photo by: Ilicivan
FCI-Standard No 143 /14. 02.
1994 / GB
TRANSLATION : Dobermann Council of K.U.S.A. (Kennel
Union of Southern Africa).
ORIGIN : Germany.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD
UTILIZATION : Companion, protection and working
CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. : Group
2 Pinscher and Schnauzer type-Molossian type and
Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs. Section 1 Pinscher
and Schnauzer type. With working trial.
BRIEF 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 abbatoir
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 a family dog.
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 dog.
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.
BEHAVIOUR / 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 requied, and also adaptability and attention
to fit the social environment.
Strong and in proportion to the body. Seen from
the top the head is shaped in the form of a blunt
wedge. Viewed form 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.
FACIAL REGION :
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
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 shade.
Jaws/Teeth : Powerful broad upper and under jaw,
scissor bite, 42 teeth correctly placed and normal
Eyes : Middle sized, oval and dark in colour. 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 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 topline 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 suckling.
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
Underline and Belly : From the bottom of the breastbone
to the pelvis the underline is noticeably tucked
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.
General : 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 105°
Elbow : Close in, not turned out.
Lower arm : Strong and straight. Well muscled. Length
in harmony with the whole body.
Carpus (Carpal joint) : Strong.
Metacarpus (Pastern) : Bones strong. Straight seen
from the front. Seen from the side, only slightly
sloping, maximum 10°.
Forefeet : The feet are short and tight. The toes
are arched towards the top (cat like). Nails short
General : 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 angulation to the hip joint. Angulation to
the horizontal approximately between 80° to
Knee : The knee joint is strong and is formed by
the upper and lower thigh as well as the knee cap.
The knee angulation is approximately 130°.
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 about 140°).
Metatarsus (Rear pastern) : It is short and stands
vertical to the ground.
Hind feet : Like the front feet, the toes of the
back feet are short, arched and closed. Nails are
short and black.
GAIT / MOVEMENT
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 joints.
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 colour 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
forechest, on the metacarpus, metatarsus and feet,
on the inside of the back thigh, on the arms and
below the tail.
SIZE AND WEIGHT
Height at 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 underjaw; round
or slit eyes; light eye; cheeks too heavy; loose
flews; eyes too open or too deepset; 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 : Black 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 forechest;
tail set too high or too low; too little or too
much tuck up.
Limbs : Too little or too much
angulation 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 of irritation.
Size : Deviation of size up
to two centimetres from the standard should result
in a lowering of the quality grading.
Gait : Wobbly; restricted or
stiff gait; pacing.
Character : Fearful, nervous and aggressive animals.
General : Pronounced reversal
of sexual impressions.
Eyes : Yellow eyes (bird of
prey eye); wall eye.
Dentition : Overshot; level
bite; undershot; missing teeth.
Coat : White spots; pronounced
long and wavy hair; pronounced thin coat or large
Size : Dogs which deviate more
than two centimetres over or under the standard.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural
abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B. : Male animals should
have two apparently normal testicles fully descended
into the scrotum.