Doberman Pinscher

Would you believe it if someone told you that a “taxman” created and gave the world such an incredible and enjoyable dog breed? Probably not, however, that is certainly the case, when over a century ago, a “tax collector” introduced what would become one of the most beloved breeds on this planet, the Doberman Pinscher.

The Doberman is shaped like a military tank. He’s compact and deep chested. Known for being highly alert  and active, the Doberman Pinscher is a canine that is easy to train and fun to be around.

So what makes this dog such a popular choice?

We’ll tell you what you need to know about one of the most intelligent dogs on Earth, the Doberman Pinscher.

History

The Doberman Pinscher first originated in Germany around the 1890’s. Dobie’s found a role as a protective piece at first, when Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann made collections in war ravaged areas. Doberman’s tough job required a dog that not only was intimidating in appearance but showcased intelligence . The dog did well protecting its master from scoundrels and tax evaders.

In 1894, when Karl Doberman passed away, Germany named the dog, Doberman Pinscher.

Even today, it isn’t exactly clear what breeds were used in morphing what eventually became the Dobie. However, many believe that the dog is a mix between German Pinscher, Rottweiler, Weimaraner and Beauceron. Some even believe that the older gene pool of German Shepherds were used to create the Doberman.

The American Kennel Club first recognized its first Doberman Pinscher in 1908. The AKC has classified this breed as a medium sized dog that belongs in the “working group.”

During the 1900’s, the Dobie continued to shine outside of its designated working group status. Doberman Pinschers have been used in police, military, emergency, tracking, watching and guarding efforts.

Because the Doberman is so intelligent and when trained right, an obedient dog, Dobermans have fared well in dog contests and shows as well.

Due to the changing breeding practices today, It’s unfortunately how the dog once was used  that lead some to believe this an aggressive dog. The Doberman Pinscher if trained right, is more of a lover than a fighter, and much like other easy to train breeds like a Labrador Retriever or Border Collie, the Doberman prides itself on being serviceable and hardworking.

Pictures

Doberman Pinscher

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Black male Doberman Pinscher standing . Credit: tugolukof/Shutterstock.com

Size

Doberman Pinschers fall into the category of a medium-sized dog. Male Doberman Pinschers should stand anywhere from 26-28 inches. Females should vary in height from 24-26 inches. According to the AKC, a male should weigh 75-100 pounds, while a female should weigh 60-90 pounds.

Personality/Temperament

A Doberman Pinscher is highly alert, incredibly fearless, and is loyal companion to their owner. If you’re looking for a dog that is easy to train, then the Dobie is your dog. However, they can be stubborn at times, which is why it’s important to remain firm with them and stand your ground.

Dobies are happiest when they are active and exercising at a regular rate. They aren’t a breed that should be cordoned off in a backyard or tied up all day. A Doberman Pinscher should be part of the family’s endeavors.

Many believe the Dobie is a fearless and aggressive canine. They would be halfway correct. Fearless, yes, but aggressive depends on how they are raised and the situation. Mainly, this perception is because of what the Doberman was originally bred for. They do thrive in police and rescue situations, when the master needs a dog that is intelligent and talented at guarding or watching.

Most Dobies have a natural athletic build, which makes them much more practical for working situations,.

Dog experts agree that Dobies may take longer than other canine breeds to mature. Moreover, you should expect a Dobie to fully mature and snap out of its “puppy” hyperactivity” around 4 years old.

Although Doberman Pinschers are loving and affectionate, they won’t hesitate to protect and act on a threat, if it means protecting their family and house.

That makes the Dobes much more ideal than some other breeds as far as how they interact with children. The Doberman Pinscher can be trusted and left alone with children, but that is assuming the dog has been taught well as a puppy. They do like to play and love to accommodate their masters along jogs, runs, or hikes.

Finally, Dobies can mix in well with other pets in the household, but that will also take some time and socializing at a puppy’s age.

Health

The average lifespan for a Doberman Pinscher is an average, 10 to 11 years. Although, some Dobies live up to 13 years.

One of the biggest health risks that Doberman Pinschers suffer is Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Luckily, there is medication available and treatment as well for this heart disease. Cardiomyopathy occurs when the heart muscle becomes too thin or ineffective at pumping blood to the rest of the dog’s body. 40 percent of all DCM diagnosis are from Doberman Pinschers. 25 percent of Dobies affected by Myopathy are likely to die and the estimated survival time is 2 months. Oxygen and fluid therapy along with medication is common treatments, but it’s important to make sure your Doberman is check and cleared for this potentially fatal condition.

Doberman Pinschers are deep chested dogs, which means they are more susceptible to bloat than fellow breeds. Bloat can be extremely dangerous and cause a painful death if not treated. Bloat occurs when the stomach expands with gas and air causing torsion or twisting. Because the dog is unable to release air, either from belching or vomiting, it cannot release the abundance in air whirling inside. This blocks up the blood flow and will lead to futile complications.

