Doberman Lifespan | Health risks and Warnings

doberman lifespan

In addition to being a fantastic protection dog, the Doberman is also an amazing pet. But how long is the Doberman lifespan?

First, let’s take a moment to learn about how the Doberman originated.

Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann is responsible for creating this amazing guard dog.

He needed a dog to assist him, and keep him safe while he completed his duties as a tax collector.

However, the exact breeds that were used to create the Doberman remain a mystery.

Some speculate that the “Dobie” is a combination of German Shepherd, Rottweiler, German Pinscher, and the Weimaraner.

(Source: “Doberman Pinscher history; The surprising past behind the breed)

doberman lifespan

Doberman Lifespan

The Doberman lifespan is roughly 9 to 11 years.

However, this doesn’t mean that your Doberman can’t live longer than that.

On the other hand, the Doberman breed as a whole, is facing some difficult health issues.

Problems like DCM (Dilated cardiomyopathy) plague the breed.

Many breeders have taken additional steps to health test their dogs.

However, they haven’t been able to slow the pace of this often times fatal disease.

DCM is a disease of the heart muscle.

It affects the dogs heart, and the body’s ability to pump blood as it should is compromised.

Health concerns that may affect the Doberman Lifespan

  1. DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy)
  2. Von Willebrand’s Disease
  3. Hip Dysplasia
  4. Hypothyroidism
  5. Cancer
  6. Chronic Hepatitis


This disease is a serious concern for the Doberman breed. If affects the dogs heart, and the vascular system’s ability to pump blood throughout the dogs body. This disease can lead to sudden death.

Von Willebrand’s Disease

Von Willebrand’s is another disease that affects the Doberman breed. This is a blood clotting disease that can lead to excessive bleeding from injuries or during surgeries.

Hip Dysplasia

Most larger dogs are prone to hip dysplasia. The Doberman is no exception.

If a dog has hip dysplasia, this means that the dog’s hip joints did not form properly.

This can be a very painful condition for dogs, especially as they age.


This occurs when your dogs thyroid is not producing hormones correctly. Testing can be conducted to see if your Doberman has this condition.


Some Dobermans will develop cancer. Additionally, there is no genetic test for this disease.

One of the common types of cancer this breed suffers from is B-cell Lymphoma. (source:

Chronic Hepatitis

Inflammation of the liver leads to this condition.

doberman lifespan

What can affect the Doberman lifespan?

There is a multitude of things that can affect a dog’s lifespan. Below we name a few.

Vet Care

Keeping up to date with your dog’s vet care is important to their good health.

Routine care and wellness checks may help your vet detect health problems sooner. As a result, this allows for earlier treatment of illness.

In addition, a good vaccination schedule can help protect your dog from contagious diseases. A few examples are Parvo and rabies.

Speak to your vet to set a vaccination schedule that is appropriate for your dog.

Your vet can also be a valuable source of advise for other issues such as flea/tick control and de-worming.

Getting your Doberman accustomed to vet visits as a puppy can make these trips easier for you, and subsequently, less stressful for your dog.


The Doberman is a high energy breed, In short, they thrive on physical activity.

They have even made our list for the “Best dogs for runners” due to their energy levels, and stamina.

Daily exercise provides both physical and mental stimulation that your Doberman desperately needs.

Exercise can also help your Dobie maintain a healthy weight, which can lead to overall better health.

Nutrition also plays a part in the Doberman lifespan.

Nutrition is a very important aspect of dog health, therefore it should be a top consideration.

Many options exist for giving your dog a healthy diet.

This could include balanced raw diets, or even vet approved homemade dog food recipes.

Maybe you want a healthy option for your Doberman, but just don’t feel comfortable making your own dog food?

In that case there are fresh dog food subscriptions like “Ollie”.

Ollie provides fresh dog food meals that use human grade ingredients, In addition, the food doesn’t have fillers or artificial flavors.

If you want more information, check out “Ollie Pets Food Subscription service

Also, one of the great things about “Ollie” is that the food is delivered right to your door.

Genetics is a very important factor when it comes to the Doberman lifespan.

Genetics play a significant role in the Doberman lifespan, therefore should be a primary focus.

If your Doberman’s parents, grand-parents, and great-grandparents all lived a long life, chances are good that your Doberman will also enjoy a long life, however there is no guarantee.

Of course along with genetics comes COI (co-efficient of inbreeding)

The average genetic COI for the Doberman breed is 43% (Source: Institute of Canine

A heavily inbred dog can suffer from a reduced lifespan.

In addition, dogs that are heavily inbred lack genetic diversity in their lines.

This can lead to higher mortality rates, reduced fertility and litter sizes, and an uptick in genetic diseases. (Source: The institute of Canine Biology, “The costs and benefits of Inbreeding”)

Final Thoughts

If you decide that a Doberman is the right breed for you, I would strongly encourage you to seek out a reputable breeder that insists on health testing their breeding dogs.

Related post: “Questions to ask a dog breeder”

Here is a list of health testing that is recommended by the OFA in conjunction with the Doberman parent club ( ” Doberman Testing recommendations“)

Recommended health testing for the Doberman Pinscher

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Cardiac (advanced cardiac must include Echo and HOLTER evaluations)
  • Autoimmune Thyroiditis
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Working aptitude
  • Eye examination

We hope you enjoyed this post about the Doberman Lifespan

What do Dobermans usually die from?

The highest percentage of deaths in Dobermans is caused by DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy).

What is the longest living Doberman?

There is no documented record of the longest living Doberman.

Are Dobermans loyal dogs?

Yes, as a general rule Doberman are very loyal dogs. They bond closely to their owners, and are sometimes referred to as “velcro” dogs.

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