The intimidating Dobermann Pinscher, a medium-large breed that originated in Germany as a personal protection dog is an obedient breed and acts on command. This German canine is intelligent and loyal. It has a long head in proportion to the overall body size with a muzzle shaped like a blunt wedge. It has a flat head with a slight stop, flat cheeks and a solid colour nose depending on the coat colour. It has almond-shaped eyes with alert expression, highly set ears that are normally dropped, and scissors bite teeth. The neck is long and lean with a muscular nape. The Dobermann is long as it is tall (square) with strong, parallel front legs and muscular hindquarters. Some Dobermanns have customarily docked tails which adds to the aesthetic of the bread. It has a characteristic “toe stand” – it stands on its toes and not the pads. It is a short-coated breed which is made of smooth, hard and close-lying hairs. Coat colours are black, brown, blue or fawn (Isabella) with rust red markings above the eyes, muzzle, throat and chest, legs, feet and below the tail. The ideal height of the Dobermann from withers is 69 cm for a male and 65 cm for a female. A dog is heavier at 40-45 kg while a bitch typically weighs 32-35 kg as is typical with most breeds.
The Dobermann Pinscher (pinscher means terrier in German), as it was previously called, is a creation of German tax collector Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann (born Tobermann) who lived in the town of Apolda in central Thuringia, Germany from 1834 to 1894. In 1890, he ran a dog pound in the local town and set out to create a breed that would help protect him in his tax collection duties particularly through many dangerous areas. The Dobermann is believed to have been a mixture of the old German Shepherd, Beauceron, German Pinscher, Rottweiler and the Manchester Terrier. Each breed contains qualities that Tobermann was looking for in an ideal protection dog. When he died in 1894, the breed was officially named “Dobermann Pinscher” in honour of its creator but later dropped the “pinscher” 50 years later as it was agreed that it was no longer appropriate. The modern-day Dobermanns are descendants of the dogs bred by Werner Jung in post-war West Germany who is credited to have single-handedly saved the breed from extinction.
The Dobermann is a fearless protection dog. Obedient and loyal, this breed is restrained to follow on command. It is an absolutely wonderful breed to have as a watch dog and a guard dog. It is one of the breeds used by the police, military and other law enforcements in performing their duties. Careful and selective breeding throughout the years created the Dobermann with a much more good-natured temperament, high intelligence and great trainability that we know today. However, being the protection dog that it is, the Dobermann is among the more likely breeds to display aggression toward strangers and other unfamiliar dogs.
The Dobermann is an intelligent breed with high trainability. However, the success of any training effort (which is true with other breeds) depends on consistency, leadership, supervision, timing, practice, and patience. Repetitive training is the most important factor. Being one of the smartest dog breeds, the Dobermann needs a trainer that is smarter than him. Positive reinforcement is ideal while ignoring inappropriate behaviour will tell the dog to only do good. Training the Dobermann during puppyhood is highly beneficial.
The Dobermann has a short, smooth hard coat that is quite easy to groom. A few minutes a week to comb out dead undercoat will make the top coat shine and lay flat and straight. This breed has little to no “doggy” smell so frequent bathing is not necessary but occasional baths with a mild dog shampoo will keep it smelling great. Inspect the ears on a regular basis and remove wax or any dirt when necessary. Brush the teeth daily.
On average, the Dobermann can live between 10-11 years. Common health problems include:
This Dobermann was originally bred to accompany his master wherever he went so this is an active breed that is used to an all-day work. With that being said, this dog requires a tremendous amount of physical activity in order to stay strong and healthy. Long walks or an hour of jogging may not be sufficient for some breeds. An ideal setting is a house with a very large and fenced yard or an open area in the countryside where the dog can run at full speed and play until he is satisfied. It is not a dog for an apartment life or a house with a very small yard. A game of fetch or a Frisbee are effective ways to channel its enormous energy.
Contrary to popular belief, the modern-day Dobermann is no longer the vicious dog that it originally was. The aggressive behaviour has been bred out of the Dobermann for many decades now. The Dobermann of today is very loving, playful, affectionate, and loyal and is suitable for a family with children, especially if grew up with the family. Most breeders and owners will agree that a well-socialized and trained Dobermann is an excellent companion to children (even the young ones) as well as other animals. A puppy Dobermann however, should be given special treatment because it may become a little stressed if not handled properly. Young children should be taught not to play rough games with it or should be supervised when the puppy is playing with them.