10 Best Dog Food For Dobermans (2020 Review & Buying Guide)

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

These muscular, military-looking fellows were bred as protection dogs, and have a really sleek and athletic appearance. They’re energetic and agile and need plenty of exercise and physical and mental stimulation.

Choosing the best dog food for Dobermans is essential to keep them in prime condition, whether they’re fulfilling the role of guard dog or simply being an affectionate family member. 

We’ve reviewed some of the most suitable options on the market in this article, and you’ll be able to compare them at a glance or read some more detailed info on each.

You’ll also learn all you need to know about Doberman Pinschers’ common health issues and how each dog food can help counteract these.

Product Name
Best Wet Food
Rank
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food Recipes
Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food, 40-lb bag
Instinct Grain Free Stews Beef Recipe with Carrots & Peas Natural Wet Canned Dog Food by Nature's Variety, 12.7 oz. Cans (Case of 6)
Rating
Our Rating 89 / 100
Our Rating 88 / 100
Our Rating 88 / 100
Pro 1
High-quality protein, carbohydrate and fat sources
Lower in protein but still packed with nutrients appropriate for Dobermans
No carrageenan, which is a good sign of a high-quality canned food
Pro 2
Added amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and fatty acids
Contains great additions for Dobermans such as L-carnitine and glucosamine, vitamins and minerals
Quality ingredients, including good protein sources
Best For Puppies
Rank
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food Recipes
Rating
Our Rating 89 / 100
Pro 1
High-quality protein, carbohydrate and fat sources
Pro 2
Added amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and fatty acids
Best Low Protein
Rank
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food, 40-lb bag
Rating
Our Rating 88 / 100
Pro 1
Lower in protein but still packed with nutrients appropriate for Dobermans
Pro 2
Contains great additions for Dobermans such as L-carnitine and glucosamine, vitamins and minerals
Best Wet Food
Rank
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Instinct Grain Free Stews Beef Recipe with Carrots & Peas Natural Wet Canned Dog Food by Nature's Variety, 12.7 oz. Cans (Case of 6)
Rating
Our Rating 88 / 100
Pro 1
No carrageenan, which is a good sign of a high-quality canned food
Pro 2
Quality ingredients, including good protein sources
Sources researched
33
Sources researched
Customer reviews
20,000
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
35
Hours spent testing
Products tested
10
Products tested

10 Best Dog Food For Dobermans

1. Merrick Grain Free Puppy Dry Dog Food

Best For Doberman Puppies: A good nutritional start

Overall Grade89%
Calorie Count90%
Protein Count & Quality90%
Complex Carbohydrates90%
Healthy Fats90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Specifically geared towards puppies’ nutritional needs
  • High-quality protein, carbohydrate and fat sources
  • Added amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and fatty acids
  • Perfect protein and fat levels for a Doberman puppy

CONS

  • Slightly pricey but not too bad

Merrick dog food contains an abundance of all-natural, super health-promoting ingredients that are guaranteed to give your Doberman puppy a good nutritional start.

Filled to the brim with premium quality protein sources, vegetables and fruits for energy, fiber, and antioxidants, and great fat sources, you cannot go wrong feeding your puppy this dry food. For a healthy, active Doberman puppy, this is a super dog food choice.

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Doberman Puppies’ Food Requirements 

A Doberman puppy needs slightly fewer calories than adult dogs and between 28 and 32% protein in their food. That puts this dog food right in the zone, as the protein count is 28%, with fat coming in at 12%.

Puppies need around 1800 calories a day and should be fed three meals a day until the age of 8 weeks, so the calorie count of 377 in this dry food is quite decent and leaves space for a few treats in between. 

DHA for Puppies 

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is an amino acid that is greatly helpful for growing dogs. It assists in the development of healthy eye tissue and also helps brain tissue to form correctly. The vitamins and minerals in this food are also helpful.

