The “Coated” Doberman

Image © Sizzledog Photography used with permission

This beautiful girl above is named Bella and is currently being fostered by Sizzledog on the Doberman forum And although she looks a slight bit different to most, she is, in fact, a Doberman.

Every so often, a Doberman is born with what appears to be a little bit extra fuzz. But as they grow, that fuzz gets longer and longer. Some end up so wooly, you can’t even tell they’re a Doberman.


To your average joe like me, this seems quite natural; if not, at least very plausible. In my opinion, the coated Doberman is simply a deep seeded recessive trait, most likely introduced by one of Louis Dobermann’s many mongrel street dogs. He was, after all, owner of the local dog pound. With the Doberman being such a young breed, it’s no surprise at all that traits seemingly pop up out of nowhere.

I was taken aback the first time I saw one Doberman pup listed on an online classifieds website. She had quite fuzzy ears while her sister in the photo looked like a completely normal Doberman. I guessed she must have just been a mongrel, especially since she wasn’t registered, and thought nothing more of it; until I came across Lucas. I thought to myself “If I’ve managed to happen across two accidentally, there must be more out there.”


Sure enough, there are more. And there is quite a bit of controversy surrounding them! I decided to write a question to the DPCA in regards to the matter.


Pennypup [Dec. 12th 2011]: “Hello, I’ve come across quite a few Doberman with a coat longer than the standard suggests it should be. Some are quite wooly while others simply have a bit more extra fluff. I just wanted to know the DPCA’s stance on these “coated” Doberman. I’ve come across one who was AKC registered. I know that this trait should not be passed on to maintain the standard; I just want to know if the DPCA acknowledges the existence of them.”

The DPCA never responded.

There is, however, two questions asked on their Q&A board:

Is there such a breed as a coated Doberman? Thank you, Suzanne

asked by: Suzanne MacDonald    April 05, 2011


from Holly Schorr, PennyLane Dobermans

Suzanne – No, there is no such breed or “variety”.  A Doberman is a Doberman is a Doberman.  There have been many attempts to sell all manor of “special Dobermans”, King, Hammer Head, long haired, etc.  The Doberman Breed recognizes only the Doberman as per the Standard set by the American Kennel Club.  We have only four colors – black/rust, red/rust, fawn/rust and blue/rust.  Run hard from anything else.

+++ +++ +++

from Marj Brooks, Manorie Dobermans

No there is not such a breed as a coated Doberman.


Is there a such thing as an AKC registered “long haired, or coated” Doberman? I say no, but others argue yes.

asked by: Susan Sinclair    July 14, 2011


from Holly Schorr, PennyLane Dobermans

No Susan, there is no such animal as an AKC registered long haired or coated Doberman.  Our standard is very specific about the coat being short and hard. Tell the others that they are just wrong!


For many breeders, it’s very hard to acknowledge their breed isn’t perfection, and never will be. Many adamantly deny that a mutation can pop up in even the most “pure” lines.

I honestly think these Doberman are beautiful. Should they be bred? Well, that’s another matter entirely. Perhaps Herr Dobermann would have liked the long-coated variety? Maybe they would have been better suited to Germany’s winters with a bit of extra fur! The first Doberman didn’t have the tight coat we know today, that’s for sure.
The fact of the matter is, no “reputable” breeder will ever breed for this trait, so any long haired Doberman you do get would most likely come from poorly health tested (if health tested at all) lines.

On a side note, when first seeing the long haired dobermann, it reminded me very much of the long haired Weimaraner. =D

Long Haired Weimaraner

Sources for Images:

About these ads


  1. The comments from the breed club are just plain stupid, IMO. The standard describes the ideal specimen. What it does not describe is all the genes and possible gene combinations in the breed population. Many standards have DQs for ‘out of standard’ characteristics. There are most definitely smooth Afghan hounds born in the Western population (one was born in 2010) and there is no provision in the standard for such dogs. That doesn’t mean that they don’t exist or aren’t acknowledged. Many people are quite fascinated with them.

    I don’t know what went into the making of the Dobe but if it was a goodly number of types it’s no surprise that you get a long-coated one every once in a while.

    1. Wow, I’ve never heard of the smooth afghan! I’ll have to see if I can find a photo. I’d love to see what’s under all that fur LOL


        The interesting thing is that you don’t get the same effect by simply shaving an Afghan (I clip mine down.) It is like the difference between a smooth Saluki and a feathered one. The smooth coat is harder and closer.

        The coat genetics in Afghans are complex; all the Afghans tested so far have a dominant *smooth* coat. This is the same coat gene that a normal Dobe or a normal GSD has. There is an unknown modifier that causes the hair to be long. See the study “Coat Variation in the Domestic Dog Is Governed by Variants in Three Genes.” Some of the Afghans in the study were carrying the long coat gene but none were homozygous for it. The carriers argue for homozygous long coat Afghans and I’d love to see a big study done to see if there are differences in the coat type, texture, or patterning between a dominant ‘smooth’ coated Afghan and a homozygous feathered Afghan.

