Doberman Lifespan: How Long Do Dobermans Live?

smartest dog breeds - Doberman Pinscher

Written by Volia Schubiger

Updated: June 27, 2023

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The Doberman dog breed, also known as the Doberman Pinscher, is widely known for its intelligence and loyalty. The breed’s name comes from a German tax collector named Louis Doberman, who lived in the 1800s. This breed was bred as a working protection dog.

There are many characteristics that they are known for, including fearlessness, loyalty, and obedience. Dobermans have recently risen in popularity as fantastic family pets due to their absolute dedication and commitment to defending and keeping the family secure.

If you’ve been thinking about adding a new member to your family, join us as we explain everything you need to know about the Doberman’s lifespan and other fascinating facts about this unique dog breed.

How Long Do Dobermans Live?

side view of Doberman Pinscher standing

Dobermans can live up to thirty years.

The average lifespan of a Doberman is between 10 and 13 years old.

Compared to other dogs their size, the Doberman lifespan is average. However, it appears a bit short when comparing their lifespan to all dog breeds. Dobermans appear to die earlier than many other breeds for a variety of reasons.

For starters, they are a particularly massive breed of dog. It is commonly known that the bigger a breed, the shorter their longevity. For example, the Great Dane has a lifespan of 8 to 10 years. On the other hand, the Shih Tzu has a lifespan of 10 to 16 years. That’s a significant difference. The two of these dog breeds are also quite varied in size. Unfortunately, Dobermans are also prone to a number of ailments in addition to their large size.

The Average Doberman Life Cycle

It is incredibly important to understand every stage of a Doberman’s life if you are interested in making them your new pet. Below, we will take you through the average Doberman’s life cycle.


A Doberman puppy can weigh anywhere from 10 to 20 oz when born. Doberman puppies, like other puppies, are born with their eyes and ears closed. They rely heavily on their mothers to survive and must be nursed every 2 hours. Dobermans are born with tails, and after about three to five days, the tails may be docked by a vet. It is not required to dock or crop the ears of a Doberman puppy.

Most people do so for cosmetic reasons and to attain what they believe is a “traditional” Doberman look. Unless you plan to enter your Doberman into a canine breed show in the future, it is completely unnecessary.


This period occurs when your Doberman is between the ages of 6 and 18 months. You should consider neutering your puppy and ensuring that it has all of its immunizations at this age. The Doberman should have all of its permanent teeth and should have two meals every day, with occasional snacks in between. 

It is also critical that you begin training classes for your Doberman at this time. Their obedient and intelligent natures may be misinterpreted as unrestrained violence if they are not taught how to behave at an early age. A professionally trained Doberman will reach its full potential, allowing it to defend you with honor.


Adulthood in Doberman Pinschers occurs between the ages of 3-8 years. You may even enter them in obedience or agility classes. Dobermans are an extremely energetic breed that requires a lot of activity at this age. Mental stimulation is essential since you don’t want them to use boredom as an excuse to act out or chew and tear things up.


Your Doberman is a senior at the age of 7. Your once-vigorous adult Doberman may begin to slow down and suffer from arthritis and other joint issues.

Senior dogs benefit immensely from possible dietary modifications at this stage. They also benefit from other easier activities that do not put as much pressure on their body. Because they may not be as active as they previously were, it is critical that they remain healthy and do not gain unhealthy weight.

Common Health Issues That Impact The Doberman’s Lifespan

A female Doberman Pinscher laying down in the grass

Dobermans suffer from some health conditions that may affect their lifespan.

As agile and fearless as the Doberman is, this breed suffers from some health conditions that may affect its lifespan. Here is a list of a few health problems a Doberman may experience:

  • Von Willebrand’s Disease: Dobermans are one of the breeds that are most affected by this disease. Von Willebrand’s disease is a bleeding disorder caused by a lack of protein needed to help platelets stick to one another to form clots to close broken blood vessels. If you think your dog may have this disease, you should do a screening.
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy: Dilated Cardiomyopathy, also known as DCM, is a life-threatening heart condition Dobermans are prone to. This occurs when their heart becomes incredibly large and weak that it can no longer efficiently pump blood throughout their body. Once this begins to happen, your Doberman may start to feel more lethargic, weak, and unable to breathe as well.
  • Copper Hepatopathy: Dobermans are also more easily susceptible to liver diseases such as copper hepatopathy. This causes unusually high levels of copper to build up within your Doberman’s liver, which can lead to liver failure.
  • Glomerulonephropathy: Glomerulonephropathy is a disease that slowly damages the Doberman’s kidneys. Without any treatment, this can lead to kidney failure.

How To Extend The Life Of Your Doberman

Doberman Pinschers

Dobermans need a healthy diet, exercise, and vet visits to stay healthy.

There are several things you can do to be proactive in prolonging your Doberman’s life and guaranteeing its long and healthy future.

Below is a list of actions you can take now to set you and your Doberman up for success down the line:

  • Healthy Diet: A healthy diet is absolutely crucial in extending your Doberman’s life expectancy. Begin by reading the ingredients in your dog’s food. Foods that have a lot of grain and filler provide little to no nutritional content and can promote obesity. It is important to be feeding your Doberman real meats such as chicken and beef, not animal byproducts.
  • Exercise: Exercise is another important factor that contributes to the longevity of your dog. Daily walks and outings to the dog park are perfect. They allow your Doberman to release an abundance of pent-up energy and promote a healthy lifestyle.
  • Vet Visits: Vet visits on a regular basis can provide you with all the information you need about how your dog is doing. The vet will also let you know about supplements and vitamins that will help keep your dog healthy.

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About the Author

Volia Schubiger is a freelance copywriter and content editor with a passion and expertise in content creation, branding, and marketing. She has a background in Broadcast Journalism & Political Science from CUNY Brooklyn College. When she's not writing she loves traveling, perusing used book stores, and hanging out with her other half.

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