Doberman – The Complete Breed Guide


Welcome to our guide to the Doberman.

The website aims to ask questions to breeders, vets and experienced owners to get the answers to your most frequently asked questions about the Doberman breed of dog.

You can also help too!

If you can answer any of the questions below, then please add your comments to the box at the bottom of the page or you can email us at

We would love to feature your dog and publish any photos or pictures of your Doberman you would like to email us.

Are you looking to buy a Doberman – then see our list of Doberman breeders.

Doberman Owner Interview

On this page, we feature an interview with the owner of KeeLynn the Doberman.

Can you tell us who you are and where you live?

My name is Lynn and my hub is Keith and we live in Clayton NC and have lived here for the last 12 yrs since my hub retired from the USAF.

How long have you owned a Doberman?

We have been owners of Dobermans since 2008.


KeeLynn the Doberman – Photo by Lynn


Where did you buy him from?

Our son went into the USAF in 2008 and my hub found this black Doberman on Craigslist. He was a rescue. He was kept by a lady who had no time for him and he was in a crate 12+ hours a day. It was love at first sight for both of us when we saw him. He was a black Doberman and we named him Kabo.

KeeLynn the Doberman

KeeLynn the Doberman – Photo by Lynn

From your experience what makes this breed so special?

They are family dogs. They want to be on you *laying/sitting and leaning on you* all the time and they are so darn smart. They know what is going on and they are protective of their home/family w/o needing to encourage them to do so.

What type of personality/temperament do they have?

The 2 we have had, very calm dogs and want to please and be with their family. Go riding in car, go walking, go lay on the bed, eat potato chips with you etc.

I believe the Doberman is quite a popular dog on social media/Internet these days, can you tell us how this started?

Not sure. My best bet would be the movies and TV. They are gorgeous and very sleek animals.

What are your feeding routines, such as how often and what types of food do you feed the Doberman?

We feed KeeLynn, our current red Doberman once a day. We feed him Blue Wilderness Salmon recipe. We leave a small amount of food in the bowl if/when he wants a snack but he primarily eats at night his full meal.

KeeLynn the Doberman

KeeLynn the Doberman – Photo by Lynn

Have you encountered any health issues?

Our black Doberman passed away suddenly 2 yrs ago. On a Tuesday, he starting coughing. We took him to the doctor and he passed away that Saturday. It was Dilated Cardiomyopathy. It was a devastating blow to lose Kabo. We later found that NC State VET school has a test you can do to see if current Doberman has it but so far we have not wanted to. My hub and I do not want to know.

No other issues.

Obviously grooming is another major aspect of owning a Doberman, can you offer any tips, advice and popular accessories for your Doberman?

Nails trimmed is key. We take our dog once a month to be bathed, ears cleaned, anal glands cleaned and clipped.

Any other useful tips and advice that you can offer to potential new owners?

Each dog is different but it is still a dog. We have owned bulldogs and we have shown boxers and amstaffs in dog shows. You have to be aware of the animals and how they are brought up.

Thanks Lynn for this wonderful interview and for sharing with us some photos of KeeLynn. If you want to find out more, you can visit this page:

KeeLynn the Doberman 4

KeeLynn the Doberman – Photo by Lynn

In our second interview, Tabitha Shaw shares her experiences and expertise especially for you.

I have had the privilege of sharing my home, my love, and my life with the Doberman Pinscher breed for over 30 years.

I love the Dobermans they are very loyal, very loving and very protective of their family. They become part of the family. Although they love the entire family this wonderful breed of dogs will pick a single person and become your shadow.

I have 4 Dobermans at this time. They are part of my family. My furbabies. Each Doberman has its own personality. However some traits are common among the breed, at least in my opinion.

I would not suggest the Doberman to be around small dogs, cats or small children unless it is raised with them. When raised with them they will love small children, cats and small dogs they accept them as part of the pack.

Dobermans have a few more bad habits. They will chew even after the puppy stage.

They dig after moles or mice and can cause yard damage.

