There’s so much controversy around so many dog breeds, but not as much as around an albino Doberman and a white Doberman. It has been going on for several decades now. The question is: Is the white Doberman vs the albino Doberman the same?
Well, it’s not an easy question to answer in the first place. Even major kennel clubs, reputable breeders, and geneticists argue about it.
Studies conducted throughout the years have proven that the words white and albino aren’t interchangeable. We will discuss the true meaning behind them and help you decide who wins the fight between the white Doberman and the albino Doberman.
White Doberman Vs Albino Doberman: Are They the Same?
Photo from: @world.of.dobermann
A white Doberman is a product of inbreeding. It is also tagged as partial albino. It’s not a true albino Dobie because it still has some pigmentation in the hair, making it cream-colored rather than pure white.
While there’s no major difference between a male vs female Doberman, there are quite some contrasts between a white vs an albino Doberman.
The biggest difference between these two is that albino Dobermans have an all-white coat with pink eyes all because of their lack of pigmentation. Their hair is thin, and they only have one coat; no undercoat. Sadly, both white and albino Dobermans are not hypoallergenic. They do shed and can flare-up allergies.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) states that both versions of the Doberman breed are prone to congenital disabilities.
The other reason why the white Doberman Pinscher and albino Dobermans aren’t that desirable is because they cannot camouflage themselves in the dark. Dobermans were bred to be sentry dogs, expected to blend in and watch over their homes and owners during the night. The light coat doesn’t do them any justice, and it makes these Dobies look faulty.
The Origin Of The White And Albino Doberman Pinscher
The history and origin of the white and albino Dobies are intertwined. No wonder why pet owners mistake one for the other. But, each Doberman has its origin, so let’s start with the story of the first white Doberman.
The first white Doberman was named Padula’s Queen Sheba or Sheba. She was a product of two black and rust Dobermans, born in 1976.
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA), which is the only recognized Doberman club by the American Kennel Club (AKC), claimed that Sheba was an albino without any ability to produce any pigments.
However, many geneticists still claim she was not albino, but rather a cream-colored Doberman that was not lacking pigment completely.
Sheba was the first white Doberman that was not put to sleep or euthanized. Some other white Dobermans that came before Sheba weren’t recognized at all mainly because there is not much literature on white Dobermans throughout history.
When Sheba’s white coat became widely known, many experts started the question: Is she really a purebred Doberman Pinscher?
Well, 11 years after Sheba was born, her owner managed to prove to the AKC that she was indeed a purebred Dobie. She was registered in 1978 under the number WE166747.
Let’s pause here for a second. Yes, you’ve read it right: Sheba was a puppy coming from two non-white Dobermans. How was it possible to get a white puppy, and how is it still possible to have white Dobermans?
The answer is simple, but not sugar-coated. Sheba was actually bred to her own offspring. All current white Dobermans come from this single bloodline.
The continuous inbreeding of Sheba’s descendants weakens the white Dobie line. Future puppies will come out thinner and smaller than their ancestors.
White Doberman Vs Albino: Appearance Differences
Photo from: @king_riot17
To fully understand the difference between a white Doberman and an albino Doberman, we must take a look at their appearance traits.
White Dobermans aren’t white in color. Instead, they’re light cream Dobies with white markings. Other traits that differentiate them are blue eyes, a pink nose, and pink eye rims. They look different from albino Dobies because there are noticeable pigmentations on their skin, which true albino dogs lack.
Here’s a detailed overlook of how white Dobermans look:
• Head: long, and resembles a blunt wedge in profile and frontal views, which widens gradually towards the ears.
• Eyes: almond-shaped and light blue in color.
• Ears: cropped ears that still remain erect.
• Neck: well-muscled neck, well-arched, and widens toward their body.
• Body: compactly built body, powerful, muscular, but medium-sized.
• Chest: a broad chest and a well-defined forechest.
• Coat: smooth, short, close-lying, and thick coat.
• Height: 26 to 28 inches for males, 24 to 26 inches for females.
• Weight: 75 to 100 pounds for males, 60 to 90 pounds for females.
Note: because of the continuous inbreeding, some white Dobies will have a reduced weight or height.