2. Diamond Naturals Adult Dry Dog Food

Best Low Protein: Lower in protein but still packed with nutrients

Overall Grade88%
Calorie Count80%
Protein Count & Quality85%
Complex Carbohydrates90%
Healthy Fats90%
Affordability95%

PROS

  • Lower in protein but still packed with nutrients appropriate for Dobermans
  • The most affordable dog food on this list
  • Contains great additions for Dobermans such as L-carnitine and glucosamine, vitamins and minerals
  • Good complex carbohydrates included, such as brown rice

CONS

  • The calorie count is a little low for active Dobes

Dobermans are susceptible to kidney and liver disease, and if your Dobe has been recommended a low-protein diet by their vet for this reason, Diamond Naturals adult dog food is a great choice.

It’s not excessively low, and if the symptoms persist you may need to move to an even lower one (such as the Blue Buffalo Limited Ingredient further down this list), but this pet food should alleviate some pressure from the kidneys and liver and still get your pup all the nutrients they need to be their usual active, athletic selves.

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Superfood Carbohydrates

Some really good “superfood” carbs are included in this dog food, such as kale, pumpkin, quinoa, blueberries, chia seeds, and coconut. This combo gives adult dogs a good dose of slow-burning carbs to see them through the day while adding a heap of antioxidants to promote health. 

It does contain grains, but they’re the good kind – brown rice, barley, and sorghum. The protein comes from deboned chicken, so make sure your Doberman is okay with it.

In addition to this, L-carnitine is a super helpful ingredient for maintaining weight and energy balance, and dried kelp is great for Dobes as it keeps the thyroid stimulated. This dog food is definitely recommended for parents whose Doberman Pinscher needs a low-protein diet but still want as much nutrition and goodness in their food as possible.

3. Instinct Grain Free Stew

Best Wet Food For Dobermans: No carrageenan

Overall Grade88%
Calorie Count85%
Protein Count & Quality90%
Complex Carbohydrates90%
Healthy Fats90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • No carrageenan, which is a good sign of a high-quality canned food
  • Quality ingredients, including good protein sources
  • High-calorie, which makes it great to get your pup’s calorie count up
  • Contains chelated minerals for easy digestion

CONS

  • Easy to overfeed your dog if you aren’t careful with calorie maths!

A wet dog food can be a great supplement to your dog’s dry kibble to add calories, ease dogs who are fussy about their flavors or simply feed as a treat. This one is a high-quality, all-natural food that avoids artificial or low-quality ingredients (including carrageenan, a popular non-nutritional thickener). It also comes in various flavors, so your furry friend won’t get bored.

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High Calorie, Low Protein 

Wet dog food is usually fairly high in calories but doesn’t add too much by way of protein, which is not a bad thing at all. If you’re already feeding your dog a high-protein dry dog food, you don’t want to overdo it. This stew has 9% protein, which is already on the higher side for a canned food, and it comes from great, healthy sources. 

4. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food

Best Value For Money: ​​Affordable for its quality

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Overall Grade88%
Calorie Count80%
Protein Count & Quality90%
Complex Carbohydrates90%
Healthy Fats90%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Quite affordable for its quality
  • Great protein and fat counts for the average, active Doberman
  • Good calcium/phosphorus ratio and added amino acids
  • Dried kelp is added, which helps lessen the chance of hypothyroidism

CONS

  • Contain chicken products (even non-chicken flavours), so may not be suitable for pups who are sensitive to poultry
  • There have been reports of the salmon flavour having a strong odour

Although there are dog foods on this list that are more affordable than this one, American Journey makes it into our Best Value For Money spot because of their price combined with their quality and their nutrient values.

Their ingredients are premium quality for adult dogs, and the protein and fat counts are perfect for Dobermans who get regular exercise. The price is great, at $36 for a 24lb bag, which is a bonus when you’re feeding your big guy a good few cups of this dog food per day.

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Healthy Additions  

The calcium and phosphorus ratio is great for keeping your active pup’s bones strong. Glucosamine and chondroitin do the same for your dog’s joints, which is especially useful for dogs such as Dobermans who are prone to joint dysplasia.

