DOBERMAN HEALTH AND LIFE EXPECTANCY
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Doberman Pincher's part of the working group in in AKC and have a long association with police and military work around the world, especially in Germany where the breed was developed. They can weigh anywhere from 60 to 100 pounds so they are considered a large breed and are quite imposing despite their sleek coats and lean bodies. These graceful and powerful canines have amazingly affectionate temperaments with their family and protective instincts combined with a razor sharp intelligence, making them an excellent choice for experienced canine leaders. The Doberman needs a several long walks or runs each day and a lot of playtime to work off their relatively high energy, but this is the first place where you may notice some health issues. BREED SPECIFIC ISSUES Being a large breed, joint issues like hip and elbow dysplasia are quite common. You'll want to be on the lookout from day one for potential problems and be as gentle on their joints as you can, especially while they are still young. This means that a lot of jumping, intense running, or other high impact exercises early in their life can damage their joints, leading to problems later on. Of course, as they get older, even if you keep as much pressure off their joints as possible when they're young, they have a higher possibility of developing joint issues in the latter half of their life. Doberman’s are also prone to dilated cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart), kidney issues, von Willebrand’s disease (a blood clotting disorder), as well as hypothyroidism. Tests and time are needed to determine the presence and severity of each of these potential health conditions. It’s a big part of why a responsible and longtime breeder will be the best choice to get a healthy Doberman from. The final health issue that is quite common with the breed, as well as with many other large breeds, is called bloat. Bloat is a twisting of the stomach and intestines that can be the result of many different things and tends to happen most often in Doberman Pincher's that eat too fast, don't drink enough, or even when they are given a heavy meal after vigorous exercise before they've had a chance to settle. Some people have also seen a trend where bloat can be more common when feeding on ground level versus raised bowls, but there have not been any scientific studies to confirm or disapprove. One of the best ways to slow down a fast eater is by feeding a raw diet. The nature of feeding a raw diet forces them to chew and eat in a more natural cadence and tempo. You can also leave some of the meat partially frozen, which also encourages them to chew more thoroughly. I have an entire course that walks you through every step of feeding a raw diet if you'd like to learn more about all of its benefits. LIFE EXPECTANCY The breed's life expectancy is typical for their size ranging from 10 to 12 years on average. Of course, there are always outliers that can go several years beyond that, but a lot of it depends on their genetics, daily exercise, and the diet they are fed throughout their life. When you get a Doberman Pincher from a breeder, it's always a good idea to ask what the average lifespan is of the canines they've produced, including the parents and siblings to your Doberman Pincher. When researching and interviewing a breeder, you also get a chance to learn about the health problems and energy levels that are more likely from their lines than others. Thoroughly interviewing breeders means that you are less likely to be surprised with health problems, but of course, the risk always exists. Also, don't forget to consider the training of your Doberman Pincher when you're thinking about their life span and potential health issues. When they are well trained, they are likely to have a longer and happier life when you consider factors like reducing their mental stress and being able to remove them or prevent situations that could result in the dog being put down for aggression. WRAP UP Now I know all of that is pretty heavy, and you might be thinking that a Doberman Pincher may not be right for you or wondering if you need to drastically alter everything you're doing with your current Doberman Pincher. I want to make sure everyone knows that they really are an amazing and fantastic breed that does exceptionally well with experienced canine leaders. Many Doberman Pincher owners will not experience any health issues or maybe run into one or two minor ones because, overall, they are a hardy breed and a delightful constant companion that will turn heads all around town.