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In Apolda Germany, in the 1800’s a man named Louis Dobermann needed a courageous, guard dog with strong mouth, good nose and one who would be protective. Herr Dobermann had various jobs, which required protection. It has never been proven just what he did, but some have said he was a tax collector, while others maintained he was a night watchman. For whatever reason he succeeded in fixing the guarding character in the dog he created, but was not really interested in the conformation aspects of that dog. While crossing many breeds to obtain what he wanted, he did not keep records of these crosses, so we have to rely on others who knew him to supply us with some of his efforts. According to his son, Herr Dobermann owned a black bitch called Bissart who had tan markings and a gray undercoat. One interesting thing about Bissart was her naturally short tail and a short coat. He tried to produce a naturally short tail by selective breeding but was unsuccessful. We do know that some of the breeds that were used were a gray Pinscher, a black and tan butchers dog, and a local sheep dog type. After his death in 1894, the Germans named the breed Doberman-pinscher in his honor, but a half-century later they dropped the pinscher because it was a German word for Terrier and was no longer appropriate. The Germans goal was to develop a dog capable of the ultimate in protection and companionship. They selected the bravest, toughest and most loyal. These headstrong dogs were known as “Dobermann’s dogs” or “Thuringia Pinschers,” and were sharp, aggressive with other dogs and distrustful dog that is of medium size, with a body that is square. Compactly built, muscular, and distrustful of strangers.

It is believed the first Doberman came to the United States in 1908, but it wasn’t until the end of WWII when GI’s brought back some Dobermans from German that the breed attracted fanciers. In 1921 the Doberman Pinscher Club of America was founded. Many imports arrived to gain popularity with breeders in this country. Many times when these imports were shown, the Judges could barely touch them if ever. One German import won Best of Breed at Westminster with the judge never putting a hand on him.

Over the decades, the Doberman breeders refined this tougher temperament to a more suitable disposition allowing this breed to co-habitate with the laws of our land. Today, the Doberman is a trustworthy family companion. His protective nature is still sought, but selective breeding, making him one of the most favored family dogs controls it. Although this dog is a working breed, his former use in Police, and Military work is not as it used to be. He has no protective undercoat to allow him to be used for these purposes to withstand the great variation in temperatures. This lack of undercoat has been bred out of him since he has become more accustomed to living in the homes with our controlled temperatures. The Doberman is not a kennel dog and does poorly as such. We have some health problems such as Cardiomyopathy, which is our worst, causing many of our dogs to die at early ages. A 10-yr. Old Doberman is an old dog. The DPCA and the Doberman Pinscher Foundation is funding several universities in finding a cure and a DNA marker to help the breeders wipe out this dreadful problem. Today’s Doberman Pinscher commands a high status in the Show ring, winning many Groups and Best In Shows. We’ve come a long way baby, in a very short time.
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