Doberman Pinscher Types and Colors : Amazing Pet and Guardian

By Alberto Roy

Updated on:

It is important to be familiar with all the different colors and characteristics of Doberman Pinschers so that you make the best choice. These are the Dobermans of all varieties. However, they might not be all what they seem. Make sure to read all about them.

There are three types of Doberman that you will likely see for sale, the American, European and Warlock (or King) varieties. Let me tell you, only two of these variants actually exist.

Doberman Pinscher

Dobermans are able to choose from seven colors. Six of these colors are currently known to exist, as full albino is theoretically possible but it’s not yet confirmed.

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Many people believe that they exist. This may be due to confusion around the albino and white Dobermans. We’ll get into that a little later.

The Doberman has two color genes: a black and a color-dilution gene. These two genes can create four different color combinations.

The AKC recognizes these four colors only: black, red and blue, as well as fawn with some rust markings. The AKC recognizes that there is a white color, but it is not considered to be a standard color.

If there are common themes among owners, I will include information about the temperament traits of each type.

Each dog is unique, and every dog is different. However, many Doberman owners believe that certain colors have similar temperament traits. I will discuss these traits here.

This information is purely anecdotal.

The AKC’s Doberman Pinscher information webpage contains more information about the official breed standard.

All Doberman Colors Available

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Selection guide : This guide will walk you through the selection process, from choosing the right breed to your particular situation to selecting the best sex and age to finding the right lineage.


This breed is well-known for its dominant rust (or tan), markings. These traditional markings are present in almost all variations, despite the many colors.

Dobermans of American origin may have a small white spot on the chest.

  • American Dobermans According to the American Kennel Club, the rust markings must be clearly defined. They should appear above each eye on the muzzle and throat, chest, chest, and on all four legs, feet and a patch below the tail. The chest white spot should not be larger than a quarter of an inch.
  • European Dobermans According to the Federation Cynologique Internationale, the “tan” markings on the muzzle, cheeks and top of each eyebrow should be clearly marked. Also, markings should be visible on the throat, two spots between the ankles, toes and chest, as well as on the feet, inside the hind thigh, under the tail, and on the cheeks. The markings are similar to the American Doberman’s, but a small white spot is not the standard.

Black and Rust

A.K.A. A.K.A.

Breed Standard Colour : Yes, both for European and American varieties.

The most popular color combination is black and rust Doberman.

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This is the most popular color, and it is also the one most frequently used to portray this breed on movies and television. This color is well-known for its shiny and sleek coat.

Dobermans make up the majority of Dobermans.

They can be sensitive to heat due to their black coat. However, most dogs of this breed are not able to withstand extreme heat.

Red and Rust

A.K.A. A.K.A.

Breed Standard Colour : Yes for both American and European varieties.

Red and rust are the next most popular colors for Dobermans. Although this color is less common than black, it’s still easy to find.

These dogs’ coats can vary in color, from a light copper-like tone to almost dark chocolate. Some have described it as light brownish-red.

Owners report that their red and rust Dobermans have a tendency to be more friendly, more playful, and less territorial than their white counterparts. Dobermans are generally susceptible to skin problems, though the red and rust Dobermans may be more sensitive to them.

Most skin problems are minor and easily treated, except for light hair loss or acne.

Blue and Rust

Bruce, a blue-and-rust Doberman (left), sits next Summer, a traditional black-and rust colored Doberman. Instagram handle: life.of.mocha.and.bruce

A.K.A. A.K.A.

Standard Color for American Doberman:

Blue and rust Dobermans are a little more rare than their red and black counterparts. They are also not a standard color for the American breed.

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The blue color can be disqualifying for certain dog shows. Breeders often avoid this color, which makes them less likely to be seen.

These dogs are actually not blue, but technically they are a diluted version of a black dog. They can look gray, silver, or purple, but they are actually not blue.

There are rare cases when they have a dry hair. These dogs can be susceptible to color dilution (CDA), which is a genetic condition that can lead to hair thinning, hair loss, and dry and itchy skin.

According to their owners, blue Dobermans don’t have any typical temperament traits.

Fawn, Isabella, and Rust

Ty is a Fawn-and Rust Doberman Pinscher. Instagram handle: tythedoberman

A.K.A. A.K.A.

Standard Color for American Doberman:

Although the fawn-colored Dobermans are not the most common, they can still be found if you’re patient. This is the American Doberman’s breed standard color.

The blue color is also disqualified at some dog shows, so breeders tend to avoid this color making it a little more rare. This color is also the least well-known of the four main colors.

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These dogs are technically colored a diluted red, which gives them the appearance of fawn.

They can also suffer from minor skin issues like ingrown hairs, staph infections and acne, just like the blue Dobermans.

They can also be prone to color-dilution alopecia which can lead to hair loss and itchy skin.

All Black

Owen, an all black Doberman (left), sits next Heike, a traditional black-and-rust Doberman dog (right). Mikej

A.K.A. A.K.A.

