Dobermann : appearance, character, health, breeding

When it comes to Dobermans, there is always someone who turns up their nose a little, due to completely misplaced legends that describe them as an aggressive dog. In fact, starting from the 70s, the rumor began to spread that at the age of seven these dogs went crazy, becoming violent and irrepressible.

This has contributed over time to amplify the terror of the race , to the point of believing that this madness was due to the spontaneous exit of the brain from the skull.

But let’s find out more about the breed of this dog of German origin.

Dobermann: history of the breed

The Dobermann dog breed was born after a series of crossings between different breeds, which took place in the period between 1850 and 1870.

It was Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a tax collector from Thuringia, who wanted to create a breed of dogs that could ensure protection and safety, while remaining docile and amiable with his master.

In this way he began to make the ancestors of the German shepherd and the Rottweiler , the Great Dane , the Pinscher breed  and the Greyhound , cross between them , also facilitated by the fact that he was responsible for looking after stray dogs.

Unfortunately, the official recognition of the breed took place only in 1898, after his death. On the other hand, this dog is the only one to have acquired the name of its breeder.

We owe to  Otto Goller , a great friend of Mr. Dobermann, the commitment in wanting to spread the knowledge of this new dog breed, whose real official name is Gardshound Dobermann .

During the First World War the Doberman was distinguished for its services: it was often used to search for missing and dead under the rubble, carried letters and communications to be delivered, stood guard and kept prisoners at bay.

Once understood its potential, especially in the American army and in the forces of law and order , the dog was enlisted as a real resource: it is in fact used in the search for drugs or explosives.

Character of the Doberman breed

Contrary to what his undeserved fame says, the Doberman dog has a friendly, peaceful character, very dependent on his family and affectionate with children .

It is brave, determined, self-confident and absolutely loyal to its owner. They are not usually fearful or aggressive.

For many years the Doberman has had a reputation for being an aggressive and quarrelsome dog. In fact, it is a highly balanced animal that tends to get along very well with its peers.

It can never be forgotten that this is an athletic and sporty dog, endowed with great energy and extraordinary strength.

It must also be remembered that the breed was selected as an auxiliary to man, and therefore, it has a behaviour with which it feels a special attachment to its owners and likes to have permanent contact with its family.

It does not tolerate indoor life well, nor does it like to be alone for long periods in the yard or garden. On the other hand, due to itstemperament, it loves to spend the hours of rest inside the house lying at the feet of its master, since it is a very cold dog, like its ancestor the pinscher.

It is a dog with personality, it needs contact with humans and, in addition, to feel that its owner knows how to play the role of a strong leader to admire, follow and obey.

Extremely loyal and faithful, tolerant, dedicated and affectionate with all members of the family. The Doberman can also be a very determined, brave and proud dog when work or circumstances require it.

An educated dog, physically satisfied and with an activity to carry out, becomes a safe and stable animal, and an excellent family dog. As such, in a dangerous situation, it does not hesitate to defend its master with the greatest ferocity and dedication possible.

Its relationship with children is very good, as long as it has gotten used to it since it was a puppy. Also when the kids know the characteristics of their dog and know how they should behave with them.

And, contrary to its fame, it is also an extraordinary therapy dog: sweet, patient and delicate with children and the elderly.

  • Energy: high level. Very active, you need to do a lot of complete and varied exercise every day.
  • Temperament: active and dynamic, it is brave, proud, self-confident, obedient and faithful. With its master it is very affectionate and almost devoted. Itis generally friendly and peaceful.
  • Adaptability : high. It lives well both in the city and in the country, and what it really needs is to be close to its family. It loves life indoors, as it is very cold.
  • Sociability: high. It adores its master, is very affectionate with the whole family, tolerates strangers well and does not usually cause serious altercations with other dogs.
  • Health: good. You may suffer from dysplasias or a torsion of the stomach.
  • Longevity: medium. Live between 10 and 12 years.
  • Utility: very versatile. Guard and defense dog, it is a good companion dog and works well in therapy, rescue or sports competitions.
  • Use: guard, defense and company.

Due to its excellent relationship with people and its desire to be in permanent contact and interacting with them, it is a very adaptable breed. Live just as well in a small apartment as in a house with a large lot or yard.

In addition, given its aversion to cold, it prefers to be indoors as much as possible, unless it has something to do or has to go to work. In whatever activity it dedicates themselves to, it brings out its instinct for dedication and effort.

On the other hand, it is a very reliable dog with which you can walk in open fields. You can have the door of your house open without fear that it will escape since it always stays close to its masters or its territory.

With strangers who come home for the first time, it is curious and keeps them under surveillance until its sure they are well received.

Once verified, it integrates them into the group and treats them with affection, although never with the devotion it dedicates to its family.

Although it adapts well to life in the city, this dog needs a high dose of daily exercise, which should include, in addition to the obligatory daily walks, jogging or cycling with him, practicing agilityflyball, tracking, etc.

