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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher

Origin: Germany

AKC Group: Working

Height: 24 - 28 inches (Male)

Weight: 60 - 85 pounds (Male)

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Male height: 
24 - 28 inches
Male weight: 
60 - 85 pounds
Hard and short. Brush occasionally. Tail is docked; ears are usually cropped.
Black or red with rust marking above the eyes, on the muzzle, throat, chest, legs, feet and below the tail. Fawn or steel blue are also available with the same markings. A few white spot is allowed on the chest. Eyes are dark in black dogs, lighter in others.
Special considerations: 
Since the temperament between lines varies, buy only from a reputable breeder and ask to meet a puppy's parents.

Herr Louis Dobermann was a German tax collector who worked in a dangerous area and needed a tough, smart and reliable protection dog. Not happy with any of the current guarding breeds available, he decided to develop a breed on his own in the late 1860s. His recipe for the perfect breed included the Miniature Pinscher for looks; the old German Shepherd Dog type for hardiness, intelligence and soundness; the German Pinscher for quick reaction time and terrier fire; the Weimar Pointer for hunting abilities, fine nose and dilute colors; the Rottweiler for strength, guarding instinct and courage; the English Greyhound for speed; and the Manchester Terrier for a short, sleek coat. Dobermann bred a lean, mean fighting machine - the "Dobie" - a dog others described as needing an owner with a good deal of courage. The breed came to the United States in 1908 and attracted a lot of attention - not only for its racy, muscular appearance but for its extremely aggressive temperament. For years, that characteristic would haunt the breed, until dedicated breeders began efforts to extinguish the Dobie's character deficiencies while keeping his physical and mental qualities intact. Today, Dobermann's dog has excelled in all aspects of service to humankind, including search and rescue, therapy, patrol, police dog work, guide dog for the blind, and much more.

Today's well-bred Doberman Pinschers are loyal and true, as playful as Herr Dobermann's dogs were intimidating. They are still extremely athletic and powerful, light-footed and aristocratic, intelligent and confident. Because ethical breeders have been selecting for levelheadedness and responsiveness instead of ferociousness, Dobies have become loving, loyal dogs. Versatility is still a noble characteristic of this breed. Because of the built-in "fear factor" with the Doberman, it's important to go to a good breeder and know the temperament of the parents before choosing a pup.
At home: 
The Doberman doesn't make an ideal apartment dog unless his high-energy demands can be met. He should live inside the home with his family - he loves attention and will not do well left outside and alone for long periods. A well-bred Doberman will be protective of home and family but will use sound judgment. He is sensitive to loud noises and needs a stable, secure home. A fenced yard is a necessity. His short coat makes him susceptible to cold, but on the plus side, he doesn't shed much.
The Doberman has a higher-than-average energy level and needs his fair share of exercise to stay in shape. Two 30-minute aerobic sessions a day will keep him fit. He makes a great jogging partner and is happy to work off excess energy playing a game of chase or hide-and-seek - or even going for training sessions on the end of a leash.
Dobies tend not to be too gluttonous when it comes to food. Feed a good-quality premium or maintenance diet twice a day.
The alert, responsive Doberman needs training. He is very intelligent and will learn quickly, but his independent nature means that his training must be consistent throughout his life. He needs a fair leader - one who will encourage his abilities while setting firm limits. He is surprisingly sensitive and does not do well with harsh training methods.
Doberman Pinschers are generally very good with children and make excellent family dogs, especially when raised in a family environment. They are aloof with strangers and may have difficulty with other dogs or small animals if not socialized to them from an early age.
The average life span of the Doberman is up to 13 years. Health problems associated with the breed include bloat; heart disease; hip dysplasia; von Willebrand disease; and Wobbler disease.
Fun fact: 

The Doberman's fierce reputation preceded him to the United States, where one dog won three Best in Show ribbons before any judge had the courage to examine his mouth - where it was finally discovered that the dog had missing teeth, a serious breed fault.

Grooming blurb: 
The sleek, shiny coat of the Doberman is easy to care for. Use a soft brush and hound glove a few times a week to keep him looking good.
This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.