Does a Doberman Shed? Is it Excessive?
Contrary to popular belief, Dobermans do shed! However, Doberman shedding is distinct from other breeds because of its relatively low amount as well as the unique nature of a Doberman’s coat. This breed can shed more than normal if certain factors are in play.
Doberman Pinchers are a medium to large-sized breed that were originally bred to be guard dogs. They are considered one of the smartest dog breeds in the world, and they are incredibly intelligent and obedient with the right training. Not only can make good family companions but also excellent guard dogs.
Dobies are well known for their distinct, fierce appearance. Their coat is short and has a smooth texture. While they are usually black, their fur can also have other colors, such as brown, black, blue, red, white, and even tan. Dobermans have a single coat, which means they do not have an undercoat. Undercoats are what typically cause dogs to excessively shed, particularly during certain seasons.
What Causes Dobermans To Shed?
Doberman Pinchers may shed for several reasons, and different dogs may shed more or less frequently than others. The six primary reasons why Dobermans shed are their medical issues, diet, weather and seasonal changes, allergies, medications, and stress or anxiety.
If your Dobie has a medical condition that you are unaware of, you may think it’s just them shedding instead. Blue and fawn pinchers are predisposed to color mutant alopecia, which eventually leads to them losing all of their hair. Hypothyroidism, which can affect any breed, is common for Dobermans that cause more shedding than usual. They may also suffer from canine acne and canine generalized demodicosis (CGD) which can contribute.
Nutrition plays a surprising role in how much Dobermans (along with other breeds) shed–or don’t shed. Well-rounded nutrition will help to keep a Doberman’s body healthy; in turn, this decreases the chance of excessive shedding. When it comes to nutrition, Doberman owners must carefully consider their dietary changes; for instance, switching to a new food or suddenly feeding them at a different time of day can cause Dobermans to shed more often until they become used to a new routine.
Pet Care RX recommends that when shopping for high-quality dog food for this breed, “The first ingredient listed should be a meat source such as chicken, beef, or lamb, followed by whole grains such as brown rice or sweet potatoes.” Avoid brands that contain corn and wheat fillers along with animal byproducts.
Dobermans will likely shed more excessively if they are experiencing allergic reactions. These allergic reactions will cause the dog to itch, and the scratching will cause the hairs on their coat to loosen and shed. Dobies are actually sensitive themselves so it’s common for them to be allergic to things like pollen, grass, and certain foods. The vet can perform testing to identify exactly what the root of the problem is.
The Weather and Season Changes
Like other breeds, Dobermans may shed more or less depending on the weather and season. They are more likely to shed during the late fall and early spring, as these are transition seasons that allow them to prepare to grow their winter coat and shed their winter coat in order to prepare for warmer weather in the spring and summer.
Some medications such as corticosteroids may have hair loss as a side effect that would be confused as excess shedding. Usually, this is when it’s prescribed long term and the fur typically grows back once the medication is stopped. Topical flea treatments and injection sites (from vaccines) may result in hair loss that is confined to certain areas.
Stress or Anxiety
Dogs are exceptionally sensitive to stress, and stress has been known to impact a dog’s body and overall health. Dobermans who are feeling stressed will likely shed more often than dogs who are not feeling emotionally distressed. Just like with humans, when our stress is through the room so is our cortisol, which can wreak havoc on our bodies and cause symptoms.
How Bad Do Dobermans Shed And How Often?
Dobermans shed moderately to lightly, depending on the specific dog as well as the season and whether or not any external factors (such as allergies or medical issues) need to be taken into account.
Dobermans shed less than many other breeds for two reasons: they have shorter hair and most importantly, they only have a single layer coat. When you compare the amount of shedding from a single-layer Doberman and a double-layer coated Labrador, you will find that Labradors shed far more often than Dobermans.
Most dog owners will find that the shedding is not too bad when compared to breeds that shed far more excessively, such as the Great Pyrenees.
Controlling Doberman Shedding
Dobermans may not shed as much as Labradors, but they still do shed enough for owners to start looking for solutions! You can help control the shedding by regularly grooming your dog and making sure to take basic steps to keep your house tidy.
It should be noted that shed Doberman hairs tend to be short and stiff. They tend to “burrow” into soft materials, such as carpet and fabrics, which is why preventing shedding as much as possible is the best way to keep your house free from stray hairs.
Groom them at least once a week with a stiff brush and a grooming mitt designed to help remove dead hairs which would otherwise be shed. Ideally, you would do this outdoors so that you don’t have to deal with the clean-up afterward. You can also remove dead hairs with a wet or damp cloth.
In order to manage shedding in the house, you should take steps so the hair doesn’t get everywhere in the first place. Consider laying down removable covers on furniture where your pup is allowed to rest, such as specific sofas, chairs, and dog beds.
When vacuuming hair from cloth furniture, carpet, or rugs, go over the material with a stiff brush first in order to dig up any burrowed dead hairs; then go over the area with the vacuum to suck up the loose hairs. Hair can be easily vacuumed or swept on hardwood floors.
This hair remover does a great job of removing all types of pet hair from carpet. Even though the edge is non damaging and it claims it can be used on all non-knit fabrics, we recommend just sticking to using it with carpet.
If you want to keep your clothes free from stiff hairs, make sure your clean clothes are put away in drawers and don’t forget to always keep a lint roller on hand.
Some dog owners only allow their fur babies in certain rooms of the house because of this very problem. You can section off areas with gates and only brush them in one certain area or outside. Keep in mind, when you let them outdoors for too long, that smell is going to come in with them. Here are some great tips to keep your dog smelling good without having to give them a bath.
Is Excessive Shedding In Dobermans A Concern?
Not typically. If your Doberman is excessively shedding, it is possible that they are experiencing an allergic reaction, have an underlying health condition, or need to be taken to the vet for further examination. Be prepared to answer any questions when it comes to introducing new foods, giving them table scraps such as fruits, and if you have changed anything in terms of washing their bedding and toys.
Are Dobermans Hypoallergenic?
No, Dobermans are not hypoallergenic. Although they have a short coat, they still shed and are not considered suitable for dog owners who are seeking a hypoallergenic dog.
Do They Smell?
Dobermans are not known to have any particular strong odor. One reason for this is their single-layer coat, which does not trap bad odors and smells as much as double-layer coats.
Although there is a common misconception that Dobermans do not shed, that is all it is: a misconception. Dobermans are a short-haired breed that sheds moderately, but not as much as dog breeds with double-layer coats.
Doberman shedding can be generally controlled with regularly grooming and home maintenance. Although Dobermans are not hypoallergenic, they do shed far less than many other breeds, which can be taken into consideration when deciding on a dog breed for your home.