Few people can claim to have had so great an impact upon the dog world as Louis Dobermann of Thuringen, Germany. Dobermann was a door-to-door tax collector who needed a watchful guard dog to accompany him on his rounds. In the late 1800s he set about to create an alert streamlined guard dog, most likely by crossing the old German shepherd and German pinscher, with later crosses of the black and tan Manchester terrier, greyhound and Weimaraner.
AKC Ranking: 22
Area of Origin: Germany
Date of Origin: 1800s
Original Function: guardian
Today's Function: security, police, military, schutzhund
Avg Size of male: Height: 26-28 Weight: 65-90
Avg Size of Female: Height: 24-26 Weight: 65-90
Other Name: Dobermann
Few people can claim to have had so great an impact upon the dog world as Louis Dobermann of Thuringen, Germany. Dobermann was a door-to-door tax collector who needed a watchful guard dog to accompany him on his rounds. In the late 1800s he set about to create an alert streamlined guard dog, most likely by crossing the old German shepherd and German pinscher, with later crosses of the black and tan Manchester terrier, greyhound and Weimaraner. He soon obtained the prototype of the breed that now bears his name. The original Dobermans were still somewhat heavy-boned and round-headed; subsequent breeders selected for a more racy-looking dog. The breed evolved in remarkable time; by 1899 the first breed club was formed. The breed continued to attract acclaim, and the first Doberman arrived in America in 1908. It soon found favor throughout Europe and America as a police and guard dog, and later as a war dog. Its prowess in these areas soon brought more admirers, and the Doberman quickly became a valued family protector. Its chiseled silhouette and fearless alert demeanor has made the Doberman a top contender as a show dog. As its fame grew, many families grew to appreciate the breed as a family pet, and the Doberman eventually rose to be the second-most popular breed in America in 1977. During this same period, a new challenge arose for the breed — the emergence of the albinistic white Doberman. In an effort to decrease the chance of producing these dogs, the Doberman Pinscher Club of America convinced the AKC to tag the registration numbers of dogs with the likelihood of carrying the albino gene with the letter Z.
The Doberman pinscher is an intelligent capable guardian, ever on the alert and ready to protect its family or home. It is also a loyal and adventurous companion. It likes to be mentally challenged and is a gifted obedience pupil. It is sensitive and very responsive to its owner's wishes, though some can be domineering. It is generally reserved with strangers. It can be aggressive with strange dogs.
This is an active breed that needs daily mental and physical exercise, lest it become frustrated or destructive. Its exercise requirements can be met with a long jog or walk on leash, or a strenuous run in a safe area. The Doberman can live outside in temperate climates, but it is a much better companion and effective guardian if it shares its human's home. Coat care is minimal.
• Major concerns: CVI (wobbler's syndrome), cardiomyopathy
• Minor concerns: vWD, demodicosis, osteosarcoma, narcolepsy, gastric torsion, CHD
• Occasionally seen: albinism
• Suggested tests: DNA for vWD, cardiac, (hip)
• Life span: 10 – 12 years
• Note: Blue Dobermans often have alopecia; white Dobermans suffer from several serious health problems.
Form and Function
The Doberman is compactly built, muscular, powerful and square-proportioned. It combines elegance and strength with speed and endurance. Its carriage is proud and alert, and its gait is free and vigorous. Its coat is short, smooth and hard, showing off the exceptionally clean-cut lines of this athletic breed.