You know, when I was just a little pint, that is to say, quite a small kid, I was quite terrified of dogs. To me they were vicious creatures, particularly those that roamed the streets, prowling about menacingly looking for the bottoms of naughty little boys to nibble on. In fact, I was once bitten so badly that my backside where the nasty mutt left its bite mark became quite infected. It was weeks later that Popeye was fetched and taken away from the neighbourhood, purportedly for its own good and that of all the other little children running about in the streets.

But, little did we know at that time. Years later as an adult, I conjured up thoughts of Popeye, the vicious little dog being a cross-breed between a bull terrier and some or another smaller, stocky species of dog. When we were kids, our folks knew a couple who were barren but rather large. Their only children were Great Danes. As we sat petrified in a small entertainment room being kept company by these magnificent dogs, the adults entertained themselves elsewhere.

These magnificent creatures were demure and never laid a finger on us. Years later, I learnt that the dog’s negative behaviour, all the negative stereotypes that cause men to fear breeds such as Dobermans, had a lot to do with the way their owners treated them. Invariably, if the dogs were poorly handled, mistreated and neglected, they would end up being dangerous and even violently vicious in some extremes.

Dog experts have turned this saying into a bit of cliché now. I have heard it so often, although it must be said that I am not complaining and in light of what I mentioned in the previous paragraph, who can blame them. Like them, I would want nothing more for Dobermans to be with the right sort of owners. Dobermans will be great for you if you are ready, willing and able to provide them with both love and leadership.

You also need to be a persistent and patient trainer and you need to be physically active. Because Dobermans, in their physical magnificence, love being outdoors and love their exercise. You need to be comfortable with communicating with animals on a conventional level. Dobermans are highly intelligent canines and I dare say that they will be quite perceptive when reading your emotions and body language.

Dobermans are outdoorsy animals. They are not destined for lazy evenings in the living room. If you have that sort of companionship in mind then you are probably better off with a little Maltese poodle. In view of the Doberman Pinscher spending most of its time outdoors, you should be prepared to expend yourself a little bit more than most other animal lovers in terms of making its living environment as comfortable as possible and a happy one.

It is all fair and square as far as Dobermans are concerned. While the dogs are dutiful, particularly when well-trained, they are highly receptive when it comes to reciprocating your kindness. Spoil your dog with a comfortable, clean and warm kennel and give him lots of lush green lawn on which to stretch his legs. Do this and you have a friend for life.