Introduction to Doberman Pinschers
Doberman Pinschers are loyal, courageous, and alert dogs that have a large size and a loving heart. This breed of dog has an impressive physique and is very graceful and powerful. The athleticism of these dogs makes them move in a swift and graceful manner that is truly impressive to watch.
A Doberman pinscher will make an excellent watchdog and provide protection against intruders. This is why you will often see Dobermans working as police dogs, military dogs, and family watchdogs. However, Doberman pinchers also develop strong bonds with their owners and will always be there for you no matter what.
Here are some things to know about Doberman pinschers if you’re considering adopting or buying one for your home!
Doberman Pinscher Size
An adult male Doberman pinscher will weigh between 75 and 100 pounds, while an adult female will weigh between 60 and 90 pounds. Males reach heights of 26 to 28 inches, and females are 24 to 26 inches. Dobermans will end up growing, both in height and weight, by one year of age.
This is what you can expect your doberman pinscher to be during the first year of life:
|male doberman pinscher
|female doberman pinscher
Doberman Pinscher Characteristics
Doberman Pinschers are intelligent, athletic, and energetic dogs that need plenty of room to roam. They are also sensitive dogs, affectionate with family members, and easy to train. Some people are intimidated by Doberman pinschers, especially ones that are not responsibly bred or properly trained. But with lots of love, care, and attention, Dobermans make incredible companions that will enrich your life every day.
As you get to know the personality of a Doberman Pinscher, here’s what to expect based on their breed characteristics:
|Level (High, Medium, Low)
|affectionate with people
|good with kids
|good with pets
|need for exercise
|Able to be trained
|amount of barking
History of the Doberman Pinscher
A dog breeder by the name of Louis Dobermann is credited with developing the Doberman pinscher breed. In the town of Apolda in Germany, he also worked as a tax collector and believed that this breed would help him do his job of collecting taxes from hostile citizens while he made his rounds. The extra “n” in his last name was dropped at some point, but the dogs he began breeding were a larger, less refined version of the Doberman pinschers that exist today.
Doberman Pinschers have always been known as working dogs, from tax collectors to police and military K-9 service to guide dogs for the disabled and search and rescue dogs. The breed was used by the Marines and many lost their lives in battle during World War II. Dobermans have also worked as therapy dogs and have excelled in competitive dog sports. They have surprisingly good looks and a proud gait that makes them stand out and win in competitions. The American Kennel Club has recognized this breed since 1908, and the Doberman Pinscher Club of America was founded in 1921.
Doberman Pinscher Standard Information
The overall appearance of a Doberman Pinscher features a compact build, proud bearing, graceful appearance, and a sense of nobility. The qualities used to describe Dobermans are watchful, alert, fearless, obedient, determined, and loyal. The breed standard for Doberman pinschers describes the ideal of this breed by which dogs are judged in shows and competitions.
Here is an overview of the breed standard information for Doberman pinschers:
- Long head resembling a blunt wedge
- Moderately deep-set, almond-shaped eyes
- Ears cropped and carried erect
- Flat, muscular cheeks.
- strong white teeth
Neck, Topline, Body:
- Neck proudly carried and well muscled.
- Tail docked at about the second joint
- Well sprung ribs of pine
- Breast reaching to the elbow
- Shoulder blade tilted forward and down at a 45 degree angle
- Height from the elbow to the withers approximately equal to the height from the ground to the elbow
- Pasterns firm and almost perpendicular to the ground
- Dewclaws can be removed
- Feet well arched, compact and catlike.
- The angulation of the hindquarters balances that of the forequarters
- Upper and lower stems of equal length
- Dewclaws, if any, are usually removed
- Cat feet as on the front legs
- Smooth, short, hard, thick and bushy coat.
- Invisible gray undercoat allowed on the neck
- Black, red, blue and fawn (Isabella) for colors
- Rust markings and white chest patch are allowed.
- March vigorous, balanced and free.
- strong rear wheel drive
- Single-track when moving at a fast trot
Caring for Doberman Pinschers
To thrive, Dobermans need positive reinforcement during training and early socialization, as well as consistency in their schedules. They require patient owners who are dedicated to training and spend a lot of time with the dog. These are dogs that will stay by your side, but they can also develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time.
Many Doberman pinscher pet parents rely on kennel training to provide a safe and familiar place for their dogs. However, this is an active breed of dog that should not be kept in a kennel for more than four hours at a time.
Here are some general tips to best care for a Doberman pinscher:
The best living environments:
- house with fenced yard
- Not recommended for small apartments.
- Best in homes without young children.
- vigorous games of fetch
- neighborhood walks
- Hikes and runs with family members on trails
- Agility classes and training.
- flyball competitions
- Play time in a fenced yard
- Practice dog training with puppies
- Get an early start on training classes for agility, nose work, and sports.
- Consider hiring a professional trainer with specific experience with Dobermans.
- Low maintenance for grooming
- Brush the coat once a week
- Bathe as needed based on the smell and how dirty they get.
Common Doberman Pinscher Health Problems
The life expectancy of a Doberman pinscher is 10 to 12 years. There are certain health problems that Doberman Pinschers are prone to due to their breeding and genetics. If you plan to buy a purebred Doberman from a breeder, make sure the breeder tests the parents of the dogs for genetic diseases and can provide a health guarantee for the puppies.
Here are some of the more common health problems that arise with Doberman Pinschers:
- Dilated cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart)
- Cervical vertebral instability (Wobbler syndrome)
- von Willebrand disease (bleeding disorder)
- Gastric dilatation-volvulus (expansion and torsion of the stomach)
- Hypothyroidism (thyroid gland disorder)
- Progressive retinal atrophy (eye disease)
- Narcolepsy (sleep disorder)
Diet and Nutrition for Doberman Pinschers
A Doberman pinscher will need approximately 2.5 to 3.5 cups of dry dog food per day, divided into two meals. Be sure not to feed your Doberman right before or right after exercising because this breed is prone to gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), also known as bloat. GDV can be life-threatening and requires immediate emergency care and treatment.
Where to adopt or buy Doberman Pinschers
As we already mentioned, finding a good breeder is very important, especially if you want to adopt a pure Doberman Pinscher. A good breeder can answer all your questions about health clearances, certifications, temperaments, and what it’s like to live with these dogs. You can start your search for a Doberman on the Doberman Pinscher Club of America website.
However, you can also rescue a Doberman Pinscher in need of a good home through websites like Petfinder.com and Adopt-a-Pet.com. The AnimalShelter.org website can help you find a Doberman to adopt, and there are also resources available through the Doberman Pinscher Club of America rescue network.
Fans of the Doberman pinscher breed may also be interested in learning about other dog breeds that share similar characteristics. Here are some similar and related breeds to consider before deciding whether to adopt or buy a Doberman Pinscher: