Sunday, May 13, 2018

DOBERMAN - A Guide To The Breed

Two Doberman Pinschers
Two Doberman Pinschers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Originally called the Doberman Pinscher, the Doberman breed was created from several breeds by a German, Karl Louis Dobermann in around 1890. Dobermann was a Tax collector, night watchman and dog catcher and needed a protection dog to guard him as he travelled around the dangerous bandit-infested areas around Thueringen, South Central Germany. He spent 60 years perfecting the ultimate loyal, intelligent, ferocious protection dog before the first Doberman was registered in 1893.

Many breeds are thought to have been used in the creation of the Doberman including Rottweillers and Great Danes for size and strength, greyhounds for speed and Manchester Terriers for there sleek coat. Other breeds that are thought to have been used are the German Shepherd Dog, the Pinscher, the Beauceron, the Thuringian Shepherd Dog, the Weimaraner and the German Shorthaired Pointer.

Dobermann died shortly after the first registration of the Doberman breed and Otto Goeller and Philip Gruening took up cultivation of the breed in Germany.

During World war one the Doberman suffered along with the rest of the country and the few remaining dogs were going to be put down as no one could afford to keep them. They were saved however by American servicemen who grew fond of them and took them home, thus initiating the American breeding program. During World War II Dobermans were used by the US Marines to flush out the enemy which gave them the name 'Devil Dogs'. 25 Dobermans died in the Battle of Guam in 1944 and there is a memorial in Guam in honour of these dogs.

After the war, the Doberman breed became known in England and a Doberman club formed in 1948. A couple called the Curnows, using the kennel name of Tavey, dedicated themselves to establishing the Doberman in England. They began with European stock but then decided that the American Doberman was more elegant and larger and started their breeding program again.

Doberman can have a fiery temper and can become excitable but they are intelligent and bond very closely with owners and family. Those training a Doberman need to teach plenty of socialisation skills and training from an early age. A well-bred Dobie trained by an experienced handler is an excellent pet and companion and is suitable for families with other dog breeds and children.

The most common colour for a Doberman is black but there are two different colour genes. The first is Black and the second is a colour dilution gene which provides four different colours, black, red, blue and fawn. This means that there is a various colour of Doberman depending on how the genes are mixed.

In 1976 a white Doberman bitch was born and was subsequently bred to her son, continued tight breeding meant that the mutation became fixed and has now become widely marketed. These albino Doberman though have increased the risk of disease and abnormal development of the retina so must avoid too much sun exposure. These problems have made the albino breed unpopular as many people perceive this breeding of a mutant dog to be cruelty.

Traditionally Doberman has they tails and ears cropped. The ears cropped for reasons related to traditional guard duty and effective sound localisation. This is normally done between 7 and 9 weeks of age but some owner does not have this procedure done as it is painful for the dog. The process involved trimming off part of the ear and propping up with posts, tape and bandages with encourages the cartilage to grow in an upright position.

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