DOBERMAN PINSCHER APPEARANCE:
A female Dobermann's shoulder height is about 24 inches (61 cm) and weight is about 75 to 80 pounds (34 to 36 kg), whereas the male stands about 26 or 27 inches (66 to 68 cm) at the shoulder and weighs around 90 pounds (41 kg).
Dobermanns typically have a very deep, broad chest, a thick but fit body, and a generally muscular build. However, in recent years some breeders have primarily bred, shown, and sold a much slimmer or slender-looking Dobermann (as seen in the picture). This has become a popular body type among many buyers, especially those who want to show their Dobies competitively. The traditional body type is still more desireable to many casual owners and to those who want the dog for security reasons.
Dobermanns were first bred in Germany around 1890 by Louis Dobermann. He was a tax collector who needed a protection dog to guard him, so he set out to breed a new type of dog that, in his opinion, would be the perfect combination of strength, loyalty, intelligence, and fierceness. Later, Otto Goeller and Philip Gruening continued to develop the breed.
The breed is believed to have been created from several different breeds of dogs that had the characteristics that Dobermann was looking for, including the Pinscher, the Rottweiler, the Thuringian Shepherd Dog, the black Greyhound, the Great Dane, the Weimaraner, the German Shorthaired Pointer, and the German Shepherd Dog. The exact ratios of mixing, and even the exact breeds that were used, remains uncertain to this day, although many experts believe that the Dobermann is a combination of at least four of these breeds. The single exception is the documented cross with the Greyhound. It is also widely believed that the German Shepherd gene pool was the single largest contributor to the Dobermann breed.
An average, healthy Dobermann is expected to live around 12 years, with a majority of Dobermanns dying between age 11 and 13. Common health problems are dialated cardiomyopathy, von Willebrands disease (a bleeding disorder that can be tested for genetically), hypothyroidism, cancer, and in the blues and fawns, alopecia.
Because of the Dobermann's typical use as a guard dog, and its often stereotyped role as such in movies, many people are afraid of Dobermanns. However, Dobermanns are in general a loving and intelligent breed. Although there is variation in temperament, an average Dobermann rarely attacks people, and only when it feels that it, its property, or its family are in danger.