Doberman Pinscher Dog Breed Profile

A Doberman Pinscher sits by the Bow River in Banff, Alberta with the Canadian Rocky Mountains in the background.
Jonathon Olenick/Moment/Getty Images

The Doberman Pinscher is a medium-large, deep-chested dog breed with a sleek and sturdy appearance. The breed is muscular and athletic, possessing great strength and endurance. Dobermans (also called "Dobes" or "Dobies") are fearless, loyal and highly intelligent. These traits have made them ideal police, war, and guard dogs, but they are also outstanding companions.

Caring for Your Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman has a short, smooth hair coat that requires very little grooming.

If ears are kept natural (not cropped), then extra attention should be placed upon keeping the ears clean. Otherwise, a basic grooming routine is all that is necessary.

Most Dobermans have a fairly high energy level and require plenty of exercise in order to stay healthy. Because of their natural athleticism, a few brisk walks or runs every day will help keep a Doberman in tip-top shape. 

The Doberman is very smart and learns quite easily. Proper training is absolutely essential for this breed to ensure good behavior. Socialization is equally important. Though many people think of Dobies as serious dogs, they can actually be a bit goofy and rambunctious at times (especially as puppies).

Dobermans have traditionally had their tails docked (removed) soon after birth and, later, their ears cropped (trimmed surgically in order to make them stand erect). Much controversy has surrounded the practice of ear cropping and tail docking in dogs, including the Doberman.

Some countries have actually outlawed these practices, but they are still permitted in the US. However, many people do elect to keep the ears natural on their Dobermans.

Doberman Pinscher History

The Doberman Pinscher emerged as a breed in Germany around the turn of the 20th century. A tax collector named Louis Dobermann, for whom the breed was named, developed the breed out of the desire for a medium-sized companion and guard dog.

It is believed that the Doberman originates from breeds such as the Rottweiler, Black and Tan Terrier, German Pinscher and possibly the Greyhound.

The Doberman Pinscher has been treasured for its great intelligence, loyalty, and athletic abilities. Over the years, the breed has diligently worked as a war dog and police dog but has also remained a faithful companion to many.

Doberman Pinscher Information

Group: Working

Size: 65-86 pounds

Colors: Black, red, blue, or fawn with rust markings (sometimes small patches of white are seen)

Doberman Pinscher Health Problems

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:

Living With a Doberman Pinscher

Well-trained Dobermans often do very well with children and in various social situations. They can also make great therapy dogs.

Overall, this breed is both a hard worker and an excellent companion.

The breed's temperament is generally known to be docile yet protective. The Doberman has earned a reputation as a fierce guard dog (which it can certainly be). However, the breed is usually quite gentle and not aggressive by nature. 

As with any breed, if you think the Doberman Pinscher is the right dog breed for you, be sure to do plenty of research before adopting one. Talk to other Doberman owners, reputable Doberman breeders, and Doberman rescue groups to learn more.

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