The Doberman Pinscher was created in the 1890s through selective breeding by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, who was a tax collector, night watchman, and the local dog catcher in Apolda, Germany. Imperial Germany at the time was a rough place and as a tax collector, Louis was certainly a target while making his rounds collecting tax money from the citizens. His other job at the time wasn’t much easier, a night watchman was tasked with walking through the town at night, on the watch for thugs who were up to no good. As the local dog catcher, however, Louis had access to a large number of different dog breeds.Louis began selective breeding to produce an ideal personal protection dog that could accompany him on his rounds through town collecting taxes and performing his duties as a local night watchman. He desired to create a dog with the right combination of intelligence, speed, strength, stamina, ferocity, and unshakable loyalty.
After Louis Dobermann’s death in 1894, the breed that he pioneered was named the “Doberman Pinscher” in his honor. Later, another citizen of Apolda, Germany named Otto Göller became critical in further developing and refining the breed. He became well known as a major promoter of the breed after Louis’s death and was responsible for establishing the official breeding rules for the breed and founding the “National Dobermann Pinscher Club” in Apolda in 1899 along with Oskar Vorwerk, which was the first Dobermann breed club. Otto Göller along with Oskar Vorwerk worked with several other breeders of the Dobermann to establish an official breed standard. By 1900, the breed standard was adopted by the German National Kennel Club and Dobermann breed clubs were founded in many other German towns including Berlin, Mannheim, Frankfort, Hanover, and Hamburg.
Soon, many Doberman Pinschers were being exported and finding their way to other countries all around the world. The breed was quickly becoming recognized around the world for its highly desirable qualities and there was no turning back—the Dobermann was here to stay.
In 1944 Doberman Pinschers served in World War 2 alongside the U.S. Marine Corps during the battle for Guam. These amazing dogs were recruited with the help of the Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) and were trained at the War Dog Training Center at Camp Knox in North Carolina.
These dogs were nicknamed “Devil Dogs” and fought fearlessly. During the conflict, 25 of these dogs gave their lives and saved countless servicemen in the process. They conducted over 550 patrols and each dog had specific training to perform their role as either a messenger dog, sentry dog, or scout dog. A memorial currently stands in Guam honoring the 25 Doberman’s who gave their lives liberating Guam.
In 1948, Germany dropped the word “Pinscher” from the name as it was argued that the label was not appropriate since the dog is not representative of a pinscher (or terrier). Other countries followed suit and currently only the United States and Canada refer to the breed as the Doberman Pinscher, while the rest of the world refers to the breed as just “Dobermann.” Dobermann is also spelled with a second “n” at the end as this was how the creator of the breed, Louis Dobermann, spelled his last name.
The genetic makeup of the Doberman Pinscher is not entirely clear. Louis Doberman didn’t keep records of exactly which breeds of dogs he used in the process of creating the Doberman. However, even after Louis Doberman had produced the first Doberman Pinschers, further refinement of the breed occurred, especially around 1900 when the documented crossing of the bloodline with that of the Greyhound and Manchester Terrier occurred.
Currently, there are two variations of the breed. The European Dobermann and the American Doberman Pinscher. The breed has split into these two varieties likely due to many different factors. Most experts cite the strict breeding registration requirements and approval processes in Europe and an emphasis on show dogs in the United States for this split in the breed.
The European Dobermann is a much closer genetic relation to Louis Dobermann’s original creation. These dogs are a compact, muscular working dog. They have thick necks, broad chests, and a somewhat blockier shape to their heads and muzzles. European Dobermanns typically weigh more than their American counterparts.
Heavy regulation in Europe surrounding the breeding of Dobermann’s has helped to keep the breed’s physical traits very close to that described in the FCI Breed Standard.
Highlights of the breed
The Doberman is a highly intelligent and trainable breed. They love to work/train and can easily be taught commands and excel at obedience and dog sports of most kinds. They are quick learners and have a great desire to please. They are loyal and devoted to their people.
* Energy Level
Being a working breed, the Doberman has a higher energy level and requires daily exercise and early training to be the best pet and companion. They are bred to be companions and guardians and need to be around their family. This is a breed that does not do well left outside, or kept away from their family for long periods. They like to be with you and do what you are doing and make excellent running/biking partners, love playing ball and frisbee and going for long hikes or runs. Dobermans do best in active indoor homes with active families willing to include them in their daily lives and make them part of the family.
Dobermans are a short coated breed and medium shedders. They don't require extensive grooming, but benefit from brushing their coats weekly to help remove loose hair, and
occasional bathing as needed. Due to their short coats they do not do well in temperature extremes and need to be inside dogs.
The Doberman is a medium/large dog and will grow to approximately 85 to 100+ pounds. As puppies they can easily and unknowingly knock down a small child or frail adult and should be supervised around young children.
The Doberman is a great guardian and this is a natural trait within the breed that does not need to be taught. They are natural watchdogs and loyal, devoted companions.
The Doberman breed does have health issues. DCM, Wobblers, VWD, Cancer, DM and others are within the lines. It is highly suggested to research these issues and be aware of their potential as well as buy a pup from a breeder that health tests and researches bloodlines. Be aware that all the testing and bloodline research is not a guarantee that your pup will have no issues or health problems, but it does give you a better chance at getting a healthy individual that will live into old age. These issues are in all lines. There are no lines free of all of these issues.
* Same Sex Aggression
Dobermans are prone to same sex aggression. It is recommended if a pet is already in the home
to choose a puppy of the opposite sex. Early socialization with other calm, well mannered dogs is highly recommended and very helpful in curbing this behavior. Other species of pets in the home usually do fine if the puppy is raised with them, supervised with them and taught the correct way to interact with these pets.
Dobermans are highly intelligent, bold, alert and active dogs. They are usually not suitable for a first time dog owner as they need a family that understands how to train, socialize and exercise them to keep them happy, healthy and great family members. They are extremely loyal, devoted and affectionate to their families. With their high intelligence though, they can be manipulative. With proper training, exercise and socialization the are amazing family members that form deep bonds with their people and will protect their family and property.
These are just a few highlights and notes about the breed and by no means cover everything. I am happy to discuss these and more in detail. Feel free to email, text or call.