The Doberman Pinscher is a dog known for its guard duty capabilities. The Doberman is a very powerful and intimidating dog, the very sight of which makes people think twice before approaching. However, the Doberman can be a very sweet and loving dog as long as it’s given the proper care and socialization from an early age.
The first step in taking care of your Doberman, as with any dog, is getting the proper vaccinations from your veterinarian. You will also need to get regular booster shots, along with the proper worm medication and flea and tick medication for your Doberman. These can be a little expensive, however maintaining the health of your Doberman will ensure him a long and happy life.
You are going to have to consult with your vet about the proper diet for your Doberman. Dobermans require a diet high in protein and crude fat. You should also consult with your vet about cropping your Doberman’s ears. This will give your Doberman the classic pointed ear look that most people associate with Dobermans. This is merely for aesthetics, so the choice is up to you.
At about 12 weeks of age, you will need to begin socializing your Doberman with older dogs and other people. This will ensure your Doberman will be gentle and loving. This will not, however, keep your Doberman from doing his job of protecting its family. When the situation calls for it, your Doberman will do whatever he can to protect you and your family.
Training of your Doberman should start at a young age, and you should exercise your Doberman at least once a day. Dobermans have a high level of energy and can be stubborn if they sense hesitation in the owners. If you keep your dog well-exercised, he will be easier to control and handle. The whole family should know how to handle the Doberman; this will prevent your dog from becoming aggressive to any member of the family and will keep him in his proper place, as the family dog.
Dobermans are known to be prone to a condition known as bloat. These dogs have a stomach that doesn’t stay in one place. It is free-floating in the body cavity. If given a lot of exercise on a full stomach the stomach can actually flip itself around and get stuck. This can be prevented by simply waiting for an hour or two after the Doberman eats to take him on walks or involve him in any exercise.
The Doberman pinscher originated in Germany around 1900, developed from a combination of breeds including the Rottweiler, Thuringian shepherd, black and tan terrier and German pinscher. These medium-sized dogs were originally bred to be guard dogs and are very loyal to their owners. With their shiny, short coats and muscular bodies, the Doberman pinscher appears alert and regal in his stature. Depending on whether you want to show your dog professionally, certain aesthetic surgeries can be performed on his ears and tail to keep his appearance to the breed standard.
Take your Doberman pinscher to a veterinarian and have him vaccinated. Dobermans are especially vulnerable to the deadly parvovirus if not properly vaccinated, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The initial vaccination is given at 6 weeks of age and every four weeks afterward until the dog reaches 16 to 20 weeks old.
Bring your Doberman to a veterinary surgeon to have his ears cropped and tail docked if you plan to show him. The American Kennel Club requires that a Doberman have his ears cropped to an erect style and his tail docked at the second joint. These are both cosmetic procedures. Ear cropping alters the look of the ears, making them stand erect, and requires the taping of the ears after surgery to train them to stand up. Docking shortens the tail.
Exercise your Doberman daily to prevent any destructive behaviors from developing. This breed requires a significant amount of exercise, more than other breeds, so playing games outdoors such as fetch with dog toys or engaging in a brisk run with him will tire him out. Dobermans are prone to compulsive behaviors such as excessive flank licking if not given outlets for their energy or when stressed. Outdoor activities can prevent these issues from starting, helping to relieve any anxiety.
Clicker train your Doberman to respond to verbal commands. Dobermans are intelligent dogs that require the mental stimulation that training provides. This type of training involves associating the sound of a click with a food reward, then using the sound of the clicker to indicate to the dog what is required of him. Initially, click the training device, then treat repeatedly. Once the dog associates the noise with the treat, move on to verbal commands, clicking when, after you have given a command, the dog performs the required activity.
Groom your Doberman with a short wire brush to keep any debris out of his fur. The breed’s short fur requires infrequent brushing and does not typically shed very much. Clean the coat with a damp washcloth and spritz a bit of leave-in conditioner on it to ensure that your dog’s coat appears shiny. Bathe your dog only when necessary.
