Gathered from Web Archive



Lynn Petrangelo, Copyright 1994 -2005

Last Updated 05/12/2005

Table of Contents


The Doberman is a power packed medium sized dog. The Dobe has a beautifully wedge shaped head, a well arched neck that flows into smooth fitting shoulders which blend into a firm strong topline. Connect this with a muscular rear assembly and a well turned stifle, with tight fitting skin covered with short close fitting coat and you have a clean crisp silhouette of a dog that possesses an air of nobility, an alertness to his surroundings, and the courage and mobility to respond to any situation.

The Doberman is a dog that comes with a built in high energy level and watching this short backed galloper run free (flat out with four off the floor) along the beach, in a field, or through the mountains has left many owners explaining what they see by describing the gracefulness, speed and beauty of a deer.

NOTE: Caution - be VERY careful with your Doberman during hunting season!!

Even though the Doberman was originally bred as a guardian and personal protector, the Doberman has an excellent nose for tracking and has been used for capturing felons. For many years the Doberman has been chosen to become an outstanding member of Search and Rescue Teams. A few owners have been surprised by the pointing and retrieving instincts of the Dobe and have made excellent hunting companions out of their pets. Dobes can also be found herding sheep (one such Dobe even has a Herding Dog Certificate) and bringing the cows in at milking time. The Dobermans loyalty, devotion, confidence and high degree of trainability (in the right hands) made the Doberman the dog of choice by the USMC during WWII; giving his life for his country. In contrast, this same breed has been and is still being used as a guide dog as well as an outstanding therapy dog.

The Doberman is one of the smartest dogs of dogdom. He is known for his intelligence and his uncanny reasoning ability. These qualities combined with the Dobe's deceptive power, exuberance for life, and his simple yet complex nature and temperament require extra time for early socialization, obedience training, and ample exercise. The Doberman is not recommended for dog owners of limited time, energy, and experience.

On the other hand, the Doberman is extremely affectionate and has been able to find his way into the hearts of his owners, like no other breed, and many people are life long devotes of this magnificent "Cadillac" of dogs.


Ask a any Doberman owner and they will tell you a Doberman is a character with character. Look into those dark dancing eyes and you just know the Dobe is off to satisfy his curiosity. Investigating every tree and rock. Letting every blade of grass reveal it's "secrets" to a very fine tuned nose; alert for any movement (a squirrel, a lizard, a butterfly) that will provide a chase. Returning, perhaps with a grin, letting you know how fortunate you are to be "protected" by such a fine companion/guardian.

NOTE: Dobe pups have a propensity to put "everything" in their mouths. Be sure to clear the yard/floor before letting a puppy out/down to play.

Caution also needs to be taken if your Dobe will be encountering other dogs. With proper introductions (back to the early socialization and training) some Dobes will enjoy playing with other dogs. Other Dobes are not at all social.

NOTE: Male Dobermans are known to be territorial and normally WILL NOT accept other males in any situation...i.e. living with another male or meeting another male.

Look into the soft loving eyes of a Dobe, read what he is saying...You are being told you are the center of this dog's world. He will match your emotions, takes direction from your acceptance or non-acceptance of a situation. If he perceives there is "something wrong with this picture" or senses your fear he comes to attention - the eyes change - ready to meet the challenge.

NOTE: The instinct to protect is natural (i.e. early socialization will NOT undermine this trait), and further "guard dog" training is not necessary. A prospective Doberman owner being advised to forego early socialization, puppy kindergarten, and obedience training to produce a protective Dobe is being ILL ADVISED!

Living outside in a kennel or expected to stay in the backyard without constant attention and in a position as an important member of the family causes a host of problems with a Doberman. Often a Dobe that is relegated to this type of living arrangement goes hand in hand with poor training and these Dobes often show evidences of shyness, fear, and nervousness.

NOTE: As with any breed there will be dogs that exhibit these traits even when the breeding/training are correctly administered.

Dobes are people dogs -- showing an extraordinary devotion to their family or owner. A Dobe is very happy to settle down once inside (providing he has had time to exercise) to share your home, your bed (takes it over), and your food. It is also very normal for your Dobe to smile, lean on you, bump your hand for more attention, and follow you from room to room. For these reasons, Dobes are often referred to as "Velcro" dogs and one of the advantages of such a dog is; you never have to go to the bathroom alone again!

The Doberman is no different in their reactions to children than any other breed of dog. Interaction with children when the Doberman is a puppy often enables the dog to develop a strong loving bond with the child and family. There are also stories of rescued and older dogs adapting well to children. HOWEVER, as with any dog, ANY BREED, it is advisable NOT to leave dogs and small children unsupervised.

When faced with sickness, Dobermans can be quite stoic, concealing their pain long before you know something is wrong. A healthy Doberman comes to you, or moves around in the yard, with a special little trot, while a sick Dobe does more walking or plodding, perhaps holding its head and neck level or down. Some Dobes curl up and don't want to move. Their eyes are sometimes sad and almost soul searching.

Depending on the illness, some Dobes don't eat and may pace or move from one spot to another, restless and panting. Others may stretch a lot or try unsuccessfully to urinate. Dobes have been known to swallow items that can block the digestive track. If this is the case, your Dobe may not want to eat, or if he does eat, he will throw up, and pace and stretch again. Check with your vet if your Dobe shows any of these symptoms.

