The Doberman is a medium-large, highly trainable breed with a colorful origin story dating to the 1880s. While running the dog pound in Apolda, Germany, Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann began mixing breeds, looking to create an intelligent guard dog to protect him in his other role as local tax collector. There’s no consensus on which breeds ultimately resulted in the handsome, intelligent  Doberman, but most experts cite Beauceron, German Pinscher, Rottweiler, and Weimaraner. It is also commonly thought that the old German Shepherd made a major gene contribution.

The Doberman has enjoyed popularity and honor throughout its history. After the US Marine Corps adopted the breed as its official war dog, a Dobie named Cappy saved 250 Marines by alerting them to Japanese soldiers, and was the first dog to be buried in the WWII War Dog Memorial. Today Dobermans brighten many dog lovers’ lives as affectionate pet dogs.

For a Doberman to guard your heart, search online for a rescue organization near you.