FCI Standard No.
143 / 14.02.1994 / GB
Country of Origin:
Use: Companion, protection,
and working dog
Group 2 (Pinscher and Schnauzer
Molossian type and Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs)
Section 1 (Pinscher and Schnauzer type) With working
HISTORICAL SUMMARY: The Dobermann is the only German breed
which bears the name of its original breeder, Friedrich Louis
Dobermann (02.01.1834 - 09.06.1894).
He was believed to be a tax collector, offal abattoir manager
(knacker) and a part time dog catcher, legally able to catch
all stray dogs. He bred with animals from this reservoir that
were particularly sharp. The so called "butcher's dogs"
which were already considered a relatively pure breed at that
time, played a most important role in the origination of the
Dobermann breed. These dogs were an early type of Rottweiler,
mixed with a type of shepherd which existed in "Thüringen"
as a black dog with rust red markings. Herr Dobermann bred
with this mixture of dogs in the Eighteen Seventies. Thus
he obtained "his breed" : not only alert, but highly
protective working and housedogs. They were often used as
guard and police dogs. Their extensive use in police work
led to the nickname "Gendarme dog". They were used
in hunting to control large vermin. In these circumstances
it was a matter of course that the Dobermann was recognized
officially as a Police Dog by the beginning of the century.
The Dobermann breed requires a medium sized, powerful, muscular
dog. Despite his substance he shall be elegant and noble,
which will be evident in his body line. He must be exceptionally
suitable as a companion, protection and working dog and also
as family dog.
APPEARANCE: The Dobermann is of medium size, strong and
muscularly built. Through the elegant lines of its body, its
proud stature, and its expression of determination, it conforms
to the ideal picture of a dog.
PROPORTIONS: The body of the Dobermann appears to be almost
square, particularly in males. The length of the body measured
from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock
shall not be more than 5% longer than the height from the
withers to the ground in males, and 10% in females.
AND TEMPERAMENT: The disposition of the Dobermann is friendly
and calm; very devoted to the family it loves children. Medium
temperament and medium sharpness (alertness) is desired. A
medium threshold of irritation is required with a good contact
to the owner. Easy to train, The Dobermann enjoys working,
and shall have good working ability, courage and hardness.
The particular values of self confidence and intrepidness
are required, and also adaptability and attention to fit the
CRANIAL REGION: Strong and in proportion to the body.
Seen from the top the head is shaped in the form of a blunt
wedge. Viewed from the front the crown line shall be almost
level and not dropping off to the ears. The muzzle line extends
almost straight to the top line of the skull which falls,
gently rounded, into the neck line. The superciliary ridge
is well developed without protruding. The forehead furrow
is still visible. The Occiput shall not be conspicuous. Seen
from the front and the top the sides of the head must not
bulge. The slight bulge between the rear of the upper jawbone
and the cheek bone shall be in harmony with the total length
of the head. The head muscles shall be well developed.
Stop: Shall be slight but visibly developed.
Nose: Nostrils well developed, more broad than round,
with large openings without overall protrusion. Black - on
black dogs; on brown dogs, corresponding lighter shades.
Muzzle: The muzzle must be in the right proportion
with the upper head and must be strongly developed. The muzzle
shall have depth. The mouth opening shall be wide, reaching
to the molars. A good muzzle width must also be present on
the upper and lower incisor area.
Flews: They shall be tight and lie close to the jaw
which will ensure a tight closure of the mouth. The pigment
of the gum to be dark; on brown dogs a corresponding lighter
Jaw/Dentition/Teeth: Powerful broad upper and under
jaw, scissor bite, 42 teeth correctly placed and normal size.
Eyes: Middle size oval and dark in color. Lighter shades
are permitted for brown dogs. Close lying eyelids. Eyelids
shall be covered with hair. Baldness around the rim of the
eye is highly undesirable.
Ears: The ear, which is set high, is carried erect
and cropped to a length in proportion to the head. In a country
where cropping is not permitted the uncropped ear is equally
recognized. (Medium size preferred and with the front edge
lying close to the cheeks).
The neck must have a good length and be in proportion to the
body and the head. It is dry and muscular. Its outline rises
gradually and is softly curved. Its carriage is upright and
shows much nobility.
Withers: Shall be pronounced in height and length,
especially in males and thereby determine the slope of the
top line rising from the croup to the withers.
Back: Short and tight, of good width and well muscled.
Loin: Of good width and well muscled. The bitch can
be slightly longer in loin because she requires space for
Croup: It shall fall slightly, hardly perceptible from
sacrum to the root of the tail, and appears well rounded,
being neither straight nor noticeably sloping, of good width
and well muscled.
Chest: Length and depth of chest must be in the right
proportion to the body length. The depth with slightly arched
ribs should be approximately 50% the height of the dog at
the withers. The chest has got a good width with especially
well developed fore chest.