In all these activities the dog shows its agility, its power and its resistance, and its mind is also stimulated and it is kept psychologically balanced. At the same time, the relationship with his master is strengthened through work until it becomes a display of absolute loyalty and dedication.

Characteristics of the Doberman

The Doberman is a large dog with a rather square body structure. The length of its body is approximately the same as its height at the withers, which is around 70 cm in males and around 65 cm in females.

It has a very muscular appearance and a very robust skeleton, the general figure of the dog is elegant and noble.

Doberman breed standard

Let’s see in more detail what the Doberman dog is like and what is the breed standard :

  • General appearance: it is a very large dog, with strong muscles and very elegant and slender lines. Its appearance is noble and haughty.
  • Size and size: very large.
  • Height at the withers: between 68 and 72 cm for males and between 63 and 68 cm for females.
  • Weight: between 40 and 45 kg for males and between 32 and 35 kg for females.
  • Origin: Germany.
  • Body: strong and muscular, with a prominent withers and a broad back.
  • Head: elegant, balanced and shaped like an elongated cone, it has a slight but visible stop and a deep and strong muzzle, with a well developed nose and wide nostrils.
  • Skull: flat in the upper part if you look straight ahead, in the area of ​​the eyebrows it is well developed but without being prominent. The frontal furrow is well visible.
  • Muzzle: deep and well developed, it has the corners of the lips far back, since they reach the area of ​​the molars, with which, the degree of opening of the mouth is very large. The lips are well attached to the jaws and pigmented in a dark tone, although in the specimens with the brown coat it may be a little lighter.
  • Nose: well developed, wider than round, with large nostrils. It is black in the black-haired specimens, and a little lighter in individuals with a brown coat.
  • Eyes: oval and medium-sized, they have a dark colored iris, although in brown specimens they may be lighter. At the corners they have eyelashes and the eyelids are well attached to the eyeball.
  • Ears: set high on the head, they are medium in size and the dog wears them down, with the inner edge close to the cheeks. In some countries where cosmetic amputation is still allowed, they are usually cut to make them triangular, and in that case they are worn straight.
  • Naso-frontal depression (stop): it is mild but it is appreciated well.
  • Jaws: strong and broad, with a full scissor bite. The teeth are medium in size.
  • Neck: of good length, compact and muscular. With an ascending line and a little curved, when it goes straight it shows elegance and gallantry.
  • Chest: long and deep, in proportion to the body, it is wide and noticeable from the front. In the lower line the belly is clearly tucked up.
  • Back: it is short, broad and well muscled. The rump, broad and strong, forms a small descent that gives the impression of a certain roundness, but not of being dropped or straight.
  • Forelimbs: they are straight, perpendicular and of very strong structure. The shoulders are well sloped, the bones are very close to the ribs. The forearm is strong and straight, with good musculature, and joins the arm, muscular and of good length, in a straight elbow and well attached to the body, without deviating outwards. The metacarpals are straight and of strong bone.
  • Hind limbs: strong and parallel, they have very strong and broad muscles. The legs have the thighs, broad, long and strong, they form a good angle with the hips. His knees are strong and his hocks are powerful and parallel.
  • Feet: under muscular and very strong extremities, the feet are rounded, compact and with short and arched toes. The nails are robust, short and dark.
  • Tail: many individuals of this breed show a very short tail, with only two vertebrae, the result of the usual amputations that are usually practiced in some countries.
  • Skin: it is well pigmented and close to the body.
  • Hair: it is very short, close to the skin, hard to the touch and smooth, it is generally black or very dark brown. It shows off typical tan spots.
  • Color: this breed can present two basic colorations, black or dark brown, and in both cases some tan markings appear.

These red or rust spots are located in very specific points on the dog’s anatomy: the muzzle, cheeks, eyebrows, throat, chest (two symmetrical marks), the metacarpal and metatarsal area, the feet and inner thighs.

  • Movement: it is elastic, elegant, agile, flexible, free and wide. The front extremities have a good advance and the rear ones provide a very powerful thrust, so the Doberman’s gait covers a lot of ground. The front leg on one side advances at the same time as the rear leg on the opposite side.
  • FCI Classification: FCI No. 143 GROUP 2 – Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossian, and Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs. Section 1 Pinscher and schnauzer type.

Doberman puppies

If you are considering adopting or buying a Doberman puppy, there are a number of things to keep in mind. It is not the indicated breed for those who do not have some experience with dogs or who have never had one.

The puppies Doberman Pinscher should be socialized as soon as possible to learn to obey his master, but instead, they need to be trained to learn to guard their work.

This breed of dog needs a lot of dedication , stimulation, work and exercise, so it is advisable to enroll the animal in some organized activity, either individually or participating in a work group.

This dog can coexist perfectly with other household pets as long as it gets used to it from a very young age. In this way, future problems or struggles for hierarchy within the home will be avoided.

