One of the most known and able guard dogs, a Doberman Pinscher is a compactly built, powerful, and muscular dog that was bred to be a guard dog. They were bred in Germany, in the late 19th century and their ancestry is still unknown. They are believed to be the result of a mix of different breeds.
Apart from being powerful, they are very smart also. They were once famous police and military dogs and with their regal appearance and protective nature, they make excellent family dogs also.
Besides these dogs also make ideal emotional support animals also. However, since these are strong dogs, they may not make a choice for everyone.
Check other dog breeds if you like to know about other dogs and their suitability.
Doberman is also known as Dobie and since they entered the dog world in the late 19th century, they are considered a relatively new breed. They are elegant, smart, athletic, and loyal, all the qualities that make them an ideal breed for a lot of purposes.
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Doberman Pinscher, or Dobie, was developed in Germany by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a tax collector, dogcatcher, night watchman, and a dog pound or shelter owner. He was a door-to-door tax collector who needed a dog to accompany him to his work. In the late 19th century, he began breeding to find the perfect dog breed.
He wanted an agile, alert, and well-contoured dog that could accompany him on long walks and was loyal to stay by his side at all times. The dog was a cross between breeds like an old German Shepherd and German Pinscher. The later dogs bred from Greyhound, Black and Tan Terrier, and Weimaraner.
Soon, he succeeded in obtaining the precursor of the dog that is known by his name now.
The first generation Dobermans were not as sleek as they are now and were thick and heavy-boned and roundheaded. The breeders deliberately bred for a more agile and sleek looking dog and by 1899, the first Doberman breed club was formed. The first Doberman arrived in the US in 1908.
The dogs gained immense success and popularity as police and war dogs. Later, due to their loyalty and protective qualities, they were considered valued family pets. Their alert and fearless manners make them one of the best guard dogs breeds that would protect you and your household.
With time, more families acknowledged their worth and role as family pets and in 1977, they were the second most famous dogs throughout the United States. The credit of the present form of the dog goes to a breeder named Otto Goeller. In 1900, the German Kennel Club recognized the breed.
In 1908, the American Kennel Club, AKC, officially recognized the dog as its 59th breed.
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America was established in 1921 and the breed faced several difficulties due to World Wars I and II. However, these dogs used to be the best friends of the marine corps in World War II. In the 1900s, the Germans and British dropped ‘Pinscher’ from its name and the dog is now known as Doberman only.
‘What is the official breed standard of Doberman?’
Dobermans are generally medium in size and have a square-shaped body. They are compact, muscular, and have a powerful physique. They are known for their impressive speed and endurance and are quite energetic, fearless, loyal, alert, and determined in character.
The male dogs stand at 26 to 28 inches of height and the females are 24 to 26 inches tall. Both the males and females weigh between 60 to 80 pounds and the males are larger than the females.
According to the American Kennel Club breed standard, these dogs have the following structure standards.
|Dry and long, and exhibits a wedge shape from its frontal and profile views. The head widens slowly to the base of the ears and in a smooth and straight line.|
|Eyes are almond-shaped and are set in a medium fashion. It has an energetic and alert expression. The iris has a solid color that could range from medium to dark brown in black dogs. In red, fawn, and blue dogs, the color of the iris matches the color of the markings.|
|Ears are usually cropped and set at an erect position and at the top of the skull.|
|Skull and Muzzle|
|The skull is flat and the muzzle is set in a parallel line of the skull.|
|Cheeks are flat and are well-muscled.|
|Has a solid black color in black colored or solid dark-colored dogs and could be dark gray in blue, tan, and fawn-colored canines.|
|The neck is sufficiently-muscled, and strong, and has a well-formed arch. The length is in proportion to the length of the body and head.|
|Usually, the tail docked at the second joint and has an appearance of the continuation of the tail.|
|The shoulder blades are sloping forward and their length is equal to the length of the upper arm. The legs could be seen from the front and are perfectly built and straight.|
|The angles of the hindquarters balance the angles of the forequarters. The hip bone is set at a far angle from the spinal cord and at a 30 degrees angle, giving a slightly rounded and well-formed coup.|
|The coat is smooth, short-haired, hard, thick, and lies closer to the body.|
|Color and Marking|
|Black, red, blue, and fawn are common and accepted colors. The accepted and usual marking include sharply defined rust markings that appear on top of each eye and muzzle, throat, and front of the chest.|
|The gait is smooth, balanced, and free, and displays power and stability in the forequarters and hindquarters. The rear and front legs are straight and do not turn in or out.|
For complete size and official breed standard, check the complete AKC Doberman Pinscher breed standard.
A Warlock Doberman is an oversized Doberman that was bred with bigger and ferocious breeds like Great Dane and Rottweiler. These dogs were quite famous in the 70s and the name ‘Warlock’ came from a 1950’s Doberman Borong the Warlock who was owned by Theodosia and Henry Frampton.