Breed Standard Colour : No

This breed is rare because it produces excessive melanin pigmentation. They appear black.

They will usually still bear the Doberman markings but they will be extremely dark and hard to see.

Black Dobermans are extremely rare and not accepted as a breed standard. Both the American and European varieties require the same rust colored markings that these dogs often lack.

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These dogs are not able to compete in shows and competitions so breeders avoid breeding them.

Many believe that Dobermans are more susceptible to certain health problems because of their black color.

Others argue that black Dobermans are healthier than other colors. However, the jury is still out.

See my article Are All Black Dobermans Rare for more photos and information.

White (Partial Albino).

The white Doberman is next to the traditional colors of red and black.

A.K.A. : Cream, ivory

Breed Standard Colour : No

The white Doberman is considered “leucistic”, which means they aren’t full-albino. However, they do still produce melanin pigmentation but it is very limited.

They are often mistaken for full albino. However, they still produce some pigmentation.

Although they are considered to be a “tyrosinase positive albinoid”, some refer to them simply as a partial albino. Their coats are a light shade of white, but not entirely white. They also have lighter markings. It can also produce blue eyes, pink lips, noses, and eye rings.

White Dobermans, which are extremely rare, are not recognized as a breed standard for American or European Dobermans. They cannot compete even though the American Kennel Club (AKC), acknowledges their existence.

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The white Doberman is a controversial breed. Because they are more susceptible to behavioral and health problems, many people think it is wrong or imprudent to breed them. This notion is however strongly contested by many owners.

Critics of the white breed cite their dog’s past as the reason they have these problems. 1976 saw the first white Doberman.

She was named Padula’s Queen Shebah and was the daughter of two rust and black parents. Later, she was bred to her son and her son with his sister in an effort to produce more white-colored offspring.

There has been potential for significant inbreeding of the bloodline by unscrupulous “backyard breeders”, who are more interested in producing rare and expensive dogs than in maintaining a healthy gene pool.

Critics blame this inbreeding for many of their behavioral and health problems.

White Dobermans may have increased photosensitivity and eyesight problems. As a result, they often close their eyes or squint in the sunlight.

People claim that they bite more because of their poor vision and increased fear of the sun. However, it is well known that sunburns can occur in these animals. They are also more likely to develop skin cancers, have poor quality fur and other skin problems.

These dogs could get sunburns that cause a dry cracked or peeling nose. This is due to the absence of pigment.

Potential owners of white Dobermans should ensure thorough health screening before deciding to adopt one.

Be aware that your dog may have higher medical costs than other breeds.

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To learn more about the white Doberman, please see my article White Doberman Pinscher: Pictures and Costs, Health, and Other.

Full Albino

A.K.A. A.K.A.

Breed Standard Colour : No

A complete albino Doberman is completely devoid of pigmentation. They lack the gene to produce pigment.

This dog is noticeably whiter than the white or cream-colored dog in the previous section.

It is easy to determine if the dog you are looking at is a Doberman (partial albino) or a Doberman (full albino). The color of your eyes is the best way to tell. A full albino dog will have blue eyes, which indicate a white or cream-colored dog.

Important note: The white Doberman is sometimes confused with a true albino Doberman. Full albino Dobermans do not exist.

It is theoretically possible, and some breeders advertise their dogs as such. I included it on the list. True albinos in any breed are rare. They are caused by a genetic mutation called Tyrosinase.

False advertising of Dobermans as true albinos is misleading as they have blue eyes. A full albino, by definition, cannot produce blue eyes.

The theory is that any full albino Doberman would have similar medical problems to the white-colored version.

They may have photosensitivity and poor vision, especially in bright lighting. They are also more susceptible to sunburns. They will likely have poor quality fur and other skin issues.

For an in-depth discussion on the controversy surrounding white and albino issues, see The Albino Doberman Controversy by Caroline Coile Ph.D.

American Doberman

American Dobermans are thinner and more elegant looking.

There are two types of Doberman: the American and European. They are both great dogs, but they have very different characteristics.

Here are the key traits that distinguish the American version from its European counterparts in terms of temperament and physical appearance.

Physical Traits

  • It is smaller (lighter and shorter)
  • Overall, a sleek appearance
  • Less muscle mass
  • Slimmer and more elegant head, jaw, and snout
  • Longer body
  • Slender, long neck
  • Chests that are smaller
  • Thin, slender legs
  • Eyes with lighter colors
  • Rust markings in lighter colors

Temperamental Traits

  • A working dog is less
  • Show more by breezing
  • They are more likely to remain close to their owners
  • Gentler temperament
  • Reacts well to positive reinforcement and mild correction
  • People are more in tune
  • Does better in a family setting
  • People are more likely to like sitting still on their couch or bed.
  • More grace and elegance
  • Are you more brave?

TIP To see a complete list and diagram of the differences between these two types of Doberman, including a diagram showing the physical differences, please refer to my article American Doberman vs European Doberman: Side-by-Side Comparation.

