The Blue Doberman: How to care for the Tax Collector’s Dog

Blue Dobermans — also known as Doberman Pinschers, Dobies, the list goes on —are brilliant working dogs with various positive traits.

Owning a Doberman means getting the best of both worlds: friendly and loving meets strong and fiercely protective.

A healthy Blue Doberman
Meet Benson, a cute Blue Doberman laying down – Image source

Dobermans are lovable pets, and with their sleek silver coats, they are dignified and attractive-looking dogs to boot. This article will cover everything you need to know about Blue Dobermans. 

Where did the Blue Doberman originate?

Back in the 1800s in Germany, Herr Karl Louis Dobermann was in dire need of a competent guard dog.

Dobermann was a tax collector and needed protection from some of the enemies he made in his line of work. 

Luckily, Dobermann also caught stray dogs for a living. With access to a variety of breeds, Dobermann had the perfect opportunity to develop his own.

Thus the Dobermann Pinscher was born — Pinscher meaning ‘Terrier’ in German. 

The precise breeding lineage isn’t clear but combines the Weimaraner, Rottweiler, German Pinscher, Manchester Terrier, and English Greyhound. 

The Doberman breed got its name from its creator after he died in 1894, though with a different spelling. Today, people around the world use the ‘Doberman’ and ‘Dobermann’ spelling. 

You can watch a quick breakdown of some facts about the Doberman Pinscher in the video below: 

Dobermans also have many names, such as the Doberman Pinscher, the Doby (or Dobie), and The Tax Collector’s Dog. 

In 1908, the Doberman Pinscher received official recognition from the American Kennel Club (AKC).

This recognition extends to all color variations of the Doberman, including the Blue Doberman Pinscher dog. 

The Blue Doberman is not blue, per se, but more of a gray-black color. AKC recognizes fawn, black and tan, white (albino), and red Doberman colors. 

A sturdy Blue Doberman laying on the grass
Meet Thor, a strong Blue Doberman – Image source

This coloring is a result of Doberman’s genetics, which inhibits the production of pigment and dilutes the melanin in the body.

Blue Dobermans possess this color dilution gene, so they have less pigmentation and are lighter in color than Black Dobermans.

A common affliction amongst Blue Dobermans is Blue Doberman Syndrome, otherwise known as Color Mutant Alopecia.

This also occurs in other breeds with diluted coats due to an abnormal distribution of melatonin in the body. 

The tan areas of the Blue Doberman’s coat will remain unaffected, but balding will occur where the dilution happens on the fur. 

While the Blue Doberman variation comprises only 8-9% of the breed, it is not as rare as the White or Fawn Dobermans (also called Isabella Dobermans). White Dobermans are the least common color of the breed. 

What does a Blue Doberman Pinscher look like?

A silly looking Blue Dobie sitting on the dirt
Meet Griffy, a Blue Dobie looking adorable with tongue out – Image source

The Blue Doberman Pinscher has a noble appearance with a compact and muscular body. These dogs have sleek toplines and stand poised and upright, with an elegant stance. They also have long, wedge-shaped heads. 

Doberman puppies are born with long, floppy ears, but some Dobies get their ears cropped at five months old. Ear cropping is the owner’s choice; it arguably prevents ear infections and staves off deafness as dogs get older. 

You can find Blue Dobermans with long, wide ears or pointy ones that stand erect and poised. 

The Blue Doberman has a proud, lengthy neck with a broad base that meets the body. Its forequarter and hindquarter legs are muscular, straight, and healthy. The Doby’s nose is dark gray. 

The eyes on the Blue Doberman Dog are almond-shaped with an alert, energetic expression. They are deep-set and brown. Blue Dobermans have brown eyes, whereas White Dobermans’ eyes can be blue. 

Blue Doberman Pinschers sometimes have docked tails.

Size: How big does a Blue Doberman dog get?

Blue Doberman Pinschers are large in size. The males stand 26-28 inches (66-71 cm) tall and weigh 75-100 pounds (34-45 kgs). Female Dobermans are 24-26 inches tall (60-66 cm) and weigh 60-90 pounds (27-41 kgs). 

Most of the Doberman’s growth is complete at about two years of age. Due to their large size, a Doberman Pinscher’s ideal home is a house with a yard where the dog can play. 