Feed your Doberman a high-calorie diet if he is exercised regularly to keep up with his caloric requirements for proper nutrition. Choose soy-free dry food and soak it before serving to prevent a condition called bloat, which is common in larger breeds such as the Doberman, recommends the Dog Channel website. Bloat causes a potentially fatal swelling of the stomach. Avoid feeding your Doberman for one hour before or after exercise, which can also help prevent bloat.
Purchase your dog from a reputable breeder, registered with an organization such as the AKC. Improperly bred Dobermans can be aggressive.
Check with your local municipality before purchasing or adopting a Doberman pinscher. Some laws, specific to potentially aggressive breeds such as the Doberman, prevent the ownership of these breeds within certain locations or pose specific restrictions on them.
Never attempt to crop your Doberman’s ears or dock his tail yourself; this is a procedure that requires a veterinarian to perform and prevent infections from setting in.
If your Doberman shows signs of stomach swelling, drooling or restlessness, he may be suffering from bloat and requires emergency veterinary care.
Keep your Doberman indoors during cold weather, as he can chill easily because of his short coat. Purchase a dog sweater or coat for him when walking him in cold conditions.
Give your Doberman interactive toys, such as treat-containing chew toys, to engage his mind during the day when you are not home. This prevents destructive behavior in this breed from developing.
Take your Doberman for regular vet visits to check for certain conditions that are more prevalent in this breed including cancer, hyperthyroidism, hip dysplasia, Von Willebrand’s disease and dilated cardiomyopathy.
If you cannot play with or exercise your Doberman outdoors as much as he needs, run him on a treadmill to ensure he gets the exercise he needs to prevent compulsive or destructive behaviors.
Socialize your Doberman from an early age to prevent any issues with aggression later in life toward other people or dogs. Have your young Doberman play with other dogs and expose him to a variety of other people starting at 12 weeks old.
This intelligent, obedient dog can be trained to be a guide dog for the blind with a certified guide dog instructor.
If you don’t plan to show your dog, you can leave his ears and tail in their natural state.
Teach your Doberman to participate in agility trials. The preparation is both physically and mentally stimulating, which are both important for this breed.
Your Doberman pinscher will take good care of you. All he wants is that you do the same for him — and love him to pieces. He reciprocates your affection many times over. The Dobie’s incredible devotion to his person makes him a splendid companion for the active owner.
While you know you must feed your Dobie a high-quality dog food, portions and the number of feedings per day are also important. Like other large, deep-chested breeds, Dobies are prone to bloat, a condition formally known as gastric torsion. That means the stomach twists, cutting off the blood supply. It can strike any time, and only emergency surgery will save your Dobie. One way to avoid this condition is by feeding your dog smaller portions several times a day, rather than giving him all of his food at once. Another is to withhold water for a while after the dog eats. Also, don’t feed your Dobie for an hour before or after he’s heavily exercised. Your vet can perform a surgery known as stomach tacking to prevent bloat from occurring.
Training should be a pleasure for the two of you, because your Dobie is so smart, eager to please and willing to learn. He not only learns, but what he learns is encoded in him and he doesn’t forget. For all his reputed toughness, a Dobie is a sensitive dog — so don’t yell at him or scold him too much if he makes a mistake. A firm voice is more effective, as long as your dog recognizes you as the leader in your little pack.
Your Doberman pinscher is a natural guardian and watchdog, but he can overdo the barking. If that’s a problem, work with him so he knows when enough is enough. Since you are dealing with a large, bright, strong dog, take him to obedience school so he learns the basics. Dobies excel in any canine field, so you can continue with agility, search-and-rescue, flyball or therapy dog training if that’s your, and your dog’s, pleasure. Dobie puppies are easy to housetrain.
Your Dobie needs both physical and mental exercise. All that energy and sharpness needs an outlet. Otherwise, your home and property might incur some serious Dobie damage. Take your dog for long walks every day. If you run, jog or cycle, he might be able to accompany you. Exercise his mind with games like hide-and-seek, where you hide a toy and he finds it. This also relates to training, as you can go through basic commands while playing with him.
