It’s no surprise that this sleek, strong breed got its start as a guard dog. Originating in the late nineteenth century in Germany, the Doberman Pinscher was developed for speed, agility, loyalty, and strength. These traits are still seen in modern Dobermans, working for the police force, the United States military, and being exhibited as show dogs. While they were once bred in favor of aggressive tendencies, those have been bred out over time, making the breed more friendly and perfect for active families. The Doberman Pinscher was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1908, and the Doberman Pinscher Club of America was later created in 1921.
Dobermans are medium-to-large-sized dogs, weighing in between 55 and 100 pounds with females being smaller in size. They have strong stances, with lean muscles packed onto an athletic frame. Built for speed and protection, Dobermans can be intimidating. With proper training and plenty of exercise, Dobermans are loyal, easily excitable, and only bark if provoked. They make great family pets because they are eager to please owners and very sweet to children. Many Dobermans get along well with other animals after a proper introduction.
The fur is short, sleek, and sheds seasonally. Because their fur is so short, Dobermans do not adapt well to cold weather. Many owners choose to dock the tail and clip the ears, creating the signature pointed ears. Without cropping, the ears are long and hang forward. Fur is usually black with rust markings on the feet, chest, muzzle, and above or around the eyes. Eyes are generally large and dark.
Pure-bred Dobermans are prone to several health conditions, but with close supervision, yearly vet checkups, and intense daily exercise, you can help prevent potential health problems. Hip dysplasia is common among larger breeds, as well as bloat and weight-related issues. Von Willebrand’s Disease, an inherited disease that affects the blood’s ability to clot, is also seen in Dobermans. Be cautious of over-feeding your Doberman and signs of joint issues as he or she ages.
With proper training, plenty of exercise, socialization, and patience, a Doberman would make a great companion for those who need a loyal and sweet dog.