They also are well known to counter surf for food that is left on a table or counter.

They are emotional and will pout or get mad like a little kid when they are hurt or mad. This is when they will become destructive. It’s always good to say I’m sorry. They really do understand. Might just save you that favorite pair of shoes.

In my opinion the Dobie is the best breed as a family companion, loyalty, protection, guard dog, its excellent agility and energy levels means it needs to be exercised regularly.

The intelligence of the Doberman is well beyond what most people comprehend. I literally run out of things to teach them.

My 9 week old puppy Allie has mastered the following commands, her name, come, sit, stay, laydown, shake, give me 5, give me 10, sit pretty (where she sits and puts both front paws in my hand) tell me bye bye (she sits and waves her paw) say please ( she sits, her upper body is horizontal off the floor and begs with her front paws waving) she fetches, she attacks on command, she releases, she gives me hugs, she gives me kisses and she knows what No means.

The Doberman just wants to be loved and make you happy, it wants to be close to you all the time.

You should never hit a Doberman or any breed of dog in my opinion. It will make the Doberman skittish of being hit. I have seen this in rescue dogs.

I use a lot of hand signals in training. The Dobie is very aware of you and pick up on signals quickly.

I do spank my pups to teach them No and occasionally when they are trying to find boundary lines. I use a empty paper towel roll. The cardboard makes a loud sound. They know the difference in your vocal tones as well.

My Nina girl knows when I am gone and she does something she is not suppose to do for example get into the garbage….. because, those chicken bones smell so good.

She tells on herself when I walk in the door. She tucks her head and walks slowly toward me looking up with her head down and she whines and gets on her belly.

She once ate the arm off my couch all the way to the wood. It was during a storm while I was at work. Storm anxiety and separation anxiety. So, I had to leave her kennel open so she could go in it when anxious. No more problems like that. Good thing too, couches aren’t cheap. 😂

I believe the Dobie learns our language and understand a lot of what you tell them if you talk to them regularly. At least everyone I have had did. They are so intelligent.

Dobermans love to go outside but should never be an outside dog. They do not do well in the elements. The dark coats heat up in the summer and the hair on the coat is to thin to protect them from snow and ice.

Two males should not be together, unless they are neutered before a year old. Due to fighting from dominance, breeding and or territory issue.

I can NOT express enough how they need to be close to their people and want to be where you are. Many will have separation anxiety which cause them to chew or dig.

The Doberman is in my opinion mankind’s best friend. I know my Dobies would give up their lives to protect me. That is how loyal and protective they are and that is how much they love you.

The Doberman have several health issues and should be DNA tested before breeding. Such as DCM and VWD. I would also suggest them to be tested for wobbler syndrome, and z factor. The z factor is the albino gene. This gene has many problems from cancer to poor eyesight and even fear biting because they are so nervous.

It is important as breeders we eliminate these dangerous factors. Contrary to what you read. The Doberman can live up into the teens with none of the issues in their health I spoke of. I know I had one lived 14 years.

It is sad when you hear someone lost their beloved Dobie at 2 years old due to heart problems from DCM or a puppy of 7 weeks dying due to complications of having ears cropped or a whole litter when getting their tail docked because of VWD.

I love the doberman and I think anyone would. They are the perfect breed.

Why Choose a Doberman?

What type of owners buy a Doberman?

What in your opinion are the best things about the Doberman breed?

Why do you think the Doberman is special?

What are your favourite things about the Doberman?

Are you glad you choose to buy a Doberman and not another breed?

How would you describe the Doberman temperament?

What advice might you give to people thinking about whether they should buy a Doberman over other breeds?

History & Origins

What are the history and origins of the Doberman?

About The Breed

What colors of Doberman are most popular?

What does the Doberman look like?

What are the pros/cons of the Doberman breed?

What can a new owner expect in terms of differences between the Doberman and other breeds?

Do they attract a lot of interest and curiosity from the public?

What type of typical personality does the Doberman have?

Is it possible to describe a fairly typical Doberman?

What is the breed standard/description for the Doberman?

