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The 9 Colors of Doberman Pinschers – Complete Guide to Dobermann Colors & Markings

Written by Richard Jeng

The Doberman Pinscher is an iconic dog, hailing from Germany. Because they’re such loyal and fearless dogs, Dobermans make some of the world’s best police dogs. However, in a family environment, they’re an equally great watchdog and protector of the home.

If you’re thinking about getting a Doberman Pinscher, then you have some options you may want to consider. Contrary to popular belief, Dobermans come in more than one color. As a matter of fact, they come in 9 beautiful colors!

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Colors of the Doberman Pinscher

Though in extremely rare cases there are unique colors, we’ve managed to track them all down. Here are all nine possible colors of the Doberman Pinscher. Keep in mind, you may not be able to find all these colors no matter how hard you search.

1. Black and Rust Doberman

The black and rust (tan) color Doberman Pinscher is the most popular and common variation.

The black and rust Doberman Pinscher is by far the most common color for these dogs. They’re the ones you think of when you imagine these dogs.

These Dobermans will have a slick black coat with tan highlights or markings around the face (muzzle), ears, eyebrows, legs, chest and sometimes below the tail. Because of the tan color, they’re sometimes referred to as the “black and tan” Dobermans as well. A healthy coat will be smooth and glossy with a deep contrast.

Not all Doberman colors are officially recognized by the AKC. However, there’s no doubt the black and rust is, given its immense popularity among this breed. For more information on the official standard of the Doberman Pinscher, see here.

2. Black Doberman

Solid black Dobermans are extremely rare and unethical to breed.

With how popular the black and rust Doberman is, you would think that a solid black Doberman is popular too, right? Not exactly. Rather, these dogs are rare because they’re considered “unethical” to breed. Still, some careless breeders will breed for these colors.

These are also called “melanistic Dobermans” and refer to black Dobermans without the traditional rust / tan markings. As you may have guessed, these colors are not officially recognized due to the potential health problems that may arise.

If you ever encounter a Doberman breeder that breeds this color, I would stay clear of the breeder. Because they’re practicing unethical breeder procedures, you never know the quality in their dogs.

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3. Blue and Rust Doberman

The Blue and Rust Doberman is a standard color of these dog breeds.

The blue and rust Doberman is truly a strikingly beautiful sight to see. Though not as common as their black and rust counterpart, they are highly sought after.

The reason for the “blue” color is because they’ve inherited copies of the dilute recessive gene. Blue and rust Dobermans also have the genes for a black and rust Doberman. However, when you dilute black, you get this blue-ish gray color.

Many people often mistake this blue color for gray. As a result, they’ve been called gray Dobermans as well. The rust markings will have a much lower contract than with a normal black. In actuality, the color looks like a charcoal gray, silver with a hint of purple.

4. Blue Doberman

Solid Blue Dobermanns are not ethical and should not be bred.

A solid blue Doberman may be even more rare than a solid black Doberman. Likewise, they’re also unethical to breed because of potential health issues. Some of which, may include: Von Willebrand Disease (VWD), Cardiomyopathy and Color Dilution Alopecia.

The last health issue, Color Dilution Alopecia, can happen to all blue dogs and not just blue Dobermans. In fact, they’re quite common in blue French Bulldogs. This condition can lead to severe hair-loss, which will likely lead to skin infections and diseases.

Again, we don’t ever suggest keeping a blue Doberman – no matter how awesome they look. And if you’re talking with a breeder that does breed these dogs, I would be very cautious.

5. Red and Rust Doberman

Red and rust is the second most popular color of the Doberman Pinscher.

According to the AKC, the red and rust Doberman Pinscher is the second most popular color choice for these dogs. However, they’re still much less popular than the black and rust.

Though they’re called “red” Dobermans, they’re actually a dark reddish-brown. Many people call it as they see, referring to them as brown Dobermans.

The red and rust Dobermans will also have tan (rust) markings on the eyebrows, muzzle, ears, chest, legs, bottom and beneath the tail. Because the tan color looks like a light brown, the contrast isn’t as “nice” and rich as with the black and rust.

Still, they’re very popular color choices and there are many owners that actually prefer this to the traditional black and rust Doberman. And of course, this is a standard color and officially recognized by the American Kennel Club.

6. Red Doberman

Just like with other solid colored Dobermans, a solid red Doberman isn’t very common. They’re also not ethical to breed, as they can develop health issues just like any other melanistic Dobermans.