Because they’re short-haired dogs, Doberman grooming is pretty basic. Give your dog a good brushing once a week or so to get rid of dead hairs. Bathe him as needed — that’s usually only every couple months or more, if he doesn’t get filthy outside — but don’t wash him so often that his skin becomes dry and dandruffy.
Your Dobie needs an annual vet checkup, like all dogs. Part of a Dobie’s annual exam includes a heart check, as cardiomyopathy is so common in the breed. While there’s no cure, early diagnosis means the vet can prescribe medication that might keep your buddy around longer.
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- Doberman Pinscher Club of America: The Doberman – Breed Standard
- Vetstreet: Doberman Pinscher
- Doberman Pinscher Club of America: The Doberman – Health
- VetInfo: Doberman Dog Training Tips
- Petfinder: Adopt a Doberman Pinscher
- Vetstreet: What You Need to Know About Doberman Health
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.
A square, medium-sized dog, the Doberman Pinscher is muscular and possesses great endurance and speed. He is elegant in appearance and reflects great nobility and temperament. The properly bred and trained Doberman has proved itself to be a friend and guardian, and his intelligence and ability to absorb and retain training have brought him into demand as a police and war dog. The Doberman’s short, hard coat can be black, red, blue and fawn.
The Doberman Pinscher is known to be energetic, watchful, fearless and obedient. He is ready to give prompt alarm (and back up that warning) but is also affectionate, obedient and loyal. The breed requires regular exercise but needs only minimal grooming for his short coat.
The Doberman Pinscher requires regular bathing and grooming. This discerning companion can be bathed weekly up to every six to eight weeks depending on his activity level and lifestyle. With this short coat, regular bathing is recommended to minimize shedding and to maintain healthy skin and coat while preserving the hard texture. Selecting the correct products to match your pet’s needs is essential to achieve optimal results.
Finishing the Dog: Tools and Finish Grooming
The Doberman Pinscher should be bathed and groomed on a regular basis in order to keep the short, smooth coat in prime condition and to minimize shedding. It is always beneficial to use a hydrating spray to follow the bath and drying process. This allows the skin and coat to lock in moisture in order to maintain perfect hydration. As a finishing touch, before using the hydrating spray, use a grooming mitt and message in a circular motion to stimulate the release of natural oils in addition to the removal of any loose hairs. Then finish with the hydrating spray.
General Health Care
Prep work is the foundation of all grooming. Prep work includes ear cleaning, nail trimming, anal glands, and proper dental hygiene. Mastering these skills sets the professional pet stylist apart from the rest. Prep work should be done before every bathing and grooming appointment. All dogs need to have their ears checked and cleaned on a regular basis. Proper nail care is also very important. Long, unsightly nails are uncomfortable for the dog, as well as anyone they might jump on. Long nails also compromise the shape of the foot. Trimming the pads of the foot helps give the dog good traction on different surfaces and can minimize the amount of dirt the dog tracks into the house. It also affords the opportunity to treat and condition the paws from cracks and abrasions. Anal glands should also be checked and expressed if they are full. Some caring pet owners prefer to have the anal glands done by their veterinarian. Good dental hygiene is essential for a healthy pet as well.
In order to maintain healthy skin and coat as well as overall health, it is important to provide good
Do they require a lot of grooming?
They require minimal grooming. Routine baths and brush outs are recommended to minimize shedding and keep the skin and coat in good condition.
What are the common problems in the Doberman Pinscher?
Cardiomyopathy is suspected to be an inherited disease in this breed. Hypothyroidism, Hip Dysplasia, and Von Willebrand’s Disease (a bleeding disorder) are also health conditions that have been identified in Doberman Pinschers.
Do Doberman’s shed or cause allergies?
They do shed year around Their shedding makes them a poor choice for those suffering from allergies.
Are Doberman Pinscher’s good with children?
