The Doberman is an excellent breed of dog that’ll give you plenty of love and attention. As with all dog breeds, it’s important to know the specific needs of the breed, which obviously goes far beyond the basics of food, water, and exercise. Dobermans need special food and exercise requirements if they’re going to be the very best they can be. It’s important to ensure you have all the right information before adopting a Doberman, just to make sure they’re the best breed of dog for you. Here is some detailed information on how to care for a Doberman Pinscher.
The most important thing to know about feeding a Doberman is that it needs to be done twice a day. Some breeds are better being fed once a day, and some owners even free feed their dogs, but these methods won’t work with a Doberman. This is mainly because the breed is prone to a condition called bloat, which can be difficult to catch and is potentially fatal. To avoid this, feed your Doberman twice a day at regular times.
Always make sure you’re feeding your Doberman a good quality dry food, and it’s up to you whether you combine this with wet food too. Dobermans can develop sensitivities, or even allergies, to common dog food ingredients (wheat or chicken for example), so you might need to go for more expensive food to ensure it’s of the right quality. If in doubt, ask your vet, as they will be able to give you more specific information.
This almost goes without saying, but always make sure your Doberman has access to fresh water. Ideally, this should be changed at least once a day, and their water bowl should be washed once or twice a week to avoid a build-up of biofilm. Let your dog drink as much as they want, but consult a vet if you think they’re drinking too much because this can be a sign of bloat.
Dobermans are an energetic breed, but it’s easy to keep this under control with the right amount of exercise. At least one long walk a day is needed, if not several (depending on how much energy you have). If you can’t take them for more than one walk a day, make sure they have access to plenty of land to play in.
Speaking of playing, Dobermans are an intelligent breed and so need mental stimulation along with physical. Play with them as much as possible, and make sure they have a variety of toys and games to enjoy, either with or without you. The more stimulation you can provide, the happier and healthier your Doberman will be.
When it comes to grooming, Dobermans are a reasonably low maintenance breed. That said, a regular grooming routine will keep your dog looking its best. Dobermans shed regularly, but not much hair, and this can be kept under control with weekly brushing using a soft-bristle brush or grooming mitt. A quick daily brush will be the best for keeping their coat looking shiny and healthy.
Bathing should be saved for when absolutely necessary, as Dobermans aren’t known to be smelly. Try to favor brushing when possible, and only bathe if your dog gets filthy. When you do bathe them, make sure you use a quality shampoo to keep their coat healthy. Also, ensure you trim their nails when needed, and brush their teeth several times a week.
Dobermans need their ears checking regularly to avoid debris buildup. Doberman with cropped ears will need less attention, but their ears should be checked regularly, and cleaned weekly with a bit of tissue and baby oil.
Getting your Doberman used to being handled will make a massive difference when it comes to unavoidable vet trips. Start handling them as early as possible, and always do so in a positive way. The more you focus on handling them, and associate handling with positive experiences, the easier things will be in the future. Make sure they’re comfortable being handled all over too.
Dobermans are not outside dogs. They need to be kept indoors because their coats aren’t long enough to keep them warm in the winter, and they’re the wrong color to spend the summer in the sun. What’s more, Doberman need human attention, so leaving them outdoors will result in an unhappy and unhealthy dog.
That said, make sure you establish firm boundaries as early as possible. Crate training, while it may seem unfair on the surface, is actually the perfect way of showing the dog it has its own space, and after a while it won’t known any different. This will also make leaving them alone much easier when it comes to it.
Start obedience training as early as possible, and take your Doberman to training classes. Not only will this help with training, but it’ll also give them a chance to socialize. Doberman are a very intelligent breed and pick up commands quickly, but this intelligence can become stubbornness if not properly controlled. Training should be started early and continued throughout the dog’s life to ensure commands stick. This is also the best way of keeping them stimulated too because they love to be rewarded.
Doberman, like other purebred dogs, are prone to a range of conditions. Responsible breeders will screen for these and show you the results before adoption, so you’ll have the information to hand. Notable conditions to watch out for are bloat, heart conditions, and thyroid problems. Many of these are treatable, and your vet can give more accurate information if needed.
Other than that, ensure your dog is microchipped and that you keep vaccines up to date. Also make sure they’re wormed regularly and treated for fleas and ticks. Medication for these is inexpensive and easy to buy, so there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from checking these boxes.
For the most part, caring for a Doberman isn’t hard once you know what to do. One of the most important rules is to give your dog plenty of attention, as Dobermans thrive on it, and make sure you do everything possible to keep them healthy. Provide plenty of toys, and plenty of love, and you’ll be sure to have a happy and healthy Doberman for years to come.