Origin and brief history
The Doberman Pinscher is a relatively new breed, having been developed between the late 19th – early 20th century by a travelling tax collector named Louis Dobermann who hailed from Apolda in Germany. Due to the nature of his occupation, Dobermann wanted a dog which could act both as a guard dog and a companion. It is surmised that the breed was originally a mix of Rottweiler, the German Pinscher and the German Shepherd. More recently, the breed has become progressively thinner and sleeker, believed to be the result of interbreeding with the Greyhound. Although Louis Dobermann died in 1894, the Doberman Pinscher arrived in the United States somewhere around 1900, and the Doberman Pinscher Club of America was formed in 1921. Doberman Pinschers were used by the US Marine Corps during World War II and are famous as an excellent police dog.
The Doberman Pinscher is a very popular breed in the United States, due in part to its reputation as a guard dog par excellence. Doberman Pinschers tend to be highly energetic and intelligent. They are very faithful, obedient dogs and are friendly to people they know. However, they have a reputation as a difficult dog to own due in part to poor breeding practices in the recent past producing vicious or shy dogs. Although naturally protective, this dog must be socialized when young to avoid becoming aggressive. Doberman Pinschers do not enjoy cold weather and will be much happier if they are housed indoors. However they need access to a yard in order to have room to exercise. The breed is assertive but should not become aggressive so long as they recognize their owner as dominant. Frequent, mentally challenging exercise is required, as is regular interaction.
The Doberman Pinscher has a short, smooth coat which requires little maintenance or grooming. Grooming once a week will suffice to keep your dog in top condition.
Specifications of the breed
The Doberman Pinscher is considered a medium-sized dog. Square, strong and muscular, typically a fully grown male measures between 26 and 28 inches tall at the withers, whereas the female stands slightly smaller at between 24 and 26 inches. Typically this elegant yet sturdy dog weighs in at between 65 – 90 lbs, and has a life expectancy of about 12 – 14 years. Commonly, the Doberman Pinscher is black and tan or brown in color. In the past, albino Dobermans were popular, however the genetic mutation which caused albinism has also been discovered to make the dog more susceptible to disease and breeding programs are discouraged. The average litter size is between 3 and 8 puppies.
Although typically healthy dogs, the Doberman Pinscher is prone to Von Willebrand’s disease, a genetic disorder which can cause internal bleeding. Hip dysplasia is also a problem, particularly if the dog becomes obese in the middle to late stages of life. Reputable breeders work hard to breed out health problems and most of these can be avoided by finding out about the lineage of the dog in question.
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