If you are looking for a short-haired dog that won't shed too much, you may be thinking about getting a Doberman pinscher. If so, you probably want to know whether Dobermans are low-to-moderate shedders.
In this article, we will explore this topic in-depth. We will talk about how much Doberman pinschers shed, what types of coats they have, and some tips for grooming them. But first, let’s discuss a little bit more about the breed.
Dobermans (also called Dobies) are strong, fierce, loyal dogs with protective personalities. Indeed, if you want a good guard dog, you cannot go wrong with a Doberman pinscher.
The history of the Doberman pinscher is fascinating. The name "Doberman" comes from their original breeder, Louis Dobermann, a tax collector who wanted protection while on the job.
As word got around about the Doberman's impressive capabilities, these dogs started turning up in various roles in search-and-rescue, law enforcement, military ops, and more.
Let me guess—you now want a Doberman pinscher more than ever, right? Now that you know more about this breed's personality and capabilities let's dive deep into our discussion about shedding and grooming!
Doberman Shedding Overview
COAT: Short, Smooth And Shiny
COLOR: Black, Red, Blue And Fawn
GROOMING NEEDS: Low
What Type of Coat Does a Doberman Have?
The Doberman is as famous for its sleek, streamlined appearance and its silky, short coat as it is for its ability to serve and protect.
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America writes, “It is specifically stated that the coat is smooth-haired, short, hard thick and close lying. Dobermans come in four allowed colors– black, red (various shades of reddish brown), blue (bluish gray) and fawn. Blue is a dilution of black and fawn is a dilution of red. The black Doberman has the most hair per square inch, thus the thickest coat. A fawn has the least hair per square inch, so usually the thinnest coat. Expect the same of all colors in terms of coat and overall quality.”
Confused about whether the Doberman pinscher is a single-coat or double-coat breed? That is probably because there is an undercoat, but it is pretty limited. You will find it around the neck. It has a soft texture. But aside from that, there is just one coat, which we can characterize as being semi-coarse.
How Much Do Doberman Pinschers Shed?
The AKC characterizes the Doberman’s shedding as being relatively moderate. Nonetheless, the organization emphasizes that only occasional bathing is necessary.
According to the American Kennel Club, “A quick going-over daily with a short-bristled brush or a grooming mitt will keep his coat shiny and healthy. He does not need to be bathed often. He should have his nails trimmed at least monthly, and his teeth brushed regularly. The ears should be wiped out carefully every few days—a little baby oil on a paper towel is good for this.”
Basically, the fact that there is essentially only one coat and the hair is pretty short makes it easy to keep up with your Doberman’s grooming requirements, despite shedding an average amount of hair.
Are Dobermans Hypoallergenic?
But wait—are Dobermans hypoallergenic?
No, Doberman pinschers are not hypoallergenic. But the thing is, there is really no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. The reason for this is because dogs secrete proteins to which some people are allergic. This is a universal trait among canines. The proteins find their way into fur and dander. This is also true regardless of the breed.
But look—Dobies are still a pretty great choice from a hypoallergenic standpoint. Why? Because at least their hairs are short.
There are two benefits to this. First of all, the hairs themselves are less obtrusive since they are smaller. This reduces the overall amount of dog hair that will be scattered around your home.
Secondly, it is easier to clean up Doberman hair than a breed with longer, wispier hairs. It is less prone to clumping and static cling. That makes it easier for you to keep hair and dander under control, which might reduce your allergy symptoms.
Tip: As previously mentioned, the color of the Doberman’s coat is a good indication of the level of shedding you can expect. So, if you want to keep shedding to a minimum, consider a blue or fawn Doberman rather than a black and tan one.
Why Dobermans Shed
All dogs shed; that is simply a fact of life when you own one. But here are some factors which can increase the amount of shedding you see from your Doberman pinscher:
- Springtime. As daylight hours increase, Dobermans experience hormonal changes, which cause them to shed their winter coats. You will notice this trait is more pronounced if your dog is outdoors frequently.
- Skin infections and parasites may cause your dog to itch, scratch, and shed more than is typical. But regular grooming can help identify these issues quickly so that you can treat them.
- Dry skin is another factor that can increase shedding.
- Nutrition is another important factor in maintaining a healthy coat.
How to Manage Your Doberman's Shedding
As recommended by the AKC, you can brush your Dobie once per day. During times of the year when your dog is not shedding too much, you might be able to get away with brushing every few days instead of every day.
Indeed, some people brush their Dobermans even less frequently than that, maybe only a few times a month. Nevertheless, if you want to maximize your Doberman's coat's shine, more frequent brushings work better. The reason for this is because you are distributing oils through the coat, which is what makes it so shiny.
