ORIGIN OF THE DOBERMANN
The Dobermann came about in rather a unique manner, through the
efforts principally of one man whose interest and involvement
were so great that upon his death the breed of dog he had created
was named for him by those carrying on his work. This man was
Herr Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, who was born on February
2, 1823 and lived in Apolda, located in the state of Thuringia
Many years were spent perfecting Dobermanns dream - that of creating a dog somewhat
similar to a giant terrier (Pinscher), although actually medium
size as compared to huge. These dogs were to be fearless, intelligent,
and quick to learn. Great strength was important. Herr Dobermann
had a clear and definite mental picture of his dog, and obviously
the "breeder's sense" of how to go about making this
dog a reality.
The general conformation, physical make up and appearance of a Dobermann
should be a dog or bitch that at first glance be of medium size with a body
that is square, the height to shoulder being equal to its body length. The
ideal height being Males 26-27 inches and Bitches 24-25 1/2 inches at the
The written standard under the auspices of the English Kennel Club is
specific in defining general conformation and over all appearance and
attributes that make up the ideal Dobermann. It is true to respect that the
Dobermann is a short backed galloper and is a working dog bred to be a
constant loyal companion and guard of his master and family along with their
It requires breed fundamentals, which is termed 'type'. His size and physical
make up is 'medium' in every characteristic and appearance. In no way is he
overdone? He should be powerful, muscular, compactly built, adequate bone and
substance to go with it. He should not be heavy or cumbersome allowing for
lighting fast reactions and agility tat sets the Dobermann apart from other
breeds and is the very essence of a Dobermann. Only a medium dog with these
many important can create a dog with a combination of endurance and speed.
The Dobermann comes in four colours. Black and rust red markings, (commonly
called a black and tan,) Brown and rust red, (commonly called red and rust,)
Blue and rust red markings, and a Fawn and rust red markings. The latter one
is not an allowable colour to be shown in New Zealand. Both the blue and fawn
are harder to come by in New Zealand.
The coat is short and dense and hard that seems to cling to the skin and a
good coat will return almost immediately to the position with scarcely a hair
out of place.
The Dobermann has a docked tail normally at two joints but never should be
less than one, neither too long nor too short. The Dobermann should have a
head long and tight fitting resembling a blunt wedge viewing from both front
and profile views and in balance and proportion to the other parts of the
dog. A dark eye is preferred in all colours of the breed. The eye appears to
be alert but kindly.
The Dobermann should be substantial but elegant; he is to be energetic,
watchful and determined, alert, fearless, loyal and obedient.
The Dobermann is a dog who must have grace and dignity.
Origin and Ancestry
The breed history starts in 1891 after the Franco - Prussian war of 1880.
Growth of population created the disappearance of wolfs fences and railways
were being built. In Apolda, Theuring Germany, from 1834-1894 lived a tax
collector and among other things a dog fancier. He needed a guard watch dog
to accompany him on his rounds. His name was Louis Dobermann. To get the
particular dog he wanted he bred and crossbred local dogs towards this line.
In another small town near Apolda lived Otto Goellar, who is credited with
the real establishment of the breed. The name had already been established
prior to Goellar's on-going breeding attempts.
Some of the many breeds suggested that were possibly used in the strong
establishment of the bred were; Rotttweiler; the old German Pinscher of
terrier type, the old German Shepherd, of black and tan colour, some of the
sporting dogs possibly the English and Gordon Setter, the Blue Great Dane,
The Weimaraner, the Manchester Terrier and a black English Greyhound. Of all
this mixture came the germ cell of our breed today. In 1910 the modern
The earliest entries in a German studbook were in 1893 and 1894; the German
having made great progress in a short span of roughly twenty years. The
Dobermann being used in the 1st world was as a messenger carrier and a guard
dog. The Dobermann since then has been used as a guard and security dog,
seeing eye dog, police dog, army dog, search and rescue dog, airport dog,
utility dog, and the majority as a family pet.
A Dobermann with the accepted characteristics, and temperament s a wonderful
family dog as an inside or outside dog, (he does prefer inside with the
family). He is great with children and other animals if brought as a puppy
and raised with the pets, likes going jogging and being a strong part of the
family. He is also a dog who enjoys everybody's attention and commands.
A lot of people will choose to have their Dobermann live inside the house for
obvious reasons such as bonding with the dog and being there as a protector
of family and possessions. Purchasing a number 5 size crate from your local
pet shop and providing a water coup cup and bedding is a great and practical
of confirming the dog or puppy when needing to along with providing the
security the dog needs in its time out. A kennel and run either purchased
from a reputable kennel maker or made by yourself should be sufficiently
large enough both in height and length. It should be draft free and water
proof with good warm bedding. It is best situated on a concrete slab.
A Dobermann puppy or adult requires nutritionally balanced meals. The common
practice today is to feed a premium dry food. It is a good idea to seek both
breeder and veterinary advice and its recommended to feed your growing puppy
a large growth range of dry food. The average feed intake per day 390-480
grams at a cost from $2.00-$3.00 per day. The other options are a natural
diet of raw beef and fiber and added additions to balance the diet, dog
sausage or tinned food but this would usually work out at a higher daily cost
then dry dog food feeding. If you choose the option of dog sausage etc you
must remember to add the supplements needed for your growing puppy.
The Dobermann's short coat requires little attention except for approximately
two washes a year with a good quality dog shampoo and daily brush with a
curry comb which you can buy at a horse supply shop. The dog's nails need to
be trimmed on a weekly basis, and you can purchase nail clippers from your
pet store or veterinary clinic. With this care the dog will stay pretty,
shinny and spruce, his coat and general appearance is based on the quality of
food you feed it.
It's a good idea to but a book by David Weston, Training your puppy or dog
the easy way. A Dobermann reacts bets to positive re-enforcement not negative
and this is explained very easily in this book. Normally basic training for
your puppy can start at 6 months onwards. Choose a reputable dog obedience
club in your area. Phone the New Zealand Kennel Club for phone numbers of
club secretaries of obedience clubs. Common sense and a day to day rapport
with your dog will sustain a happy Dobermann.
The Dobermann is a fun dog and loves high activity pursuits. He is excellent
in obedience, agility and likes swimming loves the beach and has been known
to be a keen sled dog.
A Dobermann's average life span is between 8-11 years, but many Dobermann's
have been known to live till 13-15 years of age.
The Dobermann can suffer from a few health problems.
• Cardiomyopathy - Heart
• Cortical Hypoplasia - Kidneys
• Copper Hepatitia - Liver
• Cervical Instability Disorder - Neck (Commonly known as wobbles)
• Von Willebrands Disease - Blood
The Dobermann has nothing negative about him except if you call wanting to be
in your company 101% of the time negative, then maybe he isn't the right
breed for you.
Cost of Ownership
The Dobermann has become a rarer breed and as there are not prolific amounts of litters being born. Breeders who have been in the Dobermann breed for a long time, consistently try to bring in new gene-pools from around the world.