The hardest part of owning a Dobe is to be confronted with evidence of his mortality, that a loyal companion may no longer be there. It is then that you are faced with your only disappointment in owning a Dobe - the loss of your loved one. "It is then in these hours ... that he will best be able to face this difficult time, if he looks to the demeanor of his Dobe ... for it is their distinction that they squarely face adversity, not unlike that of a professional soldier." (anonymous)


In the Early Days, 100 years ago...

Early records tell us that the Doberman in Germany was a dog used by men as a guard dog. A dog that was alert, fearless, aggressive, intelligent, and trainable. The dogs were described as being "sharp" and became very popular as a police and watch dog. This type of temperament may have been accepted and desired in the rural settings of the past, but certainly not a temperament or dog that could survive in the urban society of today.

The Doberman of Today...

During the past 100 years the committed Doberman breeder has been able to produce a much milder/steadier disposition than the earlier dogs exhibited. Upon close examination, the breed is found in a variety of working positions as well as being an excellent dog for competition performances, the conformation ring, and a devoted family dog/clown/couch potato.

Questions about the Doberman Temperament

Quoted below are the two issues of temperament discussed in the AKC Standard for the Doberman. These areas are shyness and aggression. Either, if improperly displayed, will result in the Doberman being disqualified or excused from the ring.

"The judge shall dismiss from the ring any shy or vicious Doberman."

Shyness - A dog shall be judged fundamentally shy if, refusing to stand for examination, it shrinks away from the judge; if it fears an approach from the rear; if it shies at sudden and unusual noises to a marked degree.

Viciousness - A dog that attacks or attempts to attack either the judge or its handler, is definitely vicious. An aggressive or belligerent attitude towards other dogs shall not be deemed viciousness."

FAQ's about the Doberman Temperament

Are Dobermans Are Nervous?
No, a Doberman is not nervous. They are full of energy. If a Doberman owner tends to be nervous, stressed, and unsure of how to properly handle/train a Doberman, the Dobe will often display his owner's nervousness and confusion.
Are Dobermans Shy?
No, a properly bred Doberman is not shy. Early socialization and training should be part of developing the correct temperament of a Dobe.
NOTE: This is not to say there are no shy Dobermans. As with any breed there are dogs that exhibit abnormal behavior and since there are various types and degrees of shyness. If you are having trouble with your Doberman, please contact a qualified Doberman trainer, join the Doberman discussion list (DOBERWORLD-L), and also inquire about the shy dog list.


In the village of Apolda, in the state of Thuringen, in the southern part of Germany lived Louis Dobermann (1823 - 1894). Louis Dobermann was employed as a tax collector, a "dog catcher", a night watchman, and as a supervisor for local slaughter houses. As a night watchman, Herr Dobermann found his need for a suitable dog to accompany him on his rounds. It is also not beyond imagining a protection dog would be desirable while working as a tax collector carrying large amounts of money.

NOTE: Old records tell of a "dog market" that had been held in Thuringen since 1863. Its purpose was to improve the strains and to educate owners as to the advantages of pure breed dogs. The dogs were divided into various classes (perhaps one of the first dogs shows), and we are told "all of the twelve guard-dogs were rubbish except a Pinscher."

Herr Dobermann also had a great interest in breeding dogs and was certainly exposed, through his various occupations and by attending the "dog market," to a variety of dogs. That enabled him, along with his two friends, Herr Rebel and Herr Stegmann, to produce within a few generations dogs that quickly became renowned as a fearless protection dog. These dogs could also be used as a gun-dog, for eradicating vermin, and for herding sheep. They were said to be very intelligent, to have great stamina, and were highly trainable.

The exact genesis of the Doberman is not known, but listed below are suggestions that appear to make up the ancestry of the Doberman: Rottweiler - The early Doberman was coarse, heavy headed, short-legged - steady and self-reliant.

The Old German Pinscher (now extinct) -
Black and tan, smooth coat, and energetic.
The Older Black and Tan German Shepherd -
Giving the early Doberman a heavy grey undercoat.
Sporting Dogs -
Used to lengthen the head - attentive, loving, territorial.
Weimaraner -
Points, retrieves, good nose for tracking. Possible introduction of the gene for producing the blue Doberman.
Blue Dane -
Ferocious - used for boar hunting.
Manchester Terrier -
Authenticated crosses in 1890's. The Manchester was used to improve the coat, head type, eye color, and rust markings. This cross was used again six years later.
English Greyhound -
A black English Greyhound with white chest markings was used sometime between 1900 - 1908. Speed and refinement.

The first official records of the Doberman appear in the stud books of the Dobermannpinscher Verein stud book of 1890 in Germany.

The Dobermann is one of the few breeds that has been named after a person. There is also record of an heirloom photograph of Herr Dobermann, given for a prize at one of the dog shows, which indicates that Herr Dobermann was acknowledged as a respected breeder and his dogs were held in high regard.

Otto Goeller, who became very interested in the breed and used the kennel name of Thuringen, is credited with further refining and stabilizing the breed. In 1889, Herr Goeller established the first "Dobermann Pinscher Club." .

Herr Goeller, along with a fellow townsman Herr Gorswin who bred Dobermanns bearing the kennel name of Groenland, produced several of the most important Dobermanns in the breed's history. These dogs can be found in the ancestry of the modern Dobermann.


