Smaller and bulkier in the past and with much sharper temperaments, early specimens were strictly bred for work and trainability. Known as very fast runners, alert watchdogs and intelligent workers, Dobermans have sustained a much prized and admired reputation throughout the 20th century. Today a very popular breed worldwide, the Doberman is very different, both in appearance and personality. While they can still be seen being used as Service dogs all over the world, present-day dogs are primarily bred as companion animals and family pets. Modern dogs look much more elegant and have lighter-built frames. The body is well-muscled and proportionate, with a moderately long, powerful neck and a fairly deep chest. They are also much taller than they were a 100 years ago, especially the American bloodlines. There is even a giant breed off-shoot, named the King Dobe, which is quite popular in the United States. Due to its immense popularity and overbreeding, there are many inferiour Dobermann Pinscher bloodlines flooding the markets worldwide. Posessing such unacceptable traits as viciousness, shyness, fear-biting impulses, heart issues, hip problems and skin disease, these sub-standard Doberman specimens are succesfully destroying the good reputation of this magnificient German breed. Still, there are many conciencious and responsible breeders to be found, ensuring the survival of superiour and stable strains worth of bearing this breed's name.
A well bred Dobermann Pinscher makes a loving companion and a serious watchdog and guardian. Easily trainable, intuitive and intense, this breed enjoys an active lifestyle and tends to have a strong play-drive. Extremely agile, quick and elegant, the Dobermann Pinscher is also an energetic, tough and strong animal, needing sensible and firm handling and responsible ownership. This is a powerful and compact dog, with a muscular body, strong neck, sturdy legs and a handsomely chiseled head and strong jaws. The tail has traditionally been docked, but in many European countries this practice is being abandoned, as is the cropping of ears, greatly affecting the implied intimidating appearance of the dog.
The short coat is thick and smooth, coming in clearly defined bicolours of black-n-tan, red-n-tan, fawn-n-tan and blue-n-tan. Others colours aren't favoured, but do exist. Minimal white markings on the chest are acceptable in all colours. White-coated and albino examples aren't allowed, but in recent years such specimens have been becoming increasingly common. Height varies greatly, accepted anywhere from 25 inches to 28 inches at the withers, but most specimens commonly found today tend to be taller.