Photo from: @snowthedobie
The term albino doesn’t really pertain to the white coloration in a dog’s coat, but to puppies suffering from albinism.
Albino Dobermans don’t have any cream tint on their skin like white Dobermans. The real albino Doberman will be completely white in color because of the absence of pigmentation.
Here’s the overview of what an albino Doberman looks like:
• Head: much similar to white Dobermans, with a blunt-looking head that widens gradually towards the ears.
• Eyes: pinkish blood vessels, which make the eyes appear pink. It’s their second-biggest tell-tale sign.
• Ears: the ears are cropped and erect; the same as with the white Doberman.
• Neck: strong and well-muscled.
• Body: compact, muscular, and powerful body.
• Chest: a broad chest with a well-carved forechest.
• Coat: short and smooth coat, white in color with a pinkish tinge on it.
• Height: 26 to 28 inches for males, 24 to 26 inches for females.
• Weight: 75 to 100 pounds for males, 60 to 90 pounds for females.
White Doberman Vs Albino Doberman: Differences In Temperament
Photo from: @zerotheoutsidedog
Temperament is another point of interest we’ll discuss today. Let’s find out if there are any differences between a white Dobie and an albino Dobie character and temperament!
Even though they may look intimidating to some people because of their size, Dobermans aren’t that dangerous. In fact, there are no major studies that prove the undesirable trait of their temperament. However, breeders and kennel clubs insist on their undesirable behavior all because some breeders prioritize achieving the dog’s color more than their health.
The faults in their temperament that might occur aren’t the result of the dog’s natural behavior; it’s the unethical breeding that has led to this point. The biggest problem of such Dobermans is that they show aggression, unlike other Doberman colors which are loyal and calm.
Aggressive behavior may be possible to alter through training, but there’s not much research to prove it yet.
The troubles don’t end with albino Dobermans. These pups are prone to numerous health issues all because of their deleterious mutation. They’re more fearful than other colored Dobies. An albino Doberman might be difficult to train because of its low intelligence.
Developing a well-balanced temperament depends a lot on the dog owner. Still, the success rate is not really high. So, if you’re looking for a smart and obedient puppy, try checking out other Doberman colors. You might be surprised.
All White Doberman Vs Albino Doberman: Let’s Talk The Genetics
When it comes to the white coat color and albinism as a genetic mutation, genetics is where the story begins and ends. Once you understand what makes the white Dobie white and why an albino is an albino, you’ll be able to tell these two apart in a crowd.
So far, you’ve learned that not all place colors mean albino. Still, many dog lovers, even breeders, fail to recognize this. Our white Dobie is partially albino, but it’s completely wrong to address them in the traditional meaning of the word.
White Dobermans have managed to retain some pigmentation on certain areas of their coat because of the amount of melanin they produce. It’s very likely that this is due to the fact that they’re tyrosinase-positive, unlike albino dogs.
Tyrosinase is an enzyme responsible for melanin production. This pigment creates the dog’s coat, eyes, and nose color. Being tyrosinase-positive means the dog will exhibit whitening in the form of cream coloration and white markings.
Real albino Dobermans have place white skin with a pinkish tint. They suffer from the genetic mutation named tyrosinase-negative, meaning they lack the pigments that produce color in dogs.
Albinism happens when the slc45a2 fails to transport protein that affects the melanin synthesis. Albinism may be divided into two categories: ocular albinism and oculocutaneous albinism.
Experts believe that this mutation is a result of a recessive gene that all albino Dobermans inherit from their parents. The same gene is responsible for the dog’s health issues, i.e., deafness.
Lifespan And Health Issues
There is no scientific data to prove any difference between a white Doberman vs an albino Doberman when it comes to their life expectancy. Also, there are no differences when it comes to standard Doberman colors!
Both a white Doberman vs an albino Doberman may live from 10 to 13 years, just like other standard colors. However, they can also have a shorter lifespan, all depending on their health.
More about their health issues below.
As we already mentioned, both the white Doberman and the albino Doberman are very sensitive to some health issues.
They are the following:
• Skin Sensitivity: Not only does melanin not provide colors, but it also absorbs solar radiation, which may lead to sunburn and cancer. Albino and white Dobermans are known to have sensitive skin due to their lack of melanin.
