American Kennel Club (AKC)
Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) Breed Standard
Dobermann Standard FCI n.143 1994-02-19FCI Classification: Group 2 - Pinchers , Schnauzers,
Molossian type, Swiss Mountain and Cattle dogs General
Appearance. The Dobermann is a medium sized, powerful and muscularly built dog. Thanks to the elegant lines of its body and its proud expression of determination, this dog conforms to the ideal figure of a dog.
Proportions. The body of a Dobermann can fit in an imaginary square particularly in the male case. The length of the body, measured from the shoulder to the buttock, should not be more than 5% longer than the height in males and not more than 10% longer in females. (The height is measured from the withers to the ground.)
Temper and Behavior. The character of the Dobermann is friendly and peaceful. It is devoted to the family and is caring toward children. In dobermann we look for a medium temperament, a medium aggressiveness and a fair tolerance before reaction. The Dobermann is easily trainable and enjoys the work and has good working ability thanks to its decisiveness, braveness and strong temperament. Its self-confidence and its intrepidness are also required considering that this breed is very alert toward its surroundings and reactive toward all kind of events.
Head/Cranial Region The skull is strong and in proportion with the rest of the body. Viewed from the top the head resembles a blunt wedge. Viewed from the front the occiput's transversal line is leveled and does not curve toward the ears. The muzzle line extends almost straight to the top line of the skull and then gently round toward the nape. The superciliary ridge is well developed without protruding. The skull 's median sulcus is still visible. The occipital apophysis should not be too prominent. From a top and a frontal view the lateral side of the skull should not be bulging.The slight bulge formed between the zygomatich arch and the masseter region ( cheek bone) should be in harmony with the total length of the head. The head's muscles must be strongly developed.
Frontal nasal descent (Stop) The frontal nasal descent (stop) is slightly developed but clearly visible.
Nostril region (Planum) The planum is large and well developed but not protruding and the nostrils are well opened. The color is black, on black dogs, and allowed in a lighter shade for brown dogs so that it is suited with their coat.
Muzzle The muzzle is strongly developed and proportionated with the head. The muzzle shall be high and wide also in the upper and lower incisor area. The labial opening should reach the molars.
Lips The lips are firm and tight to the jaw and they should ensure a perfect closure of the mouth. The gum pigment is dark in black dogs and of a lighter shade in browns.
Jaws, Dentition, Teeth Upper and lower jaws are powerful and wide with a scissor bite. Full dentition required with 42 teeth correctly placed and normally developed.
Eyes Medium size, oval, with a dark color iris. In browns dogs the color is allowed of a lighter shade. The eyelid is well tied to the eye bulb. The palpebral fissure is bordered with eyelashes.
Ears The ear is highly set to the skull and carried erect. The crop is done in proportion with the head length. In those countries, where cropping is forbidden, the intact ear is equally accepted and has the same value in a show contest. An intact ear shall be of a medium size with the front edge lying flat to the cheek.
Neck The neck is of a good length proportioned with the head and the rest of the body. It is muscular, the skin is relatively tight and firm and the superior outline gently curved. The posture is erect as a sign of noble distinction.
Body/Withers Well pronounced especially in males. The height and length are determinant for the dorsal top line that is lightly ascending starting from the croup.
Back (dorsal region) The back is firm, strong and of proportionate length covered with well developed muscles.
Loins Of good length and well covered with muscles. In the females the loins can be a little longer to allow room for the breast.
Croup A hardly perceptible inclination, starting from the sacrum to the tail root. The croup appears well rounded with a good width and covered with strong muscles. From a top line view it should not be either perfectly straight or noticeably inclined.
Chest and Thorax The height and the depth of the thorax must be well proportionated to the withers' height and to the length of the body. The ribs are lightly curved so that the thorax height is almost equal to half of the withers' height. The chest is of a good width with an especially developed fore chest.
Underline Starting from the sternum's posterior edge and arriving to the pelvis the ventral line of the abdomen is well tacked in.
Tail The tail is highly set and docked short so that 2 caudal vertebrae are still visible. In those countries wheredocking is illegal the tail may remain intact.
Limbs: Forelimb From every side of view the front legs appear strongly developed, almost straight and vertical to the ground.
Shoulder The shoulder lies tight to the thorax. The scapula is covered with stung muscles from both sides of its spine and reach over the spinus process of the thoracic vertebras. The shoulder blade iswell set back and has an approximately 50 degree angle to the horizontal line.
Upper Arm The upper arm is of a good length and well muscled. The angle between the scapula and the humerus is of 105/110 degrees.
Elbow The elbows are well tied to the thorax and not turning out.
Lower Arm The lower arm is strong, straight and covered with muscles. Its length is in proportion with the rest of the body.
