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In this article we’ll be exploring the Doberman Pinscher’s ability to run and if they make a good running partner.

Many dog owners want to choose a dog as a running partner – either because they already enjoy running, or because they want a dog to encourage them to run.

Choosing the right breed is an important decision. Not all breeds will be good running dogs, and it’s important to consider the rest of their characteristics as well to ensure they fit your home and lifestyle.

How Far Can Dobermans Run?

A Doberman Pinscher that has been conditioned to run and is in good health can often join you on a run for 5-7 miles. Not only are they fast, but they tend to have good endurance as a breed, too.

It’s important to remember that your Doberman will not be able to join you on a run until they are 12-18 months old.

When puppies are younger, they are still growing. Their long bones in their legs grow from a cartilaginous line in the bone called the growth plate.

Because the growth plate is made of cartilage, a much softer substance than bone, any consistent running, jumping, or hard exercise can damage the growth plates. This can make your Doberman more susceptible to injuries as an adult.

Instead, you will need to wait until your Doberman is at least 12-18 months old, during which time their growth plates will have closed – or become solid bone.

You should also note that dogs can become sore and suffer running injuries the same as us humans.

If you’ve already been running, you’ll need to ease your dog into the activity.

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Most dogs are not meant to be endurance runners the length of a marathon. While an energetic Doberman that loves to spend time with you may be willing to run 10 miles or more, it’s not good for their physical health.

Instead, focus on building the length your dog can run slowly, and stop after reaching 5-7 miles or so.

If your dog is sore or isn’t enjoying the activity, you may need to let them stop sooner.

When you are training for a long distance run, such as a marathon, it can be wonderful to spend some time running with your Doberman Pinscher.

However, it will be best for their health and safety if you create your route to include them on the first 5 miles or so, and then drop them back off at home before continuing your run.

Things to Consider When Running With a Doberman

Besides considering your dog’s physical health, there are other logistics that you should keep in mind when running with your dog.

Regarding physical health and safety, remember that you should always confer with your dog’s veterinarian before beginning any exercise plan that may put your dog at risk if done improperly.

The first additional consideration is providing your dog with ample water. While a Doberman Pinscher doesn’t have a long coat, they are dark colored and may still heat up more quickly.

Dogs don’t sweat to cool off like we do, and instead cool off due to evaporation when they pant.

Doberman Pinschers are also not small dogs, so you will need to have plenty of water with you for when they need it.

At a minimum, if your route happens to have plenty of water fountains available for drinking, you’ll need to bring a collapsible bowl with you so your dog can also take a drink.

Summer and Winter Considerations

Regarding the weather, there may be times of the year when you need to leave your Doberman Pinscher at home. When it’s too hot, the sidewalks will heat up and burn your Doberman’s paw pads.

Along the same lines, paw pads can be damaged if they are out in the cold too often. Another risk for paw pads in the winter is sidewalk salt, which can cause chemical burns.

Dog boots are one consideration that can help protect your Doberman’s feet in this instance.

A lightweight cooling jacket, or a jacket for warmth, can also help you regulate your Doberman’s body temperature better.

Other Considerations

You’ll likely also need to carry poop bags to pick up and dispose of your dog’s waste. Will you carry them in your hands while you run, or do you have a belt around your waist that has a pocket that can hold a bag until you find a garbage can?

Finally, you should prepare for the unexpected. What will you do if your Doberman becomes injured and you are several miles from home?

Are you capable of carrying your dog, especially a dog as large as a Doberman?

Do you instead always carry a charged cell phone and have friends or family who could help?

Are you running somewhere reachable by car, or is it travelable only by foot?

One option to consider is an emergency dog carrying harness. They can often pack down to a small, lightweight package and can make carrying a large dog on your back much easier, just in case.

The Doberman Pinscher as a Breed

As previously noted, you should consider more than if a dog can run far when choosing a breed that is best for you. A Doberman Pinscher may make a great running companion, but you should choose a dog that can be a good companion 100% of the time.

A Doberman Pinscher can weigh anywhere from 60-100lbs. Are you OK with a dog that large? If not, you should consider a smaller running companion instead.

The lifespan of a Doberman is also shorter than some other dogs, averaging 10-12 years.

Dilated cardiomyopathy, a genetic heart condition known as DCM, can be common within the breed.

DCM can cause a dog to die of heart failure seemingly without warning. Of the breeds of dogs diagnosed with DCM, 40% of the diagnosed cases are Doberman Pinschers.

In fact, a study in Germany found that approximately 58% of Doberman Pinschers would develop DCM within their lifetime.

When you are choosing a dog to go running with, it’s important to look for a healthy breed and choose a dog that comes from health-tested parents.

You can learn more about the health of Doberman Pinschers from the Doberman Pinscher Club of America.

Other considerations of living with a Doberman

As a short haired breed, the Doberman Pinscher needs much less grooming than some other breeds.

Brushing is important to remove dead hair, reduce shedding, and encourage good skin health, but your Doberman will not get matted if you are unable to brush them for a week.

Other than brushing, you only have to worry about maintaining good nail health, the occasional bath, and keeping their ears clean and healthy.

Another factor to consider is the sociability you want with your dog. Doberman Pinschers are known for bonding very closely with their owners, being loveable and goofy, but they can be much more reserved with strangers.

They also may or may not be a good candidate for playgroups with other dogs. Some lines of Dobermans may enjoy socializing with other dogs, while others may prefer to be the only dog.

The Doberman Pinscher is also an incredibly intelligent breed. This makes them a fun choice for people interested in training their dog to a high degree, as is necessary when participating in dog sports.

That same intelligence can cause them to create their own activities and cause trouble if left to their own devices, though.

Final Word

When you choose a Doberman, it’s important to understand that you will need to care for their mental and physical exercise needs for the rest of their life.

If you only want an occasional running partner, but prefer dogs that are content to hang out on the couch all day on your days off, a Doberman may not make the best choice.

However, if you’ve done your research on a variety of breeds and a Doberman Pinscher makes sense for your lifestyle on the whole, then congratulations and good luck on your search for a responsible Doberman Pinscher breeder!

You can start your search at the Doberman Pinscher Club of America.