Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman Pinscher originated in Germany around 1890 and takes its name for Louis Doberman. Originally it was used almost exclusively as a guard dog. In today’s society, the properly bred and trained Doberman Pinscher specimen makes a loving and obedient family companion.

Doberman Pinschers - Black and Brown

Doberman Pinschers

Black & Brown

General Appearance: The appearance is that of a dog of good middle size, with a body that is square: the height measured vertically from the ground to the highest point of the withers equalling the length, measured horizontally from the forechest to the rear projection of the upper thigh. The Doberman should be elegant in appearance, with proud carriage, reflecting great nobility, and should be compactly built, muscular and powerful for great endurance and speed.

Temperament: The Doberman Pinscher is energetic, watchful, determined, alert, fearless, loyal, and obedient.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher

Size: Height at withers—males 26 to 28 inches, ideal 27½ inches (70 cm); females 24 to 26 inches, ideal 25½” (65 cm). Males, decidedly masculine, without coarseness. Females, decidedly feminine, without overrefinement. Deviation from ideal height to be penalized in proportion to the amount of deviation.

Doberman Pinscher

Fawn coloured Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher Coat and Colour: Smooth haired, short, hard, thick and close lying. Invisible grey undercoat on neck permissible. Allowed colours: black, red, blue and fawn. In each colour the more strongly pigmented coat is the more desirable. Markings: rust red, sharply defined, and appearing above each eye, and on muzzle, throat, forechest, on all legs and feet and below tail. White on chest not exceeding one-half square inch permissible.

Doberman’s Head: Long and dry, resembling a blunt wedge, both frontal and profile views. When seen from the front, the head widens gradually towards the base of the ears in a practically unbroken line. Top of skull flat, turning with slight stop to bridge of muzzle, with muzzle line extending parallel to the topline of the skull. Length of muzzle equal to length of skull. Cheeks flat and muscular. Lips lying close to the jaws, and not drooping. Jaws full and powerful, well filled under the eyes. Nose solid black in black dogs, dark brown in reds, dark grey in blues, and dark tan in fawns. Teeth strongly developed. Lower incisors upright and touching inside of upper incisors–a true scissors bite. Forty-two teeth (22 in lower jaw and 20 in upper jaw) correctly placed. Distemper teeth not to be penalized. Eyes almond shaped, not round, moderately deep set, not prominent, with vigorous, energetic expression. Iris of uniform colour, ranging from medium to darkest brown in black dogs, the darker shade being the more desirable. In reds, blues and fawns, the colour of the iris should blend with that of the markings but not be of a lighter hue than that of the markings. Ears either cropped or uncropped. The upper attachment of the ear, when alert, should be on a level with the top of the skull. If cropped, the ears should be well trimmed and carried erect. If uncropped, they should be small and neat, and set high on the head.

Neck: Carried proudly, well muscled and dry. Well arched, and with nape of neck widening gradually toward body. Length of neck proportioned to body and head. Head may be carried slightly lower when moving, for greater reach of the forequarters.

Forequarters: Shoulder blade sloping forward and downward at a 45 degree angle to the ground, and meeting the upper arm at an angle of 90 degrees. Shoulder to be as close to 45 degrees as possible and set well back. Relative length of shoulder and upper arm should be as one to one, excess length of shoulder blade is more a fault than excess length of upper arm. Height from elbow to withers approximately equals height from ground to elbow. Legs seen from the front and side perfectly straight and parallel to each other from elbow to pastern; muscled and sinewy, with round, heavy bone. In a normal position, and when gaiting, the elbow should lie close to the brisket. Pasterns firm, with an almost perpendicular position to the ground. Feet well arched, compact and catlike, turning neither in nor out. Slight toeing out much less undesirable than toeing in. Dewclaws may be removed.

Body: Back short, firm, of sufficient width, and muscular at the loin extending in a straight line from withers to the slightly rounded croup. Withers pronounced and forming the highest point of the body. Brisket full and broad, reaching deep to the elbow. Chest should be broad, with fore-chest well defined. Ribs well sprung from the spine, but flattened at lower end to provide elbow clearance. Belly well tucked up, extending in a curved line from chest. Loins well muscled. Hips broad in proportion to body, breadth of hips being approximately equal to breadth of body at rib spring.

Hindquarters: In balance with forequarters. Upper shanks long, wide, and well muscled on both sides of thigh, with clearly defined stifles. Hocks while the dog is at rest: hock to heel should be perpendicular to the ground. Upper shanks, lower shanks and hocks parallel to each other, and wide enough apart to fit in with a properly built body. The hip bone should fall away from the spinal column at an angle of about 30 degrees. Upper shank and lower shank are equal in length. The upper shank should be at right angles to the hip bone. Croup well filled out. Cat feet, as on front legs, turning neither in nor out. Dewclaws, if any, may be removed.

Tail: Tail docked at approximately the second joint, should appear to be the continuation of the spine, without material drop.

Gait: The gait should be free, balanced, and effortless with good reach in the forequarters and good driving power in the hindquarters. When trotting there should be a strong rear action drive. Hocks should fully extend. Each rear leg should move in line with the foreleg on the same side. Rear and front legs should be thrown neither in nor out. Back should remain strong, firm and level. When moving at a fast trot the properly built dog will single track.

Faults: Feminine dogs, masculine bitches. Light tan or muddied markings. Overly large markings. Head out of balance in proportion to body Ram’s, dish-faced, cheeky or snipey head. Any deviation from the correct number or placement of teeth to be penalized in direct proportion to the amount of deviation. Slit eyes, glassy eyes, round eyes. Weak or knuckled-over pasterns. Hare feet, splay feet. Overly rounded or flat croup.

Major Faults: Coarseness, fine Greyhound build. Loose shoulder, straight shoulder. Sway or roach back. Straight stifles, cow-hocks, spread hocks and sickle hocks.

Link: Doberman Pinscher video on Animal Planet.