See: War Dog Page


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Doberman Pinscher - AKC Breed Standard
Dobermann FCI Standard

AKC Breed Standard (condensed):

General Appearance:
The appearance is that of a dog of medium size, with a body that is square. Compactly built, muscular and powerful, for great endurance and speed. Elegant in appearance, of proud carriage, reflecting great nobility and temperament. Energetic, watchful, determined, alert, fearless, loyal and obedient.
Size, Proportion, Substance:
Height at the withers: Dogs 26 to 28 inches, ideal about 27 1/2 inches. Bitches 24 to 26 inches, ideal about 25 1/2 inches. The height measured vertically form the group to the highest point of the withers, equaling the length measure horizontally from the forechest to the rear projection of the upper thigh. Length of head, neck and legs in proportion to length and depth of body.
Long and dry, resembling a blunt wedge in both frontal and profile views.
Almond shaped, moderately deep set, with vigorous energetic expression.
Normally cropped and carried erect, is on a level with the top of the skull.
42 correctly place teeth. Strongly developed and white.
Neck, Topline, Body:
Proudly carried will muscled and dry. Withers pronounced and forming the highest point of the body. Back short, firm, of sufficient width, and muscular at the loins, extending in a straight line from withers to the slightly rounded croup.
Broad with forechest will defined. Brisket reaching deep to the elbow. Belly well tucked up extending in a curved line from the brisket.
Docked at approximately the second joint and carried only slightly above the horizontal with the dog is alert.
Shoulder Blade sloping forward and downward at a 45-degree angle to the ground, meets the upper arm at an angle of 90 degrees. Legs seen from front and side, perfectly straight and parallel to each other from elbow to pastern: muscled and sinewy, with heavy bone. Feet well arched, compact, and catlike, turning neither in nor out.
The angulation of the hindquarters balances that of the forequarters. Hip Bone falls away form spinal column at an angle of about 30 degrees producing a slightly rounded, will filled out croup.
Smooth-haired, short, hard, thick and close lying.
Color and Markings:
Allowed colors: Black, red, blue, fawn (Isabella). Markings: Rust, sharply defined, appearing about each eye and on muzzle, throat and forechest, on all legs and feet and below the tail.
Fee, balanced, and vigorous, with good reach in the forequarters and good driving power in the hindquarters.
Energetic, watchful, determines, alert, fearless, loyal, and obedient.


The breed can trace its history back to the Dobermannpinshcerherverein stud book of 1890. In 1899 only one color was recognized, the black and rust. In 1901 two other colors were allowed, these additional colors were; the brown and rust, and blue and rust. With the fawn (Isabella) being recognized in 1969, this brought the total to four allowed colors for the Doberman in the USA.

The fawn (Isabella) Doberman is a known recessive gene (dilution) of the reds; while the blue Doberman is a known recessive gene (dilution) of the black. This is a simple autosomal (either sex) recessive gene. Both parents have to "carry" this gene in order to produce the dilution, or depending on which genotype, all four colors a "rainbow" litter.

The blue and fawn Doberman ARE NOT rare (meaning they should NOT demand a higher price than a red or black); as you can readily see the mode of inheritance for the blue and fawn is a VERY well known simple genetic fact. Many within the Doberman community do a considerable amount of research when planning a breeding and breed accordingly, often times this will eliminate producing blues and fawns.

Combining the four allowed colors (phenotype) with the 9 possible genotypes will result in 81 possible combinations of breedings. In order for the serious Doberman breeder to understand the probability of the puppy phenotype, a color chart has been devised and each of the four colors (including their varied genotype expressions) have been assigned a number from 1 - 9.

NOTE: Below is a SMALL example of what is included in the color chart. This is NOT a complete listing of the 9 assigned numbers. B is the "black" factor, dominant over red. b is the "red" factor, recessive to black. D is the dominant "non-dilution" factor. d is the recessive "dilution" factor. A number 1 BBDD (black phenotype) will produce ONLY black. A number 2 BBDd (black phenotype) will produce only black and blue puppies unless bread to a #1 BBDD black, a #3 BbDD black or a #7 bbDD red. A number 3 BbDD (black phenotype) will produce red and blacks except when bred to a #1 BBDD black, a #2 BBDd black, or a #5 BBdd (blue phenotype) in which case only blacks will be produced. A number 4 BbDd (black phenotype) can produce all four colors when bred to another #4, a #8 bbDd (red phenotype), a 9 bbdd (fawn phenotype), or a #6 Bbdd (blue phenotype).
See also: DPCA Color Inheritance Chart
Color in the Doberman


In 1980's the white Doberman made it's appearance and it has been found that the white gene is a separate gene, and is located at a different genetic site (locus) than the color (B) and dilution (D) that is the basis of the four allowed colors for the Doberman. The white gene does not interfere with these four known colors of the Doberman and does not need to be included in the color chart.

The white Doberman is considered an incomplete or partial albino. The dogs have blue eyes and are cream colored with light tan markings. The dogs suffer from photo phobia (photosensitive). This means the dogs cannot tolerate light, often closing their eyes and bumping into objects when put in unfamiliar surroundings. Their temperaments range from being very shy to fear biters. These are not the attributes a responsible breeder or one that is familiar with the criteria of a working dog wish to produce or perpetuate.

WARNING: The white Doberman is NOT considered to be of great value (charging more/more expensive) by Responsible Breeders. Responsible Breeders DO NOT include the white Doberman in their breeding stock/programs.

The WHITE color is a DISQUALIFICATION and these dogs CANNOT COMPETE in the conformation ring. See also: DPCA Operation "White" Out
Operation "White" Out
White Doberman List
NHDRL Doberman Buyers Beware--White Dobermans!



