The Doberman Pinscher dog breed appeared as a result of the experiments of a single person, who, in fact, was not even trying to create such a famous breed. He just wanted to have a loyal and reliable protector, as he was a tax collector. And – an enthusiast for breeding dogs.
It was in the city of Apold, Thuringia (a region in Germany) in the 19th century, around 1870. It was then that the founder of the breed began experimenting with crossing Rottweilers, German Pinschers, and some terriers. The name of this enthusiast was Louis Doberman. That is where this breed’s name came from.
The Doberman was first shown at a dog show in 1876 and won great favor with dog lovers in Germany. In 1894, Louis Doberman died, and he took the secret of crossing this breed with him. It is still not known exactly which breeds were used to produce the first Dobermans (except the ones listed above). However, German breeders have been successful in further breeding and improving the breed.
They were very concerned with the further development of the qualities of this breed and tried to create the perfect dog for protection. For this, they selected the most intelligent, angry, enduring, and strong dogs. They were less interested in appearance. At the beginning of the 20th century, the fame of Dobermans began to spread – most ordinary people considered these dogs dangerous and aggressive, and were even afraid to get them as a pet.
The situation was changed by the work of Otto Geller – he made Doberman more peaceful and suitable for family life. The Doberman Pinscher was recognized in Germany as a separate breed in 1900. In 1908, the first Doberman was brought to America to participate in a dog show. He immediately took the “Best in Show” award, after which the dog was presented at two more shows in the USA, where it also took first place in the “Best in Show” category.
In 1921, the Doberman Pinscher Club of America was created, and in 1922 this club adopted the German breed standard. Despite the fact that during the First World War, the population was greatly reduced, especially in Germany, due to their service in law enforcement and security structures, the popularity of this breed increased significantly. After the Second World War, almost all breeding programs were transferred to America, as Germany was going through the hardest post-war times.
It is believed that if it were not for the individuals brought to the United States, the breed would have gone extinct. At first, the name Doberman Pinscher was widely used, however, in the middle of the 20th century, the word Pinscher was removed from the name of the breed.
The Doberman breed has an athletic, muscular build – lean but aesthetic. The legs are long and muscular, and their tail is usually docked. Their neck is long, the head is narrow and elongated, and the ears are also cropped – this is done in order to improve the dog’s hearing because if the ears are not cropped, they hang down on the sides of the head, which negatively affects their hearing quality.
Traditionally, the Doberman is considered to be an aggressive and dangerous dog that should be kept as a pet only after giving it serious thought. Especially if you have a family. However, this is not true. The thing is that over the past few decades, a lot of dishonest breeders have appeared who do not monitor the quality of their offspring. In addition, there is widespread free interbreeding and improper training practices.
However, if you buy a Doberman from a trusted kennel, and it has a good pedigree, as well as you raise it correctly – it will be a great friend for the whole family. A Doberman within his family is distinguished by great friendliness, openness, and trust in its owners.
They are strongly attached to loved ones and often see themselves as the main protector of their family. And – even without special training. Dobermans are fast learners, they are obedient and usually not stubborn. Many underestimate the intelligence of these animals. This is a really smart dog, especially if the owner understands this and contributes to the development of its intelligence.
This breed has a lot of energy, and needs physical activity, training, and walks. They love to play various games, including those that develop their minds. Playfulness and childish character traits persist for up to 3 – 4 years. Other animals are perceived normally but it is better to introduce them to cats from an early age. They treat children well. They need early socialization. Perfectly suited as a guard dog.
The Doberman loves to learn and perceives the learning process as an obligatory part of his life. That is, by default, they are set to develop, become stronger and perform their tasks as well as possible, trying to please the owner.
These dogs definitely need to be taught simple commands, in addition, you can teach your dog more complex commands. Even make him a professional guard dog. Dobermans are just well suited for this purpose – breeders took care of this even at the very early stages of the formation of this breed. So it’s in their blood.
You need to be consistent. Do not resort to excessive violence, especially if there are no objective reasons for this. The love of learning, on the one hand, is good but on the other hand, they are quite demanding in this regard. You need to make training sessions varied. For example, you can focus on physical training one day and focus on following commands the other day.
The Doberman has a short, smooth coat that needs to be brushed once a week. Nails should be trimmed every 10 days. Their eyes should be cleaned daily and their ears two to three times a week. Bathe the dog once or twice a week.
Like most dogs, this breed is prone to certain diseases, including hereditary ones. Namely:
- Von Willebrands disease – a hereditary blood disease;
- Hip dysplasia – a hereditary disease;
- Progressive retinal atrophy;
- Wobbler syndrome;
- Albinism – a genetic condition;
- Color mutant alopecia;
- Narcolepsy – a neurological disorder;
- Gastric dilated volvulus, also called bloating or “volvulus”.