They're lovely, well natured dogs. Quite lazy as well. My mum walks her dog every day but sometimes it hides behind the sofa as it doesn't want to go.
I believe they can be prone to heart problems - thats certainly what my 2 died of. I think they were about 11 and 10 when they died so fairly decent ages, but both had been poorly and on medication for a few years before they died. They were half brothers though, so maybe bad blood? My mum's current dog is 8 and seems fit, though slightly highly strung. It had a nervous breakdown when my parents divorced and she can't leave it in the house even for 30 mins by itself or it wrecks everything in sight. However I suspect that if she'd ever bothered training it, etc then that may have been of some benefit.
The grooming is a lot as their hair can be almost wool like. Mum now gets her dog professionally clipped and it takes less time grooming it than the dogs I had when I was young.
Lol Stripey, sounds just like the one next door to me, she is the laziest dog I've ever met! She is nice though. I'm not usually very keen on small dogs but she has wormed her way into my affections by being sweet and well-behaved, not at all yappy or snappy. Unfortunately the one in the house opposite is both of those things so I suppose as with any dog, most of it is down to training. The yappy one has an assortment of bows for it's hair - 'nuff said.
I've never had one with eye problems. As a breed they're generally not yappy, I believe they were bred to be some sort of temple guard dog in China. More of a warning dog than a doberman though
Mine would bark if someone came to the door but were very friendly. Very happy just to sit snoozing most of the day. My mum's dog is very good with my 7yo dd. The dog is a year older than dd so has had to put up with her when she was a toddler, etc (my mum used to look after dd when I was at work). In 7 years he's only snapped at her once - even then he didn't draw blood, so more of a warning. This was last year and she pinned him down on the sofa - old enough to know better and serves her right!