Doberman Pinschers are great dogs that command respect and attention. These dogs are beautiful, intelligent, and highly active, making them wonderful dogs for a family. But, if you have family members who suffer from pet allergies, this may not be the right dog breed for you.
Doberman Pinschers are considered moderate shedders. This breed of dog has a single layer of fur, making it less likely to shed than other breeds. Expect a Doberman Pinscher to shed throughout the entire year.
A hypoallergenic dog breed may be a better fit for those who suffer from allergies, offering minimal shedding and dander in your home. If you suffer from pet allergies, it is important to understand where dog allergies come from. While most allergy sufferers are allergic to fur and dander, some people are allergic to dog urine and saliva. If you are allergic to urine and saliva, even a hypoallergenic dog can still cause a reaction. Keep in mind, even hypoallergenic dogs can still shed and produce dander, albeit far less fur compared to other breeds.
How Much Will Dobermans Shed?
Compared to other dog breeds, a Doberman is considered a moderate shedder. Although this dog has short fur, it is relatively dense, which means it will shed fairly regularly. Luckily, the coat is a single layer thick, which helps reduce the amount of fur shed. Owners report having to clean pet hair and dander from their home about once per week to keep up with the amount of shedding from a Doberman.
Unlike other dogs, the Doberman will send the same amount throughout the year, with only slight changes with the passing seasons. This breed of dog will not blow its coat twice a year and will remain consistent.
What Causes a Doberman to Shed?
A Doberman will shed a moderate amount simply as part of a healthy cycle. As old hairs become dry and damaged, they are pushed out by healthy, new hairs. This regular turnover of new hair is what causes shedding. Further, old skin cells are sloughed off and replaced with new skin cells, creating dander. Certain environmental factors, like changes in the weather and seasons, may cause your Doberman to shed more than normal. Shedding is completely natural and should be expected with this breed of dog.
Are Dobermans Hypoallergenic?
Although the fur on a Doberman Pinscher is shorter, this dog is still a moderate shedder. Because this dog breed produces regular fur and dander, it is not considered a hypoallergenic dog. Typically, hypoallergenic dogs rarely shed or have very fine hairs that largely go unnoticed by people suffering from pet allergies.
It is important to remember that no dog will be completely hypoallergenic. Dogs must continually produce new fur to replace dead and dry fur as part of keeping a healthy coat. Even dogs that are considered hypoallergenic will still shed a small amount. If you are allergic to a dog’s saliva or urine, even a hypoallergenic dog that doesn’t shed much will still cause an allergic reaction.
What Causes Abnormal Shedding?
Shedding is normal for any animal, regardless of species. As humans, we shed hair and skin cells every day as part of a normal process. However, sometimes Dobermans experience excessive shedding, indicating a larger, more significant underlying health problem. If you notice an abnormal amount of shedding in your Doberman, it may be due to:
- Nutrition – Eating sub-par dog food that lacks the essential nutrients and vitamins can lead to dry skin and fur, which sheds more frequently.
- Stress – Dogs will often lose large patches of fur or shed more regularly when under a high level of stress.
- Skin Condition – Some pet allergies or conditions, like a skin infection or mange, lead to abnormal shedding. Dogs, like people, can get environmental allergies which can accelerate shedding.
- Bathing – Grooming and bathing your Doberman too frequently can cause the fur and skin to dry out, making your dog more than usual. Be careful using certain shampoos which could actually dry the skin, making shedding worse.
- Illness – Serious illnesses, like cancer, can show the first signs and symptoms in the fur. Sometimes dogs will exhibit excessive shedding at the very onset of serious diseases.
Can Diet Impact Shedding?
Having a healthy and balanced diet is essential for your dog’s overall well-being. Having a properly managed diet is a great way to help control shedding and keep your Doberman’s fur and skin healthy. Make sure that your dog is eating high-quality dog food. You will want to find a food with a high concentration of Omega-3 Fatty acids. This mineral will help to keep your Doberman’s skin well-oiled, smooth, and shiny, which in turn makes its fur healthier.
Expect to pay at least $4 per pound for high-quality dog food. Although this may seem like a significant investment, it will help improve your dog’s overall health. Plus, your dog will be less likely to contract illnesses or conditions later in life, creating higher than normal shedding activity.
Are Certain Coat Colors More Prone to Shedding Than Others?
Dobermans come in four different coat color combinations: Red, Blue, Black, and Fawn. Despite the various coat colors, every Doberman will shed equally regardless of color. Of course, other factors such as overall health and environmental changes will impact the amount your Doberman will shed.
Can I Be Allergic to Doberman Fur?
Sometimes it can be difficult to diagnose a pet allergy because so many allergens are present with pets. For some, an allergic reaction occurs when a person comes in contact with the fur or dander produced by the dog. These types of allergic reactions usually worsen when the dog is shedding heavily or when the person comes in contact with dander. A fur and dander allergy is the most common type of pet allergy.
For others, an allergic reaction may occur when the person comes in contact with the saliva or urine. In these cases, allergic reactions can be severe. For people allergic to dog saliva, even a hypoallergenic dog that rarely sheds will not help mitigate allergy symptoms.
How Can I Minimize Shedding?
Reducing the amount of fur in your home is a great way to combat pet allergies. The Doberman is a moderate shedder which sheds throughout the year. Careful grooming will help to minimize shedding. Using a slicker brush, be sure to brush your Doberman about twice a week. Grooming will help remove any dead fur and skin that could cause an allergic reaction. About once every three months, carefully bathe your Doberman to remove any dead or loose fur. Not only will this help eliminate the amount of fur floating through your home, but it will pull out the dead fur in your pet’s coat, making his skin healthier and thus less likely to shed.
What Are Signs of an Allergic Reaction?
People with pet allergies usually have some tell-tale reactions when encountering pet hair, saliva, or dander. Some common symptoms of pet allergies include:
- Congestion – You may notice your nose is stuffy, or your eyes begin to water when you are around pets.
- Itchy Throat and Eyes – People with pet allergies will experience itchy eyes or throat, sometimes starting a cough.
- Wheezing – Pet allergies may impact the airways and cause wheezing or difficulty breathing.
- Hives – Sometimes, contact with pet saliva can produce hives that are itchy or sometimes painful.
If you notice you are having an allergic reaction, be sure to keep a close eye on your symptoms. While most reactions are mild and can be treated with over-the-counter allergy medication, some people can have severe reactions. If you feel like you are gasping for air, or feel continued pressure around your lungs and chest, remove yourself from the situation and seek immediate medical attention.
What are some hypoallergenic dog breed options?
While Dobermans do have short fur, they are moderate shedders, which can induce an allergic reaction. Although no dog will be completely hypoallergenic, some breeds shed very little and are a great option for people with pet allergies. For large breed dogs like a Doberman, consider a Poodle, Afghan Hound, or Giant Schnauzer as a hypoallergenic alternative. These dogs will shed only a small amount and will produce minimal dander.
Do Dobermans make good apartment dogs?
A Doberman Pinscher is a large and active dog that needs a great deal of activity and exercise to stay happy. A Doberman needs physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy and avoid nuisance behaviors like barking or digging. Keeping a Doberman in an apartment may be possible if the dog gets plenty of daily exercises and social interaction. Of course, a Doberman would prefer a house with a large backyard to play with its family more.
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