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Our Breed

The Dobermann


Origin and History...
And in my dream I saw my dog.......

The Dobermann, as we know the breed today, is of comparatively modern origin. It is also one of the few breeds of dog, which have taken their name after the man who first originated the breed, Mr. Friedrich Louis Dobermann. The breed however, did not receive this name until five years after Mr. Dobermann died in 1894. This was done by Mr. Otto Göller who is considered today as the main architect and sponsor of the breed. He founded the "Dobermann Pinscher Club Apolda" in 1899; it later became the "National Dobermann Pinscher Club of Germany".

Unfortunately there are only few biographical and written details about Friedrich Dobermann and his breeding programs (if he had any). Many things are written about him, but little is based on fact, and some of it quite contradictory. Friedrich Dobermann was a real countryman who was extremely fond of dogs, and he was particularly interested in breeding. He was born on the 2nd January 1834 in a small town called Apolda, which is situated in the southern central part of Germany. 

In those early days communications were bad, and the local inhabitants of the area made their own hobbies and pleasures. One of the interests of these country people was dogs and dog breeding, and Friedrich Dobermann was undoubtedly the leading light. Friedrich Dobermann held a number of jobs, which included being the municipal skinner, the local dogcatcher, and the official tax collector. He was also the administrator of the "Chamber of Accounts", and at night he seems to have been police officer and possibly at one time a night watchman. Many of these jobs were extremely suitable for his pastime of dog breeding. As a skinner in the local slaughterhouse he could obtain cheap food for his dogs, and as the local dogcatcher he could probably acquire dogs that were suitable for his breeding purposes. For his night watchman and police work he obviously required a good dog with courage, hardness and a highly developed protective instinct to accompany him on his rounds. The first female dogs that Friedrich Dobermann used for breeding was called "Bissart" (black with tan markings, grey undercoat) and "Schnuppe" (grey), meaning "'Snuffler", a common name for many dogs in the area. You can see the name "Schnuppe" many times in the bloodlines of the first Dobermann pedigree's from Germany. In the picture below you can see a mongrel male of unknown background, at the feet of Friedrich Dobermann on the left. He never bred from this dog, as he had him castrated before he was a year old. Probably to make him easier to handle!

For some years it was impossible for Friedrich Dobermann to breed dogs himself, as until 1874 he lived in a small apartment. In 1880 be was able to move to a larger apartment in "Faulbornstrasse", but there was still not sufficient room for dog breeding other than perhaps an odd litter. Finally Friedrich Dobermann was able to buy himself a house and it was here that he eventually started his serious dog breeding. The people of Apolda were obviously dog lovers and many of the inhabitants were keen dog breeders, and since the year 1860 it was a regular dog market there, which was held annually. The object of this dog market, besides the buying and selling of dogs, was also to promote dog breeding. In this yearly show the dogs were all classified. There were hounds, butcher's dogs, guard dogs and little luxury dogs, and many others. The market was so big that there were generally at least one hundred dogs exhibited. Friedrich Dobermann was a regular visitor to this dog market, as it was here that be could view all the types of local dogs. He was thus able to choose the dogs with the physique and character, which particularly interested him. Friedrich Dobermann therefore had the opportunity, not only as the local dogcatcher, to buy in suitable dogs to form the type of dog that be particularly wanted. This was apparently a large terrier type dog, which would be utterly fearless, highly intelligent, and a first class guard dog.

Luckily for Friedrich Dobermann, he bad in the same town two enthusiastic friends who helped and co-operated with the breeding of his dogs. One was the gravedigger and the other was the church bell-ringer. One of his helpers, Mr. Rebel, was also a night watchman and he seems to have collaborated with the local shepherd, Mr. Stegmann, who owned some particularly large, strong and useful dogs, which he used for herding his cattle, and which he also took with him on his frequent visits to Switzerland, where he went to buy in new cattle. The route by which be traveled was by small, narrow roads and these were frequently dangerous not only from the elements but also from robbers. To make quite certain that his money was safe Mr. Stegmann used to tie it to the collars of his dogs, because the robbers were less likely to attack the dogs than him. After a period of years the three men became renowned, with Friedrich Dobermann as their leader, for the fierce guard dogs, which they bred. These dogs were in great demand and were sold as fast as they could breed them, fetching for those days a very good price, and their litters were large.

