Dobermans are what many would consider as being big dogs. Unless crossed with a substantially smaller breed, most of these dogs are at least medium-sized. Understanding what is an average, healthy weight is crucial for determining how big these dogs get.
What is a good Doberman weight?
Most male Doberman Pinschers weigh 75 to 100 pounds, while most females weigh 60 to 90 pounds. The individual bloodlines that the dogs come from, as well as whether they are purebred or not, make a difference in size, including weight.
This video shows a Dobie being weighed. Your vet will be your best source to determine if the dog’s weight is healthy. If you know your dog’s ideal weight, you can help maintain it properly.
Why Are Dobermans Bred to Be Big Dogs?
Chad Taylor describes the Doberman Pinscher as being powerful as well as athletic. Despite the slender appearance of these dogs, there is a lot of muscle.
When Louis Dobermann first developed the breed in the late 19th century, there was a need for a dog that could easily fit the breed creator’s personal security needs. This breed’s size is intended to help fit in with that idea.
The Doberman’s height is proportionate to the breed’s weight. A typical heigh for most female Dobermans is about 26 inches. Males, on the other hand, are a bit taller, averaging 28 inches.
A combination of a muscular build, athleticism, and height and weight all contribute to the dog’s excellence as a protector. Because these dogs are athletic, they have an appearance that can efficiently serve as a deterrent to would-be attackers or thieves.
Because these dogs are agile, it is easy to see why they have excelled as police and security dogs. They are able to easily take down anyone who means harm against their owner or family members.
The athletic build that these dogs have helps them move more quickly than some other large dogs who are much heavier. Because their size is compact in comparison to their build, they are less likely to develop problems that affect much heavier dogs.
How Does the Weight of a Doberman Vary?
There is only one weight range that conforms to the standards for Dobermans in the U.S. However, there are variations.
Some breeders produce Dobermans from European lines, especially dogs used for show purposes. European Doberman Pinschers are bulkier and more muscular than their American counterparts. These dogs are, on average, about 10 pounds heavier.
There are also some breeders who sell Dobermans who are extra-large, sometimes known as King or Warlock Dobermans.
However, these are not recognized variations of the breed. They are Dobermans too large to conform to the accepted standard.
One thing to note is that there is not anything wrong in or of itself if a Doberman is not of the standard size. The primary way that these dogs make a difference is that they are ineligible to enter into confirmation shows.
When some breeders sell Dobermans that are larger than the breed standard, they may be trying to present their dogs as somehow being rare. Unsound breeding practices are sometimes involved when breeding such dogs.
For example, Dobermans larger than the breed standard may be somewhat more likely to develop joint issues. These conditions can be very painful and make it hard for the dog to move properly. Medications and invasive surgery are often necessary.
Sometimes, larger than normal Dobermans may come from lines with a greater chance of developing heart disease or cancer. Both types of disease often have poor outcomes and almost always require expensive treatment.
Is a Doberman Over or Under the Ideal Weight Crossbred?
All modern dog breeds that exist have had some crossbreeding involved at some point. According to Hello Bark, Dobermans are no exception.
The dogs that Louis Dobermann bred to create his signature breed include mixtures of German Pinschers and Rottweilers, two breeds popular in Germany at the time. Additional breeds include Weimaraners, Manchester Terriers, and Greyhounds.
A dog that weighs more or less than usual may be purebred, but not from a show line. Dobermans are such popular family pets that many breeders opt to breed fog primarily as family pets. In such cases, the show standard has less influence.
However, some dogs that are larger or smaller might be crossbred. These dogs may be the product of accidental breeding. Sometimes, they have been intentionally crossbred as what is known as a designer dog.
Sometimes, dogs that come from shelters or rescues may be crossbred. Shelter staff sometimes only have information provided by a previous owner or must make a guess at the dog’s breed background. Without registration papers, ancestry is hard to confirm.
When a Doberman has been crossed with another breed, the dog may be susceptible to health issues associated with the other breed as well. Although some designer breeders screen for health issues, this is somewhat rarer than with purebred dogs.
Crosses between Dobermans and Rottweilers often produce larger dogs. Many have chosen to cross these dogs because the outcome is a dog that is even larger and more powerful. The result is a dog that may have a more intimidating appearance.
Another somewhat common cross is a mixture of a Doberman and Labrador Retriever. These dogs have a similar size to purebred Dobermans. Some of these dogs may run bigger or smaller.
How Can You Help an Underweight Doberman?
Several conditions can contribute to a Doberman being thinner than normal, despite often having a healthy appetite.
Dobermans have a build that may look thin, based on the initial appearance. However, they have a lot of lean muscle.
The seemingly thin appearance relates to these dogs having an athletic build necessary to perform the work they were bred for.
However, some Dobermans do end up thinner than they ought to be. Visible ribs or a visible spine and pelvis are signs your dog is too thin. You should be able to just lightly feel your dog’s ribs when petting it.
The most important thing to remember is that a visit to the vet will help you pinpoint the cause of your dog’s thin appearance. There are several medical causes that all require different courses of treatment.
Intestinal parasites are capable of causing malnourishment in dogs. Although these are treatable, your vet will need to know which parasites are responsible to determine the best way to kill them and prevent further infestation.
Endocrine and digestive disorders can prevent dogs from absorbing food properly. Either of these types of conditions requires a precise diagnosis. The good news is that veterinarians can treat these conditions quickly enough in most cases.
Another reason to have your vet examine a Dobie who seems underweight is to rule out the possibility of cancer. Some types of cancer, including stomach, esophageal and intestinal cancer, can make it hard for your dog to digest food.
What is the Best Way to Feed an Overweight Doberman?
Some Dobermans have problems with obesity, especially if they live a sedentary lifestyle. The list of health issues that an obese or even overweight dog can have is long. Owners will want to make sure they keep their dog’s weight under control.
According to Mary Claire Patton, a Doberman twice its average weight is heavy enough to have difficulties moving.
In addition to having mobility problems, obese Dobermans are more likely to develop diabetes. Dogs who have diabetes may develop heart or kidney issues, and obesity on its own can also cause heart trouble.
Overweight dogs are more likely to get severe fractures because of the excess strain placed on their bones. A dog with extreme weight issues may be somewhat exercise-intolerant. The good news is that dietary changes can make a difference.
One thing that owners should do if a dog is overweight and has difficulty losing weight has its thyroid levels tested. Sometimes, Dobies that have an underactive thyroid will weigh more than the breed should.
If your dog needs to lose weight, consider using a high-protein food designed for weight loss. Many of these foods are in grain-free formulas that further assist with weight loss. Make sure you know how much your dog needs to eat for the ideal size.
Minimize the number of treats that you give your dog while it is losing weight. When using food rewards, consider using bits of lean meat like poultry or fish. Avoid sweets or other goodies that are not really intended for canine use.
Start taking your dog on walks, if possible. If your dog seems worn down or tired after walking, give it a day or so to recover. Gradually increase the length of your walks by a few minutes every day until you notice weight loss.
The ideal Doberman weight will depend on different factors but should ideally be between 60 and 100 pounds. Feeding your dog a healthy diet and encouraging exercise will help you keep your dog’s weight at a healthy level.