Doberman Pinscher – What Everyone Needs To Know

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Doberman Pinschers are fiercely protective and loyal toward their family members. They are also one of the most intelligent and popular breeds nowadays. But why are they really so popular? Read on and learn the most important facts about Doberman Pinschers.
Dog Breed Group:
Working Dogs
24 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder
60 to 80 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 13 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Doberman Pinscher or The Dobermann is a medium-large breed that was developed around 1890 by the German tax collector, Friedrich Louis Dobermann. This domestic breed was developed around the 1890s.

This is a breed with a powerful posture and alert intelligence. Doberman Pinscher is one of the most popular and loved dogs globally. They are extremely alert and fearless, which makes them one of the world’s finest protection dogs.

But, is this breed for everyone? Can you leave this medium-size dog with your child or to a feline? Read on and discover if this amazing breed is your right fit!

Quick Facts

Real name: Doberman Pinscher
Other names: Doberman, Dobie
Origin: Germany
Breed type: Guard Dogs
Weight: Male 40-45 kg (88 to 99 pounds), female 32-35 kg (71 to 77 pounds)
Height: Male 68-72 cm (27 to 28 inches), female 63-68 (25 to 27 inches)
Lifespan: 9 – 12 years
Color: Black, red, blue, fawn
Coat: Short coat

Doberman Pinscher: History

Doberman Pinscher’s history is probably one of the most fascinating ones, and truth be told it goes with their appearance. Back in 1800’s Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann was working as a tax collector in the city of Apolda, the German state of Thuringia. Although there are some disputes on Karl’s exact job description, it is known that he ran the Apolda dog pound.

Also, it is known that he wanted and needed a protection guard due to his jobs nature, and with so many different dog breed around him he got the idea to create a breed that would be ideal for protecting him, according to his standards. Working as a tax collector probably was dangerous back in the days. Therefore, he needed a breed that would show impressive stamina, strength, and intelligence.

Where Do Doberman Pinscher Come From?

The very first Doberman Pinschers, as they become known, were seen back in 1897, in Erfurt, Germany. Their creator, Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann was born and based in Germany, so we can say with certainty that Doberman Pinschers are 100% German. Actually, three years after the breed was introduced to the world, the breed received official recognition as a German breed.

The official recognition happened in 1890’s when Otto Goeller, founded the National Doberman Pinscher Club. Otto was one of the earliest breeders and he is considered to have perfected the breed.

Quick fact: Doberman Pinscher is a parent breed of Canis Panther

How Doberman Pinschers Were Bred?

Karl Dobermann kept local dog pound, where he had access to many stray dogs in the town. Once he decided to make a breed that will protect him, he actually knew what traits he exactly wanted in his ‘perfect protective’ breed. With so many different breeds around him in his everyday life, he had a first-hand opportunity to see what each breed is superb at. With a private local dog pound, he also had dogs to mix.

Even today, no one knows for sure how many breeds Dobermann actually breed to get the Doberman that we know today, but we know for sure that he was mostly oriented toward medium-size dogs and large-dog breeds. Some of the breeds that were surely involved include German shepherd dog, Great Dane, Manchester terrier, English greyhound, German pinscher, and Rottweiler.

Initially, they were bred and used as guard dogs. With time, their role evolved from being guard dogs to police and military dogs, to rescues dogs and lately perfect therapy dogs.

Which Dog Is Doberman Pinscher?

Karl Dobermann’s died in 1894 and in his honor the Germans named the breed Dobermann-pinscher. But, 50 years after that event they dropped the word ‘pinscher’ as a word that was no longer appropriate. A few years later the British did the same, naming the breed just ‘Dobermann’. Nowadays, the USA and Canada kept the ‘pincher’ in the breed’s name, while they have dropped second ‘n’ from Dobermann’s surname.

In Canada and the States, the official name of the breed is ‘Doberman Pinscher’. That’s the main reason for confusion when people talk about this breed, as they are not sure if they are talking about the same breed when they are discussing Doberman and a Doberman pinscher.

Doberman pinscher vs. Doberman

The only difference here lies in the fact that the name ‘Doberman’ is used in the States and a few other countries, while name makes no difference in the Doberman breeds. As a breed Doberman or Doberman Pinscher is a medium-size dog, with short hair and muscular structures.