The Omega fatty acids are great, and DHA is a particular addition that isn’t often found in adult dog foods but can only be a good thing, as it’s an amino acid that contributes to good health and a strong immune system for all life stages. 

This dog food also has a dose of dried kelp in it, which is great for dog breeds predisposed to hypothyroidism as it stimulates the thyroid. All in all, this dog food is a great option for the average Doberman and won’t empty the Dobe mom or dad’s pocket.

5. Canidae Pure Real Salmon Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

Best Limited Ingredient Food: Limits chances of food allergies

Overall Grade88%
Calorie Count90%
Protein Count & Quality90%
Complex Carbohydrates90%
Healthy Fats90%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • 10 or fewer ingredients limits chances of food allergies and bad reactions
  • High in calories which makes it perfect for active Dobermans
  • High in fat so your Dobe has plenty to metabolize for energy
  • Great complex carb sources, which can be hard to find in a limited ingredient dog food

CONS

  • Slightly on the pricey side, but worth it

There’s a misconception that putting your dog on a limited ingredient diet will automatically mean that they’ll be getting less protein and fat in. This dog food proves that wrong, however, with great levels of both, as well as a high calorie count which is perfect for active, healthy pups who just need some extra help keeping away from food allergies.

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Chelated Minerals in L. I. D. Foods 

It may be confusing to look at the ingredient list of a limited ingredient dog food claiming to have 10 or fewer ingredients and see a list just as long as any other food. This is because the remaining ingredients are vitamins, minerals, and a large majority of them are something called chelated minerals, which are minerals that are bonded to an amino acid for easier digestion. For a Doberman Pinscher who may need to be on a limited ingredient diet, this helps alleviate digestive upset.

6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Senior Dry Dog Food Recipe

Best For Senior Dobermans: Specially formulated with senior dogs in mind

Overall Grade87%
Calorie Count90%
Protein Count & Quality90%
Complex Carbohydrates90%
Healthy Fats90%
Affordability75%

PROS

  • Specially formulated with senior dogs in mind
  • Optimal protein, fat, and calorie counts for older, less active Dobes
  • Great Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids to boost brain and immune system
  • Free from grains and chicken, for easier digestion

CONS

  • Fairly pricey
  • Other flavors may contain hidden chicken ingredients so wouldn’t be suitable for dogs who have a poultry sensitivity

We highly recommend this Blue Buffalo dog food for senior Dobermans. The calorie count, protein and fat numbers, vitamins and minerals, and all-natural ingredient list put it right in the zone for healthy nutrition for a less active Dobe.

There are no grains or chicken products, which makes it great for dogs who may be sensitive to these two common food allergens. It also contains some useful fatty acids and vitamins and minerals that are perfect for older dogs and assist in keeping their immune systems, joints, and digestive processes going smoothly.

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Optimal Nutrient Counts for Seniors 

This dog food comes in at 383 calories per cup, which is great for a senior, provided it’s fed as per their feeding guidelines. The protein count sits at 28%, right at the optimal level for a healthy older guy or girl, with fat content at 12%.

The calcium and phosphorus ratio is also great, which should assist in keeping your older guy’s bones tough and sturdy as he ages.

Blue Buffalo’s specially formulated LifeSource Bits also give a great dose of vitamins and minerals that assist in metabolism, immune system health, and life stages changes. 

DHA and EPA are fatty acids that keep your old girl’s eyes and brain functioning optimally for as long as possible.

L-carnitine and glucosamine and chondroitin are amino acids that are also highly beneficial for older pups, contributing to maintaining healthy energy levels and weight and keeping joints strong and supple.

