Doberman : A Complete guide

This is a article about Doberman

Doberman or Dobermann or Doberman Pinscher is terrifying to look at. But it is also one of the most famous dogs around the world. Well!!! It is indeed a conundrum as to why such a scary dog is one of the favorite pet of a lot of dog lovers.

Let us look at the features, types, characteristics and other unique information about this wonderful dog.

APPEARANCE

This doggo just has “killer looks”, literally and not because Mother Nature made it so. It was breeded into such looks, agility and fierceness because its owners needed that kind of bodyguard/dog.

Height:

60-70 cms tall.

Features:

  • It has long pointed ears and a long muzzle.
  • They have graceful gait.
  • Typically, most of these dogs have markings on the chest, paws/legs, muzzle, above the eyes, and underneath the tail.
  • They are intelligent dogs and very loyal human companions.

Weight:

40-45 kg.

TEMPERAMENT

  • Doberman is a loving, caring, kind dog.
  • It is a very active dog and requires a lot of outdoor activities. It is very fast and agile.
  • It likes to take part in all the family endeavours. It always looks out for an Alpha in the family.
  •  So, if you don’t show who’s the boss, probably the dog will become that Alpha in your family pack.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • You won’t believe when I tell you this dog has been a  a part of a lot of K9 units i.e they are police and military dogs specially trained to assist the law enforcement.
  • They has been a friend to US military, navy and police for long. It’s only competitor for the job is a German Shepherd, but since the Shepherd doesn’t have the “Killer looks”; this dog is the most preferred.

The Story of its Origin

Who?

A Tax collector and Dog Catcher by the name of Louis Dobermann

When?

1900

The Story

Once upon a time in the late 19th century in a town called Apolda in the Thuringia District, lived a Tax collector by the name of Louis Dobermann. As the official tax collector of the district, he had to visit all over the county with the money he collected as tax. He had to pass through many desolated and deserted parts alone. He often came under attacks from bandits, wild animals and other faced other dangerous situations.

Now, back then people used to multi-task as well; Louis was also the town dogcatcher and had access to various varieties of dogs that he impounded including German dogs. He used to take these dogs for his protection as well. But none of these dogs, were terrifying or agile enough.

Well! It is aptly put that Curiosity is the mother of invention. The need Louis felt along with the resources he had at his disposal fuelled his  research for his perfect companion. He  started breeding between these impounded dogs.

Voila!! The Doberman was created.

ANCESTRY

Louis never shared his secret recipe but specialists have made an educated guess.

Dobermann = Rottweiler + German Pinscher + Black and Tan Terrier + some unknown breed

Nobody knows the exact percentage of these breeds that contribute towards a Doberman.

HISTORY

  • First, Doberman was developed around 1890’s. Louis died in 1894, taking the secret recipe with him to his grave.
  • Afterwards, German breeders took charge of the Dobermann project and a breeder named Otto Goeller shaped Doberman into its present day form in 1900. That’s when the German Kennel Club recognised, it as a breed.
  • So basically, this dog is only 130 years old. Compared to the other natural or breeded breeds, it’s a very young breed.
  • But this dog has become very popular in this short span of time. So much so, that even the two World Wars didn’t affect it or it’s breeding program because it was exported in huge numbers to the United States.
  • It was recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1908 and since then is a huge hit.

Types of Doberman

Doberman are classified depending upon their colour and their origin (the breeding centre).

On the basis of ORIGIN:

In theory there are three kinds of Doberman:

  1. American Doberman
  2. European Doberman and
  3. Warlock or King’s Doberman.

But now you won’t find any real Warlock or King’s Doberman. Whoever is using that term is just trying trick you and make more money.

On the basis of Colour:

There are seven possible colours of Doberman out of which only six exist.

These colours are:

  1. Black & Rust,
  2. Red & Rust,
  3. Blue & Rust,
  4. Fawn (Isabella) & Rust
  5. All Black,
  6. White and
  7. Albino.

Finding an Albino is a very difficult thing and they just exist in theory. People usually get confused between an Albino and a White Dobermann.

