Description & History

The Dobermann is a German breed and was bred by Herr Louis Dobermann in the latter part of the nineteenth century.

Herr Dobermann, a tax collector and dog breeder, required a dog that would accompany him on rounds, so as to protect him from none-too-pleasant tax payers.

It is not known exactly which different strains were used in the creation of this new breed. The Rottweiler, the Pinscher, the Manchester Terrier and the Beauceron probably form part of its make-up. The colour of this dog appears to have been derived from all of these breeds.

In 1890, Herr Otto Goeller further developed the breed and added the name Pinscher. In continental Europe and in the United States the breed is known as the Dobermann Pinscher. It is only in the United Kingdom that it is called simply Dobermann.

Herr Dobermann succeeded in producing an intelligent breed which is extremely versatile. Before the First World War it was used by the German police as a guard dog and since then it has adapted to many different roles. It is capable of leading an active life on a farm working cattle and sheep, also of hunting and retrieving. Its strong scenting powers enable it to track over long distances. In South Africa in 1925 a Dobermann, with only scent as a guide, tracked a stock thief for 100 miles.

During the two World Wars the Dobermann played an active part. In the 1914-1918 hostilities it worked with the German military as a patrol and guard dog and also as a guide dog for blinded army personnel. In the Second World War both the German and United States armies used them in war zones as far apart as Europe and the Pacific.

The Dobermann was not introduced to England until 1947, but has quickly gained popularity since its arrival.

Rosamund Walters.

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