Doberman Pinscher: Breed Facts & Temperaments
If you are a fan of dogs, then you know the variety of dog species there are. With the many dog breeds come different personalities, nutrition, and other characteristics. This vast difference in dog types makes it more likely to get a dog that matches perfectly with your personality and preference. The Doberman Pinscher is one breed of dog that is popular in America and Canada. It is known to be a hybrid of several dog breeds, including the Rottweiler, Terrier and German Pinscher. They are characterized by their sleek, slender body with a shiny coat. The males grow to about 27 inches tall while the females are a few inches shorter. They come in black, blue, black and tan, or fawn colors, with their tail long or short. Their tail is naturally long but is sometimes cut off by human beings. Their ears are also trimmed so that they are more erect. Some countries and associations abolished the mutilation of the animals, but it is an accepted practice in a lot more places. They can weigh as much as 70 or 60 pounds depending on whether it’s a male or female, respectively. They usually have long heads and muscular bodies for vigorous activity. Like other pets, it takes consistency to take care of them so they can have a deserving quality of life.
History of the Doberman Pinscher
The Doberman Pinscher was originally bred as a guard dog by a tax collector from Germany named Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann in 1890. The breed was developed to protect the tax collector since he was not popular. Karl wanted a breed that had features like strength, speed, loyalty, intelligence, and ferocity when he needed to be. Since then, this breed has played essential roles in the lives of humans, especially in police and military activities. In 1908 it was first registered with the American Kennel Club, and as the years went by, the number of registrations increased. The breed became the 15th most popular breed, with most of them being produced as ‘police-soldier’ dogs. In 1921, the Doberman Pinscher Club of America was founded by George Earle III, to attend to matters of the breed, including breeding and selling. 1928 saw a Doberman Pinscher win first place in a show at the Rhode Island Kennel Club.
In 1944, 25 marine war Doberman Pinschers, who served as sentries, messengers, and scouts, died while liberating Guam. In 1945, Doberman Pinschers were part of the WWII during America’s invasion of the island of Okinawa. The 1950s saw Doberman Pinschers perform and win in shows across America, especially at Westminster Kennel Club Shows. In 1978, the first Doberman achieved an obedience trial championship. In 1994 a memorial statue was put up by the United Doberman Club in Guam to remember the dogs that lost their lives in the marine war. The subsequent years saw the breed participating and winning a lot more shows and championships. When the World Trade Center disaster occurred, this breed of dogs was a part of the search and rescue team. In 2008 the Doberman Pinscher Club of America celebrated the breed for their faithfulness to America. Since then, the breed has won championships and set records with major ones in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2106, and 2019.
Quick Facts About the Doberman Pinscher
- They are not bullies
There are stereotypes that The Doberman Pinschers are bullies because of their intimidating appearance and work as guard dogs. Even though they are for personal protection, ‘Dobies’ as they are affectionately called, have adapted to companionship roles. Over the years, breeders have successfully toned down the aggression in these dogs, and so they are more friendly. However, they have to be socialized before taken into a home. This forms part of adapting them to becoming more domestic to suit the owner.
- They are easy to train
From their use in military and police work, it is quite clear that Dobies can learn things pretty fast. They are brilliant, and this can be a problem only if the trainer is inexperienced. This is because after they have discovered something, they can get bored with it and would want to learn something new. So, you must always come up with new activities for your dog to try.
- They are not hyper dogs
The reason why Dobies might be classified as hyper is that they love physical activity. They Thrive on exercise, and so if you are a sedentary person, this will not be the pet for you. They also require mental stimulation, but they prioritize spending time with their owners. So, do not be surprised when they lay down with you on the couch to watch TV.
- They do not come in different sizes
There is no such thing as a miniature, king or queen size Doberman. They are all medium-sized and will not be 32 inches tall. Some breeds grow to be very small or very large, and you should get one of those instead. The only time you get a small Dobie is when it is a puppy. Their size is adequate for the type of work they were bred to do.
Things You Should Know
On average, a Doberman Pinscher has a lifespan of 10 to 13 years and will face one or two health issues along the road. One of the severe health issues is dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), which is a significant cause of death within the breed. The condition features an enlarged heart that is unable to pump blood effectively. The symptoms include shortness of breath, swollen limbs as well as heart failure. With this condition, the female dogs die of sudden death while the males suffer chronic heart complications. There are ongoing investigations into how genetics play a role in this disease. Another severe health concern of the Dobie is Cervical Vertebrae Instability (CVI) as known as Wobbler’s disease due to the weakness it produces in the dogs. This occurs when there is a malformation in the cervical vertebrae of the animal.
This breed also suffers from less severe problems such as hypothyroidism, where there is low production of the thyroid hormone. This produces symptoms such as tiredness, low tolerance for cold, depression, and constipation. Hip dysplasia is another health concern characterized by an abnormality in the formation of the hip socket. Dogs with this defect suffer a lot of pain, which might cripple them in very severe cases. Canine Compulsive disorder is a mental health issue with the breed, which causes them to exhibit behavioral disorders. With the health of your dog, a veterinarian will be in the best position to help with medication and general information on the best way to take care of it.
Training dogs can be stressful depending on how fast of a learner your dog is and also how attentive they are. It is essential to train your dog so that it can serve you well. Some dogs like the Doberman Pinscher need to be trained to tone down their aggression even though they are great family pets. Some important training areas are obedience, where the dog will learn that you are the leader and socialization to help with adaptation. Consistency is the first rule about training the dog. It helps the dog make associations with the commands so that they stick.
