Powerful. Muscular. Strong. Synonymous with the Doberman Pinscher, this breed of German origin known for its black or dark brown dense coat is perfect for people who enjoy sports or for those who seek a really good guard dog.
While this breed is intrinsically strong, it’s hard to detect its mood with its stoic looking expressions. Plus, the doberman pinscher is typically a large dog so it’s brave, moody, and indeed sensitive, the typical male often weighs between 75 and 100 pounds while the female weighs between 65 and 85 pounds.
This breed is often known for its short stubby tail though some people may not know the tail it’s born with is actually much longer. As a result of docking whereby the majority of the tail is removed surgically after its birth, the short tail emerges. Docking is actually illegal in many countries but not in the US. Even if dog owners of the doberman are against docking, they may not have a choice; breeders often make the decision before their dogs are sold.
In addition, this breed also frequently has its ears cropped. This apparently is in reference to their duty as a guard dog and sound. While cropping is done typically between 7 and 9 weeks of age, it’s a very painful procedure involving trimming off part of its ears and holding them up with posts and tape bandages. This permits cartilage to develop in an upward position as the puppy gets older. Traditional dobermans typically have both their tail and ears cropped. In addition to outlawing docking tails, some countries also make it illegal to crop ears.
Apparently this sleek cropped look is based on what Louis Dobermann envisioned. The tax collector traveled through infested areas and he needed a dog to guard him in various situations so he bred one! His goal was to breed a new dog that would protect him while demonstrate loyalty and intelligence. In 1890 in Germany he bred his first doberman and after he died in 1894 this dog was renamed in his honor. Pinscher was later dropped since it was determined the German equivalent word to “terrier” was not applicable. His goal for the breed resulted in a deep broad chest with a rather large muscular body. In fact, myth surrounds the various breeds which were used to create the original doberman: some records state he used the black English greyhound along with the black and tan Manchester terrier. Others will say he also incorporated the old German Sherpherd and the German Pinscher which is the ancestor to the rottweiler and weimaraner.
Despite their solid looking appearance, owners of dobermans will concur: they’re gentle, loyal, loving, and intelligent. In fact, according to the US Centers for Disease Control, this dog is less involved in attacks on humans which result in fatalities than other breeds such as rottweilers or German Shepherds. Highly socialized and well trained dobermans are in fact excellent pets. They interact well with other dogs as well as cats and young children. The only downside? This loving pooch has a life expectancy of about ten years. Commonly dobermans succumb to hypothyroidism, cancer, cataracts, or glaucoma.