Today's Doberman Pinscher is one of the most popular and respected members of the canine clan.
Dobermans are a breed that are of a newer origin than many other AKC recognized dogs. They were originally bred in Germany in the 1860's, presumably by crossing among Great Danes, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Pinschers. The creator of this mixture was a German tax collector named Louis Dobermann. Dobermann had to travel frequently through bandit-infested areas, and decided to "construct" a watchdog and bodyguard capable of handling any situation that might arise.
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." Bearing the name of its originator (shortened by one n), the Doberman was first presented at a dog show in 1876. It was immediately a big success.
The Doberman Pinscher is an energetic, elegant, fearless, loyal, and obedient dog who will make a devoted companion. Contrary to popular stereotypes, this breed is both gentle and protective. Dobermans make great service dog,, and have been used to help disabled and elderly patients all over the world. They will also be very protective and defend their master at all costs. These dogs are like big, protective babies.
How do you know if the Doberman Pinscher is the right dog for you? read on to see if YOU are the right owner for the Doberman Pinscher.
The Beauty of the Doberman
The Doberman Pinscher is an elegant, muscular and very powerful dog. It has a well proportioned chest, a short back and a lean, muscular neck. Its hard, short-haired, close-fitting coat generally comes in black, or black tan, although blue-gray, red, and fawn also occur. Their hair is short, thick, hard and tight to its body. Its teeth are strong and close in a scissors bite.
Their eyes are dark with a lively, intelligent expression and their ears are usually cropped (cut at the age of about 12 weeks). The pup's ears have to be taped for a couple of months to make them stand up. Lately, many breeders have left their pups natural. If left natural they develop ears somewhat like a hound. The tail is usually docked at the age of 3 days. If the tail is not docked it grows a tail somewhat like hound. Its legs are perfectly straight. The Dobermans walk is elastic, elegant, and covers a lot of ground.
The Character of Dobermans
Mental stimulation is important for a truly well-adjusted and happy Dobe. The Doberman must be consistently and thoroughly trained to be a good pet. Training should be through positive reinforcement. Dobes can be good family dogs if of good temperament, well trained and raised with children from early puppyhood. Although the Doberman has the reputation of being a very aggressive dog, this is just not the case. Some individual Doberman are family dogs, and some bond only to one person. The Doberman has been bred to work with man, and he needs this interaction often. They must be with family, and not abandoned to the backyard.
Bred for a century to be an outstanding guard dog, the Doberman Pinscher is intense and energetic with tremendous strength and stamina. Versatile, highly intelligent and very easy to train, the Doberman is fearless and assertive, but not vicious. He is noble, loyal and affectionate with the family. It likes to be physically close to the family members. Devoted and watchful, this is a very people oriented breed. The Doberman needs an owner who is willing and able to discipline the dog without being afraid of him.
All family members should learn to handle the dog properly, as Dobermans can be pushy if allowed to have their own way too much. The Doberman is naturally protective and does not need additional "protection" training to be a fine guard dog. In fact he should be thoroughly socialized when young to prevent over-protectiveness.
The Doberman's Ideal Environment
The Doberman will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised, but does best with at least an average-sized yard. They are also very cold sensitive and therefore do not do well as an outdoors dog. (This is why police in areas where it gets cold are not able to use them!)
Socialize your Doberman pinscher at 12 weeks of age to be with other dogs, pets and people. This will prevent your dog from becoming too overprotective of his family and will assist him in developing an even temper.
The Doberman is very energetic and needs thorough frequent exercise. They are easy to teach and quick to learn. If you do not have time to properly train your Doberman you should consider a different breed. Dobermans should never be allowed to roam loose, but should be taken outdoors for supervised play time often.
The Doberman's Companions
Dobermans are family dogs and need constant attention. Select a Doberman pinscher if you're looking for a good watchdog. Dobermans are bred to guard and watch and are eager to do so.
They are a loving, family dog. Contrary to popular rumor, this breed can be very gentle and affectionate with people and safe with children if properly socialized and trained.
Grooming the Doberman
Dobes need very little grooming; a weekly combing should suffice and a bath when needed. They are average shedders.
The Doberman's Health
The Doberman Pinscher lives about 13 years. In order to keep your dog in optimum health, make sure to feed your Doberman pinscher high-grade dog food. The first ingredient should be meat if you want a quality product.
While the breed is generally healthy, Doberman Pinschers are prone to certain health conditions such as cervical spondylitis (skeletal abnormality of the three cervical vertebrae), Von Willebrand's disease (a bleeding disorder), obesity, bloat, hip dysplasia (a malformed ball and socket in the hip joint) and heart problems.