Dogs, especially Dobermans, make up a significant part of their owners’ lives. As special as our furry friends can be, it might seem as though they leave us too soon. When you add a new dog to your life, knowing how long it might live is an important consideration.
How long do Dobermans live?
The typical lifespan for one of these dogs is 10 to 13 years. A variety of factors, including breeding and overall health, may influence how long your dog lives. Knowing what you can reasonably expect makes a world of difference.
This video from a Doberman owner addresses the downward trend of Doberman lifespans. The good news is that there are things you can do to preserve your dog’s lifespan as much as possible.
Is the Doberman Lifespan Typical for Dogs of Its Size?
Ari Einleger cites food and overall care as being the most important factors that impact a dog’s lifespan. However, genetics also play a role.
The lifespan for most Dobermans averages 10 to 13 years, which is typical of dogs that are a similar size.
However, some lines that Doberman Pinschers come from have shorter lifespans, possibly averaging between nine and 11 years old.
Why does some Dobies have shorter lifespans because of breeding? In an ideal situation, breeders would test their dogs for genetic issues and refrain from breeding dogs with known health issues. However, some breeders don’t test for these issues.
Heart disease is a leading killer of this breed, often causing fatal heart attacks at a young age. Much of what we know about the Doberman lifespan comes from studies where owners self-reported health issues.
However, many Dobermans will never develop these types of conditions. Many, if not most, come from healthy bloodlines where the owners have bred their dogs to avoid certain diseases. Barring a troubling diagnosis, you should expect an average lifespan.
What Steps Can I Take to Help my Doberman Live Longer?
According to Chelsea Hoffman, diet, activity, and environment can all play a substantial role in your dog’s lifespan, with some making it well into their teens.
Because most Dobies tend to be active dogs, the right diet makes a difference in their overall lifespan. High-protein diets help increase muscle tone and support the activity level that is typical for these dogs.
When feeding commercial food, you want to look for food with ingredients that include whole grains and red meat.
These dogs will get the metabolic boost that they require from foods that have a balanced amount and different types of proteins.
One option that many Doberman owners prefer is feeding a brand specifically formulated for Doberan Pinschers.
Although these foods often cost more, owners who use these foods feel more comfortable knowing that they are nutritionally complete.
Some owners prefer to feed their dogs a homemade or raw food diet, which can be helpful for dogs that tend to be fussy about food.
However, you will need to make sure your dog gets the nutrition that it needs and that you avoid harmful foods.
Regular exercise and activities help provide your Dobie with the stimulation that it needs. Dogs who exercise regularly have healthier muscles and bones, as well as sharper minds. This combination of factors can increase your dog’s longevity.
A daily walk can help give your dog the exercise and stimulation that it needs. If you live somewhere near hiking trails, your dog will enjoy the chance to spend time outdoors in this setting.
Fun games like fetch are also excellent for Dobermans’ health. These dogs thrive on the opportunity to use their minds. Interactive games that you can play with your dog or involve other dogs work very well.
Keeping your dog’s home as stress-free as possible can also help increase your dog’s lifespan. Dobermans are particularly sensitive to changes that disrupt their lives. If there is a lot of quarreling or tension in your house, your dog will notice.
Introduce your dog to any changes somewhat gradually. For example, allow sufficient time for your dog to adjust to new pets or people. Avoid yelling at or treating your dog harshly if it has difficulty adjusting to anyone new.
Make sure your Dobie has a crate where it feels comfortable and safe. If a dog has access to a crate, this can be a type of safe space during stressful times. However, avoid using the crate in a punitive way.
Knowing that there are ways that you can help your Doberman live longer should come as encouraging news. Even though dogs’ lifespans are often influenced by factors beyond our control, knowing that some of them can be controlled is a comfort.
How Much Do Weight and Health Affect Your Doberman’s Lifespan?
Pet MD describes the Doberman’s build as being powerful and compact. For a dog to have this type of build, its weight must be kept at a healthy level.
Overweight or obese Dobermans have the potential to live with a lot of health problems that can be debilitating and even life-threatening.
Some of the issues that dogs can face in these situations include cancer, diabetes, heart problems, and joint issues.
Although some Dobermans can be genetically predisposed to cancer, this condition is more likely to become an issue in overweight dogs. Large breeds, such as the Doberman, are prone to developing bone cancer, which is often aggressive and fast-spreading.
Dogs can develop diabetes, with overweight dogs being more likely to end up with this disease. When dogs get diabetes, they will end up dependent on insulin for the remainder of their lives. Heart or kidney disease is also possible.
Dobermans are susceptible to heart disease, particularly cardiomyopathy. Although this is a condition that is often genetic, being overweight can worsen these conditions when present. If your dog is predisposed to heart disease, a healthy weight helps.
As large dogs, Doberman Pinschers can develop joint issues. Being overweight increases stress on the joints, making arthritis and hip or elbow dysplasia more painful. The more fit your dog is, the less likely joint problems will affect it.
Weight and health can impact your Dobie’s lifespan. However, the good news is that maintaining your dog’s weight within a healthy range will prevent many of these problems. Maintaining your pet’s health makes a difference.
Do Spay or Neutered Dobermans Live Longer?
Prestige Animal Hospital considers spaying or neutering one of the best things that owners can do for their dogs. There are health and behavioral benefits.
Spaying involves the removal of the ovaries and uterus in a female. This surgical procedure prevents unwanted pregnancies.
Giving birth to puppies can pose risks to females during delivery, making pregnancy best avoided unless planned.
An unspayed female is also at risk for developing pyometra, which is a serious infection that may affect the uterine area. This type of infection is painful for the dog, expensive to treat, and potentially life-threatening.
Once a female has been spayed, her chances of developing pyometra are almost non-existent. The only way a spayed female can get pyometra is if she retains a uterine stump post-spay. Such situations are very rare.
Unspayed females also have a risk of ovarian or uterine cancer. These types of cancer tend to be aggressive and may spread to other parts of the body quickly. Spaying can increase your dog’s lifespan by preventing these cancers.
Unneutered males are more likely to develop testicular cancer. Like the types of cancer that affect females, cancer in the testicles may spread quickly. You’ll be able to increase your Dobie’s chances of living longer with neutering.
Unwanted sexual behavior, particularly in males, may contribute to a shortened lifespan. Unneutered males are more likely to get out of yards in search of mates. Such dogs are likely to get into fights or be hit by cars.
Sexual behavior can also make otherwise docile dogs become aggressive. When dogs direct their aggression towards people, they are likely to end up in animal control custody. In these situations, dogs may end up being euthanized.
Are Mixed Breed Dobermans Likely to Live Longer?
Crossbred dogs are somewhat more likely to live longer. One of the reasons given for the longer lifespan is less inbreeding.
In the past, the longevity of mixed breeds was known as “hybrid vigor”. Although this may sound like an old wives’ tale, there is some truth to this belief. Mixed-breed dogs come from a larger gene pool, which minimizes inbreeding effects.
The breed that your Doberman is mixed with will likely make a difference. If the dog was crossed with a smaller breed, it was probably live a little longer. When the other breed is a similar size to a Doberman, the lifespan will be about the same.
One thing to keep in mind is that crossbreeding is not a complete solution to health issues. When more than one breed is involved, the number of potential health issues may increase. Acquiring dogs from good breeders makes a difference.
Dobermans have a reasonably long lifestyle, and excellent care makes all the difference.