Doberman Pinscher

  • By Kathy McRoberts
  • 08 Mar, 2013


The Doberman Pinscher is also known as a Doberman, Dobe, Dobie. They have a medium built, powerful, muscular body with a deep, broad chest. They are typically black with brown or red markings, but also come in a steel blue, red, or fawn. Rare cases have been reported of a white or albino Doberman, the first one being born in 1976. The Doberman's head is long and wedge-like and they have a strong bite with scissor-like teeth. The short, hard, thick coat lies flat. They are born with floppy ears and long tails, resembling a hound dog, but the ears are traditionally cropped to stand erect, and the tail docked at the second joint.

Tail docking and ear cropping are practices that have been done for many ceturies. Tail docking was thought to prevent rabies, strengthen the back, increase the animal's speed and prevent injuries when ratting, fighting and baiting. In hunting dogs, tails could collect burrs or foxtails or be subject to injury while moving through dense brush or thickets. In guarding dogs such as the Boxer or Doberman Pinschers, docked ears are thought to make the breed look more ferocious rather than the cute droopy puppy ear look. Though personal choice, these practices are controversial, and outlawed in many countries. A Doberman's ears are cropped usually between 7 and 9 weeks of age. The pup's ears have to be taped for a couple of months to make them stand up. The tail is usually docked at the age of 3 days.


This breed began in Germany in the late 1800s. It was developed by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a tax collector. He wanted a dog who would protect him so he would not be robbed of his cash that he carried around town. The breed actually has several different dogs in its ancestory, including the old shorthaired shepherds, the German Pinscher, Rottweiler, Beauceron, Manchester Terrier, and Greyhound. Mr. Dobermann wanted to create a dog who had protective qualities such as strength and fearlessness, but also to be refined and elegant as a pet, and since he also ran the local dog pound he had access to a number of different dog breeds that had the characteristics he was looking for. The Doberman was first presented in a dog show in 1876 and was a big success. It was first recognized by the AKC in 1908.


The Doberman Pinscher is well known as an intelligent, alert and loyal companion dog, probably best known for its guarding qualities. The Doberman is said by some to be the 5th smartest dog in the world, as well as the 2nd best guard dog in the world, outranking the Rottweiller and German Shepherd. Dobermans were once commonly used as guard dogs or police dogs and have therefore developed a reputation as a viscious dog. Today's Doberman, however, is being bred away from aggression to have a less menacing temperament, and is much more gentle and affectionate. The modern Doberman Pinscher is an energetic and lively breed suitable for compansionship and family life. The Doberman is a watchful and protective dog who has no trouble distinguishing between friend and foe. These versatile dogs excel at many things including police work, search and rescue and therapy dog work. They are a determined and willful dog that needs consistent training and leadership. They are an energetic breed and need regular, daily exercise, both physical and mental, to be happy and fulfilled.

Recent studies do not rank the Doberman as the most aggressive breed, but their size, strength and aggression towards strangers makes them potentially dangerous. This is a dog who is perceptive, intuitive and sensitive. Your Doberman will not just place itself between you and a visible threat, he will anticipate that threat to you and your child. But that guardian instinct is balanced out with the world's most loving heart and sense of humor that will keep you laughing its whole life long. Dobermans are nick-named "Velcro dogs" because they loyally stick to their humans. Deep down this is a loving dog who wants, above all else, to please its owner.

Some Dobermans are extremely sensitive to stress or emotional upheaval in the home and can display physical symptoms such as upset stomachs and nervous behaviors if the people in their home are having family problems.


The standard height of the Doberman Pinscher is 24-28 inches, with a weight of 66-88 pounds.


The Doberman Pinscher is prone to several inherited health issues. Among them is a condition called Von Willebrand's Disease, a genetic bleeding disorder in which a clotting factor is missing. They are also prone to a disease caled Wobbler's Disease, a neurological spinal condition that causes their limbs to shake. Dilated cardiomyopathy is a major cause of death in Doberman Pinschers. It is characterized by a markedly enlarged and weakened heart muscle which results in irregular or abnormal heartbeats and can result in sudden death. Doberman Pinschers have shown this disease more than any other breed. The average age of developing symptoms of DCM is 7.5 years of age. Other health concerns include skin issues, bloat, hip dysplasia and hypothyroidism.


About 10-13 years.


The Doberman's smooth, short coat is easy to goom. They are an average shedder. They are very vulnerable to cold weather and would benefit from a jacket or coat in winter.


