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Country of Origin: The Doberman Pinscher (also known as a Dobermann or affectionately called ‘Dobe’) was bred in Germany in the late nineteenth century, almost exclusively as the work of one man—Louis Dobermann. Dobermann was a tax collector who sought to breed an alert guard dog for personal protection. Within a decade, a breed similar to the modern Doberman Pinscher had been created, popularized, and imported to America. In America, it became a popular guard and police dog, and later a well-admired show dog. By the late 1970’s, the Doberman Pinscher was the second most popular breed in America. Today, it serves mostly as a pet. Famous Doberman Pinschers include Zeus and Apollo, ‘the lads’ from ‘Magnum, P.I.’. Doberman Pinschers are the official combat dog of the U.S. Marines.
Size: The Doberman Pinscher is a medium to large sized dog with a shoulder height of 63-72 cm (25-28 in) and a weight of 27-45 kg (60-100 lbs). Some Doberman Pinschers weigh over 100 pounds, usually serving as guard dogs or police dogs. The Doberman Pinscher has a long, wedged shape head, almond-shaped eyes, a flat skull, and erect ears (which may be cropped). They have small, round feet and docked tails.
Coat: The Doberman Pinscher has a short, stiff, smooth, coat. It can be black, brown, or fawn, all with tan markings. Black and tan is most common. Markings are usually found on the muzzle, legs, feet, and chest. The Doberman Pinscher is an average shedder. Any color other that the listed approved colors is considered a disqualification by the American Kennel Club.
Character: Doberman Pinschers have a tendency to become very loyal and devoted to one particular person. They are brave and intelligent, making excellent guard-dogs. Doberman Pinschers are not bullies or violent by nature, but they are highly protective and can be pushy if left unchecked.
Temperament: If properly socialized, Doberman Pinschers get along well with children, other dogs, and other household pets. Doberman Pinschers should be socialized when young. They are uncomfortable with strangers and do not take kindly to unwanted visitors. Dobes require a dominant owner to ensure they do not become overly aggressive. They are honorable, fearless, and devoted, making fine companions.
Care: The Doberman Pinscher must have its claws kept short. The teeth should be brushed regularly and checked periodically for tartar. Remove dead hairs from the Doberman Pinscher’s coat with a knobbed rubber glove during shedding. Dobes are susceptible to Von Willebrand disease (a blood disorder), hip dysplasia, and obesity. They are also sensitive to cold, and should not be left to live outdoors in cold climates. The white Doberman Pinscher may be more susceptible to deafness or blindness, but this is disputed. The Doberman Pinscher has a life span of 8-12 years, and has litters of 3-8 pups.
Training: The Doberman Pinscher must be trained carefully, thoroughly, and consistently. One should never hit a Doberman Pinscher, and should avoid pressuring the dog during the early stages of training. Females may be more stubborn than males.
Activity: The speed and tremendous stamina of the Doberman Pinscher make it ideal for a variety of outdoor sports. It requires frequent exercise and will not be satisfied with daily walks around the neighborhood. The Doberman Pinscher is not suited to apartment life.