Doberman Pinschers have a lean, powerful and distinguished frame. They have a poised, alert, ready-to-movie stance and a lively, intelligent expression. Dobermans have a deep, broad chest, a strong neck and a medium-sized, square and muscular body. Their heads are wedge-shaped with alert, dark eyes and ears that are either cropped or pointing up. They have docked tails (usually) and straight limbs. Dobermans can come in black, black & tan, bluish gray, fawn, red and white. Overall, they have a courageous, determined and proud look.
In spite of their fearsome reputation, Doberman Pinschers are loving, affectionate intelligent dogs. They are also known to be conscientious and sensitive, crafty and attentive, which would explain their success as police and military dogs.
More than anything, these are people-oriented dogs, craving attention, positive reinforcement and quality time with the family. When properly trained and socialized, they can be sweet and easygoing with children.
Highly intelligent, Dobermans have a range of skills that include search & rescue, agility, and therapy work. When given a task and lots of mental stimulation, Doberman Pinschers will stay obedient and happy.
Dobermans, while loving to their families, can be very protective and suspicious of strangers. If they think their handler is being threatened, they will do anything to keep them out of harm’s way.
Don’t be afraid of your Doberman. They need a firm owner, and everyone in the house should know how to discipline them (in a very positive way, of course). They can get pushy if they have their way for too long. If you’re not prepared to work with your Doberman, you might try a more manageable breed.
Dobermans will be fine in an apartment as long as they get enough exercise and attention. They are probably not the best pets to have around small children.
A healthy Doberman can live as long as 12 years. Common health problems include heart disease, hip dysplasia and bloat. Protect them from cold weather climates—their short coats make them sensitive to the chill.
Doberman Pinschers (pinscher means “biter” in German) were developed in the 19th century by a German tax collector named Louis Doberman. He bred these fearsome dogs to protect him on his daily rounds. Taking advantage of his part-time job at an animal shelter, he used a mix of dogs—probably Rottweilers, Black and Tan Terriers and German Pinschers—to create the classic Doberman. In 1921, the Doberman Pinscher Club of America was founded, helping to promote the breed in the U.S.