Search breeds > Dog > Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher Photos

Doberman Pinscher Videos

Doberman Pinscher breed Info

The Dobermann (alternatively spelled Doberman in North America) or Doberman Pinscher is a breed of domestic dog. Dobermanns are commonly used as guard dogs, watch dogs, or police dogs. In many countries, Dobermans are one of the most recognizable breeds, in part because of their actual roles in society, and in part because of media stereotyping (see Temperament).

According to the AKC breed standard, the shoulder height of a Dobermann bitch is between 24 to 26 inches, whereas the male stands between 26 to 28 inches at the shoulder. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale standard is slightly different and is followed by most countries. A male Dobermann should stand 26.5 to 28 inches (68 to 72 cm) and weigh between 89 to 100 pounds (40 to 45 kg). A bitch should stand 24.5 inches to 27 inches (63 to 68 cm) and weigh between 71 to 78 pounds (32 to 35 kg).

Dobermanns typically have a deep, broad chest, and a powerful, muscular body of medium size. However, in recent years some breeders have primarily bred, shown, and sold a slimmer or more sleek-looking Dobermann. This has become a popular body type among many owners, especially those who want to show their Dobes competitively. The traditional body type is still more desirable to many casual owners and to those who want the dog for protection. Furthermore, despite the "ideal" standards, it is impossible to have complete control over the size and weight of dogs. Generally speaking, show animals must fall within the ideal range of both size and weight (for that country's breed standard), but it is not unusual to find male Dobes weighing over 100 pounds or females that are also larger than called for by the breed standards. Larger sizes might lead to additional health problems, although those who are looking for a Dobermann to provide personal protection or for use in police agencies or the military generally seek out the larger examples and some breeders create specific breeding pairs in the hope of getting a litter of larger dogs.

Most people know the typical black colour of a Dobermann. However, two different colour genes exist in the Dobermann, one for black (B) and one for colour dilution (D), which provides for four different colour phenotypes: black, red, blue, and fawn.[1] The traditional and most common colour occurs when both the colour and dilution genes have at least one dominant allele (BB, Bb, or bB and DD, Dd, or dD), and is commonly referred to as black or black and rust (also called black and tan). The most common colour variation occurs when the black gene has two recessive alleles (bb) but where the dilution gene has at least one dominant allele (DD, Dd, or dD), which produces what is called a red or red and rust Doberman in America and a "brown" Dobermann in the rest of the world, which is a deep reddish-brown with rust markings.

The remaining two colours, blue and fawn, are controlled by the colour dilution gene. In the case of the blue Doberman, the color gene has at least one dominant allele (BB, Bb, or bB), but the dilution gene has both recessive alleles (dd). The fawn is the least common colour and occurs when both the colour and dilution genes have two recessive alleles (bb and dd). Thus, the blue colour is a diluted black, and the fawn colour is a diluted red. Blue and fawn Dobermans often suffer from a condition called Colour Dilution Alopecia, which can result in severe hair loss.

In 1976, a "white" Dobermann bitch was born,[2] and was subsequently bred to her son, who was also bred to his litter sisters. This tight inbreeding continued for some time to allow the breeders to "fix" the mutation, which has been widely marketed. Dobermanns of this colour possess a genetic mutation, which prevents its pigment proteins from being manufactured, regardless of the genotypes of either of the two colour genes; that is, it is an albino. Though some potential Dobermann owners find the colour attractive, albino Dobermanns, like albinos of other species, face increased risk of cancer and other diseases and because of this and because of abnormal development of the retina, should avoid sun exposure as much as possible. The popularity of the "white" Dobermann has decreased dramatically as these risks have become known, with many people have called for an end to the breeding and marketing of the white Dobermann because they perceive it as cruelty to the animal. Some countries have made the purposeful breeding of the white Dobermann illegal, but breeders who care and take note of the ancestors can avoid breeding albinos as they are all descended from the original bitch. A list of every descendent of the original albino-producing dogs is available so that breeders can avoid producing this mutant dog.[3] The American Kennel Club registers but disqualifies albino Dobermans, and the Doberman Pinscher Club of America has actively worked to discourage breeding to obtain albino Dobermans.[4]

Although the Dobermann is most commonly seen with its traditional short tail, it is actually born with a tail that is longer than many breeds. Typically, a Dobermann Pinscher undergoes docking, a procedure in which the majority of its tail is surgically removed within days of its birth. The rationale being that it completes the sleek "look" that the dog is supposed to have, since it was the way Louis Dobermann had originally envisioned the dog.