Colour Classification Table:

Colour American European Characteristics
Black & Rust (most common) Yes Yes Have issues with extreme temp
Red & Rust (second most common) Yes Yes Little light-hearted, less prone to skin diseases
Blue & Rust (not accepted in dog shows) Yes No Light-hearted, prone to skin diseases
Faun (Isabella) & Rust Yes No Least common in above 4 colours, prone to skin diseases
All Black (not accepted by any breed standard) Not accepted Not accepted Have very high melanin, very rare
White (partial Albino) Not accepted but acknowledged Not accepted Blue eyes, pink nose, heightened photosensitivity
Albino (unseen, present only in theory) Pink eyes, similar health issues as White

Difference between American and European Dobermann in tabular way

Depending upon Physicality American Dobermann European Dobermann
Size Shorter & Lighter Taller & Heavier
Appearance Sleek More Muscle Mass
Neck Slender & Long Thick & short
Chest Small Broad
     
Depending upon Behaviour    
Nature Show dog Working dog
Bravery Less brave More Brave
Preferred environment Indoors with family Outdoors, facing new challenges
Commanding hand Needs a softer hand Needs a firm hand

How to take care of a Dobermann

Nutrition

  • Doberman should be fed proper food, twice a day.
  • All dogs have different appetite, so let you and your dog adjust to a comfortable ratio.
  • Food should be approved by the Vet, for best results. Human food allowed by the Vet can be fed, alongside.
  • Fresh and large supply of drinking water is required, as it is a athletic dog.
  • You should not overfeed the Doberman, because obesity doesn’t work well on it and it might develop weight related health issues quickly.

Grooming

  • This dog doesn’t ask for routine grooming sessions.
  • Occasional bath and grooming work best.
  • Using Short Bristled brush or Grooming mitt for an everyday gentle rub will keep the coat shiny.
  • Teeth need to be cleaned once every three weeks to prevent tartar build-up, but if you brush regularly that will also keep away bad breath.
  • Toenails need to clipped monthly, if your dog doesn’t wear them out; by itself.
  • Clean the outer ear gently and don’t insert anything in the ear.
  • If you make grooming sessions fun when the dog is just a pup, he/she won’t have a problem when it’s grown up.

Exercise

  • This dog is a born athlete and a fighter. It needs that same kind of environment at home as well.
  • Long walks that can change into runs and other exercises like fetch, obedience training and sound trainings are important.
  • This dog needs an active owner, who can become the leader this dog seeks.
  • So, a house with large open area, which is fenced is required.
  • Doberman also gets bored easily with the usual workout regimes, so the owner also needs to come up with new workout regimes and try them with their dog.

Training

  • Doberman are smart, agile and very athletic. So, their trainer also needs to improvise regularly.
  • Especially in the formative years, if they are not trained properly; they can turn out to be moody, nasty and dangerous dogs.
  • They need to interact with all sorts of things, other animals and people that they might encounter in their whole life at the puppy stage itself.
  • All this along with the obedience training is a huge toll on the owners and that’s why it is recommended to send them to Puppy Kindergarten and training class.
  • Lastly always keep in mind that the Doberman is not an outside/backyard dog. It needs to stay connected to the family and that’s why needs to stay indoors, except the time when it wants to stay out. It needs regular contact otherwise it can develop anxiety issues.

Health

Normally, they are a healthy breed but they do have the tendency to develop some genetic disorders. At times, breeders go for in-breeding which makes matters worse.

Diseases that affect the Doberman:

  1. Bloat is a disease which happens due to improper eating and digestions. But due to their broad chest this simple gastric problem can be life threatening.
  2. Hip Dysplasia (Hip not aligned properly),
  3. Von Willebrand’s Disease (proper blood clotting doesn’t happen),
  4. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (gradual deterioration of retina),
  5. Narcolepsy (irregular waking/sleeping patterns), etc.

All in all, whenever you get a Dobermann; first get it properly checked by a certified and trusted Vet. It’s better to undergo the medical check-up beforehand and take appropriate precautions, rather than facing both emotional and financial hardship later.

Essential Test for the Doberman Primary Health Check-up:

  • Hip Xray
  • Cardiac exam
  • Thyroid exam
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease DNA test
  • Ophthalmologist evaluation.

Word of Caution:

There are a lot of Doberman’s available with the dog rescue houses and kennels, because people can’t take this much responsibility. They first buy it because it’s cool and then screw up the parenting.

Imagine the mental condition of a dog, who loves to be part of his/her family; who gets thrown away or dumped in a shelter home.

Thus,  a request to all future dog owners, know your dog well before adopting it.

So, that’s its folks. Be a responsible Dog owner.