The Doberman Today
The Doberman Pinscher is instinctively alert, loyal, loving, and has a watchful temperament. He is naturally protective of those he loves, and uses his keen intelligence to weigh various situations. Unless neglected and bored, the Doberman is a quiet dog. Usually when there is barking, there is a good reason to check out the source of the dog's concern.
Today's well bred Doberman is not prone to outbursts or temper, although, unstable dogs of poor breeding stock, can be found in this as well as other breeds. It is to be stressed that poor temperament is more a sign of careless breeding by unknowledgeable persons, than a characteristic of the Doberman. It is vital that potential puppy owners be sure of the quality of the parent stock, and have a trustful and communicative relationship with the breeder of their pup. There still exists some public misconception that the Doberman is a vicious dog. This simply is not true. Any animal that is not properly cared for has the potential of becoming unbalanced, and even dangerous.
The Doberman is a healthy and hearty dog with few inherent illnesses. A good breeder will take caution to breed only those dogs that have a clear health history, having passed all health and genetic testing specific to the breed. Most important of these tests are
*VWD by DNA for Von Willibrands Disease
OFA Certification for hips
An exam ruling out probable Dilated Cardio Myopathy at time of breeding.
Temperament must also be closely examined and any dog showing temper or an intolerant attitude must be immediately eliminated from the breeding program.
The Doberman comes in a variety of colors, black and rust, black and tan, red and rust, blue, and fawn. The "blacks" usually will have the thickest coats, "reds" having less hair per square inch than a black. The dilutes: "fawn" and "blue", have a much thinner coat than even most reds. We at LeGard do not breed the dilutes because they have a high incidence of thyroid insufficiency and coat loss. There have been other adverse health factors associated with the dilute. Therefore we avoid the fawns and blues and concentrate on producing the healthier "blacks" and "reds" with rich colors and stable coats.
Diet will play a key role in the health of the Doberman as it does in all breeds. A premium quality food is essential for optimum health as it is with all breeds. It should be pointed out , that the sub-standard foods such as those which are available in the grocery stores, should not be fed. The main ingredient in those foods is a grain such as wheat or corn. These grains are common allergens in all dogs and are frequently responsible for skin eruption, shedding and dry skin as well as that offensive doggy odor coated breeds can have. Coat, skin , and, overall health will suffer over a period of time as a result of a poor diet. A food with no corn wheat or soy is recommended; meat should be your number one nutrition source.. Canidae, and Natural Balance are two that contain no offensive grains. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat scraps, as well as the usual dog biscuits make delicious snacks that the dog will look forward to receiving. In addition to a healthy well balanced diet, At LeGard we recommend a natural vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant be given. This is especially important if you are feeding a commercially made dog food that contains corn, wheat, soy, preservatives, or other additives that have been known to cause skin and coat problems, dangerous formation of cancer causing free radicals and a number of other ailments. Cancer is the number two killer of the Doberman breed; Dilated Cardio Myopathy being number one at this time. We recommend NUVet Plus . It has been proven to help prevent or reduce many of the problems dogs face such as poor coat, allergies, arthritis, digestive disorders, heart disease, and tumors. We have also found it effective in strengthening the ear cartilage , reducing the ear posting time.
The healthy Doberman has little to no "Doggy" odor. An occasional bath, with a mild moisturizing dog shampoo will keep him or her looking their best. There are products on the market to use for cleaning the ears. They should be used after the bath and should contain a drying agent. This will help to dry up any excess water that may of slipped past the cotton and made it's way into the dogs ears during the bath. Water left in the ears frequently does cause problems. Don't forget to trim the toenails as they grow quickly on a house dog which is what the Doberman is meant to be.
Dobermans do not thrive as kennel dogs, therefore all ours are raised in our home as family members. Puppies are then able to be socialized, beginning at birth. Pity the poor unsuspecting new owner who brings a kennel bred and raised puppy into their home. After generations of being isolated in a kennel, the social temperament and bonding ability can be literally bred right out of an otherwise perfect dog. I often wonder how a breeder can honestly tell you their dogs have good temperament when they are isolated in a kennel. How can they be observed in all situations? Granted, the dog will wag it's tail and appear to be happy when the breeder brings out the much wanted bowl of food and offers a very brief moment of attention. Kennel bred and raised dogs are also much more difficult to housetrain. They have been conditioned to eliminating in their immediate area. Dobermans have a short coat, with no undercoat to protect them form the elements of weather. They do need the protection of an in home environment. Since all our pups are raised in our home, we require that they go only to homes that will keep them as in home companions.
Whether you are looking for a companion, a dog for agility, AKC conformation showing, tracking, obedience work, or many of the other dog related activities, the Doberman is the dog to look toward. Contact a reputable breeder. Don't expect the breeder to always have what you want at that time. A good puppy is well worth the wait and good breeders usually have a reservation list for their puppies.