7. The Honest Kitchen Human-Grade Dehydrated Dog Food

Best For Sensitive Stomachs: For Dobermans who may need a soft diet

Overall Grade87%
Calorie Count90%
Protein Count & Quality85%
Complex Carbohydrates90%
Healthy Fats85%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Very easy on both sensitive teeth and sensitive stomachs
  • High in calories, so it’s great for Dobermans
  • Very simple to prepare
  • Great for adding extra moisture to your dog’s daily intake

CONS

  • Some flavours are slightly lower in protein than is recommended for Dobes
  • The prices can vary quite drastically by flavour, and are somewhat high

The Honest Kitchen dehydrated food is one well worth knowing about and is a fantastic option for Dobermans who may need a soft diet due to either digestive issues or trouble chewing dry dog food. The calorie count is high, meaning your pup’s digestive or tooth troubles won’t need to interrupt their usual energetic lifestyles.

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Human-Grade Dog Food 

This means that the quality of ingredients in this dog food is so good that you could eat it for dinner with your Doberman Pinscher if you really wanted to. This speaks volumes for the quality of a dog food, as it means there is no artificial stuff in there that could be harmful to the body. This is made up of dehydrated ingredients, which keeps them fresher for longer.

They’re superior quality ingredients too, consisting of a single protein source and carbs such as spinach, sweet potatoes, and quinoa. Kelp is also present in this dog food, which is always good for dog breeds predisposed to thyroid troubles. 

This is one of the best dog foods for all life stages and nutritional needs.

8. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Duck Dry Dog Food Recipe

Premium Option: Packed with nutrition

Overall Grade85%
Calorie Count85%
Protein Count & Quality90%
Complex Carbohydrates90%
Healthy Fats90%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Great nutrient levels for active Dobermans
  • Contains dried kelp to help prevent hypothyroidism
  • Special mix of vitamins and minerals to boost the immune system
  • Grain free for easier digestion

CONS

  • Somewhat pricey in comparison to others

Blue Buffalo makes great adult dog foods that are packed with nutrition. This dry food is great for Dobermans as it has a decent calorie count (416 per cup of kibble), great levels of protein and fat (34% and 15% respectively) and contains the usual ingredients that are helpful for this particular dog breed – a great calcium/phosphorus ratio, glucosamine for healthy joints, and Omega fatty acid levels that are higher than most.

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LifeSource Bits for Extra Vitamins and Minerals 

One of the reasons we chose Blue Buffalo as the best dog food for Dobermans is that they add their own vitamin and minerals mix in the form of their original LifeSource Bits.

Formulated by a bunch of professionals well-versed in animal nutrition, and cold-formed so that they lose no nutrition, these little bits are scattered throughout the regular kibble and give your pup a direct dose of vitamins and minerals that assist with specific life stages requirements and keeping the immune system healthy and functioning optimally.

9. Taste of the Wild High Protein Dry Dog Food

Best Without Glucosamine: High in protein and fats

Overall Grade86%
Calorie Count85%
Protein Count & Quality90%
Complex Carbohydrates85%
Healthy Fats85%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • High in protein and fats, perfect for Dobermans
  • Multiple sources of high-quality protein
  • Good levels of Omega fatty acids and vitamins and minerals
  • Grain-free

CONS

  • Slightly lower in calories, so might need to feed active Dobes more
  • No glucosamine in Taste of the Wild foods

This dog food from Taste of the Wild is great quality, but doesn’t contain glucosamine. Most of the dog foods we’ve reviewed do, which is great for breeds that tend to suffer from hip, knee, and elbow dysplasia as it just strengthens joints and lowers the chances of accidental dislocation.

It’s a really good addition, but seeing a dog food without it isn’t a train smash. If, however,  you would prefer to have that bit of a buffer for your pup’s joints, you can get glucosamine supplements to feed your pup separately.

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Great Nutrient Levels for Dobermans 

Although the calorie count is a little low at 370 per cup, it’s very easy to remedy by simply feeding your pooch slightly more to make up their calorie count for the day. You can also make it up by throwing in some high-calorie treats, if you’d prefer. 