Many Doberman breeders recommend a lower protein puppy food (less than 28%) for the first months of puppyhood. They also discontinue feeding puppy food at an early age, ~4 months. This practice is thought to help reduce the incidence of Panosteitis (wandering lameness) and reduce the rapid growth produced by a higher ratio of protein found in most commercial puppy foods. Many also recommend raising the food dish off the floor to lessen neck strain while feeding. See also: The Influence of Nutrition in Canine Hip Dysplasia
Dog Nutrition Links
Kibble Ingredients
Dog Food Comparison Chart

Ear Cropping

This is such a critical area of care for a Doberman owner that our first advice is to make sure you understand ear cropping should *ONLY* be done by those that are very experienced in this procedure.

If you have not purchased your Doberman from a knowledgeable breeder or are thinking of purchasing a Doberman please make inquires to your local kennel club in order to contact a Doberman breeder/handler/vet in your area. This will enable you to see adult dogs, the length of ears, the style of the crop, and seek advice about who did the cropping and learn about the amount time and commitment it takes for the ears to stand. If you plan on showing your Dobe, make sure that you find out about a show crop. See the descriptions below:

Length of Ears

Military/Pet Crop:
This ear is shorter in length and has a wider base (bell). Does not (usually) take very long to stand. Not seen on many Dobes today.
Medium Crop:
A longer ear with a little less bell.
Show Crop:
This crop is longer and a little narrower than the other two crops.

Ear Taping

Aftercare of the Doberman ear should only be done under the guidance of an experienced Doberman vet/breeder/handler. It requires time and commitment on the part of the owner. Most agree that the ears should be taped for a week, then untapped long enough to allow the ears to breathe and dry out, then taped back up again. The longer the ears are left untapped, the longer it will take for them to stand on their own. By the time the pups permanent teeth come in (around 6 months), or before, they should be able to stand upright with no artificial support.

Important things to remember when taping the ear:

A good starting point to learn more about ear taping is Joanna Walker's _The New Doberman Pinscher_, Chapter 27.

If you have problems finding breeders in your area or are having problems with your Dobes ears please consider joining Doberworld-l or email See also: The Equinox Doberman Owner's Guide to Ear Taping
Quick Brace Ear Bracing System
Great Dane Ear Taping


Nail care is best handled by grinding due to the dark color of the Dobermans nail. With grinding you won't run the risk of cutting into the quick. Grinding should be started as early as possible and may need to be done weekly or bi-weekly when the nails are under control. NOTE: If you turn the dog's foot over and look underneath the toenail you will "see" where the quick comes to the end of the nail (there is a little "v") and beyond that is the part that you want to grind down/off. Knowing/seeing where the quick stops and the nail begins will eliminate "quicking" the dog.

NOTE: If grooming the nails of your Dobe resemble a wrestling match or it has become a traumatic event - please seek help from a Dobe breeder/handler. Done properly, your Dobe will stand/sit/lie down to have their nails done. See also: Dalmatian Nail Grinding You have three options for the proper care of your Doberman's teeth:

  1. Brush his/her teeth daily.
  2. Periodically scale his/her teeth with a professional scaler to remove the build up of plaque and tartar. Place the flat, sharp side of the instrument against the tooth and scrape downward on the tooth. Make sure to start up under the gum and then scrape down. Most veterinarians are more than glad to show you exactly how to do this.
  3. Make an appointment with your vet to have your Doberman's teeth cleaned. Most veterinarians will anesthetize your dog to perform this procedure, so this is definitely the most risky option.

See also: Give Canine Gum Disease the Brush-Off The Doberman's coat should not require very much attention. Rubber (Premo) brushes work well. Also, a quick brush with a wool sock works to get a great shine and put all those little hairs in just the proper place. To get a fast shine and great smell on your Dobe (good for company or the ring), mix a little Listerene and water in a spray bottle and apply a small mist to your Dobe, then wipe down with a soft towel. Always wipe/brush *with* the growth of the coat. Bathing should be kept to a minimum, using a very mild shampoo and rinsing thoroughly.

Eye "goobers" (mucus build-up) are common in Dobes and should be wiped out daily. The color of the discharge should be gray. Yellow or green discharge signals an infection and your Dobe should see a vet.


The Doberman is likely to be able to destroy most toys suitable for other breeds. One safe bet is a Kong toy which is fairly indestructible. Dobes also have a love of tennis balls but these should only be provided with supervision. There are known cases of Dobermans choking on tennis balls. Beware of products stating they can be "ingested" safely. This DOES NOT mean they can be digested successfully.


Dobermans NEED socialization, socialization, socialization. A Puppy Kindergarten Class is a very suitable place for you and your Doberman to start. Following up with a basic (perhaps even a going on to a Novice) obedience course is also highly recommended. Your Doberman is a very intelligent working dog and will love learning. Please check into getting an AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) award for your Dobe. See also: Who's In Charge Here? A lesson in becoming Alpha
DoberWorld Links on Training


A Dobe is not a dog that does well outside. They are a people dog and do well in the same environment that you prefer. If you are too hot, so is your Dobe. If you are too cold, or don't like standing in the sun, you can bet your Dobe is uncomfortable too.

A fenced yard is a big plus (some breeders require it) but a Doberman can do well in a small yard or even in an apartment as long as the owner realizes that the Doberman loves (demands) exercise and must be willing to provide daily walks and or runs. See also: rec.pets.dogs Health Care Issues


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See also...


The DPCA (Doberman Pinscher Club Of America) has devised a temperament test that demonstrates the proper characteristics for which the Doberman was created.

