Popular Dog Breeds: Doberman Pinschers

black and brown doberman on white background

Well-known as a guard dog, the Doberman Pinscher also makes an excellent companion. They are elegant, intelligent, affectionate, energetic, and obedient. They make good watchdogs and when they given an alarm, they can back it up with action.



Like many German breeds, the Doberman Pinscher is a relatively young breed. They date to around 1900 when a man named Louis Dobermann of Apolda, a tax collector, wanted to develop a medium sized guard dog that could act as a guardian and companion. Breeds that probably contributed to the Doberman probably include the old shorthaired shepherd, the Rottweiler, the Black and Tan Terrier, and the German pinscher. The breed was first recognized by the AKC in 1908. Because of their great intelligence and ability to retain training, the breed has always been in demand as police and military dogs.



The Doberman Pinscher is known for being energetic, watchful, fearless, and obedient. At home they are loving and affectionate with their families, obedient, and loyal. These are very active dogs and they require regular daily exercise.


In the past Dobermans have been overbred at times without proper regard for temperament and some dogs were not reliable in the home or for training. But that was several decades ago. Today breeders are careful to breed for good temperament. Before getting a Doberman you should inquire about the temperament of the dog and his or her parents.



Dobermans are a medium-large dog with a square body. They are compactly built, muscular, and powerful, capable of great endurance and speed. They are elegant with a proud carriage reflecting great nobility. In height, Dogs are 26 to 28 inches high at the withers, ideal about 27½ inches; Bitches 24 to 26 inches high at the withers, ideal about 25½ inches. Males typically weigh 70-90 pounds while females weigh 60-80 pounds.


The coat is smooth-haired, short, hard, thick and close lying. Colors are black, red, blue, and fawn (Isabella). Markings: Rust, sharply defined, appearing above each eye and on muzzle, throat and forechest, on all legs and feet, and below tail. White patch on chest, not exceeding ½ square inch, permissible. In the United States Dobermans usually have their ears cropped and tails docked.



The Doberman Pinscher has a typical lifespan of 10-13 years. Possible health problems that can occur in the breed include dilated cardiomyeopathy, cervical vertebral instability (CVI), von Willebrand’s disease (vWD) (a bleeding disorder similar to hemophilia – a genetic test is available which allows breeder to screen for and avoid this disease now); and prostatic disease. Other issues which can occur include hip dysplasia and hypothyroidism. Canine compulsive disorder also occurs in Dobermans. If you are thinking of getting a Doberman Pinscher, you should talk to the breeder about these health issues and find out what health tests have been done with the parents of the dog.



Doberman Pinschers are usually ranked as one of the most intelligent of all dogs and one of the most easily trained. They are exceptionally smart dogs and highly motivated to learn. They are particularly well-suited for guard work and any kind of training that requires curiosity and problem-solving. Dobermans rank high in playfulness and curiosity, too. You should be able to easily train your Doberman to learn basic obedience and beyond. In fact, it’s highly recommended that you train your Doberman and continue training. These dogs are so smart that they will enjoy learning new things all the time. They can excel at any kind of training and athletic activity. They are natural athletes and love to play frisbee, get involved in tracking, agility, rally, and most other dog sports. These are active, intelligent dogs and they need to stay busy