The Doberman dog breed is a highly intelligent, alert, and tenaciously loyal companion. It is also known for its sleek and powerful build-up and incomparable fearlessness as a guard dog. Developed towards the end of the 19th century, these dogs have been considered among the most popular dog breeds.
The Doberman became a very trending pet over a brief period of time. It’s a comparatively new breed, yet 150 years old. People used them in several areas, starting with junkyards to private homes and municipal police forces. But they gained popularity when they were first used as guard dogs in World War II. By the 1970s, this breed also had its justifiable share in movies.
As versatile pets, these dogs can adapt easily to a given environment and are perfect for living with families of different sizes. There has also been a considerable increase in the number of registrations for this breed in the present times.
How to distinguish them?
The reputation of the Doberman Dog breed precedes them. These slender dogs are anything but slow. The vigilance of this breed makes it one of the finest protection dogs. However, several characteristics make it easier to identify them.
|Height||The height of a male Doberman is 27-28 inches.The height of a female Doberman is 25-27 inches.|
|Weight||The weight of a male Doberman is 40-45 kg (88–99 lbs).The weight of a female Doberman is 32–35 kilograms (71–77 lbs)|
|Coat Type||They have a short coat that lies close to their skinTheir coat has a very sleek and smooth texture.|
|Undercoat||The Doberman pinscher has a slight undercoat around the neck|
|Coat Colour||The Doberman pinscher has different coat colours. These include red, fawn, blue and black.|
|Coat Pattern||These dogs usually have markings near their eyebrows, their muzzle, ears, and chest and below the tail.|
|Eye colour||Dobermans have iris of medium to dark brown in black dogs and non black it may blend as that of coat color.|
|Life Expectancy||The life expectancy of this breed is 12-15 years.|
|Price||USA: $1,500-$2,500United Kingdom: £2000-£3000India: ₹18,000-₹20,000|
|Bite Force||228 PSI|
|Speed||These dogs can run as fast as 35 miles per hour.|
The appearance of a Doberman
Many fake breeders can easily cheat you with a mixed breed if you are not aware about his morphological characters.
- Build Up: The Doberman features a square frame; its length should equal its height to the withers, and therefore the length of its head, neck, and legs should be in proportion to its body.
- Head: The head of this breed is long and looks like a blunt wedge. This feature has a non-measurable description. The blunt wedge of the dog can be narrow, or wide, or a shape in-between both.
- Forehead: Most dogs that have a bump on their head are called ‘head breeds’. But Dobermans have a unique flat top skull and therefore are excluded from the group of ‘head breeds’. When seen from the front, their head widens at the base of the pair of erect ears and comes to a slight stop at the muzzle.
- Eyes: Their eyes are almond-shaped and have a dark coloured iris.
- Muzzle: The muzzle of this breed is of the same length as the dog’s skull.
- Tail: The Doberman’s natural tail is fairly long. But, most of them go through a procedure called docking where surgery removes the majority of the tail that continues up to its backbone. Also, the hipbone falls at a 30 degree angle from the spinal cord. The dog’s rear legs are too far behind the rear assembly accompanied by a long hock.
- Ears: Dobermans also have erect ears.
- Shoulder Blades: The shoulder blades of this breed are at a 45 degree angle to the ground and meet the upper arm at an angle of 90 degrees.
- Forequarters: The front legs of this breed are also straight when seen from the front and side and also parallel to each other.
- Height: The height of the breed is 27-28 inches.
There are about 9 combinations of colours for the Doberman breed.
- The Black and Rust Doberman has tan markings near the face, ears, eyes, legs, chest and tail. They are the most common colour of this breed.
- The solid Black Doberman also called Melanistic Doberman does not have any markings at all. They are also very rare as many consider them to be unethical.
- The Blue and Rust Doberman is a unique breed due to its subtle blue colour. The colour is due to the dilute recessive gene that is inherited by them.
- The blue Doberman is even rarer than the solid blue. These are also unethical and are prone to several health diseases.
- The Red and Rust Doberman is the second most popular variant after the black and rust. The reddish coat colour creates a sense of mystery and attracts many people. They also have similar markings on the muzzle and eyebrows and near their bottoms, legs, chest and below the tail.
- The Red Doberman is also among the unethical variants. People will barely find a single picture of this breed, both online and offline.
