Where Do Doberman Pinschers Come From?

Doberman Pinscher portrait on blackThe Doberman Pinscher dog breed originated in Apolda, Germany, during the last half of the 1800s. It seems that Karl Dobermann did just about every city job that needed to be done during that time. 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 more significant sums of money after collecting taxes. Fortunately, as 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 loyal, affectionate, and intelligent dog but also 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 sleek, popular breed it is today. No accurate record exists of the many dog breeds combined to create the Doberman. The Black and Tan Terrier (now extinct), Beauceron, Rottweiler, Weimaraner, and others are likely included in the mix. Some records show that the Greyhound and Manchester Terrier are part of the Dobermans lineage.

What Do Dobermans Look Like?

The Doberman Pinscher 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. Since the Doberman was bred to be a guard dog, its intimidating looks are designed. A well-bred Doberman will have a sleek but intimidating appearance.

 

 

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

The Doberman Pinscher and the German Pinscher are distant relatives and look similar, but they are separate breeds.  The origins of the German Pinscher are unknown, but it is more closely related to the Giant Schnauzer than a Doberman.

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.

 

 

Doberman Pinscher

Black and Rust Doberman

Doberman Pinssjer

Blue and Rust Doberman

Red and Rust Doberman

Red and Rust Doberman

Is A Doberman Pinscher 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, selective breeding has reduced aggressiveness, 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 trained correctly.

According to statistics from DogsBite.org, Doberman Pinscher was not in the top 7 dog breeds that fatally attacked humans during the 15 years 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 adequately socialized or raised with them. They are loyal, affectionate, and protective of their family.

Dobermans are among 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 their nails should be trimmed monthly. They require very little grooming.

How Long Do Dobermans Live?

The average lifespan of a Doberman Pinscher is 10 to 12 years. They are generally healthy but may have some health issues, including bloat, hip dysplasia, and heart and thyroid problems. It would be best if you only got a Doberman from a breeder who does genetic testing.