Doberman’s are loyal to their owner and are good with children if they are raised with hem and socialized properly. As with any dog, a small child should never be left unsupervised or left alone with a dog.
Doberman pinscher is a popular dog breed that is known for being loyal and taking very good care of its owner and in the same way, it expects the same from them. Good care will ensure a healthy and good life for your adorable companion. The way of reciprocating the affection among these pets has been great and this can indeed be an amazing companion for you. Being an owner of Doberman pinscher you should be happy as taking care of it is fun and you will enjoy every moment of it. You need to be extremely careful of the below mentioned elements as even a slight negligence would create a lot of problems in the long run.
Doberman pinscher will always be eager to learn new things and hence, training this pet will surely be a wonderful thing to do. This dog is sensitive and hence, it is advised that you do not scold it even if it makes a mistake. Firm voice will surely prove to be effective. This is a great watchdog and a natural guardian, however, it could overdo certain things. Hence, for it to behave in a better way, it is advised to take it to an obedience school so that it knows some basics. You can provide it with search and rescue training, therapy dog training, etc. It is also easy to train this dog in your house.
Coat and Grooming
Doberman pinscher is known to have short hair and hence, basic grooming is actually sufficient. Brushing needs to be done once in a week, so that the dead hair are removed. Frequent shampooing is not advised as the skin tends to become dry.
Exercise and health
Physical as well as mental exercise is extremely essential for Doberman Pinscher and hence, it is advised that you take him for a walk on a daily basis. Even when you cycle or jog, it could accompany you. You can also give it good mental exercise by playing some games like hide and seek. This is also an important part of training.
How much to feed
High and good quality food is required for this breed of dog and you should provide with good portions of food on a daily basis. This breed of dog will often be prone to bloating and this is usually known as gastric torsion. This ideally means that the stomach gets twisted and will lead to cutting off of the blood supply. This could be encountered anytime and only with emergency surgery, your pet will be saved. One of the best ways to avoid this is to feed your dog with small portions of food many times a day instead of giving the food at once. Withholding water for sometime after dog eats is also suggested. Also, it is suggested not to feed the dog an hour before the exercise. It is suggested to visit the vet for the sake of performing a kind of surgery, which is referred as stomach tacking for the sake of preventing from the bloating of stomach.
From Delhi, Rahul is an animal lover at heart. He is a writer and most of his writing revolves around making people aware of animal issues like health, training and grooming.
Although it closely resembles the standard Doberman pinscher, the miniature pinscher is a toy breed not actually related to the larger dogs. Described as spirited, loyal and headstrong, miniature pinschers are also sweet and intelligent, making them wonderful companion dogs. Because they are so bright, miniature pinschers require interaction and stimulation, much of which you’ll provide when you train them properly and socialize them with people and other dogs. A healthy diet and proper grooming round out the requirements of caring for a "mini-pin."
Feed your miniature pinscher high-quality dog kibble formulated for smaller breeds. Small-breed dogs have special nutritional requirements, and the smaller-size kibble is easier for a toy-breed dog to chew. The food should have optimal protein for strong muscles and high energy needs, balanced calories for reasonable body weight, and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coat. Special treats now and then are fine, but keep them to a minimum to avoid weight problems.
Shelter your miniature pinscher from the cold. She should live indoors; allow her outside only in a securely fenced yard — as mini-pins are notorious escape artists — or on a leash or harness for a supervised walk. If the weather is chilly, you may want to put a sweater or coat on your miniature pinscher to avoid extreme discomfort and possible illness.
Walk your dog at least once daily and twice if your schedule allows. Miniature pinschers have a lot of energy, and they need exercise to keep them healthy and to avoid destructive behaviors that will develop if they grow restless and bored. In addition to leashed walks outdoors, you can supplement exercise with indoor games such as playing with balls, ropes and other exercise-minded dog toys.
Brush your miniature pinscher once a week to remove loose hair and keep her coat shiny and healthy looking. Infrequent bathing — just a few times a year as needed — is recommended. More regular bathing than that can cause these short-haired dogs’ skin to dry out. Routine visits to a groomer are suggested to have your dog’s nails trimmed.
