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Four Colors

The Doberman AKC Standard, which is the “blueprint” of the Doberman, explains in exacting details how the Doberman should LOOK and what his temperament should be and therefore how he should ACT.  Part of the Standard describes the coloration of the Doberman.

There are ONLY FOUR ALLOWED COLORS for the Doberman.

black and rust
red and rust
blue and rust
fawn and rust

Any other color is a DISQUALIFICATION for selection of breeding stock through the Championship point system, whereby Dobermans, through Dog Show competition in Conformation Classes, accrue points by defeating other Dobermans to earn the Champion Title bestowed by the American Kennel Club.   ONLY those Dobermans who accumulate the required points in Conformation can become a Champion and be considered one of the Breeds exceptional and noteworthy individuals.   There are only approximately 150 to 200 Dobermans each year that are good enough to earn the title of  “CHAMPION”.   These are out of all the tens of thousands of Dobermans born every year.    All four allowed colors of the Doberman are eligible to compete for Championship points in AKC Conformation.

Besides the more common color’s seen in the Doberman—Black & Rust and Red & Rust—there are the”DILUTES” of these two colors—Blue is a “dilute” of Black—Fawn is a “dilute” of Red.   Each parent carries genes that determine color.   In the Doberman we have the Black which is “dominant” over red.   Each parent can carry Black Only or Black and the “recessive” Red or Red Only.   Besides these “colors”, each parent can also carry a “dilution gene”.   If both parents carry the “dilution gene” and in the process of the mating of two parents that carry dilution, the offspring gets a dilution from the sire AND a dilution gene from the dam—then the “DILUTE FORM” of Black/which is Blue —–or of Red/which is Fawn can be expressed. So it takes DILUTION from BOTH parents to have any puppies that are Blue or Fawn.   This is really simple Mendelian Genetics.

The Blues and Fawns also have a higher incidence of coat and skin problems. This arises from the way the MELANOCYTES  are deposited on the hair shaft itself.  These are what “color” the hair shaft .   It is very irregular in pattern compared to the Blacks and Reds and the hair itself is softer and has a difficult time coming through the follicle and emerging through the skin.   There is a higher incidence of ingrown hairs and staph infections because of the nature of the hair shafts themselves.   Below is a very comprehensive website that explains the coat problems, including thinning and loss of the coats of DILUTES.

Special Care for Blue Dobermans

Remember, these four colors are the only allowable colors that are acceptable according to the American Kennel Club and the Doberman Pinscher Club of America to be shown in Conformation and All Available AKC Events.

submitted by
Theresa Mullen
DPCA Public Education Committee