- The Fawn and Rust Doberman are among the breeds whose coat colours are officially recognised. They also have markings, but they are difficult to identify due to a minimal contrast of the colours.
- Fawn Dobermans are also very uncommon and have concerning health issues.
- The White Doberman is again a unique breed. However, the colour is a result of inbreeding. The first of this breed was seen in 1976, a Doberman named Sheba.
The Doberman has a good athletic build. It also has its nose colours depending on the coat colour. Those with a black coat have a black coloured nose. The Blue Dogs have a grey coloured nose, the fawn dogs have a dark tanned nose and the red dogs have a dark brown coloured nose.
Temperament and Personality of a Doberman Dog Breed
Dobermans are considered people-oriented dogs that are affectionate and sweet with people if socialized and trained properly. They’re loyal to their owners and are good with children if
raised along with them. However, some Dobermans bond only to one person. Doberman has a fierce reputation and is sometimes viewed as a vicious animal. But, in reality, they are typically mild and loving pets and can defend their family if they perceive something perilous.
The Doberman was initially bred to be an aggressive dog with the intent of defending its owners. Additionally, they were meant to be trainable pets so that they might only attack upon their master’s order. The characteristics of these dogs did not only make them good watchdogs but also ideal for household pets. The modern Doberman Pinschers are bred to be much less aggressive while still obedient and constant.
Compared to other dog breeds, the Doberman is loyal to their human friends. They easily become a trusted and important member of your family. Due to their loyalty, a Doberman thrives being in close contact together with his loved ones, making him naturally protective. This breed is often trusted around its owner’s children, friends, and other guests if introduced properly.
History of Doberman Pinscher
A German taxman Louis Dobermann was the first person credited with developing the Doberman breed in the late 1800s. He was a taxman and wanted a fierce watchdog to accompany him on his rounds. He also kept the local pound, where he had access to several strays.
No one knows for sure, but this dog is assumed to have crossed many breeds to urge the Doberman. Some of the breeds that are thought to be involved include the Rottweiler, the German Pinscher, the Great Dane, the German shepherd dog, Manchester terrier, and English greyhound shorthaired shepherd.
Besides being used as guard dogs worldwide, Doberman pinschers are also used as police and military dogs, rescue dogs, and service dogs.
Lifespan & Health Issue of Doberman
The lifespan of a Dobermann breed is 12 to 13 years. Some of them may live for 14 years (or beyond) depending on their health. While some of them are curable, others can decrease their quality of life or may shorten it.
Some diseases and health issues are very common in the Doberman dog breed. These include:
Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD):
Large breeds often have CHD. This chronic condition causes the top of the femur bone to be filled with the socket incorrectly.
Symptoms of Canine Hip Dysplasia
Pain during exercise, lameness, stiff back legs, “bunny hop” while running, stiffness while getting up, muscle tone loss in back legs, lack of enjoyment with physical activities that were previously enjoyable are the common symptoms of this disease.
Cardiomyopathy is a disease of weakened heart muscles making it harder to pump blood to the body. Unfortunately, it always goes undiagnosed until it’s too late, thereby increasing the chances of death. A symbol of cardiomyopathy is difficulty in breathing, so if you notice your dog struggling to breathe, you ought to seek a vet’s assistance immediately.
Demodicosis is caused by the mite Demodex Canis. Mange occurs when the dog’s skin has too many mites. This sort of mange could also be localized to specific areas or may also affect the entire body. The dog may experience hair loss, pimples, itchy skin, and crusty lesions.
Gastric torsion, or canine bloat, is a condition where the dog’s stomach produces excess gas and enlarges severely. If the stomach stretches too far, blood circulation to the guts and stomach stops, leading to stomach tissue dying. The stomach can twist at the highest and bottom, which stops gas from exiting the stomach. Lack of immediate treatment is enough to cause death.
Symptoms of Gastric Torsion
Symptoms include a change in personality and physical activity level, the stomach appears larger, distended, and hard, refusing to get on their side, dry heaving, vomiting foam or mucus etc are some of the major symptoms shown if the dog is facing gastric torsion.
Doberman Pinschers may suffer from osteosarcoma, also referred to as bone cancer. The primary symptoms include lumps in various parts of the body, swelling, lameness, tiredness or joint or bone pain.
