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The Truth About the Warlock Doberman

Discussion in 'Canine News/Informative Articles' started by JanS, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I came across this article and thought it was worth sharing.

    The Truth About the Warlock Doberman

    If you have considered buying a Doberman Pinscher, you may have done some research and come across people selling “Warlock” Dobermans. Sometimes they are referred to as King Dobermans or Goliath Dobermans. The idea behind using the Warlock name is to imply a bigger, better Doberman. The Warlock Doberman became popular in the 1970’s, at the height of the breed’s popularity. Amateur breeders used the Warlock name as a selling point.

    People believed that bigger was better, so they wanted the biggest, fiercest looking Doberman Pinscher they could buy. The breeders that were interested in making money, rather than improving the breed, bred their dogs to Great Danes to get the bigger dog. Some Dobermans were bred with Rottweilers to get a stockier, more powerful dog. They passed these dogs off as purebred Doberman Pinschers and charged more money for the special name.

    The breeders in the business for profit, either did not know or forgot the true purpose of the Doberman. The breed was developed to a standard that fit the job it was meant to do. To be an effective protection dog, the Doberman needs, speed, strength and agility. The bigger and heavier the dog, the more they lose these traits. It is also unhealthy for a Doberman to be oversized. It puts more strain on the joints and the heart. A correct Doberman Pinscher should be no more than 28 inches at the shoulder for a male and 26 inches for a female.

    Dobermans should not be big, bad, vicious guard dogs. They are actually gentle, affectionate, loyal and intelligent. In the 1970’s, when Doberman Pinschers became popular, they were seen and portrayed as fierce dogs that would tear people apart. For some reason, many people liked this image and wanted this kind of dog. It has taken many years of careful breeding to bring the Doberman Pinschers back to its true nature and size.

    So, where did this “Warlock” name come from? In the 1950’s in Florida, Theodosia and Henry Frampton bred a litter of Dobermans and one of the puppies, became especially attached to Henry. Henry named the pup Borong the Warlock. He was a standard size male Doberman, with a steady, gentle temperament. He liked people and had no problem with other dogs. Henry began to show Borong and trained him in obedience. He earned his Champion title. When Borong was older, he became a popular stud and sired many litters. His offspring established him as one the best sires of his time. Borong the Warlock died not long after Henry Frampton died.

    Borong’s name, the Warlock, and his reputation as a popular Champion, helped establish his legend. Some of his offspring were said to be in Texas and it is believed the legend started there. However it started, the legend has grown, and to this day the Warlock name is used to sell oversized, ill bred Doberman Pinschers. Dobermans bred over the years and given the “distinction” of being Warlock Dobermans, have no connection to the true Champion Borong the Warlock.

    Article Source: Joseph M Sabol - EzineArticles.com Expert Author
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  2. von Cosack

    von Cosack Novitiate

    The word Warlock is a ploy for uneducated folks who think bigger is better. Thats a shame because all Dobermann people should know the word Warlock is ALL about Borong, a legendary dog that was a very good representative of the breed. He has an outstanding show record and had a very good temperament. Thanks for the post and hopefully it will change some of the novice owners impressions of the word. When I hear Warlock I think of Him, not some sales pitch. von Cosack.
  3. lady Dobie

    lady Dobie Notable member

    very interesting ... never knew they were crossed with Rottys..
  4. MLR

    MLR Novitiate

    Doberman's are a totally man created breed LD. I've heard there's gray hound in them and a little rottie and some other things way back in the beginning. Dobes have only been in existence for the last 100 years.
  5. dobebug

    dobebug New Member

    Frankly I think this is an urban legend. The Doberman studbook has been closed practically forever--it was certainly closed by the time Ch Borong The Warlock CD was around. There are always some folk that think adding to a breed with make it better or who want to "start their own breed". The Doberman crosses were not registered (nor were they registerable) and in fact the AKC will not allow a breed as a 'new' breed which is a cross of two AKC registered breeds.

    I have seen a few Dobe X Rott crosses and a few Dobe X Dane crosses but none were registered--the Rott crosses tended to look like badly bred Dobes but the Dobe Dane crosses actually were rather attractive but BIG!
  6. Ingrid H

    Ingrid H Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Very interesting. Does this "warlock" sales pitch name still get used now 30+ years after it was popular? I've only ever read about it here on DCF. Never saw it in a classified ad or anywhere else...
  7. MLR

    MLR Novitiate

    What I was referring to was when Herr Karl Frederich Louis Dobermann created the doberman in the 1880's; not the legend and myths surrounding the Warlock Doberman. Here is one link to the history of the doberman as we know it today coming into being:

    History of Doberman Dogs: From Germany to Worldwide | Dobermans Den
  8. Apollo

    Apollo Novitiate

    yes ones in awhile it will pop up :)
  9. Damasyn

    Damasyn Novitiate

    I happily, dont see many ads selling " warlocks" but I see a heck of alot of "Gladiator" Dobes and Rotts advertised.
  10. DoberDon