Although we don’t agree with the breeding of this color, they still exist in some rare cases. So, they’re here on this list.

Another name for the red Doberman is the chocolate Doberman, because they’re a solid, all-around brown.

7. Fawn and Rust Doberman

The fawn and rust Doberman is the last color variation to be officially recognized by the AKC.

The fawn and rust Doberman is another color officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. Much like the blue and fawn, these colored-dogs carry the recessive dilute genes.

But instead of having the genes for a black coat, the fawns have the genes for a red coat. In other words, the fawn color is the result of diluting the red coat.

In my opinion, fawn and rust Dobermans look funny (but they’re still very cute!). The coat color still looks brown, but much less of the red. Think, a light milk chocolate with the fawn.

Like normal Dobermans, they’ll have tan markings around the ears, muzzle, chest, legs, bottom, eyebrows and under the tail. It’s a little difficult to see because the two colors are very similar and the contrast is very minimal.

Regardless, there is a lot of affection for these colored dogs in the Doberman community. They’re unique, rare and truly a wonderful dog to witness.

8. Fawn Doberman

I think by now you know the problems and concerns with Dobermans that do not have the typical tan/rust markings. The solid fawn Doberman is no exception.

In terms of rarity, they’re even more uncommon than the solid blue Doberman. But if we’ve learned anything, we know that unethical breeders will still attempt to breed these dogs to try to sell at a premium for the “exotic” look.

Don’t fall for this and stay clear of breeders that tell you they breed these colors in Dobermans.

9. White Doberman

The White Doberman is exotic and exquisite, but not completely ethical to breed.

And finally, we have the white Doberman – perhaps the most unique of them all. Though some are pure white, some have a cream color instead. Either way, they’re classified as a white Doberman.

The white Doberman is the result of inbreeding. This practice has caused these dogs to come in albino – but not exactly. The correct term for this is actually “partial albino.”

This color is still very new. In fact, the first documented case of an albino Doberman appeared in 1976, when a doberman named Sheba was born. Because of Sheba and a lot of inbreeding, we now have many other partial albino Dobermans in the world today.

Yes, they may look very cool, but you don’t really want a white Doberman. Not only can they have many health issues, but it’s been documented that they have behavioral issues.

Health issues can include skin and eye problems. Photosensitivity is a common problem with these dogs. Many white Dobermans have poor eyesight, which can lead to behavioral issues.

Because these dogs can’t really see the surrounding environment, it is possible they develop anxiety easier, which may lead to aggressive behaviors, such as biting.

For all the issues I just addressed, these white colored Dobermans have been banned in several countries. You can bet these dogs aren’t recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Though these color variations haven’t been officially banned in the United States, the AKC is doing what it can to discourage breeding white Dobermans.

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So, which is your favorite color for the Doberman Pinscher? Let us know in the comments section below. If you already own a Doberman, feel free to let potential owners know what color Doberman you have and why you picked that color!

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About the author

Richard Jeng

Richard has been raising dogs his whole life, including a Poodle, Pomeranian, Corgi and Australian Shepherd. He's always working with animal shelters and dog rescues because of his passion for all dogs. Fun fact: his all time favorite breed is the German Shepherd.

2 Comments

  • The Melanistic Dobermans have been around since Champion Rappo v.Blankenburg, registered in Germany DZ6355 AKC# 394045. He was born on 3/8/1918. This info is from a book published by Philip Gruenig in 1939 They no different than the standard colors. And you can see their markings if the sun hits them just right. And the markings show more as they age. And the Cream/white Doberman is classified tyrosinase albinoid because they carry the white gene. Dr.Sheila S in Canada says a true albino has no color to the hair, skin, eyes or mucous membrane. They were studying the Cream/white Doberman. A Cream/white Doberman has light brown pigment to the hair, Light pigment to the skin and blue eyes. This is verified by testing By Emily J Walder, VMD, Diplomate, ACVP. Venice Calif. They were sent to Animal Dermatology Clinic in Tustin, Calif. The Cream/white Doberman has been around since the early years also. As they are also referenced in Philips book as well as another book published in 1929 by William Sidney Schmidt. They have been in the breed since the beginning just no one tried to register one till 1976. And the solid colors have been around also. As well as you missed the coated Doberman. They have long hair coats and they are referenced in the books as well.

  • I own a fawn and rust doberman. She is Just amazing and she is very active and intelligent and she really gets trained very easily just like a normal doberman. I’m very proud and happy to own one Fawn doberman and i just pray she stays this pretty and healthy forever.

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