There are dogs and then there is the Doberman. Doberman has been aptly called the Cadillac of Dogs and deservedly so. They are sleek, elegant and easily among the most intelligent dog breeds. They have also been very aptly named the smartest thing on four feet.
Most people are terrified of Doberman because of the reputation they have for being among the most dangerous dogs in the world. Also in most movies, the vicious dog attacking someone is most likely to be depicted by a Dobe.(But that is also because they are so smart that they can easily be trained to act in movies) The fact is a properly brought up Dobe can be amazingly loyal, great companions and very loving family pets. It is also a big myth that a Doberman is a backyard dog and has to be restricted to a kennel outside. In fact, Dobes love attention and want to be a part of the family.They will be very unhappy to be left alone. They have also been called ‘Velcro’ dogs as they really love physical contact and want to stick to you for every single thing. There is something really cute and heart-touchingly endearing about a large 80 pound dobe snuggling upto you, to lie in your lap, when you are reading or watching TV or trying to work.
You might have guessed by now and yes, you have guessed right. I am the proud owner of an amazing Dobe. Her name is Lostris. Both Satish and I, are big Wilbur Smith fans and Lostris is an Egyptian Queen in one of Wilbur Smith’s series, after whom we have named our Dobe. Most people I have come across find it very hard to get her name right unless of course they have read Wilbur Smith too.
She is just five months old and is still a pup but she is so big that when she stands on two legs and raises her head, she can look into my eyes! And my height is 5’4”, so you can imagine how big Lostris must be.
She was much smaller when we got her. She came home in February(on the eve of Valentines day!) when she was just nine weeks old. She has grown so much in a few months. You can see how small she was here, in this pic.
At that time she could easily sit/fit in my lap:
And now she is like this:
When I lie down with her and she stretches out, she can almost cover me entirely .(and she has not reached her maximum growth yet)
The thing with Doberman is that they are such active and athletic dogs. They can run like the wind. When they move, they are so graceful, it’s sheer poetry in motion. They are completely different from Labradors or Golden retrievers or any other breed. Labradors are really gentle and their mouths have a soft feel. They are not noisy at all and hence may let strangers into the house. But you can be sure the Doberman would never ever do that. The slightest and tiniest of noise and my Lostris is all alert. Her deep bark is totally loud, fearsome and very intimidating. Someone had once said “If you can touch my Doberman you can take him home.” :-) This is so apt for my Lostris. Unless I tell her that someone is a ‘friend’ and it is okay if they enter, she will not let anybody enter the house. Once she becomes your friend, you can be sure of the most warmest doggy welcome. She will jump up and greet you happily with two paws on your chest and wag her little stump of a tail and actually smile at you.
Doberman is truly not for everyone.(They are great as Police and Military dogs too) You have to be prepared to commit a great deal of time in exercising and training , if you want a nice bond with your Dobe. But once that initial investment is made, the joy and benefits a Dobe gives is truly immeasurable.
|I am truly struggling to carry her :-) She weighs about 26 kilos at the moment! Look at her posing happily :-)|
Lostris is so darn smart that she has learnt how to open a closed door by turning the handle! She stands on two paws and turns the handle and uses her body weight to propel the door open and she is out of the room, in a jiffy. She also know how to switch on the A.C! She knows to switch on the fans and lights too and she does it with her nose.
She is just like a small baby and she hates me talking on the phone. If I am not on the cordless and if I am using a fixed line, she comes and disconnects the phone with her paws and look at me cutely with a “I-didn’t-do-anything” look. When she has had enough of me sitting at my laptop and tap-tapping away, she comes and closes the laptop with her paws. She then brings her toy (she has got a several selection of toys which she plays with as she is still a pup) and puts it in my lap and asks me to play with her.
She is the reason for my current level of fitness too. (This was one of the reasons I got a Dobe as I knew they were very active dogs that require a lot of exercise). She is the reason that I am up at the crack of dawn. I take her (uncomplainingly and happily) for two walks every single day. Each walk would be about thirty to forty minutes or so. Because of these walks, I am fitter than I have ever been in my whole life—I was never this fit even in my twenties.
Satish too takes her for two walks. (yes, Dobes need that much exercise! They are a HUGE reservoir of energy that needs to be spent and they love going for walks). He and I compared notes on our dog-walk rounds the other day. To our amusement, we discovered that whenever he takes her for walks by himself, all the nice looking women strike up a conversation with him. Whenever I take her for a walk, all the nice looking (and sometimes not so nice) guys strike up a conversation with me. When we take her for walk together, nobody talks to us. :-)
Lostris knows to give a high-five and a shake-hand. (We say shake paw) She will also sit, lie down and assume ‘rest’ position when we ask her to. She knows to roll over too. My son has been training her to leap and it is amazing to see how high she leaps. She is so graceful and can easily jump up five and half feet in the air. She also knows ‘quiet’ and if we want her to stop barking, we just have to say “Quiet Lostris.”(but there is no guarantee of her listening to the quiet command all the time :-) ) She is still a pup and is so darn naughty!
Lostris and us—we have many adventures each single day. Each day she is up to something new. But I will save that for later posts.
PS: The video embedded above is a great one if you wish to know more about Doberman as a breed.