Dobermann illustration
Working

Dobermann

Intelligent and courageous service dog

Breed characteristics

Size
Large
Exercise
More than 2 hours per day
Size of home
Large house
Grooming
Once a week
Coat length
Short
Sheds
Yes
Lifespan
Over 10 years
Vulnerable native breed
No
Town or country
Either
Size of garden
Large garden

About this breed

The largest of the Pinschers, the breed takes its name from the man who developed it: Louis Dobermann, a tax collector in Apolda, Germany. He wanted a fierce looking dog to protect him in his work, to act as a deterrent to any would be robbers, and with courage enough to defend and attack when required.

To a foundation of Pinscher blood was added Weimaraner, Greyhound, Manchester Terrier, Rottweiler and German Shepherd blood to get a combination of intelligence, speed and toughness of character.

By the late 19th century Dobermann had established the type he wanted in his dogs: the squarely built, clean outline with a wedge shaped head and keen expression. The breed was recognised by the German Kennel Club in 1899.

The Dobermann’s intelligence and trainability have been harnessed by the armed forces and the police and he has been used as a guard dog, a tracking dog and in various other roles. However, his loyal and obedient nature equips him to be an excellent family dog, a role in which he is equally comfortable.

Read the breed standard

Images for this breed

The Working breed group

Over the centuries these dogs were selectively bred to become guards and search and rescue dogs. Arguably, the working group consists of some of the most heroic canines in the world, aiding humans in many walks of life, including the Boxer, Great Dane and St. Bernard. This group consists of the real specialists in their field who excel in their line of work.

Breed standard colours

Breed standard colour means that the colour is accepted within the breed standard and is a traditional and well-known colour in this breed.

Breed standard colours in this breed include:
  • Black & Rust Red (White Ancestry)
  • Cream & White (White Ancestry)
  • Black With Red Rust (Tan)
  • Fawn & Rust Red (White Ancestry)
  • Blue & Red Rust (White Ancestry)
  • Fawn With Red Rust (Tan)
  • Blue With Rust Red (Tan)
  • Isabella & Rust Red (White Ancestry)
  • Brown & Red Rust (White Ancestry)
  • Isabella With Rust Red (Tan)
  • Brown With Rust Red (Tan)
  • White

Other colour/s

'Other' means you consider your puppy to be a colour not currently known within the breed and one that does not appear on either the breed standard or non-breed standard list. In this instance you would be directed through our registrations process to contact a breed club and/or council to support you on identifying and correctly listing the new colour.

Non-breed-standard colours

Non-breed-standard colour means that the colour is not accepted within the breed standard and whilst some dogs within the breed may be this colour it is advised to only select a dog that fits within the breed standards for all points.

Colour is only one consideration when picking a breed or individual dog, health and temperament should always be a priority over colour.

Health

Whether you’re thinking of buying a puppy, or breeding from your dog, it’s essential that you know what health issues may be found in your breed. To tackle these issues we advise that breeders use DNA tests, screening schemes and inbreeding coefficient calculators to help breed the healthiest dogs possible.

More about health

Priority health schemes and tests

The Kennel Club's Assured Breeders must use the following schemes, tests and advice. All other breeders are strongly advised to also use these.

Important health schemes and tests

We strongly recommend that all breeders, both assured breeders (ABs) and non ABs, use the following schemes, tests and advice.

Find out about a particular dog's results

Please visit our Health Test Results Finder to discover the DNA or screening scheme test results for any dog on The Kennel Club's Breed Register.

You can also view the inbreeding coefficient calculation for a puppy's parents, or for a dog you're thinking of breeding from.

Have any questions about health in your breed?

If you have any concerns about a particular health condition in your breed then you may wish to speak to your vet or you could contact your breed health co-ordinator.

Breed health co-ordinators are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. They acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.

Contact the breed health co-ordinator for the Dobermann.

Breed watch

Category 1        

Currently no points of concern specific to this breed have been identified for special attention by judges, other than those covered routinely by The Kennel Club breed standard.

Read more about Breed Watch

Breeding restrictions

There are a number of The Kennel Club rules and regulations that may prevent a litter from being registered, find out about our general and breed specific breeding restrictions below.

More about breeding

If there is any white ancestry in a Dobermann's pedigree, any progeny will be registered with (WHITE ANCESTRY) at the end of the selected colour.

Looking for a puppy?

Looking for a new four-legged friend? Explore our list of puppies and rescue dogs for sale near you.

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