A Doberman pinscher must meet many very particular specifications to be considered a full bred Doberman. This gentle, yet protective dog has been bred since the early 1900s to serve both the police and military as well as families in need of a great guard dog and playful companion. There are specific breed characteristics for every breed of dog. However, to be absolutely sure your Doberman is a purebred dog, you can check the AKC papers or have a DNA test run. DNA tests for dogs are available at most pet-supply outlets and cost about $50, as of 2011.
Doberman are medium-sized dogs. Although many people consider them to be quite large, the Doberman stands tall at 26 to 28 inches (at the shoulders) for males and 24 to 26 inches for females. This is still considered medium-sized because of its sleek, narrow body frame. The height of a Doberman from the paw to the shoulders should be the same as the length of the dog from the front of the chest to the rear point of the upper thigh. It's head, neck and legs are all in proportion to the rest of the body. The chest of a purebred Doberman is broad with a well-defined forechest.
Coat and Coloring
A short-haired coat is the standard for purebred Doberman. The hair should lie flat and close to the body, and be thick all over. As far as coloring, the permissible colors are: black, red, blue and fawn. Fawn is a dilution of the red color and blue is considered a dilution of the standard black, which is most common. Doberman are also allowed to have tan markings when their primary color is black. These markings may only be above the eyes, on the muzzle, at the base of the tail, on the chest, and on the legs or feet.
Doberman are recognized for the sharp features of the head. Among the most prized are pointed ears, which are a modification made by the owner during puppyhood with the purpose of forming erect ears by cropping them. The head of a purebred Doberman is long and square -- it takes the shape of a blunt wedge whether viewed straight-on or in profile. Its cheeks are flat and muscular, with permissible nose colors being black for black coats, dark brown for red, dark gray for blue, and dark tan for a fawn-colored Doberman. A Doberman's eyes are piercing and energetic, with an almond shape. The iris should be the darkest shade possible in correlation with the coat color.
A Doberman's temperament is just as important in determining if it is full bred as its bodily features. No Doberman should ever be shy or display tendencies to be vicious. A true Doberman will always be energetic, outgoing and attentive. When not in guard-dog mode, a Doberman is gentle with people and great with children. It's purpose is to be watchful and loyal, especially with its pack (whether that be human or canine), and extremely obedient and responsive to training. Fearlessness is also an important temperamental trait; a Doberman is willing to protect in times of danger.