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why do dobermans seem weak?!?!?!

first off let me say I am a fan of the doberman dog. I like the way they look and feel that it could be a great dog with some work however I think the breed needs some "cleaning".  Every doberman I have come across has been just a pet dog not a working dog, no different from any other dog. They all seem to be very gentle, docile, thin/frail, and scared.

I have only met one working doberman that the guy had to import from china and cost him 3k. That dog impressed me, it was aloof/reserved. It wasnt aggressive or scared or anything but he definitely didnt trust me and kept his eye on me.


perhaps an outcross would be a good thing for this breed? maybe thats what they tried to do with the donovan pinscher and canis panther?


what do you guys think of the canis panther? never seen one in person but i like the way they look. Donovan pinschers as well

You are on to something here.  When a dog has no job they get soft and lethargic much like us humans do. The Doberman is yet another example of a fine working breed that went by the wayside in the USA where looks is preferred to performance and true temperament. I remember discussing this phenomenon on here before but most of the kennel clubs do their breeds a great disservice.  They talk about "preserving", "protecting" but I think the only thing the preserve or protect is their bank account.

Donovan Pinscher and Canis Panther - could be bred into a good doby line to get some strength and drive back.  That is a big task as the breeder will be fighting the breed clubs and KC all the way.

Gary Sicard

yeah but after being in the bully world and seeing so much "paper hanging". I would not be surprised if its going on everywhere, with every breed, in every circle. Its not very difficult to do and whatever outcross you used can easily be hidden within a few more breedings. I really dont see anything wrong with outcrossing IMO. its how new breeds are created, or how to "fix" or add to an existing breed.


Yes Dobermans are not terribly functional anymore and due to inbreeding have a few quite disastrous genetic flaws. For me though they've lost the suppleness, athleticism and steady headedness and drive needed. Too big, too changed for a flashy side gait at the expense of everything else. Those deep deep chests are a big problem with bloat and quite frankly look ridiculous and for sure get in the way of the dog being able to do any proper work. How do you get that over a six foot sloping wall. Hip dysplasia is becoming more and more of a problem affecting young dogs.......For all intensive purposes not much of a working dog anymore, the pedigree and showing dogs.

If they're not shy and timid and nervy they're completely dopey, all assuming they don't drop dead of DCM, Dilated Cardiomyopathy. There are no doberman lines free of it unfortunately anymore. Just look up "doberman dropped dead", you will be shocked. One minute the dog is appears absolutely fine playing, next its lying dead on the lawn.

Heartbreak breed.

Personally I wouldn't use dobermans in a breeding programme for that reason alone. There have been various recreations of the breed in different countries but most end up with the same problems by the age of six due to the inevitable back crossing to fix the Doberman phenotype.

Short lives, dysfunctional and lethally flawed, doesn't inspire much confidence. 


Just look up "doberman dropped dead", you will be shocked.

 Well I did and you are absolutely right.  I did not realize that there was such a serious problem in the breed.  Now I have to do some more research.

Here is a link to the search results.

At the end of this video the dog just drops dead. Very sad.


Gary Sicard

so now it seems an outcross is necessary to fix the breed, several outcrossings.

You got that right. Now who will do it and risk the wrath of the Doberman Club. :)

Gary Sicard

Yes so sad, Bella was also quite a moderate Doberman too. Watching that video my heart sank.

The Doberman is a classic case study in degenerative breeding practises. From one of the healthiest breeds to one of the unhealthiest. 

The breed had a huge genetic health advantage by the way it was created using mixtures of various breeds and half breeds. Up until 1950 there were practically no hereditary health problems. Like JRTs today they had phenomenally sound inbreeding co-efficients. The breed was recognised, the stud books closed and with immediate effect an ever shrinking gene pool was the result. In under 70years it's a breed facing extinction. 