The requirements are: the dog must be a Doberman, at least 18 months of age, must be AKC registered or have an ILP (Indefinite Listing Privileges obtained from AKC) number. To find when and where these tests are held one should contact their local Doberman club, or the DPCA.

The tests include 5 exercises that evaluates the dogs responses to:

+ The Neutral and Friendly Strangers
+ The Hidden Clattering and The Gunshots
+ The Umbrella
+ Walking Across Variable Surfaces
+ The Protective Reaction

Upon passing this test the Doberman is awarded a WAC (Working Aptitude Certificate) and in some cases you may see a dog advertised or referred to as: Doberworld's Total Dobe WAC


or if the Doberman has a CD (Obed title): Doberworld's Total Dobe CD WAC


or if the Doberman has a Championship title (Breed title), a CD, and the *WAC: Ch. Doberworld's Total Dobe CD ROM


* notice the change of the WAC to a ROM. Total Dobe has now demonstrated that s/he is a complete Doberman and is awarded a Register of Merit.

As an aside, serious breeders do not confine testing of their Dobes to only the breed and performance events. Rising importance is being placed on those Dobermans which are tested for vWD, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia (OFA certification) and CERF tests (done yearly).

Ch. Total Dobe CD ROM CGC has now proven him/herself is proficient in conformation, is trainable, has the proper Doberman temperament, and passed available health tests. THIS is the Doberman the responsible knowledgeable breeder will use in breeding programs. This is the Doberman found in the knowledgeable/educated/responsible Doberman community. Ch. Total Dobe CD ROM CGC vWD clear, thyroid normal, OFA'd, CERF'd Full and proper dentition


The complete Doberman. See also: rec.pets.dogs Dog Fanciers' Acronym List
rec.pets.dogs AKC Conformation titles


Within the past 10/15 years, some within the Doberman fancy have turned their attention to the Dobermann in Germany, Holland, and other European countries. This interest has resulted in many fine imports. Imported dogs bearing their European breed championships linked with their working titles, these Dobermanns have been successfully combined with some of the outstanding American Dobermans. The resulting combinations can be found in the conformation ring, obedience trials, and in organizations devoted to the working dog. It can be very confusing to try and sort all of the various titles found in the pedigrees of these Dobermanns, so we are listing them for you below.

---Conformation Titles---

Hol Ch
Holland Ch.
Spa Ch
Spanish Ch.
Ger Ch
German Ch. (also listed as D Ch. for "Deutsche" Ch.)
Int. Ch
International Ch.
Verein Deutscher Hunde, the German National Kennel Club (equivalent to AKC)
N Ch.
Norwegian Ch.
S Ch.
Swedish Ch.
D Ch.
possibly Dutch Ch. or German Ch. Dutch is usually N Ch. or S Ch.
Sieger means "victor" and there are 5 Sieger shows a year. The main winner in dogs is a Sieger and the main winner in Bitches is a Siegerin.
(Bundessieger) German Sieger. Bundes"leistungs"sieger refers to a working National Champion.
World Sieger
Dobermann Verein Sieger (Dobermann Verein is the German Dobe Club).
Winner of the International Dobe Club Show.

---Working Titles---

SchH I
1st level Schutzhund Title.
2nd level Schutzhund Title.
3rd level Schutzhund Title.
(Fahrtenhund) Advanced Tracking Title.
Endurance test. Dog must go 20 kilometers and pass a temperament test.
US equivalent. Dog must go 12 miles in 2 1/2 hours and pass a temperament test.
Internationale Prufungs-Ordnung. Titles are similar to Schutzhund titles but testing under international rules.
(Zuchttauglichkeitsprufung) Fit for breeding test. Requires temperament testing, conformation evaluation, as well as a protection test similar to SchH I. Dogs must be X-rayed clear hip-dysplasia to obtain the certificate for breeding.
"V1" is the highest conformation rating and "A" is the highest temperament rating.
(Angekoert) extensive temperament test and conformation evaluation. A step above the ZtP!
Kk, KL1, KKL 1, or KKL 1a
(Korung) hard core temperament test and conformation evaluation above the Angekoert title.
Hip displasia ratings similar to OFA's Excellent and Good. HD-I is the highest rating.

See also: International Doberman Reference Center


Doberman breeders should provide the following:

Breeders cannot guarantee that the dogs will be FREE of these diseases but testing shows responsibility. See also: The Doberman Pinscher Foundation of America
rec.pets.dogs Medical Info
Canine Consumer Report: A Guide to Hereditary and Congenital Diseases in Dogs

Ailments that may be found in the Doberman:

| Acne and Hair Pore Infection | Addison's Disease | Anondontia | Bloat | Cardiomyopathy | Cervical Vertebral Instability | Chronic active hepatitis | Color Mutant Alopecia | Dandruff | Drug allergy | Flank Sucker Syndrome | Fatty Tumors | Frostbite | Hip dysplasia | Intervertebral Disk Disease | Leptospirosis | Lick Granulomas| Mammary cancer | Mange | Narcolepsy | Panosteitis | Parvovirus | Persistent Hyperplastic Porimary Vitrous | Renal cortical hypoplasia | Thyroid Disfunction | Urinary Incontinence | Von Willebrand's Disease | Wobbler Syndrome | Yeast Infections |

Acne and Hair Pore Infection -
Common in short haired dogs.



See also...

Addison's Disease (Hypoadrenocorticism) -
Insufficient production of adrenal hormones by the adrenal gland (see Thyroid Disfunction)



See also...

