White Dobermans – Complete Guide to the Rare Doberman Color

White Dobermans – Complete Guide to the Rare Doberman Color

Many folks who just started having a Doberman do not know there is such a thing as a white or a cream-colored Doberman. That usually surprises them or even confuses them if they happen to see one, and they don’t know what it is. Sometimes people think they are albinos though they are not.

The White Doberman Pinscher: Photos, Price, Health, Etc.

White Doberman Pinscher

White Dobermans are encircled in a dispute since many folks think it is not ethical to breed dogs of this shade due to a few health reasons, such as the DPCA (Doberman Pinscher Club of America). Thus, it’s time to learn more about this via reviewing all the most up-to-date info and research regarding white Dobermans.

We will explain all about these dogs’ history, albino status, genetics, how long they live, any health worries, what they cost, and many other things.

Firstly, we must talk about what a white Doberman is and is not. As well as if they are actually an albino, which is something even experts have argued over.

White Doberman is really light cream along with some white markings. Plus, their nose, eye rims, and lips are pink, and their eyes are blue. They aren’t really true albinos, as they still have pigment (which is why their eyes are blue). If they didn’t have coloring, their eyes would be pink. So most experts agree these dogs are really what is called “tyrosinase-positive Albinoids.” So yes, it is a kind of albino, but not the standard version most people are aware of.

If you call them an “albino,” some Doberman experts will look at you strangely.  They would believe you meant a total albino, which we know the white Doberman isn’t. Therefore, if you desire to be totally correct, you should call them “tyrosinase-positive albinoids,” however, it is likely simpler to call them a cream Doberman or a white Doberman. So, for the rest of this article, we will refer to these pups as white Dobermans.

History of the White Doberman

History of the White Doberman

The earliest white Doberman who was registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) was called Padula’s Queen Sheba (“Sheba” for short). She was born November 10, 1976, but her parents were both black and rust-colored Dobermans. Curiously, her pedigree says, “first white Doberman which wasn’t put to sleep” on it. That suggests there were additional white Dobermans born before her. Though that is still a mystery, some writings as early as the 1930s mention a “light-colored Doberman.”

At first, there was a lot of doubt if Sheba was a pureblooded Doberman Pinscher. Although, in 1978, they allowed her to be AKC registered after her owner provided enough proof the dog was indeed pureblooded.

Later, they bred Sheba with her son and then mated him with the females from his litter to produce more light-colored dogs. After that, we know all existing white Dobermans are descendants of Sheba.


Every dog’s coat shade is produced by a blend of a black pigment called Eumelanin and a red pigment called Phaeomelanin. Each dog’s genetics determines the quantities of these pigments in the coat and the dilution of the pigments. That produces every coat color typically in the Doberman breed, i.e., red, black, fawn, and blue.

It is presently accepted that white Dobermans come from a recessive gene that essentially disguises the dog’s final color they would have had with a normal gene. That gene is a mutated version of a SLC45A2 gene. It lacks a huge part of the standard genetic code, resulting in a usual kind of albino; however, there is no actual term. This mutation can also appear as Oculocutaneous Albinism Type 4 or OCA4 in other types of animals.

If the Doberman has a single copy of this altered gene, they’re deemed as a “carrier.” But, if they inherit two copies of it, they will be affected and will be either cream or white. So, they have to have two copies of the altered gene to end up being that color.

To check a Doberman for the altered gene from the comfort of your home, there’s a special kit that’s easy to use at home.

White Doberman Puppy Costs

As with everything for sale in the free market, the cost of a white Doberman has more to do with the amount a breeder thinks people will buy it at rather than what you may believe it should cost. So, probably you will find a wide range of asking prices for white Dobermans.

Cost of a White Doberman Puppy

  • Bare Minimum Cost: $800
  • Highest Cost:     $2,500
  • Median Cost:     $1,600

Note: These are examples of costs owners have paid for a white Doberman rounded up to the closest hundred dollars.

It is crucial to remember many other considerations that can influence the cost of a white Doberman puppy, such as their location if they have earned any titles, registration status with the kennel club, if they have cropped ears, and more.

Many folks think you shouldn’t charge more for these pups than a normal colored Doberman. But many people who breed them advertise them as rare, so they can justify charging more to buy one. Even though fewer of them are this color, many breeders specialize in producing this dog’s color, and if you try hard enough, you can find several places to buy one.

Health Worries

There are a few extra health worries regarding white Dobermans. Since they have less pigment, a few problems have been noted, i.e.:

Sunburns–White Dobermans tend to get sunburned since they have less pigment. So, you should use a sunblock that’s safe for dogs if they are in the sun for long periods, especially put it on their sensitive noses. It may even be a good idea to put clothing on them or just don’t leave them in the sun for a long time.

Tumors – A study indicated a significant increase in skin tumors in white Doberman pinschers than regular colored Dobermans. Specifically, twelve in twenty of the ones in this study ended up with tumors, but only one in twenty regular-colored Dobermans had any tumors. Strangely, all of the white ones older than five had one or more tumors. However, not all these tumors were cancer; some were benign.

Sight – Lack of pigment in the white Doberman’s iris (the tinted part of the eye) indicates additional light can pass through it directly to the retina. That causes these dogs to squint in bright sunlight frequently. A few owners opt to purchase dog-specific tinted goggles their dogs can wear, but other owners don’t think these are needed.

