Doberman Pinscher
(AKC Working Group)
Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman Pinscher is an aristocratic, elegant, compact, and athletic square-proportioned dog, usually black and tan or red and tan. The sleek, short coat’s well-defined markings complement the sharply defined body contours. The head is long and narrow and the top of the skull is flat; the head resembles a blunt wedge from the side and top. The eyes are almond-shaped, dark, and lively. Ears may be cropped or natural, but the tail is generally docked at the second joint. The body is squarely proportioned, about the same length as the height at the withers, with a well-tucked-up abdomen. The breed has a graceful and buoyant gait. Colors are black and tan, red and tan, blue and tan, and fawn and tan.


The Doberman Pinscher was named after Louis Dobermann, a German who developed the breed in the late 1800s. Dobermann was a tax collector working in rough neighborhoods, rightfully afraid of being attacked. He decided to create a new breed: an aggressive, alert protection dog to help him in his work. It is thought that he crossed German Pinschers with Rottweillers, Beaucerons, Pinschers, Greyhounds, and other breeds to create the sleek and highly intelligent Doberman Pinscher. True to his original purpose, the Doberman excels at police, military, and guard work. The breed has been used to patrol department stores to catch "sleep’ins," thieves hiding in the store after hours. Many Dobermans have been war heroes, serving as first-aid dogs, attack dogs, patrol and sentry dogs, messengers, and mine-detecting dogs. The Doberman also excels at competitive obedience, Schutzhund, and tracking. The breed’s appearance itself is a potent crime deterrent. A well-bred, well-trained, and well-treated Doberman Pinscher can be a fine companion dog.

Key Facts:



Bred for a century to be an outstanding guard dog, the Doberman Pinscher is intense and energetic with tremendous strength and stamina. Versatile and highly intelligent. Determined, fearless, and assertive, but not vicious. Noble, loyal, and affectionate with the family. Likes to be physically close to family members. Devoted and watchful. A very people-oriented breed. The Doberman needs an owner who is willing and able to discipline the dog without being afraid of him. All family members should learn to handle the dog properly as Dobermans can be pushy if allowed to have their own way too much. The Doberman is naturally protective and does not need additional "protection" training to be a fine guard. In fact, he should be thoroughly socialized when young to prevent overprotectiveness. Mental stimulation is important for a truly well-adjusted and happy Doberman. The Doberman must be consistently and thoroughly trained to be a good pet. Training should be through positive reinforcement. Dobes can be good family dogs if of good temperament, well trained, and raised with children from early puppyhood. Best for the experienced owner. Aggression toward other dogs is accepted in the AKC standard. Though generally a dominant breed, Dobermans vary greatly in temperament. Some are even very submissive. Some individuals are family dogs, and some bond only to one person. The Doberman has been bred to work with man, and he needs this interaction often. Dobermans must be with the family, and not abandoned to the backyard.