The Doberman is a balanced, reliable, lively, vigorous, energetic, proud and impulsive dog. It has an athletic, strong, and muscular appearance. It has a characteristically elegant figure; a temperamental nature, and the expression of a determined dog.
Its name derives from the German Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, who in the final stages of the XIX century, started breeding a new dog breed which could take care of his own job, as a tax collector. It was necessary the crossbreeding between the Rottweiler, the Beauceron, the Weimaraner, the Manchester terrier, and the Pinscher.
The Doberman is the only breed in Germany which has the name of its first breeder: Friederich Louis Dobermann. According to the story, he used to be tax collector, administrator of a breeding center, and also a “dog catcher”, a person allowed to catch all dogs which were free on the streets. To create this breed, he mated the most biters of the breeding center. The “butchers’ dogs” were the most important in the Doberman’s creation. Those dogs were the precursors of the current Rottweiler, crossed with a type of shepherding dog with black colored coat with red markings, which was common in the State of Thuringia. The Doberman started its breeding in the 70s with these crossbreedings. In this way, he got “his breed” of useful home and farm dogs, which were not only guardians, but also very close to men. It was mainly used as protection and police dog. It wide usefulness in the Police Department made it get to be called “police dog”. During hunting, it was mainly used to wipe out the vermin.
Doberman’s breeding gave rise to a strong and muscular dog, which despite its essence allows recognizing elegance and nobility. It is an ideal companion, guardian and working dog.
Height bitch: 61~68 cm / Height male: 66~72 cm
Weight bitch: 32~35 kg / Weight male: 40~45 kg
The Doberman is a loyal and intelligent working and guardian dog. Its popularity relies on its muscular appearance, its remarkable color and its will to please its owner. Despite its popularity fluctuates from one year to another, it is still one of the most appreciated dog breeds. It is the only breed which was bred specifically to protect humans, and so it has done successfully for more than a hundred years in many countries.
It has a square-shaped body; a head with a snout and skull in parallel planes; a very light stop; and dark and small eyes. It has its ears set high on the head, with a long and elegant neck; the body has a muscular appearance with straight legs; the topline is also straight and the short coat covers its body.
Males are between 68 and 72 cm tall, and weigh between 40 and 45 kg, while females are between 63 and 68 cm tall and weigh between 32 and 35 kg.
The coat is short, thick, straight and uniformly distributed over the body. Having a double coat is not accepted.
Regarding to colors, there are many standards depending on the Canine’s organization, which may imply differences on the colors admitted in the same dog breed. Doberman’s Standard indicates the following colors:
Accepted colors by the FCI: black and tan (or rust); and brown and tan (or rust). And the ones which are not accepted are: white (albino; a not highly recommended variety) and black without rust markings.
This is a characteristically friendly and pacific breed. It is very dependent of its family. It is encouraged to be fierce and to have a moderated temperament, and also a medium excitation threshold. Because of its docility and happiness during work, the Doberman is characterized by its courage, toughness and capacity. It can be mainly appreciated by its self-confidence if it has an adequate attention on its surroundings.
It can be trained to compete in obedience, working and agility tests; and it is also an excellent dog for dog beauty competitions. The fact that it is easy to train has allowed it to perform an important role as a war and police dog. When it is adequately trained and with a fit structure, the Doberman is a balanced and reliable dog. It has an unbeatable loyalty to the people it loves.
The Doberman is easy to take care; its coat needs to be constantly brushed to keep it in good conditions. It has a medium-high cost of maintenance.
Regarding to training, it requires a firm owner with a lot of authority. Its training must be constant and strict to create a good coexistence with it. As we said before, a well-trained Doberman will never doubt its loyalty and your authority.
Generally, the Doberman is a very healthy dog breed. However, there will be cases in which your dog may be affected by some type of illness. There are some mild illnesses which could be treated without having to go to a professional.
As many other dog breeds, the Doberman may have skin and coat problems. These cutaneous problems may the result of parasites, fungus, hormones or allergic reactions, but some of them are hereditary. The «blue Doberman» syndrome is a persistent problem related to the Blue Doberman Pinschers. These dogs tend to be already affected when they are born, with hairless spots in many parts of their bodies. The illness cannot disappear, but some symptoms can be controlled and treated with medicinal shampoos and unguents prescribed by the vet.
The von Willebrand’s disease consists in a bleeding disorder which affects many breeds, including the Doberman. Depending on how serious is the problem, dogs may get bruises easily or cause nose or mouth hemorrhages. This disease is hereditary and there are many tests to check if the animal endures it. It is important to check dogs which tend to have hemorrhages, because it could mean the presence of this disease, before they are used for breeding.
Some symptoms are hair loose, lethargic behavior and matte or dry skin. A simple blood test can confirm the existence of the problem, and generally, medications will make it disappear.
Cervical vertebral instability (CVI) is cause by several possible malformations of the cervical vertebrae. This problem pressures the spinal cord and this causes instability on the back limbs of the animal. This problem has been registered in many Dobermans with a different rank of seriousness. Its cause is still uncertain and some experts speculate that the problem is related to the general formation of the dog, its diet or with hereditary elements.
The Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is caused by the bilateral degeneration of the retina itself. It is common in Greyhounds, and not so frequent in Dobermans. The first symptom of this condition is night vision loss. The problem will get worse until the dog is partially or completely blind. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for any of these cases, and all specimens with PRA should not be in breeding programs.
Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart becomes enlarged and cannot pump blood efficiently. Affected dogs tend to die because of a heart failure. Some Doberman with Dilated Cardiomyopathy tend to have low L-Carnitine levels in their muscles. These dogs are usually treated with supplementary Carnitine.
You can download the FCI (International Cinological Federation) standard at the following link: http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/143g02-en.pdf