Doberman Pinscher: Physical Appearance

Doberman Pinschers are muscular dogs that are compactly built. They have powerful standing between 24 to 28 inches at the shoulder. Their body is covered in a short coat of black, red, blue, or fawn, with rust markings.

Dobermans are medium-sized dogs with a square body. They are powerful and just a glance on their body tells that they are built for protection, speed, and great endurance. They have a reputation of being royalty in the canine kingdom, with their elegant traits and moves, combined with a noble wedge-shaped head and an easy, almost athletic way of moving. Simply said, their body shows their personality – being energetic, determines, alert, watchful, loyal, fearless and obedient.

When Is A Doberman Pinscher Fully Grown?

Dogs of bigger breeds complete their growth process later than dogs of smaller breeds. So, as a larger breed, Dobermans need more time to fully grown.

There is a slight difference between females and males, as females reach their adult heights while they’re between 7 and 12 months, but it doesn’t mean that their bodies stop developing or growing. Their bodies keep developing until they are about 2 years old.

Males also need more time to reach their sexual maturity level, as they need to turn 2 years to go through their initial heat cycle. If you are thinking about breeding your dog, you should take this fact into consideration.

Why Are Doberman Pinschers Ears Cropped?

Doberman Pinschers are famous for their pointed ears that are actually cropped. Originally, Dobermans have larger and floppy ears, more like any other natural canine eat. There are many different opinions on dog’s ears overall – some believe that floppy ears are a deviation from nature, and side-effect of domestication.

On the other hand, some believe that dogs with erect ears hear better. The belief that dogs with erect ears hear better is the main reason why people started cropping Doberman ears – it is believed that it leads to more effective sound localization.

Ear cropping is a surgical procedure, mostly performed when a puppy is between 7 and 16 weeks old. It is always done under general anesthesia and puppies are free to go home the same day or the next morning.

In most cases, vets will tape ears to keep them erect while the edges heal. Once the stitches are removed, the ears must be taped to train them to stand upright and it can last for weeks. In some cases, tapping can last even for a year. Ear’s stand is merely linked with the owner’s dedication to keeping them properly taped.

Doberman Pinschers Ears Cropping Is A Personal Choice

According to AKC Doberman breed standard dog’s ears must be cropped, an uncropped ear is not an anomaly. So, if you are not showing your dog, cropping is a personal decision.

If you insist on cropping make sure that you find an experienced veterinarian skilled in the cropping procedure. Puppies do not show signs of pain from an ear crop, but an unskilled vet and a poorly performed crop can be traumatic. Always ask for a recommendation from Doberman club, your puppy’s breeder or even breeders in your area and always go for the veterinarian with most recommendations.

However, be aware that ear cropping and tail docking is essentially a cruel thing to do to your young puppy. There are multiple aspects you should take in consideration before thinking of doing it. These procedures were done in the past in order to reduce injuries in Dobermans that participated in dog fights. Therefore, ear cropping and tail docking is found to be obsolete.

Good to know: Ear cropping, just like tail docking, is illegal in many countries. These procedures have never been legal in some Commonwealth countries.

Doberman Pinscher: Personality

Doberman Pinschers are considered to be highly people-oriented dogs. With humans, they are nice, sweet and affectionate if trained and socialized properly, of course.

In general, Dobermans are loyal and great with children if they are raised with them. Their personality is rather a unique one and they spend most of their lives if not the whole one, being attached only with one person. Dobermans are rather intelligent dogs that love to be trained and are great protectors. The ideal Doberman is alert, obedient, watchful, energetic and never cruel.

Is Doberman Pinscher a Family Dog?

Above anything else, Dobermans are loyal, but only if they are raised as a part of the family. If your Doberman is left out in the backyard alone and un-loved he will never become a family protector. Instead of the loving family dog, you will have a fearful and aggressive dog toward everyone, including his own family.

In order for him to develop that connection with family members, especially children, he needs to spend his time surrounded by family. Altogether, when the Doberman is loved, he is truly a well trained and socialized dog and perfect companion.

Is Doberman Pinscher Dangerous?

People have strong beliefs that Dobermans are dangerous, mean, and aggressive dogs. However, this is just like with any other breed more related with the owners than with the breed itself, as the owner is the one responsible for training and socializing dog. Therefore, early training is mandatory if you want your Doberman to be an obedient and loyal dog.

