Dog Health & More
The Doberman Pinscher was developed in Germany during the late 19th century, primarily as a guard dog. His exact ancestry is unknown, but he's believed to be a mixture of many dog breeds, including the Rottweiler, Black and Tan Terrier, and German Pinscher. With his sleek coat, athletic build, and characteristic cropped ears and docked tail, the Doberman Pinscher looks like an aristocrat. He is a highly energetic and intelligent dog, suited for police and military work, canine sports, and as a family guardian and companion.
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Because the Doberman Pinscher (spelled Dobermann in some countries) came into existence at the end of the 19th century, he is, in the world of dogs, the new kid on the block. This hasn't stopped the Dobie, as he is affectionately called, from becoming one of the most popular and recognized breeds in the United States.
His look is elegant and his style is athletic; the Dobie is also intelligent, alert, and loyal. He is a courageous guard dog as well as a beloved family companion.
The Dobie's fierce reputation precedes him. He is feared by those who don't know him, stereotyped as highly aggressive and vicious. True, he is a formidable guardian, but he is usually a gentle, watchful, and loving dog. He does not go looking for trouble, but he is fearless and will defend his family and turf if he perceives danger.
The Doberman Pinscher enjoys being part of a family. He likes to be close to those he loves and, when this love is present, he is a natural protector. He is trustworthy with his family's children, friends, and guests as long as he is treated kindly.
In spite of his positive qualities, the Dobie isn't the right breed for everyone. He's large, at 60 to 80 pounds, and he's extremely active, both physically and mentally. He needs a lot of exercise.
He also needs plenty of mental challenges to keep him from becoming bored. He needs a strong owner/pack leader who can take time to properly socialize and train him, and who will keep him busy every day. This may be too much to handle for people who lead a more laid-back lifestyle.
The current look of the Dobie is slimmer and sleeker than that of past years. His temperament has also changed somewhat, say breed enthusiasts, softening a bit from his early days in Germany, though he is still an excellent guard dog.
Originally, Dobies' ears were cropped to increase their ability to locate sounds, and tail docking gave the breed a more streamlined look. North American breeders usually dock the tails and crop the ears of Doberman puppies, though it's not mandatory. Docking and ear cropping is illegal in some countries.
Those who know him say that a well-bred and properly socialized Dobie is an excellent pet and companion, suitable for families with other dogs, gentle with young children, and overall a loyal and devoted family member.