Doberman: Everything You Need to Know

The Doberman is a dog that most amazingly combines high intelligence and devotion, fearlessness and vigilance, strength and grace.

The Doberman is a breed that is confidently in the top 20 in popularity. To the question: “What are these animals famous for?” – experts will tell you about the legendary Trefa, a Doberman policeman who served in the St. Petersburg police at the beginning of the 20th century. With his help, more than 1,500 crimes were solved. Experts will also suggest reading Yesenin, who has the lines: “Give me, Jim, luckily a paw for me. I have never seen such a paw before …”, and they will tell you that the favorite of the great Russian artist Vasily Katchalov was a Doberman. And how many more stories you will hear about this wonderful dog …

Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann – this is the full name of the man who became the creator of the dog breed, which is so popular in our time. A native of the small German city of Alpoda, he changed many professions, including a tax collector and a night policeman. It was during this period that Karl thought about breeding a breed that would best meet his service requirements. According to Dobermann, such a dog should have been of medium height, smooth-haired, harmoniously combining intellectual qualities with alertness and physical endurance. Constantly visiting exhibitions and sales of animals, which regularly began to take place in Apolda since 1860, he selected the most suitable animals for breeding work.

In 1880, Dobermann, together with his friends, bought a small house and began to closely engage in breeding a new breed. The first success soon came. Dobermann dogs were acquired with pleasure by numerous clients. Today it is difficult to establish which breeds were used in breeding since no records of the progress and results of selection were kept. It can be assumed that among the ancestors of the Doberman were Old German Pinschers, Bosserons, Rottweilers. It is possible that the Manchester black and tan terrier, blue dog, pointer, and even a mastiff could have left their mark. The main thing is that the result was a dog with surprisingly diverse and pronounced characteristics.

Initially, the breed was named the Thuringian Pinscher. Another resident of Apolda, named Otto Goeller (Holler), was seriously engaged in its improvement. He managed to somewhat soften the overly aggressive nature of the dog, make it more docile and obedient, without sacrificing at all the amazing abilities for security and guard service.

There were some curiosities in the story with the Dobermans. Goeller’s neighbor so actively expressed his dissatisfaction with the noise and barking constantly coming from Otto’s house that the latter was forced to distribute most of the dogs, leaving only a few representatives of the new breed. This gave an additional impetus to its distribution and contributed to the growth of popularity.

In 1894, after the death of Karl Dobermann, in memory of his merits, the breed was renamed “Doberman Pinscher”. In 1897, a show was specially organized in Erfurt, Germany, and an official presentation took place. In 1899, the club “Dobermann Pinscher of the Year of Apolda” was created, and just a year later, due to the huge growth in popularity of animals, it was renamed the “National Dobermann Pinscher Club of Germany”. The breed began its triumphant march across Europe, and then around the world.

In Russia, Dobermans were widespread at the very beginning of the 20th century.

In 1949, the second word was removed from the name of the breed, since the leading dog handlers considered the assignment of this dog to the Pinscher group incorrect.

In February 1994, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) entered the Doberman breed into its register under No. 143, indicating Germany as its country of origin.

The Doberman is a medium-sized dog with a strong muscular body, harmoniously combining the nobility of posture with the clarity and grace of lines. This is an ideal dog with a flawless anatomical structure. It is simply impossible to hide the flaws of the Doberman’s exterior – he is all in plain sight. An ensemble of power, enormous internal energy with external grace, and even some sophistication – this is the first general impression of this breed.

The height at the withers of a dog is from 68 to 72 cm; females – 63-68 cm. Deviations in height in any direction by more than 2 cm are considered a disqualifying sign.

The weight of an adult male ranges from 40-45 kg, the female weighs from 32 to 35 kg.

The Doberman is a medium-sized animal with an elegant appearance, harmoniously developed muscles, without any signs of excessive massiveness and roughness of the body outline. The dog is more square than elongated. The height at the withers is approximately equal to (or slightly less) than the length of the body.

The size of the Doberman’s head is commensurate with the overall proportions. The shape, viewed from above, resembles a blunt wedge. The line of the crown, seen from the front, is straight, not falling towards the ears. The stop is not sharp, but noticeable. The muscles are well developed. No cheekiness.