        Don’t ask me where the smooth ones come from, it’s not known. I’d speculate that the smooth dogs are missing the modifier that makes the long hair but that’s just guessing.

    2. we all know that the standard but there are always exceptions. the White Doberman is one of these exceptions and AKC does not acknowledge these beautiful animals. however they do exist and are by no means that different than the standard. Since the Z chromosome is a take over gene then why not classify them as a separate breed as could be done with the coated dobe if it could be defined how that anomally occurs. the White has been identified and if only white is bred with white/white carriers then the standard and white are preserved

  2. I’d not seen a long-haired dobie before. But if they’re recessive, they should not be bred. It’s like double dapples.

    1. Double dapple (or double merle) is a dangerous recessive trait, I agree. But not all recessive traits are bad. Blue eyes is a recessive trait and as you know, many huskies have blue eyes and it doesn’t affect their health. I’m so glad because I love blue eyes! LOL

      1. blue eyes in the husky dog has the potential for blindness as early as two months of age, it is connected to three different types of eye issues in the husky. However, as with recessive traits it does not always contribute to the blindness therefore not all huskies with blue eyes go blind. studies have been done on this dog and the effects of blue eyes and the genetic blindness in huskies.

        1. Wow that’s really interesting! I never knew about blue eyes in the husky having an association with blindness.
          Thanks for sharing. You learn something new eyery day!

          1. i did a lot of research on it since getting a wolf/husky hybrid for my niece that had blue eyes. The dog i got had hybrid parents and grand parents and her grandfather was black with blue eyes and was 97 % blind by the time he was 4 years old. I did some looking and found out about the disorders plagueing the husky and its effects on the dogs that have blue eyes. it is not a sure thing to expect but it can happen most often in blue eyed dogs. I am glad you found the information enlightening. You are quite welcome.

  3. Thanks for your take and the links on this, as a Dobermann person. The one I had met before seemed extremely healthy — though he was young and I could only judge him visually. His owner hesitated and seemed a bit chafed when I asked him to ID the breed. Probably tired of having to explain to nosy strangers like myself.

    Anyway, I’d forgotten to follow up and look into it, so now I’ve been reminded.

    1. I’m not a breeder, nor one who shows doberman. Just your average dobie-lover. So my view may be radically different from some other dobie people.
      I myself, would have had to have asked someone to I.D. their dog if I had seen a coated doberman only 2 years back. =D

  4. I never knew Dobes could come with long hair. Every once in a while you will see a long haired Chessie. Not the standard, but breeders do acknowledge they exist. A throw back to the past.

    1. I had to Google the long haired chessie! They sure are cute. Would the coat hinder their preformance in sport?

    1. Now that I’ve seen quite a few photos of coated doberman, I could easily identify one. However, only a few years ago I would have probably disagreed with someone’s claim of purbred, if I had encountered them and their coated dobie. I would have put my foot in my mouth then for sure!

      1. It’s really interesting to hear about all of these recessive traits coming about in pure breeds. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some out there breeding for these traits. I’m not too familiar with Dobies but I assume this is rare to come by?

  5. I love this blog!! I owned Lucas, and he was Dobie through and through, and so beautiful. He has since passed away. If anyway comes across another coated doberman that need’s a home, please email me at

    1. Thanks for stopping by Tammi! I am so sorry to hear about Lucas. He seemed like such a sweetheart.
      I hope you come across another coated dobie need a home soon!

  6. Since Weimaraners and pointers (German, no doubt) were known to be among the breeds that Herr Dobermann used in creating his perfect watchdog, and since long-haired Weimaraners and pointers are quite common in Europe, and are not discriminated against as they are here, I am not at all surprised that the occasional longhaired Dobe turns up. Of course the “breed clubs” will deny their existence, or claim they are not purebred Dobes … but just because the breed club says it, does not make it so. I’d love to see DNA testing done on some longhairs to prove them wrong.

  7. I thought it was funny where the women insisted there is no such thing as coated dobermans. Their owners (and those in the photos you provided) are clearly in ownership of long haired dobermans. I mean, there they are, they exist. This isn’t the yeti or the loch ness monster, these owners have photographic evidence! Silly.

    Very interesting and well-written article!

    1. Thanks for the comment!
      I had to laugh at your reference to the loch ness monster and the yeti! That made my day!

  8. I wonder since the Doberman has the Weimaraner in it, and since the Weimaraner has a long haired variety, if that gene in the dobe in which a long haired dobe shows up comes from the weim by chance?

Comments are closed.