With 32% protein and 18% fat, this Taste of the Wild dry dog food is actually among the best dog food because it has optimal levels for healthy, athletic Dobermans. Omega fatty acids are also great and promote health and immune system strength. 

We recommend Taste of the Wild for those who need the best dog food for Dobermans but are already supplementing with glucosamine.

10. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats Grain Free Biscuits

Best Treat For Dobermans: Nice protein and fat levels for a treat

Overall Grade85%
Calorie Count85%
Protein Count & Quality85%
Complex Carbohydrates85%
Healthy Fats85%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Oven-baked for locked-in nutrition
  • A few different flavours are available
  • Nice protein and fat levels for a treat
  • Made from premium natural ingredients

CONS

  • Not good to use to up your pup’s calories

A high-quality, high-protein treat is a good thing to have on hand, whether it’s for using as a training incentive, getting some extra calories into your pup, or simply giving them some extra love during the day. These treats are nutritious and tasty and your Doberman Pinscher will like the crunch.

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Good Nutritional Value for Treats 

With 41 calories per treat, you can add a good few hundred calories per day depending on how many of these you feed your pet. They contain 30% protein and 15% fat, which are very nice numbers and are great supplements to your pet’s daily dry dog food. The fact that they’re made from very good quality ingredients is also a bonus.


Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation

Criteria 1 – Calorie Count

Choosing a dog food without paying attention to the calories is kind of like choosing to go on a road trip but not paying attention to the fuel gauge. You need an idea of how many calories your Dobe is burning each day in order to know how much to feed him to fulfill his nutritional needs and avoid both malnutrition and overfeeding and weight gain. 

For Dobermans being fed twice a day, a high-calorie food is essential. As these pups need around 2000 calories a day, it’s a great idea to use a dry dog food that has upwards of 400 calories per scoop, and they may need a few scoops in each meal. We’ve tried to include foods here that contain 400 plus calories per cup, unless otherwise specified.

Criteria 2 – Protein Count & Quality

The best dog food for these pups should have 25 to 30% protein. It’s ideal for a healthy, energetic Doberman who is getting regular exercise. Of course, this should come from high-quality, identified sources, like real meat or meat meal. 

If your Dobe is one who suffers from kidney or liver disease, he may be prescribed a low protein diet by his vet. In this case, you should be looking for a food with around 20% protein, but still from the same kind of natural sources. 

The dog foods we’ve reviewed in this list contain 25% or more and an animal protein as the first ingredient, except in specific cases that we have mentioned when the food is aimed at dogs on low-protein diets.

Criteria 3 – Complex Carbohydrates

As these pooches can be prone to bouts of low blood sugar, the best dog food for them contains slow-burning complex carbs to give them sustained energy throughout the day and keep their blood sugar up. 

Fruits and vegetables are the best sources, and if you choose to feed your pup something with grains in it, the food should contain fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or potatoes in addition to those.

Acceptable grains include brown rice, oatmeal, sorghum, quinoa, and barley. White rice is also acceptable, although brown rice is recommended for extra fiber.

Criteria 4 – Healthy Fats

These powerful pups need plenty of energy to see them through their generally activity-filled days. Fat is an amazing energy source, as it’s easily metabolized and gives your pooch a boost of sustained energy that will help them keep their energy levels stable as the day goes. 

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that more fat in a food automatically causes weight gain – this is all about how much of that energy your dog burns off as he metabolizes it. If your dog is less active, they’ll need a lower fat count, but a highly energetic dog will need a good amount of it. 

The foods we’ve compared here have 12% or more fat in them, although we recommend around 15 for optimal nutrition. We’ve also made sure that that number is made up of great, healthy fat sources.

Criteria 5 – Affordability

Being the parent of a super energetic, large breed working dog is quite a feat. You have to make sure they get enough exercise, they are stimulated throughout the day even when you’re not there, and make sure that they stay as healthy as possible, despite the numerous health conditions that can become a problem. 

