Those who think that the Doberman breed is aggressive, fierce, unstable and any other negative trait that the mainstream media and films portray it to be will say that these are some of the major weaknesses they have. But if you take a look at every dog breed, they have these personalities as well, and they develop those when they are not addressed well when they were still puppies.
The true weaknesses of Doberman Pinschers are related to health issues, especially when they come from breeders that practices unwise breeding methods.
Every dog breed has the potential to acquire genetic health issues. One of the most common yet serious health issues facing the Doberman breed is cardiomyopathy, a health issue that causes enlargement of the heart. It is critical for every Doberman owner to have their dogs go through a heart exam at least once a year to prevent them from getting this condition at an early stage. It is also advised that Dobermans with this condition must not be bred. They should also not be bred without a comprehensive examination of the heart which must be conducted by a certified vet cardiologist with OFA certification in the past year. It can be quite sad when a Doberman that was examined and cleared one day will develop the heart disease on the next. A puppy bred from 2 parents without the heart problem can still acquire it.
Another health issue that must be taken note of is the cervical vertebral instability or CVI, commonly known as the Wobbler’s syndrome. This is caused by the vertebrae’s malformation in the neck, which results in pressuring the spinal cord. This leads to the lack of coordination and weakness of the vertebrae in its hindquarters. It can cause the dog to go into paralysis. The symptoms of this disease can be managed to an extent, especially among dogs that are not affected that much. There are dogs that are relieved with some form of surgery, yet the outcome to this is uncertain. CVI is considered as a genetic disease, but there are no screen tests for this condition.
Dobermans are also susceptible to a bleeding disorder, known as the von Willebrand disease. Other names include Addison’s disease or hypoadrenocorticism.
Take note that not all these conditions can be detected in a growing Doberman puppy and it can be almost impossible to predict if the breed will be free from these problems.