The Doberman Pinscher (also known as the Dobe, Dobie or Dobermann) is one of the most common pets in the world and makes for a loyal and intelligent companion dog.
Doberman’s are a modern dog breed which was created around 1890 by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a local tax collector in the German state of Thüringia. Karl Friedrich also ran the Apolda dog pound and had access to a number of dog breeds. He wanted to create a new type of dog breed that would have a combination of loyalty, strength, intelligence and ferocity. His purpose for creating such a dog was for guarding duties that could accompany and protect him through many bandit infested areas while on tax collection duties.
Although the exact ratios of mixing and breeds used to create the Doberman remain uncertain, it is commonly believed that Greyhounds, Manchester Terriers, the Old German Shepherd Dog, the German Pinscher, Beaucerons, the Rottweiler, Great Danes, the Weimaraner and the German Shorthaired Pointers were used for this purpose. People like Otto Goeller and Philip Gruening were instrumental in developing the breed we see today.
The Doberman was named after its creator after his death in 1894.
Dobermans are described as a large working/Guardian Dog breed that weighs 75 to 115 lbs (males) and 60 to 90 lbs in females. Males stand between 26 to 28 inches high while the females are between 24 to 26 inches.
Dobermann have a square frame, i.e. its length should equal its height (at withers). This is a muscular breed with a well proportioned chest, a lean muscular neck and a short back. They have dark eyes with a lively and intelligent expression. Their strong teeth close in a scissors bite.
Doberman’s natural tail that is fairly long which is usually cropped in many parts of the world except where outlawed. Their coats come in a number of colors like black, blue-gray, black & tan, red, and fawn
Dobermans have been developed primarily as a guard dog breed and they have developed a bad reputation for aggressiveness primarily due to portrayal in the popular media. Dobermans are a naturally assertive breed with a strong protective instincts and do not require specialized training as a guard dog.
Most behavioral problems attributed to this breed arise when either the owner is not able to establish itself as the ‘pack leader’ or they are left alone to their own devices. Potential owners should keep in mind that a Doberman demands respect and a firm hand from their owners who are willing to include it in the family and not relegate it to the back yard.
As a personal protection dog they are extremely loyal to the owner and are fearless, willing and capable in that role. In many scientific studies, they have been ranked low on owner directed aggression while ranking high on stranger-directed aggression.
Dobermans are one of the most intelligent of all dog breeds and they rank 5th in the book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ by Stanley Coren.
3. Exercise requirements
The Doberman is a highly energetic working dog and requires a fair bit of exercise in order to stay in shape. They do not do well in small places unless they are taken out several times a day. They are also sensitive to cold and should not be kept in such climates.
4. Use as work dogs
Dobermans are one of the most intelligent and trainable of all dog breeds. As such, they do very well in the capacity of watch dogs, guard dogs or police dogs.
The Dobermans coat consists of short, thick and hard hair which requires minimal grooming. This breed is an average shedder. Their claws are liable to grow quite long and require monthly clipping.
6. General Health
The average life span of a Doberman is from 10 to 14 years. This breed suffers from a variety of health problems including cervical vertebral instability (CVI), dilated cardiomyopathy, prostatic disease, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and a bleeding disorder called the von Willebrand's disease.
7. Recommended for
The Doberman is not recommended for the first time owner or anyone who cannot give proper attention and exercise to the energetic breed. Early socialization is required especially for households with large number of visitors.
For people who have the energy and time, Dobermans make ideal pets. They are also outstanding in the capacity of watchdog and protection.