Discover the health issues that can affect Dobermanns and what tests are available to reduce the chances of these issues developing 

Dobermann Health

The Dobermann Club participates in the UK Dobermann Partnership which has been set up with the permission of the UK Kennel Club to further the betterment of the Dobermann in Education, Health, and Welfare.

If you are looking to welcome a Dobermann into your family, it is important to be aware of the health issues that can affect the breed. Thankfully there are various tests that responsible breeders can participate in to minimise the risk of passing on genetic diseases to any puppies. 

Potential Health Issues

Dilated Cardiomyopathy

DCM is a disease of the heart muscle that is characterised by an enlarged heart that does not function properly.
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von willebrand disease

Caused by a deficiency of von Willebrand factor (vWF), a protein that plays a central role in blood clotting. 
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Persisitent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous is a congenital (from birth) developmental problem of the eye.
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Hip Dysplasia

The soft tissues that normally stabilise the hip joint become loose, which leads to Osteoarthritis.
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Dobermann Colours

Dobermann colour leaflet
In recent years there has been a sudden increase in people breeding ‘rare coloured’ dogs in a variety of breeds, in many cases for extortionate prices with little or no health testing or consideration of temperament.
The Dobermann is no exception, with adverts appearing online for so-called ‘pink’ puppies. These are in fact White Dobermanns - with white or cream fur and blue eyes, they are the result of inbreeding and are considered partial Albinos.

Below are just some of the health problems you’re likely to encounter with White Dobermanns.
The Dobermann has four accepted colours - Black and Red Rust (Tan), Brown and Red Rust (Tan), Blue and Rust Red (Tan), and Isabella and Rust Red (Tan). However, most responsible breeders will do everything possible to only breed Black and Browns. This is because there are additional health risks with coloured Dobermanns. The Blue and Isabella (aka Fawn) are dilutes of the black and brown coats, and amongst other things are prone to colour dilution alopecia. This is where they are born with normal condition coats, but as they get older the hair becomes brittle with large bald patches.
All White Dobermanns today descend from the first documented albino Dobermann, Sheba, who was born in 1976.
Albinism is the result of a genetic mutation and therefore, is not a sign of an animal that is going to be in perfect health. They can have skin and sight problems, and poor vision may lead to fear biting. Some countries have even banned the breeding of this gene mutation and breeders are encouraged not to purposely breed for this colour.
Physical problems can include:
• Skin Cancer - All animals with albinism are predisposed to skin cancer, as well as being extremely sensitive to the sun.
• Immune System Disorders - This can cause a wide variety of problems, as the dog is not able to sufficiently fight off germs and disease like others are.
• Retinal Abnormalities - The blue eyes are caused by optic nerve mutation which can also cause other retinal problems. These may lead to vision problems, even total blindness, and they often squint in bright light due to photosensitivity
• Deafness - An issue with all white and albino animals
Unacceptable colours for Dobermann, cream and white
Accepted colours for the Dobermann Breed
Due to the potential for these and a variety of other health and behavioural issues, the breeding of albino or white Dobermanns is discouraged.
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