When you adopt a Doberman pinscher, you are welcoming a highly intelligent and active dog into your life. They are incredibly trainable, loyal, and playful.
While they do have a reputation for being fighting guard dogs, they are only like that if that is what you plan on using them for.
A common question among new Doberman owners is what can you expect their life expectancy to be? As is the case with any dog, the Doberman lifespan can be calculated by averages, but can also be increased when your dog is give the best care possible.
These beautiful animals require a lot of love and care, but also need proper diets, good exercise, and will need to visit the vet regularly in order to be sure that you are doing everything that you can to increase your dog’s lifespan. Here is what you need to know about your Doberman.
Doberman Life Expectancy
A common misconception is that because Dobermans are larger dogs, they do not live very long. They live as long as most large breed dogs, but of course their life expectancy can be improved on when they are taken care of properly.
On average, a Doberman can live up to 13 years of age. The average Doberman lifespan is 10 to 13 years. Unfortunately, most breeds are plagued with some common health risks that might put your dog in danger of not meeting the average life expectancy.
The conditions are often built into their DNA and there is not a lot that you can do to prevent them from happening. The best thing would be to take your pup to the vet regularly and be on the lookout.
It is always best to know what to expect with your Doberman’s lifespan and to know all of the facts about his longevity.
How Can I Extend The Life Of My Doberman
Feed Him Healthy Diet
There are a few different things that you can do to increase the life expectancy of your Doberman. The first one is to pay attention to the diet that you are feeding him.
It is so easy to get foods from the grocery store that are inexpensive, but unfortunately, inexpensive does not mean healthy.
Instead, with your Doberman, you will want to pay close attention to the ingredients in the dog food. Dobermans need a lot of protein, because they have a lot of energy to burn.
The first ingredient in the dog food that you look at should be a meat of some kind, such as beef or chicken. It needs to be real meat as well, not an animal byproduct. Animal byproducts are the parts of an animal that humans will never eat, so feeding them to your dog is unhealthy.
You will also want to avoid foods that have a lot of grains and fillers in them. They might add to calories, but have no nutritional content to help keep your dog healthy.
Instead, they can cause obesity and result in your dog lacking essential vitamins and minerals that they need to have a nice, long life.
Exercise & Training
The second thing that can help increase the lifespan of your Doberman is to give him plenty of exercise.
All dogs need exercise, but Dobermans are especially energetic and will need healthy outlets for exercise. Taking your dog on walks regularly and giving him space to run will help that a lot.
When your Doberman is a puppy, you do not need to try to run him ragged all of the time. He will be able to take naps when his body tells him to and through play, he should be able to burn a lot of his energy.
Puppyhood is the time to really get him trained, however. If you train your dog when he’s young, he will not have as much of a chance to develop bad habits that will be harder to break.
Luckily, Dobermans like direction and do really well at following orders. They like the structure and will definitely work hard to keep you happy.
They might look scary on the outside, but with the right training, that should stay with just the outside. Since they are known to be a bit scary with their reputation as guard dogs, it is all the more important that they are trained to be friendly.
Visit The Vet Regularly
Another way that you can increase the lifespan of your Doberman is to take him to the vet regularly. Regular vet visits have many health benefits that will increase the overall lifespan of your dog.
To begin with, your veterinarian will be able to give your dog all of the vaccines that he needs to avoid canine illnesses.
Your vet can also give you medicine to keep ticks and fleas off of your dog as well as heartworm prevention. Ticks and fleas carry disease and heartworm definitely can be fatal to a dog.
Your vet can also monitor your dog’s weight and growth as well as check for any kinds of issues that might just be starting. Catching ailments before they develop into anything more will definitely increase your pup’s life.
Your vet might have dietary or supplement suggestions to keep your dog healthy as well.
Get Your Doberman From A Reputable Breeder
With the internet and social media, there are always puppies posted to be adopted.
It is a risky business, but if you are hoping to have a Doberman that has a long lifespan, you are going to need to make sure that your Doberman puppy is coming from a reputable breeder.
With any purebred, there is a risk of inbreeding. When dogs are too closely genetically linked, the risk of genetic conditions increase dramatically.
These kinds of conditions will definitely shorten your Doberman’s lifespan. So, while you might want a purebred Doberman, you need to make sure that he has a rich and diverse family tree.
If you have already adopted a Doberman puppy and are concerned about the risk of genetic issues, you can always have a DNA test performed to see what the dog’s genetic makeup is. It will make it much easier to determine whether he has diverse breeding.
Brush Your Doberman’s Teeth
One of the trickiest hygiene habits to perform on your dog daily is brushing his teeth.
Just like with humans, dogs have bacteria inside of their mouth that thrives off of dirty teeth. When a dog has not has his teeth brushed recently, the bacteria will multiply, causing cavities and gum disease.
Gum disease is where the bacteria have traveled into the gums. From there, the bacteria can spread into your dog’s heart, giving him heart issues.