Were there particular colors people preferred and that maybe you focused on?

Are there any downsides to owning a Doberman that prospective owners should be aware of?

Is the Doberman breed of dog suitable for first-time dog owners?

Some breeds can be described as greedy and prone to weight issues, would this apply to the Doberman?

What are the key differences when compared to other breeds?

Is the Doberman breed suitable for a person or family that are out at work all day?

Some owners seek a breed suitable for barking and offering a guard dog role – how does the Doberman match up to that role?

Are there myths about the Doberman – in other words do new potential owners come to you with misconceptions about this breed?

We asked a number of breeders in the UK and America what essential advice they would give to new owners of Doberman puppies and this is what they said:

What types of questions do you get once owners get their Doberman home?

Can you tell us something most owners would not know – tips, secrets etc from your years of experience?

What is the typical temperament of a Doberman, so people know what to expect from their new pet?

When fully grown how much on average does a Doberman weigh?

When the Doberman is full grown in size what is the maximum height and length expected to be?

Is the Doberman ever crossed or mixed with other breeds of dog?

Does the Doberman smell or drool a lot?

Do you have a Doberman growth chart?

What breed group does the Doberman come under?

What type of coat do they have?

Can they swim?

What does the movement of the tail show, does it mean they are trying to ‘talk to us’ or give us some message?


Are there some types of people that you can suggest the Doberman is not suitable for, perhaps families?

How is the Doberman with children?

Do you think the Doberman is suitable for families with young children?

How does the Doberman get along with other (existing) pets and do you have any tips or advice for new Doberman owners in terms of successful integration?

Is it better to buy one Doberman or two?

Should prospective new owners be aware of any differences between males and females?

Would the Doberman be suitable as a guard dog?

Can I leave my Doberman during the day while I go to work?


What is the expected average lifespan of the Doberman?

In terms of life expectancy, how long on average would the Doberman breed live to?

Food & Diet

Do you have any special feeding routines or diet?

Do you have any feeding advice or brands that you prefer?

How to handle the Doberman puppy to start off – how much food, what type, how often?

What feeding routines and types of food/supplements do you recommend?

What to buy in terms of equipment? Bowls etc

Do owners need to consider supplements for their Doberman?

How about for older dogs?

Buying – How Much Do They Cost?

How much did your Doberman cost to buy?

Can you offer advice to people looking to buy a Doberman and how much should they spend?

What advice would you offer new Doberman owners?

What types of people are buying the Doberman and why?

Where can I buy Doberman rescue dogs or find a Doberman for adoption? Please note that buying or searching for a ‘cheap’ Doberman can be false economy as they may have health issues that cost you far more in the long-term – always buy from a good and responsible breeder!

Do I need public liability insurance or a license?


How would you describe the Doberman puppy to potential new owners?

What types of owners are best suited to owning a Doberman?

What colors and sizes are most popular?

Are there things new owners do that perhaps frustrate you?

What can people expect when they become a new owner?

What inspired you to become a breeder and did you start with the Doberman?

As a Doberman breed expert, are there any ‘essential’ tips you would like to share with new owners?

Are there specific times of the year that you breed?

Choosing a puppy from a litter, what advice could you offer potential new owners in terms of selecting ‘the one’?

How long does it take to housetrain/potty train a Doberman?

When can you take them out in public and how do you handle them around other dogs?

Will they run off – when is it safe to let them off the lead?

We invite you to email us your Doberman’s pictures, in particular we are looking for photos showing Doberman puppies at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 weeks old as well as early pictures such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 months old to a year old.

Do they have any nicknames or does the Doberman have popular names?

If my Doberman is pregnant what might the litter size be?

Could the Doberman be dangerous around young children?

Problem Behaviors

How do you deal with a problem barker – any tips and advice to new owners?

How do you prevent a Doberman biting?

How do you prevent a Doberman chewing?

How do you stop a Doberman jumping up?

Does the Doberman have an issue with excessive digging?

Why does my Doberman keep growling and barking?

