29 August 2023

Let’s talk about… Dobermans: what are they?

  • Dobermans are a sleek and powerful breed known for their loyalty and protective nature.
  • They were originally developed in Germany by a tax collector named Louis Dobermann, who wanted a breed that would accompany him on his rounds and provide protection.
  • Dobermans have a distinctive appearance with a muscular build and a sleek, short coat.
  • But they are often referred to as "gentle giants" due to their loyal and affectionate nature.
  • Males typically stand at an average height of 68 to 72 cm, while females are slightly smaller, averaging around 63 to 68 cm.
  • In terms of weight, Dobermans generally weigh between 27 and 41 kg.
  • On average, they have a life expectancy of 10 to 13 years.
Doberman  Exercise Needs 4/5 Grooming Ease 4/5 Trainability 4/5

What is the temperament of Dobermans like?

  • Dobermans are known for their loyalty and protective nature.
  • They are often highly devoted to their families and can be excellent guard dogs.
  • With proper socialisation and training, they can be good with children and other pets.
  • Dobermans are intelligent, alert, and energetic dogs.
  • They require mental stimulation and physical exercise to keep them happy and well-behaved.
  • Early socialisation is important to ensure they grow up to be confident and well-rounded dogs.
Coco, the Doberman
Coco, the Doberman

How much exercise do Dobermans need?

  • Dobermans are an active and energetic breed that requires regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
  • They have high exercise needs and should have at least 1.5 to 2 hours of exercise every day.
  • This should include activities such as brisk walks, jogging, running in a securely fenced area, or engaging in interactive play sessions.
  • Dobermans enjoy activities that challenge their intelligence, such as obedience training, agility, or advanced puzzle toys.
  • Mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise for this breed.
  • Puppies also benefit from exercise, but their exercise needs are different from adult Dobermans.
  • As growing puppies, their bones and joints are still developing, so it's important to avoid excessive high-impact exercise that could potentially harm their growth plates.
  • Puppies should have shorter play sessions and controlled exercise, such as gentle walks or supervised play in a secure area.
  • Dobermans can reach full exercise levels at an adult level around 18 months of age, but it's always best to consult with your vet for specific guidance based on your puppy's development.
Frankie, the Doberman
Frankie, the Doberman

Do Dobermans need a lot of grooming?

  • Dobermans have a short and sleek coat that requires minimal grooming.
  • Their coat is low-maintenance and only requires occasional brushing to remove dead hair.
  • They are moderate shedders, so regular brushing can help minimise loose hair around the house.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Rogue, the Doberman
Rogue, the Doberman

Are Dobermans easy to train?

  • Dobermans are highly intelligent and eager to please, which makes them generally easy to train.
  • They are quick learners and respond well to positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewards, praise, and treats.
  • Consistent training and early socialisation are essential for this breed to develop good behaviour and prevent any potential aggression or protective instincts from becoming problematic.
  • It's important to be confident and consistent during training sessions.
  • Obedience training, including basic commands and leash manners, is recommended for Dobermans to ensure they become well-behaved and obedient companions.
Zayba, the Doberman
Zayba, the Doberman

What do Dobermans eat?

  • Feeding a balanced and nutritious diet is important for the overall health and well-being of Dobermans.
  • High-quality large breed commercial dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level is recommended.
  • Most of them do well being fed twice daily.
  • The amount of food will depend on factors such as their age, metabolism, and exercise levels.
  • It's best to follow the feeding guidelines provided by the food manufacturer and adjust the portions as needed to maintain a healthy body weight, as advised by your vet.
  • When it comes to feeding Doberman puppies, they have specific dietary needs to support their growth and development.
  • They should be fed a puppy-specific diet formulated for large breed puppies until they reach around 12 to 18 months of age.
  • These diets are specially designed to provide the right balance of nutrients to support their bone and muscle development.
  • Puppies should be fed 3-4 times daily until 6 months old when this can be reduced to twice daily.
  • Consult with your vet for specific dietary recommendations for your Doberman puppy.

Are Dobermans healthy?

Dobermans are generally a healthy breed, but like all dogs, they can be prone to certain health issues. Some of the common health concerns in Dobermans include:

Bleeding Disorders

  • Von Willebrand’s Disease - an issue with platelet function in the bloodstream causing bleeding

Bones and Joints

  • Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint, which can lead to discomfort and arthritis


  • Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) - this occurs when the stomach twists and gas and contents get trapped inside. It is a very serious condition and a vet should be contacted immediately!


  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) - a disease of the heart muscle causing the heart ventricles to get larger, which can lead to heart failure


  • Hypothyroidism - a condition where your dog does not produce enough thyroid hormone


  • Wobbler Syndrome - a wobbly, uncoordinated gait, caused by spinal cord compression in the neck

This list is by no means comprehensive, if you have any concerns about the health of your dog, or if you want to discuss further if a Doberman is right for you, consult with your vet.

BorrowMyDoggy loves Dobermans

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Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health, contact your local vet.

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