History of the Breed

By Darlene Young
Darwin Dobermans

Photo by Liz Manning

There is so much history on the Doberman Pinscher contained in many excellent publications. I have chosen information and excerpts from The Complete Doberman Pinscher, Written by Noted Breed Authorities, Howell Book House Inc. (1969, 1953) for this summary of our breed.

To tell the Doberman story, we must start at the beginning of the breed in Germany, and with Herr Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a night watchman in the town of Apolda, who was accompanied on his rounds by his black and tan Pinscher.

Herr Dobermann was born on February 2, 1823, and while a young man worked as an official of the court of alderman. He was later given the position of dogcatcher and the administrator of the chamber of accounts of Niederrossia—Apolda, as well as a being an official of the tax office. He was also employed as the night police officer. For this, he selected a likely specimen from the dog pound to accompany him on his rounds.

He called the dog Schnupp but apparently did not consider him fit for breeding purposes: records show that Schnupp was neutered at nine months of age. He later acquired a female and named her Bisart. When she was in season and accompanied Herr Doberman on his rounds, no other protection was needed. Herr Doberman’s son, Louis Doberman, tells us that his father bred some very good puppies from Bisart.

After the death of Herr Dobermann, several promoters, who admired the character and temperament of the dog Doberman sponsored, endeavored to improve its appearance and establish a breed of dog that could be recognized in the national kennel club of Germany.

The breed of today can be traced back to the 1890s when the first animals entered in the DobermannPinscherverein stud book were whelped.

The following are excerpts from the article “Illena and the Seven Sires” written by the great lady of Dobermans, Mrs. Bob Adamson, to the owner of the great Dictator and included in the publication noted above.

“In the history of the American Doberman, eight dogs produced more than ten American champions each. There were, Ch. Westphalia’ Rameses, Ch. Dow’s Illena of Marienland, Ch. Favoriet von Franzhof, Ch. Westphalia’s Uranus, Ch. Emperor of Marienland, Ch. Domossi of Marienland, Ch. Alcor von Millsdod and Ch. Dictator von Glenhugel.

“The seven sires were responsible for an era in American Dobermans which was exciting and colorful as the dogs themselves. With their passing, passes an era. History will not soon see the time when seven males of such stature live contemporarily again.”

I highly recommend you acquire some of the old Doberman books and publications as I did when I first began this journey and read more on the history of this great breed.

Photos, unless otherwise noted, by DPCNC member Liz Manning