They were originally bred in Germany over a century ago to be watchdogs and bodyguards. They are extremely powerful animals, and the sight of one of these big, dangerous looking dogs coming after you would fill anyone with dread.
The German miltary, and police were quick to recognise this, and the Doberman became a willing recruit. Fearless, and devoted to its owner and family members this is a versatile dog capable of excelling at many tasks.
Classified by the American Kennel Club as a member of the Working Group, the Doberman is a dapper dog with a powerful chest and bullet shaped head. They weigh in at anywhere between 55 to 90 pounds, and stand 24 to 28 inches tall.
The Doberman Pinscher has a short coat either black, black and tan, red, blue, or fawn with tan markings. Their almond shaped eyes are always dark in color.
In America most Dobermans have their tails docked, and quite often their ears cropped. In the UK both of these practices have been banned. If left natural the ears, and tail develop much like a hounds. Lately though, there has been a movement away from docking and cropping by some American breeders.
This is an energetic breed. Life in an apartment is not the best setting for a Doberman. A fenced yard, and quality exercise is a much better fit for them. A brisk daily walk on and off of the lead should keep your dog in top condition.
Despite their poor public image, most Dobermans are great with young children and other pets. They really are devoted family dogs. However, they are perhaps not the ideal dog for a 1st time dog owner. They are highly trainable, and they will do anything to please their owners. But they are a dominant breed, and they need to understand exactly who is in charge.
To avoid problem behaviors, you will definetly need to start socializing and training your dog as soon as you bring him home. They are a very intelligent breed, and you could find them getting in to real mischief if you do not check their behaviour. Either choose a dog training method that works or puppy obedience classes.
These are a good idea, since the classes will help you to socialize your puppy while he is reasonably little and much easier to control. Trust me, it is far better to teach a smallish puppy to sit, than to try it with an adult dog weighing almost as much as you do!
These are large, energetic, muscular dogs and consequently need a substantial amount of dog food. Make sure that you feed your dog a well balanced food that is specifically formulated for large breeds. Doberman Pinschers can suffer from hypothyroidism and a hereditary condition called von Willebrand's disease [a blood disorder].
Hip dysplasia, and heart problems are also a danger. As they get older, these sweet natured dogs can often become overweight, so make sure that you keep the lid on the cookie jar.
They are average shedders, and grooming is quick and easy. Simply, brush your dog once a week to remove dirt and loose hair, and that's it.
Doberman Pinschers may look like natural born killers, but they are really just oversized lap dogs. If you want a dog that will guard your home, but still loves to curl up beside you and the family at night, then a Doberman may just be the right breed of dog for you.
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