen who can enter on their own. But I think that’s in part because my dad lives a few hundred yards away and comes over a few times a week.
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  7. Logan 45

    Logan 45 $ Premium Subscriber $ $ Forum Donor $

    That question I don’t know how to answer I’m sorry. I have actually never tried that.
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  8. Lizbeli

    Lizbeli $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    I think friendly strangers are almost the same too. Only because us humans aren’t on guard. Unexpected knocks at my door that catch me off guard, also makes Jasper go into high alert. Its actually impressive to see. He quickly trots to the door and looks so confident. Unless its the patio door and he can see the person. Runs over there like a looney bin.
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  9. Philgas66

    Philgas66 New Member

    Odie is 13 months old and he is too relaxed when people come to my home ,the only issue he has is when the mother in law comes round I’m sure he would love to take a chunk out of her ,for me he could but the wife wouldn’t be to happy..
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  10. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Great question and topic!

    Basically, we know that Dobermans are lovers and (well, I'm gonna' say it) hand sluts. This, usually if the owners accept the stranger into the house. I haven't experienced any Dobes that remain aloof or suspicious after the stranger has been accepted into the house or property.

    I've read in some old books that the Doberman will sleep with one eye open when you have house guests over. Is that true?

    My experience with my Dobes has been that they are excellent watchdogs. Second to none. They put on tremendous displays at the approach to the home of an unknown person. My first Dobe, since I didn't socialize him when young, would bite by default; but I had him trained where I issued the command to accept the person, and he did. Then, the friendliness ensued.

    It was similar with my second Dobe, except I don't think he would automatically bite. He accepted strangers if I told him to.

    Now, with my third, I am almost certain he would not bite automatically; and he accepts strangers when I tell him to.

    Thing is, I don't let Oji meet strangers who come to the house (like service people). I just tuck him away in the crate. Why? Well, while Oji is socialized, I do refrain from this part of socialization because I think that if he is allowed to accept strangers like service people or just people who knock on the door, he would be more likely to fail in protecting the home if it ever came down to it. I don't want too much practice having those who knock on the door turn into friendlies.

    I don't mean to burst any bubbles, but I don't believe in the notion that dogs can tell good guys from bad guys, or that they will instinctively step up if an accepted guest suddenly becomes aggressive or attacks.

    That said, I do feel that my previous Dobe, and even more so Oji here, is probably a Dobe that would get involved if someone became physical with me or a family member. Now, lacking specific training, unfortunately that involvement would not be immediately effective (like getting a good bite and hold on the arm – hopefully the arm holding any weapon) but I think that Oji would move toward the aggressive person, putting himself between us and he would put his paws up on him and be very assertive. If that stranger aggressively threw Oji aside, Oji would step up the aggression. If they kicked, hit or hurt Oji, Oji would probably bite them.
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  11. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Hot Topics Subscriber

    Jazzies default position is "friendly". But she takes her home territory duties seriously. I don't have many visitors who are unknown to her. If she knows the person she is all gleeful and wiggly. Only twice have I had visitors who weren't expected, the first by car and I didn't hear it arrive but Jazz went barking to stand at the driveway. When I got there she was just watching and the guy was standing beside his open car door. Good job! The second time was a group of men walking up to the back of the property and I saw them before Jazz did. When I went to front them she came in between us, once again barking. I was not too pleased with them being there but they weren't being threatening in any way so there was some talk. Interestingly, they were really wanting to interact with Jazz and I was just watching to see how she would handle things. She would go in close to get their scent, but would duck away if they made a move to touch her and this also pleased me. I don't think she would allow anyone close if I wasn't there unless she really knew them well. :) On the other hand, things would probably have to be really dire for her to actually bite someone.
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  12. Genta

    Genta Member

    Noya at 8 months is wary of them and he won’t allow them to pet him. He initially will barks until the person sits then he would be comfortable to relax my side. He will be wary again though if they made any jerky movement.
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  13. AnnV

    AnnV $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    That is what I was considering!
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  14. LifeofRubie

    LifeofRubie Active Member

    Rubie will do her bark bark bark for anyone who comes to the door (my fault for not training it better) but I can put her in a sit in the dining room to at least let people in.

    If it's service people, I just tell them to ignore the dogs, even if they like dogs or have dogs. She's used to seeing the landscapers come mow weekly so it's one of the only times she won't bark at people who are in the yard from inside the house.

    She's met all of our friends by now so once she gets a whiff of something familiar, then her tail goes a mile a minute (still ask them to ignore the dogs for the first few minutes to get them calmed down).

    This actually became VERY VERY important when we had police and animal control come talk to us about two years ago. Rubie was a little worked up initially when they came inside but settled very quickly. I feel like how she reacted worked greatly to her benefit in that situation. I believe she even laid down at some point to show she was relaxed with the situation.
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  15. Ravenbird

