Doberman Pinscher Information
Doberman Pinschers can be deceiving sometimes. Many people have borne witness to the diabolical Doberman Pinscher snarling and displaying its fearsome scissor like teeth. Heck, Hollywood has had a great time using the Dobie as its “demon dog” to insight fear into adults and children alike.
There is no doubt that at one time if you were an unwelcomed visitor that all Dobermans could be a scary dog to encounter. Although, they began as a ferocious guard dog many forget the other traits intentionally bred into the capable breed that have made it an enduring family companion. They are incredibly intelligent, athletic and loyal. In fact, Dobie’s can be great therapy dogs that are gentle and accommodating to their owners pace in life. Today they are not nearly as aggressive as in their recent past, but there are still some fearsome Doberman Pinschers around.
The Doberman does have quite a variance in temperament so it is imperative that you do some research and let breeders know the type of dog you need and want for you and your family. If raised from puppy-hood with children and other pets they are known to be fantastic loyal child companions that will diligently keep watch over and protect them.
Doberman’s can compete in obedience and agility trials, along with other sports. They are not lazy lounge dogs, and need their keen intellect to be challenged, so always remember to provide mental stimulation along with exertive exercise. Plan to have an indoor dog, because they will want to be living close with their family and this is when the legendary bond between dog and family will be formed. With proper stimulus, socialization, and training, you will have a dog that is always nearby but deftly navigates the home without making a fuss.
Dobie’s personalities will vary from dog to dog, but on average, they tend to be energetic, alert, fearless, obedient, intelligent, extremely loyal, and watchful. They are known for their intelligence, often ranking inside the top five for intelligence. Ideally, your Doberman should not be shy or vicious. To have a well-rounded temperament for your dog, it is imperative to socialize early and thoroughly.
Over the years, the viciousness has been bred down making them more even-tempered and good-natured. Although this is true, not all breeders have bred out the desired traits for guarding and protection. Do your own research when selecting your dog and go to a reputable breeder not a chain retail store that has limited to no information about the dog’s heritage, breeders, and practices. Get to know where your future Doberman comes from and which type of lineage so that you can procure the appropriate pet or guard dog you desire such as your Doberman Pinscher.
They come with speed and endurance, two more traits that make them good dogs for patrolling and guarding your grounds. Their sleek bodies and low body fat does make them sensitive to cold weather. They are strong and suited for police work, search and rescue, guard, and widely used by the military because of their intelligence, strength, and physical abilities. The Dobie is listed as one of the most dangerous dogs in the world, and was originally bred to look ferocious and still has that ferocious look. They are often ranked in the top ten as the best guard dog in the world.
Putting that all aside, if properly socialized and trained the Doberman can make a great family dog that will get along with children and pets. Their loyalty and protective instinct for their family will come out if they perceive a threat to the family. Statistically speaking they are less likely to attack than other breeds such as Rottweiler’s, Pit Bulls, and Alaskan Malamute’s. The media and movies have slapped the stereotype of viciousness upon them and it has been unfair towards the Doberman breed.
Doberman Pinschers come in black, blue, fawn, and brown colors. Black, and blue colors have rust markings and fawn and brown has tan markings. The secondary color markings are found above each eye, on the muzzle, throat, chest, legs, feet, and below the tail. Sometimes there is a patch of white on the chest. Underneath these colors is a medium to large sized dog that is squarely built, agile, strong, fast, and blessed with endurance.
The coat is short, smooth, thick and lies close to the body. It is easy to maintain and sheds minimally. Brush a couple of times a week.
When viewing a Doberman you should see a squarely built strong looking dog. The length should equal the height at the withers, and the length of the head, neck and legs should be in proportion to the body. They average around 25.9-28.3in (66-72cm) with the females averaging 24-26.7in (61-68cm). Males weigh in around 75-100lb (34-45.4kg) and females between 59.5-90.3lb (27-41kg).
Dobie’s are born with floppy ears and a long tail, but often you will see them with a docked tail and cropped ears. The practice of docking their tails has been regularly done and is continued today, although some countries no longer permit this act by passing laws making it illegal. The practice itself has been around for centuries and is done to keep the dogs tail from interfering with its job. If the tail is docked, it is usually docked at the second joint.
The other physical trait of floppy ears is often altered by the cropping of the ears. This procedure is not done shortly after birth as is tail docking, but instead at around 7-9 weeks of age. Supposedly, the ear cropping is to assist in hearing when dogs are on guard duty.
