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The History of the Dobermann Breed

Graf Belling von GrönlandIt was only about 100 years ago, that the story of our breed began. A night-watchman and dog catcher by the name of Luis Dobermann (1/2/1834 - 6/9/1894) felt he needed a brave canine companion, to accompany him on his rounds. He desired a dog of medium size, that was sleek and agile, yet powerful and courageous, with a high devotion to its master. He searched, but did not find a breed to suit his needs. So he set out to create what he was looking for, by crossbreeding several different breeds, that each had some of the traits he was looking for. The picture above, is of Graf Belling vom Grönland, the first Dobermann to be registered in the National Dobermann Stud Book. He was born June 13th, 1898 and still shows the influence of several breeds being used to create the Dobermann.

No precise early breeding records were kept, but many studies of the Dobermann's background conclude, that the following breeds may have been involved:

  1. Rottweiler
    The early version of this breed was probably used for its strength, courage and hardness.

  2. Black & Tan Terrier
    Now known as the Manchester Terrier and German Pinscher, this breed was probably used for its agility and high prey drive.

  3. Weimaraner
    and other hunting dogs may have been used for their endurance and superior instincts.

  4. Greyhound
    May have been used for their elegance, style and speed.

Mr. Dobermann and friends

Here you see the only known photograph of Mr. Dobermann (on the left) with some dog friends and some unknown mongrel dogs.

By 1899, Dobermann enthusiasts had formed the first Dobermann breed club, which later became the DV (Dobermann Verein = Dobermann Club). This club developed the first official breed standard, which aims to clarify to breeders and fanciers how the correctly bred Dobermann should look and act.

The Dobermann's own style developed very quickly and by the early 1930's, their look and character had already been molded into what we know of today.

Click here to see the official FCI Dobermann Standard.

Find out about today's developments of the Dobermann.

Danika's Library

Our newest addition is a soon-to-grow library of articles related to our wonderful breed!

The Dobermann
Research Center

Here is where you'll find pictures and information about many of the wonderful dogs in the history of the United Dobermann Club and
the world.

Doberlist
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Picture Gallery

See pictures of our dogs and read their stories...!

Danika Dobermanns ~ Britt Coffman
Quality Working Lines
Bakersfield, CA 93312 ~ britt@danika.com