Red Doberman Pinscher: Are They Similar to Brown Dobes?

Red Doberman with cropped ears next to its owner

Are you planning to adopt a Doberman Pinscher into your family? Aside from the classic tan and black coat colors, they come in at least nine beautiful shades – one being the stunning red Doberman.

Their rich chocolate coat color adds to their aesthetic appeal in general. However, despite being one of the most popular breeds, the red variety remains less well-known. As a result, they remain mysterious to many dog lovers across the world.

With that in mind, I prepared this article to discuss everything you need to know about these stunning red Dobes, including their temperament, health issues, and FAQ. Let’s jump right in! 

What Is a Red Doberman Pinscher?

Two red Doberman Pinschers resting in the park

Red Dobermans are considered the second most common color variation of the breed. Their coat can range from a light copper shade to a dark chocolate tone. This rich red hue, as most people prefer to call it, is a bold, striking color that highlights the Doberman’s smooth, hard, and thick coat.

For both American and European Dobermans, the standards published by major kennel clubs include red as an acceptable color.

In some countries around the world, though, these dogs are referred to as chocolate or brown Dobes. 

Keep in mind that your Doberman’s red color may have an impact on its overall health, as well as genetic predispositions for specific illnesses. They are known to experience various skin issues more than the other shades.

Rest assured, ethical dog breeders are always cautious when breeding these dogs to keep them in prime condition just like other breeds. It shouldn’t discourage you from taking in one as your new furry friend! 

Do Solid Red Dobermans Exist?

Yes, solid red Doberman Pinschers do exist. It might be challenging to picture this breed in such a striking color, but there are rare cases.

Just like other solid-colored Dobermans, you do not see Dobes with solid rich colors outside every day. 

Notably, solid red Dobermans are also controversial in the canine world. Many claim these dog variations are not ethical to breed, as they may develop health conditions similar to other melanistic Dobes. 

What Are Red Dobermans Called in America and Europe?

Although they are known as red Dobes, most of these dogs have a dark reddish-brown coat color. Many people call them as they see it – referring to them as brown or chocolate Dobermans instead. 

In the US, red Dobermans are sometimes called chocolate-colored, given their light brownish-red coats. These dogs have varying shades of red, as previously mentioned, which range from dark chocolate to a copper tone.

On the other hand, some Europeans call these dogs brown Dobermans given that they appear to have a solid, all-around brown color sometimes. No matter what you call them, though, they’re sure to be a lovely bunch.

READ NEXT: American vs. European Doberman: An In-Depth Comparison

Are Red Dobermans Purebred?

Yes, both the American and European varieties of red Dobermans are purebred dogs. In 1908, the breed was first registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) and that includes the red coloration.

As per standards, purebred red Dobermans should exhibit a striking red coat, dark brown nose, pointed ears, and square head.

Aside from its bodily features, its temperament can also be an indicator of its purebred status as a true red Doberman Pinscher is fearless, watchful, and energetic.

Keep in mind that there are plenty of specific breed characteristics for every dog.

If you want to be sure that your new red Doberman is 100% purebred, you can check its AKC papers from the breeder or opt to have a DNA test.

Red Doberman Pinscher Appearance: What Does a Red Doberman Look Like?

Red Doberman holding a bag

Perhaps the most defining physical characteristic of a red Doberman Pinscher is its unique coloring.

Their coat occurs in varying shades of light copper, brown/red, and even dark chocolate that complements their compact and robust build.

Just like other Doberman Pinschers, they are medium-sized dogs with muscular and square bodies. Most red Dobes appear elegant at first glance, portraying their great nobility and strength. 

Male red Dobes have a height of 26 to 28 inches and weigh around 88 to 99 pounds when fully grown.

Meanwhile, females are on the smaller side of the scale. They have an average height of 24 to 26 inches, weighing about 70 to 77 pounds.

They have almond-shaped eyes that are moderately deep-set, with a vigorous and energetic expression. In reds, the iris color blends with that of the markings. Their ears are customarily cropped and carried erect. 

Jaws appear to be packed and powerful, well filled under the eyes. They also have broad chests with a well-defined forechest.

A red Doberman’s tail is docked at the second joint, which appears to be a continuation of the spine. Their backs appear solid and firm.

Their red coat is generally smooth, short, and thick. The AKC recognizes red-colored Dobes, along with rust or tan markings in different body parts including the eyes, muzzles, throat, forechest, legs, and tail. 

For your reference, here’s a video of a red Doberman Pinscher playing in broad daylight:


Are Red Dobermans Rare?

Red Dobermans are not as unusual or unique as they sound. In fact, they are the second most popular color variation in the breed, only behind the black and rust.

It shouldn’t be too difficult for you to see a red Doberman in rescue shelters or on breeder listings! They are not that expensive as well since it doesn’t take an arduous breeding process to produce them.

Red Doberman Coat Color Genetics: What Makes a Doberman Red?

Red Doberman color genetics three Doberman puppies with different coat colors

The Doberman Pinscher Club of America explains that the genotype bbDD makes a Doberman take on a red-colored coat.

The first two letters are the color genes that determine the dog’s primary color, which is either black (B) or red (b). 

