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Doberman Pinschers are fiercely loyal and loving toward their chosen people. They're also one of the smartest breeds around. Bred to be guard dogs, careless breeding in the past has given these dogs a problematic reputation. But if do your research and due diligence before you adopt one and are careful to work with reputable organizations, your Doberman should be loving, reliable, and protective. Many also work in the military and law enforcement.
Originally from Germany, this medium-sized and high-energy breed can grow to between 65-90 pounds and lives an average of 10-12 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Working group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Guardian
Breed Group: Working
Average Lifespan: 10-12 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
Energy level A marathoner
Exercise needs 30-45 minutes per day
Playfullness and Games A few times per day would be divine
Attachment to People Give me some love when you get home, maybe we'll snuggle later
Behavior with Other Dogs Shy. I may prefer to be the only dog.
Behavior with Other Small Pets I may be ok, when socialized early and often
Behavior Toward Strangers I'm a single-family or person dog at heart
Trainability I'll probably make you work at it
Watchdog ability I know all that's going on, all the time
Protection ability I can be highly protective
Grooming needs Easy maintenance, brushes and baths
Cold tolerance I'll probably need a jacket in the cold
Heat tolerance A warm day can be fun, but not too hot please.
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A DOBERMAN PINSCHER'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Doberman Pinschers are fearless, very intelligent, and somewhat playful and affectionate. They are generally good with kids and other pets, given appropriate socialization, but should always be monitored closely with them.
This breed's protective instincts make early and frequent socialization absolutely essential to prevent suspicion or even aggression around strangers.
WHAT IS DOBERMAN PINSCHER BEHAVIOR LIKE?
These are sleek, speedy, strong, and enduring dogs who need a lot of exercise. Plan for long walks or jogs, sprints, and spirited games. Given proper training, Dobermans are highly obedient.
Doberman Pinschers are alert, vigilant, highly motivated guard dogs who are innately protective of their families. This makes early, often, and careful socialization necessary.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A DOBERMAN PINSCHER?
Doberman Pinschers are very biddable dogs who want to please their people. Obedience training plays to this breed's strengths and provides much needed mental stimulation. Dobermans are fast learners who enjoy meeting new challenges. They're also sensitive, so be gentle with your furry friend.
Don't disregard this dog's intelligence: if your Doberman Pinscher is bored and neglected, you're going to have a destructive and barky genius in your backyard. Hint: This breed excels in agility training.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO DOBERMAN PINSCHERS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
This breed's single coat is short, shiny, and hard. Doberman Pinschers are average seasonal shedders who require very little in the way of grooming. Plan to brush yours roughly once a week.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO DOBERMAN PINSCHERS HAVE?
Doberman Pinschers are a robust breed. Keep an eye out for symptoms of eye disease, hip dysplasia, or von Willebrand disease. Dobermans are also particularly prone to bloat, a condition that requires immediate attention from your veterinarian. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) and contact your vet at once if you suspect your dog might be suffering from this ailment.
Feeding your baby Doberman Pinscher a growth food for large-breed puppies will slow their rate of growth but not diminish their adult stature, and may help prevent or reduce the impact of adult-onset hip dysplasia.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE DOBERMAN PINSCHERS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Doberman Pinschers among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after you've been playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, and so produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as large as a Doberman Pinscher! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT'S A DOBERMAN PINSCHER'S BEST DAY?
Being greeted with a backyard agility course would be a great start to any day. Consider giving this genius gal brain-teasers and practicing training at various intervals throughout the day to keep her challenged and entertained.
SHOULD I ADOPT A DOBERMAN PINSCHER?
Doberman Pinschers are nobody's lapdogs, but they'll happily run by your side. They are equally suited to warm and cold weather. With proper training, recon before you adopt and adequate frequent exercise, a Doberman can be a loving, loyal, brilliant addition to your home.
Have you decided that a Doberman Pinscher is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.