Dobermann Breed Information

Dobermanns are a member of the ‘Working’ breed group. Working breed dogs were bred to become guard and search and rescue dogs. Breeds in this group are specialists in their work.

Dobermanns are highly intelligent dogs and need to be kept mentally and physically active. They are very obedient and respond well to training. Training, along with socialisation, is very important at a young age in order for Dobies to grow up into confident, sociable dogs. For more information on socialisation and training using reward-based techniques, take a look at our dog behaviour page.

Grooming requirements are very minimal, with a brush once a week generally all that’s needed to keep their coat in good condition. 

Possible health problems: 


Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Dobermanns are prone to include:

  • Osteosarcoma  – malignant bone cancer. 
  • Wobbler Syndrome  – abnormality of the bones in the neck, which can lead to incoordination of the hind legs or paralysis. 
  • Cardiomyopathy – enlarged heart due to degeneration of the heart muscle. 
  • Von Willebrand's disease – deficiency in blood platelet function resulting in excessive bleeding. 
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) – often known as ‘bloat’, this is a condition where the stomach twists, trapping the contents and gases. This is an emergency and requires urgent veterinary attention. It’s often seen in large, deep-chested breeds. 
  • Hip dysplasia – hip joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis. 
  • Panosteitis – a painful, inflammatory bone disease.

For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line. 

You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website

Exercise requirements:


Dobermanns have high energy levels and need over 2 hours of exercise per day. They’re not a dog for the novice owner due to the exercise and training required, and they will need someone who is prepared to put in the time with them to be rewarded with a loyal, adventurous dog.

Estimated lifetime cost: 


The likely lifetime costs for a Dobermann are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:


The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.

Insure your Dobermann with PDSA: 


1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like the Dobermann that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:

  • 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
  • 4 levels of cover to suit you
  • Monthly payment at no extra cost

    *Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.


By insuring your Dobermann with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.
For more information on taking care of your dog please visit our puppies and dogs section

Rehoming from a reputable source:


Where you get a dog from can have a big effect on how healthy and happy it is for the rest of its life. Find out where our PDSA vet experts recommend you get your dog from
Energy levels
 
Overall grooming needs?
 
Compatibility with other pets
 
Easy to train?
 
How much exercise?
 
Suitability for children/families
 
Tendency to bark
 
Average lifespan 10-12 years
Coat length Short
Possible health problems
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Wobbler  syndrome
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Gastric torsion
  • Hip dysplasia

Average purchase cost £500-£800
Estimated cost over lifetime £27,100-£30,800
Average weight 29.5kg-40kg
Size Large
Minimum garden size Large

Not sure the Dobermann is the right pet for you?