Schedule yearly examinations with your miniature pinscher’s vet for vaccinations and to stay on top of possible health issues. Mini-pins are prone to joint problems, seizures and eye disorders such as retinal atrophy. Having the veterinarian examine your dog regularly will allow you to possibly avoid such problems; if they arise, you’ll be able to treat them before they can grow.
Consult with the breeder and your veterinarian in choosing a food that is right for your mini-pin and what feeding schedule you should follow.
Puppy kindergarten is a useful measure to take to help you and your miniature pinscher to bond. It also gives you the opportunity to provide the structure, intellectual stimulation and interaction the miniature pinscher breed requires. Ask the breeder or your vet about classes offered locally.
Multiple working dogs like the Doberman, cane Corso, and the American pitbull have their ears cropped as early as eight to ten weeks. For decades, the practice has been a way to make them look more erect, sharp, attentive, and dominative as a wolf. However, over the years the practice has now become a cosmetic procedure with the aim of making your dog look better than it would with floppy years.
There are several cropping options available for Doberman pinscher including show style, pet/ military-style, battle, short among others.
As much as the procedure has to done by a licensed and qualified veterinarian, you have to be committed to the dog’s post-op care as it is the most crucial period. Following are details on the crop styles with aftercare tips at home.
Cropped ears Doberman Pinscher puppy with uncropped ears
There are four common cropping styles you can use on your Doberman. They are;
The shortest crop among the viable options. This low cut is said to offer protection from dirt and insects that could affect the health of the pet. In the ancient days, dog owners cropped the ears of their pets in a quest to prevent and protect the dog from ear infections and hematomas. This cropping style works just the same.
Also known as the pet or military crop, it’s equally short as the battle crop. It’s the most prevalent dropping technique, especially on non-show dogs. The crop features a short sized, wide base, and triangular-shaped ears cut with the aim of changing even the physical appeal of the dog.
The reasons behind this crop majorly lie with security. The Doberman is a guard dog and what most owners believe, cropping the ears will allow the dog to be more alert and attentive. Luckily, this technique only requires a short recovery period after which the pet’s ears can easily stand.
This crop is a combination of the working crop and the show crop. The cut done to the dog’s ear is not too much and not too little, however, the aftercare needed is much more compared to the former style above.
Time and time again dogs get into show contests where they exhibit their looks and different styles used. The show crop is the longest crop that features a curved silhouette.
This technique will take the dog longer to train than any other style. Moreover, care after surgery is quite long and requires commitment and dedication to ensure the dog heals properly.
Also referred to as the eagle’s wing, there have been various alliterations to the design. More often than not, some owners will comfort to a second surgery to get the perfect shape. Even with the high risks of deformity involved with this style, many owners options for it.
After surgery, the first week is very crucial to the recovery of the puppy. Remember your puppy of eight to 12 weeks will be in anguishing pain once the anesthesia fades.
They will experience distress from the procedure, discomfort, and sometimes they will have a nudge to scratch their ears. This is the most important part of the recovery process; you have to retrain your Doberman from scratching or messing with their ears.
To aid in such a case, your veterinarian will recommend you purchase the E-collar, also called the Elizabethan collar. The collar will cover the upper section of the head, therefore, restraining it from even touching their ears.
Another benefit of the E-collar is to help prevent your puppy from hitting or rubbing the head or ears against rough surfaces – you know how painful that will be.
Aftercare is all about constant monitoring which your vet should advise you on the best method of caring for your dog’s ears.
Basic tips would be to ensure the racing and the tape stay in place for an additional 21 days after the surgery, consult with the vet in case of any changes like the tape unwrapping, and checking on how the taping is since improper taping can lead to deformities of your dog’s ears. More care tips discussed in the next section.
How to Care for the Ears
First and foremost, follow your vet’s instructions to the letter. This includes how to dress the wound, any medications your dog is to receive, cleaning, and disinfecting the ears. To help you with this journey to recovery, here are four steps to ensure you’re offering the ultimate care to your dog.