Your dog will not take the training seriously if they are not appropriately scheduled. Another thing to consider is using rewards while training the animal. Awards are known to reinforce good behavior and increase the occurrence. If your dog knows they will get a reward for doing the right thing, chances are they will always do what is required of them. You can gradually reduce how often you treat your Dobie once it masters what you are trying to teach it. You can also alternate treats with praise since that is another excellent way to encourage the animal. Also, training sessions should not be too long, since Dobies can get bored quickly. Always make sure the programs are straight to the point and even fun to keep the animal engaged throughout the process. The activities should not be so tricky that the dog cannot achieve them.
Doberman Pinschers are quite intelligent and will grasp information within a short period, but overdoing it can turn their mistakes into bad habits. Do not resort to yelling or hitting the animal in case they are not doing what you asked. The dog might retaliate, and it will not be a pleasurable experience. If you are finding it difficult, enroll your dog in a school or find a professional trainer to help.
As mentioned, Doberman Pinschers are built for activity, and so they need to be exercised to keep fit. The exercise helps then to stay in shape, which in turn has a positive effect on their general health. The dog gets a lot of exercises while it is being trained, but after the lessons, the activity needs to continue. The exercise helps the dog to adapt well to the apartment or home, and also prevents them from getting irritable and aggressive. It is an excellent way to let out some of the energy they have, and you will be in control. A form of exercise is to take the dog on walks or to the park for either light or vigorous exercise. Engaging in these activities with your Dobie will help them bond with you, which can potentially increase their loyalty. Be sure to put a leash on the animal since it can get aggressive with other animals outside of the family. It also makes other people feel safer if the breed is on a leash. This might be a little problem at the park, and you must pay very close attention to the dog anytime you go outside. In this case, a house with a fence will be a better home for the Doberman. This is because it gives them space as well as the freedom to move around. It also reduces the need for you to take it out on a walk since it can do that on its own.
Generally, dogs are predatory animals, and so their diet should consist mainly of proteins. You can either custom make their food at home, or buy that has already been made and packaged. A Dobie should be fed twice a day, with 2.5 to 3.5 cups of dry food. Note that how much to feed the dog will depend on factors like its age, metabolism, and dietary requirements. The activity level can also determine how much to give the dog, and a more active dog will need more than the other. It is crucial to measure your dog’s food so that you do not overfeed or underfeed them. To be sure about the proportions you can ask a professional for help. You should feel the dog’s ribs without pressing down too hard when you place your hands on its back. Your thumb should be on the spine and the fingers spread downwards. If this is not the case then you might probably need to reduce how much food you feed the dog or increase its exercise. An overweight dog can have health complications, which can adversely affect the quality of the time you spend together.
Doberman Pinscher requires very minimal work when it comes to grooming. The shiny coat of the breed does not need much grooming. It does shed, but it is manageable if you brush it once a week or wipe it with a wet towel. Make sure the brush is appropriate so that you do not hurt the dog, and the cloth is clean to prevent infections. The only time you will need to bath the dog is when it develops an odor, or it is visibly filthy. If the Dobie’s ears have not been cut/docked, then you will have to pay extra attention to them. You should check for infections, which will be indicated by redness or a foul smell. Cleaning the dog’s ears should not include pushing things into them. You might need cotton balls or cotton-tipped materials, an ear cleaning solution, and tweezers to put excess hair out. Trimming the nails is also an important part of grooming that helps to keep them from breaking or splitting. Always use nail clippers that are made especially for dogs so that you reduce the chances of hurting them. You will also have to brush the dog’s teeth with dog toothpaste and toothbrush. With any of these grooming processes, if you do not have the skills to perform them at home, do well to consult a professional groomer or the vet to help. It will save you a lot to invest in keeping the dog healthy. You will also have a better relationship if the animal is well enough for the experience.
Doberman Pinschers are known to have quite a unique personality. They are naturally aggressive animals with higher aggression towards strangers than an owner, according to studies. This makes them great guard dogs, which is what they were bred for. In spite of this they are brilliant and learn very fast, so it is easy to train them to exhibit acceptable behaviors. They are also very energetic and need to be busy all the time, and so it is not a great choice for laid back people. They have a sweet personality and thrive on being involved in family activities. It is not advisable to leave your Dobie alone as it may get sad. They are loyal and trustworthy and will be at your side at all times. They can be stubborn and will want to get things done their way but it is not too much that you cannot handle. It is not until three or four years old that they stop being puppyish. Some temperaments are inherited, so it is advised to meet at least one of the parents t ensure you like their personality and behavior. Socialization plays an important role in helping the Dobie adjust their behavior to play nice with others. It helps to expose it, preferably at an early age, to circumstances, people, and experiences, and teach them how to react to those elements. Enrolling them in a school goes a long way to address this, and it is a great place to start.
If you are looking for a dog to protect you, then the Doberman Pinscher is a good choice. They have the body as well as the brains to achieve the task. Do not think, however, that they are not great companions because they love to spend time with their owners as well. The misconception that they are aggressive is true to some extent, but it can be controlled without any difficulty. This breed is easy to train and be a great addition to your home. They are not stressful to keep as pets, but you can get some help from vets and certified dog trainers if you need some help.