Anondontia -
Missing teeth which has a genetic basis. 
Bloat or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) -
Swelling of the stomach from gas, fluid, or both causing the stomach to twist. Bloat requires for immediate medical attention. It is usually seen in male dogs between 4 and 7 years of age who eat large quantities of dry kibble, exercise vigorously after eating, and drink lots of water after eating. One possible way to prevent bloat is to crate the dog (or keep calm) for at least an hour after eating.



See also...

Cardiomyopathy -
A very serious degenerative heart condition which causes sudden or congestive heart failure.



See also...

Cervical Vertebral Instability (CVI) -
Misalignment of the cervical vertebrae and deformity in the bodies of the vertebrae. The excess pressure may cause a wide stance of the hind legs, stumbling, lack of coordination. Avoid high protein diets (particularly with young puppies). (see Wobblers
Chronic active hepatitis (copper toxicosis) -
Biological defect in Doberman's ability to remove copper from the body.



See also...

Color Mutant Alopecia (Blue Doberman Syndrome) -
A hereditary disease most often seen in fawn and blue coated Dobermans. Color mutant Dobermans are born with a healthy hair coat but at 4 to 6 months the coat becomes thin, brittle, and dry. The skin becomes rough and scaly. Blackheads, papules, and pustules appear over the body. The symptoms may not appear until the dog is 3 years old. There is no cure, only treatments to relieve the surface condition.



See also...

Dandruff -
Drug allergy -
To Tribrissen, Septra, Bactrim, Ditrim, or any of the Trimethoprim-sulfa mixtures. 
Flank Sucker Syndrome (side sucker syndrome) -
Obsessive sucking and licking of the flank region. 
Fatty tumors -
Although common in older Dobermans, all lumps should be diagnosed by a veterinary.



See also...

Frostbite -
Frostbite may affect the ear tips (and feet, etc.) if the dog is left out too long in severe winter weather. 
Hip dysplasia -
Malformation of one or both of the ball and socket joints in the hip, common in larger, deep-chested breeds. The breeder should X-rayed the parents for hip dysplasia.



See also...

Intervertebral Disk Disease -
Compression of the spinal cord by disc material.



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Lick Granulomas -
Obsessive licking of an area resulting in skin irritations.



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Leptospirosis -
Potentially fatal bacterial infection that damages the kidneys.



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Mammary cancer -
Common in older, unspayed bitches.



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Mange (or Demodicosis) -
Skin affliction caused by tiny mite.



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Narcolepsy -
A genetic sleeping disorder.



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Panosteitis (wandering lameness) -
Bone disorder signaled by lameness, reluctance to walk, occasional inappetence, and fever.



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Parvovirus susceptibility -
Viral infection affecting the development of the heart.



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Persistent Hyperplastic Porimary Vitrous (PHPV) -
Eye defect usually affecting both eyes.



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Renal cortical hypoplasia -
Progressively fatal kidney disease.



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Thyroid Disfunction -
Occurs in females more frequently than in males. Generally there is a genetic or family history of thyroid problems. Blood samples can be sent to Michigan State University for diagnosis:
Use this address if samples are sent by the US postal service -
Animal Health Diagnostic Lab
P.O. Box 30076
Lansing, MI 48909-7576
Use this address to ship by UPS, Fed Ex, etc. -
Animal Health Diagnostic Lab
B 629 West Fee Hall
Michigan State University
E. Lansing, MI 48824-1315
Phone: (517) 353-0635.



See also...

Urinary Incontinence -
Urine leaking.



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Von Willebrand's Disease (vWD) -
Abnormalities in the blood-clotting system. See the VetGen page for information on testing for the vWD DNA mutation.



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Wobbler Syndrome (cervical spondylopathy) -
Displacement of one vertebra in relation to another.



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Yeast Infections -
During the ear taping period, yeast infections in the ear are possible if the ear is not dried sufficiently. Watch for discharge and/or bad odor. Do not clean the discharge from the ear until the vet has taken a sample.



See also...


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See also...


< under construction >

Will the Doberman attack it's owner?

What is the average life of a well bred Doberman?

Why are the ears cropped and the tail docked?

Are dobe ears supposed to stand erect at all times?

Up to what age may the cropping of the ears be done safely?


by Jim Kearns

Every field has its legends. In the entertainment world Elvis Presley has become a legend. Although he has been dead for a number of years, his popularity amongst many people has increased. Each year people spend more money on visiting his home Graceland in Memphis than Elvis usually earned in a year. There are many who still make a living impersonating him. There are stories constantly popping up in the supermarket newspapers stating that he is still alive. He has become a legend although many considered him just a better than average singer, actor, and entertainer.

In the Dobe world, there is also a legend. His name is Borong the Warlock. It is not unusual for someone to call a Dobe club Breed Referral number and say, "I have this Warlock male. He is a fawn and one hundred and ten pounds. I want to breed him to a bitch that is strong and exceptional, preferably a Warlock bitch." Or for another caller to state, "My bitch is a Warlock but she is getting old, I would like to get another Warlock bitch." Members of many Dobe clubs report that they get calls very similar to the ones just described.

In 1973, there was a person who lived in Pasadena, Texas who told people that her Dobes were Warlocks. She did a lot of breeding and sold her puppies to people who really did not know much about Dobes. The Dobes she bred were not exceptional and in some instances were rather poor specimens of the breed. That was more than twenty years ago!

Was there a Warlock? If there was, why do people still use his name? Frank Grover in The Doberman Scribe, No. 7, in an article entitled "American Doberman Pinscher Legends" wrote about Borong the Warlock. Frank stated, "The Doberman who began the legend was born in Florida in the middle 1950's. His breeders were Theodosia and Henry Frampton. They named this pup Borong the Warlock."

