The Doberman breed

The Doberman breed got its name from the breeder Friedrich Louis Doberman (1834-1894). The full-time tax collector and knacker’s yard manager was also a city dog catcher. He bred particularly sharp specimens from the captured dogs. From the 1870s onwards, Doberman bred the breed named after him, especially from the butcher’s dogs, which were already relatively well-bred at the time, and which are also considered the forerunners of the Rottweiler and were mixed with the German Shepherd. The working dogs became vigilant and stable house and farm dogs, which were soon used as police and herding dogs. They were also used in hunting.

Goals of Doberman breeding

The Doberman should be a medium-sized, strong and muscularly built dog, which, despite its substance, still shows nobility and elegance in its lines. It is used today as a protection, companion, working and family dog.

Breed characteristics

These are the FCI breed codes:

FCI Standard No. 143 / December 17, 2015 / D, valid since August 1, 2016, first published on November 13, 2015

FCI classification: Group 2 Pinscher, Schnauzer, Swiss Mountain Dog and Molosser / Section 1 Schnauzer and Pinscher with working trial

Designation: Doberman Pinscher

Country of origin: Germany

Use: Protection, companion and working dog

On the history of the Doberman

The Doberman was already used in the police service in the late 19th century and was called the “gendarme dog”. When hunting, it mainly dealt with predatory game. It was officially recognized as a police dog in the early 20th century. This was followed by increased use as a working, protection, companion and family dog, because the Doberman breed is particularly well suited for these tasks.

General appearance of the Doberman

Representatives of the breed are of medium height and muscular build. Its body impresses with its elegant lines, which are paired with the proud posture of the Doberman. With a temperamental nature, it appears very determined and thus corresponds to the ideal image of many dog owners.

Important proportions

The body of the dog, especially the male, looks almost square. The length of the trunk, measured from the sternum to the ischial tuberosity, should be a maximum of 5% above the height at the withers of males and a maximum of 10% above the height at the withers of bitches.

Doberman Pinscher: Character and behavior

The basic mood of a Doberman is generally friendly to peaceful, which is why he becomes an affectionate friend in the family. Breeding demands average values for temperament, stimulus threshold and sharpness. A Doberman likes to work and is easy to lead. A certain rigor is to be observed in the upbringing. The dogs observe their environment very carefully; they are considered self-confident and fearless.


Skull: This is strong and fits the trunk. From above, it appears bluntly wedge-shaped. Viewed from the front, the transverse line of the apex is approximately horizontal. The parietal line continues the bridge of the nose almost straight and then forms a slight curve towards the neck.

Eyebrow arches: These do not protrude, but are well developed, with the frontal furrow still visible.

Sides: If the occiput is inconspicuous, the side surfaces must not appear cheeky (protruding). The upper jaw and the cheekbones are slightly arched at the sides, which must harmonize with the length of the head with its powerful muscles.

Stop: The forehead shoulder is clearly visible, but not too strong.


Nose: well developed nose tip, rather broad with large openings and colored according to the body color

Muzzle: deep with a wide gap in the mouth to the lower and upper incisors

Lips: smooth and firm for a tight seal, rather darkly pigmented

Jaws and teeth: strong, broad, scissor bite with 42 teeth

Eyes: medium-sized and oval, rather dark with hairy eyelids

Ears: natural and set on the sides of the top of the head, ideally close to the cheeks


The Doberman’s neck is of good length in relation to the head and body, while being dry and muscular with ascending lines. Its pleasing curvature and upright posture give the breed its nobility.




Withers: protruding (especially in males) with a rising course

Back: short, firm, muscular with good width

Loins: muscular, slightly longer in the bitch

Croup: slightly sloping from the sacrum to the base of the tail

Chest: slightly arched ribs, in the depth about half of the height at the withers, pronounced to the front (forechest)

Abdominal wall: clearly drawn up towards the pelvis



The Doberman should ideally carry its natural tail in a slight curve upwards.




The strong forelegs are almost perpendicular to the ground. The shoulder blade is well muscled and protrudes over the spinous processes of the chest. The angle to the horizontal is approx. 50°. Upper and forearms are well muscled and not too short, the elbow does not turn out. The joints have strong bones, while the paws are short and closed with the toes arched up. The entire position and musculature of the limbs creates a good development of width. At the same time, they create an elastic and elegant gait. The Doberman runs expansively with wide swinging forelegs.


Skin and coat


The tight skin is well pigmented with short, hard and thick hair. The Doberman comes in two color varieties black or brown, whereby the brown specimens are noticeable by their rust-red and sharply demarcated blaze on the muzzle, on the cheeks, on the throat, the breast and the joints.


Height and weight


Males: Height at withers 68 – 72 cm, 40 – 45 kg

Bitches: Height at withers 63 – 68 cm, 32 – 35 kg

Doberman genetic issues


Issues would be, for example, little substance, a lack of gender characteristics and weak bones. Disqualifying issues are mostly found in character. A Doberman shouldn’t be overly fearful, but neither should he be aggressive.

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