Height: 24-28 in
Weight: 60-90 lbs
Life Span: 10-13 yrs
Coloring: Black and tan, red and tan, blue and tan, fawn and tan
Area of Origin: Germany
Similar Breeds: Boxer, Rottweiler, English Mastiff, Great Dane, German Pinscher
History and Origin:
Only appearing in the second half of the nineteenth century, the Doberman Pinscher was developed by the mixing of breeds such as the Shepherd, Greyhound, German Pinscher, Terrier, and Rottweiler blood. Its namesake, Louis Dobermann, was a tax collector who wanted an agile guard dog to protect him as he traveled through dangerous areas. Upon his death, dog enthusiasts took up the task of further developing the breed, only using the most powerful, smartest specimens to create the perfect guard dog. This plan backfired as the offspring became extremely aggressive and stubborn, and the Doberman was only accepted into the German Kennel Club in 1900 after the dedicated efforts of breeder Otto Goeller created a well-rounded and loyal dog that still retained the stamina and intelligence of its predecessors. The Doberman was brought to America soon after this, and was accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1908. A breed with high utility, the Doberman excels in a variety of dog sports and vocations, such as tracking, guarding, search and rescue, obedience trials, and has also enjoyed great success as a police and military dog.
Personality and Temperament:
Full of energy, strength, and endurance, the Doberman Pinscher is an extremely friendly and loyal dog that craves human interaction. A superior working dog, the Doberman is one of the most intelligent breeds, frequently categorized with the Border Collie and Poodle in train-ability and intuition. It is brave, dedicated, and versatile; the Doberman is a natural guard dog and rarely needs to be trained to guard. It can be good with children, however it can be stubborn and overbearing if any of its family members is not firm and consistent with it. Strong leadership is required for this dog, and as such, it is not a suitable breed for the nervous or first-time dog owner.
Exercise & Training:
Due to its sight-hound blood, the Doberman Pinscher has an endless supply of energy that must be spent in order for it to remain a well-adjusted and happy dog. Long, daily walks or runs will help to satisfy this need, however as a working dog, the Doberman likes it best when it is put to work. Sports such as agility or competitive obedience will help to keep the Doberman both physically and mentally healthy, and will help to strengthen the bond between dog and owner. Due to the high energy level of this breed, apartment living is not ideal. Highly trainable, the Doberman is used in many fields of work that require the dog to not only follow commands with perfection, but also to use its own judgment and intuition to assess a situation. This high level of intelligence, however, means that the Doberman has a tendency to be stubborn and willful if it is not handled with calm, firm, and confident leadership. Enrollment in obedience training is highly recommended to ensure success.
The Doberman Pinscher has a smooth, short coat that needs brushing a few times a week to remove dead hair and to promote skin health. Bathe only when necessary to prevent the skin from drying out. The Doberman is an average shedder.
While the exact origins of the Doberman are unknown, it is believed that Louis Doberman used several breeds to produce the modern Doberman: Shepherd, Greyhound, Terrier, German Pinscher, and possibly the Rottweiler. At the time of his death in 1894, the breed had been established enough that further developers used existing Doberman stock to continue desired traits onto the future generations.
Interesting Facts about the Doberman Pinscher:
1. The Doberman excels in the sport known as Schutzhund (protection dog in German), which was originally developed to be a “breed suitability” test for the German Shepherd. In addition to testing physical agility and strength, the Schutzhund evaluates a dogs desire to work, courage, intelligence, train-ability, bond with its handler, mental focus, sense of smell, and protecting ability.
2. The Doberman, although a highly versatile working dog, may have met an untimely demise in Germany due to World War I and World War II. Much of Germany’s breeding stock was exported to the United States shortly after World War I, ensuring the continuation of the breed.
3. A Doberman Pinscher named Kurt was the first American canine casualty of World War II after saving over two hundred Marines from a Japanese grenade. His statue appears on the World War II War Dog Memorial, on which his and twenty four other Dobermans names are inscribed.