The Doberman: A Modern Dog for Modern Times

Herr Louis Doberman of Thuringen, Germany, was the man who crossed the Rottweiler, the Pinscher and the Black and Tan Terrier to attempt to produce the “ideal” guarding dog. The original purposes of guarding and attacking the stranger who invaded the property was the premise on which the Doberman was developed. Those that chose to have a guard dog expected them to attack strangers. Fenced yards were respected and the Doberman or other protective dog was a part of a family in early Germany. In fact, guard dogs were highly prized and were expected to be intelligent, obedient and courageous.

The Schutzhund Trials, also formalized and standardized in Germany, was a way to test these characteristics. An important ingredient of the Schutzhund trials PitBull Vs Doberman, however , is the Obedience component which requires a reliable response at all times to the commands of the dogs’ master.

The Doberman Pinscher was never intended to be ONLY a dog that would be a fierce guard dog, it was intended to be the “ideal” guard dog, a dog that is obedient, faithful and protective when necessary. A “Schutzhund” dog should not only be a fierce protector but should also be a responsible member of society, controllable and mannerly in social situations. With some breeds earning a successful Schutzhund title is the pre-requisite to using the dog in a breeding program in Germany. The Doberman’s development in Germany has been tempered with responsibility on the part of the owner being a main ingredient in his training and upbringing.

The Doberman requires a strong and sensible owner who has knowledge of dogs and canine behavior. The Doberman must first of all be responsibly bred and then socialized early and faithfully trained in obedience and it can be a great family companion and still maintain a naturally protective instinct. In the United States the Doberman Club has from the beginning provided a responsible approach to educating the public about the breeding, socialization and training of their protégé. To a large degree this has protected the Doberman Dog from becoming a status symbol for violent members of society, as has been the sad fate of the Pitbull.

In today’s society the Doberman is often a champion in the obedience trials. As an example in 1992, The A.K.C. recorded in their records 2, 175 CDX titles earned by Dobermans. The Doberman Club has for years put strong emphasis on providing education for the public about the potential working abilities of their breed and many are trained in tracking, search and rescue and police dogs.

The Doberman Pinscher for many years suffered from Von Willebrands Disease but now that there is a DNA test for this problem it can be avoided through responsible breeding. Wobbler’s syndrome, bone cancer and heart problems are also prevalent in the Doberman breed and responsible breeders usually test for these conditions.

The Doberman Pinscher is described in the A.K.C. standard as “Elegant in appearance, of proud carriage, reflecting great nobility and temperament,” and the temperament is further described as “Energetic, watchful, determined, alert, fearless, loyal and obedient.” Owners of Dobermans should have a sense of responsibility and determination also and if they follow through on good socialization and training for their dog they will have a dog that exemplifies every aspect of a great companion and watch dog for their family.

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