Even though Dobies love playing around in the yard, you should raise them indoors around people. Being around people is critical as Dobermans crave attention — plus, they need early socialization.

That said, Dobermans can adjust to apartment living conditions if they get plenty of exercises, and you take them outdoors regularly.

Raising any dog in a kennel is ill-advised, but with a large dog such as the Doberman, it would be impractical — not to mention unkind. 

What kind of coat does a Blue Doberman have? 

Blue Dobermans are one color in the Doberman Pinscher breed, and the coat color isn’t exactly blue.

Blue Dobermans have short, thick coats that are smooth to the touch; gray-black in color with a silvery sheen that appears blue.

Rust-colored markings on the coat are a breed standard in Dobermans, and Blue Dobermans are no exception.

These markings appear under the eyes, on the muzzle, throat, and chest. You will also find rust markings on some areas of the legs and feet and below the tail. 

Temperament: Are Blue Dobermans good family dogs?

An adventurous Blue Doberman sitting on a trail
This is Griffy, the hike-loving Blue Doberman – Image source

Dobermans are fun-loving, playful creatures, so you’ll be able to coax them into the pool on a hot day. They’ll be fearful of water at first, but once they build confidence, Dobermans love splashing around in the pool. 

Since they have very high activity levels, the water seems to attract Dobermans as a method of cooling down.

If you’ve taken your Dobie out for a run (they love jogging and playing), that would be an excellent time to teach him the art of doggy paddle. 

These dogs love running around and would make excellent hiking partners. 

Blue Dobermans are alert and attentive, making them excellent guard dogs and watchdogs.

These obedient dogs will follow your cues to a tee and protect you against any danger. They are loyal, fearless, and will keep a good eye out for possible threats. 

Due to the protective nature of Blue Dobermans, they are not friendly towards strangers.

That said, you can socialize them amongst family and friends, and they will adjust their behavior as they get used to new people. 

Once a Doberman Pinscher is loyal to you, you’ll have a friend for life. Dobies are friendly and affectionate with their owners and friends and make for fabulous (albeit large) pets. 

Blue Doberman dogs have high intelligence levels; they are obedient dogs who follow orders without protest. Dobies love to please their owners, making them great pets.

That said, you will need to be consistent with your efforts in disciplining a Doberman. 

Are they naturally obedient? Yes. Are they smart enough to follow orders? Yes. Will they magically behave well without being trained? No. When it comes to training Doberman puppies, you need to be assertive. 

Because they’re such smart dogs, they’ll quickly sense if you’re not stern and won’t take your commands to heart. You’ll need to be consistent, determined, and firm at every juncture when training your Doberman. 

The key is in the commands, verbal and visual, which you must be consistent about. The clearer you are about reward versus punishment, the better you’ll get at eliciting the desired behavior from your Doberman pup.

You can start potty training once your Doberman is eight weeks old. Again, the principle of disciplining will come from basic commands like “go potty.”

Expect some mistakes and accidents as your puppy adapts, but remember that any dog is trainable in the right hands. 

A patient Blue Doberman waiting for his treat
Meet Lux, a Blue Doberman on training – Image source

It’s good to be firm, but don’t be too harsh either. Positive reinforcement is a tried and tested disciplinary method that will go a long way in training a happy dog.

Verbal cues like “Good boy” are great, but you’ll be better off with doggie treats as a reward for good behavior.

Another plus that comes with owning a Doberman is their friendliness towards children. Much like they are with people, Dobies are good-natured and friendly if they’ve grown up with you.

Socializing them early on is critical, though, so keep that in mind when you’re training your Dobie pup. 

If they’re socialized early, Doberman Pinschers make great family pets and get along well with young kids. 

Dobermans can be fierce when they need to be; trust me, you wouldn’t want to get on one’s bad side.

Dobermans have a high proclivity for protecting their human companions, so anyone who poses a threat will find a vicious enemy in the Doberman dog breed. 

As long as you handle a Doberman with respect and due caution, especially if you’ve never met the dog before, you won’t be in danger. However, these dogs will react aggressively if threatened. 