That’s why choosing a food with healthy natural ingredients shouldn’t be a high-stress ordeal, especially when it comes to cost. Sure, there are some foods that are quite a bit more expensive than others, although we can vouch for these being superior quality foods. However, there are some fantastic quality dog foods that are also very reasonably priced, and you shouldn’t automatically discard these based on their price tag (thinking they may be lesser quality). 

You totally can feed your hungry Dobe a high-quality, nutritious diet without breaking the bank, and we’ve added this criterion for quick and easy comparison between food prices.


Questions & Answers

What’s the ideal caloric intake for Dobermans?

There’s a debate about whether a Doberman Pinscher is a large breed or a medium. Dobermans are sort of on the cusp of medium and large breeds, but because of their high energy and naturally active and powerful lifestyles, they need quite a chunk of calories per day. 

A highly active adult large breed dog will need around 2100 calories a day, split between a few meals, unless they are a less active dog, in which case they might be comfortable with around 1800. Puppies should be all good with around 1800 calories a day until they’re adults, and seniors (depending on their activity levels) will need from 1300 to 1800. 

Health issues, amount of exercise, and your pup’s general disposition will have an effect on how much they can eat healthily without gaining weight. You may need to do some experimenting to find what works best with your guy or girl.

What are the nutritional needs of Dobermans?

The best dog food for Doberman should have a protein count of 25 to 30% and an animal protein as the first ingredient. Be aware that this breed suffers from kidney and liver disease more than some others, so protein count will need to be adjusted down if your dog shows any signs of this. 

Carbohydrate content should consist of complex, easily digestible carbs, preferably fruits and vegetables. Sweet potatoes, potatoes, starches, and fruits are great.

Gluten-free grains like brown rice are also acceptable if your pup’s stomach can tolerate them. Avoid corn, wheat, and soy.

Healthy fats are essential, and a count of 15% and upwards on dog food labels is great. 

Although these are the baseline nutritional needs for healthy Dobermans, you will need to consider your own dog, their health, exercise, and lifestyle before assuming this is correct for all dogs.

What ingredients should I avoid when choosing the best dog food for Dobermans?

Grains that contain gluten should be avoided and include corn, wheat, and soy. Stick to higher quality, gluten-free ones like barley, brown rice, and oatmeal. 

Artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives should be avoided because they have no nutritional value and can cause digestive issues.

Meat by-products should also be steered clear of. These are all the “off-cuts” that come out of factories – hooves, teeth, beaks, and so on. Also, avoid a food that uses vague, general terms such as “meat meal”, “animal fat”, or similar.

These majestic large breed dogs are unfortunately susceptible to some health problems. Although not all of these are specifically related to food, the quality of food they’re eating can make a huge difference to how their body responds and deals with health problems.

Hypothyroidism is a common disease in this breed, and you should get your dog tested for it if he or she displays any symptoms. The food they’re eating can help keep their symptoms at bay and improve thyroid function, so if your dog has been diagnosed with having an inactive or less-active thyroid, you’ll need to find a food that works best for that particular health problem. 

Chronic hepatitis is a disease of the liver that Dobermans can also be prone to. It’s not really known why, but if your dog shows any symptoms of this, a vet’s trip is definitely in order. Liver disease can be a crippling thing, so your dog will need long-term treatment. 

Bloat is a condition that is more food-related than some others on this list. It’s more common in deep-chested dogs, and Dobermans fall into this category. This is a life-threatening condition. Should your pup show signs, you’ll need to get them to the vet within an hour. 

Wobbler Syndrome is a neurological disorder that originates in the neck (cervical spine) and causes a characteristic wobbly gait. Dobermans are prone to slipped discs in this region which can kick-off this disease due to causing spinal compression. It needs to be addressed with your pup’s vet.

These dogs also fall under dog breeds that suffer from hip, knee, and elbow dysplasia, and hypoglycemia.

Others to be aware of are cardiomyopathyalbinism, and Von Willebrand disease.