Animal stories: Dobermans

Dobermans are moderately large, strong and elegant dogs. These alert dogs are also called Doberman Pinscher or Dobie. They have a long, wedge-shaped head that are gradually widened towards the base of the ears. Their sleek muscular body appears to be square in shape. Black coloured dogs of this breed have black nose and brown dogs have dark brown nose. They have deep-set, almond shaped eyes that comes in medium to dark brown according to their coat colour.

These hardworking breeds can be an excellent pet, watchdog, police dog and guide dog for the blind. Dobermans are very affectionate and loyal and would definitely protect the home. But these dogs do not tolerate teasing, so children must be taught how to behave around the dog. Though, they are very unfriendly with strangers, they never treat them aggressively. However, an untrained dog may create trouble.

Average size

Dobermans are about 24-28 inches tall at the shoulders and weighs from 27-40 kg.

Coat colour

Their smooth and short coat comes in colours like black, rust-coloured, brown and black-blue fur.


These dogs have a very strong desire to please. They bond very closely with each member of the family. They do have the fiery temper and many can be quite impulsive. They need plenty of socialisation and training from a very early age. Dobermans are extremely intelligent, with active minds and bodies. They must be properly trained to avoid their behaviour problems.

Food requirements

As puppies, they should be given very nutritious food, at least for the first two years. Improper diet may lead to growth and development problems. For adult dogs, two small meals per day are safer than one large meal.


They live for about 9-15 years.

Pet grooming

This breed needs to be groomed once a week. They require very little grooming. A good rub down with a rubber-grooming mitt will remove any dead or loose hair.

Country of origin

Germany: Like all dogs, the Doberman is a descendant of the wolf. It was bred from Rottweiler, Great Dane, Greyhound, Manchester Terriers, German Pinschers, German Shepherd and the German Short-haired Pointer. Louis Doberman, who was a tax collector and dog breeder, originally bred it in Germany in 1890’s. It is said that he used Rottweilers and Great Danes for their size and strength, Greyhounds for their speed and Manchester Terriers for the sleek coat and graceful outline. The first Doberman was registered in the German studbook in 1893. Otto Goeller and Philip Gruening took up the cultivation of the breed after Louis died.

During the first World War, the Dobermans suffered along with the rest of the country. By the end of the war, the few dogs left were either going to be eaten or put down as no one could afford to keep them. However, American servicemen were fond of the breed and took several home. Thus, the American breeding programme developed directly from original lines. The US Doberman club was formed in 1921.

During World War II, the US Marines used Dobermans when they went ashore to flush out the enemy. This earned Dobies the nickname, Devil Dog, and many people today are still intimidated by the breed. It was after WWII that the breed became known in England, with the Doberman club forming in 1948.