Later on in a Doberman’s life, they may experience what is called, Wobblers Syndrome.  This is a spinal condition that can cause great discomfort and pain. One of the leading expert opinions is that keeping your Dobie’s weight down and providing a proper nutritional regimen reduces the risk of overgrowth. The symptoms are quite distinguishable such as the dog being over clumsy, falling for no reason, discomfort, pain and paralysis.

Other issues that impact the health of a Doberman Pinscher can include:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Albinoism
  • Narcolepsy
  • PRA or Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Hip Dysplasia.

It’s always important to get your dog checked up regularly and obtain the appropriate documentation from a reputable and trustworthy dog breeder.

Care

If you’re bringing in a puppy, then obtaining the proper registration and documentation forms for medical clearance is crucial. Once you’ve received that, then it is essential to start socializing your Doberman Pinscher at an early age. This will help the breed later on in life intermingle better with small children and other animals.

Dobies are very trainable, and enjoy mental stimulating exercises, which has led the breed to be one of the best amongst canines as service and emergency working dogs.

Doberman Pinschers can live in spaces like an apartment, if they are properly trained to adapt, but they flourish better in larger areas, where they can freely roam and be highly active.

A Dobie doesn’t like to be tied up all day long without supervision or companionship. It’s important to bring your Dobie along with you or include them in family activities.

When training and raising a Doberman Pinscher, it is always best to be commanding and in control. Don’t waiver at this task, because Dobies do better with consistency and knowing their role in the family.

Avoid scolding and be mindful that a Doberman can be dangerous if not treated or trained right.

Feeding

Every canine will be different as far as what their diet will consist of based on their activity levels. That said, there should never be a compromise in nutritional value with your Doberman Pinscher. High quality food, that is easily digestable is a must have, especially since this breed is prone to digestive issues.

Many breeders suggest a meat source as the first ingredient, which can be beef or chicken. Fillers and other grainy food items should be avoided such as corn or wheat.

It never hurts to follow the back of the dog food manufacturer’s directions on how much to feed.

Most canine experts agree that feeding your Doberman Pinscher twice is the best practice. For starters, this gives the dog something to look forward to at night, but also because it teaches them dietary restraint. You shouldn’t leave the food bowl kicking around either, because the Dobie will most likely poke at its dish throughout the day. Try to get the dog in the swing of eating on a schedule.

Most advise feeding a Dobie 2.5 to 3.5 cups of top rated dog food per day. This will keep the dog in shape and at an appropriate weight.

Coat

According to the American Kennel Club, Doberman Pinschers can have four coat colors consisting of: black, blue, red and fawn. The coat of a Dobie is hard and short, which requires brushing on occasion.

The Dobie does have a undercoat next to their neck and rust marking along their eyes, muzzle, throat, chest, legs and feet.

Some Dobies have inherited an albino coat. This is considered undesirable by dog breeders and more of a genetic malfunction. An albino Doberman is more susceptible to health risks than a regular coated dog.

A just amount of bathing will suffice this breed as they aren’t a dog that has an unpleasant odor to their coat.

Most Dobies have their ears cropped and their tails docked.

It’s a good idea to trim your Dobie’s nails once a month, brush their teeth once or twice per week, and check his or her’s ears on occasion to avoid infections.

Did You Know?

  • Dobies produce an average 6-10 puppies per litter.
  • The average U.S. cost for a Doberman Pinscher is $800 to $1000.
  • The breed is listed as the 15th most popular by AKC but has reached as high as 12th two consecutive years.

Doberman Pinscher Fun Facts

  • Dobierman Pinschers can be vocal but they usually bark when it’s imperative.
  • The first Doberman to win Westminster’s Best in Show was back in 1939.
  • Dobies are considered to be one of the most intelligent breeds out there. Renowned psychologist, Stanley Coren, ranked the breed fifth for obedience command training. One study, Hart and Hart, 1985, ranked the Dobie first in intelligence.
  • U.S. Marines during World War 2 adopted the breed as their official war dog.
  • One of the most famous Doberman Pinschers, Cappy, helped save the lives of 250 U.S. Marines during a Japanese ambush. Subsequently, Cappy died by a grenade and was officially honored as the first to be buried in the war dog cemetery.

Closing Thoughts

The Doberman Pinscher is a wise dog, that enjoys a decorated history as a brave and athletic dog. One that can stand its ground, alert its team or master when needed, one that won’t let you down because of his or her loyalty. The Dobie is a great addition to the family, especially when you treat them with respect and train them correctly.

Their mass appeal and alluring frame is only half of what makes this dog such a popular breed among many canine enthusiasts

If you’re looking for a dog that will stay committed and shower you with unrivaled love, the Doberman Pinscher is that canine. Give this breed a task and it will thrive. Assign it a job and it will excel. Give this dog your time and love, and they will return the favor twice the amount.

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