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Doberman Pinscher

Country/Date of Origin: Germany/1800s

In the 1870s , a German tax collector named Louis Dobermann wanted a dog to accompany him on his rounds. He needed a dog as alert, protective and intelligent as the German Shepherd Dog but with the grace and agility of a terrier. The breed he created twenty years later was named after him. He had achieved his goal. By blending dogs such as the Rottweiler, German Pinscher, and Black and Tan Terrier he got a smart guard dog with a fearless nature. The Doberman Pinscher made its debut in American show circles in 1921. Today it is among the top twenty most popular breeds in the US.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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AKC Group: Working

Breed Club: Doberman Pinscher Club of America

Rescue Club: Doberman Pinscher Club of America Rescue

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Body Type:

  • Sleek, well muscled and elegant in appearance
  • Height: 25-27 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 68-88 pounds
  • Hanging ears are cropped to an erect point in the US
  • Tail is docked short


  • This dog looks and acts like an aristocrat
  • Loving and loyal to its master but offers a challenge to strangers on its territory
  • An alert watchdog with natural guarding qualities
  • Quick in mind and body. Can become hyperactive if deprived of vigorous exercise every day
  • Males can be aggressive with other dogs
  • If you are not a dominant person, obedience training can be a struggle with this large, dominant dog


  • Short, fine, close lying coat
  • Permissible colors are black, deep red, blue or fawn. All colors with sharply defined rust markings above each eye, on muzzle, throat, forechest, legs, feet and below tail
  • Requires minimal grooming

Health Concerns:

  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Subject to hip dysplasia
  • Susceptible to bloat
  • Suffers from bleeding disorder
  • Skin diseases
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Liver disease
  • Wobbler's Syndrome
  • Subject to fatty tumors
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • In the US the breed name is spelled with one "n" at the end. Elsewhere it has a double "n" as in the name of Louis Dobermann, the breed's creator
  • Dobermans have had a bad press, not entirely undeserved. Overbreeding, which is usually synonymous with poor breeding, left a superb working dog with a multitude of physical and temperament problems. These have been significantly improved in the past few decades
  • Not suggested for families with very small children or limited space

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