They had a litter of Doberman puppies and Henry got particularly attached to one of the puppies and named him Borong the Warlock. He bred him and Borong fathered many litters of Dobermans. In the 1970s, the Doberman breeders decided to breed bigger and more aggressive dogs.
They bred Dobermans with Great Danes and Rottweilers, resulting in much force and larger dogs. However, with size came several health problems.
Is there anything special about them? No, they are just the usual Dobermans with a larger size. Reputed and experienced breeders know that these Warlock Dobermans are just the regular Dobermans and are not ‘real’ Dobermans.
A Doberman is recognized and valued for its agility and lean structure, which are absent in these Warlock Dobermans.
‘What is the temperament of a Doberman Pinscher?’
These dogs are super smart and with their energetic and fun-loving personality, they make ideal pets and emotional support animals. They are very loyal and trustworthy, traits that helped them in earning the reputation for being reliable guards. They have a natural instinct to protect and guard the ones around them.
They are very brave also and do not hesitate to protect their loved-ones, if in danger.
Since they are super intelligent, they love to be busy and have something to do all the time. Due to this, Dobies need to be physically and mentally stimulated. They are quite easy to train and due to their intelligence and inherent eagerness to learn, they learn quickly. This could come as a challenge for many as keeping the lessons fresh could be difficult.
Being intelligent also means that they could be independent thinkers. However, they are not stubborn or overly aggressive without any reason. They like to follow instructions and they accept reasonable and gentle leadership.
These dogs grow really slow and usually take three to four years to mature.
The temperament of these dogs depends on a number of factors like the dog’s heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with the right behavior and temperament are playful, curious, and like to be around people. Meeting the puppy’s parents and siblings before bringing the puppy home.
This will help in knowing what to expect from your puppy once he is an adult dog.
Like other dogs, Dobermans also need early and proper socialization to develop into well-rounded dogs. Expose him to different experiences like different people, sights, sounds, and scents to help him understand different scenarios and situations.
One of the best ways of doing it is to enroll him in a puppy kindergarten class where he could meet other puppies and socialize with different people. Apart from this, take your dog to busy parks and pet superstores to expose him to different scenarios and situations.
‘What are Doberman Pinschers’ health risks?’
Since dogs are agile and do not carry much weight, they are generally healthy and do not have any specific health concerns. However, like any other dog, they are prone to a number of diseases.
Below are some common health concerns of Dobies.
Von Willebrand’s Disease - it is an inherited blood disorder or condition in which the blood is unable to clot. The main symptom of the disease is excessive bleeding after an injury or difficulties in blood clotting.
Hip Dysplasia - an inherited condition in which the hip joint does not fit properly with the thighbone. This causes difficulties in walking and dogs may experience pain and discomfort when walking.
The condition could be diagnosed through an X-ray but the dogs having hip dysplasia must not be bred.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy - a family of eyes-related diseases in which the retina of the dog’s eyes deteriorates slowly and the dog may lose his vision also. However, this does not affect his ability to live a happy and otherwise healthy life.
Hypothyroidism - this condition affects the thyroid glands of the dog and could cause a number of other conditions like epilepsy, hair loss, obesity, dark patches on the skin, lethargy, and other diseases. It could be treated with medication and diet.
Wobblers Syndrome - it is an inherited disease and the dogs having it could suffer from the compression in the spinal cord. This could happen due to the instability of the cervical vertebrae or a malformation in the spinal canal.
Some symptoms include paralysis of the legs and pain in the neck.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy - it is a heart condition in which the heart muscles become weak and thin and is identified with the widening and expansion of the heart chambers. This results in a large heart and could even cause heart failure.
Albinism - it is a genetic condition that causes white or pink skin and nose and blue or light-colored eyes. Albino Dobermans are sensitive to sunlight and could have a number of health issues. These dogs must not be bred.
Color Mutant Alopecia - this condition occurs in dogs having blue and fawn colored coats. It could happen with dogs that are born with normal coats and the symptoms start to show in dogs that are four months to three years old.
The dog grows frangible and crisp hair as they grow and could also develop patchy hair loss. Only the blue-colored coat portions are affected.
Narcolepsy - a neurological condition that affects the brain’s ability to regulate and maintain wake and sleep patterns. The dogs having this condition may fall asleep suddenly.
Gastric Dilation-Volvulus - this is also known as bloat and it is quite common in large dogs that have a deep chest. This especially happens if the dog is fed a single large meal a day and he drinks a lot of water rapidly.
It happened when the stomach was filled with water and the dog could neither burp nor vomit. It could be life-threatening.
All of these conditions are quite common in Doberman dogs but maintaining your dog’s health and vaccination records is a good way of keeping these conditions at bay.
‘How to take care of a Doberman?’
These dogs are very energetic and this is why they are suitable for homes that have a large yard or enough room for them to romp and run around. Their demand for ample exercise could be too much for some owners.
