Doberman Pinschers combine a graceful appearance with a sharp intelligence. These are strong, quick-thinking dogs who have always served people as guardians and companions. Their ability to respond immediately to danger has made them one of the most reliable of all dogs.
The Doberman was carefully developed in Germany in the late 1800s. He gets his name from Louis Dobermann who developed the dog to accompany him on his rounds as his town's night watchman. The Doberman is a mixture of Rottweiler, German Pinscher, Black and Tan Terrier (Pinscher means "terrier" in German), and other local German dogs.
The Doberman has always been a working dog. During World War II he was trained to guard troops and run messages between units. Today, he is used by police as a guard dog and to sniff out criminals. In addition, he is an excellent guide dog for the blind and deaf. While Dobermans are excellent watch and guard dogs by nature, they are not solitary. They are family companions who need one-on-one attention.
The Doberman's shiny, sleek coat is usually black with rust markings on muzzle, throat, chest, legs, feet, and under tail. The ears may be cropped to stand erect or they may fall naturally.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance: Muscular and powerful, having great speed. Energetic, watchful, determined.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: Height--males 26 to 28 inches at the withers; females, 24 to 26 inches. Height should equal length.
Dobermans have a strong protective instinct. Several Dobies have been known to go beyond their duty as family protectors. One Doberman rescued a motherless baby raccoon from the forest. He brought the raccoon, completely unharmed, to his owners, who raised it with the help of the dog.
Another family with just-hatched baby geese had a Doberman who got into the box and snuggled with the goslings to keep them warm and safe.
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.