FCI-Standard N° 143
TRANSLATION: Dobermann Council of K.U.S.A. (Kennel Union of Southern Africa). Mrs Christina Bailey. Mrs Renée SporreWilles. Revised by VDH/Uwe Fischer.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE OFFICIAL VALID STANDARD: 13.11.2015.
UTILIZATION: Companion, protection and working dog.
FCI-CLASSIFICATION: Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossian type Dogs and Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs.
Section 1 Pinscher and Schnauzer
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 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 dog that existed in “Thüringen” as a
black dog with rust red markings. Mr 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 20th 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 bodyline. He must be exceptionally suitable as a
companion, protection and working dog and also as a family dog.
GENERAL 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 dog.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The body of the Dobermann
appears to be almost square, particularly in males. The length of the
body measured from the tip of breast 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.
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 social environment.
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
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 that falls, gently rounded, into the neckline. 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
cheekbone 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 – in black dogs; in 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
Lips: They shall be tight and lie close to the jaw that will ensure a
tight closure of the mouth. The pigment of the gum to be dark; in
brown dogs a corresponding lighter shade.
Jaws/Teeth: Powerful broad upper and lower jaw, scissor bite, 42
teeth correctly placed and normal size.
Eyes: Medium sized, oval and dark in colour. Lighter shades are
permitted for brown dogs. Close lying eyelids. Eyelids shall be
covered with hair.
Ears: The ears, are left natural and of an appropriate size; they
are set on either side at the highest point of the skull and are
ideally lying close to the cheeks.
NECK: 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
Withers: Shall be pronounced in height and length, especially in
males and thereby determine the slope of the topline from the
withers to the croup.
Back: Short and firm, of good width and well muscled.
Loin: Of good width and well muscled. The female can be slightly
longer in loin because of the required space for suckling offspring.
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 forechest.
Underline and belly: From the bottom of the breastbone to the pelvis
the underline is noticeably tucked up.
TAIL: The tail is left natural and is ideally carried high in a
General appearance: The front legs as seen from all sides are almost
straight, vertical to the ground and strongly developed.
Shoulder: 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.
Elbow: Close in, not turned out.
Forearm: Strong and straight. Well muscled. Length in harmony with
the whole body.
Carpus (Wrist): Strong.
Metacarpus (Pastern): Bones strong. Straight seen from the front.
Seen from the side, only slightly sloping.
Forefeet: The feet are short and tight. The toes are arched towards
the top (cat like). Nails short black.
General appearance: Seen from the rear 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 thigh and lower thigh result in good width development, as well
as in the thigh area, in the knee joint area and at the lower thigh. The
strong hind legs are straight and stand parallel.
Thigh: Good length and width, well muscled. Good angulation to the
hip joint. Angulation to the horizontal approximately between 80°–
Stifle (Knee): The knee joint is strong and is formed by the thigh and
lower thigh as well as the kneecap.
Lower thigh: Medium length and in harmony with the total length of
Hock joint: Medium strength and parallel. The lower thigh is joined
to the metatarsal at the hock joint.
Metatarsus (Rear pastern): It is short and stands vertical to the
Hind feet: Like the forefeet, the toes of the hind feet are short, arched
and closed. Nails short, 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 forelegs reach out as far
as possible. The hindquarter gives far-reaching and necessary elastic
drive. The foreleg of one side and the hind leg of the other side move
forward at the same time. There should be good stability of the back,
the ligaments and the joints.
SKIN: The skin fits closely all over and have good pigmentation.
Hair: The hair is short, hard and dense. It lies tight and smooth and is
equally distributed over the whole surface. Undercoat is not allowed.
Colour: The Dobermann is bred in two colour varieties: black or
brown with rust red, clearly defined and clear markings (tan
markings). Tan markings are 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 inner side of the hind
thigh; on the forearms and under the tail.
SIZE AND WEIGHT:
Height at the withers: Males: 68 – 72 cm.
Females: 63 – 68 cm.
Medium size desirable.
Weight: Males: about 40 – 45 kg.
Females: about 32 – 35 kg.
FAULTS: 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 and its effect
upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its
• Lack of sexual dimorphism; 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; Rams nose, bad slope of the top line of the skull; weak
lower 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.
• Back not straight; sway back; roach back; insufficient depth
or width of chest; tail set too low; sloping croup; too little or too
much tuck up.
• Too little angulation in forequarters; hindquarters with too little
or too much angulation; loose elbow; feet too close together or
too wide apart; cow-hocks, spread hocks; open or soft paws,
crooked toes; pale nails.
• Tan-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
• Deviation of size up to 2 cm from the standard should result in a
lowering of the quality grading.
• Gait that is not harmonious, in particular pacing.
• Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
• Any dog clearly showing physical of behavioural abnormalities
shall be disqualified.
• Yellow eyes (bird of prey eye); different coloured eyes.
• Overshot; level bite; undershot; missing teeth according to the
• White spots. Visible undercoat.
• Dogs which deviate more than 2 cm over or under the standard.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully
descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical
conformation should be used for breeding.