The common signs of this skin condition are excessive scratching, hair loss, and dry patches. However, this can be prevented if you don’t expose your dog to the sun for too long, and invest in pet shirts, bodysuits, and even hats when you go out for a walk. Also, you can apply some sunscreen lotion, but it would be best to consult your vet first.
• Photophobia: A white Doberman’s blue eyes and an Albino’s clear irises are prone to photosensitivity. They don’t have enough pigmentation to screen the light entering their eyes. This is why some dogs may go blind if you expose them to too much brightness.
Even low lighting affects their sight, binocular vision, and depth perception. The best decision to make is to have your Doberman wear goggles. Yes, goggles! They may look like adorable weirdos, but it will help them not to squint, and it will absolutely preserve their retinas from damage.
• Sunburn: If you don’t provide adequate sun protection, your Doberman may end up with sunburn, as this is one of their biggest skin problems. One of the first symptoms of this condition is the extreme pinkish tint on their coat. Thus, appropriate clothing and sunblock are necessary.
• Skin Cancer: Continuous sun damage will lead to a much bigger problem that is always fatal. We’re talking about skin cancer or melanoma. This condition is far too serious to be played with. It spreads quickly all over the dog’s organs. However, it’s still one of the two cancer types that might be completely prevented with adequate protection.
• Tumors: Studies have shown that skin tumors are more prevalent on white and albino Dobermans. For example, 12 out of 20 dogs will have at least one skin tumor. The usual types that appear on dogs are squamous cell carcinoma and mast cell tumors. Treatment depends on the tumor type and the location on the dog’s body.
• Deafness: There is a strong link between the white coat color and albino Dobermans to their hearing. Research conducted by George Strain, named “The Genetics of Deafness in Domestic Animals,” proves that the exact pigmentation patterns can relate to hereditary deafness in dogs.
Sadly, there is no treatment for this congenital disease, so most albino dogs will remain deaf.
• Neurological Problems: Since white and albino dogs are lacking melanin, their brain functions are also affected because of the lack of specific receptors. Unfortunately, these issues are highly unpredictable.
If you’re very worried about these health issues, but you’d still want a Doberman puppy, maybe you should check out some of the Doberman mixes, i.e., the Doberman Pitbull mix or the Cane Corso Doberman mix. They’re equally as sweet, but they have less potential health issues.
White Doberman Vs Albino Doberman: Which Costs More?
Photo from: @jrk_kennel
The cost of a white Doberman vs an albino Doberman depends only on the breeder you choose. However, there are a lot of unethical breeders that don’t care enough about the breeding process or the dog’s health or temperament issues.
These people only breed whites and albinos to market their color and tag them as rare Dobermans. If you’re a rookie in this, you may be tricked into paying way too much for a puppy with all sorts of health issues, not to mention a bad temperament.
On average, these puppies will range from $800 to $2,500! An incredible amount for a purebred Doberman that has so many issues.
Are Albino And White Dobermans Rare?
The answer is simple: YES!
A white Doberman and an albino Doberman are rare dogs because they’re a product of inbreeding, and not many breeders are allowed to breed them.
Also, major kennel clubs are strongly against their reproduction because they carry so many health problems.
In other words, if white Dobermans are rare, then albino Dobermans are even rarer all because of their recessive genes.
There is a very poor chance you’ll find a white Doberman or an albino Doberman in one of the local animal shelters.
Inbreeding White Dobermans
Photo from: @obsidianpets
As you already know, the first white Doberman, Sheba, was bred to her son to continue the production of white Dobermans.
Their offspring were later bred to their sisters in order to develop more white Dobies. This process of close mating is called inbreeding.
The only purpose of this inbreeding is for the production of the white Doberman lineage; thus, it’s completely unethical. Inbreeding brings many health problems that affect the dog’s general life quality as well as lifespan.
Today, many white Dobermans exist with unclear data of who their breeder was and where they came from. It is not certain if today’s white Dobermans are still descendants of Sheba and her sons.
This is alarming because it means that many other backyard breeders are purposely breeding these white dogs, even though the AKC and the DPCA are strongly against it.
