White Doberman Pinschers, which are actually albino dogs, are extremely unique looking and to many people, they are undeniably beautiful in a striking way. They have the white skin and fur which only serves to further accentuate the icy blue eyes they will look at you with. The first documented case of an albino Dobie was in 1976. These dogs are very rare and as much as a person may want to own one, it should be remembered that albinism is the result of a genetic mutation and therefore, is not a sign of an animal that is going to be in perfect health.
The health issues that may affect albino Doberman Pinschers can go beyond just the physical. The blue eyes are caused by optic nerve mutation and according to www.whitedobes.com, "At least some types of albinism are known to cause several types of behavioral changes, as well as decreased intelligence. For instance, albinos of some species may be excessively emotional, or slow to learn new tasks, or especially fearful, or have a multitude of other behavioral problems." Of course, this is not true of every albino, but that is a big risk to take, especially when it comes to a dog as strong and potentially domineering as this breed.
The physical problems can include the following:
*Skin Cancer-All animals that are born with albinism have a predisposition to skin cancer, as well as being extremely sensitive to the sun.
*Photosensitivity-These dogs will be seen squinting in bright light, due to the problems with their eyes.
*Immune System Disorders-This can cause a wide variety of problems, as the dog is not able to sufficiently fight off germs and disease like others are.
*Sterility-Some people believe that all albino animals are sterile, but this is not true. Many albino animals have babies, but there is a greater chance for sterility in these dogs.
*Retinal Abnormalities-Again, the blue eyes may be gorgeous to look at, but the same thing that causes this coloring can also cause other retinal problems. These may lead to vision problems, even total blindness.
*Kidney and Liver Problems-Because the kidneys and the liver have a great deal to do with the way that the body processes food and waste, this can lead to risk of toxicity.
*Deafness-This is an issue with all white animals. It is not limited to the Doberman Pinscher.
Due to the potential for these and a variety of other health issues, the breeding of albino or white Doberman Pinschers is discouraged. There are AKC registered Dobies that are albino, but they are not used in competition. The AKC is very selective about accepting these dogs. There is also much concern due to the potential for behavioral problems. Beautiful as they may be, the white Doberman Pinscher is prone to many problems, both physical and mental, and is best left unbred and cared for by very experienced dog handlers.