The Doberman, or Dobermann, was bred to be a guard dog protector and to have some style and class to go along with their viciousness. Karl Friedrich Louis Doberman was a German tax collector who felt threatened and vulnerable in his job as a tax collector, thus he decided to breed a fearsome protector dog to accompany him while performing his duty. He had to cross quite a few breeds to end up with the exact type of dog he had in mind.
Karl embarked upon this breeding journey sometime around 1890. He crossed Rottweiler’s, Black and Tan terriers, Manchester Terriers, Great Danes, Weimaraner’s, German Shorthaired Pointers, German Pinschers, Old German Shepherd Dogs, and Greyhounds. Other dogs that were added to the mix are unknown but it is possible and likely that other breeds are in the mix. The result was a short haired, strong, intelligent, ferocious, sleek looking dog that had endurance and a terrifying scissor type bite with big threatening teeth. The dog’s appearance alone looks ferocious and deterring. Later Philip Gruenig took over breeding to refine the breed towards the Doberman we see today.
By 1897, Karl Doberman was entering his dogs into dog shows, and in 1900, they received recognition in Germany. The AKC in America registered its first Doberman in 1908, and the Doberman Pinscher club was established in 1921.
Whether as a police or military dog, Dobermans excel when performing the tasks given to them, such as patrolling, guarding, or attacking. During WWII, the United States deployed their own Doberman’s as sentries, messengers, and scouts. A statue exists on Guam that portrays the Doberman, and it is titled “Always faithful.”
Doberman Pinschers have the potential to develop ailments and diseases. Many of these ailments and diseases vary in type and prevalence, from breed to breed. Consider this fact when picking out your new puppy, and beware of any breeder that makes a claim that the puppies of their particular breed are “100% healthy.” A reputable and honest breeder should know and share any health related issues that the breed you are purchasing or inquiring about might have, or that could potentially surface.
The possible health issues affecting the Doberman Pinscher are hip dysplasia, cardiomyopathy, CVI (cervical vertebral instability), Wobblers Syndrome (spinal cord compression), Von Willebrand disease, Addison’s disease, PRA (progressive retinal atrophy), albinism, and Addison’s Disease (hypoadrenocorticism). Cardiomyopathy needs to be diagnosed early so that the dog will never breed. Unfortunately, this disease can suddenly appear so testing can only diagnose the issue when it is present.
Prior to acquiring your dog of choice, I recommend reading about canine health related issues and common breed specific ailments. By familiarizing yourself with the signs and symptoms of a potential disease or sickness, you will be empowered to be the first line of defense in support of your dog’s health and well-being. By completing routine physical examinations of your dog, frequent fecal inspections, as well as recognizing any gastrointestinal problems, all helps to assure optimal health of your companion. By observing and understanding your dog’s healthy behaviors and regular patterns, you will easily be able to identify when your dog is not feeling well, and to deduce if medical attention is needed.
In your position and role as alpha, you are responsible for providing the best possible care for your dog, assuring his or her wellbeing and comfort. Do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian if you observe your dog displaying peculiar behaviors or showing any signs of discomfort. It is very important to maintain your dog’s scheduled exams, mandatory check up’s and vaccination appointments. Uphold this duty, so that your dog can enjoy the vitality of good health that he or she deserves, and is entitled to.
Long daily walks are recommended for maintaining a healthy dog. Walks can be opportunities to practice leash training, socialization, and aid to the over-all mental and physical wellbeing of your dog. Your Doberman has stamina and energy and therefore requires additional long walks, jogs, play, and other varied exertive exercises.
Dog Age, dog weight, and dog activity levels are a few of the factors that can change the food requirements of your Dobie. Once you have determined the appropriate amount to provide, feed an accurately measured portion at regular times to help maintain their optimal weight. If you wish to feed your dog a raw food diet or a mix, please do your research and consult your veterinarian prior to any adjustments to their meals. Be sure to keep plenty of fresh, clean water available for your dog, and it is considered a hygienic standard to clean your dog’s bowl well, after each feeding.
Proactive Measures for Doberman Pinscher Puppy Selection
If you want to buy a Doberman Pinscher puppy, be sure to find a reputable Dobie breeder who will provide proof of health clearances for both of the puppy’s parents. Health clearances are official documents that prove a dog has been tested for, and cleared of any, or all breed specific conditions, however a clearance does not guarantee against acquired diseases or congenital abnormalities. Remember, even under the best breeding practices and proactive care measures, puppies can still develop diseases.
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America DPCA is a great place to start your search for a responsible breeder. Look for a breeder who abides by the club’s code of ethics, which does not permit the sale of puppies through brokers, auctions or commercial dealers such as pet stores. A breeder whose dogs are part of the DPCA Longevity Program is an even better bet, and so is one who has DPCA Working Aptitude certification for their breeding dogs. Members must guarantee that their Dobermans demonstrate the proper characteristics of stability in companionship and as a determined protector.