Aside from these reason, which many view as inhumane, one practical reason for docking the tail is that it removes what would be a convenient "handle" for a criminal or attacker to grab when the Dobermann is performing its guard or police work. Another reason is that dogs with the thin, whip-like tail of the Dobermann have a very common occurrence of "broken tail". Broken tail may range from the actual tail bones being broken to the more common skin injuries that are very slow to heal because of the difficulty of bandaging or protecting the tail. Broken tail is often a self-inflicted injury caused by the Dobermann enthusiastically wagging its long tail.

Regardless of people's beliefs on this matter, few potential owners have a choice on the length of their Dobermann's tail; docking is normally done soon after the dog's birth, which means that the breeder nearly always makes the decision, before their dogs are even put on the market.

Dobermann with natural ears.This is not true, however, of Dobermann ear cropping, which is usually done between 7 and 9 weeks of age. It is something that should be taken care of while still in the breeder's care, before the puppy goes home with its new owners. Cropping done after 12 weeks has a high rate of failure in getting the ears to stand. Some Dobermann owners prefer not to have their pet's ears cropped because the procedure may be painful for the animal. The process involves trimming off part of the animal's ears and propping them up with posts and tape bandages, which allows the cartilage to develop into an upright position as the puppy grows. The puppy will still have the ability to lay the ears back or down. The process of posting the ears generally takes about a month, but longer show crops can take several months.

While there have been no studies that have examined cropped vs non-cropped Dobermanns, it is believed that cropping dramatically reduces the occurrence of ear infections and hematomas (blood blisters caused by damage to the ear tips, commonly from hard shaking of the head).

Although the acts of cropping and docking seem inhumane to some, the traditional Dobermann has always been the one that has had both procedures. In some countries, docking and cropping are now illegal, but in some breed shows Dobermanns are allowed to compete only if they have the traditional look.
26 to 28 inches (male); 24 to 26 inches (female).
70 to 75 pounds (male); 60 to 65 (female).
Dobermanns were first bred in Germany around 1890 by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann. He was a tax collector who frequently traveled through many bandit-infested areas, and needed a protection dog to guard him in any situation that might arise. He set out to breed a new type of dog that, in his opinion, would be the perfect combination of strength, loyalty, intelligence, and ferocity. (He also worked with dogs as a second job, giving him access to dogs for breeding.) Later, Otto Goeller and Philip Gruening continued to develop the breed.

The breed is believed to have been created from several different breeds of dogs that had the characteristics that Dobermann was looking for, including the Pinscher, the Beauceron, the Rottweiler, the Thuringian Shepherd Dog, the black Greyhound, the Great Dane, the Weimaraner, the German Shorthaired Pointer, and the German Shepherd Dog. The exact ratios of mixing, and even the exact breeds that were used, remains uncertain to this day, although many experts believe that the Dobermann is a combination of at least four of these breeds. The single exception is the documented cross with the Greyhound. It is also widely believed that the German Shepherd gene pool was the single largest contributor to the Dobermann breed.
The Dobermann is often used as a protection dog, due to its intelligence, loyalty, and ability to physically challenge human aggressors. Dobermanns are even now, and once more extensively, used in police work and in the military. The breed was used extensively by the U.S. Marines in World War II, and 25 Marine War Dogs died in the Battle of Guam in 1944: there is a memorial on Guam in honor of these Dobermans.[5] In these roles, they inspire fear. They are often stereotyped in such roles in movies (where they are trained to exhibit seemingly "aggressive" behavior), and video games, consequently many people are afraid of the breed. A related problem is the misunderstanding of their legitimate roles; because guard dogs are trained to neutralize unwelcome intruders, many people mistakenly believe that Dobermanns are vicious.

However, Dobermanns are, in general, a gentle, loyal, loving, and highly intelligent breed. Although there is variation in temperament, a typical pet Dobermann attacks only if it believes that it, its property, or its family are in danger. According to a study done by the U. S. Centers for Disease Control, the Doberman is involved in human dog bite-related incidents less frequently than many other dog breeds.[6] Those familiar with the breed consider well-bred and properly socialized Dobermanns to be excellent pets and companions, suitable for families with other dog breeds, excellent with young children, and even cats. Dobermans are often called "Velcro" dogs because of their desire to be constantly in the presence of their human companions.
Points of Interest
An average, healthy Dobermann is expected to live close to 12 years, with a majority of Dobermanns dying between age 11 and 13. Common health problems are dilated cardiomyopathy, von Willebrand's disease (a bleeding disorder that can be tested for genetically), hypothyroidism, cancer, and in the dilute colors (blues and fawns), alopecia (see follicular dysplasia).
Special Talents
Tracking, watchdog, guarding, police work, military work, search & rescue, competitive obedience, and Schutzhund.