Sleek, Agile Dobermans were Born to Work
With beauty, brains, agility, and loyalty, what other breed could
it be but the Doberman pinscher?
Doberman Pinscher developed first as police dogs in 19th Century
Germany, this breed continues to excel as a watchdog, guardian,
and protector. In addition, the breed is now remarkable as a guide
dog for the blind, military dog, and pet.
The Doberman, or Dobe as he is now called by his friends, is a
product of Germany. Herr Louis Dobermann developed this versatile
breed in the Apolda region of Germany to suit his own need for a
loyal, obedient, fiercely protective dog to accompany him in his
nightly rounds as a policeman. Since he also worked as the local
dogcatcher, Herr Dobermann had access to a wide variety of dogs
to develop his large "pinscher" or terrier. Some of the
breeds used to shape the Dobe include the pinscher (a smaller black
and tan dog very similar in appearance to the modern Doberman and
the Manchester Terrier), Rottweilers, and Thuringian Shepherds.
Other breeds that contributed their genes are black Greyhound for
elegance and sleekness, Great Dane, Weimaraner and German Shorthaired
The resulting dog possessed an uncanny intelligence, bravery. loyalty,
stamina, and protectiveness in a medium-to-large working dog with
an easy-care, short, dense coat. It was with great pride that this
breed became known as "Dobermann's Pinscher."
The modern Dobe
Today's Doberman Pinscher has lost the second 'n' from its name
and has mellowed in fierceness to become a family member apable
of displaying great gentleness and devotion to children and other
animals in the home. Having left behind his terrier roots, he has
also dropped the Pinscher portion of the name in many countries.
In India Dobe has lost his reputation because of breeding problems,
but still if you are buying dobe from a reputed breeder, It is matchless.
General Appearance: medium build, hardy and muscular,
elegant, bold, alert, compact. Gait must be elastic, rather feline,
when moving slowly. The dobermann is intelligent, loyal, and obedient.
Squarely built, it is capable of great speed.
Height: 65 to 70 cm (25 to 27 in.). Under F.C.I.
standards, not specified.
Weight: under F.C.I. standards, 20 to 26 kg (44
to 57 lb). Elsewhere, not specified.
Head: long and lean, shaped like a truncated
triangle. The stop is barely visible, the cheeks are flat. The jaws
are deep and broad and the lips well closed.
Eye: oval, average size must be as dark as possible.
Ears: set on high, erect. In some countries,
cropped to a point.
Neck: lean and muscular, rising in a graceful
curve from the thorax and shoulders.
Body: shoulders well defined. Back firm and short.
Croup slightly rounded. Withers strongly defined. Brisket broad
and deep, good tuck up.
Tail: must be docked at first or second vertebra.
Forequarters: legs straight and parallel.
Hindquarters: thighs broad and muscular, hocks
Feet: short, close, narrow, and widening at the
Coat: short and thick, flat and smooth.
Colour: black, red, fawn, or blue-grey with well
defined tan markings.
Faults: build heavy and massive. Head short and
thick. Muzzle pointed. Hesitating gait. Fearful or nervous temperament;
Overall, the Doberman should appear muscular, athletic and energetic.
The ideal specimen should be squarely built with the height at the
withers approximating the length of the dog's body from the point
of the chest to the rearmost portion of the upper thigh. The back
rises in a clean, well- arched, muscular neck to the head. The chest
is deep and broad with a smooth line from it into a well-tucked
up belly and loin. The legs are strong and possess good bone mass
without appearing coarse. Dewclaws are usually removed if they occur.
The tail is most often docked at the second joint within a few days
of birth and is carried as an extension of the spine.
The ideal Doberman head is wedge-shaped with eyes blending in
color with the color of the coat. Dark eyes are much preferred over
other shades and should be relatively deep set. A Doberman's expression
should display his great intelligence and vigorous character.
Of great importance in the proper appearance of the breed is the
ear, and especially the proper cropping of the ear to create a pleasing
shape and appearance. Ear cropping is illegal in many countries
including Great Britain and Australia but many others, including
American Doberman fanciers, believe that an erect, cropped ear enhances
the appearance of this breed.
In making a decision on whether or not to crop the ears of your
own Doberman, remember that it is a surgical procedure that is best
done by only the most experienced veterinarians. For this reason,
many breeders do not place puppies until after this operation has
been done. Mistakes can be made that adversely affect the appearance
of the dog. Following surgery on the ears, taping and propping to
achieve proper healing and ear carriage is essential.
The Doberman occurs most typically in black with rust markings
or red, actually a deep rusty red with lighter rust markings. Less
common but also acceptable in the breed are steel blue or light
fawn. Known respectively as blue and Isabella, these colors must
also possess the rust markings of the other colors. The rust markings
should appear on the muzzle, the throat, above the eyes, the front
of the chest, beneath the tail and on all legs and feet. A small
white patch less than one-half inch square is permissible on the
chest but no other white is allowed. White Dobermans may not be
shown as this is a disqualifying fault.
The coat is short and smooth and requires little beyond a good
brushing or rubdown with a rough towel. Shedding is minimal and
tolerable because of the shortness of the coat.
In temperament, the Doberman should possess a great intelligence
and desire to please the owner. It is not unusual for this breed
to produce one-man and one-family dogs because of their great loyalty.
With their protective natures, Dobermans should not be left unsupervised
with children. Many protective breeds will be very good companions
for their own children but may be overprotective and misread the
roughness and shouting of play as a threat to their own children.
As a working dog, the Dobe may display nervousness, destructiveness,
excessive barking and other undesirable behaviors if it is deprived
of exercise and training. This breed is full of quick learners and
training should be undertaken as soon as possible after bringing
the new dog into the family to cement the bond between owner and
dog and to control this energetic breed. With their great capacity
to understand and react properly to situations, the Doberman is
quite adaptable to city life if it is given the proper training.
Exercise is critical for the health and well-being of the dogs.
They were bred and born to work and have a great deal of energy
to burn. Long walks and frequent play sessions in secure areas will
make your dog fit and keep him from becoming nervous. A good romp
or game of fetch in a fenced yard is an ideal way to keep your dog
healthy and happy.
As wonderful as the Doberman Pincher is, there are health problems
that occur in the breed. As with any breed of dog, hip dysplasia
is a real threat and any dog's pedigree should be checked to see
if it's parents are from sound stock. Dobermans may also have heart
problems, bleeding disorders, eye defects, skin diseases, and hypothyroidism.
Bloat is also a major threat to any Doberman
If the Doberman is the breed for you, the threat of a health problem
is not a reason to avoid the breed. Health concerns should only
inspire you to be more careful in finding a breeder committed to
protecting and bettering the breed. Going to dog shows and reading
dog magazines are both good ways to meet breeders and learn more
about the breed. Talking to friends with Dobermans or who are active
in dog sports may also help you find a reputable breeder.
With a little luck and a bit of hard work, you will find the Doberman
for you. As your reward you will have a friend for years of happiness