Doberman – Everything You Need To Know

The Doberman is a German breed named after Louis Dobermann and it is called Doberman Pinscher in the United States and Canada.

The Doberman is a strong, intelligent, and protective dog of medium to large breed, weighing about 60 to 100 pounds and standing tall up to 28 inches. The protective and alert nature makes them a ferocious breed used by the police and military in search and rescue operations.

The body is sleek but solid and is covered with a glistening coat of blue, black, red, or fawn, with rust markings. At times, its fearless nature can put off strangers and intruders, but that should not undermine their friendly, trustworthy, and loyal quality.

Doberman Pros and Cons

LoyalDoesn’t do well with small children
Highly intelligentIntimidating personality  
Fearless and athletic
Can be aggressive towards other dogs

Doberman Highlights

  • Dobermans are high on energy and need plenty of exercises to keep them active
  • Doberman does well as a guard dog that is protective of its owner
  • If early training isn’t provided to a Doberman puppy, they are more likely to think of themselves as a pack-leader.
  • Dobermans aren’t resistant to cold temperatures, so make sure your Dobie gets enough warmth during this season.
  • Usually, neighbors and strangers are afraid of Dobermans due to their ferocious personalities.

Doberman Basic Information 

  • Name: Doberman
  • Size: Medium to Large
  • Height: Males: 25 to 28 inches & Females: 24 to 26 inches 
  • Weight: Males: 75 to 100 pounds & Females: 60 to 90 pounds 
  • Coat: Medium
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years 
  • Color: Black and Rust, Blue and Rust, White, Fawn (Isabella) and Rust, Red and Rust
  • Energy: High 
  • Origin: Germany
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Activities: Agility, Conformation, Obedience, Rally, Tracking 
  • Barking Level: Frequent 
  • Shedding Level: Medium
  • Litter Size: 6 to 10 puppies 
  • Group: Working Group 
  • Other Names: Doberman Pinscher

Different Types of Doberman

There are two types of Dobermans:

  1. American Doberman

American Dobermans are shorter, lighter, and sleek. The neck is slender and extended with a smaller chest. It is more of a show dog and less brave. They prefer an indoor environment and a hot climate.

  1. European Doberman

European Dobermans are taller, heavier with more muscle mass. The neck is thick and short, with a broader chest. It is a brave and working dog. They like to face new challenges, love to be outdoors most of the time, and can live in both cold and hot climates.

Doberman History

Doberman was first bred in the 1880s by Louis Dobermann, a tax collector in Apolda, Thuringen, Germany. With access to many dog breeds, he decided to produce a dog that would be full of energy, strength, intelligence and would protect him, and thus the Doberman came into existence.

But the more trained and refined version of the Doberman, which we see today, has been credited to Otto Goeller, who founded the National Doberman Pinscher Club in the 1890s.

The exact ratio and the number of breeds used to produce Doberman are still unknown; it is believed that Doberman is a combination of German Pinscher, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Weimaraner, and Beauceron.

In 1894, after the death of Louis Dobermann, the dog was named in his honor, but later, the word pinscher was dropped by the German’s, considering it to be not a proper replacement for a terrier. Only in the United States and Canada, Doberman Pinscher’s name is still used.

During World War II, the United States Marine Corps adopted the Doberman Pinscher as its official war dog. 

It was registered in 1908 by the American Kennel Club and ranked 17th popularity-wise.

Doberman Personality

Doberman is a highly intelligent, busy, and active breed belonging to the working group. It means they can be trained quickly and become good watchdogs alerting their owner of anything intrusive and dangerous. The protective and alert nature make them a ferocious breed used by the police, military in search and rescue operations. 

Friendliness Overview

Affection Level                            High
Family-Friendly High
Kid-Friendly Medium
Pet-Friendly Low 
Strangers-Friendly Low 

Adaptability Overview

Good for New Pet Owners Medium
Good for Apartment Living Medium 
Sensitivity Level High 
Tolerates being alone Low 
Heat Tolerance Medium to High 
Cold Tolerance Low

Trainability Overview

Easy to Train High 
Intelligence High 
Prey Drive High 
Tendency to Chew, Nip & Play-bite High 
Tendency to Bark or Howl Low
Wanderlust Ability Low 
Tendency to Dig Low 
Tendency to Snore Low 
Attention/Social Needs Medium 

Doberman Physical Features

It is long and dry, wedge in shape, widening gradually toward the base of the ears. Eyes are almond-shaped, deep-set, vigorous, with energetic expression. Iris is of uniform color ranging from medium to darkest brown in black dogs and blends with the markings in red, blues, and fawn-colored dogs. Ears are erect and cropped. The muzzle line is in parallel with the flat-shaped skull. Cheeks are muscular and flat-shaped. 

