Health Information

Most dobermanns live a happy, healthy life, but prospective owners need to be aware that, like most breeds, dobermanns can suffer from a range of diseases, many of them with genetic components. As an example, research shows that over half of dobermanns develop heart disease at some stage during their life. Many of these will be elderly dogs, in which case heart disease should be expected to be a common cause of death, as it is with humans. Some may also develop mild heart disease, but go on to live for several more years and die of other causes. The problem arises when dobes die of heart disease in youth and middle age and, sadly, this does happen. Cancer is also a major killer in dobes, often in old age as with humans, but again some do die young of a variety of cancers.

We do not currently know the exact life expectancy of the dobermann, but anecdotally the average is probably around 9-11 years, although there are certainly some who live to 13 or beyond.

These web pages aim to provide easily understood information for dobermann owners and breeders on the main conditions associated with the breed. We hope you will find them informative and useful.

The disorders covered on this web site at present are listed below. We hope to add others in due course.


* Heart disease – dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)

* Cancer and pyometra

* Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD)

* Hypothyroidism

* Hip dysplasia

* Persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (PHPV)

* Wobblers

* Dancing Dobermann Disease (DDD)

* Panosteitis (growing pains)