Doberman dog breed profile
Get to know these faithful and smart pups.
Whether your pup is a purebred Doberman Pinscher or a Doberman mix, learning about their breed can explain a lot about your pet’s personality, habits and overall health. Or maybe you're looking to adopt a Doberman of your own and you're doing some research to see if this breed is right for you.
These pups are great for experienced dog parents looking for a sweet and faithful companion. Dobermans can be gentle, loving pets, especially with proper training. As smart and easy-to-train pups, a Doberman can quickly become your new best friend.
What are the different types of Dobermans?
European and American Dobermans are closely related, but are different in appearance and temperament, Dr. Carly Fox, a senior veterinarian at Schwarzman Animal Medical Center in New York City, says.
American Dobermans have long slender necks, sleek bodies and are great family dogs. The European version is a well-muscled pup with large, thick necks and is great for safe work training.
And don’t get miniature pinschers mixed up with Doberman Pinschers. Although these minis can look like a smaller version of a Doberman, they’re not the same breed.
What do Dobermans look like?
Dobermans are usually medium-sized dogs with long muzzles. They’re especially known for their lean and graceful bodies and can be black or brown.
While these pups have naturally floppy ears, you may see Dobermans with pointed ears. That’s because of an often painful surgical procedure that isn’t recommended by veterinarians. We discourage anyone from cropping their dog’s ears unless they're advised by a vet for medical reasons — which is rare.
“Ear cropping is never necessary,” Dr. Fox says. “Most veterinarians don’t even perform this procedure since it’s not medically necessary.
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What are Dobermans’ personalities like?
Dobermans are loyal dogs with sweet personalities, especially when trained appropriately. These pups can become irritable if not given the proper training and socialization. Just like with other dogs, Dobermans can be good with kids if they’re introduced to them at a young age.
“Care should be taken when considering this breed in a home with young children,” Dr. Fox says.
And as with any dog, when adopting a Doberman, it’s important to give them a safe space to themselves. Often, this means crate training in a space large enough for them to turn around and lay comfortably but not too large that they use half the space as a bathroom.
“The crate should be a positive place for them, so feeding them and offering them treats in the crate is encouraged,” Dr. Fox says.
What are common health issues for Dobermans?
Von Willebrand’s disease, a bleeding disorder in which blood doesn’t clot properly, is common in Dobermans, Dr. Fox says. This disease is inherited and should be screened for before any surgical procedures, including spaying and neutering.
When bringing a new pup home, they should be supervised to prevent them from ingesting any small objects or having accidents. If you have other pets in the home, parents should introduce them slowly, and always under direct supervision, to avoid injury.
“It’s also very important for puppies to stay inside until they’re fully vaccinated to prevent infectious disease transmission,” says Dr. Fox. “As soon as you bring your new puppy home, they should see a local veterinarian for an exam, deworming and vaccinations.”
Adopting a Doberman
Are you interested in adopting a Doberman, Doberman mix or any pet at all? We think every pet deserves a home and encourage you to check out our shelter partners.
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