Underline: From the bottom of the breastbone to the
pelvis the underline is noticeably tucked up.
Tail: It is high set and docked short whereby approximately
two tail vertebrae remain visible. In countries where docking
is legally not permitted the tail may remain natural.
FOREQUARTERS: The front legs as seen from all sides
are almost straight, vertical to the ground and strongly developed.
Shoulders:The shoulder-blade lies close against the
chest, and both sides of the shoulder-blade edge are well
muscled and reach over the top of the Thoracic Vertebra, slanting
as much as possible and well set back. The angle to the horizontal
is approximately 50%.
Upper Arm: Good length, well muscled, the angle to
the shoulder-blade is approximately 105o to 110o.
Elbow: Close in, not turned out.
Lower Arm: Strong and straight. Well muscled. Length
in harmony with the whole body.
Metacarpus: Bones strong. Straight seen from the front.
Seen from the side, only slightly sloping, maximum 10o.
Front Foot: The feet are short and tight. The toes
are arched towards the top (cat like). Nails short and black.
HINDQUARTERS: Seen from the back the Dobermann looks,
because of his well developed pelvic muscles in hips and croup,
wide and rounded off. The muscles running from the pelvic
towards the upper and lower thigh result in good width development,
as well as in the upper thigh area, in the knee joint area
and at the lower thigh. The strong hind legs are straight
and stand parallel.
Upper Thigh: Good length and width, well muscled. Good
angulations to the hip joint. Angulations to the horizontal
approximately between 80o to 85o.
Knee: The knee joint is strong and is formed by the
upper and lower thigh as well as the knee cap. The knee angulations
are approximately 130o.
Lower Thigh: Medium length and in harmony with the
total length of the hindquarter.
Hock joint: Medium strength and parallel. The lower thigh
bone is joined to the Metatarsal at the hock joint (Angle
Metatarsus: It is short and stands vertical to the
Hind Foot: Like the front feet, the toes of the back
feet are short, arched and closed. Nails are short and black.
The gait is of special importance to both the working ability
as well as the exterior appearance. The gait is elastic, elegant,
agile, free and ground covering. The front legs reach out
as far as possible. The hind quarter gives far reaching and
necessary elastic drive. The front leg of one side and back
leg of the other side move forward at the same time. There
should be good stability of the back, the ligaments and the
The skin fits closely all over and is of good pigment.
HAIR: The hair is short, hard and thick. It lies tight
and smooth and is equally distributed over the whole surface.
Undercoat is not allowed.
COLOUR: The color is black or brown, with rust red
clearly defined and clean markings. Markings on the muzzle,
as a spot on the cheeks and the top of the eyebrow, on the
throat, two spots on the fore chest, on the metacarpus, metatarsus
and feet, on the inside of the back thigh, on the arms and
below the tail.
SIZE: Height at the highest point of withers.
Males: 68 - 72 cm
Bitches: 63 - 68 cm
Medium size desirable.
WEIGHT: Males about 40 - 45 kg
Bitches about 32 - 35 kg
any departure from the foregoing points should be considered
a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be
regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
General Appearance: Reversal of sexual impression;
little substance; too light; too heavy; too leggy; weak bones.
Head: Too heavy; too narrow; too short; too long; too
much or too little stop; Roman nose; bad slope of the top
line of the skull; weak under jaw; round or slit eyes; light
eye; cheeks too heavy; loose flews; eyes too open or too deep-set;
ear set too high or too low; open mouth angle.
Neck: Slightly short; too short; loose skin around
the throat; dewlap; too long (not in harmony); ewe neck.
Body: Back not tight; sloping croup; sway back; roach
back; insufficient or too much spring of rib; insufficient
depth or width of chest; back too long overall; too little
fore chest; tail set too high or too low; too little or too
much tuck up.
Limbs: Too little or too much angulations front or
hindquarters; loose elbow; deviations from the standard position
and length of bones and joints; feet too close together or
too wide apart; cow-hocks, spread hocks, close hocks; open
or soft paws, crooked toes; pale nails.
Coat: Markings too light or not sharply defined; smudged
markings; mask too dark; big black spot on the legs; chest
markings hardly visible or too large; hair long, soft, curly
or dull. Thin coat; bald patches; large tufts of hair particularly
on the body; visible undercoat.
Character: Inadequate self confidence; temperament
too high; sharpness too high; too high or too low a threshold
Size: Deviation of size up to two centimeters from
the standard should result in a lowering of the quality grading.
Gait: Wobbly; restricted or stiff gait; pacing.
General: pronounced reversal of sexual impressions.
Eyes: Yellow eyes (bird of prey eye); wall eye.
Dentition: Overshot; level bite; undershot; missing
Coat: White spots; pronounced long and wavy hair; pronounced
thin coat or large bald patches.
Character: Fearful, nervous and aggressive animals.
Size: Dogs which deviate more than two centimeters
over or under the standard.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully
descended into the scrotum.