A dog breed created by tax collector Louis Dobermann, who wanted to create his ideal personal protection dog. This light-footed aristocrat among dog breeds excells in Schutzhund training, search-and-rescue, and as police dogs and guide dogs for the blind.
Doberman in stacked position, used in dog shows. Dobermans with a correct body structure naturally stand in a stance close to the stacked position, as this is the most comfortable position for them.
Photo: James Brey
Photo: Regina Stancel
Once known as the Thueringer Pinscher or the Polizeilicher Soldatenhund, this breed was created by a German tax collector from Apolda in Thueringen who wanted a dog that would be aggressive enough to protect him while making his rounds collecting taxes.
The Doberman is an elegant, medium to large-sized dog with a compact and square body, suggestive of power, courage and stamina. The short, smooth coat comes in solid ground colors of either black, red, fawn (Isabella) or blue, all with the typical tan markings (above the eyes and on the muzzle, throat and forechest, feet and legs, and below the tail). The markings should be well defined. Unlike the traditional fawn found in Bulldogs and Boxers, the Great Dane "fawn" color is a dilute of brown, which results in a silvery beige color, similar to the color of a Weimaraner. Black is the most common color, while fawn and blue are considered a disqualifying fault in some dog shows.
The color of the nose varies with the color of the coat. The ears are usually cropped. If uncropped the ears should fold properly and not stand out to the sides. Fully erect uncropped ears are considered a fault.
In the early years of the breed bobtail puppies appeared occasionally, resulting in today's fashion of docked-tailed Dobermans.
The gait is elegant, elastic, agile and ground covering.
This highly trainable and intelligent dog, is a natural, loyal guard, that will do nearly anything to please his owner. The typical Doberman is calm, loyal and friendly to his human family, while absolutely fearless when confronted to intruders.
The Doberman displays a reasonable level of alertness and self-confidence, together with good working ability, courage and trainability.
However, fear-based aggression and nervousness, which occur in some lines due to unscrupulous breeding, are not typical of the Doberman.
To avoid any behavioral problem it is recommended to buy this breed from a reputable breeder with traceable lines. Early socialization and consistent discipline are recommended with this breed.
Various theories exist as to what breeds Louis Dobermann used to create his superbreed. In addition to being a tax collector he was also in charge of the local animal shelter, where he had access to a wide variety of breeds. However, unlike the creator of the dogo argentino, he did not keep records of the crosses he made and there have been endless conjectures about the foundation stock of the Doberman. What is sure is that he used not merely pure breeds, but many mongrels and crosses between different hunting dogs, terriers and shepherd dogs. The breeds that may have been added to the gene pool include the Thuringian Shepherd dog, the German Pinscher, the black-and-tan Manchester Terrier, the black greyhound, the Beauceron, the Weimaraner, the Rottweiler, the Great Dane and the German Shorthaired Pointer.
(Dobermann, Doberman Pinscher)
Original idea, design and development by C. Marien-de Luca. Photos of the Dog Breeds of the World sphere of flags by Mark Stay.
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a blue dobermann (left), black doberman (center)
and a brown doberman (right)
Photos: Doug Miller (left), Nataliya Kuznetsova (center), Emmanuelle Bonzami (right)
See also: blue dogs
Character, Temperament and Trainability
Doberman with undocked tail and uncropped ears
Doberman with correct, uncropped ears
Doberman catching a disc
Photo: James Brey
See also: dog sports
How to Train Your Doberman Pinscher
by Liz Palika
A New Owner's Guide to Doberman Pinschers
by Faye Strauss