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The Doberman is also known as Doberman Pinscher, Dobermann, or Dobe. He originated in Germany in the 19th century. The dog breed was developed by a tax collector and dogcatcher named Herr Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann.
The Doberman sports a muscular body and an elegant appearance. He is one of the most recognised breeds in the world. This dog breed is loyal, sweet, and affectionate to his owners, but this breed is not for everyone. He has a strong guarding instinct and tends to be wilful, making him difficult for first-time owners and families with very young kids.
Is a Doberman Pinscher the dog of your dreams? Learn about this elegant dog with above-average guarding skills.
The Doberman Pinscher, known as the Doberman in the United States and Canada, owes his existence to Herr Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann. He was a tax collector and dogcatcher from Germany. Herr Dobermann wanted to guard dogs that would protect him against robbers whilst he did his rounds.
With his dogcatching experience, Herr Dobermann decided to breed dogs to develop the perfect companion and protector. He wanted a courageous and intelligent dog with a good nose and strong jaws.
Through selective breeding, Herr Dobermann was able to produce a dog with these qualities in the 19th century. He named his new guard dog Schnupp, who became his foundation stock. His experimentations led to black puppies with rust markings and a naturally bobbed tail, as well as blue-coated ones.
Herr Dobermann did not keep any records of his breeding activities. As such, there had been a lot of debate as to the real ancestry of the breed.
There are so many dog breeds that were thought to have contributed to the creation of the Dobie.
During World War II, the Doberman served in the military. Germans tasked him to guard concentration camps. He was also valuable for finding escapees and wounded soldiers.
The Doberman was also used as a scout, messenger, and sentry by the US Marine Corps. Most of the Doberman Pinschers used in the war were supplied by the Doberman Pinscher Club of America.
In 1890, the breed standard for the Doberman breed was established. Breed clubs like the National Doberman Pinscher Club in Germany were formed. In 1908, the breed was finally officially recognised by the American Kennel Club.
Today, the Doberman breed continues to be one of the most recognised dogs in the world, not just as a protection dog and police dog/military K9, but as a family dog as well. He also works well as a therapy dog. He is registered with the Kennel Club under the Working Group.
Yes, Miniature Pinschers are somewhat related to Doberman Pinschers. Some people theorise that both breeds are descendants of the German Pinscher. That said, other dog breeds used to develop the Mini Pin differs from the Dobie. His ancestors were the Smooth Dachshund and Italian Greyhound.
The Doberman Pinscher is a distinguishable, muscular, elegant, medium-to-large dog with a sleek and smooth coat. He weighs 32–45 kilos and stands 61–72 centimetres.
He is a proud-looking dog with an athletic appearance that exudes power and strength. He has a long, well-proportioned head with his body.
The Doberman breed has a pair of almond-shaped eyes, which are set moderately deep, giving him an alert and lively expression. Doberman ears are small and set high on the head. He has flat cheeks, tight lips, and a solid and well-developed mouth with a perfect scissor bite.
The colour of the Doberman’s nose depends on the colour of his coat. His coat is short and close-lying to his skin. According to KC standards, the accepted colours are black, brown, blue, or fawn with rusted red markings.
Maintaining the Doberman’s sleek coat is a breeze since it only needs weekly brushing using a grooming mitt. He is a very clean dog with a minimal doggy smell. Bathing can be as required, as doing it frequently will strip off its natural oils.
Other Doberman grooming essentials include dental hygiene (regular brushing and playing with dental chew), nail trimming, and ear cleaning. Owners should also take time to inspect his skin, which should be done meticulously because of his dark-coloured coat to make sure that there are no abnormal bumps or ticks/fleas.
Yes, the Doberman sheds, but in moderate amounts only. As he is a single-coated dog breed, he doesn't experience seasonal shedding, unlike other breeds. He sheds the same amount all-year round. For this reason, this dog breed is low-maintenance and easy to groom.
Many people do not know that the Dobie is not an outdoor pet even though he was originally developed to protect people and their property. He needs to stay inside the home as he longs for human companionship.
He develops a strong bond with his family, thus, making him clingy. Being left for long periods will make him noisy and destructive.
Early socialisation and training are important to be able to set ground rules and boundaries for Doberman puppies. When they are treated with kindness and love, they will grow up to be trustworthy family pets.
The Doberman dog breed is not suitable for people with hectic schedules since he has high exercise needs. Whilst he can do well with other pets that he grew up with, extra caution is needed as his strong prey drive might get the best of it.
The Doberman breed is known for same-sex aggression towards other dogs. However, he can get along fine with his fellow canines provided that both pets are properly socialised and introduced. Spaying or neutering can also help in preventing dog aggression and dogfights.
A Doberman is an intelligent, affectionate, and loyal family pet. That being said, he needs an experienced owner that knows how to handle dogs with strong guarding instincts. Whilst the breed is calm and friendly to his owners, he has to be treated with respect but made to understand his place in the pack.
Dobermans may not look like it, but they are fond of cuddles and any affection they can get from their family. They are dubbed as Velcro dogs as they always want to stay close to their humans.
Dobermans are not shy in expressing their love for their owners. The dogs show their love by sitting on their human companions' lap or sleep with them on the bed.
According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, the Doberman dog breed was involved in 9 life-threatening dog bites from 1979 to 1988. Thus, he ranked 6th in CDC's most dangerous dog breed list.
With that said, the Doberman breed is not inherently aggressive and will only attack if provoked.
Dobermans are not naturally aggressive. They are often misjudged as aggressive and vicious dogs because of some irresponsible dog owners and partly due to their intimidating appearance. This dog breed is naturally protective of his family and is wary of strangers.
