Watchful, Loyal, Obedient, Intelligent
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- Shedding Seasonally
Doberman Pinschers originated in Germany during the late 19th century. Their name derives from Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, who was a tax collector and night watchman in Apolda, Germany. He also operated a local dog pound where he had access to a variety of different dog breeds. Dobermann began selective breeding to create his ideal guard dog to accompany him on his rounds, as tax collecting was a dangerous profession. Dobermann wanted a canine that was intelligent, devoted and athletic. The exact combination of breeds used to create the Doberman remains unknown, though it’s thought to be a combination of the German Pinscher, Black and Tan Terrier and Rottweiler. After Louis Dobermann’s death in 1894, the breed was named the “Doberman Pinscher” in his honour. The Doberman Pinscher was officially recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club in 1908.
The Doberman has come a long way from the rough-hewn guard dog created by Louis Dobermann. Today’s Doberman is an affectionate, loving and loyal family dog. Dobermans also do well around other dogs and cats if socialized properly and introduced at a young age. When it comes to working intelligence and obedience, Dobermans rank very high on the list compared to other breeds. Having earned a reputation as a formidable guard dog, Dobemermans still possess protective instincts. Dobermans are a highly energetic breed that require daily mental and physical enrichment and do best with a fence-in yard. However, if exercised daily and given enough attention Dobermans can adjust well to apartment living.
The Doberman Pinscher is a medium-sized dog with a noble appearance and a sleek muscular physique. Their height ranges from 24 to 28 inches, and they can weigh anywhere from 55 to 90 pounds. Dobermans have a blunt wedge-shaped head and a long muzzle. They will typically have their ears cropped and tails docked short in countries where this practice is permitted. The Doberman’s coat can come in a variety of colours including black, blue, red or fawn.
The Doberman Pinscher is an intelligent breed with a lot of energy and stamina. They’re also one of the most misunderstood breeds, due to their intimidating size and strong jaws. The Doberman Pinscher is extremely loyal and protective of their family. They have a strong guarding instinct and will only act if they suspect their family is being threatened.
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Grooming Your Doberman
Dobies require very minimal grooming. As a result of their short, smooth coat Dobermans are low to moderate shedders. It’s recommended that you brush your Dobie once per week and bathe them every 6 to 8 weeks. A short-bristled brush or grooming mitt is recommended to help eliminate any shedding and keep your Dobie’s coat shiny and healthy. Dobermans should also have their nails trimmed at least once a month and their teeth and ears cleaned regularly.
Training & Exercise for Your Doberman
Dobermans are highly intelligent and eager to please. When it comes to training, they learn quickly through consistency and positive reinforcement. A well-trained Doberman makes a loyal companion for life.
The Doberman is a large dog breed with a lot of energy. They need daily physical and mental exercise in order to stay healthy and happy. This should include a couple walks a day at a brisk pace. Dobermans also enjoy swimming and romping around a fenced- in yard.
Health Considerations for Dobermans
The average Doberman has a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. To ensure your Dobie gets the most out of these years, it’s important to keep an eye out for certain genetic health issues they are susceptible to including Hip Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, Chronic Active Hepatitis (CAH), Von Willebrand Disease (VWD), Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) and Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus Syndrome (GDV or Bloat).
Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)
Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is one of the most common canine ailments. It’s a genetic condition that causes an abnormal formation of the hip socket, which can eventually lead to lameness and arthritis of the joints. This hereditary disease can be magnified by factors including excessive growth rate, age, types of exercise and improper weight and nutrition. Medium-sized dogs like the Doberman Pinscher are commonly affected by this health condition. To prevent or reduce the severity of hip dysplasia, it’s important to ensure your Doberman gets a proper diet and the right amount of exercise.
Hypothyroidism is an inherited condition that is caused by a deficiency of the thyroid hormone. Due to the thyroid's widespread effects on the body, symptoms of hypothyroidism can vary. Some of the common symptoms to be aware of in your Dobie include obesity, lethargy, depression, anemia and weakness of the joints. Your Doberman should have their thyroid levels tested annually as this condition can develop at any time. If your Doberman is diagnosed with hypothyroidism, treatment is fairly simple and effective. With the assistance of medication your Dobie can go on to live a full life.