By the end of the nineteenth century, some years after Friedrich Dobermann and his two friends were dead, Mr. Otto Göller, also of Apolda, started to take a keen interest in the breed, which was by then already established, and it is really he who took over the rough breed and commenced to improve it enormously. Otto Göller was quick to realize the use of the excellent brain and exceptional intelligence of the breed, its alertness and its excellent qualities as a guard dog. But he realized at the same time that the dog, as it was, was too fierce and vicious, and he therefore set about taming the breed, in order to make it generally more amenable and useful. He was clever enough to be able to retain its superb guard dog characteristics. Below you can see the two first pedigrees Dobermann's, "Graf Belling Von Grönland & Gerhilde Von Thüringen", Born in 1898 and owned by Otto Göller.

Otto Göller bred Dobermann's under the Kennel name "Von Thüringen". The most famous Dobermann from him is "Hellegraf Von Thüringen", born in 1904. Another Dobermann breeder who was there from the start was Goswin Tischler, the owner of the well known "Von Grönland" kennel. His famous litter of 1898 and their bloodlines can be found throughout the world, even in America. Otto Göller was convinced that the "German Shepherd", the "Shorthaired Gun Dog", the "Great Dane", and the "German Pinscher" played the most important part in the formation of the breed. Other old breeders and specialists are suggesting that the following dogs also has played a role in the making of the Dobermann: "Butcher's Dog", "Sheep Dog", "Rottweiler", "Weimaraner", "Beauceron", "Manchester Terrier", and the "Greyhound". 

The Dobermann excelled as a utility and protection dog. In both Wold Wars, the brred won the admiraiton and respect of everyone who were in contact with them, friend and foe alike. The Dobermann is also the official war dog of the US Marines. There is a special dobermann cemetary in Guam, honouring the breed's fallen in war.

'Always Faithful' - the Dobermann War Dog Memorial

The breed gained popularity around the world, very quickly, in both family homes, the military and police, as well as garnering major wins in the showring even in USA. Rancho's Dobe Storm in fact, won the Westminster Dog Show two years in a row! In 1989, CH. Royal Tudor's Wild as The Wind, an outstanding red female, won Westminster. What was remarkable is that she almost died a few days earlier from bloat, and was fighting for her life. Not wanting to let her handler and owners down, she made a remarkable recovery, and won one of the world's most important dog show.

But the development and evolution of the American Dobermann was influenced by demands of the showring. In the 50 years since, the Dobermann there has been shaped by selective breeding to a somewhat different dog from his European cousins, in both conformaiton and character, and working abilities. It has become very exxagerated in comformation - too long neck, snipey muzzles with no bite, poor head structures, weak fronts and rears, too narrow and over angulated. In sum, not a dobermann meant for its work or purpose, but more an as an object of beauty for the ring.

Luckily, in Europe, the breed prospered and evolved, thanks to the dedication and hard work of good breeders. The dobermann is carefully bred [in most cases] after much health and character testings. Such character tests such as the German ZTP are very demanding, as well as various health and genetic tests, This is the manner a good breeder ensures careful breeding and the improvement of the Dobermann breed.

