The Doberman Pinscher is a medium-large sized, squarely built dog with a compact, muscular body. Therefore, the head is long and when viewed from the side, looks like a blunt wedge. The top of the skull is flat and turns into the muzzle with a slight stop. The color of the nose depends on the color of the dog’s coat; black on black dogs, dark brown on red dogs, dark gray on blue dogs, dark tan on fawn dogs and pink on white dogs. The teeth meet in a scissors bite.

The color of the almond-shaped eyes is various shades of brown, depending on the coat color of the dog. In the USA ears are usually cropped to stand erect (cut at the age of about 10 weeks-15 weeks). However, the pup’s ears have to be taped for a couple of months to make them stand up.

The tail is usually docked at the age of 3 days. If the tail is not docked it grows a tail somewhat like a hound. The chest is broad and the legs are perfectly straight. Dewclaws are sometimes removed. The short, hard, thick coat lies flat. Sometimes there is an invisible gray undercoat on the neck. The coat comes in black, black with tan markings, blue-gray, red, fawn and white.

When markings appear they are above each eye, on the muzzle, throat, fore chest, legs, feet and on the tail. There is also a solid white color. While white markings are considered a fault in some clubs, in others they are accepted.


Doberman Pinschers are very keen, super energetic with tremendous strength and stamina. Dobes like to be with their people and are not suited to kennel or backyard life. Therefore, they need human interaction and leadership. Loyal, tolerant, dedicated and affectionate with the family. Thus determined, bold and assertive while working, they are very adaptable, highly skilled and versatile. So they are intelligent and very easy to train. They are an outstanding watch and guard dog and do not need additional protection training.

Breed For You?

This breed is not for everyone. Because the Doberman needs an owner who is willing and able to display a natural authority over the dog. All family members must be firm, confident and consistent, setting rules, and sticking to them. Learn to handle the dog properly, as Dobermans can become stubborn and willful if allowed to have their own way. Everything must be on the human’s terms. The dog is the follower, and the humans are the leaders. Therefore, the dog will appreciate knowing his place in his pack and feel secure about it. He should be thoroughly socialized when young to prevent skittishness. Therefore mental stimulation and a lot of daily exercises are important in order to produce a happy, stable-minded Dobe.

Importance of Training

The Doberman needs to be consistently and thoroughly trained. Dobes can be good family dogs if the alpha role belongs to the human and if they receive enough exercise, are well trained and are socialized with children.

Although the Doberman has the reputation of being a very aggressive dog, this is just not the case. For example, Dobes make great therapy dogs. However, issues arise when they reside with owners who do not display the proper leadership and/or do not provide enough exercise. They are sweet and gentle with nursing-home patients—tippy-toeing over IV tubing and walking at the resident’s speed (which can be very slow), while at the same time will fiercely defend their masters if it becomes necessary. Dominance levels vary, even within the same litter and the breed’s temperament will vary greatly depending on how well the owners understand canine behavior and how willing they are to take the time to provide what the dog instinctually needs.

Health Problems

Prone to possible cervical spondylitis (wobbler syndrome) due to a fusion of neck vertebrae and compression of the spinal cord; possible inherited blood disorder (Von Willebrands disease); obesity in middle age. Additionally prone to skin issues, bloat, hip dysplasia and congenital heart defects. However, there is a gene base on the color of the dog. The gene which produces the albino (white) Doberman is said to be the same gene which produced the famous white tigers and lions owned by Siegfried & Roy in Las Vegas. Although some believe the gene is a masking gene, meaning it “takes over” and masks the color that the dog would be otherwise. The gene that produces the albino does cause health issues.


The Doberman is very energetic, with great stamina. Do to this they need to be taken on a daily, long walk or jog and need to be made to heel beside or behind the human holding the lead, as in a dog’s mind the leader leads the way and that leader needs to be the humans.


Dobes need no or some grooming and are below average shedders.

Life Expectancy

Up to 13 years.

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