As for giving your dog baths, you can do that about once monthly. If you do it more frequently than that, you will dry out your dog’s skin.
Another tip for avoiding drying out your Doberman’s skin is to use an oatmeal-based soap. Or you can try an anti-shed shampoo like Earthbed Shed Control.
This all-natural shampoo is gentle but effective, containing healthy ingredients like green tea leaf extract, aloe vera, organic shea butter, ginseng, awapuhi, and more. The product is pH-balanced and can help keep skin from drying out while also making it easier to manage shedding and dander.
Right after you finish bathing your dog with this anti-shedding shampoo, you can go ahead and brush his fur. You will probably notice it is easier to pull away loose hairs than it is with other shampoo products.
As mentioned before, what your dog eats can make a difference in coat quality and shedding. So, what should you feed your Doberman to manage shedding? We recommend Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food.
This dry dog food is an excellent option if your pooch has sensitivities or allergies to foods and requires something simple and natural. It contains no gluten, wheat, or grains. The prebiotics and probiotics in the dog food will nourish your pet's digestive tract and immune system. At the same time, the flaxseed helps keep skin healthy.
Tip: While this food is high in healthy fatty acids that improve coat luster, consider supplementing your dog’s diet with a little extra in the form of a teaspoon of olive oil.
General Grooming Recommendations
- Once you finish brushing your dog, you can use a terry cloth hand towel or a chamois skin to wipe the coat and buff up its shine.
- If you want your Doberman to look like a show dog, you may want to only put a collar on him when leaving the house. If he wears it regularly, it can result in thinning neck hair or create a ring-shaped depression.
- Think exercise and grooming aren't related? Think again. Particularly with a short-haired dog like the Doberman, routine exercise can have a dramatic effect on appearance. Exercising your dog will boost blood flow throughout the skin, nourishing the hairs' roots for a more lustrous coat.
- Although you'll only be bathing your Doberman about once a month, think about using a wet wash cloth several times a month to get rid of surface-level dirt.
Tips for Brushing Your Doberman Pinscher
Now that we have the basic requirements for brushing and bathing your Doberman pinscher let's go over some more detailed recommendations for doing the best job.
Use the Right Tools
You cannot just use any dog brush on your Doberman. Many brushes appropriate for dogs with longer hair are not suitable for a Doberman because they are designed to reach through a long double coat.
Since your Dobie does not have that soft undercoat, using that type of brush can irritate your pet's skin. So what grooming tools should you use for a Doberman? Below are some of our recommended products.
1. Curry Brush: KONG Dog ZoomGroom Multi-Use Brush
My first suggestion is to invest in a rubber curry brush. This brush aims to help you remove dead skin and hair while also distributing your pet's oils through his coat to make it shine.
The KONG curry brush does an excellent job removing loose hairs. It also does well getting rid of dead skin cells without causing skin irritation. It is much gentler than many alternatives.
Because of this, you should not feel nervous about really working it through your pet's fur using circular movements to rough up the hair. For your Doberman, this should feel like a massage.
Once you have finished roughing up the fur to dredge up the dead skin and hairs, you can then smooth it out again.
2. Pat Your Pet Five Finger Grooming Glove
This is a product you can purchase instead of or in addition to the curry brush. Instead of a traditional brush, it takes the form of a glove that you put on. Like the curry brush, the Pat Your Pet Glove is designed for gentle grooming and can help you remove dead skin cells and loose hairs. It offers a bridge between grooming and petting, which is something that your dog should enjoy.
Additionally, it is easy to reach small, sensitive areas carefully, which might be difficult using a regular brush. This product also is excellent for cleaning up around the house because you can just put it on and run your hand across surfaces to lift away dog hairs. You'll find it can make it much easier to keep up during high shedding season.
3. Safari Bristle Dog Brush
Once you use the grooming glove or curry brush to pull up dead skin cells and loose hairs, some will still be trapped in the coat and need to be removed. You also will need to finish smoothing out the coat.
You can do that without irritating your dog’s skin by using a soft-bristled brush like the Safari Bristle Dog Brush.
With it, you can finish removing the dead skin cells and hairs. You also can perfect the appearance of your dog's coat, making it smooth and silky.
It's easier than you think to maintain a smooth, silky, beautiful coat on a Doberman pinscher. Now you know the tools and techniques you need to make it happen.
The Doberman is a relatively low-maintenance dog in the grooming department. With regular brushings and occasional baths, you can keep your pet’s coat glossy and healthy.