The Doberman Pinscher is a dog breed often associated with being big and tough. They are quite big, reaching between 60 and 100 pounds. These large remarkable-looking dogs have a tough reputation and make very effective guard dogs. Despite their enormous size and impressive appearance, these pups are sweet, energetic, very loving, and sensitive. These pups are also referred to as Dobie.
Dobermans are very popular and have consistently been in the top 20 of the most popular breeds in the United States. They are admired for their protective instincts and lovable, affectionate personalities. Dobies are known to be fiercely loyal, and these pups make great pets for the right owners.
Learning about a dog breed is the first step to responsible pet ownership. For a sizable breed like the Doberman, it helps to have an idea of what to expect as far as growth goes. These dogs require a considerable amount of care, and that cute puppy will quickly grow into a large, energetic, and sometimes very needy dog. Not all dogs, even in the same breed, will develop exactly on the same growth timeline. Knowing what to look for around growth and development milestones is very helpful. Our comprehensive growth chart is here to walk owners through what to expect for the growth and development of their new Doberman.
This comprehensive guide will walk owners through Doberman’s growth from puppy to adult. We focus on the first year and discuss normal development, taking a quick look at adult Dobermans and what they need. We also discuss factors that impact growth. Finally, we answer some commonly asked questions about this breed and its growth.
What To Expect
Puppyhood is your puppy’s most pivotal stage of development, regardless of breed. These early months or when incredible and intense growth and development happen. Growth charts and guidelines are wonderful tools to reference, but they are not an exact playbook for this or any other breed. It is crucial that owners thoroughly research and learn about a breed before bringing them home. Spend time learning about caring for your dog because it is your responsibility as an owner to keep them happy, healthy, and on track to normal development. Before starting our puppy growth timeline, we need to review a few reminders.
Our guide discusses the average growth patterns of a typical, healthy Doberman. It is important to remember that your puppy may not grow on the exact same timeline that we present. Owners should keep in mind that while a Doberman is considered an adult at 12 months old, they will continue to mature for at least two more years. Males will mature until they reach about three years old, and females will mature between the age of two and three. Dobermans live, on average, 10 to 12 years.
Growth depends on several factors. Of course, breed and genetics play a role. However, care, nutrition, physical health, and environment play a role. How much and what a dog eats significantly impacts physical growth. Every dog is unique and will grow to be the perfect size for them, regardless of what any growth chart or developmental guide says. If you are worried about your pup or feel that development is not going properly, it is essential to reach out to your vet as soon as possible. They can help you look specifically at your pet’s health, nutrition, and environment and rule out any underlying medical issues.
Puppy Growth Timeline
In the following sections, we discuss some of the most important things owners need to know about caring for a Doberman during the puppy stage. Puppies grow very quickly, so monitor them closely as they move through new growth and development every month. One thing to point out is that Doberman puppies take longer to mature than some either breeds. While they are considered fully grown at 12 months, they can continue to grow and mature for another one or two years.
Birth To 2 Weeks
Newborn Dobie puppies are incredibly small, weighing between 10 and 20 ounces. They are born with their eyes and ears sealed shut, so they cannot hear or see anything. Puppies are utterly dependent on their mother for everything. They will stay very close to her and will nurse frequently. Puppies should be encouraged to nurse and allowed to nurse as much as they need. If it seems like they are not getting enough sustenance, it is important to talk to your veterinarian right away about picking an appropriate puppy milk substitute.
Tail docking should happen at about five days old if this is a choice made for this puppy. The traditional Doberman look has cropped ears and a short, docked tail, but not all owners or breeders will make this choice. This is actually a somewhat controversial topic with this breed, as the American Kennel Club standard says the tail should be docked at approximately the second joint. However, the breed standard used in other places in the world, including the Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, calls for the tail to be left in its natural state and carried high with a slight curve.
By one month, your Doberman puppy will not be quite as small and fragile. Both males and female puppies will weigh between 5 and 10 pounds. Their eyes and ears should be fully open by now, and they will have gained some mobility control. Puppies will start to crawl and scoot about, wanting to explore the world around them. At one month, your pup’s personality will begin to show. This is also a good time to start preparing for weaning. Puppies will still be nursing but can be introduced to puppy mush. This is water or puppy formula-soaked food that can start to be introduced to them. As puppies show more interest in this food, they will nurse less.
Around one-month-old puppies will start to gain more control of their faculties, like using the bathroom alone. If they have not seen a vet yet, it is time to start the deworming process. Puppies should be on their first or second dose at this time.
At two months old, puppies are highly active. They are more sturdy on their feet and interested in exploring and playing. This second month is important as puppies will transition from nursing to eating only puppy food. They may exhibit some reluctance not to be as close to their mom. However, she is ready for them to be done nursing, and they need more than formula is going to give them to support their rapid growth. 2-month-old male Doberman puppies will weigh between 15 and 25 pounds, and females follow close behind at a weight of about 10 to 20 pounds.
Remember, this breed adds about 10 pounds a month during this time of rapid growth. They will start growing quickly, will need lots of energy and high-quality protein to support that growth, and will also need to get plenty of rest. Ear cropping, if that is going to be done, should be scheduled between seven and nine weeks. Around now, it’s time to start preparing and introducing house training to your pup.
A 3-month-old Doberman puppy is a significantly sized dog by now. Males will weigh between 25 and 35 pounds, and females will weigh between 20 and 30 pounds. Puppies are highly active. They should be scheduled or have started puppy vaccinations at this time. It is time to begin training if you have not already. House training is particularly important because, by now, Dobermans are of considerable size, and accidents can be quite unpleasant. Be gentle with house training and always offer positive rewards and feedback. Puppies are babies, and they still do not fully understand that they need to go outside to the bathroom. Owners are responsible for teaching them this in a kind and compassionate way. This is also a good time to start talking to your vet about the spay and neuter process.
This is around the time when your vet will want to do rabies and other vaccinations. Teething also starts now. Baby teeth will fall out, and adult teeth will grow in. It is important to provide them with appropriate teething toys and ensure they learn not to bite people or other pets. Mouthing behavior may start to amp up around now, and it is essential to stop this before it becomes a habit. Work on redirecting their behavior and communicating to them positively that it is not acceptable to do that. Puppies should be entirely on high-quality puppy kibble, preferably a large breed dog food, with some wet food or fresh food mixed in for flavor.
By four months old, it will become evident that your pup is going to be a large dog. Males can weigh anywhere from 35 to 50 pounds now. Females will weigh between 30 and 45 pounds. Though they may look like full-size dogs, they are still growing and are very emotionally immature. It is important to ensure you are working on socializing your puppy at this point. Because Dobermans get so big so quickly, they might resemble a gangly teenager who cannot control their own body. This is an enjoyable time, as well as a frustrating time. Stay positive, offer your puppy encouragement, and don’t give up. If you are having difficulty training your pup, this is a good time to look into professional training and obedience classes.
Training is of the utmost importance for a breed as giant as the Doberman, which carries a reputation for being an aggressive, protective dog. Pups must know how to behave around other people, other dogs, strangers, and in new situations. Training will require a lot of effort, and progress might be slow but do not give up. It is much easier to demonstrate and teach a pup appropriate behavior now rather than when they are older and more established in their routine.
Puppies will continue to grow rapidly and will want a lot of attention right now. At five months old male dogs will weigh between 45 and 55 pounds on average, while females will be in the 40 to 50 range. Puppies need to be fed high-quality nutrition, about three meals a day. Because these dogs are so big, are growing quickly, and will be highly active, nutrition is essential. They need to replace all the energy they are expending. Make sure to be patient with your pup and continue training as much as possible. Potty training should be pretty well established by now, though there may be the occasional accident. Remember, puppies are very excitable, and this can sometimes lead to accidents. It is important to remember that your dog is still relatively young even though, size-wise, they are larger than many adult dogs.
A 6-month-old Doberman puppy is going to be a handful. There is no doubt that your pup will be full of energy and ready to explore the world. Males will weigh between 50 and 65 pounds, while females range between 45 and 55 pounds. You will start to really see the difference between male and female dog sizes around now. Male Dobermans are significantly larger than females.
Puppies will need a healthy mix of physical activity and downtime. While it might seem like they have boundless energy and wants to play every hour of the day, owners must be careful not to overexert their putt. Especially with a substantially sized breed like the Doberman, Be careful to ensure they do not exercise too much while growing so fast. It can actually have a detrimental effect on their growth and put them at risk for hip dysplasia and other issues. Internally your pup’s organs will be close to fully grown, but his body size still has a way to go. If you have not discussed having your dog spayed or neutered yet, now is definitely the time to do so.
Right around the six-month mark is when puberty and extra hormones are going to hit. These hormonal changes can start to impact your pup’s behavior. Marking territory, spraying, and trying to mount other dogs and furniture are some examples of this adolescent behavior.
There is really no other word to describe your puppy at this age other than large. At seven months old male Dobermans weigh between 55 and 70 pounds or more. Females will be between 50 and 60 pounds. Permanent teeth should be almost fully grown in. Female Dobermans will reach their first heat around eight months, so seven months is definitely time to face this procedure. There is not really a valid reason to keep a Doberman intact unless one is interested in breeding. Even then, there are guidelines that should be followed.
Your pup will continue to grow and mature during this month. They will have plenty of energy but may start to calm down a little as they become established in daily routines. It is imperative to set and stick to a feeding schedule. Remember, this breed should continue to be fed high-quality puppy-formulated food until they reach one year old. By seven months, dogs should be fully house-trained and have a good understanding of behavior expectations. They are puppies, so there will likely still be a lot of chewing and other semi-destructive behaviors. This is a good time to reinforce training, as some pups will want to test their limits right about now, just like a typical teenager.
At eight months old, puppies will continue to grow. They should be very well set in their routine and understand appropriate behavior. This breed will need plenty of room to run around and move. Even inside, they will be very high energy. It is essential to make sure they are getting enough exercise. This breed is known to be very sensitive to being left alone, which can lead to destructive behaviors. Be sure to provide plenty of toys and stimulating entertainment if pups must be left home alone. This may be a good breed to consider a doggy daycare or professional dog walking during the day. Males will weigh approximately 65 to 75 pounds, and females will be between 55 and 65 pounds.
At nine months old, your Doberman will likely be mistaken for a full-size dog. Males will weigh between 65 and 80 pounds or more. Females range between 65 to 75 or more. While they are still growing, you may not notice as much colossal weight gain. Make sure to continue with positive behavior rewards. While it may seem like your pup should be fully trained, it is always important to reinforce those pieces of training and boundaries. Dogs will start to test limits, especially a very sensitive and intelligent breed like this. They will need plenty of physical exercise every day. Make sure dogs get at least one but preferably two rigorous walks every day. They should also have plenty of time to run around freely in the yard and lots of toys.
Continue to feed your Dobie puppy-formulated food. The switch to adult food will happen in a couple of months, but right now, the puppy is still growing and using a lot of energy and needs the extra boost of fat, protein, and nutrients included in puppy-formulated foods.
Ten months old and still growing! While it might seem like your pup is enormous already, the growth is not yet done. By now, male dogs will weigh between 75 and 85 pounds, and female dogs will weigh between 60 and 75 or so pounds. The difference between male and female puppies will be very obvious by now due to their significant difference in size. While they will still be putting on weight, it will not be as rapid as before. By now, female dogs will likely reach their full height, though male dogs may have a little more room to grow.
It is important to make sure you stick to training and provide positive reinforcement and redirection. Make sure pups are eating high-quality food and getting plenty of opportunities for exercise. Along with physical activity, they will need mental stimulation. Dobermans are a breed that loves being around their humans and will enjoy playing various games or just chilling out. Even though your pup will be the size of an adult dog, they will still need that puppy-formulated food.
At 11 months old, dogs should be well-trained and well-established in their daily routine. By now, you can take them out for walks, hikes, and adventures. Puppy vaccinations should all be finished right about now. This is a great time to get to know adult dog food. Consider a large breed formula. Owners should research and talk to their veterinarian, pet nutritionist, or behavior trainer for recommendations. Once you have picked a food, you can start to add a minimal amount to the puppy kibble to begin the process of transitioning. However, this is merely for taste and for puppies to get used to this new food. Continue to give them puppy food, slowly increasing the amount of adult food. At 11 months, male German shepherds can weigh anything from 75 to about 90 pounds. Females will weigh between 65 and 80 pounds.
