The Doberman Pinscher is quite famous. One of the sleekest and most efficient working dogs, their image often inspires admiration or even fear. It’s no surprise then that they were bred to be tax collectors’ dogs in Germany, by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann himself. Today, they make excellent workers in fields like the military and service. Read on to learn more about the Doberman Pinscher.
Description of the Doberman Pinscher
These dogs are beautiful specimens, a truly great visage of a working dog.
They are made entirely of lean muscle, with short, sleek coats that show it off. The Doberman is most famous for his black and rust coloration, but can also come in blue, red, and fawn.
Noble would not be an undue description. Their heads specifically are quite unique, with a pointed muzzle and tall, graceful ears (if they are cropped). There is no doubting the fact that these dogs are always alert and ready.
Dobies are born with long tails and floppy ears. In the U.S., their tails and ears are generally cut and molded to create the eye-catching pricked ears and cropped tail. This practice is less common and even illegal in other parts of the world, due to its potential for infection and pain to the puppies during the procedure.
Life Expectancy and Size
Despite their image as protectors, these dogs are not comparable to behemoths, like the Mastiff or even bulkier specimens like the German Shepherd.
They are quite lean, weighing in between 60 and 100 pounds, and standing 24 and 28 inches tall.
As large dogs, the Doberman Pinscher does not have longest life expectancy, generally living between 10 and 12 years. They are prone to heart problems, which unfortunately may end their lives much earlier. Maintaining their fitness and weight can help to combat these disorders.
This breed is a protector through and through. However, they work mostly as a deterrent. No one in their right mind is likely to threaten a house with a Doberman Pinscher!
Properly socialized Dobermans are not overly aggressive. In fact, it is very important that these dogs are not thought of as simply guard dogs. They should be allowed to live inside with the family. Obedience and socialization should start early, so that this breed can live a happy, wholesome life.
These dogs can be trained to the highest level, and are smart and responsive. With a confident owner, they can learn just about anything. That being said, it important to treat them like the smart and capable dogs that they are.
They respond best to consistent commands. Harsh words simply do not work. Like with most dogs, a positive and rewards-based regimen will help these dogs achieve success.
The Doberman Pinscher has proved effective in a variety of capacities. They are well-known as bomb dogs, search and rescue, military, and service animals.
All of that potential comes with the energy level to back it up. These dogs need to have consistent physical and mental stimulation. Otherwise, they can very easily become bored and potentially destructive.
Dobermans are really only happy with a job – they are not going to be happy simply running around a fenced yard. Canine sports like agility are a good outlet for this dog’s need to have his mind challenged.
What Living with a Doberman Pinscher is Like
Living with this capable dog is a real treat. However, it is important that they are provided with enough mental and physical stimulation. Otherwise, they can easily become unhappy and difficult to cohabitate with. For the average family, canine sports can be a good option.
These dogs are also surprisingly sensitive. They need calm, collected households. This means that high-strung owners, or those with young kids, may not be the best environment.
The Doberman Pinscher is a beautiful dog, and quite easy to care for, though they have certain exercise needs. For this reason, they are ideal for serious jobs.
Care of the Doberman Pinscher
These dogs have an easy care physique. However, they have serious exercise needs and dominating personalities. They also face serious health issues.
The Doberman Pinscher’s environmental needs have less to do with weather, and more about the situation. They can handle most climates, although their short coats can leave them a bit chilly in the cold, unless they are performing vigorous activity. They love being outside, and having a fenced yard is highly advisable.
The most important aspect of providing a good life for the Doberman Pinscher is tending to its exercise needs. However, it is not as simple as giving these dogs time to run around. They prefer directed work that will challenge both their bodies and minds.
Minimally, these dogs require a fenced area to run around, and a walk or two each day. Still, if you are bringing a Doberman into a family home, it is best to provide them with outlets like agility. It is not that these dogs make bad pets, but rather that their potential may be squandered.
Adequate exercise can also help these sensitive dogs remain mentally sound. It calms their minds and decreases the chances of destructive behavior.
Shedding and Grooming
Shedding and grooming are quite standard with the Doberman Pinscher. Their short coats do shed, so brushing them occasionally with a grooming mitt can help to remove loose hair. Otherwise, care is minimal. They need to be bathed only very rarely. Routine maintenance of the ears, nails, and teeth is recommended as it is for all dogs. Any particular concerns can be discussed with your veterinarian.
Ideal Home Environment
This breed is best suited to a very particular type of owner. They do best when they have a job, so families should have this in mind when selecting the Doberman. These are not couch potatoes!
They should have access to a fenced in yard while off duty. Generally, they do best with calm owners to appease their sensitive personalities. This means that these dogs are not well-suited to homes with children, especially small ones. Owners should be confident enough to stay strong yet kind during training.
Health problems are a serious issue for the Doberman Pinscher. Unfortunately, cardiac problems regularly shorten this breed’s life. Some of these can be avoided by choosing a reputable breeder who takes genetics seriously in their breeding program. It is also important to make sure that the Doberman maintains its fitness level.
Additional problems arise with hip and elbow pain, eye, and thyroid issues. Unfortunately cancer affects a large number of Dobermans. They are also prone to Wobbler Syndrome, a neurologic disorder that causes a characteristic wobbling gait.
Genetic disorders can be tested for by reputable breeders.
This breed has a huge amount of potential. This also means that there is a huge potential for trouble. Dobermans are a lot to manage. Strong and capable dogs, they can easily become difficult to handle.
Early obedience and socialization training are essential. This will help these dogs to fulfill their potential for work and personality.
Even with well-trained Doberman Pinschers, a lot of bias exists. People may be nervous around these impressive dogs, and some landlords and insurance companies may not allow the breed.