Is there a reason my Doberman dog is often scratching excessively?

Do they suffer from separation anxiety and how can I prevent this?


In comparison perhaps to other breeds what can you say about the Doberman and their exercise needs and do you have any tips or advice for new Doberman owners?

As a breeder of the Doberman , do you prefer a collar or harness?

As an expert of the Doberman breed do you prefer a standard leash or retractable?

Can you offer any dog walking tips for Doberman owners?

Playtime & Tricks

What games and toys can you recommend for the Doberman?

Are there toys you suggest avoiding?

How intelligent is the Doberman compared to other dog breeds?

How much can they understand?


Do you have any special grooming routines or tips and advice for new Doberman owners?

How much time is involved?

What accessories are required to be purchased for grooming a Doberman?

Any advice/tips you can give concerning maintenance of nails?

How much do Doberman shed and how do I maintain their hair and how often?

How can I prevent or cure ear infections?

Do you have any tips for eye care?

Is the Doberman a hypoallergenic breed?


Any advice/tips you can give concerning cleaning and bathing your Doberman?

Can you offer new Doberman owners advice concerning fleas and maybe products you use in treatment and prevention?


What advice and tips could you offer to owners who might wish to follow your path in showing the Doberman?

What started your interest in showing the Doberman?

If a new owner perhaps wanted to meet other owners or find out more – perhaps they have an interest in joining a local club or maybe they wonder how they can start showing their Doberman – where would they begin?

Can you offer any advice to others who may be wondering if they can also start showing?

How would an owner know they have a show-quality Doberman and how would they start off?

Can you give away any of your secrets?!

Is showing very expensive and why do you think people like to do it?

What do judges look for in a winner?


What inspired you to become a breeder and did you start with the Doberman?

What official organisations are there for the new Doberman owner and what benefits or services do they provide?

In buying a Doberman, can you offer advice and tips to new owners?

How did you go from being an owner to getting into breeding?

Do you think the breed’s popularity has increased, decreased or remains the same?

How did you progress to becoming a breeder and why focus on breeding the Doberman out of all the breeds you could have chosen?

What do you think makes the Doberman special to you?

Are there things that you see owners doing that frustrate you?

As a breed expert, are there any ‘essential’ tips you would like to share with new owners?


In comparison perhaps to other breeds what is it like to train a Doberman and do you have any tips or advice for new Doberman owners?

How should new owners approach bringing a new Doberman home, any advice and tips you can give?

Should I allow my Doberman to sleep in my bed or elsewhere in the house?

Do you recommend crate training and how long does this take?

Should my Doberman sleep in a kennel or crate?


Health is always a major concern when buying a dog, do you have any advice for new Doberman owners to be aware of in particular?

Are there any health-related tips you can give to owners?

What sort of health issues should owners be on the lookout for?

What is the recommended schedule for vaccinations for your Doberman?

Can you offer any advice on how to treat and prevent worms?

What type of health issues can a Doberman have and how do you deal with preventing these?

Why does my Doberman have diarrhea?

Do they suffer from itchy and sensitive skin and if so why?

Why is my Doberman vomiting and do I go to the vets?

When should I take my Doberman for vaccinations and which ones do they need and how often?

How often will my Doberman be in heat?

Should I consider getting my Doberman spayed or neutered and when and how much does this cost and what are the benefits?

My Doberman is limping, what should I do and should I go to a veterinarian surgeon?

Do they suffer from allergies?

Why is my Doberman not eating?

How much does it cost to insure my Doberman?

What healthcare issues or diseases might be excluded from companies that provide Doberman dog health insurance?

Old Age

What age would you class as an ‘older or senior’ Doberman?

Do you notice any changes in their behaviour?

What changes in food and diet would you suggest making for an older Doberman?

Do you feed any supplements to an older Doberman – or anything else which helps them as they age?

Are there any health issues particular to a senior Doberman dog?

Do you have any advice for owners of an older/senior Doberman or tips you can pass on?

Here’s an interesting video on the Doberman.


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