A warlock is a male witch, sorcerer, wizard or demon. Grover points out that the name did not describe Borong because he was a direct, rather quiet-mannered dog, well trained and never aggressive toward anyone nor other dogs.

Borong was not picked as best in his litter. The pup adhered himself to Henry Frampton. Many thought that it was the pup that picked Henry rather than Henry picking the pup. When the pup grew up, Henry began to show Borong and he began winning. This was the beginning of what would go on for years.

Borong came along at the right time. In the early 1950's, the Dobe world was dominated by Rancho Dobe's Storm, a back to back Best in Show winner at Westminster in 1952 and 1953. Storm was never beaten in the breed ring and he dominated Dobe publicity all over the nation. When Storm retired, exhibitors and judges foundered for a while. There were also many who resented Storm's successes and his popularity, and were looking for a different kind of Dobe. Borong fit the bill. He was clearly a different kind of Doberman. Grover states that breeder judges welcomed him. Forty years later, Storm's wins are history; Warlock's name is legend.

Henry Frampton's business required that he travel a great deal around the country. He took Borong with him and showed him at shows that were near where his business appointments were. Borong was shown all over the country and became known. Henry was sociable and friendly. He talked to people and he told them of Borong's achievements. When Borong did not win Best in Breed at a show, Henry would tell the judge what Borong had accomplished and what he had won. He would do this politely and when he showed under the same judge again Borong would usually win.

In 1957, Borong won Best in Breed at the DPCA National. Henry continued to show Borong. When jet travel began in 1959, Henry told people he could buy two first class seats, one for him and one for Borong. Henry also trained Borong in obedience and Ch. Borong the Warlock, CD, was the only male that went Best of Breed at the National with an obedience title. He went Best in Breed at three Nationals. Breeders eventually sought him out because they wanted winning pups. One of his daughters won the National. In his old age he won his first all-breed Best in Show. Many of the pups he sired in his later years established him as one of the fine sires of his time.

Before Borong retired Henry Frampton took him to Germany where he competed against the top German Dobes. It was at a time when the German members of the breed were aggressive towards other dogs and judges. Borong was a quiet, well mannered Dobe without an enemy in the world. He came in second and Henry complained about this for a long time stating that the judging was done using temperament rather than the conformation of Borong.

Borong's career ended when Henry Frampton died of a heart attack. It was not long after that Borong died. The many who knew how close Borong was to Henry thought the great Dobe died of grief over losing his human companion.

The legends grew from his fame. His interesting name helped the growth of the legends. It is reported that the legends started in Texas where some of Borong's excellent descendants lived. People began to believe there were signs that identified a Dobe as a Warlock. The sign could be a lock of hair, a great size, small but powerful, a look in the eye, or something else. The name "Warlock" had an air of mystery about it and people began to see all sorts of signs that a Dobe was a Warlock descendant.

In the 1970's, Doberman Pinschers began to experience a phenomenal increase in popularity. It was a period when people living in the suburbs began to discover that they were not safe from crime. The Doberman, according to the AKC, became the "watch dog of the moment". The "moment" lasted for years. The breed that traditionally ranked around 20th in annual AKC registrations moved up to 2nd in registrations by the early 1980s. Grover states, "When Dobermans were being bred by everyone and sold as ways to get rich quick, hundreds were sold in the underground as Warlocks, each with a secret sign of distinction and value known only to a few."

The legend has been used by some to take money from people under false pretenses. It has been used by others to see what they would like to see. When all of that is stripped away, Borong the Warlock was a wonderful dog, an outstanding member of the breed, and an ambassador for all Dobermans with an unusual name. Most of all Borong was a great companion to his owner, Henry Frampton.

Over the years Warlock has been associated with oversized Dobes. Dobe fanciers in Texas thought this was just a local phenomenon, but there have been reports that there are "Warlocks" in many other states. Because of their size, the "Warlocks" are not shown and have no connection to the original Borong the Warlock.

There probably always will be breeders telling people their puppies are "Warlocks" so the name will live on. Regardless of their size and their pedigree or lack of pedigree, the Warlocks have one thing in common with the best of the Dobes in the show ring and that is they are loved by the people who own them. When one of them dies the owner will start looking for another Warlock.


