There are two types of people in the world. Those who are terrified of Doberman Pinschers* and those who LOVE them. Unfortunately, both camps can be annoying.
*Fun Fact: Pinscher is the German word for terrier. The United States is one of the few places in the world that refers to this breed as the Doberman Pinscher, because Dobermans are not true Pinschers. Also, that means your Miniature Pinscher is a miniature terrier - NOT a Doberman, thank you very much.
People who are afraid:
BUT, first, an aside. Odin is a red Dobie. He's also an enormous 105 lbs. and we didn't crop his ears. So, he looks like this:
That means that many people don't recognize that Odin is a Doberman. Among those who don't recognize that he's a Doberman are people in the Afraid Camp.
On several occasions, some random person will walk over, start petting Odin, and we will have the following conversation.
Person: Oh, he's so sweet! And SO well behaved! What a big dog. Is he a Great Dane? (Seriously, people ask me that all the time. I don't get it either.)
Me: No, he's a Doberman.
Person: Snatches back hand and backs away. OhmyGod, I'm terrified of Dobermans!
I have also been forced to hear various stupid, ill-informed stories about the breed that I own and researched extensively (Because I research everything and a dog is big responsibility and you have to be sure that it is exactly what you wanted, and what? You're telling me you don't research every commitment you make?). These people are convinced they are right and are doing you a great service by telling you a bunch of bullpucky. I have gotten much better about not rolling my eyes, though it's always hard to resist shaking them.
Made up facts by random people: 1) A Doberman's brain never stops growing and it gets too big for it's skull and the dog goes CRAZY and destroys Manhattan; 2) Doberman are like sharks, and they grow rows and rows of teeth; 3) You can never trust a Doberman and if you make it mad it will smother you with a pillow in your sleep; 4) Once you have a Doberman you can never invite people over to your house, EVER; 5) It's so smart it will resent you training it and will attack you.
People in the Afraid Camp like telling me these stories while eying Odin suspiciously; all the while Odin leans up against my leg and yawns loudly.
People who LOVE the breed:
At least these people don't tell me crazy made up facts that they heard from this one guy who had it on good authority from this other guy that was someone's sister's cousin from high school.
Instead, this camp is made up of Bad Asses and Gushers.
They are all about the TV stereotype of the Dobie. You know, the stereotype perpetuated by Hollywood because these dogs are so easy to train, intelligent, and athletic. Yes, you can get a Dobie to jump over a car and chase some guy off set. And the dog is going to look fast, and sleek, and those teeth are going to gleam! What the camera isn't showing is that the Dobie catches the guy by running in front of him, play bowing, and then licking his face.
The Bad Assess ignore the fact that Dobermans have been bred, at least in the last 40 years, to be pets. These people want the ears cropped so the dog looks scary. They may even be the assholes that taunt their dog or train it to be overprotective, making it legitimately dangerous. These are the people who loudly tell me how I shouldn't have neutered my dog.
These people give Dobies a bad name. If you see one of these guys, kick 'em in the shins!
Gushers are the true aficionados of the breed. They get it. They know that Dobies are the only dog bred to be a personal guard dog. They know that this makes the breed awesome! That Dobies want to be with you always! That they are wicked smart, and if properly socialized, they are only a danger to knife-wielding psychos. Yes, the Gushers know that!
Which is awesome, if you want to hear every detail of every Dobie they've ever owned, saw, or heard about. You see, Dobies are a lot like having a toddler. Forever. They are smart. Smart enough to get bored. You have to teach them appropriate behavior, they are going to test you and you have to be firm, and then they are going to test you again just to be sure. They want to be with you. Always. With you in the bathroom, with you in the car, with you when you're doing the dishes, with you with you with you!! They want to be entertained. They really want to communicate, but they don't have a larynx and that is super frustrating. So they moan, groan, sigh, whine, woof, sneeze, yawn, whine, grumble, whine, and make this ywnwownmmnn noise.
Basically, a Dobie is almost a person, and the Gushers love them for that. They want to communicate that love to another Dobie lover. They want to tell you all the funny stories. They want to share their hatred of the Bad Asses. They NEED to TALK and TALK. Even if you are out on a walk and your dog is beginning to wind its leash around you in a desperate bid to get your attention. And the Gusher sees this and starts in, all "MY dog does that too!"
Gushers are the people that stop us mid-walk and talk for 15 minutes about all the stuff we already know. It's like, "enough about dobermans already!"
So, anyway, I wanted to share this really funny story about Odin. You see, he used to have this blanket that he carried around like Linus from The Peanuts...