Life span: 10-13 Years
Height: 26 – 28 inches (male), 24 – 26 inches (female)
Weight: 75 – 100 lbs. (male), 60 – 90 lbs. (female)
The Doberman Pinscher is a medium-sized breed that was developed in the late 19th century by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann – a German tax collector. The Pinscher is renowned for being a well-tempered and highly trainable dog. In fact, it has been employed as a war dog, along with being used by numerous police battalions. The Doberman is characterized by its pointed ears and its short black, blue, and brown hair.
This medium to large sized dog has an athletic and lean body, with large ears that remain erect and a small tail that also remains erect. Its eyes can be hazel or brown with a black or brown nose. Its coat is short and dense, remaining close to the body and straight at all times. Coat colors can be black, red, blue and brown, with light brown marks on its face, chest and legs. In some cases they might be born “albino”, meaning their coats would be cream colored, almost white, or completely black with no light brown marks.
They originated in Germany in the 1890s with the purpose of being guard dogs. They were created by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, who was a tax collector and dogcatcher. He did not keep clear records of the dogs used in his creations, and some dogs were unnamed breeds. Despite this, many believe the Thuering Shepherd, German Pinschers, Black and Tan Terriers, butcher’s dogs and local sheepdogs were part of the Doberman’s ancestry. In World War II they were used as messengers, sentries and scouts, and supported the military in the battle of Okinawa in 1945. A statue of a Doberman now stands in Guam, commemorating the 25 marine war dogs that died freeing it. In the 1970s these dogs were unfortunately used by many in dog fights and bred to be aggressive. They are currently used as guard dogs, police dogs, pets, and military dogs.
This breed is naturally protective of its family and knows when aggression is necessary. They are affectionate with their owners but highly wary of strangers, and do not like to be caged or apart from their families for most of the time. They get along well with children but due to their size and high energy, should be supervised around them as they might unintentionally harm them. They also get along well with other household pets but might not be so comfortable around dogs of the same sex.
This breed is generally healthy. However, they may suffer from:
Gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloat, is a mortal disease in which large chested dogs are affected by eating quickly, drinking lots of water and exercising after. This causes the stomach to inflate with gas and twist, making the dog unable to get rid of the excess air through vomiting, which impedes the normal blood flow to the heart. Its blood pressure then goes down and the dog goes into shock. Without proper, and immediate, medical attention, this could be fatal. Its symptoms may include: retching without vomiting, bloated abdomen, excessive salivation, restlessness, depression, rapid heart rate, weakness, etc.
Hypothyroidism, a disease that affects the thyroid gland, its symptoms are ear infections, skin infections, hair loss, lethargy, and depression.
Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), in which the dogs may become night blind at first and progressively lose their day eyesight as well.
Von Willebrand’s Disease, which is a blood disease that affects the clotting process, its symptoms can be nosebleeds, prolonged bleeding from surgery, occasional blood in stools, etc.
Wobbler’s Syndrome, which causes spinal cord compressions due to cervical vertebral instability. Dogs suffering from this may have neck pain and even paralysis of the legs.
Cardiomyopathy, in which the heart muscles become thin and weak through an enlargement of the heart chambers, causing an abnormally big heart and eventually leading to heart failure. It can be treated.
Albinism, which contrary to popular belief does not mean a completely white dog, but one with pink skin and nose, and blue or light eye colors. They are sensitive to sunlight and prone to many other health conditions.
Color Mutant Alopecia, which can affect dogs with blue, light brown, and red coat colors. It produces dry hair and patchy hair loss along with infections and inflammations, although symptoms will not appear until the dog is at least four months old.
Narcolepsy, in which the brain is unable to regulate sleep patterns, causing the dog to randomly become sleepy and sometimes even fall asleep.
This breed is not high maintenance, but does need daily brushing, although only occasional bathing. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. They are highly energetic dogs that need daily exercise with their owners and a fenced backyard in which they can run freely to release energy. Training should be easy given that this breed has a tendency to learn fast, but if not properly trained they might develop destructive behavior and be difficult to handle. Early socialization and obedience training are a must for this breed.