In the village of Apolda, in the state of Thuringen, in the southern part of Germany lived Louis Dobermann (1823 - 1894).
Louis Dobermann was employed as a "tax collector" ,a "dog catcher", a "night watchman" and as a supervisor for local slaughter houses.
As a night watchman, Herr Dobermann found his need for a suitable dog to accompany him on his rounds. It is also not beyond imagining a protection dog would be desirable while working as a tax collector carrying large amounts of money.
NOTE: Old records tell of a "dog market" that had been held in Thuringen since 1863.
It's purpose was to improve the strains and to educate owners as to the advantages of pure breed dogs.
The dogs were divided into various classes (perhaps one of the first dogs shows), and we are told "all of the twelve guard dogs were rubbish except a Pinscher"
Herr Dobermann also had a great interest in breeding dogs and was certainly exposed, through his various occupations and by attending the "dog market," to a variety of dogs, that enabled him, along with his two friends, Herr Rebel and Herr Stegmann to produce within a few generations dogs that quickly became renowned as a fearless protection dog. These dogs could also be used as a gun-dog, for eradicating vermin, and for herding sheep. They were said to be very intelligent, to have great stamina, and were highly trainable.
The exact genesis of the Dobermann is not known, but listed below are suggestions that appear to make up the ancestry of the Dobermann:
Rottweiler - The early Doberman was coarse, heavy headed, short-legged - steady and self-reliant.
The Old German Pinscher (now extinct) - Black and tan, smooth coat, and energetic.
The Older Black and Tan German Shepherd - Giving the early Doberman a heavy grey undercoat.
Sporting Dogs - Used to lengthen the head - attentive, loving, territorial.
Weimaraner - Points, retrieves, good nose for tracking. Possible introduction of the gene for producing the blue Doberman.
Blue Dane - Ferocious - used for boar hunting.
Manchester Terrier - Authenticated crosses in 1890's.The Manchester was used to improve the coat, head type, eye color, and rust markings. This cross was used again six years later.
English Greyhound - A black English Greyhound with white chest markings was used sometime between 1900 - 1908.
Speed and refinement.
The first official records of the Dobermann appear in the stud books of the Dobermann pinscher Verein stud book of 1890 in Germany. The Dobermann is one of the few breeds that has been named after a person. There is also record of an heirloom photograph of Herr Dobermann, given for a prize at one of the dog shows, which indicates that Herr Dobermann was acknowledged as a respected breeder and his dogs were held in high regard. Otto Goeller who became very interested in the breed and used the kennel name of Thuringen is credited with further refining and stabilizing the breed.
In 1889 Herr Goeller established the first "Dobermann Pinscher Club" Herr Goeller, along with a fellow townsman Herr Gorswin who bred Dobermanns bearing the kennel name of Groenland, produced several of the most important Dobermanns in the breed's history. These dogs can be found in the ancestry of the modern Dobermann.
During World War II the U.S. Marines used Dobermanns when they went ashore to flush out the enemy. This earned Dobermanns the nickname, Devil Dog, and many people today are still intimidated by the breed. It was after World war II that the breed became known in England, with "The Dobermann Club" forming in 1948, primarily at the instigation of the Curnows a couple dedicated to
establishing the Dobermann in England.
The Curnows, using the kennel name of Tavey, started with European stock but later decided the American Dobies were more elegant and larger and started their breeding programme again.
The breed varies in style throughout the world (English, American & European type) with slightly different standards and different interpretations of the breed. Our aim is to breed as near to the " UK Kennel Club" breed standard as possible.