You say ‘Doberman Pinscher ’, I say ‘Dobermann’, are we talking about the same dog breed?
Sometimes there is confusion over how to spell the name of this dog breed. It’s recognized as The ‘Doberman Pinscher’ in the US and Canada and the ‘Dobermann’ in most other countries.
The Blue Doberman (Doberman Pinscher) is a noble-looking and obedient, medium-sized purebred dog that would make a loyal guard dog or companion.
This purebred dog breed is also referred to as a:
- Doberman or Dobermann,
- Blue Dobermann,
- Blue Doberman,
- Blue Dobermann Pinscher,
- Blue Doberman Pinscher dog,
- Dobermann Pincher,
- Doberman Pincher,
- Doby or
- The Tax Collector’s Dog.
When you mention the name ‘Doberman Pinscher’, it stirs up an image of a powerful and fiercely protective, dog breed that is only used for guarding and protection.
That is partly true, but when Dobermanns are trained, socialized, and handled properly as a puppy, they can be affectionate and adapt to most family and living environments; they are good with children if they grow up with them.
A Dobie is a big and powerful dog, so don’t expect it to be a lap dog!
This is a beautiful and elegant dog, with a shiny blue coat color that will serve and bond closely with one Master and protect its other family members. A Blue Doberman puppy is extremely cute; it’s like a little big-dog.
A brief history of the Doberman Pinscher dog breed
So where did the Doberman Pinscher dog breed come from?
The Dobermann Pinscher breed originated in Germany, Europe.
In 1890, Karl Lewis Dobermann, a tax collector and stray dog catcher in Apolda, Germany, needed a fearless and powerful dog to protect him in in some of the hostile locations he found himself in because of his unpopular type of work.
With access to so many different breeds he was able to breed his ideal guard dog.
It’s uncertain which breeds he mixed to create this new breed of dog, but most likely it includes the Terrier, Rottweiler, Great Dane, English Greyhound, Weimaraner, Manchester Terrier, German Terrier, German Shepherd and the Beauceron (A French sheepdog).
After his death, in 1894, this new German dog breed was named after him as the Dobermann Pinscher. (Pinscher means terrier in the German language and refers to the act of ‘biting’ or ‘gripping’; referring to the Terrier breed’s original function as a rat hunter).
After World War II, it was deemed inappropriate to keep the word ‘Pinscher’ in the breed name so it was removed internationally with the exception of the US and Canada.
The US and Canada dropped the second letter ‘N’ in the spelling of Dobermann, and the dog breed became was officially recognized as the ‘Doberman Pinscher’
The Doberman Pinscher was recognized as a purebred dog by the American Kennel Club in 1908.
The ‘Pinscher’ name was dropped in the UK, and most other countries, but kept the second ‘N’ letter in the spelling of the ‘Dobermann’ dog; Like Louis Dobermann who is credited with developing breed.
US & Canada – it’s the ‘Doberman Pincher’
The UK and largely the rest of the world – it’s the ‘Dobermann’
Variations of the breed:
There are three different types of Doberman advertised: the American Doberman, the European Dobermann, and the Warlock (King) Doberman*.
*It should be noted that although you may see a Warlock Doberman or King Doberman advertised for sale or rescue, suggesting it is a very large-sized dog, they may not actually exist!
The Blue Doberman dog – is it a different breed?
The Blue Doberman is one color within the purebred Doberman Pinscher breed.
A Doberman has two genes that produce its coat color:
– one Black gene and one color dilution gene.
There are five different Doberman colors, and four coat color combinations recognized by the AKC:
Black, Red, Blue, and Fawn (Isabella) – all combined with Rust markings.
There is also a White color and a White albino (although many experts dispute if a White Albino Doberman actually exists!)
The mix of these two genes (black & the dilution gene) could produce the following coat colors:
- Black with rust markings (breed standard)
- Red with rust markings (breed standard)
- Blue with rust markings (Blue is a dilution of black, and breed standard)
- Fawn (Isabella) with rust markings (Fawn is a dilution of red, and breed standard)
- Solid black (rare and not breed standard)
- Solid white (not breed standard)
- Albino white (the Albino Doberman may not actually exist and therefore Albino is not recognized AKC breed standard color)
The Blue Doberman coat color (with typical rust markings) comes from a dilution of the Black color gene. The dilution gene prevents full pigmentation so the black color when diluted looks blue, or a grayish, silvery sheen.
Don’t worry; it is a still a real Doberman purebred dog: the blue is just a color variation, it’s not a different breed.
The Blue coat color is not a common color for a Dobermann; the most common and easily recognized color is ‘Black and Rust’.
The Blue color is an accepted standard color, by the American Kennel Club (AKC), for the American variety of Doberman. It is not a breed standard color for the European Dobermann and may be disqualified in certain international dog shows.
The Fawn (Isabella) Doberman color is from the dilution of the red Doberman coat color. The Fawn Doberman is not as popular as the Blue Doberman.
What does a Blue Doberman dog look like?
The Blue Doberman is sleek and elegant-looking with a muscular and compact build. It stands to attention and upright. It has a long, wedge-shaped head, usually cropped ears that stand erect and sometimes a docked tail.
