Breed Information and More

History of the Doberman Pinscher

History of the doberman pinscher
A Doberman Pinscher from History

Are you interested in the history of the Doberman Pinscher? Considering we don’t know the history of many breeds, it’s very exciting we know most of the Doberman Pinscher’s history.

In late 1800’s Germany lived a gentleman named Louis Dobermann. He held many positions in life, two of which were running a local dog pound and acting as a tax collector. Though these two jobs sound like they couldn’t possibly help each other – they did for Mr. Dobermann. The long standing story has been that when he collected tax money he crossed through some sketchy parts of town, thus believing he needed a fierce guard dog to accompany him on his journeys.

Creation of the Doberman Pinscher

Managing the local dog pound gave him access to many different breeds of dogs; thus giving him a great starting point for his own breed. The ancestor breeds are not well documented for the breed, but it is believed they come from old gene pool German Shepherds, Rottweilers, German Pinschers, Beaucerons, Weimaraners, Manchester Terriers, and some even say a little Greyhound somewhere along the way.

Regardless the mix, one thing is for sure, and that is – Louis Doberman created an amazing breed of dog. So many people agreed that they named these dogs in honor of him following his death in 1894.

The Doberman Pinscher after Louis Dobermann

Though he began the breed, following his death, German breeders continued developing the breed. During this time breeders were focused on function rather than the dog’s appearance. Their vision was to use this breed to create what was referred to as a “super dog”. The predominant traits they focused on in the beginning were bravery, intelligence, speed, and overall toughness. Only dogs fitting these categories were bred. These are the main breeding practices that created the aggressive and headstrong version of the Doberman.

One certain breeder, Otto Goeller, is known to have shaped the breed into a usable working breed. In 1900 it was officially recognized by the German Kennel Club as the Dobermann Pinscher.

Introduction into the United States

The breed began to appear in the United States around 1908. It’s said that one of the first Doberman’s in America won several “Best in Show” titles at 3 consecutive shows before any judge was brave enough to open the dog’s mouth to examine his teeth.

America formed a Doberman club in 1921. In 1922 they adopted the original breed standard from Germany.

Over the next 15 years the breed would face a sharp decline of population numbers in Europe, mainly because World War I was ravaging the country and people couldn’t afford to feed themselves. Thus, most people could not afford to keep a large dog. The Dobermans that remained in Europe were usually owned by the police, wealthy people, or the military. At this point in history, dog breeding was considered a luxury, so only the best in the breed were bred.

A name change and the modern Doberman

During the mid-1900’s Germany decided to drop the word “Pinscher” from the name. Great Britain followed suit just a few years later.

Once known as a very aggressive breed, the last 10 to 20 years of selective breeding has produced Doberman’s that are less domineering and intense. Breeders have done a great job, because today’s Doberman is a great mix of love and ferociousness.