Break out the puppy cake and presents because the time has come to party. You and your pup made it to one year. This is no small feat, especially with a large breed like this. It is time to fully switch to adult food. If you have not started the process yet, then it’s time to start. Male dogs will weigh between 75 to 95 pounds, and females will weigh between 75 and 90 pounds.
A little growth and filling out will continue for up to the next two years. Dogs will still need plenty of exercise and daily playtime with their humans. Continue to keep your dog on a daily feeding schedule. Some adult dogs prefer only to eat twice a day. As long as you are not free feeding this dog, breed owners can pick what works best for them. If eating two meals a day, they will be to larger meals. If eating three meals, you can divide the same amount of food into three meals instead of two.
Full Grown Doberman
Dobermans will continue to fill out for the next several months to a year. When they reach 24 months, males will weigh between 75 and 100 pounds, and females will weigh between 60 and 90 pounds. They will stand between 24 and 28 inches tall at full growth. As you can tell by the projected weights, male adult Dobermans are significantly larger than females. Your dog will start to transition into adulthood, but this will not be an overnight process. There will still be plenty of days full of puppy energy, and even senior dogs love to play.
Make sure your pup receives proper medical care and vaccinations throughout their life. Even though they will go to the vet more often as puppies, adult dogs also need to go to preventative care visits. These are pivotal in keeping them healthy and having a long, happy life.
What Happens Next?
Once your dog has reached 12 months old, they are technically considered an adult, though will still have a lot of maturing to do. As your dog ages, you will start to notice them slowing down a little bit. That puppy energy will be on the decline and more controlled. They will begin to understand that their behavior significantly affects the things they get to do. Dobermans will be continually active throughout their lives. Because they are a larger-sized breed, physical exercise and nutrition will be pivotally important moving forward. Dobermans will need at least 60 minutes of intense physical exercise daily. They are capable of much more than that, so do not be afraid to take this breed on long walks or hikes. Even though your dog may not be bouncing off the walls, they will still need an outlet for all that energy.
Dobermans fare better when they are in a home with experienced dog owners. This breed is known for being very sensitive, but they are also very dominant. They will need firm boundaries to be set and enforced throughout their lives. Dobermans genuinely see themselves as part of the pack, even if that pack is made-up of humans. They often want to be the leader of the pack, and this can cause some behavior issues. Because this dog has a dominant personality, is so large, and full of energy, owners should never expect this to be a breed that will be happy to lay around and do nothing. They need constant stimulation and entertainment. This breed is known for having an intense personality, which is something prospective owners should research before bringing one home.
Weight Growth Chart
|Age||Male Weight (lbs.)||Female Weight (lbs.)|
|Birth to 2 weeks||10 - 20 oz||10 - 20 oz|
|1 month||5 - 10||5 - 10|
|2 months||15 - 25||10 - 20|
|3 months||25 - 35||20 - 30|
|4 months||35 - 50||30 - 45|
|5 months||45 - 55||40 - 50|
|6 months||50 - 65||45 - 55|
|7 months||55 - 70||50 - 60|
|8 months||65 - 75||55 - 65|
|9 months||65 - 80||65 - 70|
|10 months||75 - 85||60 - 75|
|11 months||75 - 90||65 - 80|
|1 year ( 12 Months)||75 - 95||75 - 90|
|2 years (24 Months)||75 - 100||60 - 90|
Height Growth Chart
|Height||Male & Female|
|2 Months||7 - 10|
|3 Months||10 - 12|
|4 Months||12 - 20|
|5 Months||20 - 22|
|6 Months||22 - 24|
|12 Months||24 - 28|
Factors To Consider
Several different factors can impact how large a Doberman will be. Breed, genetics, and bloodline obviously play a huge part. Nutrition, exercise level, and care will have an impact. While growth charts and guidelines like this one are a great reference point and tool for owners to keep track of growth and milestones, they are not an absolute measure or prediction of how big any individual dog will be. Dogs will reach the right size for them, regardless of breed. Some may be smaller, and some may be larger. Owners should always discuss any health concerns and growth and development questions with their veterinarian. If you are concerned about your Doberman’s growth, it is best to talk to your veterinarian sooner rather than later. Consider the following when monitoring your Doberman’s growth.