FACT: At one time it was common for various hunting and working dogs to have their tails docked in case they got damaged while working. Over time this practice was deemed a cruel style-procedure and it was banned in certain countries.
Some breed standards still require a docked tail.
The Doberman Pincher coat is short-haired and thick, but smooth and it almost glistens in the light. The Blue color is not bright blue like the sky; it is a blue hue that can appear silver or grey in certain light.
Its short, sleek coat sheds moderately and is therefore easy to groom.
What are the main characteristics of a Blue Doberman?
The Blue Doberman is an intelligent, agile, and alert dog. It’s muscular with a fiercely protective instinct that will guard and watch out for those it considers family.
It’s strong, active, and needs lots of exercise and activities to keep it out of trouble.
Loyalty and companionship:
Dobermanns were first bred to look fierce and be protective companions. They’re extremely loyal and obedient to their master.
They have earned the nickname ‘The Velcro-dog’ as they are known to follow their owner around so much that they look like they’re stuck to their master with Velcro!
The Dobermann has a reputation for being a fierce and dangerous dog. They are regularly listed in the rankings of the most recognized dangerous dogs across the world. This prevents many people from considering this breed for a family dog.
With proper behavior and obedience training and early socialization, the Dobermann can be trusted as a family dog as well as being a guard dog.
They can be playful and affectionate if brought up as a family pet but it must be remembered that this dog was bred to have guarding and protective instincts. Therefore they must be supervised and never be left alone around children or other smaller pets that might take play, or irritation too far.
This dog must be handled and treated with respect otherwise it might feel challenged and react in a negative or aggressive way.
The Doberman Pincher is a popular breed, with low grooming and maintenance requirements. Dobermans are purebred dogs and currently rank as the 19th most popular dog in the US, by the AKC.
Dobermann dogs were originally bred as protection dogs, not pets. They’re intelligent and adaptable; even for apartment living, providing they are taken out for daily walks, but they would prefer a house with a fenced yard, where they can burn off some of their excess energy.
They are easy to train and will follow instructions but they will bark at anything they don’t understand and want to protect their people, territory, or property.
Positive reinforcement and firm but non- aggressive commands will work best with a Doberman. Early leash training is strongly recommended in the early years of life for this determined and powerful dog.
Power and intelligence:
When you think of a Doberman Pinscher you imagine a very powerful and smart protection dog. They are highly intelligent, alert, and aware of approaching danger.
They make the perfect guard dog for military, police, or for search and rescue services as their instincts are acute as they were bred for speed and endurance. This muscular and strong dog is not recommended for first-time dog owners.
The typical Doberman owner is likely to have experience of handling and training dogs from hunting or working breed groups.
To protect, to guard, to watch out for and follow orders, for its owner.
This breed of dog needs to be fully socialized in its early years as it will grow to be powerful, wilful, and be protective. It may see unwanted approaches as a threat so it must be trained to follow commands and get used to meeting a range of different people and situations.
Dobermanns can be aggressive in the wrong hands.
They will benefit from early leash training to keep them under control. This is a very strong and powerful dog so voice commands will be valuable in crowded public places, dog parks, and if taking their daily walk near traffic.
The Doberman is one of the most obedient dog breeds for an owner. They are easy to train and will want to please their master. They are a good judge of character and will have a good grasp of what could potentially be a threatening situation, or not; one of the many reasons they may bark.
They will behave well in their home environment, providing they are properly socialized and obedience trained early.
They don’t bark much but will bark if bored or become destructive if they don’t get enough stimulation and exercise.
The Dobermann puppy is slow to mature; it behaves like a puppy until it is 3-4 years of age.
Physical Characteristics of a Blue Doberman
The Blue Doberman is a medium-sized purebred dog.
It has an impressive, athletic, and lean physique. It is a beautiful blue hue color with lighter markings on its face, above each eye, muzzle, chest, legs, and feet and below its tail. It has a long wedge-shaped face and stands proud and ready to go!
|Size||Medium Size||Medium Size|
|Height||Up To 26-28” (66-71cm)||Up To 24-26" (61-66cm)|
|Weight||Up To 75-100lb (34-45kg)||Up To 60-90lb (27-41kg)|
|Lifespan||10-12 years||10-12 years|
|Litter Size||6-8 puppies/litter|
Coat: A dense coat with straight hair – Short, shiny, and sleek.
Color: Typically 2 colors – the main color from Black, Red, Blue, and Fawn with prominent color markings of Rust or Tan
It’s Fearless and alert. Not overly friendly with strangers and is always watching out for danger. When trained and socialized it can be friendly and affectionate with its family.
How should you train a Blue Dobermann puppy?
A Doby puppy should be trained very early.
They will form a very strong bond with their owner and will want to just follow them around. They may suffer separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time and become destructive.
This puppy will need ongoing positive reinforcement during training.
It should not be aggressively trained and never beaten or put in a corner as it will view this as a direct threat and it may react on instinct, in a negative way.
Praise for good behavior and gentle reprimands for not behaving will work with this smart dog. It will need to be able to go out in public and needs to know how to follow orders – for its safety and to follow the rules in public.
There are various types of recommended training: obedience, discipline, agility, and socialization.
So, if you are not going to use a professional dog trainer:
1) Develop your basic command words: Find keywords such as Stop, Sit, Wait, etc. and be consistent each time you use them. Use small food based-treats as a reward for good behavior in early training.
2) Crate – Buy a crate and get the puppy used to going into it. This will eventually become its nest and it will sleep there. You will have to lock the cage in the early days so it knows it has to sleep there and it’s a useful experience for bladder control and when transporting your pet.
3) Potty training – This may be hit and miss for a new puppy who gets easily excited and lacks control, however products are available, such as mats and odor sprays to attract puppy go to the same spot each time
4) Walking on a leash – Voice commands and road awareness is important for a Doby puppy’s safety, as they can get lively when excited and tug on the leash when walking.
Health problems and health issues
Any purebred dog breed, like the Dobie dog, can inherit certain genetic health problems
Blue Doberman syndrome
Blue Doberman syndrome is a skin issue that affects the hair shafts and leads to hair loss and sometimes skin infections.
The blue color is due to a gene that inhibits full pigmentation and causes the dilution of the black color, in the same way, the red is diluted to a fawn color.
Dobermans with the blue color coat (or the occasionally the fawn-colored coat) can suffer from a hereditary hair and skin condition known as Blue Doberman syndrome. It is also known as Color Mutant Alopecia or Blue Balding syndrome.
Color Mutant Alopecia (CMA) – Alopecia means hair loss.
Color Mutant Alopecia occurs from a genetic defect affecting the way pigment is distributed in the dog’s hair shafts. Abnormal pigmentation (melanin) clumping in the hairshafts makes the hair brittle and can lead to hair loss in the diluted colored parts of the dog coat. (Blue or Red – that produces the Fawn color).
FACT: A hair follicle anchors each hair into the skin. The hair bulb is the base of the hair follicle. Within the hair bulb, living cells divide and grow to build the hair shaft.
The symptoms of CMA can occur at any time from four months up to three years of age. This condition is incurable and further skin infections and inflammation are possible, needing medication.
Von Willebrand’s Disease – this is an inherited blood disorder that prevents blood from clotting normally. It causes sudden and excessive bleeding such as nose bleeds, gum bleeding, or too much bleeding after surgery. There is no cure only a blood transfusion will help with excessive blood loss.
Hip Dysplasia – an abnormality where the ball and socket of the hip joint are not a neat fit. Excessive movement can lead to further damage to the limbs, extreme pain possible bone disease such as arthritis. Dogs with Hip Dysplasia should not be bred.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy – a degenerative disease of the retinal visual cells that can progress to blindness unless treated.
Other health issues include Hypothyroidism – a thyroid gland disorder, Wobbler’s Syndrome – spinal cord compression affecting stability and heart muscle problems such as Cardiomyopathy.
Caring for your Blue Dobermann – what’s needed?
They are active and will need a lot of exercises each day – walks but always on a leash, some playtime, and other activities to keep them occupied. They would suit a fenced yard where they can run, but not where they can escape!
Feed as a medium sized dog, 3-4 cups of high-quality Kibble per day.
This breed short-haired and sheds moderately. This is not a high maintenance coat when it comes to grooming and only needs to be brushed weekly. This breed is not hypoallergenic.
Fact: If the hair of a Shih Tzu is cut shorter it sheds more and if long it sheds less!
Bathe only when needed, weekly, but not too often as their coats contain natural oil, which can be stripped with over-bathing. Certain dog formulated shampoos have a double effect of cleaning the dog coat and protecting it against fleas and insect bites.
Cleaning teeth, nails, and ears
Check teeth to prevent a build-up of plaque and avoid gum disease. Nails need to be trimmed regularly and its erect ears checked for dirt build-up that can lead to infection.
Positives and Negatives of Dobermann ownership
- Nobel-looking, athletic physique
- A loyal and protective companion
- Alert and obedient
- Adaptable and aware of pending danger
- Likes to be very close to its owner
- Child and pet friendly if trained properly
- Dangerous dog reputation
- Fierce looking
- Mischievous and destructive if bored or left alone
- High exercise needs
- Strong – physically and mentally not for first-time owners
- Mustn’t be left alone with children or walked off leash
- Some countries require this breed to be muzzled in public
Commonly Asked Questions:
Q. How much does a Blue-Doberman Pinscher puppy cost?
A. The Blue Doberman costs more or less the same as the other color Dobie puppies. Budget approximately $1500- $2500, from a reputable breeder.
Q. Why is a Blue Dobermann puppy so expensive?
A. Doberman puppies have their ears cropped, tails docked and their dew claws removed usually before release. They are usually fully vaccinated, chipped, and couldalso be passport and name registered. This all adds to the overall cost.
Q. What other costs should I expect?
A. A good quality dry dog food, Kibble, will cost around $50-$100 per month, plus Vet’s fees, vaccinations, medications and accessories and toys, collar, leash, grooming equipment.