The Doberman Pincher is one the most popular breeds in the world. The breed was at one time highly employed as a guard and police dog. Some of the aggressive tendencies have been bred out of the Doberman in more recent years to make it a well tempered companion dog. This breed of dog, more commonly than any other breed, is affected by a weakening of the heart called dilated cardiomyopathy. Along with other large working dogs, the Doberman is also prone to Wobbler’s Syndrome. The lifespan of the Doberman Pinscher is 10 to 12 years.
Primary Health Conditions of the Doberman Pinscher
Nearly 40% of the diagnosed cases of cardiomyopathy are diagnosed in the Doberman Pinscher. This terminal disease causes weakening and enlarging of the heart. Breeders attempt to limit its impact, but it is still common. The Doberman Pinscher is also subject to Wobbler’s Syndrome, a malformation of the neck vertebrae causing an uncoordinated gate. Steroids, neck braces, and surgery are options, although many affected dogs can live well without treatment, despite looking a bit silly when they move around. The Doberman is also at risk for von Willenbrand’s disease, a condition that impairs blood clotting. Those considering a Doberman should seek a breeder who does not mate dogs with the condition.
Secondary Health Conditions of the Doberman Pinscher
The Doberman Pinscher can be prone to gastric torsion, in which the stomach bloats with gas and becomes twisted. Dogs experiencing this condition experience a great deal of pain and an emergency trip to the veterinarian is mandated. Many breeds of dogs suffer from hip dysplasia, and the Doberman is no exception. In this condition, the bones of the hip and the hind legs do not properly meet, causing discomfort or pain in the dog, and for which surgery and weight control are common treatments.
Doberman Pinscher Exercise and Walking Needs
The Doberman Pinscher was bred for work and endurance and as such has high exercise needs. Walks are usually insufficient. The Doberman needs room to run freely. This dog will also enjoy long games of fetch and ball play and can go on long runs with its owner. The loyal and intelligent Doberman Pinscher is not known to run off, and so can be given a good deal of latitude during exercise.
Doberman Pinscher Nutritional Needs
The high energy of the Doberman Pinscher gives this dog a hearty appetite. Its muscle mass requires a high protein diet to give it the energy it needs to romp and run. This is not to say, however, that the Doberman cannot be overfed or that it is not prone to being overweight. Dobermans whose activity levels are low due to advancing age or time constraints on its owner should be fed less, should the dog’s weight begin to rise. Veterinarians should always be consulted when changes to diet are in question.
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This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.