Carpal Region The carpal joint is strong and firm.
Metacarpal Region With a solid bone structure that follow the lower arm's vertical line. From the frontal view the metacarpus appear straight, from a side view it shows a flexion of a 10 degree maximum.
Front Foot The front feet are short. The toes are tied together and arched toward the top (cat paw). The nails are short and black.
Hindlimb As a whole, seen from behind, the Dobermann looks wide and rounded thanks to the strong musculature of the pelvis and the croup. The muscles that leave from the pelvis running down the thigh and those that reach the knee and the lower thigh, give a substantial width to the whole hindlimb that appear to be very powerful. The hindlimbs are strong parallel and perpendicular to the ground.
Thigh The thighs are of a good length, wide and well covered with muscles. The coxale (pelvis bone) must have a good inclination. The thigh rest at approximately 80 degrees from the horizontal line.
Knee The femur, the tibia and the patella form the robust articulation of the knee, which has angulations of approximately 130 degrees.
Lower Thigh The lower thigh is of a medium length in proportion with the whole hindlimb length.
Hocks They are moderately robust and parallel. The tibia and the metatarsal form an angle of approximately 140 degrees.
Metatarsal The metatarsal is short and perpendicular to the ground
Hind foot Like the front foot, the hind feet are short with the toes tighted together and arched to the top. Nails short and black.
Gait The gait is very important for the type of work that the dog is destined to do as well as for the morphological evaluation. The movement is elastic, elegant, agile, free and covers ground easily. The front limbs bounce forward while the hindlimbs give the necessary push to make a vigorous step. While trotting, one of the front limbs goes forward simultaneously with one of the hindlimbs from the opposite side. During the movement, the back the ligament and the joints, are firm.
Skin The skin is well pigmented and adhered everywhere.
Coat/Hair Texture The hair is short, hard, thick, smooth, shiny, tight and uniformly distributed over the whole body. Undercoat is not allowed.
Hair Color The colors are black or brown with rust red markings. The markings are clean and well delineated. The markings are on the muzzle, as spots on the cheeks and above the eyebrows, on the throat, as 2 spots on the forechest, all around the metacarpals and the metatarsals, the feet, on the inside of the thighs and over the perineal region and the ischiatic tuber region.
Size and WeightSize
Males 68-72 cm (26.77- 28.35 inches)
Females 63-68 cm (24.80- 26.77 inches)
For both sex a medium size is desirable
Males 40-45 Kg (85-95 lbs.)
Female 32-34 Kg (65-75 lbs.)
Faults Any variation of the standard is considered a fault and during the judging would be penalized according to it seriousness.
General Appearance Inability to distinguish secondary sexual dimorphism, not enough substance, too light, too heavy, high on the limbs or week bone.
Head Too wide, too narrow, too long, too much or too little stop. Bad slope of the skull's top line, Roman nose. Weak under jaw. Round eye or slant eye, light eye, bulging eye, deeply set eye. Cheek too prominent. Lips not tight enough or overlapping too much. Labial opening not meeting tightly. Ears set too low or too high.
Neck A little short or too short. Too much skin on the neck, dew-lap, deer neck, too long and not in proportion with the rest of the body.
Body Back not solid and firm enough, sway back, arched back or sloping croup. Insufficent or too much spring of the ribs,insufficient or not well developed forechest, back too long overall, ventral underline too loose or too retracted. Tail set too low or too high (flag tail).
Limbs Too poor or too much angulation of the front and hind limbs. Elbows loose. Any of the bone or joint's position or length that is different from the standard, feet too close together or too wide apart, cow hocks, spread hocks, close hocks, open or flat foot, toes not well developed, pale nails.
Coat Markings too light or not well delineated, smudged markings, mask too dark, charcoal spots on the limbs, markings too big or too small on the forechest, long, soft, curly or dull hair. Bold patches or with lighter hair color. Large tufts of hair especially on the body. Visible undercoat.
Behavior and Temperament Absence of psychological equilibrium, too much or too weak temperament, too aggressive, inappropriate biting, vicious dog. Too low or too high tolerance before reaction.
Size Deviation of size up to 2 cm from the standard should result in a lower grading.
Gait Wobbling, tripping, stiff movement, or pacing
Disqualifying FaultsGeneral Severe inversion of the sexual dimorphism.
Eye Yellow eye (raptor eye), wall eye.
Dentition Prognathism (underbite), enognathism (overbite), level bite, missing teeth.
Coat White spots, hair too long or too curly, extremely light coat or with large bold patches.
Temperament Scared, shy or timid dog, distrustful or vicious dog, nervous or too aggressive.
Size Sizes that deviate of more than 2 cm over or under the standard chart.
Testicles Males should have 2 normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.