The Dutch kennels were very influential from the 1970s. Kennels like Frankenhorst, Neerlands Stamm and so forth ar enow legendary in their contribution to the breed's development and improvement. In fact, one male, Hertog Alfa Le Dobry, is responsible for changing the entire breed in the 1980s. He raised the level of the breed, and gave it an excellent temperament, expression and structure.[]

In the modern era, Italy has emerged as a force in the bDobermann breed. Very influentila and beautiful dogs such as Tequila Mali, Gino Gomez [both bred by top judge P. Pezzano of Citone Kennel] Gamon Campovalano, Ardens Gaugin, Rio Nitro Blanco and numerous others were the products of careful breeding in Italian kennels. Indeed, the Italian Dobermann has a certain charisma and beauty, as well as the substance and character required of the breed. Its like a Ferrari!

The former Yugoslavia and Russia are also major Dobermann breeding centres of the world. Indeed, these breeders have produced remakable examples of the breed, with good size, bone, heads and overall structure and character. Their dogs are now exporeted to all parts of the world, and have revived the breed's popularity and quality.

In Asia, Japan stood out as a major player in the breed in this part of the world. They imported many top quality dogs from Europe and USA, and improved the breed tremendously there. In fact, one of their exports to Europe-  Olive of Bmaby's Pride, became a major force in the breed. Indonesia is also very fast developing a name for itself in the breed. Mnay top dogs have been imported to that country since the 1980s, such as those from Frankenhorst, Sant Kreal, Tahi Reme, Altobello, and much more. These dogs then formed the basis of the modern Indonesian Dobermann, which is of a very high standard, and comparable to much of Europe. Indeed, most International judges who come to Indonesia marvel at the quality present, and are certain some of the finer ones can compete easily in Europe.

Thus, The Dobermann have survived two World Wars and has come a long way from Mr Dobermann's dream. But also due to different government politics over the last 100 years, all sorts of restrictions, rules and laws all over the world, the breed has changed popularity dramatically in many countries in the last decade. The main reason is of course the ban of cropping and docking and the lost possibility to obtaining work certificates for protection work and training.

This is what we hope will change in the near future, when the breed has a resurgence in popularity and understanding. This breed, more than any other, has suffered from a huge misrepresentation by the media and subsequent misunderstanding by the public. The Dobermann is a very family oriented dog, a first class companion and protector, a sound and healthy dog free of major defects and hereditary problems [unlike many breeds], possesses a very kind heart, playful, loyal and always just wants to be your friend. He is also very beautiful, sleek, athletic and able to work at the higest levels demanded.

We hope and pray that this wonderful breed will not be subject to further restrictions and politics. We hope that this breed will always remain the dog envisioned by Herr Dobermann and Otto Goller. We hope that breeders everywhere will work hard, make sacrifices, with love and dedication, to constantly ensure the quality and ability and beauty of this most noble of breeds. And we also hope and aim to preserve the Dobermann as we know it today, the total dog.

The dobie...
The Dobermann has a bold character, showing courage and determination, and yet is neither aggressive nor fierce. They are alert and intelligent showing loyalty and obedience to their family. Although they are very affectionate, at times they like a bit of independence. They are good with children, but, as with all animals, children must be taught to respect them. They are a natural guard dog and will protect the home and family at all costs.

The original requirements of the breed must be considered when assessing the temperament of the Dobermann. Unlike other types of working dogs, eg., sheep dogs, gun dogs, cattle dogs or hunting dogs, the Dobermann originally was bred purely for personal and property protection, ie., guard dog. The Dobermann character should never be sacrificed for the sake of physical perfection. This is why we prefer the European type over the American Dobermann Pinscher.

Dobermanns are also very affectionate, loving and intensely loyal to their family and friends. No doubt, this is the only breed specifically bred and created to be a human companion and protector, and the breed today lives up to its reputation.
They are often called 'velcro dogs' because they simply attach themselves to you! They will follow you everywhere, enjoy whatever you do, and basically, just want to be your friend! They have kind hearts and to look into a dobie's eyes, is to look into his honest  and loving soul.

They tend to be quite active in the home, being into everything, and love to play with their toys and having interactive play with the family.

Early socialisation is a must with this bold dog, in order to teach them to behave well around other dogs and animals. As with many breeds, they can at times be stubborn and dominant during their "teenage", usually at about 9 to 18 months of age.

