When selecting a Doberman puppy, look for good behavior, an even temperament and an overall healthy dog, which requires looking at the coat, nails, eyes and ears. To start, people should look at an entire puppy litter as a group, notes the Doberman Pinscher Club of America. Puppies should be playful and energetic, not skittish or shy, and should not run away in fear.
Although puppies change physically as they get older, their personalities remain largely the same. A shy puppy, says the DPCA, makes a shy adult dog, which may be problematic for some families. People should bypass the shiest puppy in a litter as well as the dominant puppy, which may turn out to be aggressive. Making noises like whistling or jingling car keys to see puppies' reactions is a good way to determine personality, says the DPCA.
Health is another important factor to consider. Puppies should not sneeze, cough or be congested, according to the DPCA. Coats should be clean and soft. They will thicken and fill out as puppies get older, but should not have any bald spots or red patches beneath. Puppies should also be free of lice. Eyes should be shiny and clear, and not runny. Like coats, eye color may change as puppies grow. Ears should be clean on the inside. It takes 12 weeks for Doberman ears to stand up, and ears may stand and fall during teething, says the DPCA. Purebred dogs should have dewclaws removed and tails docked prior to purchase.