Eyes are almond-shaped, deep-set, vigorous, with energetic expression. Iris is of uniform color ranging from medium to darkest brown in black dogs and blends with the markings in red, blue, and fawn-colored dogs.

Ears are erect and cropped. The muzzle line is in parallel with the flat-shaped skull. Cheeks are muscular and flat-shaped. 

The nose is solid black on black dogs, dark grey on blue ones, dark brown on red ones, dark tan on fawns. Lips are closer to the jaws, which are complete and muscular.

Teeth are stronger and white, 42 correctly placed, 22 in the lower, 20 in the upper jaw. The lower incisors are upright and touching inside upper incisors and have a proper scissors bite.

Neck, Topline, Body
The Neck is well-muscled and dry. The nape of the neck widens gradually toward the body. The length of the neck is proportioned to the head and the body. Withers are well pronounced and form the highest point of the body. The back is short, firm, muscular at the loins. The chest is broad, and the fore chest is well defined. Ribs are well sprung and flattened in the lower end to permit elbow clearance. The brisket is deep to the elbow. The belly is well tucked up and forms a curved line from the brisket. Hips are broad and in proportion to the body. The tail appears to be a continuation of the spine and is just vertical when the dog is alert.

The nose is solid black on black dogs, dark grey on blue ones, dark brown on red ones, dark tan on fawns. Lips are closer to the jaws, which are complete and muscular. Teeth are stronger and white, 42 correctly placed, 22 in the lower, 20 in the upper jaw. The lower incisors are upright and touching inside upper incisors and have a proper scissors bite.

The length of the upper arm and shoulder blade are equal, downward and sloping forward at a 45-degree angle to the ground and meets the upper arm at 90-degrees. Height from withers to elbow is approximately equal in size from ground to elbow. Legs are parallel and straight from elbow to pastern when seen from front and side. Legs are well muscled and sinewy, with heavy bone. Feet compact, well arched, and catlike, turning neither in nor out.

The angulation is well balanced with forequarters. Hip bones are long, wide, and well-muscled on both sides. The upper and lower shanks are equal in length. The hock to heel is perpendicular to the ground at rest.

The hair is smooth, short, thick, and close lying. It has an invisible grey undercoat on the neck.

Dobermans are black, blue, red, blue, and fawn with rust markings above each eye, throat, muzzle, and fore chest.

Free, balanced, and vigorous with good reach and driving power in the forequarters and hindquarters. While trotting, the rear legs are strong, and the forelegs and hind legs are on the same side. Back remains strong and firm, and at a fast trot, it will single-track.

Doberman Temperament 

Doberman is large, fearless, energetic, vicious, and highly active. This breed may look less approachable but, when trained well, can be very protective, loyal, and trustworthy. Early Socialization and good training can help them with good behavior when they grow up.

Doberman Exercise

The Doberman is larger than other breeds and will require an agile owner who can match their energy and exercise needs. The Doberman can be provided reward-based training, crate training, and brisk routine walk, but the owner should vary of the protective nature as it can sniff out any danger on its way.

Exercise Needs Overview

Energy Level                                 Medium
Exercise Needs                            Medium
Playfulness                                   High 
Intensity Medium

Doberman Grooming

The Doberman is low maintenance and needs less grooming. The coat is wash and wear that requires little maintenance to keep them in good shape. Brushing twice or thrice in a month will be more than enough. Clean its ears properly, and the nails should be trimmed once a month.

Grooming Overview

Amount of Shedding                   Medium
Tendency to Drool Medium
Easy to Groom High 

Doberman Health

Doberman is a healthy breed, but they are prone to various health conditions.