Education and training of the Doberman

That this is a very intelligent and easy to train breed does not mean that this work can be done by anyone, on the contrary, for its education it needs a firm and sure hand that leads it on the right path.

Your loyalty is unwavering, but if you perceive insecurity or injustice in your guide’s behaviour, you may question your leadership and pose new challenges in your training. With this dog you have to exercise leadership with a natural and permanent authority.

And not only on the part of the person who works with them or who is considered as the vertex of the social pyramid of the pack, but all members of the family must participate, in one way or another, in the education of the dog, so that he understands that at the hierarchical level they are above himself. If not, it can become a stubborn and rebellious animal, especially if it is not given proper attention.

This is one of the best guard and protection dogs, as it hardly needs training to carry out these tasks. In any case, the work must focus on getting the dog under control, pending the orders of its master.

It is also especially important, in subjecting it to an intense socialization process and early stimulation that helps it to discern when it is faced with a situation in which its intervention is required and when it is faced with a simple daily event, however stressful it may seem.

And despite being an excellent guardian, it is not a noisy dog, it only barks when the situation requires it. Of course, when it barks it does so in such a way that anyone who hears them knows very well what it is dealing with.

Many of the behavior problems of this breed are caused by an exaggerated tendency to humanize the dog and interpret its feelings, its reactions and even its relationship with its master in affective terms typical of human beings.

It is true that it must be treated with affection and respect, but also with the firmness necessary to achieve a stable, balanced and under control animal. Like most breeds, it likes to know what place it occupies in the family, in its pack, as this gives them security and makes them emotionally stronger.

So if it is not well educated or is not given to understand what its site is, then it looks for it themselves and, not surprisingly, tries to occupy the highest possible position. Therefore, it is not the most suitable breed for inexperienced owners.

The breed is classified as dominant, but in reality this characteristic varies depending on many factors. First of all, not all exemplars have the same attitude or try to handle all situations. Even within the same litter there are behavioural differences between one and the other puppies, which means that there are no relationship problems between them and that they soon establish their own hierarchical pyramid.

The stimulation or control of the dominant temperament in a Doberman depends, above all, on its education and the role that its masters play in daily life.

In fact, the breed has a very good social behaviour and its relationship with other dogs is generally not problematic. It only shows the stronger side of its character if there is a serious hierarchy conflict or if it meets a quarrelsome individual.

Feeding the Doberman dog

It is very important to provide a Doberman dog with a diet rich in nutrients. Thus, they keep their muscles in shape and provide the level of fats necessary for their skin, hair, eyes, and so on.

It is necessary to avoid as far as possible, to fall into obesity, especially in the puppy stage and in old age, periods in which a state of overweight can be the trigger for other more serious diseases.

Health and diseases of the Doberman

The breed has quite a considerable longevity or average life expectancy in relation to its size.

Its health is generally good, despite the fact that there are some diseases that affect them to a greater extent than other breeds. Some of them are related to their size and structure, such as hip and elbow dysplasia or stomach torsion .

Others are more specific, such as von Willebrand disease (bleeding disorder due to difficulties in coagulation) or a specific type of cervical spondylitis (wear of the cervical vertebrae with degeneration and formation of mineral deposits in the discs).

In addition, in brown and tan specimens some skin problems are also frequent, and obesity affects the breed as much as almost all the others.

A curiosity that occurs in few canine breeds is the presence of a gene that can cause albinism, which is why from time to time there are totally white and lacking pigmentation specimens, although these are very specific cases.

In any case, given that there are also white individuals with acceptable pigmentation, it may be thought that it may be a leap back in genetics, a recessive gene inherited from one of the races that contributed to its formation and in which said White color.

As with all dogs, the best way to control the health of the Doberman is to act preventively, visiting the veterinarian regularly. In this way, the pertinent internal and external vaccination and deworming programs will be fulfilled .

The condition of the mouth, eyes and skin, as well as the ears, will be checked, especially since the practice of ear cropping has become less and less common.

Specific care of the Doberman breed

And when it comes to cosmetic care , this is very easy. A brushing once a week with the help of a natural bristle brush and a chamois.

bathroom when it is really dirty, be careful to dry it very well and not leave it wet in the open. Apart from all the qualities mentioned, the Doberman stands out for being an extraordinarily clean dog, so living with them is a delight.

In reality, the care that this breed requires is very little and the very great qualities it possesses are many. So it pays to give it the proper time, attention, and pampering it needs.

In return you will have an excellent companion animal, very faithful and affectionate. On the other hand, he will defend his master and his family with total dedication and devotion.

Breeding of Dobermann puppies

When deciding to take a breeding Doberman , it is good to be aware of some points. First of all, it is necessary to make sure that the parents have the ZTP ( Zucht-Tauglicheits-Prufung ), that is the certificate of aptitude for reproduction. The puppy must be at least  60 days old , have vaccinated and have a  microchip.

The kennel must give you a  copy of the ZTP, the pedrigree and all the controls of both parents. 

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