To quickly and efficiently introduce the breed, I have included excerpts from Wikipedia:
The Doberman Pinscher (alternatively spelled Dobermann in many countries) or simply Doberman, is a breed of domestic dog originally developed around 1890 by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann. Doberman Pinschers are among the most common of pet breeds, and the breed is well known as an intelligent, alert, and loyal companion dog. Although once commonly used as guard dogs or police dogs, this is less common today.
This brings me to a side note: A lot of people despise Wikipedia because they believe that it’s inaccurate in general and useless for research. While there certainly are grounds for this argument, if you use it correctly, Wikipedia can be a very useful research tool. It should never be regarded as an academic or scholastic source in and of itself, but when used as preliminary research, it is easy to find quality sources that have been used by the articles editor, and often there is information that is not necessarily from a good source, but is correct nonetheless. It just takes a little extra digging that is often more efficient than searching for a higher quality source to begin with.
This information for the most part is entirely accurate, with the one exception of the last sentence “Although once commonly used as guard dogs or police dogs, this is less common today.” I have yet to find any source that qualifies this statement, and assume that the breed is still heavily used for protection purposes. Just google “top ten guard dogs” or “most popular guard dogs” to get a general guage of whether the Doberman is still considered a guard dog — the general consensus seems to be that not only are they still ranked high as a guard dog, but are typically in the top three positions on these lists. It’s no a Harvard Review statistics, but still gives some general insight into the matter.
The Doberman’s history is a muddled cloud of interesting but cloudy information. Some historians say the breed was developed by a tax collector, others say he was a doctor — but none of that matters really — the main point that we all agree on is that he was breeding the dog for his own personal protection.
The German Pinscher
The German tax collector (if that really was his occupation) Karl Dobermann apparently had a side job as head of a local dog pound. He loved the look of the German Pinschers, but needed a dog that could protect him better. You can see where this is going
Dobermann utilized his extensive access to the pound, taking only the most confident, protective creatures at his disposal. As he continued the program, dogs that could contribute to the overall Pinscher look were added into the mix. Generation after generation, his breed came closer to the mark of functional and esthetic excellence. Interestingly enough, the dogs he bred looked quite a bit different than the modern Doberman. Although their overall appearance was quite similar to the modern version, there have been some changes that are made apparent by the following images.