A Dobermann is often playful and acts like a clown with his family. In fact, most Dobies dont age - they are still puppylike in their affection and play, even in senior years!

In general they are a healthy breed, and have a lifespan of about 10 years. Some problems which have been known to occur are thyroid, Von Willebrand's disease, wobbler syndrome. Our breeders normally test breeding stock for thyroid problems and Von Willebrand's disease.

Dobermanns are a clean breed and a brush about twice a week is all that is needed to keep their coat in good condition. A rubber brush is probably the best tool to remove loose hair. They moult seasonally, but only a reasonably small amount of hair loss occurs. Hairs are easily cleaned up by hoovering the carpet and washing chair covers. Their nails perhaps need clipping every 7 to 10 days.

The adult Dobermann requires at least 2 miles of walking a day, which can be split into two walks, one in the morning and one in the evening. Whilst a puppy, care must be given when exercising as too much can cause problems with bone growth. Free running should be restricted, walking mainly on an extending lead until about 4 months of age. Sprinting, swimming, running up slopes and other sort of physical activites are beneficial to maintaining the dobie in top condition.


The Dobermann deserves and need s ahigh quality diet. Use only top grade dry feed, such as Back to Basics or other premium brands. You can supplement it with fish, mutton, cheese, yogurt, olive oil, goat milk, meaty bones, etc. Take car ein feeding him the right amounts, and adjust it according to his activity levels and dietary requirements.

Being very intelligent, Dobermanns tend to learn very quickly. Being food orientated the best way to train them is by using tit-bits and lots of praise. They tend to be very obedient and willing to please. It is best to train using rewards and praise, and to be firm and fair. He needs good handling and training to bring out his best. We also recommend using the e-collar for training. Please contact us for further details and a home demo for you.

Overall, the Dobermanns has many many desirable traits and characteristics for a dog. He has the best of all worlds, and no major defects or faults.

The Dobermann is considered the Total Dog. Combining beauty and brains, grace and agility, good looks and working abilites.


Tequila Mali Del Citone, arguably the most beautiful Dobermann of the modern era

Baron Nke Renewal, Intl. IDC .World Champion. He is in our Dobermann's pedigrees.

International Champion, Prinz Norden Stamm, one of more influential Dobermanns of the world

V V Frankenhosrts - a very important female for the breed

The Great One! - Graf Quirinius Von Neerlands Stamm

The Super Russian! , Tamerlan Iz Slavnoi Stai.

World, Multi Champ, Gino Gomez Del Citone. The most important male of the last decade

Come As You Are ALABAMA



The Dobermann Standard

FCI n.143 1994-02-19
FCI Classification: Group 2 - Pinchers , Schnauzers,
Molossian type, Swiss Mountain and Cattle dogs

General Appearance
The Dobermann is a medium sized, powerful and muscularly built dog. Thanks to the elegant lines of its body and its proud expression of determination, this dog conforms to the ideal figure of a dog.

The body of a Dobermann can fit in an imaginary square particularly in the male case. The length of the body, measured from the shoulder to the buttock, should not be more than 5% longer than the height in males and not more than 10% longer in females. (The height is measured from the withers to the ground.)

Temper and Behavior

The character of the Dobermann is friendly and peaceful. It is devoted to the family and is caring toward children. In dobermann we look for a medium temperament, a medium aggressiveness and a fair tolerance before reaction. The Dobermann is easily trainable and enjoys the work and has good working ability thanks to its decisiveness, braveness and strong temperament. Its self-confidence and its intrepidness are also required considering that this breed is very alert toward its surroundings and reactive toward all kind of events.