We can expect the same to happen to the "pedigree JRT", a variant called the JRT at least, recognised now by KCs across the globe. Lessons just aren't being learnt. Stud books are still being closed with a confidence that screams of any true willingness to recognise science behind genetics at all. The JRT has an advantage in that there are still various working types outside of closed registries but they all appear to gravitate to a similar idea of absolute uniformity in desired phenotype said to define the only true type .......most unfortunately also with something of a determined fervour that doesn't separate them easily from the mind sets of the predominate eugenicists still rank in pedigree dog breeding. Luckily we still have the much maligned "backyard breeders and the odd terrier man" all too willing to do nothing of the sort to the JRT ha ha ha. 

Breeds like the Doberman unfortunately are almost symbolic one could say of the mind set now destroying pedigree dogs, also perhaps to lesser extent the historical associations etc, the appalling state of a breed like the show GSD, German shepherd too, for example. Even outside of those rather frightening associations you just have to look at the problems a breed like the Dalmatian had in outcrossing to realise its also a pretty much universal problem in dog breeding within all closed registries. One dog was outcrossed in the 1970s with a pointer and it took until 2011 for the AKC to recognise any of the progeny, 14 generations later! Even though all the Dalmatians the AKC did recognise had a double gene that causes the painful (and often lethal) build-up of sediment in the urinary system cause by high uric acid levels (ubiquitous in the breed).  Making it impossible to breed away from within any existing gene pool. The vote within the AKC was almost 50/50 so the battle there is only in its infancy, even with the healthy version now being eligible for registration.

I don't think the future can be very bright for the Doberman. There is as far as I know not even any identifiable single gene responsible so short of the discovery, a miraculous scientific break through, and finding a any dogs without those multiple genes things look bleak within the present mind set. Its less about courage though and more about willingness however as any healthy breed or dog (preferably working) that doesn't have the affliction could be suitable as an outcross. The hurdles are many and high dealing with such unprecedented cognitive dissonance in this day and age. It must also be said it's also costly, time consuming and requires a great deal of co-operation. When you can still just breed a litter despite the consequences, get it registered, who is bothered.

Who knows, all it would take would be one dedicated Doberman breeder.......set up an alternative registry, market the dogs as healthy while others are practically dropping dead and you've captured the market. Surely some kind of incentive and claim to immortality in the journals of history of the Doberman at least even if the KCs never recognise them and they never function as working dogs ever again. Would be nice if they did but there are quite a few breeds to choose from as alternatives even if they don't, though.

There are many problematic breeds in the US. The best way to fix it is; in order to show a dog the major registries should allow an occasional outcross preferably 1 within 6 generations, the dog must be competing in at least 1 other sport and have vet backed documentation of health.



exaclty! so why the big fuss about pure breds/inbreeding limiting the gene pool etc. I think it was either chimerakennels or midgardmastiffs on here way back in the day that was a big proponent of hybrid vigor.

The only way to fix the dobe is to paper hang.


A dobe cross the intrigued me was the dino dog.

I have seen some nice dobes. I don't see it often. They can still perform. They are good working dogs. However, they will only be what they have been trained to be. We live in a society where people take working breeds like this and never work them. They become nothing more than pets. The owners user them a a dog to sit on a coach. They never stimulate the working qualities is the breed. I've even had some comment on my video of me training a dog for property protection say 'm a horrible person for teaching this to a dog. This is what it was bred to do. It was one of my pups. The owner has some acres with some expensive equipment. He wanted his dog to keep intruders off of his land and away from his equipment. This dog was purchased to have a job. He was being taught to do his job. The video was just the beginning of his training.


