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Home > Dogs > 10 Incredible Doberman Facts: Origin, Appearance & More

10 Incredible Doberman Facts: Origin, Appearance & More

black and tan female doberman pinscher dog standing on the bench

The Doberman Pinscher has a bit of an unfair rep as being aggressive, but in reality, the breed is loyal, intelligent, and courageous. Originating in Germany as working dogs, this breed is famous for working with the military and police. But over time, the breed has also become a popular pet.

Even if you are a Doberman parent, there’s more to this breed than you may know, though! The Doberman Pinscher has accomplished a lot since its inception—from starring in movies to performing heroic deeds.

Ready to learn more incredible facts about the Doberman?


Top 10 Facts About Dobermans

Keep reading to learn 10 facts about Dobermans! These fascinating facts will help you understand Dobermans better (and impress your friends and family on your next trivia night).

1. Dobermans were created in the 1890s

This dog breed first appeared in Germany circa the 1890s. This makes them a relatively newer breed of dog (as opposed to the several dog breeds that have been around since ancient times), as Dobermans are only about 150 years old. The Doberman was initially created as a protector and still fills that role today, making it an excellent choice for working with the military and police and guarding your home.

2. The breed was created by a tax collector

The man who created the Doberman—Karl Friedrich Louis Doberman—was a tax collector (among other things; he also worked occasionally as a dog catcher at the pound). Since he often carried large amounts of money around and wasn’t always popular with locals due to his job, he decided he needed some protection.

So, with his job at the pound, he was able to learn which dog breeds were most protective. However, he wasn’t impressed with what he saw, and thus, the Doberman was born.

Doberman Pinscher Sitting
Image by: 1790316, Pixabay

3. The Doberman is a mixed breed

As we said, Karl Doberman wasn’t impressed with the dogs at the pound. He was looking for a dog that would be stronger and more protective than those currently available. So, he took the dogs from the pound and began crossbreeding to create the perfect dog to meet his needs, making the Doberman a mixed breed.

But no one is quite sure what breeds make up the Doberman. There are guesses, though, that include the black and tan terrier, Manchester Terrier, Greyhound, Weimaraner, Great Dane, Rottweiler, Beauceron, and German Shorthaired Pointer.

4. The Doberman’s ears and tail are cropped and docked for a reason

If you’re unfamiliar with the term “docking”, it’s when part of a dog’s tail is surgically removed (and cropping is when the same is done for the ears). Because the Doberman was designed as a guard dog, it needed to be ready to fight at a moment’s notice. So, some people began removing weak spots on the tails and ears—areas that could be easily torn or pulled on in a fight.

Today’s Dobermans don’t require docking for that reason, but some owners do still engage in the practice for other reasons. Because the breed’s tail is quite thin, it’s easier for breakage to occur, and ears that are too floppy can result in ear infections. However, many see this procedure as cruel and not necessary; it’s even been banned in some countries.

Doberman sitting on flowers
Image by: Yama Zsuzsanna Márkus, Pixabay

5. Dobermans are incredibly intelligent

It’s no surprise that the Doberman breed would be intelligent. After all, they’re working dogs that operate in several fields, including the military. These pups need to be smart to get the job done! But did you know that they’re the 5th most intelligent dog breed as determined by Stanley Coren’s dog intelligence test? That means Dobermans can learn commands with five repetitions or less and obey those commands at least 95% of the time. Pretty impressive!

6. This is a breed that can do it all

We’ve already mentioned that Dobermans often work with the military or police, but honestly, there’s no job too difficult for these pups. Due to the breed’s intelligence and athleticism, this breed is also used in diving, search and rescue, tracking scents, therapy, coursing, and as guide dogs for the blind. The breed is up for the job of cuddly lap dog, too, in case you were wondering!

doberman pincher exercise
Image by: DragoNika, Shutterstock

7. Dobermans were the stars of a 1970s movie

Yep, Dobermans are so talented, they’ve even been movie stars! In fact, a 1972 movie titled “The Doberman Gang” starred six of these dogs. The movie was an extremely campy bank robber movie, with the trailer using the line “six savage Dobies with a thirst for cold cash that leaves banks bone dry.” And all the Dobermans were named after famous bank robbers. It sounds kind of silly, but there were two sequels and even talks of a remake in 2010!

8. Doberman drill teams used to be a thing

You’ve heard of drill teams before, but have you ever heard of Doberman drill teams? Believe it or not, these were quite popular for a while! One of the first Doberman drill teams was started by Tess Henseler and performed at the 1959 Westminster KC dog show. This team also appeared at sporting events and celebrations throughout the years. Later on, Rosalie Alvarez created her own Doberman drill team that was popular enough to tour for 30 years!

black and tan female doberman pinscher dog standing on the bench
Image by: Michsa, Shutterstock

9. A Doberman was responsible for saving lives in WWII

Dogs were used in WWII to aid soldiers, and the first canine casualty of that war was a dog named Kurt the Doberman. During the 1944 Battle of Guam, he went before the soldiers to warn them of soldiers from the other side approaching. Unfortunately, a grenade killed Kurt, but his heroism saved approximately 250 soldiers. Kurt was buried in the United States Marine Corps War Dog Cemetery in Guam, and a memorial of him was put up in that cemetery.

10. There are different show standards in Europe for Dobermans

If you have show Dobermans and decide you want to place yours in a European competition, you should be aware that Europe has different standards for the breed than America does. One example is that Dobermans in the States are allowed to have white spots on the chest, as long as they are within a certain size. However, in Europe, the breed isn’t allowed any white spots anywhere. So be sure to check out those standards before deciding to join any competitions!

red and rust doberman pinscher dog in the mountain
Image by: rayemond, Pixabay



As you can see, the Doberman breed is incredibly fascinating. These dogs have done everything from protecting tax collectors to starring in heist movies! The Doberman is also incredibly intelligent and suited for a variety of jobs—including a beloved pet.

If you’ve been considering adopting a Doberman, don’t let its unfair rep change your mind. There’s more to this dog breed than meets the eye!

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Michsa, Shutterstock

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