Cranial Region
The skull is strong and in proportion with the rest of the body. Viewed from the top the head resembles a blunt wedge. Viewed from the front the occiput's transversal line is leveled and does not curve toward the ears. The muzzle line extends almost straight to the top line of the skull and then gently round toward the nape. The superciliary ridge is well developed without protruding. The skull 's median sulcus is still visible. The occipital apophysis should not be too prominent. From a top and a frontal view the lateral side of the skull should not be bulging.The slight bulge formed between the zygomatich arch and the masseter region ( cheek bone) should be in harmony with the total length of the head. The head's muscles must be strongly developed.

Frontal nasal descent (Stop)
The frontal nasal descent (stop) is slightly developed but clearly visible.

Nostril region (Planum)
The planum is large and well developed but not protruding and the nostrils are well opened. The color is black, on black dogs, and allowed in a lighter shade for brown dogs so that it is suited with their coat.

The muzzle is strongly developed and proportionated with the head. The muzzle shall be high and wide also in the upper and lower incisor area. The labial opening should reach the molars.

The lips are firm and tight to the jaw and they should ensure a perfect closure of the mouth. The gum pigment is dark in black dogs and of a lighter shade in browns.

Jaws, Dentition, Teeth
Upper and lower jaws are powerful and wide with a scissor bite. Full dentition required with 42 teeth correctly placed and normally developed.

Medium size, oval, with a dark color iris. In browns dogs the color is allowed of a lighter shade. The eyelid is well tied to the eye bulb. The palpebral fissure is bordered with eyelashes.

The ear is highly set to the skull and carried erect. The crop is done in proportion with the head length. In those countries, where cropping is forbidden, the intact ear is equally accepted and has the same value in a show contest. An intact ear shall be of a medium size with the front edge lying flat to the cheek.


The neck is of a good length proportioned with the head and the rest of the body. It is muscular, the skin is relatively tight and firm and the superior outline gently curved. The posture is erect as a sign of noble distinction.


Well pronounced especially in males. The height and length are determinant for the dorsal top line that is lightly ascending starting from the croup.

Back (dorsal region)
The back is firm, strong and of proportionate length covered with well developed muscles.

Of good length and well covered with muscles. In the females the loins can be a little longer to allow room for the breast.

A hardly perceptible inclination, starting from the sacrum to the tail root. The croup appears well rounded with a good width and covered with strong muscles. From a top line view it should not be either perfectly straight or noticeably inclined.

Chest and Thorax
The height and the depth of the thorax must be well proportionated to the withers' height and to the length of the body. The ribs are lightly curved so that the thorax height is almost equal to half of the withers' height. The chest is of a good width with an especially developed fore chest.

Starting from the sternum's posterior edge and arriving to the pelvis the ventral line of the abdomen is well tacked in.

The tail is highly set and docked short so that 2 caudal vertebrae are still visible. In those countries wheredocking is illegal the tail may remain intact.

From every side of view the front legs appear strongly developed, almost straight and vertical to the ground.

The shoulder lies tight to the thorax. The scapula is covered with stung muscles from both sides of its spine and reach over the spinus process of the thoracic vertebras. The shoulder blade iswell set back and has an approximately 50 degree angle to the horizontal line.

Upper Arm
The upper arm is of a good length and well muscled. The angle between the scapula and the humerus is of 105/110 degrees.

The elbows are well tied to the thorax and not turning out.

Lower Arm
The lower arm is strong, straight and covered with muscles. Its length is in proportion with the rest of the body.

Carpal Region
The carpal joint is strong and firm.

Metacarpal Region
With a solid bone structure that follow the lower arm's vertical line. From the frontal view the metacarpus appear straight, from a side view it shows a flexion of a 10 degree maximum.

Front Foot
The front feet are short. The toes are tied together and arched toward the top (cat paw). The nails are short and black.

As a whole, seen from behind, the Dobermann looks wide and rounded thanks to the strong musculature of the pelvis and the croup. The muscles that leave from the pelvis running down the thigh and those that reach the knee and the lower thigh, give a substantial width to the whole hindlimb that appear to be very powerful. The hindlimbs are strong parallel and perpendicular to the ground.