However, the Doberman is usually warm to guests, especially when introduced by the owner and treated with kindness. He should never be aggressive for no reason. He doesn't usually look for trouble, but he definitely will not back down in times of danger.
Yes, Doberman Pinschers can be hard to train for first-time dog owners as they are willful dogs. He needs guidance from a firm and consistent owner to become a well-rounded dog.
The Doberman dog breed is smart and has a strong desire to please his owners, making him highly trainable. He generally excels in various canine activities, which is why the military and police often use him.
No. In general, Dobermans rarely bark. If they do, it could mean that they sense an intruder and wanted to warn their owners.
Another reason for their yipping is to seek their families' attention. Mind that despite their tough appearance, these dogs have a great need for affection and they cannot stand being left out of family activities.
Do Dobermans attach to one person?
Yes. Although the breed is very people-oriented, some Dobies tend to bond strongly to one person than the rest of the family. However, they are still deeply protective of the people who they consider a part of the pack.
Note that other Dobies may form a strong attachment to other pets in the household than their humans.
No. Dobermans turning on their owners is another prevalent misconception about the breed. These dogs are very protective of their human companions. Showing aggression towards their owner is not normal behaviour in the breed.
A Dobie who turns on his owner could result from poor breeding, socialisation, or training. It could also mean that he might have suffered abuse at the hands of his owners and is only trying to protect himself.
With the right family, this breed can get along with children provided that they grew up together. Supervision is highly important when they are interacting.
Doberman puppies tend to be very rambunctious and may accidentally knock over small children. Teaching children how to handle their canine companion with gentleness and respect is crucial as well.
A typical serving for an adult Doberman is 3.5–4.5 cups of excellent-quality dry dog food per day. The amount of food and the frequency of feeding would depend on your dog's weight, metabolism, exercise routine, and other factors.
As a rough guide, here are the typical calorie needs of an adult Doberman per day:
Dobermans are large, active dogs that require more protein in their diet. However, this breed is prone to kidney disease, so it isn't as easy as it seems. The best way to approach this is to talk to a trusted veterinarian for advice on how much protein you should serve per meal.
Since this breed is prone to hypoglycaemia, he will need good complex carbs like sweet potatoes, oats, and barley to avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes. While his coat is not long and fluffy, he still needs good sources of fat as his coat tends to dry out.
The Doberman is a very energetic dog that needs plenty of exercise and mental stimulation for at least 2 hours a day. Besides daily walks, he needs more challenging activities like canine sports, including fly ball and agility.
As the Dobie loves working on various tasks, obedience training and teaching him various commands are effective as well. If his exercise needs are not met, he will find ways to amuse himself in destructive ways.
Doberman Pinschers are not natural swimmers, but they do love wading in the water. Because of their deep chests and muscled bodies, they often have a hard time staying afloat.
To keep your Doberman dog safe whilst swimming, always be there to keep an eye on how he is doing. Consider letting him wear a life jacket as well to avoid the risk of drowning.
The average life expectancy of a Doberman is 9–13 years. If he is well-loved and well-cared-for, he could live well beyond the average. There are even Dobies that are known to reach 16–18 years.
Like most breeds, the Dobie is predisposed to some health issues. The most common health problems in the breed are:
Research assessing the prevalence of DCM ( Canine dilated cardiomyopathy ) in the breed has shown 44% of Doberman Pinschers over 6 years of age were affected. The overall result of the study shows that the cumulative prevalence of DCM in Doberman Pinschers is 58.2%.
Caring for your Dobie includes feeding him high-quality food, and if you include treats, it will set you back £40–£60 per month. Initial equipment and supplies such as leads, collars, bowls, crate, dog bed, and toys are estimated at £200- £400
For each vet check-up session, you will need to pay £50–£60. Your puppy will need vaccinations to safeguard him from harmful diseases. These will cost around £100–150. Yearly boosters are also necessary, which will cost you £50–£60.
Flea and tick treatments cost roughly £5–£15 per month. Your furry companion is also at risk of acquiring worms, so buy a worm treatment too. It costs around £10–£15, depending on the brand, or if you will get it from the vet, or purchase it from the pet store.
On average, the monthly spending in raising a Doberman will be around £100–£150. Getting pet insurance is recommended as it can help offset veterinary bills if your dog suffers from sudden illness or gets into an accident. Basic pet insurance coverage starts at £30 per month and can go up to £160 for a lifetime cover.
The price for well-bred pedigree Doberman puppies ranges from £2000–£3,500. Be sure to acquire one from a reputable breeder to ensure that you have a healthy puppy.
It is also a good idea to check dog shelters and rescue organisations if they have a Dobie for adoption. Doing so will give a dog a new forever home and a chance to start a new and wonderful life with you.
Are you sure the Doberman is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Is a Dobermann Pincher too much for you to handle? Get help choosing an alternative Dog Breed by using our Pet Finder.
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Is the Doberman dangerous? The breed frequently gets a bad rap as many reports that he is prone to aggression. The Dobermann is considered one of the most dangerous dogs together with the Pit Bull Terrier and the Great Dane. However, does the Doberman deserve this title? Let’s dive in and find out.
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Caring for a Doberman Pinscher puppy can be challenging. Learn how to stop your Dobie pup from mouthing, pulling on lead and know about one of the biggest health threats to this breed. Biting and lead pulling are some of the common struggles in owning a strong Doberman puppy. The breed’s vulnerability to canine bloat, a rare yet fatal genetic health disease, is also another cause of concern for new Dobie owners.