It can also turn into an infection which can easily cause death in your dog. Get started brushing your dog’s teeth daily to ward off dental issues.
American vs European Doberman Lifespan
When we think of Dobermans, we are usually thinking of the American Doberman pinscher. There is also the European Doberman, however. The lifespan between the two dogs is about the same, running from 10 to 13 years, but there are a couple of differences to be aware of.
American Dobermans are more prone to genetic diseases than European Dobermans. This means that you will need to be more aware of what you are feeding your dog and how you are taking care of them.
Temperament-wise, American Dobermans are friendlier and make better family pets than the European Dobermans do, but the European Dobermans are better working dogs.
Overweight Dobermans Live Shorter Lives
It is the same with mammals across the board. When we are overweight, our health is more likely to decline, shortening our lives by putting us at risk for weight-related issues. The same is true for Dobermans.
Dobermans in general are sleek and athletic animals. They do not become overweight easily like other breeds might.
But it can still happen when they are overfed and not getting adequate exercise. Extra weight will but extra pressure on the dog’s joints, causing some joint-related issues. It will also be much harder to lose the weight if the pups cannot get around very well.
Being overweight can also cause health issues, such as heart issues. It is best to keep your dog on a healthy diet and exercise regimen to begin with so you never have to battle to get him to lose weight, because it is very hard to get your dog to lose extra weight.
Do Mixed Dobermans Live Longer Than Purebred Ones?
There is a common suggestion that says that mixed Dobermans will live longer than purebred ones will. There is some truth to this, but it is not a lot in the scheme of things.
Since purebred dogs have such a risk of inbreeding and all of the genetic conditions associated with the breed, they do have a slight tendency to live shorter lives than a mixed breed would. But, even this idea isn’t perfect.
When you mix a breed, you get genetic conditions for the mixture, so you might come up with something even more dangerous than the health conditions of a purebred Doberman.
Mixed breeds live slightly longer on average, but the amount that they live is really just a fraction longer.
If you want a purebred Doberman, go for it. Just make sure you adopt from a reputable breeder so that you can get a dog with the longest lifespan possible.
Does Neutering & Spaying Affect Doberman Life Expectancy
When it comes to a Doberman, one of the best ways that you can increase your dog’s lifespan is to have him spayed or neutered. This will only work if you do not plan on breeding your dog in the future, of course.
Dogs that have been spayed or neutered decreases the likelihood of your dog developing some types of cancer. It will also keep your dog from bolting to search for a mate.
When a dog escapes to mate with another dog, the risk of being hit by a car can be extreme, not to mention humans intentionally harming strange dogs.
Doberman Common Health Issues That Can Affect Their Lifespan
All breeds of dogs have a tendency to develop some kinds of health issues and the Doberman is no exception. There are a lot of different health risks, including:
Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD): CHD is a condition where to femur bone does not fit into the hip socket correctly, causing stiffness, pain, and trouble with movement.
Cardiomyopathy: Cardiomyopathy is a genetic condition that will cause the heart to become enlarged. There are no symptoms for it and it is often caught too late.
Gastric Torsion: Also known as bloat, gastric torsion is when gas builds up and expands in the stomach. It can expand so much that there is circulation loss to the heart. It can also cause a twist, stopping gas from leaving the stomach. It is tricky to diagnose and can be fatal.
Osteosarcoma: Osteosarcoma is bone cancer. If this happens to your dog, you will need to work with your vet to develop a treatment plan.
Von Willebrand’s Disease (VWD): VWD is a genetic blood clotting disorder, where the dog can have severe bleeding from the mildest of scratches. There is no cure for this, but it can be treated if caught young in life.
Wobbler Syndrome: Dobermans also have a tendency to develop Wobbler Syndrome, which affects the back and neck, causing a wobbly gait. It is difficult to move around with this condition, resulting in obesity and a shortened lifespan.
Doberman Lifespan FAQs
What Is The Longest Living Doberman
There have not been many Dobermans that have been reported to live beyond the 13 year average. There was mention of a Doberman in Japan living to 26 years old, but that would be highly unusual for the breed and you really should just expect the 10 to 13 years.
Indoor vs Outdoor Doberman
All dogs really do better with their lifespan when they are given the chance to live indoors. When they are outdoors, they are exposed to the elements and they have better chances of eating foods that aren’t good for them or being harmed in other ways.
Do Dobermans Live Longer Than Rottweilers?
While the two breeds are often associated with one another, they are not the same breed. Neither breed has a particularly long lifespan; Dobermans do live about a year longer than a Rottweiler does. The average lifespan for a Rottweiler is 10 to 11 years.
When it comes down to it, Doberman pinschers are wonderful dogs to own. They will stay loyal to you and try to do anything that you ask. But, they do not have incredibly long lifespans.
To increase the lifespan of your Doberman, you will need to make sure that you are going to take good care of him by giving him the food, love, exercise, and veterinary care that he really needs to survive.
With all of that in place, your Doberman will have a long and healthy life and you can expect to get the most years with him possible.