Doberman Pinscher

Type: Guardian Dog

Height: Males 26 - 28 inches; Females 24 -26 inches.

Weight: 55 - 90 lbs.

Life Span: 10 - 15 years.

Litter Size: 3 - 8 puppies.

Country of Origin: Germany

Activity: High. Needs daily, vigorous exercise that will keep it in shape.

Watch-dog: Very High. Dobermans are suspicious of strangers.

Guard-dog: Very High.

Description: The Doberman Pinscher is compactly built, muscular and powerful, and has great endurance and speed. They are elegant in appearance, of proud carriage, reflecting great nobility and temperament. They are universally known as a police dog for their devotion to duty on the German Front during World War I. The Dobie is constantly alert and is a great companion or guard dog, yet shyness is a fault. They are loyal, protective, and adventurous. Dobermans are sensitive to their owners emotions. They are knowledgeable of their owner's needs or wants. Some of them can be dominant in relationship, but they have been bred down to have a more amiable personality. Doberman Pinschers make admirable obedience and show dogs or wonderful family pets. They are also an excellent breed for a jogger to own, as they can be very athletic. They may be a challenge because of their dominance for the elderly or disabled. Dobermans are excellent guard dogs, capable in simply appearance of scaring away unwanted guests. Early socialization and training is needed to ensure the dog will not be shy in the future.

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Other Names: Thuringer Pinscher, Pliezeilich Soldatenhund, Doberman

Colors: Solid black, brown, blue, fawn (Isabella) with rust marking on their head, body and legs.

Coat: Smooth, short, thick and close.

Temperament: Doberman Pinschers are bold, fearless, energetic, watchful, determined, alert, and loyal. They are protective and unafraid. They are very loyal to their family, and very sensitive to their owner's wishes. They are very intelligent and creative, as well as obedient. Some can be dominating to other members of the family. They are adventurous, reserved with strangers, and can be aggressive with other dogs. The Doberman loves to be around its family. They are excellent watch and guard dogs, active and devoted to family. The Doberman Pinscher generally gets along with other animals and children, and is very trainable.

With Children: Usually gentle, but will upset with unruliness, best suited for older children. Generally good with children.

With Pets: Usually good, will adopt others to be boss. Dobermans have an instinct to be dominant.

Special Skills: Guard dog, defense dog, family pet.

Care and Training: Doberman Pinschers need daily extensive exercise, including running. They should be groomed a couple of times a week with a soft cloth or brush. Puppies need firm handling and knowledgeable training and should be handled by a number of people to increase socialization and decrease the risk of shyness. Training is essential.

Learning Rate: High. They are intelligent and creative. Obedience - High.

Living Environment: Suburban or rural best, some can adapt to city life. A house with a fenced yard or kennel is essential for the Doberman Pinscher. The best owner for this breed would be an experienced, active family or owner living in rural or suburban environment.

Health Issues: Wobblers Syndrome (disease of the spinal column of the neck). Lethal heart disorder. Von Willebrand's disease is no longer a large problem.

History: The origins of the Doberman Pinscher come from Apolda in Thuringen, Germany in the 1870s. Louis Dobermann, a tax collector and local dog pound owner is credited with the creation of this breed. Dobermann needed protectors and intimidators on his tax collection rounds due to traveling in bad areas. Louis would take certain dogs with him, but he wanted to develop a breed that was hardy, intelligent, of sound temperament and had quick reactions. He also wanted a dog that was strong and had more of a guarding instinct. Within record timing, Dobermann created a breed from the German Shepherd, German Pinscher, Weimaraner, Rottweiler, English Greyhound and Manchester Terrier. This breed was called the Doberman, obviously due to his name. Most authorities feel they came from a shorthaired shepherd, the Rottweiler, a German smooth-haired Pinscher and a Black and Tan Terrier. At first, the breed was quite vicious and was said to attack "even the devil himself". They were difficult to keep, and courage was needed to own and train one. In America around that time, one Doberman won three Best in Show awards before the judges even looked at the teeth. When they finally examined his mouth, they discovered he had several missing teeth--a major fault in the Doberman. Today, the breed has been bred down to have a more cohesive personality and easier training capabilities. This is credited partly to Otto Goeller, who took over the breeding of the dogs after Dobermann's death. Goeller created the German National Doberman Pinscher Club in 1899, and the breed was given official recognition in 1900. Around WWI, America began to seek out this new breed, while in Germany the breed was lilting due to the war, and scarcity of food. In 1948 the breed gained a club in England, and soon after was given recognition by the British Kennel Club. In 1977 the Doberman was the second most popular breed in America, and today the breed thrives as a popular police dog as well as a guide dog for the blind.

First Registered by the AKC: 1908

AKC Group: Working

Class: Working

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 2), KC (GB), UKC