Hailing from Germany, the Doberman Pinscher is an iconic dog breed known for having both the “brains and brawn.” And because they’re such loyal and fearless dogs, Dobermans make some of the world’s best police dogs. Few dog breeds live up to the hype.
However, in a family environment, they’re an equally great watchdog and protector of the home. You will always be able to count on a Doberman Pinscher to have your back. Plus, they’re a great second pair of eyes for your children and property.
But 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 their signature tan and black. In fact, they come in at least 9 beautiful colors!
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Colors of Doberman Pinschers
Whether a color is “standard” or not doesn’t really matter for most owners. That is, unless you plan to show your dog or have them participate in AKC competitions. Otherwise, color is really just a preference and choice among owners.
That being said, the Doberman Pinscher only has 4 official standard colors as set by the American Kennel Club. Even so, AKC recognizes 5 different Doberman colors – including the elusive yet majestic White Doberman Pinscher.
|DESCRIPTION||STANDARD COLORS||REGISTRATION CODE|
|Black & Rust||Standard||015|
|Blue & Rust||Standard||042|
|Fawn & Rust||Standard||316|
|Red & Rust||Standard||145|
Though some of these unique colors are extremely rare cases, 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 despite your search.
1. Black and Rust Doberman
The “black and rust” Doberman Pinscher is by far the most common color for these dogs. In fact, they will be the ones you imagine when you think of these dogs. This color is shown in movies, comic books and mainstream media. It’s hard to mistaken one for anything else.
These Doberman Pinschers will have a slick black coat with tan highlights or markings near and around their faces (muzzle), ears, eyebrows, legs, chest and sometimes below the tail. They’re really the iconic and signature colors of this dog breed.
But due to the tan-like color, they’re sometimes referred to as the “black and tan” or “black and brown” Dobermans as well. With a healthy coat, the fur will be smooth and glossy with a deep contrast between the base color and marking highlights.
Of course, not all Doberman colors are officially recognized by the AKC. However, there’s not a single doubt that the black and rust is part of the standard, especially given their immense popularity among this breed. They’re also the easiest colors to find.
2. Solid Black Doberman
With how popular the black and rust Doberman is, you’d think that a solid black Doberman is up there in popularity too, right? Not exactly. Black Doberman Pinschers are rare because they’re considered to be “unethical.” But why is this the case?
These are also called “melanistic Dobermans” and refer specifically to solid black Doberman Pinschers without the traditional rust or tan markings. As you may have guessed, this color is not recognized by the AKC (or most kennel clubs) due to the potential health problems may arise.
Some unethical or unprofessional breeders will breed for these colors and market them as “exclusive” or “rarer” dogs for the sake of profit. Don’t buy into this lie! Many breeders that strive for rare coats often ignore breeding for good health. Appearance over health.
If you encounter a breeder that purposely breeds for this color, I would stay clear of all dealings with this breeder. Because they’re practicing unethical breeding procedures, you will never know the quality or the potential long-term health effects of their dogs.
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3. Blue and Rust Doberman
The blue and rust Doberman is truly a beautiful sight to see. While they’re not as common as their black and rust counterpart, they are definitely highly sought after. The subtle blue makes them a unique Dobe while maintaining the standard AKC recognition.
The reason for the “blue-ish” color is because they’ve inherited copies of the dilute recessive gene. Yes, the 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 a slate gray or silver. As a result, this color variety of the Dobe has been unofficially called the gray Doberman as well.
The rust markings on top of the slate blue will have a much lower contrast than with a normal black. In actuality, the color looks like a charcoal gray, silver with a hint of purple. Though, this shade and hue can vary among individual blue Dobermans.
4. Blue Doberman
A solid blue Doberman may be even more rare than a solid black Doberman. In fact, blue Dobes may be the rarest among this breed. Likewise, they’re also unethical to breed due to the plethora of potential health issues. However that’s not to say all blue Dobes will be unhealthy.
Still, new owners should be aware. Health issues related to the blue color may include: Von Willebrand Disease (or VWD), Color Dilution Alopecia and Cardiomyopathy. Some of which, can be serious and lead to plenty of severe health problems in the future.
For example, 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 tends to lead to severe hair-loss, which will likely lead to infections of the skin or other nasty diseases.
Again, we don’t ever suggest keeping a blue Doberman, no matter how awesome they look. If you’re talking with a breeder that does breed these dogs, I would be very cautious doing business with them. But like I mentioned they’re super rare and it’s possible to find a healthy one.
5. Red and Rust Doberman
According to the AKC, the red and rust Doberman Pinscher is the second most popular color choice for this dog breed. However, they’re still much less popular than the black and rust. Plus, a red and rust coat gives off an aura of mystery that tends to attract new owners.
Though they’re called “red” Dobes, they’re really a dark reddish-brown. Even so, many other people call them as they see it – referring to them as brown Dobermans. But no matter what you call them, you can deny that they’re gorgeous dogs!
The red and rust Dobermans will also have tan (rust) markings on the eyebrows, muzzle, ear, chest, legs, bottom and beneath the tail. Because the tan looks like a light brown, the contrast isn’t as “nice” and deep 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. Personally, we think this color is more unique. And of course, this is a standard color that has been officially recognized by the AKC.