Chronic Active Hepatitis (CAH)
Chronic Active Hepatitis (CAH) is the progressive inflammation of the liver. This can cause scar tissue to develop in the liver, reducing its function. As a result, the liver is unable to successfully metabolize copper which can lead to copper toxicosis. This disease is more common in female Dobermans and often appears between the ages four and six. Copper storage disease is one of the common causes of CAH in Dobermans. Since clinical signs are hard to detect, early diagnosis of the disease can be difficult. Some symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, vomiting, abdominal swelling and jaundice. Since there is no cure, the best treatment is to feed your Doberman dog food that is low in copper.
von Willebrand Disease (vWD)
Von Willebrand Disease is the most common inherited bleeding disorder found in dogs, particularly in Dobermans. This disease is a clotting disorder that causes excessive bleeding. It happens when there’s a deficiency of the protein von Willebrand factor. When an injury occurs, this protein is needed to help the platelets form blood clots to seal broken blood vessels. Symptoms can include nosebleeds, bloody urine or stool and prolonged or excessive bleeding during or after surgery. Dobermans often develop the mild form of the disease and if managed correctly the symptoms are rarely fatal.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a genetic condition where the heart muscle becomes progressively thicker and deteriorates. As a result, the heart is no longer able to pump blood to the rest of the body as efficiently. Symptoms of this condition can be difficult to detect during the early stages, but some signs to look for in your Doberman include irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, fainting, weakness and fatigue. Regular veterinary examinations are recommended to discover early signs of the disease in your Dobie.
Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus Syndrome (GDV or Bloat)
Bloat, also known as Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus Syndrome, is a life-threatening disorder most commonly seen in large, deep-chested breeds including the Doberman. This condition is caused when the dog’s stomach fills with air and twists. This cuts off the circulation of blood and can be deadly if not corrected. Some of the signs of bloat to be aware of in your Doberman include salivation, obvious pain, a distended abdomen and retching. Ways to prevent this condition from happening to your Doberman include encouraging slower eating, providing easy to digest dog food and refraining from exercise immediately after eating. If you suspect that your Doberman has bloat, immediate veterinary attention is required.
What Makes a Doberman Unique?
The Doberman Pinscher has played a significant role throughout history and their service during war times. The United States Marine Corps adopted the Doberman as their official war dog in World War ll. Dobermans were used in a variety of different capacities with some of their duties including guarding campgrounds, detecting mines, rescuing wounded soldiers and scouting enemy locations. A Dobie named Cappie saved the lives of 250 marines by alerting them to the presence of Japanese troops on the island of Guam. A Doberman named Kurt performing the same duty was killed by an enemy grenade becoming the first of 25 canine casualties in the 1944 battle of Guam. In honour of these brave Dobermans, a memorial has been created on the island of Guam in the South Pacific.
Dobermans are ranked as the fifth most intelligent breed in the world. Their intelligence allows them to succeed in a variety of different roles including police K9, search and rescue and service dogs. Dobermans are quick learners making them one of the easiest breeds to train.
Dobermans Often Have Docked Ears and Tails
Doberman Pinschers are commonly known for their pointed ears and short tails. Since Dobermans were originally bred as guard dogs, their owners would dock their ears and tail to improve their ability to protect and engage in fights. Some owners continue this practice today for health purposes. Dobermans tails are known for being thin and sensitive causing them to break a lot easier than other dogs. Having them docked short is meant to help avoid any future injuries. The Dobermans’ floppy ears also make it difficult for air to flow into the ear canals, which can result in ear infections. There are still those who are against the practice and some countries have banned it completely.
Sensitive to the Cold
Although Dobermans are a very versatile breed they do not tolerate the cold weather well. Aside from the second layer of fur around their neck, the Dobermans’ single-layered coat and lack of body fat can make it difficult for them to retain their body heat. It’s important to remember to be extra cautious when walking your Dobie in the winter to ensure they stay warm and safe.
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