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Where does the Doberman come from? The Doberman is named after its “father”, a German dog enthusiast by the name of Karl Dobermann. A tax collector by profession, Mr. Dobermann must have felt a strong need to have a reliable personal protection dog by his side when making house calls. Fortunately for him, he also ran the local dog shelter. Around the year 1890, he set out to create the perfect guardian breed for his requirements: A large, fearsome-looking dog who would courageously defend its owner. For this end, he crossed more aggressive breeds like the Rottweiler and the German Pinscher with large and giant breeds like the Great Dane and the English Greyhound. By mixing in the gentle Greyhound, Mr. Dobermann made his new breed calmer and more closely bonded to its handler. His efforts were a huge success, and he created a strong, intimidating and yet deeply loyal personal protector. The Doberman quickly gained recognition throughout the world.  What is their temperament like? In their temperament, Dobies are active, keen and alert outside and when working, but calm and composed in the house. These dogs are so calm, gentle and settled indoors that they even make good apartment dogs. They are also natural guard dogs who can and will protect you and your home. Dobermans are very affectionate with children, especially if they have grown up with them, which makes them ideal companions for families. They are perfect for active owners who love to take their dogs on outings and who want to share their home with them: These are very much people-oriented dogs who should be allowed to live with their family. When it comes to their demeanour towards strangers, Dobies are quite reserved and take some time to build up trust towards people they are unfamiliar with. How intelligent and trainable are Dobermans? Dobies are extremely intelligent and trainable – possibly as much as the famous Belgian Malinois and the German Shepherd. As they lack the stubborn streak running in other guardian breeds such as the Giant Schnauzer, the Airedale Terrier or the Rottweiler, Dobermans are very easy to train. They are ever ready to work and strive to please their owners, which is a highly desirable trait in a working dog. Dobies thrive when given the opportunity to perform, even if that work only consists in fetching toys or in running through obedience drills. Highly intelligent dogs, they love nothing more than flexing their physical and mental muscles. Which is why lots of mental stimulation should be provided for them. One possibility to keep these dogs sharp mentally is working them in the fields of obedience, tracking or guarding. But also, regular walks in areas with lots of different smells, sights and sounds are excellent ways to provide both physical and mental stimulation for your Dobie. Are Dobermans healthy dogs? The beautiful Doberman is prone to a number of health problems that can include issues common to large dog breeds, such as bloat, hip and elbow dysplasia. But also, they can suffer from more breed-specific conditions such as cardiomyopathy, Wobbler's syndrome and cervical vertebral instability. Other possible diseases in Dobermans include von Willebrand's disease and demodicosis. Therefore, choosing a breeder who not only tests his breeding stock for dysplasia, but also for heart conditions, is a great idea. You do want your breeder to provide you with written documentation that your Doberman puppy’s parents have been cleared of all these health issues known to affect the breed.  The life-expectancy of the Doberman ranges from 10 and 13 years.  How much exercise does the Doberman need? The athletic and agile Doberman needs lots of exercise to stay healthy and well-balanced.  When given enough vigorous exercise and mental stimulation in the form of walks, play and obedience work, Dobermans are quiet in the house and happy to just be around their favourite people. But we should keep in mind that these dogs are high level athletes and they need to flex their muscles on a daily basis. Therefore, average levels of walks and playtimes that would tire out the average dog will not suffice for this breed. Here is where smart tools come in handy, such as a spring pole, flirt pole or even a treadmill for dogs. Dobermans should be given at least one good long run off leash per day, combined with a few other walks and play sessions throughout the day. As they have a high prey drive, they can easily be enticed to playing with toys such as balls, Kongs, frisbees and flirt-poles.  What are their grooming requirements? The very good news is that the Dobie’s short, single-layered, black-and-tan or chocolate-and-tan coat does just  fine with one or two brushes a week. Use a soft bristle brush or a rubber grooming mitt, and wipe your Doberman down with a wet washcloth whenever it gets itself dusty. Due to the breed’s sensitive skin, you do not want to bathe your Doberman too often, but if you do, use a mild dog shampoo. During shedding season in spring and autumn, more frequent brushing might be required to keep those short dark hairs from getting onto the floor. Overview The amazing Doberman is no doubt one of the most keen, driven and highly trainable working and guardian breed in existence today. At the same time, the gentle Dobies make loving and devoted housedogs and family guardians. All in all, we can safely say that the Doberman is a true all-rounder, and a perfect dog for owners who want their canine guardian to closely participate in their life. 

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