With red being the recessive of the two, both parents must carry the red gene (b) for a puppy to be born with a red coat (bb). This is possible if each parent passes one red gene to their offspring. 

Two red Dobes with the recessive red gene can only produce red puppies. Meanwhile, a red Doberman crossed with a black Doberman (without the red gene) will not have any red puppies.

They will produce puppies that carry the red gene instead but it does not manifest on their appearance.

A red Doberman bred with a black Doberman (with the red gene), on the other hand, has a 50% chance of producing a red puppy.

Every reputable breeder must be knowledgeable of the genotype of the puppy’s parents to predict the color of their resulting offspring with some accuracy.

Do Red Doberman Puppies Change Color as They Grow?

Red Doberman puppies do not change color completely or drastically. They may lose their puppy coat as they grow old, but it does not mean they will turn from one color into another. 

Most owners note that a change will only be slight yet subtle in their coat color. Their coat may only become lighter or darker as they enter adulthood.

Other reasons for this lightening include nutrition, medication, and exposure to sunlight.

Do Kennel Clubs Recognize the Red Doberman Pinscher?

The top kennel organizations that recognize red Dobermans are the United Kennel Club (UKC), International Canine Federation, and the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Both the UKC and the AKC Doberman Pinscher breed standards allow four coat colors: black, red, blue, and fawn (Isabella). 

Common faults for the breed include light or indistinct markings, markings that bleed into the solid color, and more than 50% white patches in the body.

If your red Dobes have markings, there’s a chance that they may not be recognized by the kennel clubs above.

Meanwhile, the FCI’s breed standard for Dobermans recognizes two color varieties (black or brown with rust red), as well as those with clearly defined markings (tan). 

Keep in mind that there are two different types of Doberman: American and European Doberman. The American “red and rust” Doberman is equivalent to a “brown and rust red” European Doberman.

The red Doberman Pinscher is a popular color in the breed since this coat type is recognized in most show rings and may win confirmation titles.

READ NEXT: Blue Doberman: The Truth Behind Their Blue Coat Revealed!

Red Doberman Temperament: Does the Red Coloration Affect How They Behave?

Beautiful red Doberman Pinscher in the park

Some owners report that red Dobermans are a bit more light-hearted, easy-going, and less territorial than other Dobes in general.

They also have high energy levels and will need physical and mental stimulation. However, there is no scientific proof that their red coat color affects their personality or behavior.

To give you a quick overview, here’s how they usually deal with others:

  • With Family and Children: Red Dobermans are gentle, patient, and loyal family companions, especially when properly socialized from a young age. Generally, they do well with kids of all ages and other family members which makes them the perfect dog breed for your family.
  • With Other Dogs and Pets: Red Dobes can be aggressive towards unfamiliar dogs and pets, including cats. It is because they consider them a possible threat to their loved ones.
  • With Strangers: While red Dobermans can be aloof with strangers, some may also be aggressive towards unfamiliar faces when they feel provoked or sense that their owners are in danger.

Before you adopt or buy a red Doberman puppy, make sure you acquaint yourself with their overall disposition. It will give you an idea of whether or not they fit your lifestyle.

READ NEXT: Male vs. Female Doberman: Which One Is Right for You?

Red Doberman Lifespan and Health Issues: Are Red Dobermans Healthy Dogs?

Red Dobermans have an average life expectancy of 10 to 13 years, as long as you take good care of them and bring them to the veterinarian for regular health assessments.

In general, red Dobes are expected to be more at risk with various skin problems. Expect these health problems to occur during puppyhood, often consisting of hair loss and acne.

Some health issues caused by their coat color are progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), bloat, and hip dysplasia. Fortunately, the symptoms are treatable and are usually temporary. 

With that in mind, their color shouldn’t be an essential matter of concern when taking a red Doberman Pinscher into your home.

However, just like many other pets, they are also prone to health issues such as the following:

  • Pemphigus Foliaceus: Pemphigus foliaceus refers to common superficial skin disease in Dobes, including the red variety. It often starts at around four years of age and causes crusts and hair loss, usually on the nose, ear flap, footpads, or toenails. 
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy: If your red Doberman Pinscher has dilated cardiomyopathy, its heart muscle gets progressively thicker and weaker over time. It may result in heart and respiratory failure if left unattended.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease: Von Willebrand’s disease is a common hereditary bleeding disorder in many dogs, such as red Dobes. Similar to hemophilia, it is a clotting disorder that can make your dog bleed excessively.
  • Chronic Active Hepatitis (CAH): If your red Doberman is diagnosed with chronic active hepatitis, its liver will not metabolize copper, which is found in many dog foods. The copper may then build up to toxic levels. As a result, it can lead to an accumulation of scar tissue, liver failure, or death. 
  • Cervical Vertebral Instability (Wobbler Syndrome): Wobbler syndrome is a neurological disorder caused by the compression of the spinal cord, which may then affect the neck of your red Doberman Pinscher. Some telling signs include a wobbly gait, dragging of hind legs, and neck pain.

