The American Kennel Club classifies the Doberman Pinscher as a member of its Working Group. These dogs were originally bred to be police dogs. They were also commonly used in the German military. The sight of one of these big, dangerous looking dogs coming toward them filled people with dread. After all, they are extremely powerful animals.
The Doberman Pinscher is a square dog with a powerful chest and a bullet shaped head. This breed weighs in at anywhere from 55 to 90 pounds and stands 24 to 28 inches tall. The Doberman’s short coat is black, red, blue, or fawn with tan markings. Occasionally, these dogs have a white spot on their chests. Its almond shaped eyes are dark in color. Most Dobermans have their tails docked. While this may sound cruel, a docked tail can prevent painful accidents in the future. More than one undocked Doberman has accidentally broken his tail.
Dobermans are not high energy dogs, but they have amazing endurance capabilities. These dogs do need exercise and do not do well in apartment settings. A fenced yard is a much better fit for them. Dobermans enjoy spending time with their owners, so even if you have a fenced yard, you should be prepared to take your dog for a daily walk.
Despite the bad publicity this breed receives, most Dobermans are great with children and other pets. These devoted family dogs will do anything to please their owners and are highly trainable. However, you do need to be careful if you have young children and a Doberman puppy. Puppies can accidentally knock your children down, since they do not realize their own strength and are very energetic.
You will need to begin training and socializing your Doberman as soon as you bring him home to avoid problem behaviors. Dobermans are very intelligent and can get into quite a lot of mischief if they are left to themselves. Puppy obedience classes are a good idea, since the classes will help you train and socialize your puppy while he is young and easy to control. After all, who wants to wait until their dog weighs almost as much as they do before they try to teach him to sit.
Dobermans are big, muscular dogs and need a substantial amount of dog food. Be sure to feed your dog a food formulated for large breeds to be sure he gets the nutrition he needs.
Doberman Pinschers are prone to hypothyroidism and a hereditary condition called von Willebrand’s disease. They also can develop heart problems. As they age, these oversized lap dogs are prone to becoming overweight, so you may want to check with your veterinarian to find out about special foods for older dogs.
It is easy to groom a Doberman. You may want to brush your dog once a week to remove dirt and loose hair and you should check his nails to be sure they are not too long, but they rarely need any further grooming.
Doberman Pinschers may look like hardened killers, but they are actually crème puffs around their family. If you want a dog that will protect your home but still loves to snuggle up beside you at night, then a Doberman may be the right breed for you.