Like with people, Dobermans are friendly if they get to know other pets early on. Your Dobie will be amicable with your other pets, even cats if socialized early and with proper training.

These methods will offset the Dobermans’ high prey drive. 

Each dog is different, with their individual personalities and ticks. In general, however, you shouldn’t leave a Blue Doberman Pinscher dog alone for long periods.

Eight hours alone is the upper limit for these dogs, as Dobermans are prone to suffering from separation anxiety. Doberman puppies should never be left alone for more than four hours at a time. 

Dobermans aren’t yappy, so if you hear them howling or barking a lot — take it as a sign.

A symptom of their intelligence is a high need for interaction, and barking indicates your dog craving attention from you. 

How to take care of your Blue Doberman

A comfortable Blue Dobie wearing a purple sweater and lounging on a blanket
Meet Bluey, a Blue Dobie lounging in a comfortable cushion – Image source

The price of buying and raising a Blue Doberman will depend entirely on your circumstances and the health of your specific dog.

While they are easy to train and low maintenance in some regards, Blue Doberman puppies pose challenges in others – like the high cost of care.

Doberman Pinschers have a low tolerance to cold weather, so they cannot live comfortably anywhere. Anything below 55 degrees Fahrenheit and your Dobie will shiver in the outdoors. 

As long as you know what to expect, you won’t be disappointed with this sweet and reliable dog breed. This is why we’ve outlined exactly how to maintain a Blue Doberman below. 

Exercising your Blue Doberman

If Dobermans were humans, they’d be an Olympic team. These are athletic and agile dogs with high energy levels — if you don’t keep them entertained, they become destructive and disorderly. 

You should take your Blue Doberman out to exercise every day; a long walk or hike will be great for his mental well-being and physical health. Anywhere between half an hour and ninety minutes will suffice. 

Remember that the exercise requirements apply mainly to Dobermans raised in apartments. Try to take them to a fenced-in park where they can get their kicks, but somewhere you can still keep an eye on them. 

Grooming: Do Blue Doberman dogs shed?

A clean Blue Doberman drying after a bath
Meet Zeke, a fresh and clean Blue Doberman – Image source

You need to keep up with some basic routine grooming when adopting a Blue Doberman, especially if your pet has any skin conditions.

You must brush the dog’s fur each day with a grooming mitt to keep his coat healthy and shiny, but bathing is rarely needed.

You should clean their ears out at least once a week. Do this with a damp cloth or some damp gauze. Gently wipe inside the ears, then dry them off with another cloth. 

You will have to go to a vet or a parlor for nail trimming at least once a month. Luckily, Dobermans don’t need bathing often, as the brushing will keep them clean enough. 

It’s the same with Doberman puppies, too. They don’t often smell bad, and you will barely need to bathe them as long as you keep up with the daily brushing.

Don’t forget to brush your dog’s teeth at least every two to three weeks. 

Thanks to their moderate shedding habits, Dobermans are easy to groom, so you won’t have to worry about fur all over your furniture. However, their hair is not hypoallergenic. 

Feeding a Blue Doberman

Remember that these are highly active dogs, so they’ll need plenty of water throughout the day.

Dobermans also require a high-quality diet, so you should make sure your vet or breeder briefs you thoroughly on the matter.

The average Doberman Pinscher (who receives the recommended daily exercise) requires 2-5 cups of kibble per day, broken up into two meals.

This will depend on the sex of your Dobie pup, so make sure you take your Dobie in for an assessment to get the most accurate and appropriate advice. 

Doberman puppies need 1-2 cups of dog food three times a day. You can slowly increase the size in cups as your Doberman reaches full size. 

A good rule of thumb to follow is sticking to a dog food brand that is species-specific and size-specific. After that, it’s a matter of following the recommended daily serving size. 

Take note of your Doberman’s size: if you can’t feel his ribs, you’re overfeeding him. When it comes to mealtimes, as long as your dog eats when prompted to, you’re doing a good job.

The best food for Dobermans is kibble, as long as it’s high-quality, digestible food. It should have a high-calorie content to help your Dobie maintain his active lifestyle. 

Dobermans need food that digests quickly in the body, so high fiber content is the best. Check for a healthy balance of meat and at least 25% protein content.