For the Doberman Pinscher breed, you should expect to see a health clearance from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia, heart, thyroid, as well as a clearance from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certifying that the eyes are healthy. You can also confirm health clearances by checking the OFA web site (offa.org).
The American Kennel Club (AKC) conducts large canine research studies on diseases that affect purebred dogs. Their health program is under the direction of the Canine Health Foundation (CHF), and is in partnership with OFA, and additionally does breed testing and provides a centralized canine health database called, the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC). The results of these tests are maintained in a registry, and dogs that have completed all of the required exams, including testing of the hips, elbows, and eyes, receive a CHIC number. Along with the breed-testing program, there is the CHIC DNA Repository. CHIC is trying to gather and store breed DNA samples for canine disease research. The goal is to facilitate future research aimed at reducing the incidence of inherited diseases in dogs. You can search the database to find out if a specific dog has information listed about it. More information about CHIC is available here:
To be accepted into the CHIC database, breeders must agree to have all test results published. This enables the reader to see both good and bad results of the testing. Obtaining a CHIC number does not imply that the dog received good or passing evaluation scores. The CHIC registration also does not signify as proof of the absence of disease, and all information must be read and evaluated. CHIC allows the information collected to be readily available to anyone with an inquiry.
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA www.offa.org) maintains an open registry with evaluations of hips, elbows, eyes, thyroid, cardio, and additional canine health issues. They also provide clear definitions of the test categories to help you understand the grading system. PennHIP is another registry that tests and evaluates dog’s hips.
Doberman Pinscher Care
You are responsible for the welfare of your new puppy or dog. Please treat him or her with respect and love, and this will be reciprocated tenfold. Dogs have been human companions for thousands of years, and they are living beings complete with feelings, emotions and the need for attachment. Before bringing home a new dog or puppy, please determine if you are capable and willing to provide all the needs that your new family member requires.
From the time you bring your pup home, positive training is a great start to introducing your new pack member to your household. You should be aware and sensitive to the fact that dogs have an amazing capacity for memory and recollection of those experiences. With this in mind, please refrain from harsh training tactics that may intimidate your puppy and that potentially can negatively affect personality or demeanor. When you train your new puppy, give him or her the respect they deserve, and utilize all available positive reinforcements. The result of your positive, proactive training methods and behavior modifications will be that your dog’s abilities, traits, and characteristics that are buried within the genetic profile of their specific breed, will shine. I am an advocate for beginning with rewards based clicker training, followed by vocal and physical cues for your young dog to learn to become obedient to commands.
Crate training Using These Dog Crates has positive benefits, and provides a safe place for your dog to nap, or simply to be alone. In addition, crate training at a young age will help your dog accept confinement if he ever needs to be transported, boarded or hospitalized.
Appropriate, early, and ongoing socialization will help you and your Dobie throughout his or her lifetime. Expose your new puppy or dog to a wide variety of situations, people, and other animals. This helps to prevent shyness, aggressiveness, possessiveness, and many other potential behavioral problems, meanwhile supporting the bond between the two of you. Remember never leave young children unsupervised around dogs or puppies. Also, be aware situations of aggression may happen no matter how loving, gentle, and well trained a dog may be. Including your Doberman Pinscher.
A routine care program is essential for any dog, and should always include basic hygienic practices. For the optimal dog-health of your Doberman Pinscher, scheduled care should include the care of the coat, nails and teeth. It is important to get instruction from your veterinarian for the proper cleaning method of the outer and inner ear. Follow a scheduled basic care program for your dog so that his coat, nails, teeth, and general health aspects are always done in a timely and efficient manner. Besides the basics that all dogs need, Dobermans do not require extra special care. More information can be found at Doberman Pinscher Club of America.
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Doberman Pinscher Image Attributions
Doberman Pinscher and Girl lying on Grass: License Free: Source: https://pixabay.com/en/woman-portrait-dog-hobby-pet-888400/
Doberman-pinscher-portrait- newdogtimes.com-https://www.flickr.com/photos/jackberry/4281531661, CC License 2.0 Generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode, obi, By Jack Berry Doberman-pinscher-Doberman-Always-Faithful-Statue- newdogtimes.com-http://www.standeyo.com/NEWS09/Animals091111.war.dogs, http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/3f/88/7a/3f887ac5f5fae140d7da017f3f751458.jpg Doberman-pinscher-close-up-open-mouth-newdogtimes.com-http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:04_Dobermann_portrait_Hannah.jpg, By pato garza (Flickr: hannah) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, no changes made
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