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. Dobermann 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.
In many countries, Dobermann Pinschers are one of the most recognizable breeds, in part because of their actual roles in society, and in part because of media attention (see temperament). Careful breeding has improved the disposition of this breed, and the modern Dobermann Pinscher is an energetic and lively breed suitable for companionship and family life.Canine intelligence is an umbrella term that encompasses the faculties involved in a wide range of mental tasks, such as learning, problem-solving and communication. The Doberman Pinscher has ranked amongst the most intelligent of dog breeds in experimental studies and expert evaluations. For instance, Psychologist Stanley Coren ranks the Doberman as the 5th most intelligent dog in the category of obedience command training based on the selective surveys he performed of some trainers as documented in his book The Intelligence of Dogs. Additionally, in two studies, Hart and Hart (1985) ranked the Doberman Pinscher first in this category. and Tortora (1980) gave the Doberman the highest rank in trainability,. Although the methods of evaluation differ, these studies consistently show that the Doberman Pinscher, along with the Border Collie, German Shepherd and Standard Poodle, is one of the most trainable breeds of dog.
In addition to the studies of canine personality, there has been some research to determine whether there are breed differences in aggression. In a recent study, aggression was divided into four categories: aggression directed at strangers, owner, other strange dogs and rivalry with other household dogs. This study found that the Doberman Pinscher ranked relatively high on stranger-directed aggression (behind the Dachshund and Chihuahua), but extremely low on owner-directed aggression. The Doberman Pinscher ranked as average on dog-directed aggression and dog rivalry. Looking only at bites and attempted bites, Doberman Pinschers rank as far less aggressive towards humans, and show less aggression than many breeds without a reputation (e.g., Cocker Spaniel,Border Collie and Great Dane). This study concluded that aggression has a genetic basis, that the Doberman shows a distinctive pattern of aggression depending on the situation, and that contemporary Doberman Pinschers are not an aggressive breed overall.
Although recent studies do not rank Doberman Pinschers as the most aggressive breed, their size, strength and aggression towards strangers makes them potentially dangerous. Studies of dog bites and dog bite fatalities have shown that the danger of attack by Dobermans is relatively high, and that children are five times as likely to be bitten by a Doberman as a Labrador Retriever.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 1979 and 1998, the Doberman Pinscher was involved in attacks on humans resulting in fatalities less frequently than several other dog breeds such as pit bull–type dogs, German Shepherd Dogs, Rottweilers, Husky-type, Wolf-dog hybrids andAlaskan Malamutes.According to this Center for Disease Control and Prevention study, one of the most important factors contributing to dog bites are related to the level of responsibility exercised by dog owners.