They were developed in Germany during the 1860's. This was probably done by crossing German Pinschers with Rottweilers, Beauceron, Pinschers, Greyhounds and English Greyhounds which resulted in the smooth and highly clever Doberman pinscher. The maker of this mixture was a German tax collector named Louis Dobermann.
Dobermann had to travel often through bandit-infested areas, and decided to build a watchdog and a bodyguard able of handling any situation that might occur. Carrying the name of its inventor, the Doberman was first presented at a dog show in 1876. It was a big success straight away.
The Doberman Pinscher is a medium sized, squarely built dog with a compact muscular body. The head is long and when viewed from the side looks like a blunt wedge. The top of the skull is flat, and turns into the muzzle with a slight stop. The color of the nose depends on the color of the dog's coat, black on black dogs, dark brown on red dogs, dark gray on blue dogs, dark tan on fawn dogs and pink on white dogs. The teeth meet in a scissors bite.
The color of the almond shaped eyes is various shades of brown, depending on the coat color of the dog. The ears are usually cropped to stand erect (cut at the age of about 12 weeks). The pup's ears have to be taped for a couple of months to make them stand up. A lot of breeders are starting to leave the pup's ears natural. If left natural they develop ears somewhat like a hound.
The tail is usually docked at the age of 3 days. If the tail is not docked it grows a tail somewhat like a hound. Note: cropping ears and docking tails is illegal in Europe. The chest is broad and the legs are perfectly straight. Dewclaws are sometimes removed. The short, hard, thick coat lies flat.
Sometimes there is an invisible gray undercoat on the neck. The coat comes in black, black with tan markings, blue-gray, red, fawn and white. When markings appear they are above each eye, on the muzzle, throat, forechest, legs, feet and on the tail. There is also a solid white color. While white markings are considered a fault in some clubs, in others it is accepted.
Doberman Pinschers are very keen, super energetic with tremendous strength and stamina. Dobes like to be with their people and are not suited to kennel or back yard life, they need human interaction and leadership. Loyal, tolerant, dedicated and affectionate with the family. Determined, bold and assertive while working, they are very adaptable, highly skilled and versatile. They are intelligent and very easy to train.
They are an outstanding watch and guard dog and do not need additional protection training. This breed is not for everyone. The Doberman needs an owner who is willing and able to display a natural authority over the dog. All family members must be firm, confident and consistent, setting rules and sticking to them. Learning to handle the dog properly, as Dobermans can become stubborn and willful if allowed to have their own way.
Everything must be on the humans terms. The dog is the follower, and the humans are the leaders. The dog will appreciate knowing his place in his pack and feel secure about it. He should be thoroughly socialized when young to prevent skittishness.
Height and Weight
Height: Dogs 26-28 inches (66-71cm.), Bitches 24-26 inches (61-66cm.)
Weight: 66-88 pounds (30-40kg.)
Prone to possible cervical spondylitis (wobbler syndrome) due to fusion of neck vertebrae and compression of spinal cord; possible inherited blood disorder (Von Willebrands disease); obesity in middle age. Also prone to skin issues, bloat, hip dysplasia, and congenital heart defects. The gene which produces the albino (White) Dobermans is said to be the same gene which produced the famous white tigers and lions owned by Siegfriend & Roy in Las Vegas. Some also believe the gene is a masking gene, meaning it "takes over" and masks the color that the dog would be otherwise. White Dobe fanciers say there is no evidence, that this gene carries with it any deleterious or adverse health concerns that are sometimes associated with all white animals such as deafness, blindness, or unstable minds. Some breeders beg to differ claiming the gene does cause health issues.