Breed of the Month: Doberman Pinscher


History:  The Doberman Pinscher originated in Germany around 1890.  A tax collector, named Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann ‘designed’ the Doberman to be his guard dog.  Mr. Dobermann had to collect money from people in some pretty shady areas, he decided that having a guard dog would prevent people from stealing his money.

Description: Dobermans’ are a large, muscular dog.  Their bodies are built for endurance and stamina.  These dogs were first bread to guard and protect their owners, now they have the same look as their ancestors, but a more gentle personality.  The head is a wedge shape.  Doberman puppies are born with floppy ears and a long tail.  After they reach a certain age, most owners will have the ears cropped and the tails docked.

Size:  The Doberman is a large dog and averages 61-68 centimeters in height.  Male Dobermans weigh in at 34-45 kg and females at 27-41 kg. (1 pound is about 2.2 kilogram)

Temperament:  Originally, Dobermans were bread to be fearless guard dogs.  They were bred to be large, fearless, and ready to protect when commanded.  These traits have given the Dobermans a bad reputation.  Over the years, breeders have somehow altered the Dobermans’ personality traits.  They are still large and in charge, but are not as aggressive and intimidating.  Today, Doberman’s are still known to be protective of their owners, but they are also good-natured, intelligent, and loyal.

Dobermans’ are prone to separation anxiety. This is because the breed is used to spending a lot of time around humans.  If you work long hours, it would not be a good idea to adopt a Doberman. They can become anxious and destructive when left alone for long periods of time. These active dogs require attention and activity.  If this does not happen, the Doberman will become bored and search for their own source of entertainment; which might not be approved by any owner.

Grooming: Doberman’s could be classified as a ‘low maintenance’ dog when it comes to grooming. These dogs do shed year round, but brushing them weekly is enough to keep it under control.  When it comes to the ‘dog smell,’ most owners have stated that their Dobermans’ rarely smell and don’t bathe that often.  You can get away with bathing these dogs 3-4 times a year.

An important thing to keep up on is checking the Doberman’s ears.  They sometimes have wax build up, which may lead to an ear infection.  If you have noticed issues with your Doberman’s ears, ask your veterinarian if they can recommended an ear cleansing solution.

Health:  Doberman’s have a few serious health issues that their owners should pay close attention to.  The first and most common is Dilated cardiomyopathy.  This is when your heart is an abnormal shape and there are problems pumping blood efficiently throughout your body.  This then causes the rest of your organs to have problems, due to the lack of blood flow. 

Wobbler disease affects most large-breed dogs.  It is a neurological disease that causes a wobbly gait in most animals.  Some dogs will walk with their head hung low, this is a sign that they are in pain.  Their spinal cords are under pressure whether from a herniated disc, or a small spinal canal.

Von Willebrand disease is where the blood has a hard time clotting after a blood vessel becomes injured.  This means after a Doberman becomes injured, they might have excessive bleeding even if the sustained injury is minimal.

Exercise:  Due to the Doberman being bred with an active, athletic nature; they require a large amount of daily exercise and mental activities.  After looking around at a few different sites, most current Doberman owners suggest that you not only have a large fenced-in back yard, but that you also have the time to spend exercising your Doberman.  You might think that putting them out back gives them plenty of time to run around, but playing by yourself can get boring.  This is where a companion would come in.  Not every Doberman owner recommends that you get 2 at once, it is just something to think about.

Lifespan: On average, the Doberman can live 10-13 years.  This also depends on the health of your animal and how well it is taken care of.

Trivia:  Dobermans have also been known for making appearance on the big screen. Zeus and Apollo were owned by Higgens in the television show Magnum PI.  In the movie Resident Evil, there were a few Doberman Zombies.  Also in Disney’s movie Up, there was a Doberman by the name of Alpha.