Isaak Delle Due Donne
Dina Van De Donauhoeve
Kennel club standards describe Doberman Pinschers as dogs of medium size
with a square build and short coat. They are compactly built and athletic
with endurance and speed. The Doberman Pinscher should have a proud, watchful,
determined, and obedient temperament. The dog was originally intended
as a guard dog, so males should have a masculine, muscular, noble appearance.
Females are thinner, but should not be spindly.
Size and proportions
The Doberman Pinscher is a dog of medium size. Although the breed standards
vary among kennel and breed clubs, the dog typically stands between 66
to 72 cm, the female is typically somewhere between 61 to 69 cm. The Doberman
has a square frame: its length should equal its height to the withers,
and the length of its head, neck and legs should be in proportion to its
There are no standards for the weight of the Doberman Pinscher. The ideal
dog must have sufficient size for an optimal combination of strength,
endurance and agility. The male generally weighs between 34 and 45 kg
and the female between 27 and 41 kg.
An example of one black and one blue Doberman Pinscher
Two different color genes exist in the Doberman, one for black (B) and
one for color dilution (D). There are nine possible combinations of these
allelles (BBDD, BBDd BbDD BbDd, BBdd, Bbdd, bbDD, bbDd, bbdd), which result
in four different color phenotypes: black, red, blue, and fawn (Isabella).
The traditional and most common color occurs when both the color and dilution
genes have at least one dominant allele (i.e., BBDD, BBDd, BbDD or BbDd),
and is commonly referred to as black or black and rust (also called black
and tan). The red, red rust or brown coloration occurs when the black
gene has two recessive alleles but the dilution gene has at least one
dominant allele (i.e., bbDD, bbDd). "Blue" and "fawn"
are controlled by the color dilution gene. The blue Doberman has the color
gene with at least one dominant allele and the dilution gene with both
recessive alleles (i.e., BBdd or Bbdd). The fawn (Isabella) coloration
is the least common, occurring only when both the color and dilution genes
have two recessive alleles (i.e., bbdd). Thus, the blue color is a diluted
black, and the fawn color is a diluted red.
Expression of the color dilution gene is a disorder called Color Dilution
Alopecia. Although not life threatening, these dogs can develop skin problems.
Since 1994 the blue and fawn colors have been banned from breeding by
the Dobermann Verein in Germany and under FCI regulations Blue and Fawn
are considered disqualifying faults in the international showing.
In 1976, a "white" Doberman Pinscher was whelped, and was subsequently
bred to her son, who was also bred to his litter sisters. This tight inbreeding
continued for some time to allow the breeders to "fix" the mutation.
White dobermans are a cream color with pure white markings and icy blue
eyes. Sadly unethical breeders have worked hard to trick consumers into
thinking these are "white" when they are proven to be albino.
The animals are commonly known as tyrosinase-positive albinoids, lacking
melanin in oculocutaneous structures, but no known mutation has been identified.
The Doberman Pinscher's natural tail is fairly long, but individual dogs
often have a short tail as a result of docking, a procedure in which the
majority of the tail is surgically removed shortly after birth.
The practice of docking has been around for centuries, and is older than
the Doberman as a breed. The putative reason for docking is to ensure
that the tail does not get in the way of the dog's work. Docking has
always been controversial. The American Kennel Club standard for Doberman
Pinschers includes a tail docked near the 2nd vertebra. Docking is a common
practice in North America, Russia and Japan (as well as a number of other
countries with Doberman populations), where it is legal. In many European
countries, docking has been made illegal, and in others it is limited.
Posted doberman ears with backer rod and tape.
Doberman Pinschers will often have their ears cropped, as do many other
breeds, a procedure that is functionally related to breed type for both
the traditional guard duty and effective sound localization. Like tail
docking, ear cropping is illegal in some countries, and in these Doberman
Pinschers have natural ears. Doberman Pinscher ear cropping is usually
done between 7 and 9 weeks of age. Cropping done after 12 weeks has a
low rate of success in getting the ears to stand. Some Doberman Pinscher
owners prefer not to have their pet's ears cropped because they are concerned
the procedure is painful for the animal.
The process involves trimming off part of the animal's ears and propping
them up with posts and tape bandages, which allows the cartilage to develop
into an upright position as the puppy grows. The incision scabs fall off
within a week and stitches are removed a week after that. The puppy will
still have the ability to lay the ears back or down. The process of posting
the ears generally takes about a month, but longer show crops can take
several months. Posting techniques and the associated discomfort vary
from one posting technique to the next.
In some countries' conformation shows, Doberman Pinschers are allowed
to compete with either cropped or natural ears. In Germany a cropped or
docked dog cannot be shown regardless of country of origin. Special written
exception to this policy does occur when Germany is the location for international