6. Red Doberman
Just like with other solid colored Dobermans, a solid red Doberman isn’t very common even among the breed enthusiasts. A red Doberman is also not ethical to breed, as they can develop health issues just like with any of the other melanistic Dobermans.
Although we don’t agree with the breeding of this color, they still exist in some rare cases. We had a real difficult time finding even a single picture of the solid Red Doberman. And some will consider red and rust with light markings as solid red.
Another name for a red Doberman is the chocolate Doberman. Because they’re pretty much a solid, all-around brown, this name makes a lot of sense. And if anyone has more pictures of these dogs, feel free to send us a message!
7. Fawn and Rust Doberman
While few have heard of this color, the fawn and rust Doberman is another color coat recognized by the AKC. Much like the blue and fawn, these special-colored dogs carry the recessive dilute genes that lead to this special Doberman color.
But instead of having the genes for a black coat, the fawns have the genes for a red coat. That said, the fawn color is the result of diluting the red coat. In my opinion, fawn and rust Dobermans look a bit funny (but they’re still very beautiful dogs!).
The coat color still looks brown, but much less of the reddish undertone seen in the true reds. However with fawn, I like to compare them to a light milk chocolate.
Like many Dobermans, they’ll have tan markings around the ears, muzzle, chest, legs, bottom, eyebrows and under the tail. But we’ll admit – it’s a little difficult to see because the two colors are very similar and the contrast is very minimal.
8. Fawn Doberman
I think by now you should know the problems and concerns with Dobermans that do not have the typical tan or rust marking. The solid fawn Doberman is no exception. Health concerns can be a real concern if a solid fawn Doberman Pinscher is being bred for.
In terms of rarity, they’re even more uncommon than the solid blue Doberman. But if we have learned anything, we know that unethical breeders will still attempt to breed these dogs to try to sell at a huge premium for this “exotic” look.
Again, don’t buy into the hype and fall for this tactic. Stay clear of breeders that tell you they breed these colors for their Dobermans. It’s one thing to unintentionally get one in a litter, but another to breed for the color. If a breeder is selling multiple fawns, they’re likely neglecting health.
9. White Doberman
And finally, we have the white Doberman – perhaps the most unique of them all. Though some are pure solid white, others have a cream white color instead. Either way, they’re classified as white Doberman Pinschers. But there are problems associated with this color.
The white Doberman isn’t all they’re made out to be. In fact, it’s from the result of inbreeding, whether intentional or not. As a result, this practice has caused these dogs to come in albino – though not exactly. The correct term for this is actually “partial albino.”
This color is still very new. 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 Dobes in the world today.
Yes, they may look very cool, but you don’t really want a white Doberman. Not only can they develop many health issues, but they’ve been known to develop behavioral issues.
Health issues can include skin and eye problems. In addition, photosensitivity is a common problem with these dogs. And because many white Dobermans have poor eyesight, this can lead to behavioral issues.
When these dogs can’t really see the surrounding environment, they tend to develop anxiety easier, which may lead to aggressive behaviors and tendencies, such as biting. Because of all the issues, white colored Dobermans have been banned in several countries.
As a result, you can guess these dogs aren’t recognized by the American Kennel Club. And while this color hasn’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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Sunday 13th of November 2022
While I agree and commend the article for it's attempt of properly conveying a message of "color preference or color-ism". I do disagree with some of the long held outdated information regarding somenof the colors described. Having had the pleasure of sharing my life with all but 3 of the above mentioned colors, I feel obligated to my past and present Doberman's to stand up for the slightly skewed information presented. Any well bred dog will obviously have less health issues than those whom are irresponsibly paired together for the simple outcome of a litter of puppies. Having paid $400 to $4500 for some of my past Doberman's, one would conclude the $4500 show prospect puppy would have been the best. He lived 4 days and died while having his ears cropped and his breeders lifetime health guarantee meant nothing. He, at 12 weeks old, succumbed to his highly inbred and health deprived bloodlines. Now compare his health/COI to that of my healthy White Doberman's and the distinction is outstanding! I am rather proud of the COI, less than 28% and not the 60% or higher the DPCA (or your article) would like people to believe. Compare that COI to most Non Z or WZ bloodlines and you will begin to see where my dedication for this 😍 ng breed lays...to produce a healthy, long lived Doberman Pinscher in all it's glorious colors. Having that frame of mind is not for the faint of heart. You will be shocked at how many people are downright nasty if you have a Doberman of any color than Black/Rust or Red/Rust. From the insults to stalking to even those making threats against the dogs/people. For nothing more than it's color and their own misinformation. So in short, thank you for a partially well written article.
Sunday 7th of August 2022
Trying to determine exactly which color my Doberman is.
Thursday 24th of March 2022
I've had 3 white dobermans from different breeders. They weren't bred on purpose and had zero problems....zero. although I would never breed to white adults to produce more all whites I think this article is not entirely true at all
Sunday 20th of February 2022
I have a red & rust Doberman mix. She was listed as a hound, I fell in love with her chocolate coloring. I did my homework and realized I had a wonderful Doberman mix . I wouldn’t trade her for anything.
Thursday 11th of November 2021
I have a Fawn and Rust dobie. She is absolutely the sweetest dog ever. Light chocolate milk is the perfect way of describing her coat. And she doesn’t look funny at all!