What The DPCA Says On White Vs Albino Dobermans
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America states that white and albino Dobermans are the same. They’re strongly against breeding these dogs because they believe the dogs’ health and welfare have been disregarded in order to get the specific white color.
All breeding programs must be undertaken with the responsibility to preserve canine characteristics. Thus, supporting intentional breeding despite genetic defects is wrong.
The DPCA amended the Doberman Pinscher breed standard in 1982. The standard allowed colors are black, blue, red, and fawn Dobermans with tan markings. Also, white patches on the body should go over 1/2 square inch, which implies that white dogs aren’t allowed.
Because of this standard, white and albino Dobermans can’t compete in conformation shows. Their unique coat color and genetic mutation is disqualifying. They can only compete in events such as agility, rally, obedience, and tracking.
Z-Tracking Of The White Doberman Vs The Albino Doberman
Photo from: @adobiesworld
To identify which Dobermans are descendants from Sheba, the AKC established a system. The letter Z was added to the registration number of these dogs to inform everyone that the dog may have albinistic genes.
The DPCA maintained a directory of all white and albino Dobermans through the Z list. Instead of using only the letter Z, the DPCA started using the letters WZ.
When it became obvious that the AKC won’t stop registering white and albino dogs, the DPCA demanded the kennel club to find a unique way to recognize the descendants of Sheba.
The DPCA claims that since 1998, the Z list has become invaluable since it listed seven dogs that weren’t related to Sheba in any way. These dogs were actually fawn, not white or albino.
The AKC released a statement claiming it was an honest mistake because color identification is quite confusing for new breeders. However, it had already caused some damage to many Doberman lovers.
There are over 47,000 white and albino Dobermans listed at the moment in the Z list. The first in the list are Sheba’s parents, followed by her littermates.
White Doberman Vs Albino Doberman: Current Status
Nowadays, white Dobermans are still quite undesirable by kennel clubs and Doberman organizations, even 44 years after the first white Dobie was identified. The albino cousins have the same destiny.
Both the white Doberman and the albino Doberman have congenital defects that cause certain diseases, which affect the longevity of the dog’s lifespan.
Some geneticists think that their traits have become worse with each generation because of inbreeding.
Today, we see many white and albino Dobermans that aren’t descendants from Sheba. Their lineage is unknown; therefore, their status is already problematic.
Should You Buy White Or Albino Dobermans?
Photo from: @obsidianpets
Sure, we understand that the unique white coat is very attractive and tempts you to get a white or an albino Doberman. However, you need to think rationally here. These dogs come with many health problems. There’s almost a 100% chance that your white or albino Dobie will suffer from some health conditions.
But, if you’re still not set on whether you should get one of these dogs or not, we suggest you should take a look at the pros and cons list we’ve put together.
• Some breeders conduct health tests, so you know which diseases the puppy may be carrying.
• The prevalence of inbreeding is on the rise, dangerously approaching the level that standard breeding is on.
• Even standard color Dobermans suffer from skin problems because of color dilution alopecia. This means that sensitive skin isn’t only reserved for whites and albinos.
• The breeder is the only one responsible for the dog’s temperament issues.
• Since light and blue eyes aren’t a defect in humans, they shouldn’t be a defect in Dobermans.
• The Canine Eye Registry Foundation has registered many white and albino Dobermans; thus, we’re free to say that they’re not suffering from congenital eye problems.
These arguments aren’t scientifically proven. They’re only based on the accounts of white and albino Doberman lovers.
• Scientists have proven that these dogs come with numerous health issues.
• Inbreeding cannot be prevented with such a small gene pool, which results in unstable dogs.
• Breeders choose their breeding stock only for the colors, not for the temperament or health issues.
• CERF certification doesn’t address the areas of the eyes affected by a gene mutation.
• Taking care of white and albino Dobermans means work. It takes great effort to take care of them properly. Also, a large chunk of your budget will go on your dog’s needs, so you better be prepared for the risk.
The point of this article is to teach you the difference between a white Doberman vs an albino Doberman. Now that you’re aware of what kind of problems these unique dogs carry, you’ll be able to decide whether you should get one or not.
Remember, these dogs aren’t easy to manage at all. They need a decent owner to fulfill all their needs. Do you think you have what it takes to be a good white Doberman or albino Doberman owner?