The Doberman Pinscher or more commonly called just Doberman, was developed by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a tax collector from Germany around 1890. While most breeds grew out of a specific working task, this breed is unique in that it was explicitly developed as a protection dog since Karl was a tax collector, which was a hazardous profession at the time. In addition to being a tax collector, he also ran the dog pound in Apolda, Germany. While the purpose of his breeding was for protection, his goals were to develop the perfect combination of strength, speed, endurance, loyalty, intelligence, and ferocity.
Later, Otto Goeller and Philip Greunig continued to develop the breed to a standard we are more familiar with today.
While not being a more pure molosser, the influence of molosser lines is undeniable. The exact combinations and breeds in its makeup are unknown but are believed to be influenced in part by the German Pinscher, the Beauceron, the Thuringian Sylvan Dog, the Greyhound, the Great Dane, the Weimaraner, the German Shorthaired Pointer, the Manchester Terrier, the Old German Shepherd Dog, old shorthaired shepherd, and Black and Tan Terrier. The Rottweiler is another breed that is often not mentioned but should be considered given its look and locality of primary development. The only documented cross, however, is the Greyhound and Manchester Terrier. While some of these breeds seem obvious, others seem to be a reach given their specific genetic traits. The breed was not formally named until after Karl Dobermann's death in 1894 in honor of him.
During WWII, the dog was used among other breeds as official US war dogs. After the war, the dog lost its appeal to the public and was almost lost to history. Werner Jung is given the most credit for saving the breed by even risking his life smuggling dogs into West Germany in order to salvage the breed. Since then, the Doberman has made a recovery to one of the most desired breeds, no doubt stimulated by such shows as Magnum PI, but has suffered many ups and downs in its long recovery.
While the standard for the breed is to have the ears cropped and tail docked, many choose to forgo this process either because they enjoy the uncut look. Due to laws in some areas that now prohibit such methods, Dobermans will often exhibit full ears and tails.
While the most common look for the breed is black and tan other examples of blue and tan and even a pure white with blue eyes are commonly known as tyrosinase-positive albinoids, meaning lacking melanin in oculocutaneous structures. A partial genetic deletion causes this condition in gene SLC45A2.