3 years old
This handsome boy was beloved by his human and reluctantly surrendered because his overprotective nature made it unsafe for any visitors. At around ninety-five pounds, Damon is a very large and powerful dog who tends to bark first and ask questions later. He has the classic combo of Doberman traits, “stranger danger” and dog reactivity, both of which he recovers from when handled by a confident and competent human partner. Although he will sound off at other dogs when on leash, Damon actually has a positive history of living with a similarly sized female dog and his owner described him as being very playful and puppy-like with his canine sister. We have yet to run Damon with a friend at DRU as we are just starting to work on his on-leash reactivity and want him to learn how to behave in a neutral manner when he sees other dogs, but it is definitely in his immediate future.
With people, Damon can be watchful and suspicious at first. He has a level of sensitivity that means you will need to be wise and conservative when it comes to meeting any new humans. Once you’re “in” with Damon, you’re definitely in and he will show his super affectionate, rather pushy side. He really needs a strong, smart human to be a confident leader and to teach him to make the best decisions to alleviate his worry. Damon has a high level of prey drive but has been doing much better staying by his human’s side on walks, even though he remains very preoccupied with the local critters. Because he was not crated previously, Damon’s anxiety emerges when he is crated or even left in the small exercise yard on his own. In transitioning him home, you will need to spend time teaching Damon how to be more secure by himself which will ensure his good mental health. His next home must have very secure fencing and you must be willing to keep a close eye on him when he is out in the yard. We hope that once he is settled in a home much of his anxiety will go away, but you will need to make a firm commitment to an initial few months of mindfulness about this big guy. When accompanied by someone, Damon enjoys time in the big yard stretching his legs and playing with his favorite rope toy. Based on his interactions with our DRU cats, a no cat household is advisable. We would love to see Damon get a person of his own who makes him feel safe and secure through calm and assertive leadership so that he can blossom into the magnificent Doberman he is at heart.