The length of the Doberman’s muzzle is almost the same as the length of the skull. The incision of the mouth gap reaches the molars. The mouth opens wide. The nose is wide but not protruding. The color of the lobe is black or a lighter shade, depending on the color of the animal. Lips – dry and well-fitting to the jaws. The jaws are well developed and wide. Scissor bite.

The eyes are oval in shape and medium in size. The color of the iris is dark. In brown Dobermans, a lighter shade of eyes is allowed.

The Doberman’s ears are set high. If cropped, stand upright. In countries where cropping is prohibited, should be of medium size, with the leading edge adjacent to the ear.

The neck is long, graceful, straight. Very muscular and strong.

The protruding withers give rise to the line of the back. The dorsal and lumbar regions are short, only in females high values ​​of the elongation index are allowed. The croup is rounded.

The chest is convex, wide with slightly protruding ribs. Well developed in the front. The depth of the chest should be about half the height of the dog at the withers.

The Doberman’s tail is set high, docked very shortly – only two vertebrae remain visible. Where this operation is prohibited by law, a natural tail is allowed.

The forelegs are upright and straight when viewed from any angle. The musculature is well developed.

Hind legs are straight, parallel. The thighs are well-muscled.

Feet both front and hind legs are short, tightly knit. The nails are dark. Arched toes.

The Doberman’s coat is short, rather stiff, smooth, and thick. Evenly distributed throughout the body. Tight fit, no undercoat.

Black or brown. The presence of clearly visible, well-defined borders of rusty-red markings on certain parts of the body is mandatory.

Breed defects include any deviation from the requirements of the standard.

Disqualifying signs are:

  • in general appearance – a discrepancy between the appearance of the dog and gender (a dog in a female type or vice versa), blue or yellow (wolf) eyes, malocclusion, and absence of teeth;
  • according to the condition of the coat – apparently elongated or wavy, rare with bald patches, the presence of white spots;
  • by nature – fearfulness, nervousness, and aggressiveness.

You took a Doberman into your house. What to expect from this dog, because opinions about the breed sometimes differ dramatically. Let’s try to deal with this issue.

The character of an animal can be most succinctly expressed in one word – vigilance. His “karma” is to be always on the alert. This over-caution is not in any way the result of fear and intimidation, it is rather a consequence of the genetically inherent ability to think in this way, the result of his mental activity.

With the similarity of characters, each dog of this breed is a personality, no matter how paradoxical it sounds.

Many experts call the Doberman a dog with a human mind, as it is very easy to train and never forgets the lessons learned. However, only an owner with a sufficient level of intelligence and a balanced calm character can cope with a Doberman, grow and educate him.

To make sure that the Doberman is not an ordinary dog, observe him. He sleeps, rides with you in the car, plays with your children? Take a closer look! He sleeps at home, rides in his seat, frolics with his little ones. Everything is perceived by this amazing animal as personal, own, and in the sphere of his immediate responsibility. He must be aware of all the events taking place in the house, and you, in his opinion, only provide him with everything he needs.

Initially, this breed was bred to perform specific tasks. And the service Dobermans were brought up on the principle of unquestioning loyalty to the owner and aggressive suspicion of a stranger. Hence the opinion of the Doberman as an evil inadequate creature. However, breeders managed to get rid of undesirable qualities while fully preserving all performance characteristics, so that modern Dobermans are full-fledged family pets.

In no case, using the inclinations laid down by nature – strength, lack of fear, impetuosity, intelligence – to cultivate a “friend” out of your Doberman. One of the most striking features of this dog is that she herself can understand the difference between good and bad, and it is simply a crime to educate her with the methods of resentment and terror.

Doberman is a loving and very intelligent friend, top class “security”, a dog capable of embodying all your ideas about an ideal dog!

The Doberman is one of the most easily trained breeds. But one should not think that raising a well-trained, well-bred dog can be done without any effort.

It is necessary to work with a pet from an early age. First of all, you should make it clear to the kid who is the owner and leader of the pack in the house. Without becoming an authority for an animal, you will never achieve the desired results. The dog is very intelligent by nature and will not follow the owner’s commands if he does not feel his superiority over himself.

