Further Refinement of the Doberman Pinscher

Before the Doberman breed was formalized there were many stud books and they were not well kept. In 1908 a black female appeared in the books. Her name was Stella and she was whelped in Ried of the province of Hessia in Germany. Stella was the product of a black English Greyhound sire and a black Doberman dam. She then went on in 1910 to produce two prominent offspring, a red male named Roland vd Haide and a black female named Sybille v Langen,. Sybille had the look of a Greyhound with the lacking under-jaw.

Philipp Gruenig, a German soldier, Doberman breeder, judge, and author of the 1939 book The Doberman Pinscher, had this to say: “The injection of this greyhound blood into our Doberman breed can be approved to the extent that it reconstituted the breed’s sharpness, which suffered a severe setback from the admixture with the blood of the gentle Manchester Terrier.”

Gruenig also had this to say about Roland vd Haide: “preeminently qualified to ruin the entire breed and forthwith proceeded to exercise his talent. Lack of taste, ignorance and other unfathomed motives of our judges permitted this grotesque caricature of a Doberman to win officially recorded high honors. His devastating hereditary influence was soon forcibly active and observable. His progeny was mostly narrow but deep chested monstrosities, unbelievably coarse with wide open, round eyes. For the real Dobermann fancier and expert they were anathema.” Gruenig called this the “Roland curse.” “He was so uncommonly coarse that it required a decade and a half to repair the damage he had done.”

An additional cross, recorded by Gruenig in 1902, was with a Gordon Setter, which has black and rust marking like the Doberman but with richer colors. The Gordon Setter has recessive long hair that appeared as many as 10 generations later when recessive genes found a match.