As intelligent, obedient, energetic, and watchful dogs, Doberman Pinschers are often used as service dogs, particularly in law enforcement. However, their strength and endurance means that nonworking dogs need physical and mental stimulation from their families. Fortunately they are eager to learn, especially with reward-based training. They also may enjoy many activities, including agility, tracking, flyball, freestyle Frisbee, and obedience. These activities also help them bond with their families.
The Doberman Pinscher was developed in nineteenth-century Germany by Frederick Louis Doberman, who was a tax collector as well as being the local dog catcher. He wanted a strong breed that would help him with his work. He had easy access to numerous breeds of dogs—many of which do not exist today—and the breed he developed became known as the Doberman Pinscher. The breed combines the color, shape and strength of the Rottweiler and Great Dane, the agility and determination of the German Pinscher, the speed of the Greyhound, the tenacity of various Terriers and the sleek coat and figure of the Manchester Terrier. It is said that Schnauzers, German Shepherds, German Shorthaired Pointers and Weimaraners were also added to the mix. The breed came to the United States in the early twentieth century, and The Doberman Pincher Club of America was founded in the early 1900's. While the Doberman has the tendency to have a reputation as a guard dog, the breed is also widely used for guide work and therapy. The first Doberman Pinschers were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1908.