AKC Dog Breeds: Doberman Pinscher

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Working Group
Height:24-28 inches  Weight: 66-88 pounds  Color: black, red, blue and fawn

A square, medium-sized dog, the Doberman Pinscher is muscular and possesses great endurance and speed. He is elegant in appearance and reflects great nobility and temperament. The properly bred and trained Doberman has proved itself to be a friend and guardian, and his intelligence and ability to absorb and retain training have brought him into demand as a police and war dog. Although the roots of the breed are relatively obscure, it is thought that the Doberman Pinscher originated in Germany around 1900, taking its name from tax collector Louis Dobermann of Apolda, who desired a medium size dog to perform as a guard dog as well as companion. Breeds utilized to develop the Doberman Pinscher may have included the old shorthaired shepherd, Rottweiler, Black and Tan Terrier and the German Pinscher. The breed was registered with the AKC in 1908.

General Appearance
The Doberman Pinscher is an elegant, muscular and very powerful dog. It has a well proportioned chest, a short back and a lean, muscular neck. Its hard, short-haired, close-fitting coat comes in black, black & tan, blue-gray, red, fawn and white. While white markings are considered a fault in some clubs in others it is accepted. The hair is short, thick, hard and tight to its body. Its teeth are strong and close in a scissors bite. Eyes are dark with a lively, intelligent expression. The ears are usually cropped (cut at the age of about 12 weeks). The pup's ears have to be taped for a couple of months to make them stand up. I believe England has banned the cropping of pup ears and the docking of their tails. Lately, many breeders have left their pups natural.  If left natural they develop ears somewhat like a hound. The tail is usually docked at the age of 3 days. If the tail is not docked it grows a tail somewhat like a hound. Its legs are perfectly straight. The Dobermans gait must be elastic, elegant, and cover a lot of ground.


Proud, noble, and alert, the Doberman Pinscher is a dog with plenty of devotion and love to give. These dutiful dogs tend to have an even, well balanced temperament, and are intelligent, creative, and quick to learn. The Doberman Pinscher excels in obedience training when it is positive and includes treats and lots of praise. They are one of the most intelligent and fastest learning of all breeds. These dogs are best suited to those who can establish themselves as "boss" from day one, as this breed can be strong willed and stubborn. These dogs definitely do not take kindly to being teased or treated roughly. It is important to ensure that you provide the Doberman Pinscher with plenty of physical and mental stimulation, otherwise he can get bored and restless, which can result in behavioral issues. The Doberman Pinscher tends to get on well with children when raised with them, although you should be mindful that his large size can result in problems when younger children such as toddlers are around.The Doberman Pinscher can be reserved with strangers so plenty of socialization from a young age is important. He is fearless, powerful and protective of his loved ones. He will fight if provoked, and he definitely wont back down (unless trained to), making him an effective guard dog.


Doberman Pinschers require minimal grooming. Occasional brushing or wiping of the coat with a damp cloth will minimize loose hair. Dental hygiene is crucial to prevent early tooth loss. It is also important to keep their nails trimmed short. Bathing or dry shampooing should only be done when absolutely necessary.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The life expectancy of the Doberman Pinscher is around 8-12 years, and there are a number of health problems and disorder linked to the breed. The Doberman Pinscher is prone to Wobbler Syndrome, Von Willebrands Disease, bloat, hip dysplasia, and congenital heart disorders. They do not do well in cold climates.

Activity Level
Highly energetic, Doberman Pinschers require daily extensive exercise and stimulation. They enjoy family play sessions and make wonderful walking companions. This breed will do okay in an apartment provided they are sufficiently exercised. However, a securely fenced yard is best for romping and running freely.


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