Commonly known as the Dobie, Dobynm, Dobermann or the Doberman, the Doberman pinscher is a pure breed that has well established its identity since 1890. The Doberman is a very common pet in many households and they are preferred because of their well-known loyalty, bravery, intelligence, alertness and affection. These dogs have been commonly used as police and guard dogs over decades. They were officially used as war dogs in the Second World War by the United States Marine Corps.
This breed is actually believed to have been created by mating several other breeds such as the German shepherd, Rottweiler, Thuringia Sylvan, German Pinscher and others. Their country of origin is Germany and the Dobermans were registered with the American Kennel Club in 1908.
Doberman pinscher – At a glance
The following list of general and physical characteristics will help you get familiarized with your Doberman pinscher: –
• Breed type: Pure breed (however, it shares ancestry lineage with various other breeds). This breed is registered and recognized by the Doberman Pinscher Alliance of America, Continental Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, Kennel Club of Great Britain, Canadian Canine Registry, United Kennel Club, American Pet Registry and others.
• Height: 27 to 29 inch for males and 25 to 27 inch for females at an average.
• Weight: 75 to 95 pounds form males and 65 to 85 pounds for females at an average.
• Life Span: 10 to 13 years. Most Dobermans live for 10 to 11 years.
• Available coat colors: Red, Blue, Fawn, White or Albino. However, most common ones are black, tan or brown.
• They have a square build up and have a masculine and noble appearance.
• They have short coats.
• Natural tails are quiet long, however most Dobermans nowadays have docked tails which are surgically removed few weeks after birth. In many countries, docking is illegal.
• Natural ears of Doberman are long and drooped while many prefer to have docked ears just like docked tails.
Temperament and Personality traits
Your Doberman will require a lot of daily exercise and enough room for his daily activities. This dog is highly energetic and is most suitable for suburban or country homes (however, it can adjust himself in apartment homes, but it is not recommended). He will need a home with secured fencing as they are prone to be highly active all day long, which may be tiring for some owners. Historically, these dogs were very aggressive. But, with subsequent mating, these dogs are more likely to show aggressiveness towards strangers and other dogs. Very rarely, (perhaps when they are ill-treated) these dogs will show aggressiveness to their owners and family members.
The Dobermans are ranked 4th on the Stanley Coren’s scale for measuring intelligence in dogs. Hence, these dogs are highly trainable and this is the reason why they can be efficiently kept as watch, police or guard dogs.
These dogs have become social and love to be with human and kids as well. The Dobbies are not suited as backyard dogs and will require love, care and attention from their owners. They will require daily physical and mental stimulation to prevent several diseases.
The Dobermans are family friendly, readily adaptable, versatile, highly skilled, bold and assertive dogs. This breed may not be suitable for everyone. A prior knowledge about how to handle this breed of dogs shall be helpful.
Health and Immunization
Apart from his daily exercise, a 30 to 40 minutes daily walk shall keep him fit and away from major diseases.
However, being a pure breed, the Doberman can acquire several diseases. Some of the common diseases in Dobies include elbow and hip dysplasia (an inherited elbow or thigh bone disease wherein the bone does not fit firmly with the joint bone resulting in lameness and pain). These two conditions can further develop arthritis in these dogs, which if not checked at correct time can be extremely painful.
Von Wilebrand’s disease is another disease that is very common in Dobies. This is an inherited disorder wherein if your’ Doberman gets hurts then the injured area is unable to form blood clots. The symptoms may include – nose bleeds, bleeding in stomach and internal organs or gum bleeding. Check this condition in your dog before you rescue or adopt a Doberman.
The Dobermans can also be affected with eye diseases such as Progressive Renal Atrophy (gradual deterioration of the retina leading to gradual loss of vision), Hypothyroidism (which may lead to epilepsy, hair loss, lethargy, obesity, dark patches and other abnormal skin conditions), Heart conditions such as Cardiomyopathy (wherein the heart muscles become thin and weak which may result in partial or complete heart failure), Albinism, Color mutant Alopecia, Gastric Dilation Volvulus or bloating.
Doberman pinscher should be immunized at regular intervals so that they are protected from various diseases caused by dangerous viruses. Some mandatory vaccines for this breed includes: – Parvovirus, Rabies, Distemper, Coronavirus, Hepatitis A and B, Influenza and Parainfluenza vaccines. Inject annual booster shots from experienced vets.
Care and Grooming
These dogs have short hair and are hence quiet easy to manage. Brush their coat at least once a week with a grooming brush or a rubber curry. These dogs will not require frequent bathing. You can bathe him once a month or when he becomes too dirty after rolling on dirt or mud.
Brush his teeth two to three times a week to keep his gums and teeth healthy and free from any kind of tartar build up. You can brush his teeth with a very gentle tooth brush. Also, trim his nails at least once a month.
Usually, ears and tail of these dogs are docked after few weeks from birth. Those dogs who have cropped ears are less prone to ear and flea infections. However, their ears should be cleaned every week with a pH balanced ear cleaner solution and signs for any abnormality such as redness and irritation shall be noted.
There are many organizations and rescue groups available (such as those mentioned above) from where you can adopt or rescue Dobermans. Make sure you pick up a Dobie that had minimum- diseased parents and the one who is born with least genetic defects.