Doberman: Temperament and Attitude

Around 1870, the tax collector and part-time dog catcher Louis Dobermann, who had to travel to dangerous areas in his main job and sometimes had to convince taxpayers who defaulted, decided to breed his own guard dog, as similar as possible to a large pinscher, for this purpose. The old German shepherd dog, which is characterized by intelligence, health, and hardness, was used to achieve the breed type. German Pinschers were crossed for courage and responsiveness.


  • FCI Standard No. 143
  • Origin: Germany
  • Height at the withers: Males: 68-72 cm | Bitches: 63-68 cm
  • Weight: Males: 40-45 kg | Bitches: 32-35 kg
  • Working dog breed, protection and guard dog, service dog, rescue dog
  • Life expectancy: 10 – 14 years
  • Not a dog breed for beginners

Origin of the Doberman Breed

The Rottweiler also brought courage, as well as protection and strength, the Weimaraner brought hunting skills and an excellent sense of smell. The speed came from the English Greyhound, coat and color from the Manchester Terrier, while the lightning factors are found in the general mastiff gene pool.

It took a bit of courage to own these dogs, which were very fierce in the early days of the breed, but it was precisely this reputation that brought the Doberman to America. Existing wolf claws have been removed to complete the elegant exterior line.

Since the puppies, which were occasionally born with a stubby tail, were very much appreciated at the time, a lot has been docked since then. Still permitted in the USA, docking, which has also been practiced for years, is now prohibited in most European countries. Otto Goeller, who continued to breed the breed after Louis Dobermann’s death and produced the first outstanding stud dog, Hellegraf von Thuringia, had great credit for improving the breed.

During the First World War, when a large number of animals were imported into the USA for the first time and in Germany, Dobermans were sometimes used for military service, but many dogs were euthanized due to a lack of food, more intensive breeding only took place here after the end of the war. In the USA, on the other hand, the Doberman was even awarded the title of “Marine War Dog”. Due to the very high level of loyalty to their master, many Dobermans are trained to be guards, police, and rescue dogs, but also guide dogs.

They fulfill almost every task that is asked of them, excellent protection dog training as well as spectacular group demonstrations. The bad reputation, which causes a great fear of Dobermans in many people due to the rush of today’s sensational media, is in most cases unjustified.

Although they need due to their disposition, they are naturally good guards, early socialization with humans and animals, and also if possible an authoritarian upbringing, but they are so adapted to the environment today through systematic breeding that even strangers can touch them. An elegant, fleet-footed dog with aristocratic features, today’s Doberman loves being close to his master the most. Since they will typically eat anything they can find, many owners assume that there may be something goaty in their pet’s eating habits.


The Dobermann is one of the service dog breeds currently approved in Germany. For example, his protective instinct, good nose performance, and ability to be submissive are still in demand by the police. The Doberman is considered by many to be the ideal dog. His proud stance expresses determination.

The shoulder height of bitches of this breed starts at 63 and ends at 68 centimeters where it is in the lower range for males and is then maxed out at 72 centimeters. Bitches weigh 32 to 35 kilograms, males weigh up to ten kilograms more. The strong and muscular body harmonizes with the short and dense coat. The coat without an undercoat is very easy to care for. It fits snugly and shines in black or brown.

Clearly defined rust-red markings are desired on different parts of the body according to the standard, resulting in the typical appearance. The ears are set high and hang slightly forward and the tail is long. Docking has been expressly forbidden for many years. The working and companion dog breed, listed by the FCI under the standard number 143, has found its way into the modern family. The diversity and never-ending interest of Doberman make many things possible. Within the association, the dog mainly binds to one person.

She should have experience dealing with members of the sometimes controversial breed. The Doberman is certainly not a beginner’s dog. Its natural protective instinct, assertiveness and the dog’s ability to exploit the owner’s weaknesses require early, strict, and yet loving socialization. If consistent training is successful, preferably with professional help, nothing stands in the way of family and Dobermann living together.

Doberman’s Character and Temperament

The four-legged friend is very fond of the family’s own children, but the responsible dog owner does not leave his animal unattended in the vicinity of the adolescents. The incorruptible Dobermann distrusts strangers. You want to be introduced to him and thus receive access authorization. His territorial thinking can be clearly pronounced, here the forward-looking person is obliged to react appropriately. This also applies to the sometimes observed willingness to bark or an overreaction when meeting other dogs.

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