As for as outcossing to fix the breed I think that is wrong. That is just my opinion. If you outcross the dog it is no longer the same breed. It is a just a mixed breed. Sure a mixed breed can be a good dog. It can be a good working dog. But it would no longer be a dobe. IMO it is too late for the dobe as a whole. I don't fault the show dog community. I fault more of the backyard breeds for ruining the breed. I also fault having a political correct society. Political correctness says you should have a dog that will bite. it is not needed. You are being abusive to the dogs. The backyard breeder will breed any 2 dogs just because they are dogs and they believe they can make a profit. back in the 70's and early 80's dobes were still fairly popular. People bought them. They wanted to make them meaner. They were feeding gun powder to the dogs to make them mean. No one knew the true affects that gun powder had on the dogs. Sure they became more aggressive. But it messing them up mentally. It was very harmful to the dogs. They did it with GSD too. These dogs were basically crazy. They had unstable temperaments. They were psycho. Anytime a breed becomes too popular it leads to the harming of the breed. People get them and no nothing about genetics. They no nothing about what is good and bad for the breed. They just want to make some money. Some start off by saying they just want to get some of the money back they put into it by buying a dog. Most think it is easy money. If they are selling this dog for $3,000 I can do the same. I was looking online today. I see ads were people are selling dogs. Some are asking for $1,000 or more for a dog or pup that is physically deformed. They don't know it. They are asking for serious buyers. The sad thing is there will be some other uniformed consumer that will think this is awesome or a great opportunity for them to get a good dog and make some money and they will purchase it and breed it a lead to more bad dogs being produced. I see people selling dogs claiming it is show quality. But the dog has a disqualifying fault. Sure it is a nice dog. But it should be sold as a pet only. The pet can still be a good working dog. It just should not be bred so that it will not reproduce other dogs that have serious or disqualifying faults.

All the same uninformed arguments show breeders use. Breeding for the show ring is what and to coin a phrase "fucked up" the Doberman not backyard breeders. A doberman is already a mix of breeds thats how it was created, like all breeds of dogs. They didn't just drop out of the sky fully formed, they're not a species they are type of a single species the grey wolf all dogs are. Thats also how it will be saved, if anyone truly cared about the Doberman that is and not instead only cared about producing a litter of fatally inbred mutts to win ribbons in the show ring.

You're mixing up environment and genetics. Doesn't matter if some owners or "pet dog" owners never worked their dogs if they were bred along working lines by anyone instead of showing lines they would be quite capable of working, generation after generation doesn't matter who kept some of them or how. However this isn't the case with the Doberman. Breeding for the show ring means they're selected for a showing phenotype, size, exact proportions, arbitrary things like depth of stop, eye shape and exaggerated movement......not for how well they can perform, jump  drive, eye contact blah blah blah all the things a working dog needs to be selected for. By doing this they are creating an image of a dog not a working dog. To make matters worse they inbreed to winning sires on mass hoping to produce a similar champion, they line breed to that single champion litter after litter, many breeders all reducing the gene pool. Until all they end up producing are crippled genetically inbred disasters that live just the few years it takes to become champions. What we call a Doberman today. 

Outcrossing both to other breeds at this point and within the breed if even possible is vital even if there is a hope just to save the show dog never mind a working dog. You have a point in that the Doberman seems to have fallen out of favour as a working dog in favour of any number of other breeds. Show breeders will often take such a breed and believe they're rescuing them by breeding them for the show ring but instead wreck them. If I was to choose extinction or  bred along show lines I would say extinction is preferable. Kinder at any rate.

Backyard breeders don't come into it at all. In fact you are more likely to find a healthy dog from a backyard breeder simply because they don't agonise so much over pedigree and dog shows so are just as likely to use a complete outcross on their litter as they are to inbreed, a simple query will tell you which. However show bred dogs carry the fatal genes, they created them and they persisted in breeding with them and not addressing the problem by outcrossing. Any cast-offs deemed "pet" quality will carry the genes too. Bear in mind any dog can be registered with the AKC if it has a pedigree, backyard breeder dogs, puppy mills and show dogs. So yes the blame lies fair and squarely with show breeders here.

Your argument for not outcrossing is like saying I don't want to build my house out of bricks because I don't have exactly the ten thousand bricks needed, if I use one stone instead of that missing brick its not a house is it???!!! Well it is a house and that one stone might be the only thing that holds the whole together. You would rather build a wooden house instead that gets flattened by a tornado. 

That was a rather obscure off the cuff metaphor but think of the doberman as the house and stone as the outcross. In three generations you wouldn't even know a stone was there in the first place and the dog would've been saved. Of course it might simply be too late because there are no bricks left after all that procrastination, no healthy Dobermans left to backcross to. Which might actually be the case anyway.


