Breed Spotlight: Doberman Pinscher

4 min read
Jan 19, 2023

Doberman Pinscher Quick Stats


10 – 13 years


60 – 80 lbs


24 – 26 inches




Intelligent, Loyal, Energetic

Common Health Problems: 

Bloat, dilated cardiomyopathy, von Willebrand disease

Doberman: How Do I Look

Dobermans are a medium-large breed with a compact and muscular yet sleek body and a wedge-shaped head.

Coat Type and Colors

Doberman pinschers have a short, sleek coat. Their colors include:

  • Black and rust
  • Blue and rust
  • Red and rust
  • White (non-standard)
  • Fawn and rust

Ears and Tails

Traditionally, a Doberman pinscher’s ears are cropped, and their tails are docked. Although they are considered breed standards for Dobermans by the American Kennel Club (AKC),3 cropping and docking is generally considered unnecessary and sometimes cruel.4

Shedding and Grooming

Due to their short, sleek coats, Doberman pinschers require minimal grooming. They are an extremely clean dog and rarely have any sort of odor. Even though the Doberman has a short coat, they are moderate shedders and need to be brushed weekly to minimize shedding.

Doberman: Personality Traits

What My Adoption Bio Would Say:

If you’re looking for a companion to love and protect you, I’m your pup! I’ll adore you and the family for the rest of my days. Yes, I said family! I’m great with children, but just like other dogs, I prefer to be supervised until kids know how to respectfully interact with me.

Some people say I have “scary dog privilege,” but only because they don’t look past my fierce reputation to find my lovable, playful, and friendly side.


Dobermans are extremely intelligent, alert, and loyal. They are an excellent family companion and protector. They have quite a fierce reputation, which sometimes leads to people fearing them, especially those who don’t know or understand Dobermans. Those who understand Dobermans know they are extremely loving. They are only aggressive if they have to be, and if they perceive a threat to their family, they will fight to the death. When they don’t perceive a threat, Dobermans will gladly allow people to spend time with them.

Exercise Needs

The Doberman is not the choice for everyone due to their large size and demanding need for activity. They require a significant amount of exercise to remain mentally and physically healthy. They are not meant for the sedentary or laid-back type. Dobermans need a family who is constantly active and ready to involve them in daily activities.

Good With Other Pets?

While not outright aggressive, Dobermans are less likely to be friendly towards other pets. There is no need to be overly concerned about how your Doberman will interact with others, but it’s still important to know how any dog will individually react to other animals at home and in public.


The Doberman pinscher is an intelligent, easy-to-train breed. They easily become bored and require mental and physical challenges throughout the day to prevent behavioral problems.

They require early socialization and training. If they aren’t properly socialized, they may become timid as an adult. Early socialization and training of your Doberman will ensure they are well-rounded.

Good with Kids?

The Doberman pinscher is very good with kids. They enjoy being part of a family and prefer to be close to them at all times. Although a great breed for children, all dogs, especially larger breeds like the Doberman, should be supervised around young children and kids who don’t interact with dogs often.

If you’re worried Dobermans aren’t the right companion for your children, there are plenty of dog breeds for families with kids.

Barking Level

Excessive barking is generally not a problem with Dobermans.

Doberman Pinscher History

The Doberman pinscher, affectionately known as the “Dobie,” is a widely popular breed of dog. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1908, the Doberman is one of America’s most popular working breeds.5

The Dobie was created by Louis Dobermann, a German tax collector and breeder, in 19th century Germany. The Doberman is believed to have been bred from the black and tan terrier, German pinscher, and rottweiler.

Common Doberman Pinscher Mixes

Some of the more popular Doberman breed mixes include:

  • Beagleman: a Doberman and beagle mix
  • Doberdane: a Doberman and Great Dane mix
  • Doberman collie: a Doberman and border collie mix
  • Doberhound: a Doberman and greyhound mix
  • Dobernese: a Doberman and Great Pyrenees mix
  • Doberman shepherd: a Doberman and German shepherd mix
  • Rotterman: a Doberman and rottweiler mix
  • Doberpit: a Doberman and pit bull mix

10 Doberman Pinscher Health Issues

Dobies may experience a variety of health issues, including5, 6:

  • Albinism
  • Bloat
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy: enlarged heart
  • Hip dysplasia: painful skeletal condition that affects the hips
  • Hypothyroidism: underactive thyroid
  • Narcolepsy
  • Progressive retinal atrophy: degenerative diseases affecting the eyes
  • Wobbler syndrome: spinal disease seen in larger dogs that can cause neck pain
  • Hair loss: blue Dobermans are more prone
  • Von Willebrand disease: clotting disorder

Protect your Pets

Even the healthiest of pups can come with unexpected vet costs. Pet insurance can help keep your dog and your bank account happy.

How Pet Insurance Can Help Dobermans

Doberman pinschers are generally healthy, but are prone to several potentially costly health problems. Luckily, a MetLife dog insurance policy may help cover the costs associated with the diagnosis and treatment of certain diseases, including:2


Bloat is one of the most common health issues in Dobermans and can be very dangerous if left untreated. Bloat, also known as gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), happens when a dog’s stomach fills with gas, putting pressure on other organs and cutting off blood flow to the abdomen. Depending on the severity, bloat can be fatal if not treated within an hour or two.7

Dilated cardiomyopathy

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a heart problem resulting in an enlarged heart. DCM can lead to a number of problems including congestive heart failure.8

Von Willebrand Disease (vWD)

The Doberman pinscher has the highest occurrence of von Willebrand Disease (vWD) in any dog breed.9 Dogs with vWD, a clotting disorder, lack the von Willebrand factor protein that controls bleeding in an injured blood vessel.10 Diagnosing vWD requires a screening test, and emergency treatment requires blood transfusions.

For more information on how pet insurance can help your Doberman, check out our guide on how pet insurance works. And remember, signing up for dog insurance with MetLife Pet Insurance while your Dobie is still a puppy may help ensure your dog has coverage before something becomes a pre-existing condition.2

Protect your Doberman Pinscher with Pet Insurance

Enroll in 3 Easy Steps

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC. 

3 “Official Standard of the Doberman Pinscher,” American Kennel Club

4 “Ear Cropping and Tail Docking,” Fetch by WebMD

5 “Doberman Pinscher Dog Breed Information,” American Kennel Club

6 “Doberman Pinscher,” PetMD

7 “Bloat in Dogs,” PetMD

8 “Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Dogs,”  VCA Animal Hospitals

9 “Von Willebrand’s Disease in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospitals

10 “Canine von Willebrand Disease,” Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine