The History of the DOBERMAN

The History of the DOBERMAN

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The Doberman is an imposing yet sleek guard dog that just seems to radiate nobility and confidence. They are considered a medium to large working breed and also a relatively new breed having been developed in the 1890s. Now you may know that the Doberman was originally developed in Germany by a tax collector to protect him on his rounds. As you can imagine, he probably wasn't the most popular person in town.

In addition to being a tax collector, Lewis Dobermann, the father of the breed, also ran the local pound so he had access to a wide variety of dog breeds to create his perfect protector. He wanted a canine that was devoted and imposing and the early members of the breed were larger and less sleek than the dog we recognize today.

Originally the breed was called the Doberman Pinscher, but in the 20th century if the Pinscher was dropped from the name as it no longer reflected the breed. Pincher is German for Terrier, and while there were several Terrier breeds that contributed to the Doberman, the breed they turned into wasn't very Terrier like at all.

Five years after Doberman’s death another early breeder of the Doberman created the national Doberman Pinscher Club in Germany and is credited with the refinement and perfection of the breed. There isn't really a clear picture of the breeds that went into developing the Doberman, but most agree that they included the Rottweiler, the Black and Tan Terrier, and the German Pinscher. The only documented crossings were with Greyhounds and Manchester Terriers, but the old German Shepherd is largely believed to be the base stock for the government. When you look at each of these breeds next to the modern Doberman, you can see bits and pieces of what each contributed.

The breed became very popular in World War II and the US Marine Corps adopted the Doberman as the military branch’s official war dog for World War II. There are countless stories of military Dobermans alerting soldiers to impending attacks and tracking criminals over huge distances. It was a Doberman named Kurt who was the first to be buried in the War Dog Cemetery in the United States, and his likeness is immortalized in bronze at the entrance to the cemetery still.

The Doberman has been a longtime favorite for service work as well as military and police work. The breed is extremely intelligent and willing to please with a high drive to do any job assigned to them. This also makes them exceptional service dogs and family guardians. In the right hands, the Doberman is easy to train and considered one of the most intelligent breeds in the world. Though they can be a bit of a handful because of their massive energy levels and glued-to-your-hip devotion, this is what makes them so good in competitions.

They have also starred in several movies over the years and the breed has been popular ever since it gained fame in World War II for acts of heroism. In 2019 the Doberman ranked the 17th most popular dog breed out of 196 total breeds. That's a pretty high-ranking and it's hard to think of all the other fabulous breeds that ranked below it. It just goes to show how versatile and adaptable the Doberman is.

This amazing breed has gone far beyond what Louis Dobermann intended when he set out to develop the perfect canine protector.