Interesting thoughts.  Everyone is entitled to their opinions.  Just consider this. What was the original purpose of the Show?  Keep in mind bit everyone the participates in Showing should be. The original  purpose in showing a dog was to evaluate your stock in order to make sure that dog meets the standards for breeding.  The standards are created not by AKC, UKC,  CJC, etc. They are created by the parent clubs.  There parent club for the doberman all had working dogs. Every line was a working line.  The came up with the standard saying a dog should not be too tall, small, eye color,  eye shape, hocks,  tails etc in order to have a specific look and function.  If the dog doesn't meet the criteria it is supposed to be removed from the breeding stock.  It may still be a great dog. It just shouldn't be bred. 

Since we are talking about working dogs you should also know that the Schutzhund  competition originally had a purpose too. It was a temperament test.  It was used to evaluate the dog to see if it had the correct temperament to perform the work that it was bred to do. Therefore, breeds like the GSD, Rottweiler, and Doberman that all came from Germany had to have both a working title and Conformation title before it could be bred and have pups registered.  

Of course AKC and others don't have such requirements. Anyone with a dog can put two dogs together with no knowledge of how genetics work.  They foolishly believe that if I put a oversized dog with an average undersized dog it will balance out the litter.  I've heard that far too often.  The truth is genetics don't work like that.  There is a scientific way the genetics work to produce dominant and recessive genes. There is a mathematical equation that can be used to predict which genetic traits will be passed in the next litter. 


If it were true that a working line would  produce generations after generations of working dogs the every dog from a working line would produce Working champions. The same would be true of Show dogs.  The truth is that neither litter will produce every pup in the litter that have the qualities to become champion of record. In fact science has proved through many studies that  temperament in dogs are nit 100% genetics. It is affected by environmental stimuli. It's called training.  The training can come from  knowledgeable trainers or from learning from other dogs.


It's a falicy to blame people who show dogs for ruining a breed by inbreeding.  Inbreeding is not only used by a single group of people. I'm not alone here as the only person that has seeds ads and or pedigrees of dogs that are inbred. Many claim to  be double bred back to the dam. It is used as a selling point.  I line bred too closely will become extinct.  Eventually it will produce dogs that can't reproduce. There are 3 types of breeding. Inbreeding which is breeding dogs that are related. Line breeding which is also inbreeding,  but not using dogs so closely related that the line becomes extinct. Then there's out crossing.  That is simply breeding dogs that aren't related. Most knowledgeable breeders that line breed follow a formula to know when they should add a dog from outside of the line with similar qualities in order to preserve the line.  Out crossing is not adding a dog from a different breed. That doesn't improve or preserve a breed. You no longer have a purebred dig. You are just producing mongers, mixed  breeds, mutts or our nice new term bandogs. There's nothing wrong with mixed breeds. But why should I pay $1000 or more for one when I  can get one from a pound or shelter for a couple of hundreds. When I buy a purebred dog I'm looking for a dog that has a record. It has been evaluated by unbiased 3rd parties that it had the correct temperament,  conformation and the at it has been tested for genetic health faults.  Unfortunately since anyone can be called a  breeder this can't always be found in certain breeds. 

Of the three methods that I've listed above one is the preferred or ideal.  I'm not going to talk too much about which is preferred and why. I believe that deserves a thread of its own. 


There's ignorance in both those that show or work.  There's ignorance in those that do both.  I've been doing this for over 20 years. I'm able to admit that I was ignorant. Ignorance is simply a lack of knowledge.  It is not an offensive word. The important thing is that I didn't stay ignorant. I've learned mire. I've done research.  Before I only knew what the older guys before me said and did. There experiences became mines. They had limited knowledge and limited resources. I no longer have those excuses. Now that learned more and no better it's up to me to do better.

If you are truly a breeder of a specific breed  or line your goal is not to improve it. I know that people make that statement all of the time. I've done it too. I hope that I've removed that from every place that I put online.  The goal or objective should be to preserve the breed or line. We should want the breed or line to retain the qualities that it was originally bred to have.  

I've learned a lot from the old guys before me. Those were my mentors. I have a lot of respect for them. They knew dogs and how to train them. They didn't go to school and learn about genetics.  They never had learning theory. They never heard of the 4 quadrants. They didn't know what classical conditioning or operant conditioning was or is. They couldn't pass that knowledge on to the next generation.