The Doberman Pinscher is a medium to large sized breed known for its abilities as a guard dog, watch dog, or police dog. Its loyalty, intelligence, and the challenge it presents to those that provoke it make it exceptional for tasks such as these. It was also used by the U.S. Marines in World War II. The Doberman Pinscher was created from several different breeds, possibly including the Beaceron, Rottweiler, Thuringian Shepherd, Greyhound, Great Dane, Weimaraner, German Shorthaired Pointer, Manchester Terrier and the German Shepherd. The creator of the breed, Karl Friedrich Louis Doberman, bred the dog in 1890 to be a type of dog that would be an ideal combination of loyalty, strength, aptitude and fierceness. Although Dobermann died in 1894, the breeding program lived on through Otto Goeller and Philip Gruening.
The Doberman Pinscher stands between 24 and 28 inches high and weighs 60 to 90 pounds. The breed usually has a square, muscular body with a deep chest. Sometimes, show dogs are slimmer and sleek-looking. The Doberman are usually one of four colors: black, red, blue, or fawn, black being the most common. There have been white Doberman Pinschers; however, they possess a genetic mutation which increases their risk of sun damage and may cause the retina to develop abnormally. Typically the Doberman has a docked tail and cropped ears.
The Doberman Pinscher is generally a very loyal and sharp breed. It is loyal and loving toward its family and is very devoted to protecting those it loves. The Doberman does need proper socialization in order to control its temperament. Although it is sometimes on lists of “dangerous dogs”, it is less frequently involved in fatal attacks on humans than breeds such as Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Alaskan Malamutes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
The Doberman may have health problems which include: dilated cardimyopathy, wobbler disease, von Willebrand’s disease, hypothyroidism, cancer, progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, glaucoma, copper toxicosis, color dilution alopecia, hip dysplasia, and peripheral neuropathy. The breed lives for an average of 10 years.