Genetics significantly affect how large a dog will be when fully grown. Bloodline matters, and, in many cases, purebred dogs will be smaller than those with mixed bloodlines. Owners should look at the parent dogs and siblings to get an idea of how large their Dobermans might be. Keep in mind there are always going to be some genetic variants that will impact growth. Genetics is one of the factors that are out of an owner’s control, and there is really no way to know precisely what genetics a dog has unless owners know the parents or can do a canine DNA test.
Dobermans, like all purebred dogs, are more likely to suffer from particular health concerns than some other breeds. This breed is prone to cardiac conditions, though the most common issue is dilated cardiomyopathy. This condition can lead to heart failure and even sudden death, so is never something to ignore. Regular veterinary checkups can help identify serious concerns like heart disease. Hip dysplasia is also another common condition that plagues large breeds. The hip joint grows unevenly and faster in some places than others, making it susceptible to exposed wear and tear. This condition is also quite painful for dogs. Eye conditions, including progressive retinal atrophy, are a big concern. Additionally, this breed can suffer from a blood clotting disorder called Von Willebrand’s disease.
Next to genetics, nutrition is one of the most significant factors in how large a Doberman will be. A fully grown Doberman Pinscher can eat about four cups of food every day. Some will eat a little more, and others will eat a little less depending on age, weight, and physical activity. The Dobie loves to eat, and if it were left up to them, they would eat those four cups all at once. It is essential to monitor their food intake, feed them high-quality food, and keep them on a regular feeding schedule to keep them from putting on extra weight. Extra weight will put extra strain on a dog’s body, which can lead to heart, joint, bone, and other health issues.
High-quality dog food should include a good balance of healthy proteins, fruits, grains, and vegetables and a blend of vitamins and minerals. They should always eat healthy meats like chicken, beef, turkey, salmon, whitefish, lamb, duck, rabbit, bison, or venison. This breed should always be fed high-quality food formulated for larger breeds. These foods contain beneficial levels of phosphorus and calcium, which are very important in bone growth. Try to find a dog food that uses all-natural ingredients, free of artificial colorings and chemicals. Always look for dog foods that list whole animal protein as the first ingredient.
Even when switching your dog from puppy food to adult food or switching from brand to brand, it is very important to provide high-quality nutrition consistently. Stay away from sudden changes, as these can cause your dog significant issues, including discomfort, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Only ever transition food slowly to keep your dog healthy. You can check out the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) pet food guidelines which will give you a good base of what to look for in well-balanced dog food.
Growth Spurts & Plateaus
Just like human children, all dogs experience both spurts and plateaus during their growth process. This is partly due to the large amount of energy they both use and spend on growing. Growth spurts and plateaus are unpredictable, and they can happen anytime during a dog’s first few years of life. Keep in mind that Dobermans are a breed that will grow beyond their first birthday and will continue to mature for several years. Growth spurts and plateaus are normal.
Growth spurts and plateaus can be stressful and may start owners thinking that there might be something wrong with their pup. It is vital to bring up any concerns with your veterinarian. Should you notice your pup putting on a lot of weight or, conversely not gaining any weight at all, then it may be a good idea to reach out to your veterinarian. They can help determine if your pup is simply experiencing a normal growth spurt or plateau or if something else is going on. Never change your dog’s diet or start adding supplements to help them grow without first discussing this with your veterinarian.
Spay & Neuter
Spaying and neutering a dog too early can result in some developmental issues, though it has not been shown to impact their size. However, undertaking this procedure too early can affect lifelong health. Conversely, waiting too long can create a health concern for your dog and be a far more traumatic experience for them.
For male Dobermans, this procedure should happen earlier, between 6 and 11 months. However, it is best for females to wait until they are two years old or at least about 11 months after they first go into heat. It is recommended to wait longer for females than males because there is a possibility of a higher risk of incontinence if female dogs are spayed earlier.
This decision is something that will depend on your individual dog and the preference of your veterinarian. Make sure to start asking about this procedure early, around three or four months, so you can get an idea of when is going to be an appropriate time to spay and neuter. Risk of pregnancy, local requirements regarding neutering, and health problems should always be considered when deciding on the right time.