The thighs are of a good length, wide and well covered with muscles. The coxale (pelvis bone) must have a good inclination. The thigh rest at approximately 80 degrees from the horizontal line.

The femur, the tibia and the patella form the robust articulation of the knee, which has angulations of approximately 130 degrees.

Lower Thigh
The lower thigh is of a medium length in proportion with the whole hindlimb length.

They are moderately robust and parallel. The tibia and the metatarsal form an angle of approximately 140 degrees.

The metatarsal is short and perpendicular to the ground

Hind foot
Like the front foot, the hind feet are short with the toes tighted together and arched to the top. Nails short and black.

The gait is very important for the type of work that the dog is destined to do as well as for the morphological evaluation. The movement is elastic, elegant, agile, free and covers ground easily. The front limbs bounce forward while the hindlimbs give the necessary push to make a vigorous step. While trotting, one of the front limbs goes forward simultaneously with one of the hindlimbs from the opposite side. During the movement, the back the ligament and the joints, are firm.
The skin is well pigmented and adhered everywhere.

Hair Texture
The hair is short, hard, thick, smooth, shiny, tight and uniformly distributed over the whole body. Undercoat is not allowed.

Hair Color
The colors are black or brown with rust red markings. The markings are clean and well delineated. The markings are on the muzzle, as spots on the cheeks and above the eyebrows, on the throat, as 2 spots on the forechest, all around the metacarpals and the metatarsals, the feet, on the inside of the thighs and over the perineal region and the ischiatic tuber region.

Size and Weight

Males 68-72 cm (26,77- 28,35 inches)
Females 63-68 cm (24,80- 26,77 inches)
For both sex a medium size is desirable

Males 40-45 Kg (85-95 lbs.)
Female 32-34 Kg (65-75 lbs.)


Any variation of the standard is considered a fault and during the judging would be penalized according to it seriousness.

General Appearance
Inability to distinguish secondary sexual dimorphism, not enough substance, too light, too heavy, high on the limbs or week bone.

Too wide, too narrow, too long, too much or too little stop. Bad slope of the skull's top line, Roman nose. Weak under jaw. Round eye or slant eye, light eye, bulging eye, deeply set eye. Cheek too prominent. Lips not tight enough or overlapping too much. Labial opening not meeting tightly. Ears set too low or too high.

A little short or too short. Too much skin on the neck, dew-lap, deer neck, too long and not in proportion with the rest of the body.

Back not solid and firm enough, sway back, arched back or sloping croup. Insufficent or too much spring of the ribs,insufficient or not well developed forechest, back too long overall, ventral underline too loose or too retracted. Tail set too low or too high (flag tail).

Too poor or too much angulation of the front and hind limbs. Elbows loose. Any of the bone or joint's position or length that is different from the standard, feet too close together or too wide apart, cow hocks, spread hocks, close hocks, open or flat foot, toes not well developed, pale nails.

Markings too light or not well delineated, smudged markings, mask too dark, charcoal spots on the limbs, markings too big or too small on the forechest, long, soft, curly or dull hair. Bold patches or with lighter hair color. Large tufts of hair especially on the body. Visible undercoat.

Behavior and Temperament
Absence of psychological equilibrium, too much or too weak temperament, too aggressive, inappropriate biting, vicious dog. Too low or too high tolerance before reaction.

Deviation of size up to 2 cm from the standard should result in a lower grading.

Wobbling, tripping, stiff movement, or pacing

Disqualifying Faults

Severe inversion of the sexual dimorphism.

Yellow eye (raptor eye), wall eye.

Prognathism (underbite), enognathism (overbite), level bite, missing teeth.

White spots, hair too long or too curly, extremely light coat or with large bold patches.

Scared, shy or timid dog, distrustful or vicious dog, nervous or too aggressive.

Sizes that deviate of more than 2 cm over or under the standard chart.

Males should have 2 normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.


Dedicated to Dobies everywhere!