Although the physical characteristics are not often discussed, it is worth noting that these temperamental traits are generally what American Dobermans are known for.

This can be very different for each dog, as every dog is unique.

The breeder’s intentions are a major factor in the differences. American breeders are more inclined to want a show dog with impressive titles, which can help them produce more desirable offspring later on.

They are more likely to win AKC conformation shows, but less at working events.

Although there are less regulations regarding breeding in America, responsible breeders are more likely to screen these dogs for potential health problems.

American dogs prefer a family-oriented dog to a working dog. These dogs are also bred with this in mind.

Although American Dobermans are able to and do perform in personal protection rolls, they are not as proficient as Europeans.

They are generally not as strong or have the same drive as their European counterparts. They do well in obedience and agility competitions.

The American Kennel Club’s Official Standard For American Doberman Pinscher (PDF),.

European Doberman

European Dobermans tend to be larger with larger heads and more muscle.

The European Doberman is definitely different from its American counterpart in both temperament and physical appearance. Here are their main temperamental and physical traits.

Physical Traits

  • Slightly larger (taller, heavier)
  • More muscle mass
  • Overall bone structure is stronger
  • Blotter, thicker head and snout
  • A shorter, thinner neck
  • Broad chest
  • A slightly shorter body (in terms of length).
  • Darker eyes
  • Rust markings of darker colors

Temperamental Traits

  • Working dog temperament
  • You have to be determined, driven, and strong.
  • Brave
  • Calm
  • Alert!
  • Be confident in all situations
  • Reacts well to clear, firm direction

TIP To see a complete list and diagram of the differences between these two types of Doberman, including a diagram showing the physical differences, please refer to my article American Doberman vs European Doberman: Side-by-Side Comparation.

The temperamental traits described in this section are similar to the ones listed in the previous section. However, each dog is unique and will display its own personality.

European Dobermans, in addition to their physical differences (larger and stronger muscles), are said to have a lot of drive and stamina.

They are excellent at guard work. For this reason, they are often great police and military dogs.

These dogs are subject to a variety of European regulations, including temperment testing before being approved to breed.

Breeders in Europe tend to be less likely than Americans to test their dogs for health.

The European breeds can work hard but are not show dogs like their American counterparts. They are more likely to win at working events.

The AISBL FCI Standard for the European Doberman (PDF) is the official standard.

Warlock (King) Doberman

A “Warlock Doberman” is usually a mix between a Doberman or Great Dane.

The Warlock Doberman is also known as a King Doberman or Goliath Doberman. It is essentially a large Doberman Pinscher. It is important to note that there is no such Doberman.

Multiple credible sources have confirmed this, including the DPCA (Doberman Pinscher Club of America), and others. There is not a Doberman that is a purebred Doberman.

The Doberman is a medium-sized dog. Any Dobermans that are large will likely not be Dobermans.

These terms are often used by backyard breeders to try to make their dogs more rare or valuable.

These breeders use the most popular method of crossing a Doberman and a Great Dane. This creates a large Doberman-like dog, but it is really a Great Dane/Doberdane mix.

Sometimes, these breeders cross Dobermans and Rottweilers to create a breed they want to be regarded as valuable or rare. Reputable breeders will never advertise Warlock Dobermans for sale.


You can see the Doberman Planet video about Warlock and Goliath on YouTube here.

Dobermans are the perfect size for protection work. They won’t be as agile or maneuverable if they are larger, which are important attributes for protection work.

A larger dog can also put more strain on its heart and joints.

According to the AKC, the maximum size a Doberman should reach is 28 inches high and 100 pounds for males and 26 inches tall for females.

If you’re determined to get a Doberman/Great Dane combination, ensure you find a breeder who will be honest enough to list them as such or “Doberdanes.”

If they are willing to call them “Warlock Dobermans”, they probably don’t have a reputation as a breeder. They will also likely lie about the other characteristics of their puppies.

You can read more about Warlock Doberman myth at the DPCA Warlock Doberman page.

TIP Do you want to get a Doberman puppy? To get a complete list of things you need to prepare for your puppy’s arrival, take a look at my Doberman Puppy Shopping Guide.

Similar Questions

What color is the best Doberman? A Doberman that is compatible with your home and lifestyle will be the best.

Black and rust are the most popular colors for Dobermans. These colors are the most health-friendly and have the lowest incidence of problems for dogs.

Are blue Dobermans rare? Blue Dobermans, while still considered to be a breed standard by the American Kennel Club are more common than their red or black counterparts. Blue Dobermans may also be called silver or grey Dobermans.

Is it rare for Dobermans to have fawns? The American Kennel Club recognizes fawn Dobermans as the most rare of the four breed colors.

How long can blue Dobermans survive? Blue Dobermans have a lower incidence of health problems than their traditional-colored counterparts.

A blue Doberman should live about the same life expectancy as any other Doberman color, which is approximately 10 to 12 years.

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