Tan-and-black German Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher A Loyal, Fearless, and Protective Dog

Where Do Doberman Pinschers Come From?

The Doberman Pinscher dog breed originated in Apolda, Germany during the last half of the 1800s. During that time, Karl Dobermann, it seems, did just about every city job that needed to be done. One of his many jobs was collecting taxes. Another was being the town’s dog catcher.

Mr. Dobermann was concerned for his safety because at times he carried larger sums of money after collecting taxes. Fortunately, as the the town dog catcher, he had access to many different dogs housed in the city dog pound. Dobermann was also an avid dog breeder and began developing a dog breed that could protect him from bandits.

Dobermann wanted a dog that was loyal, affectionate, and intelligent, but that also was ferocious when necessary. After Dobermann died in 1894, the dog breed he started was named the Doberman Pinscher in his honor. Pinscher is German for a terrier. Since the Doberman Pinscher has few terrier attributes, the Pinscher part of the name was dropped in most countries except the United States and Canada.

Other dog breeders including Otto Goeller and Philip Gruening continued developing the Doberman breed into the the sleek, popular breed that it is today. No accurate record exists of the many dog breeds that were combined to create the Doberman. The Black and Tan Terrier (now extinct), Beauceron, Rottweiler, Weimaraner and others are likely included in the mix. There are records that show that the Greyhound and Manchester Terrier are part of the Dobermans lineage.

What Do Dobermans Look Like?

The Doberman is a large dog standing 24 to 28 inches at the withers and weighing between 60 to 100 pounds. Males are taller and heavier than females. A well-bred Doberman will have a sleek but intimidating appearance. Since the Doberman was bred to be a guard dog, its intimidating looks are by design.

The Doberman coat comes in four dominant colors: black, blue, red, and fawn. All of the dominant colors will be trimmed with rust (tan) markings.

Traditionally, the Doberman’s ears were cropped and its tail was docked very early in the puppy’s life. Bowing to pressure from so-called animal rights groups, the practice of docking and cropping has been banned in many countries. Note the uncropped ears of the blue Doberman in the photo below.

Black and Rust Doberman
Blue and Rust Doberman
Red and Rust Doberman

Are Dobermans Dangerous?

The Doberman was bred to be a guard dog and one of its primary duties was to protect its human. That required a dog that was willing to attack if necessary. The dog had to be alert and ready to respond to any threats, but it also needed to be loyal and friendly to its owner. The dog was large, intimidating, and could be aggressive and ferocious on command.

Over time, the aggressiveness has been reduced by selective breeding so today’s Dobermans, especially those bred in the United States, are not as fierce as they once were. However, the Doberman is a large and powerful dog and owners must make sure the dog is properly trained.

According to statistics from DogsBite.org, Doberman Pinscher was not in the top 7 dog breeds that fatally attacked humans during the 15 year period from 2005 to 2019.

Are Dobermans Good Family Dogs?

The Doberman is a great family dog that gets along well with children and other family pets especially if it has been properly socialized or raised with them. They are loyal, affectionate and protective of their family.

Dobermans are one of the most intelligent dogs and rank number 5 in Stanley Coren’s book, “The Intelligence of Dogs. They are easy to train but can be stubborn or sometimes want to take charge. They need owners who know how to be the alpha dog.

Are Dobermans Hypoallergenic?

The Doberman has a single coat of short hair and sheds quite a lot. They are not considered to be hypoallergenic.

Dobermans only need an occasional bath but its nails should be trimmed monthly. They require very little grooming.

How Long Do Dobermans Live?

The average lifespan of Dobermans is 10 to 12 years. They are generally healthy but may have some health issues including bloat, hip dysplasia, heart and thyroid problems. You should only get a Doberman from a breeder who does genetic testing.


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