READ NEXT: An In-Depth Comparison Between Albino and White Doberman

How Much Does a Red Doberman Pinscher Cost? Are Red Dobermans More Expensive?

Reputable breeders can offer you a red Doberman puppy for a price of $1,500 to $2,500.

The red Doberman Pinscher is the second most common color after the black, so it is not more expensive than the rest of the color variations.

If you’re keen on adopting a red Doberman, here’s a breakdown of the average monthly and yearly expenses for their upkeep:

Type of ExpensesYearly Estimate
Routine Vet Visit$700 – $1,500
Dog Food and Treats$250 – $700
Beds and Crate$50 – $200
Toys$50 – $100
Leashes and Collars$20 – $50
Preventive Medication and Supplements$200 – $500
Grooming Essentials $50 – $500
Dog Training Equipment$30 – $100
Total Monthly Expenses$113 – $304
Total Yearly Expenses$1,350 – $3,650

Being a responsible pet owner means you must prepare and commit yourself to your pet’s long-term needs. You will typically shell out $113 to $304 for your dog’s upkeep in a month.

Annually, the costs can add up to $1,350 to $3,650 to cover all the needs of your red Doberman Pinscher. 

Visiting a vet for an initial health assessment and purchasing your Doberman’s necessities are also some of the first steps you can take to make your new companionship a breeze.

Places to Find Red Doberman Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Cute red Doberman puppy for sale or adoption

If you’re fully decided to add a red Doberman Pinscher as the newest member of your family, it’s time to find a reliable breeder or the nearest dog rescue in your neighborhood.

Here’s a list of reputable breeders and online directories to check out when buying a red Doberman puppy:

  • American Kennel Club (AKC) Marketplace – The AKC has its marketplace where trusted breeders can list their red Doberman puppies for sale. Plenty of dog pictures and adequate information if the puppies are bred from a championship bloodline are also available on the site.
  • Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) Breeder Directory – DCPA’s breeder referral section is a great place to start browsing for reputable Doberman breeders in the United States, Canada, and other countries. Most breeders attach a link to their website where you can visit to see pictures and additional important information about available red Dobes.
  • Blue Skye Dobermans – This Louisiana-based breeder offers high-quality American and European Dobermans in all four colors. All of the litter here are AKC-registered. If you buy a puppy from them, you will be supplied with copies of your new pup’s AKC-certified 4 generation pedigree along with their registration packet.
  • PuppySpot – Instead of listing individual breeders, this online service lists Doberman puppies for sale (including red Dobes) on their website. They do not have the option to narrow down a search by distance, but most puppies can be shipped to their aspiring owners.

RELATED: 10 Best Doberman Breeders (2023): Our Top 10 Picks!

Adopting a red Doberman Pinscher from a local rescue is another excellent way to meet your new furry pet. Most importantly, you will be giving a home to an overlooked dog in need.

Here are some trusted rescue directories or shelters to find red Dobermans for adoption:

  • Adopt-a-Pet – Formerly known as, this organization has helped over 21,000 pet rescue groups, shelters, SPCA’s, humane societies, and pet adoption agencies all over the US. Interested adopters must first register on their website to find an adoptable red Doberman Pinscher. You can also filter your searches based on the distance, age, or gender of the dog. 
  • United Doberman Rescue – This non-profit animal rescue in Minnesota houses overlooked Dobermans and Doberman mixes. All rescue dogs are fully vetted, vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and microchipped before adoption. You may just find your red Doberman here!
  • Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus – You can browse their available red Dobermans for adoption using filters such as gender, age, and those with “special” needs. The adoptable pets at IDR are all spayed/neutered, microchipped, and updated with routine vaccines and tests.

However, keep in mind that many rescues generally list mixed breeds as a Doberman Pinscher, so there’s a possibility you may not adopt a purebred.

RELATED: 10 Best Doberman Rescues for Adoption (2023): Our Top 10 Picks!

Frequently Asked Questions

Red Doberman Pinscher dog standing outdoors

What Is the Rarest Doberman Color?

Fawn Doberman Pinscher (or Isabella) is considered the rarest among the four officially recognized breed colors by the AKC.

Their fawn coat is a dilution of red. Hence, fawn-colored Dobes take on a light red color. They are also often called cinnamon.

Are Red Dobermans More Aggressive?

No, the coat color of red Dobermans is not correlated with any behavioral problems in the Doberman breed.

This misconception likely stems from the fact that these dogs developed a reputation of being aggressive and intimidating towards unfamiliar faces as a breed.

What Eyes Color Do Red Dobermans Have?

Most purebred red Dobermans will have dark eyes. However, these appear to be green in puppyhood. As your dog grows older, its eye color will darken to a golden brown.

Final Thoughts

A red Doberman proves to be a great choice if you plan to win show titles in various canine competitions.

Their coat can range from a light copper tone to dark chocolate, making them the second most popular Doberman Pinscher variation and highly sought after by many dog fanciers.

Once you’ve decided to take a red-colored Doberman into your home, make sure to give your new pup a loving home filled with TLC.

However, if you feel that the red Doberman Pinscher is not the right fit, continue to browse our website for your pet journey. Hang in there, and you’ll find the perfect match for you soon!

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