OVERVIEW OF THE DOBERMAN PINSCHER
The history of the Doberman Pinscher takes us back to the 1880s, to the dog pounds of Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann. This German tax collector required a dog who would defend him when he was out collecting dues. So, he started crossbreeding various dogs to create a four-legged companion that was equal parts intimidating, loyal and strong. The result was the Doberman Pinscher.
Two decades later, Doberman Pinschers, or Dobbies as their owners like to call them, reached the shores of America. According to legends, one of the first of these pups was shown in a dog show. It ended up winning the “Best in Show” award for three consecutive years just because the judges were too scared to open the aggressive beast’s mouth and check its teeth!
Over the years, breeders made some cutbacks to this aggressiveness with the help of selective breeding. Some changes to the doggo’s appearance were also made by slimming down its physique, cropping its ears, and docking its tail. The Doberman Pinscher Club of America claims the latter two procedures make things more functional and practical for the dog when carrying out its guard duties.
Speaking of guard duties, Dobbies are primarily adopted to serve as patrol and watchdogs. This is because everything about them, from their muscular physiques to their courageous, loyal, protective, and active dispositions screams out a “don’t mess with me” attitude. While they’re intimidating for anyone who messes with their family or crosses their turf, Dobermans are extremely gentle and loving with the humans they know.
DOBERMAN PINSCHER FOOD AND HEALTH
Let’s get one thing straight, taking care of a Doberman is no easy task. Their dietary requirements are just as high as their mental and physical exercise demands. On the former note, you’ll need to feed your Dobbie foods loaded with high amounts of calories and proteins.
You see, the medium sized-bodies of these dogs can weigh as much as 90 pounds, in the case of females, and a staggering 100 pounds, in the case of males. A majority of this mass comes from the muscle that graces their shoulders, hind legs and torso. Maintaining this muscle and supplementing any energy lost while patrolling the backyard requires calories and protein.
So, consider meat-based dog foods. Something like the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula should be a super option. Tracing its protein source back to real chicken meat, this dog kibble is full of flavor and nutrition.
Generally speaking, you’ll have to feed your Doberman between 2.5 to 3.5 cups of such high-quality dry dog food daily. The exact serving size will vary, depending on your pooch’s weight and age. You can get a better idea of what to feed your Dobbie by consulting your vet.
A consultation with the vet will also let you know if the food you’re considering contains any ingredients your ball of fur may be allergic to. Allergy symptoms in dogs can range from itching and rashes to vomiting and diarrhea.
If you witness your dog displaying any minor symptoms of allergy consider an elimination diet for them. Here, you’ll exclusively feed your dog a novel protein and starch for a few weeks.
After, say six weeks, if your dog isn’t showing any symptoms of allergy, you add another set of protein and starch into the diet. This cycle will continue till the symptoms return. Here, you’ll bid farewell to the combination of starch and protein that caused them. You can also keep a logbook to help you out in this regard.
In the case of major allergy flare-ups, book an appointment with the vet immediately. Speaking of vet bookings, you must also keep track of your pup’s general checkups. These will ensure your Doberman is functioning happily and healthily.
While Doberman Pinschers are generally healthy dogs, you should look out for symptoms of GDV. (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus). It is more commonly known as bloating and symptoms of this medical condition include swelling of the belly, vomiting, and stomach pains. These pains would exacerbate when you touch your dog’s tummy. GDV is a life-threatening condition that can cause your pooch to go into a stroke. So, immediately book an appointment with the vet if you notice any of these symptoms.
You can also take some precautions to prevent bloat from developing. These include dividing your pup’s daily food serving into two or more meals. Since your pup will gobble up less food in each bite, it will prevent gas from building up in their bodies.
We also recommend adding a little wet food to their bowl. Constant hydration should be a must too. So, consider keeping a good-quality dog water bottle with you when you go out on a walk with them.
LEASHES AND COLLARS FOR YOUR DOBERMAN PINSCHER
Just like your doggo’s dietary requirements, you must also take care of their style and safety needs. It is here dog collars, leashes and harnesses come into play. Let’s kick things off by talking a bit about collars to grace the regal neck of your Doberman Pinscher.
While a dog collar serves three purposes: aesthetics, identification, and as a hook to tie your dog’s leash onto, we recommend ditching the third purpose. You see, pulling your pup by the neck can put immense strain on them.
Instead, we recommend tying your dog’s leash to the harness they’re wearing. This will ensure an even distribution of force which will, in turn, reduce the amount of strain put on them. We’ll get to the leashes and harnesses part in a bit.
Coming back to dog collars, we recommend going for something made from high-quality nylon for a comfortable and breathable fit, like this Adjustable Nylon Dog Collar from TAIDA. Speaking of fit, the general rule of thumb is to go for something snug enough to only let two of your fingers pass through. Yet, it should be loose enough to not mat out your canine’s fur.
