The Dobermann is a German dog, mostly known for its qualities as a guard-dog. However, it would be reductive to say that this is their only function, they are above all a very affectionate pet, they are very sensitive and faithful. They fit in well to their social group and show great love for those around them, emphasising their protective and loyal instinct.
Key facts about the Dobermann
Life expectancy :
Temperament :Affectionate Playful Intelligent
Origins and history
The breed was born between 1850 and 1870 in Apolda, Thuringia, thanks to tax collector, Frederic Louis Dobermann, who wanted a guard dog completely different from those that already existed. His work was continued by other breeders, who introduced other more controversial breeds, for example the Pinscher, Weimaraner, Rottweiler and perhaps certain Terrier breeds. The Beauceron is likely an important influence as we can still clearly see traces of this breed in the physical appearance of the Dobermann.
Physical characteristics of the Dobermann
Female : Between 25 and 27 in
Male : Between 27 and 28 in
Female : Between 71 and 77 lb
Male : Between 88 and 99 lb
Definite black, brown, blue or fawn (Isabella) only, with rust red markings. Markings to be sharply defined, appearing above each eye, on muzzle, throat and forechest, on all legs and feet and below tail.
There was also the blue Dobermann, but this variety died out due to genetic defects.
Type of coat
Their coat is short.
The hair is close to the body, smooth and rough to the touch. This dog doesn’t have an undercoat.
They have dark eyes. The brown Dobermann may have a lighter iris.
The Dobermann is a big dog, robust and muscly, built elegantly they carry themselves nobly and with pride. Their head is long and takes the shape of a blunt wedge. They have parallel skull lines and a slight stop, their muzzle is deep and wide. Their eyes are medium in size and oval in shape. Their ears used to be cropped to make them stand upright. Now, they fall on the sides of the head and lie close to the cheeks. They have a short and solid back. Their limbs are perfectly straight.
Good to know
We hear a lot of nonsense about this breed: the most well-known is that they go crazy around the age of seven because their skull narrows (from a scientific point of view this is one of the most bizarre stories and has never been reported by dog lovers.) Luckily today, this has been rebuked and we very rarely hear about dogs that have gone crazy with “untameable ferocity”.
Black and Rust
Brown and rust
Very kind, gentle and tender, this dog is very attached to their social group. Despite their menacing appearance and negative (false) reputation as a dangerous dog they are truly adorable and affectionate.
This big Pinscher loves to play, mostly because they enjoy spending time with both the young and old members of their social group. Playing is a great way to achieve strong results when training with this dog.
Although they know how to be calm, this dog has a lot of energy that should be positively channelled from an early age to help them fit into their adoptive family.
This dog is particularly intelligent and they are able to adapt to a number of lifestyles. Although sometimes they can be a bit difficult, they quickly understand what is expected of them and will happily do so asked respectfully.
It is for these qualities that they are often used by the police, security or even by the army.
Like many dogs, the hunting instinct is always present to some degree. With the Dobermann, it is there but easily managed.
Fearful / wary of strangers
Naturally reserved when it comes to strangers, this is typical for watch dogs. On the other hand, a well-adjusted dog will never be aggressive without reason. Therefore, it is important that the Dobermann is well socialised.
Those that have not been purely bred may be nervous and predisposed to bite. Therefore, it is essential to buy a puppy from a good breeder that has selected the dogs for both beauty and character.
Very loyal to their owner, this dog needs to be around with them to feel fully satisfied.
Behaviour of the Dobermann
Very close to the members of their adopted family, this kind and sensitive dog can’t stand being excluded or isolated. They need regular interactions with their owners.
Easy to train / obedience
This dog can be easy to train, but their great sensitivity needs treating with patience and kindness to get the desired results. However, they can play the fool at times, being so intelligent they know how to drive their owners crazy!
It is recommended to use play and positive reinforcement during training sessions. Using brutality during training sessions could affect this sensitive dog.
This guard dog will definitely let you know if they think that there is a threat to the family. However, their simple presence is generally enough of a deterrent so don’t always need to bark excessively.
Tendency to run away
Although they are very protective of their loved ones, if they aren’t properly exercised or stimulated this very active dog can, in the most extreme cases, run off in a bid to let off some steam.