Which Type of Doberman are You Looking For

It is wise to determine what you are looking for before you start looking for it. Do you want a male? Are you specific on color? Do you plan to show? There are many questions you should answer for yourself before contacting a breeder.

Male or Female

The question of male or female is usually the first in most people’s minds. Understand, sex has little to do with temperament. In my experience, females tend to need more attention and males tend to be a bit goofier. Neither is more aggressive or more difficult to train. The main difference is build. Females will turn out very elegant and sleek, like figure skaters. Males will turn out more muscled with a chiseled look, like a 90 lb Bruce Lee with fur.

I have also noticed that males tend to be more watchful. This, however, is likely do to the situation in my home where there is an alpha male always vigilant, allowing the girls to sleep on their backs.

Coat Color

Dobermans come in five different colors: black, red, fawn, blue, and white (albino). When contemplating this decision, remember, dogs bred for coat color are not bred for health and temperament, you can’t breed for both as breeding for just one is tough.

Whites are marked with a Z factor in the pedigree, as are carriers of the gene. Most good breeders avoid this gene due to eye problems and high rates of skin cancer. The white color is also recessive. This means breeding white Dobermans is very difficult because you have only a small amount populating in the world that will produce them. This also means when choosing breeding stock, color is the primary trait looked for and not health or temperament.

Fawn and blue coats are recessive also. Fawn, a shiny beige-silver, is the recessive dilute of red. Blue, a shiny grey-blue, is the recessive dilute of black. Both fawn and blue Dobermans have the normal rust markings. These rare coats tend to have fewer hair follicles and a higher instance of skin problems such as hair loss and acne, likely due to specific breeding for rare colors rather than health. Finding a good breeder offering these coat colors is difficult and rarely wise.

Finding a healthy well tempered Doberman should be your primary goal and if so this leaves you with black or red. Red comes in colors ranging from a brownish to a deep red-brown. Both have the normal rust markings. There are some breeders who have intentionally bred out the rust markings, mostly in black Dobermans to produce an all black. Like the other rare colors, the goal in such breeding is to produce a specific coat and not to produce healthy well tempered Dobermans that improve the overall breed. These breeders should be avoided.


Dobermans range from 24 to 28 inches in height at the withers (shoulders) and 65 to 95 pounds, males being slightly taller and much heavier. Research into the blood lines and the size of the parents of your puppy will reveal its eventual size.

Some Dobermans have been bred for a particular size, large or small. Purchasing a Doberman bred for size is unwise, again, it has not been bred primarily for health and temperament.

German Breeding or American Breeding

German Doberman lines are smaller, less attractive, and more aggressive. They are breed for their working traits. Before a Doberman’s offspring can be registered in Germany, it must pass a Schutzhund trial which tests for these aggressive traits.

American Doberman lines, as far back as the very beginning of the American Doberman breed, have been bred friendlier, larger, and more attractive. The difference has to do with the role the Doberman plays in each culture and the very different social attitudes toward dogs.

Puppy or Adult

Doberman puppies are the nastiest, sweetest, most destructive little creatures you will likely meet outside of Tasmania. They truly make you earn the fine obedient adults they become. Starting with a puppy is a great responsibility that will test your character to its limits. The advantage is that raising a Doberman from a puppy allows a strong bond to form.

For many people, purchasing an adult Doberman is ideal. If you have found a Master Breeder he will eventually have an adult available. Breeders eventually have Dobermans who have retired from breeding or Dobermans who were initially kept for breeding or showing, but due to some flaw in confirmation or change in circumstance, plans changed. These dogs are not throwaways. A retired mommy dog is about the sweetest most loving creature in the world and they make great pets, especially for families with other animals or children to replace her puppies.

A dog originally kept for showing will be well trained, saving you a lot of work. They are also accustomed to being in a home where they vie for attention among several other dogs. Once they get their own family, they are enormously thankful and show it. Also, costwise, even though these dogs go for more than an average puppy, they are the best deal, saving on the initial puppy costs.