My name is Jen, and I own a Doberman.
Elka will be two years old in May. Her AKC registered name is Elka V, and though that really just translates to "Elka five", I look at it more as a stage name, as though her name is Elka Von [insert famous family name that must be protected here]. She was sixteen pounds when we got her at the tender age of eight weeks, and is 77 pounds now.
The first thing a lot of people ask is "Why a Doberman?" The Doberman is a breed that's been regarded as a "vicious killer" for some years now, reinforced in television shows and movies. However, how many Dobermans have you known? When we chose the breed and began to look for a breeder, my answer was none. I knew zero Dobermans to that point in my life. Hadn't even touched one.
Appearance is the first thing that drew me to the breed. I like black dogs. I like large black dogs, especially those that come with tan markings. Also, and this is a point of controversy the whole world over, the Doberman is traditionally a cropped and docked breed, meaning portions of the animal's tail and ears are removed. Elka's tail was already docked when we met her, and her ears were still natural and floppy. Both my fiancé and I like the cropped look, and when Elka came home, her ears were taped to begin the post-op process of strengthening the cartilage so that the ears would stand.
Intelligence was another big deal. In Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs, of the 110 dog breeds ranked, the Doberman comes in at number 5 for obedience command training. Other studies have given the Doberman similar high marks. Elka is exceedingly smart; properly motivated, she can be taught a new trick or command in as little as one "session". Sometimes, having Elka is more like having a three year old child with a dog's limitations than having a dog.
Affection is another one, of course. People who have dogs want the unconditional love that comes from having a canine companion, and it's nearly impossible to resist returning that love. The Doberman is a breed that wants to be near its people, for better or for worse. Elka is a sweet dog who, contrary to the whole "vicious killer" thing, in fact loves people. She love the people she knows, she loves most people she doesn't know, and she's particularly fond of babies.
Ultimately, I want to reveal what a wonderful and unique breed the Doberman is. Their quirks are not the quirks that other dogs possess. I'll also discuss other Doberman-related things, such as training methods, complete with personal anecdotes, dog books, and dog toys.