Physical Health & Activity
Physical health impacts how big a dog will grow and how rapidly they will grow. Dogs with poor nutrition and underlying health conditions will not grow as fast and may not be as large as adults. Puppies suffering from an illness or not being given enough opportunity to exercise may develop slower than their peers. Giving them too much exercise can overwork them and cause mobility issues, exhaustion, and anxiety. Regular, healthy, appropriate physical activity for a dog’s life stage is critical to proper growth and development.
Physical health is the cornerstone of healthy growth and development. Improper feeding, poor care, and an unsafe home can all contribute to stunted and poor growth if your Dobie is inactive or seems to be having mobility or other physical issues. For this, it is best to contact your veterinarian.
Dental health is an often-overlooked area of canine health. Dangerous dental disease can develop by just two years old. Many owners do not realize dental care’s impact on overall health and development. Dental care should start as soon as a Dobie grows in adult teeth, if not sooner. Practice makes perfect, and the earlier your pup learns to tolerate teeth being cleaned, the better. Regular veterinary care is essential for proper growth and development. Keeping up with these appointments is one of the best steps an owner can take, regardless of the breed or size of the dog.
The kind of care and living environment a Doberman is in will also impact their growth and development. Dogs who are kept isolated, in a dark room, with no toys may start to act out behaviorally or become withdrawn. These dogs may have a poor appetite and may grow slowly. Dogs of any breed should always be kept in a comfortable, safe home where they have plenty of room to run around. Additionally, dogs like the Dobie are very intelligent and need a lot of mental stimulation. Dogs should always have their own safe place inside the home, as well as a safe place to explore and get exercise outside.
This breed is incredibly attached to people and may show poor development if they feel isolated or like they are not getting enough attention. A Dobie is not a dog for inexperienced owners or owners who do not have much time to devote to their pups. These dogs require a lot of intention and care from the very first day they come home till their senior years. Owners should understand that raising a Doberman is a wonderful privilege and also a huge responsibility. It is important to make sure one is up for the task before bringing home one of these pups.
Frequently Asked Questions
How quickly do Dobermans grow?
After about the first month, Dobermans can grow an average of 10 pounds every month. They will continue this pattern until they reach close to one year old. This breed will continue to fill out and put on weight for up to two years after they are considered adult dogs.
Do Dobermans have tiny heads?
Dobermans have smaller heads than some other breeds of dogs, especially when compared to their large body size. There are a lot of myths about this, including a very far-fetched one that claims a Doberman’s skull is not large enough for a growing brain. This is not true. A Dobie’s head size is exactly what it needs to be for this breed.
Are Dobermans dangerous dogs?
Dobies are not inherently dangerous dogs. They are dogs that require an experienced owner and have a dominant personality. These dogs are often used as guard dogs, contributing to their reputation as being mean. These dogs should be supervised, and owners should always be aware of their large size, as it is intimidating.
Can Dobermans be around kids?
Dobermans can be around kids but should always be supervised, especially with young children. Because of the considerable size of this breed, it is always best to have adult supervision around when they are with young children. This is not because the breed is known to be aggressive or have a dislike for children. This is simply due to their large size. Additionally, these dogs are very needy and like to be the center of attention, so they can quickly get excited around kids when trying to get in on the fun.
The Doberman Pinscher is a protective, loyal, and impressive dog. They are known as one of the best family guard dogs worldwide. Though they are trustworthy, fierce, and formidable, this breed loves people and is very sweet, cuddly, and affectionate with their human family members. This breed is large and will reach almost 100 pounds or more when fully grown. Even though females are smaller, they can still reach a hefty size. This breed will grow for up to two or three years and continue to fill out and mature after they reach one year. When fully grown, this is a very large dog. Growth will depend on many factors, including genetics, nutrition, health, physical activity, and care.
Researching a breed and its expected growth trajectory before bringing them home is the first step to being a responsible pet owner. Use growth charts like this to help monitor their development throughout the first year. These are beneficial tools and offer milestones and advice on what to look for. Always consult your veterinarian as soon as possible if you are concerned about your Dobie’s growth cycle. Remember that growth spurts and plateaus happen and are normal. We hope our comprehensive Doberman growth chart has helped familiarize prospective owners with what to expect with the Dobies development.