Generally, there’s likely to be a little higher dedication of the time and attention necessary for white Doberman owners to take. However, considerations like how much time is spent in direct sunlight and additional concerns must be contemplated.


A lot of worries exist about all the inbreeding happening inside the lineage of the white Doberman. It is well recognized that the first white Doberman registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) got bred back to her son, who was also born to his sisters. Furthermore, all existing white Dobermans are thought to have descended from those first dogs.

Though, the main concerns are not always connected to the original breeding that began the white Doberman. Several are anxious about the possible inbreeding, which is still happening more recently. While I’ll bring up more info about that inside the “controversy” portion of this article, it is speculated that widespread inbreeding occurs via unethical breeders who hope to produce additional white Dobermans.

Though this is probably true in certain circumstances, there are similarly unethical backyard breeders that use inbreeding in the standard color of Dobermans for additional reasons, too (or that merely unwittingly inbreed because they don’t do any research on the lineage).

Life Expectations of White Dobermans

Life Expectations of White Dobermans

10 – 13 Years

Until now, there’s not been any study or huge data collection endeavors that could give any insight into how long white Dobermans live in comparison to the regular colored ones. The most available right now is in a study called “A Partial Gene Deletion of SLC45A2 Causes Oculocutaneous Albinism in Doberman Pinscher Dogs” (obtainable here).

It suggests white Dobermans are more likely to get cancerous tumors on their skins as merely one in twenty regular-colored dogs do. However, it is worth noting that the study only included twenty dogs, so that’s pretty small.

Because no study has precisely shown a greater death rate or a shorter lifetime, the present life expectancy for a white Doberman is still between 10 and 13 years—which is the same as with regular colored dogs.

TIP: If you want a book listing all the existing colors for Dobermans, as well as all the kinds of them, read the article I have listed called, All the Colors and Types of the Doberman Pinscher.

White Dobermans and the DPCA

The Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) is one of the member clubs in the American Kennel Club (AKC). It’s the only one they have precisely for Dobermans. The DPCA announced it doesn’t condone the constant breeding of the white Dobermans. It asserts that because of the health problems they have (and their photosensitivity or photophobia), these dogs are considered “unacceptable specimens.” Their mission is to defend the breed’s (Dobermans) honesty, health, and purpose, so they don’t promote the breeding of the white ones.

The DPCA revised the Doberman Pinscher breed standard in 1982 and allowed only four shades: black, blue, fawn, and red, with rust-tinted markings. In addition, this breed standard says, “White patches on the chest, not to exceed a half square inch, are allowable. Disqualifying Fault: Dogs that are not one of the allowed shades.” The entire breed standard is linked here.

That means if a pup has more white than just a half square inch on its chest, it can’t be shown in a dog breed show. It additionally says precisely that dogs that aren’t one of the allowed shades will be disqualified. So a white Doberman is not eligible to take part in a breed confirmation show. Nevertheless, a white Doberman can still participate in all other events like obedience, tracking, rally, and agility.

DPCA’s official position is these pups shouldn’t get bred, and the breeders ought to make sure they don’t mate dogs with this color in their pedigree. Pups from parents that are either carriers or dogs in a known lineage that had white puppies earlier will be noted by placing a “WZ” before its AKC registration number. That is unofficially called the “Z-List.”

European White Dobermans

The FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) is a famous global kennel club and deals widely with Dobermans from Europe. Unfortunately, it doesn’t recognize white Dobermans as an accepted shade in their breed standard. Indeed, any bit of white fur on a Doberman will disqualify it in regard to the FCI.

The FCI Doberman breed standard says, “Dobermans are bred in two different colors: brown or black with rust red, plainly defined and with clear markings (tan markings).” It likewise records “white spots” as being disqualifying. It additionally says any change from the standard is considered a fault. That means the only two colors allowed by the FCI for Dobermans are brown and black (or red) with rust-colored markings. The complete FCI breed standard is right here.

Customarily white Dobermans aren’t an issue for the FCI because that shade hasn’t appeared in any European Doberman lines and appears particular to the American Doberman Pinscher. Nevertheless, there are a few alternative color breeders I’ve talked to that now say they’re starting to bring European bloodlines into the white Doberman breeding programs as a way to diversify their genetic pool.

Other Questions Regarding White Dobermans

How many years do white Dobermans live?

Unfortunately, there’s no info right now that shows the white or albino Doberman lives any less or more than other colors of Dobermans. However, they are thought to live the normally expected timeframe of between 10 and 13 years old.

What would I pay for a white Doberman?

A White or albino Doberman pup may set you back between $800 and $,2500, and on average, it costs around $1,500. Still, several factors besides color could affect the cost of a Doberman pup.

Is the white Doberman deaf?

White Dobermans aren’t known to be any more likely to be deaf than other colored Dobermans. So while it’s a long-existing theory that deafness may be a problem with white Dobermans, that claim has been mostly discredited.

Can a white Doberman be registered with the AKC?

White Dobermans can be registered with the AKC. They get a “WZ” designator affixed to the start of their registration number to show they carry the gene causing albinism in Dobermans.

Doberman Colors

Here are the most common colors of Dobermans: