Using an amalgamation of different breeds, a German, Herr Louis Dobermann created the breed in the late 19th century. It is said that he used Rottweilers and Great Danes for their size and strength, Greyhounds for their speed and Manchester Terriers for the sleek coat and graceful outline, as well as the terrier tenacity. Other breeds, which may have contributed to the Dobermann, include Schnauzers, German Pinschers, German Shepherds, German Shorthaired Pointers and Weimaraners. Herr Louis was a night watchman as well as a dog catcher and tax collector and needed the ultimate protection dog to accompany him on his rounds. Thus he spent 60 years in his native town of Apolda, in the state of Thueringen, South Central Germany, working on the perfect dog for personal protection. The first Dobermann was registered in the German studbook in 1893. Herr Louis died shortly thereafter and Otto Goeller and Philip Gruening took up the cultivation of the breed. During the first World War, the Dobermanns suffered along with the rest of the country. By the end of the war, the few dogs left were either going to be eaten or put down as no one could afford to keep them. However, American servicemen had grown fond of the breed and took several home. Thus, the American breeding programme developed directly from original lines. The U.S. Dobermann club was formed in 1921. The breed was first classified as a terrier and was seen as derivative of the Manchester Terrier (in that time, a much bigger dog than the Manchester Terrier we know today.) During World War II, the U.S. Marines used Dobermanns when they went ashore to flush out the enemy. This earned Dobies the nickname, Devil Dog, and many people today are still intimidated by the breed. It was after WWII that the breed became known in England, with the Dobermann club forming in 1948, primarily at the instigation of the Curnows, a couple dedicated to establishing the Dobermann in England. The Curnows, using the kennel name of Tavey, started with European stock but later decided the American Dobies were more elegant and larger and started their breeding programme again.
This is a moderately large, powerful, yet still elegant animal. The coat is smooth and short and can come in various colours with tan markings. This dog appears to be square in the body, they are built for endurance and speed. The body carriage should be proud and the dog should have a likeness to a thoroughbred horse. The above should produce a vigorous, balanced gait with excellent reach from the forelegs and propulsive drive from the hindquarters.
|Colour||The coat is smooth and short and can come in brown, black, blue or fawn (also known as Isabella) with tan markings.|
|Coat Length||Short Smooth|
|Weight/Height Range||Dogs measure between 68 to 72cms at the withers and bitches measure between 63 to 68cms. Dobermanns should weigh between 32 to 45kgs.|
|Ailments||The Dobermann can fall prey to some genetic disorders that manifest later in life. One of these is von Willebrand’s disease. Dobermanns are prone to a condition known as Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Wobbler’s Syndrome is another disease that Dobermanns are prone to. Chronic Active Hepatitis is more common in female Dobermanns.|
The Dobermann is a member of the working group. They were originally bred as a tracking/police dog and today they excel as family and guard dogs.
Feeding & Ownership
Being a largish, deep-chested dog, Dobermanns can be prone to bloat and should not be fed within one hour of exercising. Two small meals per day are safer than one large meal, Puppies should be fed a highly nutritious diet for the first two years to ensure correct growth and development levels. Dobie puppies develop very quickly in the early stages making diet very important. The diet should not be supplemented, especially with calcium.
|Food Cost||$15 to $20|
||As a breed these dogs are relatively low maintenance, but due to the large amount of exercise required they need to be fed a sizeable amount of a good quality food.|
Dobies are extremely intelligent, with active minds and bodies. They MUST be properly trained as a bored dog will develop behaviour problems and a big, strong dog, of any breed, must know where it belongs in the pack hierarchy. Socialised early with other dogs, pets and children, the Dobermann can make a lovely family pet. It is loyal and affectionate and will certainly protect the home. They do tend to be one man dogs though and will not tolerate teasing, so children must be taught how to behave around the dog. Strangers will be treated with aloofness but never aggressively, however an untrained dog will create trouble. It is up to the owner to be responsible for the dog’s behavior. If you cannot put in the time, this is not the breed for you.
|Intelligence||Dobies are very intelligent with a strong desire to please. They do need to know who is the boss and will bond very closely with the family. They can become a one-man-dog. They do have the fiery temper of the terrier and many can be quite excitable. Owners need to be firm and consisitent with the training. Dobies should be given plenty of socialisation and training from a very early age. If you have had little experience of dog training then the Dobie is not the dog for you.|
|Suitability for Children||Medium|
|Tendency to Bark||High|
|Overall Exercise Requirement||Until the dog is 12 months old, exercise should consist of short but frequent sessions. Over exercising the dog can lead to joint problems. This is an active breed and will enjoy swimming, accompanying a cyclist and running off the lead.|
|Suitability as a Guard Dog||High|
|Ease of Transportation||Low|
|Level of Aggression||High
|Other Animal Compatibility||Low
Dobermanns take very little grooming. A good rub down with a rubber grooming mitt will remove any dead or loose hair.
|Grooming Requirements||Once a week|
|Amount of Hair Shed||Moderate|
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