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Dobermann Pinscher

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The striking Dobermann pinscher boasts an elegant and proud appearance. It is a loyal guard dog with a powerful build and impressive intelligence. Dobermanns can be fabulous companions in the right hands but require the correct training to prevent both wilfulness and aggression towards other animals.

Which breed group is the Dobermann pinscher in?

Breed group: Working

Dobermann pinscher breed history

The Dobermann pinscher was created by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a German tax collector and dog catcher who also worked as a watchman at night. He needed a courageous, intelligent and bold dog to work with him which possessed a natural tendency to guard and protect. He began to selectively breed, focussing on the dogs’ characters rather than their physical appearance. His dogs soon garnered a reputation for being reliable, robust and skilled at hunting vermin.

Unfortunately, Herr Dobermann did not keep records of the dogs that he used to form the breed and so the ancestry of the Dobermann pinscher is not known. It is believed that the foundation dog was a mongrel with a smooth, grey coat. Several stories have since emerged about the evolution of the Dobermann, but it is impossible to know which are true. In the 1930s, the German Dobermann Club looked at the breed’s origins and concluded that the German pinscher was the primary ancestor of the Dobermann. It is now generally accepted that the Thueringin Shepherd and the Beauceron also feature in the Dobermann’s lineage.

It is known that after Herr Dobermann died, the greyhound and the Manchester terrier were introduced to the breeding line. The breed standard was established in 1890.

Dobermann pinscher breed characteristics

Dobermanns are impressive looking animals with an athletic appearance. They boast well-proportioned heads with long muzzles and almond-shaped eyes. Their small ears are set high and can be carried upright or dropped. Their long necks are lean and contribute to this dog’s rather noble appearance. Dobermanns have well developed shoulders, muscular legs and gently sloping toplines. Tails are carried slightly raised and the short coast of Dobermanns is dense and smooth. Acceptable coat colours are black, brown, blue, and Isabella with red rust or tan.

Alert, proud and loyal, Dobermans are highly intelligent dogs which form strong bonds with their owners. They can be excellent family pets but must be properly trained as they can become wilful and difficult to manage. They tend to be very protective of children in the family and can be wary of strangers. They thrive on human company and love their home comforts.

  • Lifespan: 9-12 years
  • Height: up to 72cm
  • Weight: up to 45kg
  • Powerful
  • Muscular
  • Long necks
  • Gently sloping topline
  • Short and smooth coat
  • black, brown, blue, and Isabella with red rust or tan
  • Proud and loyal
  • Intelligent
  • Can be wilful
  • Protective
  • Good guard dogs

Health issues with Dobermann pinscher

Dobermanns can suffer from a variety of health issues as follows:

  • Dobermann Cardiac TROPONIN I
  • Von Willebrand's disease
  • Persistent hyperplastic tunica vasculosa lentis
  • Hip dysplasia - DNA test available
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Hereditary deafness (PTPRQ)
  • Eye problems
  • Bloat
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Canine Wobbler Syndrome (Cervical Spondylitis)
  • Arthritis
  • Narcolepsy

What is the Dobermann pinscher bred for?

Dobermanns were bred as a protective guard dogs and then proved to be efficient at hunting vermin.

What sort of owners does the Doberman pinscher suit?

Loyal and devoted companions, Dobermanns can be wonderful pets and are low maintenance regarding grooming. They shed only minimally and are relatively easy to train due to their impressive intelligence. However, they need a lot of exercise and must be properly trained to eliminate a tendency to dominance. As such, these dogs are not suited to first-time owners. They may be aggressive towards other dogs and small animals and they are sensitive to loud noises.

The perfect owners for Dobermanns would be families with no small children who lead active lives and who have at least some experience of training dogs.


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