The most common reason why people always think that Dobermans are mean is that they are extremely powerful. Dobermans have a very strong bite, around 305 PSI or pressure goes directly through their jaws. That is enough pressure to break bones or snap a tennis ball in half with a single bite. In addition to strong bite, Dobermans have ‘scissor’ bite. Scissor bite means that their teeth come together in a fairly precise, which allows them to hold onto what they bite.

Last, but not least they tend to bite in a unique way: bite, release, and re-bite. This kind of moves allows them to apply a significant amount of damage in a very short period of time. This is just part of their dogie nature and defensive attitude, as nowadays Dobermans are gentle, kind, and amazing with children.

Although Dobermans have impressive abilities, they’re not likely to demonstrate them or use them until they feel that they’re threatened or any of their family members. Modern-day Dobermans are well suited for a role of gentle and careful companion and it’s not likely to be overly aggressive or mean. However, Dobermans are instinctively more protective than they are aggressive or offensive.

Are Doberman Pinscher Good With Cats?

If your Doberman is not properly socialized, you can expect some form of aggression and non-trust toward any animal, and other dogs especially. Aggression toward other dogs is mostly seen when Doberman is on a leash, or when you have more males living in the same household. This behavior can be preventable if Doberman is properly socialized, and the same goes for cats as well.

Each Doberman can have its own feelings when it comes to loving or not loving cats. Some just love spending time with them and playing, while others can’t fight off the urge to seize and chase small animals. Remember, you can’t force your canine to love cats, but you can train him to tolerate your feline bundle of joy.

Doberman Pinscher: Grooming

With this breed, grooming will never be a dull or difficult task, as Dobermans are kind of ‘wash and wear’ breeds. They need just regular grooming for a clean and shiny coat and appearance.

Did you know that Doberman Pinscher is often promoted as non-smelly breed? To keep them that way implement healthy grooming routine and stick to it.

Have a quick and daily short-brushed or a grooming mitt over his coat and you will have a dog that’s healthy and shiny. Daily brushing will help you bond and spot fast any coat appearance change. After all, this breed is prone to inheriting Blue Dog Syndrome.

You don’t have to bath often this dog, and if he gets dirty and messy during a playtime think about homemade dog shampoo as safe and fast bathing, option. Trim his nails once a month and brush teeth regularly. Think about daily treats that will help save Dobermans gums for an unlimited period of time. Brush his ears every few days with a little baby oil on a paper towel. If you need help ask your veterinarian how to clean dog’s ears.

Doberman Pinscher: Training

Doberman Pinscher is an energetic dog who needs at least two hours of exercise and free play every day. With so much energy, he needs to be properly trained or you won’t be able to control him.

Make sure that you start early training and socialization, including long walks and a large fenced area so he can run in his free time. Staying active and being free is imperative for Dobermans mental and physical well-being. Regular participation in canine sports such as agility, tracking, and obedience will do wonders for Dobermans body and mind.

Dobermans are intelligent and they are willing to learn, so if don’t want a destructive and pushy big dog, socialization in puppyhood is imperative, together with obedience training.

Also, Dobermans should always live inside with the people, rather than outdoors. By doing so the chances are that you will raise a dog to be a happy, obedient, and moreover a well-mannered canine citizen.

Doberman Pinscher: Health

Overall, Dobermans are general dogs, although there are some conditions that the breed is prone to, including some genetic conditions. In some cases, Dobermans can suffer from bloat, a life-threatening digestive condition. The most common genetic health condition in this breed is hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, albinism, or even hypothyroidism.

Serious breeders always screen their dogs for these health conditions via medical testing. So, unless a breeder can show or provide health documentation that the dogs are genetically tested and healthy, don’t buy a puppy. For more health-related issues in Doberman check this health statement.

Doberman Pinscher – Key Takeaways

Dobermans went a long way from being war dogs to modern-day children-lover dogs. This breed is still one of the most popular breeds in the world. People are in love with this breed mainly for being a loving and loyal companion.

Doberman is a friendly and stable dog unless you thereat his family. They take family protection very seriously, and unless you interfere with their happiness and well-being you will never see there Dobermans infamous vicious side. On the other hand, proper nutrition, training and a significant amount of love will guarantee that you will have a perfect Doberman friend.

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