Adopting A Doberman Pinscher

History and origin: The Doberman Pinscher is a relatively new breed that was created in the late 19th century in Germany.  Developed from Rottweiler, Black and Tan Terrier, and perhaps German Shepherd and Pointer bloodlines, he was bred to be a guardian, tracker, and companion and has served both the military and the police.

Description: The Doberman Pinscher stands 24 to 28 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 60 and 100 pounds, though some breeders produce larger than normal Dobermans. he has a lean, muscular build, a docked tail, and cropped or uncropped ears.  The shedding coat is short, glossy, and low-maintenance, requiring only regular brushing.  The color may be black, black with rust markings, reddish brown, or dark blue.

About the breed: This breed is a brave, loyal guard dog.  He is an athletic, agile, playful, high-strung breed that, though dominant and territorial, can also be quite sensitive.  His attack-dog reputation is largely exaggerated; though very capable of doing protection work, he does not have the aggressive demeanor of the Rottweiler.  He is affectionate with his family and initially suspicious of strangers.  He makes an excellent watchdog.  Often an intense and stubborn breed, he needs a patient, consistent training style that is not overbearing.  The Doberman can be passive-resistant if pushed too hard, and he may snap if worried.  His excellent sense of smell acts as a distraction, making training a challenging task. Females tend to be more sensitive than the males and require a slower, less firm technique. Neutered males are often less aggressive and easier to train.   Obedience must begin early, be patient and precise, and include socialization and handling.  The Doberman will not tolerate roughhousing from small children and is suitable for families with older, responsible children.  He needs to be exercised daily to prevent restlessness and destructive behavior.  His lithe, strong physique and great endurance make him an excellent jogging partner.  He will dig and bark if left in a yard for long periods.  This breed is also capable of jumping fences.   The Doberman Pinscher is susceptible to hip dysplasia, bloat, von Willebrand’s disease (a blood disorder similar to hemophilia), and skin and heart problems.  He can also be flatulent and can develop lick sores on his front feet if stressed.  Because of his lean structure, he can develop pressure sores on his body if he is not given a bed or blanket to sleep on.

Feeding: Recommended feeding for this breed is 1 ½ — 2 ½ cans (13.3oz) of high-quality meaty product with biscuit added in equal part or 5 cupfuls of complete, dry dog food.  Cod liver oil and yeast tablets are recommended, especially during winter.

Ideal home: This breed is best suited in a house with a fenced yard.  The owner of a Doberman Pinscher must be an active, confident leader who prefers an athletic, high-energy dog.  Overbearing, nervous, and physically weak persons should avoid this breed, which, if spoiled, will lack confidence and possibly become a fear-biter.  This highly sociable dog may become very stressed if left alone for extended periods.  This is an excellent breed for a jogger to own.  Older children are fine, but the elderly and the disabled might have dominance problems with this physically strong breed.