You can also opt for a leather one if you’re looking for something a bit more durable. Leather dog collars also serve some classy looks due to their luxurious outlooks. Talking about looks, it goes without saying that the collar you end up buying for your dog should also be elegant and classy.
Now, as far as harnesses go, we recommend going for an adjustable one that is made from high-quality nylon. The Kurgo Tru-Fit Enhanced Strength Dog Harness, for instance, should be the ideal choice. Its heavy-duty buckles ensure your dog’s safety while the comfortable padding in the chest area is something your four-legged friend is sure to thank you for.
Finally, a high-end leash will be your best friend when you adopt a Doberman Pinscher. You see, this is a very curious dog breed. So, you’ll often find them sniffing after subtle scents in the wild. Controlling them is also tough. We’ve got their muscular physique and enhanced strength to thank for that.
So, what you should be looking for is a dog leash made from premium leather or stainless steel. This dog leash from Petoo, for instance, boasts metallic links and is specifically made for Dobermans. We particularly like its leather handle that provides a soft, yet strong grip.
BEST CRATES, BEDS, AND DOG HOUSES FOR DOBERMAN PINSCHERS
Crates are a great way to train your Doberman Pinscher. And, trust us, this training is essential when it comes to this dog breed. You see, Dobbies are quick at assuming the alpha role if they sense any sort of weakness. So, you must establish yourself as the pack leader by getting ahead of things early on while the Doberman is still a pup.
Along with acting as confinement for house training, a dog crate will also serve as a safe space for your paw pal to feel comfortable in. The problem, however, is the large size of this dog.
What you need is something big enough for them to stand and turn around in. The MidWest Homes iCrate is a great option in this regard. You also get a divider panel with this option. You can use this to adjust the length of the crate as your pup grows up.
Next, we’ve got dog beds. Here, we recommend opting for orthopedic options, like the Big Barker Orthopedic Dog Bed. The therapeutic foam in this pick will ensure your Doberman’s back and hips get the right amount of support. This will, in turn, prevent any bone conditions as the pooch ages. The tip here is to go for something large enough to accommodate your doggo. The bed must also be cozy and easy to maintain.
Finally, we have dog houses. Before you decide on constructing one, please be aware that Dobbies do not thrive being alone. In fact, loneliness can soon turn into a depression in their case.
So, if you’re constructing a dog house for them, make sure it’s only for breaks. Your Doberman must always sleep indoors, preferably near you. This is especially important during winters since this dog breed has a very low tolerance for the cold. In fact, consider dragging their bed to a room equipped with a heater when the nights get chilly.
DOBERMAN PINSCHER TOYS
You’ll come across two problems when in the market for a new toy for your Doberman. Firstly, their jaw strength is astronomical. This means they’ll make short work of most chew toys. Second, is their need for challenging mental stimulation.
What you should be looking for are indestructible toys that provide good amounts of mental stimulation. In this regard, we recommend going for something like the WEST PAW Zogoflex Qwizl Dog Toy. Durable chew toys like these will also maintain your dog’s dental health and keep their stress at bay.
Outdoor activities are also a must when you get a Dobbie. These dogs are extremely energetic. You can burn some of this energy by investing in a good-quality ball or fetch toy. Runs and frequent hiking sessions should also be incorporated into your weekly routine.
GROOMING INSIGHTS FOR DOBERMAN PINSCHER OWNERS
On the grooming front, a Doberman Pinscher isn’t a tough breed to maintain. This maintenance can be broken down into daily, weekly, and monthly regimes. As far as daily grooming goes, you should brush your pooch’s teeth and check them for any tartar buildup.
Brushing falls into the weekly routine. Although, you can brush their smooth coat on alternate days as well. Proper brushing will not only bring out the shine in their hair but also ensure the oils from their skin are evenly distributed. This will promote healthy hair and curb shedding.
Speaking of shedding, Doberman’s do shed quite a lot. You can invest in a good lint remover to keep your upholstery and clothes clean of these loose hairs. The weekly grooming regime will also include ear checkups for any infections or redness. We recommend cleaning out their ears using a paper towel dampened with some baby oil.
Nail trimming may be done monthly, or whenever necessary. This necessity will be signaled when your puppy’s nails are making a clicking sound on the floorboards. Similarly, bathing will also be needed only after your Dobbie takes a tumble through some mud. For the most part, though, this dog will keep itself clean and smell fresh.
DOBERMAN PINSCHER ACCESSORIES
Remember how we talked about Dobbies shedding? Well, you can invest in a robotic pet hair vacuum, like this one from iRobot. Smart gadgets like these will make short work of any loose tufts of pet hair. Once done cleaning, this Roomba will automatically empty itself for maximum convenience.
If you’d like to further up your smart pet home devices game, consider something like the WOpet Smart Pet Camera & Dog Treat Dispenser. As the name suggests, it allows you to virtually toss out treats to your canine friend while you’re out at the office. Its camera function also allows you to monitor your pet when you’re out.
To learn more about large breeds like the Doberman Pinscher, check out our breed hub page.