Discipline, sequence of actions, and perseverance are the main components of success in training and raising a Doberman. You must patiently pursue your commands, however, never resort to violence. Cruelty is the weapon of the weak, and your dog, at best, will cease to perceive you, and at worst, it can harbor anger and at one point throw it out on you. Weasel and persuasion are much more effective on the Doberman.

Love for a puppy in no way means permissiveness. Once deciding not to feed the dog from your table or not allowing him to immediately run into the rooms after a walk, follow the established rules constantly, without making exceptions. But you should not punish a puppy, especially in pursuit, for gnawing slippers or furniture. You will not only be misunderstood but also offended. This is the worst thing that can happen in a relationship. Your pet should see you as a best friend and like-minded person.

It is necessary to properly organize the process of training a Doberman. First of all, the puppy should be trained to execute the basic commands: “Come to me!”, “Sit!”, “Place!” Do not forget to reward your dog for success in training with a treat, or even just a kind, affectionate word.

While walking, give the command “Come to me!” it is better to repeatedly, and not just about to go home. In this case, your pet will not have negative associations with the team with the end of the event so beloved by him, like a walk with the owner.

The home training system should take into account all the characteristics of your Doberman, from his temperament and personality traits to gastronomic preferences. It is better to entrust the training of the full course of general obedience, and even more so the course of the protective service, to professionals.

A well-trained Doberman is the pride of the owner, the object of delight and admiration of those around him.

The Doberman Pinscher, as a short-haired breed, is perfect for keeping in a city apartment. If you live in your own house, then you can settle the animal in a specially equipped aviary, although it is still necessary to periodically let the dog into the house. The aviary itself will be correctly placed in the shade since Dobermans do not tolerate heat very well. The floor in the enclosure should be made of boards laid on logs 10-20 cm thick. Although the technical capabilities allow you to organize the heating of the enclosure using narrowly focused infrared heaters, it is better to keep the dog in the house during the cold season.

It is very important to organize proper care for your Doberman baby. The room where the puppy lives must be clean and warm enough. Bearing in mind the very high motor activity of dogs of this breed, do not let the hot-blooded baby lie down on the cold floor to his heart’s content – he can, at best, catch a cold, and at worst – earn extremely painful inflammation of muscle tissue. Rain and snow should not be a reason to cancel a walk, but after it, you must let the dog dry out and warm up in a warm room.

The very process of caring for a Doberman is not very difficult. Often there is no need to comb the coat. Simply wipe your pet with a wet towel once a week, then use a stiff-bristled brush to comb (or rather massage) the dog’s body. Frequent bathing is also not recommended. It will be enough to resort to it once every six months. Moreover, connoisseurs of the breed note a weakening of immunity in Dobermans with regular water procedures. But washing your paws after a walk in bad weather is quite an ordinary and harmless procedure.

The ears and eyes of the animal need control. Periodically they need to be cleaned with a cotton swab dipped in plain clean water.

The claws are trimmed neatly as needed – if they are not sharpened enough.

The dog’s bedding, toys, food, and drink bowls must be kept clean.

Doberman Pinscher must definitely get a sufficient amount of physical activity. You need to walk the dog that is kept in the house for at least two hours a day. In winter, if you do not have special dog clothes, the duration of the walks is reduced to reasonable limits.

As food for Dobermans, you can use both dry food and natural products.

When organizing food for an animal, adhere to the following basic rules.

  • Premium dry food for large dogs can be used if your pet’s weight is between 23-24 kg. For dogs weighing 25 kg or more, special dietary compositions have been used that block the obesity process.
  • Most of the menu, made up of natural products, should be meat. It should be veal. The daily intake for an adult active dog is about 1 kg. Minced meat, offal, fatty meat are alternatively undesirable.
  • The daily diet should include cereals (except semolina and pearl barley), vegetables (preferably carrots, cabbage, zucchini), low-fat dairy products.

For dogs of “solid” age, food can be softened in kefir, for young individuals this method is not used.

Proper care of the Doberman also implies constant monitoring by the owner of the animal’s health, adherence to the vaccination schedule.

Even though Dobermans are classified as healthy dog ​​breeds, there are several diseases and hereditary problems that are more common in these animals.

First of all, it is heart disease. Unfortunately, veterinarians diagnose cardiovascular diseases (coronary artery disease, tachycardia, arrhythmia, heart failure), even in young animals that have not yet reached the age of five. To make the treatment as effective as possible, monitor your pet’s condition. Breathing problems, cases of falling when walking, imbalance, convulsive tremors – all these symptoms indicate that there are heart problems and are a signal for immediate referral to the veterinary clinic. Such animals are indicated for drug treatment, and it is better to always carry prescribed medicines with them. Heart problems can also be hereditary. All the same shortness of breath, weakness up to fainting may not appear in a Doberman immediately, but even when the disease is running, and it is problematic to cope with it. In this case, preventive measures should come to the fore, the most effective of which are systematic examinations and cardio tests.

Narcolepsy is another genetic “problem” of Doberman. This is a specific disorder of the nervous system, which manifests itself in a short-term (from several seconds to 15-20 minutes) drop in muscle tone. The animal becomes completely motionless, the eyes glaze over. Loud noise or body stroking can help revive the dog. The nature of the disease is not completely clear, and your task remains, with the help of the veterinarian’s advice, only to prevent attacks.

Dobermans also have a genetic predisposition to gastric volvulus. The provoking factor here is an unhealthy diet. The following symptoms indicate this serious problem – bloating, profuse salivation, abdominal pain, constant urge to vomit and defecate. The dog becomes very nervous. In no case should you hesitate to seek qualified help in the event of such problems?

Unfortunately, Dobermans and allergies often suffer. It can be caused by house dust, pollen, molds. Among the most serious problems resulting from allergic reactions, your pet may develop a sacral lysing granuloma. The disease is very difficult to treat, and simple drug therapy is no longer enough.

Proper care, balanced nutrition, timely vaccination, regularity in conducting preventive examinations with a veterinarian, love, and care are the main conditions for maintaining the good health of your pet.

How to choose a puppy?

When buying a little Doberman, you, of course, want to see a reliable, loyal, and intelligent dog next to you. This largely depends on how responsibly you approach the choice of a puppy.

The question of where to buy a dog should be resolved with no alternative – only in a specialized kennel or from experienced breeders with a good reputation. Buying on the poultry market or over the Internet is in the overwhelming majority of cases not justified.

It is very important to decide on the gender of the puppy. The choice, as you know, is small, but still there. The Doberman girl is usually more affectionate and attentive. A male can better cope with the role of a formidable and self-confident companion-defender.

Even a short conversation with the breeder can say a lot to an attentive person. People who love dogs and are responsible for their breeding are immediately visible. They will be happy and knowledgeable to answer all your questions, advise on the care and maintenance of the animal. Professional breeders themselves usually offer clients to familiarize themselves with the training diplomas (both in general obedience and in the course of protective service) of the puppy’s parents. This, to a certain extent, guarantees that your chosen one has the necessary working qualities.

It is very important to evaluate the behavior and appearance of the mother dog. Her coat should be smooth and shiny, her eyes lively and clear. About you, she should behave wary, even with a certain amount of tension, but not in any way hysterically aggressive.

When examining a Doberman puppy, pay attention to the following points:

  • the baby should have a wide back and strong bones;
  • the body is almost square, the neck is long;
  • the jaws are wide enough, even a small Doberman has a well-defined chin;
  • the tummy is soft and painless, without signs of an umbilical hernia;
  • the coat is smooth, not dull.

A healthy baby is active and curious, but cowardice and lethargy are not at all typical for a “correct” Doberman baby.

The curvature of the paws, traces of discharge from the eyes, white spots on the skin, a swollen belly, protruding ribs indicate that the puppy is not completely healthy.

By the age of one and a half months, the baby’s tail should already be docked, and the wound should heal well. At 1.5 months, many breeders cut off the puppy’s ears, although this is not always practiced. You can safely buy a “lump”, but in this case, remember that all the problems associated with bringing the appearance of your pet to the requirements of the standard will fall on your shoulders.

The responsible breeder, along with the animal, must always give you a puppy card, which contains information about all vaccinations performed. The number of this document necessarily coincides with the number of the stamp, which is usually applied on the belly, less often on the ear of the dog.

Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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