Health Overview

Basic Health Medium to High 
Weight Gain Possibilities Medium 

Dobermans are prone to several health issues such as:

  • Von Willebrand’s Disease: It is an inherited disease that affects the blood’s ability to clot. Symptoms include bleeding gums, nosebleeds, excessive bleeding after an injury or surgery. Bleeding in the stomach or intestines. Treatment is done by blood transfusion from normal dogs.
  • Hip Dysplasia: It is a hereditary condition in which the thighbone does not fit into the hip joint. Both or one of the legs may become lame or painful. X-ray is the best way to diagnose the problem. It is not advisable to breed dogs with hip dysplasia.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: This disease causes gradual degeneration of the retina in the eye. Symptoms include night blindness and gradual loss of vision.
  • Hypothyroidism: This disease affects thyroid glands. Symptoms include seizure, obesity, lethargy, hair loss, dark patches on the skin. Changes in diet and medications can be helpful.  
  • Wobblers Syndrome: This disease is inherited and causes spinal cord compression or malformation in the spinal canal. Symptoms include neck pain, paralysis of the Legs. 
  • Cardiomyopathy: The muscles in the heart become weak and thin. Symptoms include Widening of the heart chambers, an abnormally large heart, Heart failure. This condition can be treated by fluid therapy, supply of oxygen, medications.
  • Color Mutant Alopecia: This disease affects the blue or fawn-colored dog. The dogs are born normal, and the disease progresses as they mature. Symptoms include Brittle Hair, Patchy skin, Scaling and itching, Hair Loss, Infection, and Inflammation. Using medicated shampoos can prevent scaling and itching.
  • Narcolepsy: This neurological disorder affects the brain’s ability to regulate wake-sleep patterns. A dog with narcolepsy may suddenly feel sleepy and fall asleep. Research is underway to find a suitable treatment.
  • Albinism: This is a genetic condition that affects most Dobermans. Albinos become sensitive to sunlight. Symptoms include white with pink skin and nose, blue or light eyes. In extreme cases, it can cause cancer. It is recommended and advisable not to breed Albino Dogs.
  • Gastric Dilatation- Volvulus (GDV): This is also called bloat, a life-threatening condition that affects large, deep-chested breeds like Doberman. GDV occurs when the stomach is filled with air or gas and gets twisted and the dog cannot belch or vomit to get rid of the excess gas present in the stomach, thereby reducing the blood flow to the heart. Symptoms include excess salivation, Retching without vomiting, Restless, Lethargic, Depressed, Increased and rapid heart rate.

Doberman Diet and Nutrition

According to their body weight, the Doberman is large, active, and weighs about 60 to 100 pounds, requiring more energy and calorie intake than other breeds. Doberman’s chances of gaining weight are higher if a balanced diet is not given. The diet should include:

Biologically appropriate protein and healthy fats.

  • Ground bone.
  • Vegetables packed with required minerals and vitamins for optimum health and performance.

Dogs’ digestive system is anatomically different from humans; feeding a large number of carbohydrates may cause an unnecessary spike in insulin, glucagon, and cortisol levels, putting stress on vital organs with severe health conditions.

Doberman Living Conditions

The Doberman can live indoor as well as outdoors if the area or yard is larger and fenced. These breeds cannot tolerate cold weather and do not like such an environment.

Did you know?

  • Doberman derives its name from Louis Dobermann from Apolda
  • Dobermans have assisted in the Search and Rescue at the site of Ground Zero after 9/11 in New York City.
  • A life-size Doberman in bronze named “Always Faithful” is located as a permanent monument in Guam at the war dog cemetery at the US Naval Base, Orote point.
  • In 1908, the American Kennel Club (AKC) had recognized Doberman as its 59th breed

Doberman Club Recognition

  • ACA = American Canine Association
  • ACR = American Canine Registry
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
  • APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • CCR = Canadian Canine Registry
  • CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club
  • DPAA = Doberman Pinscher Alliance of America
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
  • KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
  • UKC = United Kennel Club

Adding a Doberman to Your Family

Doberman Rescue Groups

There are countless Dobermans in need of adoption and/or nursing, and there are several breed-specific rescue associations across the country that are listed below:

  1. Doberman Pinscher Club of America
  2. Dobies and Littlepaws Rescue
  3. Doberman Rescue Group

To Buy a Doberman Puppy Online

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