The Doberman Pinscher was developed in Germany in the late 19th century. The breed is named after its primary founder, Herr Louis Dobermann. While its exact origins are unknown, some of the breeds known to figure in the Doberman's ancestry are the Weimaraner, Rottweiler, German pinscher, Beauceron and Manchester terrier.
Doberman Coat Colors
The most well-known Doberman coat color is black, with rust markings on the face, legs, belly and chest. The other common color is red, also with rust markings. Less common are the diluted colors: fawn, which is a dilution of red; and blue, which is a dilution of black. The diluted colors also have rust markings.
Genetics of the Blue Doberman
Genetically, the blue Doberman coat is from a gene that inhibits -- or dilutes -- full pigmentation. Black becomes blue, which is actually gray, and red becomes fawn. Dilution is a recessive trait -- a dog must have two copies of the dilution gene to display the diluted color. For blue Dobermans, this means that black or red dogs can carry the dilute gene, and can produce blue puppies when bred to either a blue dog or a black that is carrying the dilute gene.
Blue Doberman Health
In addition to the health problems found in all colors of Dobermans, including cardiomypathy and von Willebrands disease, blue (and fawn) Dobermans might be affected by a skin condition known as Color Dilution Alopecia. In dogs with CDA, the hair becomes brittle and breaks easily, eventually leading to hair loss over large areas of the body. The exposed skin becomes scaly and can develop bacterial infections. There is no cure for CDA; treatment focuses on keeping the skin healthy.
Blue Doberman Puppies
Be wary of breeders who charge higher prices for blue puppies, or market them as rare or unusual. Although dilute dogs only comprise 8 to 9 percent of the breed, blue Dobermans are not considered rare. If you're interested in purchasing a blue Doberman puppy, find a breeder who belongs to a local club, participates in conformation or performance events with their dogs and tests their dogs for common health problems in the breed.
- Doberman image by Stana from Fotolia.com
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