The Doberman Pinscher has gotten some negative media coverage in recent years because of its reputation as an aggressive, ferocious dog. And indeed, the Doberman was originally bred to have these traits, specifically because it had to protect those it loved. Recently, breeders have made great strides in minimizing these traits in Dobermans. Now, Dobermans are generally even-tempered, although they still have no qualms about protecting their owners if they sense that they may be in danger.
The Doberman Pinscher was first bred in Thuringia, Germany, in the town of Apolda, around 1890. Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, one of the first Doberman Pinscher developers, began to breed them following the Franco-Prussian War because he served as a local tax collector which was a dangerous job. He also ran the dog pound in the town. Because he had access to so many different kinds of breeds, his focus was to create a breed that would protect him during his collection duties. The job was dangerous because thieves pursued him. Dobermann's intent was to breed a new type of dog that would be ferocious, intelligent, and loyal, and would have exquisite strength, speed, and endurance. After Dobermann, Philip Gruening and Otto Goeller continued to work on the breed, until finally, the fully modern Doberman Pinscher emerged.
Combination Of Dog Breeds
The Doberman is believed to have come from several different breeds of dogs Dobermann used in his efforts, including the Great Dane, the Weimaraner, the Manchester Terrier, the Old German Shepherd dog, the German Short Haired Pointer, the Greyhound, the Rottweiler, the German Pinscher, the Beauceron, and the Thuringian Sylvan Dog. It's not quite known just how much "mixing" of the breeds Dobermann did in his efforts, nor the ratios he used, but most today believe that the Doberman Pinscher comes from at least four of these breeds. It is known for certain, however, that the Greyhound and the Manchester Terrier were crossed. In addition, the Old German Shepherd was the single largest contributor to the gene pool for the Doberman Pinscher breed. Otto Goeller is largely responsible for today's modern Doberman Pinscher.
Dobermann died in 1894, and the Doberman Pinscher breed was named in his honor. During World War II, the United States Marine Corps took the Doberman pinscher as its official war dog, although other breeds were also used.
The Doberman Pinscher is a solid and square, muscular dog with a compact body. The chest is broad and the body is tapered and lean. It's a very athletic, high energy dog, with keenly intelligent eyes that miss nothing. The coat is short, hard, and smooth. Accepted show colors are red, black, fawn and blue, with well-defined markings of rust. Adults stand 26 to 28 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 66 and 88 pounds in adulthood. Tails are usually docked when puppies are three days old, although if left natural, dogs will develop hound-like tails. Similarly, although it's commonplace to crop a puppy's ears, many breeders are now leaving them natural, which also develop into something like hounds' ears when left untouched.
It is perhaps in this area that the modern Doberman Pinscher is the most misunderstood. Although it has inherited a "bad" reputation as fierce, vicious, aggressive, and prone to attack, in fact, today's Doberman pinschers are bred specifically to be much more even-tempered. As a pet owner, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that Doberman Pinscher puppies are affectionate and very loving. Your puppy will be very easy to train, and is eager to please. You'll discover that your puppy's determination to master whatever skill is presented to him or her is boundless – as is his or her energy!
Properly socialized, your pet will be a loyal, devoted member of your family for years to come – while being an excellent guard dog, as well. Dobermans are naturally inclined to guarding their home with no extra training. Your pet will simply step in and protect you, always ready, alert, and watchful. However, it's important that you carefully establish yourself as the alpha dog in your "pack," so that your pet will listen to you. Although a Doberman will attack and can be vicious if he or she feels that you or a member of your family are threatened, properly trained Dobermans are also very obedient. Your dog will listen to you without fail if you tell him or her to stand down – again, with proper training.
What many people don't know is that the Doberman is also extremely patient, intuitive, gentle, and loving. Dobermans have been used as therapy dogs specifically because they can bond so closely with human "patients." For example, they have demonstrated their sensitivity to vulnerable situations by carefully tiptoeing over IV tubing in order not to tangle or snag it, and carefully keeping pace with slow-walking nursing home residents. Therefore, you should have no fear that your Doberman will endanger your children, again as long as you are careful to make sure your dog is properly trained.
One important thing to note, however, is that your dog must have you around as a companion. Dobermans are "people" dogs. They don't like to be left alone which may be an impetus for misbehavior. If you leave your dog alone a lot or lock him or her up in a kennel, for example, you may find that your dog will become willful, stubborn, or extremely unhappy, simply because he or she does not want to be left alone. Set firm ground rules and make sure your pet knows them and knows that you are in charge – and then give him or her the attention and affection necessary for a happy, healthy pet. Do this, and you will have a loving and loyal companion for life.
Surprisingly, the Doberman does well in just about every environment, including apartment living. As a very athletic and active dog, your pet will need a lot of exercise, but it does not do well in the cold. A daily brisk walk or jog and plenty of mental stimulation will help keep your pet happy and healthy. Because Dobermans are so intelligent, they make good service dogs, as long as owners establish their role as the leader. The Doberman will try to take charge if an owner is wishy-washy or meek.
Dobermans live about 10 to 11 years, on average. Although they are sturdy, healthy dogs in general, they can suffer from some pretty serious health problems such as dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease in which over 40% of diagnosed cases are found in Dobermans. The causes of dilated cardiomyopathy are not known, but it is believed to be inherited as an autosomal-dominant trait. Once genetic causes of canine DCM are found, if applicable, breeding practices and therapeutic interventions may limit future impacts. At present, though, once a Doberman is diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, his or her life expectancy is about two months, as opposed to about eight months in other breeds.
Von Willebrand disease is a genetic bleeding disorder that is becoming rarer with puppies, since breeders can test both prospective parents to make sure they are not carriers and that puppies will not be born with the disease. Hip dysplasia and hypothyroidism, as well as prostatic disease, can also occur in Dobermans.
Doberman Pinscher puppies are very easy to care for, as they shed minimally and need little grooming.
Group Classification: Mastiff/ACK Working
Country of Origin: N/A
Date of Origin: N/A
Shedding: Moderate Shed
Body Size: N/A
Weight M: 70-88 pounds
Height M: 26-28 inches
Weight F: 66-80 pounds
Height F: 24-26 inches
Litter Size: 3-8 puppies.
Life Expectancy: 8-12 years
Recognized By: CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
Allowed colors in the Doberman Pinscher breed include black, red, blue and fawn. Black is the most common color and the most recognizable.
The Doberman is not an outdoor dog. They are very intolerant of cold weather. They also are much happier if allowed to live indoors. However, they do need room to exercise, so a yard is preferable. Because Doberman Pinschers are prone to bloat, they should be fed twice a day rather than one large meal. Because they are prone to obesity, they should be fed dry dog food.