Von Willebrand Disease (vWD)
VWD is a common bleeding disorder that’s inherited from the ancestors, an autosomal trait affecting both sexes. It is caused when there’s not enough Willebrand factor protein, which helps blood clot. VWD may result in severe bleeding even from a minor cut. DNA tests are available to detect this disease early in life.
Other common diseases include Wobblers syndrome, Narcolepsy, Vitiligo, Ciliary dyskinesia etc.
Grooming and shedding of a Doberman Dog Breed
The Doberman dog is a low-maintenance breed. They have a thick short coat that ensures their easy grooming and less shedding. These dogs shed the same throughout the year. The doggy odour is also least in this breed.
They should be brushed once a week. Their teeth should be brushed thrice a week so that the tartar build-up can be removed. Regular brushing also avoids bad breath and gum diseases. Owners must also trim their nails once a month.
Dobermans, especially when they are in their puppy stage should be checked clean of their ears and inside of the mouth. The ears of this dog can be affected by flea infestation. Wiping the ears with a damp cloth helps maintain the pH balance of the ears and also avoid infections.
Feeding a Doberman
For maintaining a breed like a Doberman pinscher, some factors should be given proper importance. The Doberman breed is highly enthusiastic. Therefore, it will require a minimum of 2.5 to 3.5 cups of food in good quantity. This amount should be given to them in two meals, per day.
Keeping the dog in good shape is also necessary. Thus, owners must avoid giving them extra food. This can make them overweight. To ensure that your dog is not overweight yet, there is this simple process which can be done at home. Run your thumb finger along the back of the dog’s spine while the other fingers spread downwards. This way, you can feel the ribs of your dog. In case you don’t sense anything, you are recommended to start giving less food and more training to your dog.
Training and exercise of a Doberman
Their personality varies between individuals, but they’re generally considered loving and devoted companions if taken care of and properly trained. Teaching your puppy small commands is the most important part of the training process. As puppies, Doberman Pinschers are most vulnerable to new information and commands. Additionally, you should urge your Doberman into a puppy training class by the time he’s 10 to 12 weeks old.
Behavioural training is additionally vital for raising a well-mannered Doberman particularly if you notice any unpleasant behaviour like chewing, barking, puppy biting, or aggression. Make it certain to remind your dog that he is wrong. If you train your Doberman that these behaviours are unacceptable as a puppy, he will grow to be a well-behaved adult dog.
Once you establish that you are “the boss,” you can easily train your Doberman. Since he has the instinct to figure alongside people, he’s ready to take directions well. It is also important to teach your dog in a firm but polite manner. If a Doberman is faced too harshly, he may pack up or become aggressive and destructive.
Living with Doberman
A Doberman may be a dog; but, he is always alert and prepared to take care of his ‘family and environment.’ This breed has tremendous adaptability to do what is required in most situations.
Listed are some sports that you can enjoy together with your Doberman:
- freestyle frisbee
However, this is often not a breed that’s suitable for everybody. The instant a Doberman walks into your life, it’s important to line the principles and begin training, albeit it’s as simple as teaching the puppy to take a seat and wait before eating.
Successful living with a Doberman is to offer him a daily function within the family environment, letting him know what’s expected of him and remaining within those boundaries for the rest of his life. A Doberman must have variety, not just within the home, but wherever possible. Give him a change of scenery, take your pup with you to as many places as possible. Such practices create a gentle bond with your dog who will be ready to act when there’s a ‘real’ threat and not just normal life happening.
It is also important to socialise your Dobe to as many people, different atmosphere and environments as possible. This enables him to be ready to make some necessary decisions himself and create a gentle and firm temperament.
If you are a dog lover and want a breed that can make your day amazing as well as secure, then you surely adopt a Doberman. They are intelligent, energetic, alert, and loyal to their human friends. They can easily adapt to the home environment and become attached to the people. Be careful about aggressive nature in specific conditions. Otherwise, Dobermann is an excellent choice.
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Q. What is the perfect place for a Doberman to sleep?
Dobermans prefer sleeping in their crates with blankets wrapped all around them. If they are very tired from the day’s activity, they might go to sleep early.
Q. How frequently should a Doberman be made to exercise?
Dobermans should be made to exercise at least an hour, daily. Besides their daily playing, exercises are also necessary for keeping up the health of the dog.
Q. Do Dobermans drool?
These dogs have a set of tight lips that prevents them from drooling much.