    Ravenbird Notable member

    Asha doesn't believe in having company. LOL, just kidding. Sort of. She explodes barking if anyone is at our gate or comes to the door. I leash her up and keep her at my side as my guests sit & ignore her until she completely settles, usually 5 to 10 minutes. Then she will go sniff maybe lick a hand, then ignore them. If we are out in the yard she will just go lay somewhere else or come back and lay by me. The other evening a couple came over for happy hour - at the appropriate distance and we sat outside. Asha was totally cool with them after a few minutes because she knew them. But one went to use the restroom and re-appeared and she had to hair up and growl since he was a newcomer again :facepalm:, but was over it in about a minute. A few days ago a neighbor came over in his 4 wheeler, and he didn't call first. Asha was out in the yard, and absolutely went batshit after him. He wouldn't get off his four wheeler. I had to grab her by her skin on her neck because she doesn't wear a collar unless we have reason to, and put her behind the fenced area. (She will do a perfect recall during hiking, from hundreds of feet away, but not at home with someone in the driveway:whistle:) After I stood and talked to him for a while she settled so I let her out and she barked and grumbled at him bit but finally, she laid down by me while we finished our conversation, but she never liked him being there. Definitely will hold her own, she barks forward, never backing up. All that said, at 10 months she has a lot of training yet to go, and I won't / CAN'T slack on that. She's improving leaps and bounds just the last 30 days and has almost quit this attitude (at my insistence) in public places. A few days ago we came across 4 people with one dog (off leash, but totally neutral, not a problem) on our hiking trail and Asha (on leash) stuck to my left knee as I repeated "leave it". We went along the trail with them for about 10 minutes and then we left them. She never haired up or said a word. I was over the top pleased with her behavior.
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  16. AnnV

    AnnV $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Just for good measure!LOL!

    That is why you DON'T get a Golden retriever LOL. (I love Goldens too.)
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  17. Doberman1994

    Doberman1994 New Member

    Our 8 year old doberman recently passed but she would bark and be mean we would have to sit her down and show her its okay. She would then jump all over them wanting to play but the min they turned their back on her she would stop her feet and bark acting like she was on gaurd again. It was honestly a bit to stressful to always have to worry about her biting someone. I'd much prefer a dog that's to trusting st first then to guarded.
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  18. NikiL02

    NikiL02 Formerly Nlr02 $ Forum Donor $

    Nero will bark a few times if he hears an unrecognized vehicle next to the house stopping. He knows our cars and our best friends cars. If it's not them, hackles are up and a few barks ensue. This includes delivery people. We had one friend come over that Nero did not want near, but eventually warmed up to. We've crated him if we've needed to and he growls. He growls and barks at people passing by. I'm okay with this. I'm okay with him lunging a little the one time a delivery person tried to help my food through the door (guy backed up quick.) We don't have a security system and he's it when we're not home. If you're not worried about that dog's bark and growl then you're either a pro, or don't have any common sense.

    But I also worry my dog wouldn't actually protect anything, including me when we run. I think he has less confidence that I'd like, but maybe that's just with us, I don't know.
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  19. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    I figure there are a couple of factors in the dog’s reaction. Maturity seems to be big. Kaiser was a friendly dog when young and naturally developed into a more serious type of dog. We actually thought he’d stay friendly for life because of all the exposure to people and public situations when he was young. We don’t allow him to meet people anymore and most people are happy to admire from afar. The change has got to be the vibe the dog gives off. He walks more alert than he used to. Yes, he’ll still be interested in sniffing and marking, but takes his job more seriously than when he was younger.

    I had a repair guy come in last summer for our garage door which stopped opening. I saw the guy arrive and he was a much bigger burly dude than from what I found of him online. My hb wasn’t home, so I leashed Kaiser in order to ‘make an impression’. I opened the door just a couple inches, added tension to the leash, and Kaiser shoved his head through making the guy jump back, then I open the door all the way and invited him in without being too friendly. The maturity of the dog comes into play because he is able to read me - all that mind-reading he does comes to good use! This guy is not my friend, but I’m being nice. I believe he could tell the difference. Kaiser was alert the entire time the guy was there and he turned out to be totally fine and nice, a real professional and I relaxed with him, but Kaiser continued to watch. I’ve thought about crating him for such scenarios - for the comfort of the visitor - but the dog has a job and he can’t do it while crated. Usually when repair guys arrive, I will open the garage door and Kaiser is able to patrol that area (there are stairs and a walk way that is gated off from the cars), so I am able to let Kaiser make his own first impression for visitors lol.
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  20. Maja Rocks

    Maja Rocks $ Forum Donor $

    Every doberman I have owned (Maja is number 6) has pretty much mirrored my response to guest and strangers alike.
    If it is a friend ,family or expected guest and I am happy and welcoming so are they.
    If they are unexpected or strangers and I am clearly suspicious, leery and unwelcoming...ditto for my dogs.

    As a rule when ever I have service/repair people or workers come to the house I don't allow my dogs to interact with them.
    I let my dogs bark and make their presence known.
    I open the my front door but the screen door stays closed. I let them get a good look at my Doberman that is raising hell.
    Then tell them you need to wait here while I secure my dog. We don't want you getting bit today do we?

    As to the question that Oh little Oji brought up can our dogs tell a good guys from bad guy ? I doubt it.
    But I believe they do know we can.

    I often take Maja downtown to Riverfront Park for walks & there are a lot of homeless people.
    She has been trained to ignore people and other dogs and keep her focus on me. And for the most part she does exactly that.

    But on 3 occasions she has exhibited guarding behavior when encountering ...How do I put this nicely?
    People exhibiting very erratic behavior and obviously suffering from some form of a mental health or drug induced psychos.

    Did she sense something was wrong or strange about these people? Humm maybe she is pretty observant.

    Did she respond to me being very uncomfortable and a bit fearful of them?
    Yes ..I am pretty sure she was responding to me.

    When ever we feel threatened or scared we have involuntary physiological responses.
    Our heart rate and respiration change, we start to perspire and adrenaline and several different stress hormones start pumping.
    When this happens our dogs sense and smell it..They literally smell our fear. If they do our dobermans genetic instinct to protect kicks in.

    As always just my experience and opinion.
    Yours may be the complete opposite.
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