These canines need socialization and they could not be left alone for long or left in the backyard as an outside animal. These dogs are very ‘relational’ and they need to be a part of your entire family. You must not keep them chained and socialize and train them from puppyhood to make sure that you get a suitable dog.
If not properly trained and socialized, they could be problematic.
These dogs have a sleek and smooth coat that lies close to the skin and does not need much grooming. However, they do shed and will need weekly brushing sessions to keep the coat free from matts and tangles.
Bathing is not extensively needed and only when your dog looks dirty, smells bad, or plays in a muddy place.
Brush your dog’s teeth at least two to three times a week to keep them healthy and free from plaque. Daily brushing is suggested and use a good quality doggie toothbrush and toothpaste for it.
Trim the nails once a month and use good quality dog nail clippers for it. Be careful that you do not cut too far as this could cause bleeding and infection. Long nails could cause movement problems in the dogs.
The ears should also be checked regularly to make sure that they are clean and do not have any bad smell or discharge. Wipe them with a cotton ball and do not insert anything in his ears. This could cause infections. Make sure that the ears are dry.
Check the inside of their mouth and between the paws to make sure that they have a healthy color and are not overly red or have any wounds.
Check the eyes properly and make sure that they aren’t overly red or have any sores.
Grooming is an ideal time to connect with your dog at a deeper level, the reason why we suggest that you learn how to groom a dog at home. When brushing, run your hand in your dog’s hair and check for any dry patches, sore, and sensitive spots.
‘How to train a Doberman Pinscher?’
Though these dogs were bred for trainability, they are also very smart and independent thinkers. They can actually tell when you are being confident and when you are not sure about the commands or training yourself.
To train them successfully, it is important that you stay confident, firm, and alert. Some helpful tips to train your Doberman puppy are given below.
Training your dog is important. We know that nipping looks cute in puppies but you will not appreciate the behavior in a fully grown Doberman. To train your dog, you can choose to consult a professional.
Apart from this, you can also learn how to train your dog to stay in the yard and train the dog yourself.
‘How much should I feed my Doberman?’
Generally, the recommended amount of food is 2.5 to 3.5 cups of dry dog food per day. Because it is a big dog, the meal should be divided into two meals to avoid gastric convulsions.
The amount of food also depends on the size and activity level of your dog. If the dog is active then he will need more food than if he is not very active. For proper nutrition, feed high-quality dog food to your dog.
Measure the food properly and do not leave the food out all the time. This will help in maintaining your dog’s proper weight and structure.
‘What is the best dog food for a Doberman dog?’
Below are the best dog food options for Dobermans.
All of these are great food options for your dog while you can also explore vet-recommended dog food options for your dog.
‘How much to feed a Doberman puppy?’
A Doberman puppy eats between one to two and a half cups of dry dog food per day and until they reach the age of three months. The food will vary according to gender also and the male puppies will need slightly more food than the female puppies.
Below is a puppy feeding chart for a Doberman.
|Ideal Amount of Food for a Doberman Puppy|
|2 – 3 Months||1 to 2.6 Cups||.6 to 2.3 Cups|
|4 – 5 Months||3 to 3.8 Cups||1.5 to 4 Cups|
|6 – 8 Months||3 to 6.3 Cups||1.5 to 4 Cups|
|9 – 11 Months||4 to 7 Cups||2.5 to 5 Cups|
|1 – 2 Years||6 to 11 Cups||3 to 6.5 Cups|
Doberman is a great dog for a lot of purposes and they make lovely pets and emotional support animals. In case you want to adopt one, you can check with the local Doberman rescue groups and shelter homes.
If you want to get one as your ESA, you can fill our online questionnaire to see if you qualify.
Liked the Doberman Pinscher dog? Check other breeds also.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How fast can a Doberman run?
30 mph. The Dobermans are also known as ‘fleet-footed guard dogs’, these dogs could run really fast. These canines were bred to be working dogs and for this, they are also bred for power.
2. How much do Doberman puppies cost?
Between $1,500 to $2,500 if you buy from a reputable breeder. An American show quality Doberman will cost around $2,500 while the European Dobermans could cost up to $3,000.
3. What are Doberman ears cropped?
Traditionally, the ears are docked for protection and practicality and now, it is the signature look for the breed. Apart from this, these erect ears give the dog their intimidating look, which is desired by the people who are looking for a guard dog.
4. How much does a miniature Doberman Pinscher cost?
These dogs could cost between $1,000 to $6,000 if you buy them from a reputed breed. The cost will be around $200 to $600 if you get one from a rescue group.
5. How much does it cost to crop a Doberman’s ears?
Between $300 to $600. However, the procedure should be done by an experienced and expert veterinarian who has experience in cropping Doberman ears.
6. Is Doberman dangerous?
When trained and socialized properly, these dogs are not overly aggressive and make great pets and emotional support animals. Dobermans have always been portrayed as dangerous police and guard dogs since they were used to be employed for these jobs. However, this does not mean that these dogs are vicious or overly aggressive.