- Tame the dog to ensure they don’t scratch the cropped ear. You could even band the back paws as a preventative measure.
- Clean the dog’s ears after approximately six to eight weeks. A description of how to clean right below.
- Check and clean for scabs from your dog’s ears. At the incision spots, you will see something similar to grime building up. You need to clean that up as it interferes with your dog’s hearing. Simply soak the ear incision with warm water or using warm clothes, let it sit for five minutes, then wipe it down.
- Inspect the ears for any signs of swelling, infection, or other symptoms. Also, regularly check for wax build-up, ear notes, or discharge from the ears.
How to Clean the Ears
Cleaning your dog’s ears only comes after a few weeks of wrapping and taping. After that, the ears can be exposed for cleaning.
- Using a dog ear cleaner, cleaning solution, or hydrogen peroxide, place a few drops of the agent on your dog’s ear.
- Rub the solution gently on the ears to spread it.
- Use a tampon or a thick gauze and place it against the exterior of the ear – where it was cropped. This should absorb any excess cleaning agent as well as stabilizing the ears.
- Wrap the gauze around both the ear and the base to ascertain its stability. Once its snug, repeat to the other ear.
- Check to confirm the ears appear natural and in an upright position. Put on the wrapping tape and you’re done.
This is just but a simple outline in how to clean, ensure to consult with your vet if you need clarification on any one of these steps.
In generations past people believed that erect ears were key to improved hearing, so cropping a Doberman’s naturally floppy ears was a common practice. But Dobermans have excellent hearing with or without ear cropping. You’ll want to take special care of your Doberman pinscher’s ears whether they’re cropped or not.
Cropped Ear Care
Discuss the risks and benefits of ear cropping with your veterinarian. This is a cosmetic procedure that many Doberman owners have had performed. To ensure proper ear structure, the procedure usually takes place between 7 and 8 weeks, and you must tape the ears for several weeks thereafter. Improper taping and post-operative care can lead to deformities in the ears. Your vet should have experience cropping Doberman ears, because improper cropping can lead to numerous problems.
Clean your dog’s ears thoroughly using a hydrogen peroxide solution, a dog ear cleaner or a solution provided by your vet. Place one to two drops in the ears, then gently rub the ears to spread the solution. You must wait several days after cropping to begin cleaning and wrapping the ears. Your vet should tell you how long to wait in your dog’s specific case.
Place a tampon without the plastic applicator or thick gauze against the outside of one of your dog’s ears — the portion that has been cropped. This base stabilizes the ear and should be approximately the same length as the ear. Then wrap gauze around the base and then twice around the ear to attach it firmly to the ear. The fit should be snug but should not pinch any portion of the ear.
Wrap the tape around both ears so they are taped together. The ears should be in a natural, upright position, not leaning in toward one another. Start wrapping tape at the base of your dog’s ears, not at the top — this stabilizes the ears. Continue wrapping up to the tips of your dog’s ears so the ears are covered in tape and taped together. The ears should face straight up, not lean inward. Rewrap your dog’s ears every few days or when the wrap starts to deteriorate.
General Ear Care
Teach your dog to accept ear care by periodically handling his ears while he is still a puppy. Then click a training clicker and give him a treat. This helps him associate ear cleaning and ear handling with rewards and will make him more tolerant of regular ear maintenance.
Clean your dog’s ears regularly. This is particularly important if you leave your Doberman’s ears uncropped. Floppy ears can trap bacteria and pathogens, leading to infections and bad smells. Simply drop one to two drops of dog ear-cleaning solution into each ear, then gently rub the ears. This can be a part of your dog’s grooming routine. Alternatively, clean the ears once every one to three weeks or when they look dirty.
Inspect your dog’s ears regularly for scabs, mites and excess wax buildup. If your dog begins shaking his head or scratching constantly, he may have ear mites or an ear infection. Take him to the vet if you notice frequent scratching, discharge or mites.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.