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The Dobermann Pinscher

Omar Chowdhury
1 April, 2005

Many persons nowadays feel that their homes are not fully secured against intruders who might turn out to be burglars. This is evident in mist parts of the world, and now even in Bangladesh. I have found persons who have become extremely desirous of possessing a protective dog for their houses, and in some cases, offices and factories.
Two such breeds of dog are very popular : the Alsatian (German Shepherd) and the Dobermann Pinscher. It is with the latter that I am here concerned. In Germany, this breed is extremely popular, and at dog shows it occupies, in numbers, very often the third place, after the Alsatian and the Dachshund, which it sometimes beats.
The Dobermann has become synonymous with extraordinary intelligence, vigilance and ferocity. In fact it is always depicted as a killer dog in novels and cinema and television films.
The ‘type’ of the Dobermann Pinscher is now very definitely fixed, and one wishes that its history was more generally known. As a matter of fact, opinions greatly differ as to how the Dobermann of today came into being. What we do know is that the birthplace of this breed is the town of Apolda, Thuringia, in Germany, and that it was Herr Dobermann who was the ‘father’ of these dogs. In the process of developing this hound, he had the help of two friends one a grave-digger, and the other a church bell ringer! The purpose of these three ‘producers’ was to evolve an agile, fearless dog, hardy and suitable for both tracking and attack and also suitable as a domestic ‘pet’. The first ‘evolved’ dog was very disappointing, and although Herr Dobermann found it to be ferocious in the extreme, this was not enough. But the dogs sold like the proverbial ‘hot cakes’, at very reasonable prices. Very soon, all competition seemed to be at an end.
And so it came about that the breed ‘produced’ was known as Herr Dobermann’s creation, the name ‘Pinscher’ having been added later. At the end of the nineteenth century, when Herr Dobermann and his two ‘assistants’ were dead and buried, the breed was fairly well established, ideal for protective uses. Then there stepped in that famous breeder of Pinschers Herr Otto Goeller, also of Apolda, who was instrumental in adding Pinscher to the Dobermann.
It has been proved that in the various stages of evolution, from the first experimental animal of Herr Dobermann, to the present-day dog, other breeds have played a significant part, namely the Manchester Terrier, the greyhounds, and the Blue Great Dane. Last, but not least, it is said that more than one German gun-dog also participated in the ‘evolution, of the Dobermann Pinscher, but no one can elaborate on this.
I have four Dobermanns, with drooping, and not erect ears since I have not had them clipped. The blue Dobermann is a very rare specimen. My bitch Anna, in three litters, produced two blues in each. Of those six puppies, not one survived for more than 2 or 3 months, in spite of the utmost care, and the interest and attention of the local vets. They did not display any signs of physical weakness, they just suddenly, one by one, quietly died. Ti was heart breaking. We were all mystified. No cogent reason could be found. Had they survived, and grown into adult dogs, they would really have been magnificent. The colour was a sapphire Blue.
The Dobermann is a splendid creature. He is playing a very important role in the spheres of security and defence. Properly trained, he is of immense value to those capable of appreciating his real worth. He can only be considered a menace to those unable to take heed of warnings and look after themselves. It is a great pity that Herr Dobermann of Apolda is almost forgotten. But such apparently is the fate of all pioneers.

19 July, 1991.

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