Miniature Pinscher dog sitting back on grass

What are one of the first things you do in the morning before you rush off to work in the morning? Well, apart from rushing through breakfast, taking that quick shower, you’ve also laid out what you’d like to wear for the day. You’ve also spent a few extra minutes grooming yourself, making sure that you are going to look and feel your best for the day. And then off you go, through the gate and off to work. This would not be happening, though, if you were a serious lover of Dobermans and just happened to have one in your home.

Over and above your own personal preparedness for the day, you’ll be tending to your dog’s needs too. Now, as far as grooming is concerned, you don’t necessarily need to do this in the morning if you’re in a mad rush. You could leave the best for last whenever you’re settled at home later in the day. Not only is grooming essential for the health of your Doberman, emotionally it is good too. Don’t you remember me telling you how much I think Dobermans can be real show-offs? There’s nothing it enjoys more than parading about, looking its best with its fine collar and beautiful clean, silky and shining coat.

Grooming exercises are not laborious. The Doberman’s coat is short and easy enough to manage. Experts tell us that it requires minimal grooming, but what the heck, just because you love it, a good, gentle groom with your loving grooming glove never did a Doberman any harm. The important thing is that both you and your pet are enjoying the therapy that such an exercise gives both you and the dog. Also remember that this dog’s coat sheds. Let’s call this a thorough brush then, but it won’t be required more than once a week.

The same applies to bath time. Yes, I can hear both master and dog breathing a heavy sigh of relief. While the Doberman has its own unique temperament and personality quirks, it is essentially still a dog with typical dog pet hates and pet loves. One of its pet hates will always be bathing time. I’ve never really understood its phobia for water in this sense because it is always in its element whenever it is taken to enjoy a good splash in a shallow stream or lake. It can swim well too. Having said that, bathing a medium to large sized Doberman, never mind just any dog, could well be too much of a battle royale.

One thing you simply must do, and this applies to your own personal hygiene in any event, is brush the Doberman’s teeth. It is needed at least three times a week in order to remove natural tartar build-up and its consequent bacteria. If you can get this right, then even better. Daily brushing will keep both bad breath and gum disease at bay. The essential trimming of dog’s nails can be tricky. But this is something that both the dog handler and puppy can learn to master from an early age. And, in any case, in the case of the Doberman, trimming of nails only needs to happen once a month.

But when you do it, do take extra care. Don’t cut the dog’s nails too close to the bone, as it were. This can cause bleeding. If you’re a tad too fragile for this tough task, schedule a monthly visit with an expert and experienced dog groomer. She’ll be glad to take over the tasks you hate. And so will your dog. Dobermans, need I remind you, enjoy being pampered. Taking the dog to its first grooming session may be a bit hair-raising at first but by combining the Doberman’s natural inclination to be socially attuned and the groomer’s years of experience in managing problem children every now and then, a visit to the parlour without its master fussing about for an hour or two, could well be something that the maturing Doberman will be looking forward to each month.

Cleaning the dog’s ears is also important. This can also be done on a weekly basis. During this exercise, you’ll be checking for redness or a particularly nasty smell. These will be indications that the dog’s ears may be infected. The dog’s ears must be wiped out gently with a cotton ball dampened with a pH-balanced ear cleaner, obtainable from the vet or pet store, in order to stave off any future infections. Should the dog’s ears become infected, I would recommend taking the dog straight to the vet rather than attempting to take matters into your own hands.

By relying on medical expertise, you’ll be doing your dog’s health a huge favour. But while grooming your dog once a week, you can still achieve a lot without the help of a vet. There will be just a few significant things you’ll be looking out for. You’ll be checking for sores, rashness and infections which are all easily identifiable through detecting redness, inflammation and tenderness in the dog’s nose, mouth, eyes and feet. Begin all these grooming (and medical) exercises as early as possible in the Doberman’s life. While doing this, continue to give it due praise and rewards for being so brave.

This will help pave the way for a future visit to the vet when it becomes necessary. While grooming your Doberman simply to help it preserve its good looks, why not enhance its features with a stylish looking and comfortable leather collar. If it’s a boy, the dog will appreciate a manly look that a studded collar presents. If it’s a girl, well, since I am a man myself, I’m not in an honest position to offer fashion advice for young female Dobermans. But perhaps I could use my own creative imagination by suggesting a more streamlined collar with perhaps just a little bell added to give extra effect for making a dramatic entry of sorts.