Introduction Of The Dobermann
Dobermanns are intelligent dogs and a breed that is known the world over for its keen senses and alert natures. However although they are often used as watch dogs in many parts of the world they are highly adaptable and fit in well with family life enjoying nothing more than being involved in everything that goes on around them. Dobermann are proud they are calm and when responsibly bred and correctly handled they become valued members of a family.
Over the years responsible breeders take great care to only breed from Dobermanns that are known to be even-tempered and do not need to be taught how to protect which is a natural trait that is deeply embedded in the breed’s psyche. As such Dobermanns are known to not only be wonderful companions and family pets but excellent natural watchdogs too.
History Of Dobermann
The history of the Dobermann is fascinating with the breed owing its origins to a German tax collector named Herr Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann who is credited for creating the breed in the 1800s. He was not only a tax collector but a “dog catcher” too and he lived in a region of the country called Thuringia. Herr Dobermann also worked as a night watchman and being a dog catcher he was in a great position to choose the right sort of dogs needed for when he was working as a watchman and tax collector. His main concern when developing his “perfect” dog was their character rather than a dog’s looks or conformation.
Herr Dobermann wanted to develop a courageous bold and intelligent dog to work alongside him. The guard dogs would boast having a “good nose and strong mouth” with a natural ability to guard and protect. He began selectively breeding dogs to produce all these traits and to begin with the dogs he bred were known as “Dobermann’s Hundes”. They very quickly earned the reputation of being strong reliable and more than capable of hunting and killing vermin too.
The actual breeds that Herr Dobermann used to create his dogs remains a bit of a mystery as he did not keep any records but according to his son Herr Dobermann had a courageous bold and loyal dog called “Schnupp” which he crossed with a female called “Bisart”. They produced puppies with black and rust coloured markings and one of the puppies named “Pinko” was born with a naturally bobbed tail. When Pinko as mated to other dogs some of the offspring in the litter had blue coats.
A little later in time a breeder called Otto Goeller who knew Herr Dobermann confirmed how a mongrel called “Schnuppe” was in fact the foundation dog used to create Dobermann Hundes. The dog had a smooth grey coat and was crossed with a dog that belonged to a butcher. He also claimed a little later that the breeds used to develop the Dobermann were the German Shepherd the German Pinscher the Great Dane as well as a short-haired gun dog.
There is an article in a German magazine dated 1898 that describes a man called Dietsch who owned a gravel pit and who had a female with a grey/blue coat that looked very much like a Pinscher. The article tells of how she was mated with a butcher’s dog with a black coat and tan markings that was thought to be a cross between a butcher’s dog and a sheepdog. The article goes on to say how Herr Dobermann mated the two dogs with German Pinschers to produce a very loyal and devoted guard dogs which are the ancestors of the Dobermanns we see today.
An authority on dogs in Germany Herr Richard Strebel stated in 1901 that he doubted whether a Dobermann Pinscher was indeed a “true” Pinscher and that the dogs should be categorised as being “sheep dogs” instead. Thirty-two years later in 1933 the German Dobermann Club looked at the origins of the Dobermann again and concluded that the German Pinscher was the main ancestor of the breed.
The story did not end there though because in 1947 another man called Herr Gruenig claimed that Dobermanns were descended from the Beauceron thanks to the breed’s build conformation and personality. His claim was that it would not be possible to develop such a tall dog in such a short space of time. With this said there were many similar looking dogs in the region of Apolda well before Herr Dobermann thought about creating his “perfect” guard dog and it is known that these dogs were the result of crossing Sheepdogs with German Pinschers. Early photos of the breed show that some Dobermanns back in the day did look like Butcher’s dogs whereas others looked more like the Rottweiler.
It would be fair to say that the German Pinscher and the Weinmeraner were used to develop the breed but there is no real evidence of terriers or Rottweilers having been used because there were none around in the region at that time. As such most breed enthusiasts agree that the Butcher’s Dog the German Pinscher the Thueringin Shepherd (sheepdog) and the Beauceron are in a Dobermann’s ancestry with a few enthusiasts believing that black and tan terriers could also be in the breed’s lineage. One thing worth noting is that Rottweiler enthusiasts state that the Dobermann shares a common ancestor namely the “Butcher’s Dog”.
At first the strong guarding and protective nature of the Dobermann was a bit of an issue but by 1863 when Herr Dobermann introduced his “Dobermann Pinschers” in Apolda the dogs were a hit because of their even natures and there is an official record of the event in the city’s history. What is known is that after Herr Dobermann’s death in 1891 two other breeds were introduced into the mix namely the Greyhound and the Manchester Terrier.
It was in 1890 that a breed standard was established which was approved by the German Kennel Club and which remains very much to this day. In 1899 Otto Goeller established the National Dobermann Pinscher Club in Germany in which original dogs were described as “robust with no fear but not of the devil himself – and that it took a great deal of courage to own a Dobermann”.
Over the years the Dobermann became a firm favourite with the Police army as well as being a popular companion and family pet thanks to their loyal devoted trustworthy and intelligent natures. Today the Dobermann remains one of the most recognised breeds in the world both as working dogs family pets and companions all thanks to their alert loyal natures and their noble looks.
- Loyal devoted companion and family pet
- Low maintenance on the grooming front
- Impressive looking watchdogs
- Highly intelligent and in the right hands easy to train
- Moderate shedders
- Perfect choice for people who lead active outdoor lives
- Not the best choice for first time dog owners
- Better suited to households with older children
- Dobermanns need plenty of exercise
- Can be dominant if not well socialized and trained correctly
- Some bloodlines have temperament issues
- Can be aggressive toward other dogs and animals
- Dobermanns are sensitive to loud sounds and noises
- They are predisposed to certain heath issues so vet bills can be high
Interesting facts about the breed
- Is the Dobermann a vulnerable breed? No they are one of the most popular dogs in the UK and elsewhere in the world
- Dobermanns called Bosco and Caesi were the first to be recorded in German stud books as being foundation dogs having been whelped in 1893 and 1894
- Dobermanns are highly intelligent and therefore have always been used by the Police and the Armed Forces throughout the world
- Dobermanns are a relatively new breed having first been developed in the 1800s
- Dobermanns are considered war heroes for the work they carried out alongside man during the two World Wars
- Good breeding practices has seen much gentler Dobermanns appearing on the scene
- It is illegal to dock or crop a Dobermanns tail and ears in the UK which is a law that came into effect in England on the 6th April 2007 in Wales on 28th March 2007 although certain breeds are exempted for working dogs and others may have their tails docked for medical reasons. In Scotland there is a total ban which came into effect on 30th April 2007