• Hawkins Animal Hospital
  • 550 Ontario St South Unit 5A,
  • Milton,
  • Ontario,
  • L9T 5E4
  • Phone: (905) 875-6888

Doberman Pinscher

"The Tax Collector's Dog"

Photo of Doberman Pinscher


The Doberman Pinscher is the result of cross-breeding attempts in 1890 to develop the perfect combination of guard dog and companion animal. A German tax collector and gifted dog breeder, Louis Dobermann, achieved the final results of this breed and stabilized it, which his country officially recognized in 1900. There is disagreement among canine authorities as to which breeds were combined to create the Doberman Pinscher, one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Many authorities agree that the old shorthaired Shepherd was combined with the Rottweiler, with the Black and Tan Terrier, and with the smooth-haired German Pinscher. The superior outcome has been attributed to selective breeding and the emergence of the best qualities of the chosen dogs.


This is determined by each individual's dam and sire. Some Dobermans are born from high-strung, nervous parents and inherit these temperament characteristics. However, the typical Doberman Pinscher, bred to be a companion animal from good stock, is highly intelligent, strong, protective, and devoted to his family. Knowledgeable Doberman breeders practice selective breeding and only mate sharp, stable, and reliable dogs for their companionable qualities that add to their natural inclination for dominance and territoriality. In recent times, responsible breeders have mated those Dobermans that are calm and even-tempered producing superior offspring that are easy to live with. Doberman Pinschers are highly intelligent dogs that protect their family and property as a matter of instinct. They are cautious with strangers and must be introduced or even commanded not to be aggressive toward them. Poorly bred Dobermans may challenge their owners for dominance, may be shy, or quick to present aggressive behavior. So much depends on the quality of the breeding, so the wise owner will investigate potential breeders and breeding environment thoroughly. A little legwork upfront will ensure a lifetime of contented companionship. Many Dobies are quite affectionate but all are highly territorial and with professional training make excellent guard dogs.


The Doberman is a medium-size dog with a compact, square body. At first glance he presents well-defined muscles surrounding a dense skeleton of thick, powerful bones. The overall impression is that of an elegant, highly dignified dog exuding energy, alertness, and lacking fear. His legs are long, straight and perfectly parallel to each other. His coat is smooth-haired, short, thick and close-lying. When groomed properly he has a sheen. AKC allows the coat in black, red, blue and fawn. (Fawn is a dilute of brown or red.) Each coat color must have sharply-defined rust markings above the eyes, on the muzzle, throat and fore chest, on all legs and feet, and below the tail. In the United States, the tail is docked and the ears are cropped.


Considering this breed's dominant temperament, innate territorial disposition, strength and speed, as well as sensitivity, obedience training is not only desirable, it is essential. If you do not have a strong will, engage the services of a professional dog trainer. Nevertheless, this breed has a great desire to please and responds very well to basic obedience training. With good breeding, early socialization and proper training, Dobermans obey human commands beautifully. You must never attempt to teach protection training to your dog unless you are absolutely expert in this field.

Grooming & Care

Brush out their short coats at least once a week to bring up a luster and to remove shedding hair. Dobermans shed lightly all year round except during spring and autumn when hair loss is greater. An occasional bath when needed is desirable. They almost never require trimming but occasional nail clipping is important.

Health Concerns

Like all pure-breeds, Dobermans have some tendencies to genetic health issues. They are predisposed to elbow or hip dysplasia, von Willebrand's Disease, bloat, skin disorders resulting in bald patches, various cardiovascular-hematological-respiratory disorders.

Famous Doberman Pinscher

Diablo in "Beverly Hills Chihuahua;" Alpha from "Up;" Zeus and Apollo from "Magnum P.I."

Ideal Owner
Activity Level Very Active
Schedule Full-time (but no overtime)
Personal Style Confident
Training Style Consistent, Firm, Positive
Home Fenced yard or access to one
Children Only if raised together
Experience Definitely preferred
Quick Facts
Size Large
Grooming Easy to care for - brush weekly
Exercise High - needs to walk every day, plus some running and play
Training Early socialization is very important
Temperment Loyal, Intelligent, Protective
Challenges Dominance and territoriality in some lines, can be aggressive with strangers; must be trained.
Height 24 to 28 inches
Weight 66 to 90 pounds
Life 12 to 15 years
Home Alone Fine with lots of exercise first
With Kids Fine if raised with them
With Strangers Aloof
Availability Available, so choose your breeder carefully

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

© Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.