Some 80 years ago, a German dogcatcher named Louis Dobermann determined to breed a new strain of dog that would combine the agility of a terrier, the strength of a shepherd and the grace of a greyhound. Assisted by two friends, a gravedigger and a bell ringer, Dobermann interbred pinschers, shepherds, rottweilers and black and tan terriers, to get an intelligent, powerful new breed that won distinction as a war dog in both World Wars and as a "seeing eye" for the blind.

This week a sleek, three-year-old descendant of "Dobermann's dogs," Mr. &...

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