See also: Doberman Vendor Links including software and videos


Brown, Robert M., 1940- _The Doberman Owners' Medical Manual_/ Jackson, WI : Breed Manual Publications, c1986. 354 p. ; 22cm.
Curnow, Fred. _The Dobermann_ / 3rd ed., revised. London : Popular Dogs Publishing Co., 1976. 205 p., 16 p. of plates :ill. ; 23 cm.
Denlinger, Milo Grange, 1890-1953, comp. _The complete Doberman pinscher_ Rev. ed. New York, Howell Book House, 1971 [c1969] 320 p. illus. 22 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: SF429.P5 D4 1971
Gudas, Raymond. _Doberman pinschers_ : everything about purchase, care, nutrition, diseases, breeding, behavior, and training / New York : Barrons, c1987. 79 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 20 cm.
Harmar, Hilary. _Doberman pinschers_ Rev. and expanded by Mario Migliorini. New York, Arco [c1971] 112 p. illus. 21 cm.
Ladd, Mark. _Dobermanns : an owner's companion_ / 1st American ed. New York : Howell Book House ; Toronto : Collier Macmillan Canada, 1991. p. cm.
Linzy, Jan. _Doberman Pinscher champions_, 1952-1980 / Rio Linda, Ca. : Pata Publications, c1981. 186 p., [60] p. of plates : ill. ; 28 cm.
Linzy, Jan. _Doberman Pinscher champions_, 1981-1985 / Camino, CA. : Camino E.E. & B. Co., c1986. 221 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Migliorini, Mario. _The Doberman Book_ / New York : ArcoPub., c1985. ix, 242 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Nicholas, Anna Katherine. _A Complete Introduction to Doberman Pinschers_ : all the information you need about selecting and keeping a Doberman Pinscher--featuring sections on the breed's history, training, health care, breeding, and showing / Neptune City, NJ : T.F.H. Publications, c1987. 126 p. : col. ill. ; 22 cm.
Sanford, William R. (William Reynolds), 1927- _Doberman pinscher_ / New York : Crestwood House, 1989. p. cm. Discusses the history, physical characteristics, care, and breeding of this highly intelligent dog frequently used for protection.
Walker, Joanna. _The New Doberman Pinscher_ / 2nd ed. New York, N.Y. : Howell Book House, c1981. 351, [1] p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Wilhelm, Andre. _The Dobermann_ / London : Kaye & Ward, 1980. 128 p., [12] p. of plates : ill. ; 23 cm.
Winkler, Bernadette E. _A Beginner's Guide to Doberman Pinschers_ / Neptune City, N.J. : T.F.H. Publications, c1986. 61 p. : col.ill. ; 23 cm.
_Doberman Pinscher Champions_, 1986-1987. Camino, CA : Camino E.E. & B. Co., c1988. 88 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
_The Beginner's Doberman Pinscher_ / 3rd rev. ed. [Massapequa, N.Y.] : The Club, c1985. iv, 40 p. : ill. ; 18 cm.

See also: rec.pets.dogs Publications


Doberman Quarterly
1296 E. Gibson Rd. #198
Woodland, CA 95776
(916) 756-1818, FAX: (916) 758-9329
The Doberman Digest
8848 Beverly Hills
Lakeland, FL 33809-1604
(941) 858-3839, FAX: (941) 853-3624
UDC Focus Magazine (United Doberman Club publication)
1250 West Frontier Street
Apache Junction, AZ 85220-9084
Der Ganze Dobermann (The Total Doberman Pincher)
P.O. Box 512
Delavan Lake, WI 53115
(800) 826-1995

Clubs and Foundations

Doberman Pinscher Club of America
Paul H. Combs, DPCA Membership Secretary
PO Box 260473
Tampa, FL 33685

or:     Janet Van Wormer, 25551 Hunter Rd,Veneta, OR 97487-9646.
        Phone is: 541-935-1648, Fax 541-935-6518 and e-mail is:
  United Doberman Club PO Box 659 Spring Valley, NY 10977 Doberman Pinscher Foundation of America, Inc. Paula Hotz 917 Rowe Lane O'Fallon, IL 62269-6912 Click here for a message from Judy Doniere on the DPFA



"Endowing Our Future Through Research & Education"

The Doberman Pinscher Foundation of America is seeking to identify and fund medical research that pertains to conditions that afflict the Doberman Pinscher.

Diseases of particular interest are: Dilated cardiomyopathy; Cervical spondylopathy(CVI, wobblers); Copper associated chronic hepatitis; von Willebrand's Disease; Uninary incontinence; Cauda equina syndrome; "Dancing Doberman Syundrome;" Congenital vestibular disease(dings); Color mutant alopecia & associated disorders; Hypothyroidism; Prostatitis.

Other diseases will be considered if reasonable evidence exists that they are a threat to (but not necessarily limited to) the Doberman Pinscher, including new or newly described infectious and/or contagious entities.

Serious requests for funding must include: 5 in-depth protocols; 5 budget summaries; 5 summaries of protocol (1 type written page or less) including: amount requested, whether or not partial funding is acceptable, and anticipated duration of the project.

Requests must be submitted no later than August 1. Research suitable to be published in referred, peer-reviewed veterinary literature will be given priority. Annual grants are made after committee and Board of Directors review in October. At the present time grants will not exceed $5000.00 annually.

The Foundation requires acknowledgment (receipt) at the time of funding as well as mid-year progress reports by March 15 (IRS requirement). The Doberman Pinscher Foundation of America is to be given credit for funding in all publications.

Communication should be directed to Dr. C. David McLaughlin, DVM. Vice-President/Grants, 144 Algonquin Rd. Barrington Hills, IL 60010-8602 Ph. 847-428-7155, Fax: 847-428-0610 Judy Doniere,
Health Survey Co-Chairman If you would like to support the foundation, send a check of any amount made payable to Doberman Pinscher Foundation of America, Inc. to: Paula Hotz 917 Rowe Lane O'Fallon, IL 62269-6912


If your donation is to be in memory of or in honor of a person, an animal or an event, include the information to whom to send the acknowledgment. You may earmark any donation for a specific research purpose (i.e. cardiomyopathy, vWD, etc.). You may also charge your donation on your credit card! *All donations are tax deductible*

Some corporations have matching funds programs. DPFA will provide any information requested by your company.


I wish to thank Rachel Larson, Henry Ramser, Jean Boland, Carol Carter (Caravista Dobermans), Amy Head, Michelle Lewis (Lemil Dobermans), Jen and Den Lee (Teraden Dobermans), Jim Kearns, and Ray Carlisle for permission to use information found in his wonderful publication - Top Dobe. Gathered from Web Archive