Dobermans should also steer clear of unnecessary additives, so you’ll want to avoid soy, wheat, and corn, especially for Dobie puppies. 

Do Blue Dobermans have more health problems?

A Blue Dobie puppy with a beautiful blue eyes laying on a wooden floor
Meet Gracie, a sweet blue-eyed Blue Dobie puppy – Image source

While Blue Dobermans are prone to the same health issues as the other colors in the breed, they also have skin issues like Color Dilution Alopecia (CDA). This condition is also known as Blue Doberman Syndrome. 

This condition causes abnormalities in the hair follicles, which leads to hair loss and canine acne in the affected areas. Your vet will recognize this problem immediately, and it is treatable, if incurable. 

This condition is also known as Blue Balding Syndrome and Color Mutant Alopecia.

Other health issues that afflict Blue Dobermans include the following: 

  • Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS)
  • Von Willebrand disease 
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Wobbler Syndrome

Blue Dobermans have a lifespan of 10-13 years on average. As long as you follow our detailed nutrition and exercise guidelines and consult a vet regularly, your Dobie will live a long and happy life. 

If not old age, Blue Dobermans usually die from Cardiomyopathy. 

Once you adopt a Blue Doberman, be extra sure to test for skin problems and skin infections, as you’ll want to prepare for managing Alopecia if your pet does have it.

Your vet can also test your Blue Doberman for thyroid problems.

How much are Blue Dobermans worth?

A handsome Blue Doberman puppy sitting outside the window
Meet Kaizer, a precious Blue Doberman puppy sitting outside the window – Image source

As with many purebred dogs, Dobermans are not cheap. Red, white, or blue, these dogs will set you back between $1500 and $2500, depending on the breeder.

This excludes travel costs, which can hike to thousands of dollars if your breeder lives overseas. 

If you buy a Blue Doberman with experience in the show ring, you could be in for upwards of $3000. 

The genetic screening tests (which are unavoidable) can cost $100-$200 once-off. Whatever medical treatments take place after that, well, those costs are unpredictable. 

Feeding a Doberman in the first year can cost around $80 per month if you’re using high-quality dog food. You can’t put a price on this loving companion, however.

Because the dilution gene in Blue Dobermans is a recessive one, breeders often discourage owners from breeding these dogs. This is why Blue Dobermans aren’t cheap, even though they aren’t that rare. 

Dobermans are born in litters of 6-8 puppies, and we’ll discuss how to find them below.

You may be able to find them if you frequent puppy farms and pet stores, too. To buy Blue Dobermans specifically, however, you may have better luck going online. 

Blue Doberman breeders

You can find Blue Doberman puppies for sale from breeders around the world.

The American Kennel Club Marketplace lists trustworthy, reputable breeders who have Blue Dobies raised under ethical health regulations. 

When you choose a breeder, make sure you ask all the right questions. These include whether or not the dog has had health screenings, what the results were, and so forth.

You want to make sure that your dog is healthy or, if that’s not a dealbreaker, what to expect in the long-run. 

Rescue a Blue Doberman 

Many prospective owners are happy to adopt a Doberman in need to provide a home for an adult dog who may have trouble getting adopted.

You can find a list of Doberman Rescue organizations and Blue Dobermans up for adoption at Doberman Pinscher Club of America. 

Who should get a Blue Doberman?

A close-up portrait of a Blue Dobie with pointed ears
Meet Bruce, a serious Blue Dobie with adorable pointed ears – Image source

Dobermans aren’t good for first-time dog owners. These dogs require a lot of exercise, which can be challenging to juggle amongst work and other obligations.

They are also solid and powerful dogs, which is not always ideal for first-time owners. 

Blue Dobermans, in particular, are risky to own as a first-timer because of the Alopecia and added medical attention that will inevitably be necessary. 

Those are the cons, but there are also plenty of pros to owning a Blue Doberman. They’re adorable and affectionate with a lovely appearance, and they’ll keep you safe no matter where you are. 

Throw in the family-friendly nature of the Doberman breed of dog, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic pet. 

If we’ve missed anything regarding owning a Blue Doberman Pinscher, please leave a comment on this post below. We’d love to hear from Blue Doberman owners out there. 

Further reading: Similar breeds to the Doberman

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