Unlike many breeds, the Doberman has a history that is actually fairly brief. The Doberman Pinscher is another breed that originated in Germany. It takes its name from a gentleman named Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, who hailed from Apolda, in Thueringen, Germany. That is also the Doberman’s place of origin. The breed became a dog with a fixed standard in a fairly short period of time.
The Doberman Pinsher originated around 1890. The breed was officially recognized a short decade later, in 1900. Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann was said to have worked toward developing the breed. The breed is believed to have been bred from shorthaired shepherd stock, with the Rottweiler, Black and Tan Terrier, and German Pinscher blended in. Because of extremely selective breeding, the Doberman is said to have inherited the positive characteristics of each breed.
The Doberman Pinscher has an interesting U.S. history. Registered with the American Kennel Club in 1908, the breed did not reach popularity until around 1922. By 1941, nearly 2,000 Dobermans were registered with the AKC. The breed became known as a police dog, and was bred to that task.
In 1921, the Doberman Pinscher Club was founded. The breed continued to excel in dog shows and grew in popularity. During World War II, the breed gained popularity for reasons other than its ability as a show dog.
Doberman Pinschers served as military dogs throughout much of the war. There are many photographic accounts and news reports of their service. During the attack on Guam, 25 of the service dogs gave their lives. The dogs remained active during much of the war, serving in Okinawa, Japan and parts of Europe. In 1994, the “Always Faithful” memorial statue was installed in Guam by the United Doberman Club. Its purpose is to honor the service dogs who gave their lives during World War II. A loyal and faithful Doberman statue rests atop the memorial.
As time went on, U.S. Doberman enthusiasts began to discover the breed’s other talents. The dog was soon performing in drill team exercises, obedience trials, and conformation trials. The Doberman Pinscher was eventually placed in agility competitions as well. Given their skills as police dogs and service dogs, Doberman’s also began to participate in tracking competitions.
In 2001, the American Doberman earned his place in history once again, by working as a search and rescue dog during the World Trade Center collapse. Once again, photographs demonstrate the loyalty, dedication, and work ethic of this faithful breed.
Today, the Doberman Pinscher is an all-around show and competition dog. It is also a faithful family pet, a guard dog, a police dog, a search and rescue dog, and an honored military service dog. In its many roles, it has become a truly valued breed in America.
The Doberman Pinscher is considered to be a medium sized dog. The males reach 26 to 28 inches at the withers, while the females reach 24 to 26 inches at the withers. The head of the Doberman resembles a blunt wedge in both the front and profile views. The eyes are almond shaped, deep set, and have an energetic expression. In black dogs, the color ranges from medium to dark brown. In red, blue, and fawn dogs, the iris color blends with the coat color. The ears are cropped and carried erect. The nose is solid black on black dogs, dark brown on red, dark gray on blue dogs, and dark tan on fawns. The jaws are full and powerful. The teeth meet in a true scissors bite and are strong and powerful.
The Doberman Pinscher should be well muscled, powerful, and capable of great endurance and speed. It should have a noble, elegant appearance and clean lines. The body should be short, firm, wide, and muscular at the loins. The chest should be broad, with the belly tucked up a great deal. The legs should be straight and parallel to each other. The feet are well arched and cat like. Rear dewclaws should be removed. The tail is docked at the 2nd joint, and should appear as a continuation of the spine.
The coat is smooth haired. It is short, hard, thick, and dense. It lies close to the skin. Allowed colors include black, red, blue, and fawn. The markings may be well defined rust above each eye and on the throat, muzzle, chest, legs, feet, and below the tail. There may be a small white patch on the chest.
Showing a Doberman Pinscher
The Doberman Standard features certain expectations, as the breed has been a registered AKC member for over 100 years. The expression should be alert, watchful, determined, and energetic. The dog should demonstrate loyalty and obedience. It is considered a flaw if the jaw is overshot by more than 3/16 of an inch or undershot more than 1/8 of an inch. Dogs that are of any color other than black, red, blue, and fawn will be disqualified, as will any dogs with a white patch exceeding ½ inch square. Four or more missing teeth are also considered a disqualification.
The gait should be balanced and energetic. The dog should be able to demonstrate both agility and speed, with the forelegs demonstrating reach while the hind legs demonstrate drive. The back should remain strong and firm, the head should be carried erect and alert.
There is a great deal of expectation in regards to the breed’s temperament. The Doberman, because of its reputation as a loyal service dog, should be able to demonstrate this by appearing dedicated and determined. It should be able to follow commands with ease, and should show a high level of obedience.
In show, attention is paid to the dog’s demeanor. The dog will be considered “shy” if it shies away at sudden noises or appears to be fearful. Evidence of viciousness is also looked for in the appearance of aggression or a difficult demeanor. Either of this traits are cause for dismissal from the ring.