Doberman Pinschers originated in Germany during the late 19th century, mostly bred as guard dogs. Their exact ancestry is unknown, but they’re believed to be a mixture of many dog breeds, including the Rottweiler, Black and Tan Terrier, and German Pinscher. Dobermans are compactly-built dogs—muscular, fast, and powerful—standing between 24 to 28 inches at the shoulder. The body is sleek but substantial and is covered with a glistening coat of black, blue, red, or fawn, with rust markings. These elegant qualities, combined with a noble, wedge-shaped head and an easy, athletic way of moving have earned Dobermans a reputation as royalty in the canine kingdom. A well-conditioned Doberman on patrol will deter all but the most foolish intruder.
Doberman’s qualities of intelligence, trainability, and courage have made him capable of performing many different roles, from police or military dog to family protector and friend. The ideal Doberman is energetic, watchful, determined, alert, and obedient, never shy or vicious. That temperament and relationship with people only occur when the Doberman lives closely with his family so that he can build that bond of loyalty for which he is famous. A Doberman who is left out in the backyard alone will never become a loving protector but instead a fearful dog who is aggressive toward everyone, including his own family. The perfect Doberman doesn’t come ready-made from the breeder. Any dog, no matter how nice, can develop obnoxious levels of barking, digging, counter-surfing, and other undesirable behaviors if he is bored, untrained, or unsupervised. And any dog can be a trial to live with during adolescence.
Start training your puppy the day you bring him home. Even at eight weeks old, he is capable of soaking up everything you can teach him. Don’t wait until he is 6 months old to begin training or you will have a more headstrong dog to deal with.
Doberman are generally healthy, however, like other breeds, they have some problems that occur more frequently than in general dog population, below are some of the most common diseases in Doberman
CARDIOMYOPATHY: is a disease of the heart muscle that results in weakened contractions and poor pumping ability. As the disease progresses the heart chambers become enlarged, one or more valves may leak, and signs of congestive heart failure develop. This disease is suspected to be an inherited disease in Dobermans. Research is in progress in several institutions. An echocardiogram of the heart will confirm the disease but WILL not guarantee that the disease will not develop in the future.
HIP DYSPLASIA: is inherited. It may vary from slightly poor conformation to malformation of the hip joint allowing complete luxation of the femoral head.
Cervical vertebral instability (CVI): commonly called Wobbler’s syndrome. It’s caused by a malformation of the vertebrae within the neck that results in pressure on the spinal cord and leads to weakness and lack of coordination in the hindquarters and sometimes to complete paralysis. Symptoms can be managed to a certain extent in dogs that are not severely affected, and some dogs experience some relief from surgery, but the outcome is far from certain. While CVI is thought to be genetic, there is no screening test for the condition.
Dobermans are also prone to the bleeding disorder known as von Willebrand disease, as well as hypoadrenocorticism, or Addison’s disease.
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