With proper training, Dobermans can do well with children and household pets. Dobermans like the company of people and are not suited to kennel or backyard life. They need human interaction and leadership. The Doberman can be a good family member with proper training, exercise and care. This breed is very sensitive to cold weather and would not do well as an outside dog. That is why police are not able to use them in areas where it gets cold.


Dobermans are intelligent and very easy to train. They need to be socialized when young so they don't develop aggression issues. The Doberman is not a breed for everyone. They need an owner who will display a natural authority over the dog. All family members must be firm, confident and consistent, setting rules and sticking to them. Dobermans can be stubborn and willful if allowed to have their own way. Since this is a powerful breed with protective instincts, it is imperative that owners begin obedience training and socialization as early as possible.

Sources:   Animal Planet's Video, Dogs 101: Doberman Pinscher;; wikipedia.og;;;;;

Cincinnati Dog Knowledge Center

By Pets in Need 08 Jan, 2018

Education is the first step  in pet poison prevention

Pet owners should take the time to educate themselves on the various, sometimes unexpected, pet poisons in their environments. The  Pet Poison Helpline  provides an extensive list of poisonous items for pet owners to be aware of, but here are a few of the most common items seen by veterinarians:

By Pets in Need 11 Dec, 2017

Outdoor Animals:

Many people believe certain dog breed, such as huskies and malamutes, are capable of living outside all of the time because of their thick coats. However, no dog breed should be consistently left unprotected outside. According to the City of Cincinnati, when the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, a pet owner should not leave their dog outside for longer than sixty minutes without adequate shelter. For outside dogs, owners should provide a warm, dry, draft free shelter with fresh, unfrozen water. Heated water bowls are a great option to ensure consistent access to unfrozen water. Owners should also feed their outdoor dogs more during the winter because their bodies use more energy trying to keep warm. In 2016, the City of Cincinnati passed an ordinance with further restrictions and shelter guidelines for dog tethering and weather conditions, which can be found by  clicking here

A common winter hazard that vets encounter consistently with cats is engine belt injuries. Cats will climb into cars to keep warm, and without knowing they’re there, people will start their cars and harm the cats. Before starting your car in the winter, it’s advised to give the car hood a few raps to make sure there are no cats cozied up inside.

By Pets in Need 27 Nov, 2017

Pets start an estimated 1,000 fires per year. While this isn’t a huge number, it’s easily preventable. Pet owners should identify the risks in their home and make sure they’re contained from pets. Risks to consider include, open flames such as candles, space heaters, stovetops, fireplaces, and frayed wires chewed by puppies.

Even if all fire hazards are contained from pets, there’s still always a chance of a house fire. According to the   National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) , there’s a home fire reported every 86 seconds in the United States. So while the hope is that you and your pets never have to face a fire, it’s important to have a plan.

In case of a fire, pet owners should hang window clings that let firefighters know there’s a pet in the home. The   ASPCA offers a free Pet Fire Safety Pack   that includes a window decal. When leaving home, pet owners should know where their pets are and keep them close to exits if possible. Pet owners should also consider investing in monitored smoke detectors that alert homeowners of a fire when they’re not home and automatically dispatch firefighters.

By Pets in Need 14 Nov, 2017
First, let’s learn a bit of information about pet diabetes. Just like in humans, there are 2 types or diabetes in pets, which veterinarians typically refer to as insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent. One is caused when the body doesn’t make enough insulin, which is a hormone created by the pancreas that allows glucose (or sugars) to move from the blood stream into cells to create energy. With non-insulin dependent diabetes, the body is making enough insulin, but it can’t utilize the insulin efficiently. This can be caused by high body fat content, chronic cortisone administration, and/or certain hormones such as progesterone (produced during a pet’s heat period).
By Pets in Need 30 Oct, 2017

Getting your dog microchipped is an easy and relatively inexpensive procedure that drastically increases the odds that your pet will find its way home if it’s ever lost. A microchip is a tiny chip that’s about the size of a grain of rice and contains a unique identification number. It’s injected into a pet’s skin between the shoulder blades on their back. When scanned with an electric scanner, the chip will show the unique identification number and manufacturer of the microchip. This unique identification number will be linked to the pet owner’s contact information in the microchip manufacturer’s database.

If a stranger ever finds your dog, a shelter or veterinarian can scan your pet for a microchip. Once they have the identification number and manufacturer from the chip reading, they will call the manufacturer in search of the pet owner’s contact information.  Therefore, if a dog owner moves or changes their contact information, it’s extremely important for them to update the contact information associated with their pet’s microchip identification number.

More Posts
Share by: