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Basic Care

In a summary, a Doberman needs—-

——to live with his family INSIDE the home—interacting and living next to and with all the family members.   He is NOT AN OUTSIDE DOG—under ANY circumstances!   He must be a family companion and protector in the home WITH the family.   Did I say INSIDE the home with the family?  Just wanting to make the point that the Doberman is not for outside living.

——-a warm, safe, dry, comfortable place to live, including an extra large dog crate/kennel for training, housebreaking and when left alone. Blankets/comforters or other soft suitable material for the dog to rest/lay on is necessary to prevent sores/pressure sores/elbow and joint swellings.——

Premium or Super Premium food—excellent quality dog food for the Dobermans life time is critical.  Dogs are carnivores and require high quality meal in their diet.   Premium foods that contain  large amounts of good meats is necessary for good health.  These type foods are usually not found on the grocery store shelves, although Purina One and IAMS and Pedigree are available if you cannot find a specialty store that carries a big array of dog foods.  WATER is essential at all times.  Most people feed their dogs once or twice a day, depending on their schedules.   Feeding routines are flexible—just like our schedules.

——Kind discipline, training and Obedience make for a wonderful and happy pet.   The Doberman needs training to know what he can and can’t do in the home, around people and outside interacting with the world.  They are intelligent and are easily trained and a joy to live with when properly taught—-but they can be pushy, destructive and a real renegade if not managed and trained.   They are truly like a child—in the respect that  it is up to you, the owner, to see to it that they are not allowed to become unruly.   They can be a problem if not trained, as can ANY highly intelligent guard breed.

—–quality Veterinary care.  Vaccinations, boosters, worming, HEARTWORM testing and preventative, flea & tick medications, health testing such as Thyroid, vWD and heart checks all are helpful in keeping your Doberman healthy and free from disease.

——-they need care to keep them clean and healthy.   The teeth need to be examined and cleaned if necessary.   The toenails need to be Dremeled or Clipped when needed—usually once or twice a month.

The coat needs to be examined and the Doberman bathed when needed.

The ears should be wiped out with a little “baby oil” and a paper towel and the over all condition of the coat and body should be looked at every day for anything suspicious.

—–they need exercise for good health and to release penned up energy. This makes for a happy and well adjusted Doberman.   They are a very high energy breed and need to be active and allowed to exercise and play.   A large FENCED YARD is critical to the well being of your Doberman.   No matter how well trained your Doberman is, they are still DOGS with instincts that often over-ride their training.   When they see a “rabbit” or something that catches their attention, they can put themselves in the pathway of danger, like a car, with horrible consequences.  DON’T GET A DOBERMAN WITHOUT A FENCED YARD.  Most reputable breeders will NOT sell a puppy if you do not have the yard fenced.

—–Dobermans need the love, respect and interaction with their family to be truly happy dogs.   The breed is one that was “MADE” specifically to live
with and be with the family.   He is their protector and living with his family makes him MORE loyal and protective and ready to come to your rescue. He cannot live in the basement, garage, yard, kennel or any other isolated place away from his *PEOPLE*.   The Doberman needs love and touching and your hand on his head or a pat on his side.   He will NEVER be the dog he can be unless you let him be with you and let him love you back.  Love him, take care of him, train him and let  him know what you want him to do—-he will be the dog of a lifetime—-the dog only a Doberman can be.

submitted by
Theresa Mullen
DPCA Public Education Committee