    DoberDon Hot Topics Subscriber

    Unethical breeders exploit uninformed gullible people with the Warlock hype just as they do when marketing the albinos as rare and valuable.
    I personally don't care what some pretentious breeder(s) established as the "standard",note the bulldog,intentionally developed for a "look",regardless of how unhealthy that's caused the breed to evolve(can't even breed naturally anymore!!how's that bettering the breed??).But I do want as healthy,intelligent and longlived a companion as possible and IN GENERAL,the larger a dobe,the shorter lived it is and the more health problems it'll have. Also,altho I've never bred any dogs,I'd think to develop a larger dobe would narrow it's gene pool significantly causing an inbred pool with potentially the associated problems.
  11. hrd2gt

    hrd2gt Well-Known Member

    when i hear warlock... i usually hear it from someone bragging about their big dobe... and i just think... wow... you have no idea what your talking about, lol
  12. Apollo

    Apollo Novitiate

    didn't we had just that someone was going to talk about a "warlock" :D;)
  13. iceman

    iceman Active Member


    Colour: Black
    Breeder/Owner: Henry Frampton, USA


    Every field has its legends. In the entertainment world Elvis Presley has become a legend. Although he has been dead for a number of years, his popularity amongst many people has increased. Each year people spend more money on visiting his home Graceland in Memphis than Elvis usually earned in a year. There are many who still make a living impersonating him. There are stories constantly popping up in the supermarket newspapers stating that he is still alive. He has become a legend although many considered him just a better than average singer, actor, and entertainer.

    In the Dobe world, there is also a legend. His name is Borong the Warlock. It is not unusual for someone to call a Dobe club Breed Referral number and say, "I have this Warlock male. He is a fawn and one hundred and ten pounds. I want to breed him to a bitch that is strong and exceptional, preferably a Warlock bitch." Or for another caller to state, "My bitch is a Warlock but she is getting old, I would like to get another Warlock bitch." Members of many Dobe clubs report that they get calls very similar to the ones just described.

    In 1973, there was a person who lived in Pasadena, Texas who told people that her Dobes were Warlocks. She did a lot of breeding and sold her puppies to people who really did not know much about Dobes. The Dobes she bred were not exceptional and in some instances were rather poor specimens of the breed. That was more than twenty years ago!

    Was there a Warlock? If there was, why do people still use his name? Frank Grover in The Doberman Scribe, No. 7, in an article entitled "American Doberman Pinscher Legends" wrote about Borong the Warlock. Frank stated, "The Doberman who began the legend was born in Florida in the middle 1950's. His breeders were Theodosia and Henry Frampton. They named this pup Borong the Warlock."

    A warlock is a male witch, sorcerer, wizard or demon. Grover points out that the name did not describe Borong because he was a direct, rather quiet-mannered dog, well trained and never aggressive toward anyone nor other dogs.

    Borong was not picked as best in his litter. The pup adhered himself to Henry Frampton. Many thought that it was the pup that picked Henry rather than Henry picking the pup. When the pup grew up, Henry began to show Borong and he began winning. This was the beginning of what would go on for years.

    Borong came along at the right time. In the early 1950's, the Dobe world was dominated by Rancho Dobe's Storm, a back to back Best in Show winner at Westminster in 1952 and 1953. Storm was never beaten in the breed ring and he dominated Dobe publicity all over the nation. When Storm retired, exhibitors and judges foundered for a while. There were also many who resented Storm's successes and his popularity, and were looking for a different kind of Dobe. Borong fit the bill. He was clearly a different kind of Doberman. Grover states that breeder judges welcomed him. Forty years later, Storm's wins are history; Warlock's name is legend.

    Henry Frampton's business required that he travel a great deal around the country. He took Borong with him and showed him at shows that were near where his business appointments were. Borong was shown all over the country and became known. Henry was sociable and friendly. He talked to people and he told them of Borong's achievements. When Borong did not win Best in Breed at a show, Henry would tell the judge what Borong had accomplished and what he had won. He would do this politely and when he showed under the same judge again Borong would usually win.

    In 1957, Borong won Best in Breed at the DPCA National. Henry continued to show Borong. When jet travel began in 1959, Henry told people he could buy two first class seats, one for him and one for Borong. Henry also trained Borong in obedience and Ch. Borong the Warlock, CD, was the only male that went Best of Breed at the National with an obedience title. He went Best in Breed at three Nationals. Breeders eventually sought him out because they wanted winning pups. One of his daughters won the National. In his old age he won his first all-breed Best in Show. Many of the pups he sired in his later years established him as one of the fine sires of his time.

    Before Borong retired Henry Frampton took him to Germany where he competed against the top German Dobes. It was at a time when the German members of the breed were aggressive towards other dogs and judges. Borong was a quiet, well mannered Dobe without an enemy in the world. He came in second and Henry complained about this for a long time stating that the judging was done using temperament rather than the conformation of Borong.

    Borong's career ended when Henry Frampton died of a heart attack. It was not long after that Borong died. The many who knew how close Borong was to Henry thought the great Dobe died of grief over losing his human companion.

    The legends grew from his fame. His interesting name helped the growth of the legends. It is reported that the legends started in Texas where some of Borong's excellent descendants lived. People began to believe there were signs that identified a Dobe as a Warlock. The sign could be a lock of hair, a great size, small but powerful, a look in the eye, or something else. The name "Warlock" had an air of mystery about it and people began to see all sorts of signs that a Dobe was a Warlock descendant.

    In the 1970's, Doberman Pinschers began to experience a phenomenal increase in popularity. It was a period when people living in the suburbs began to discover that they were not safe from crime. The Doberman, according to the AKC, became the "watch dog of the moment". The "moment" lasted for years. The breed that traditionally ranked around 20th in annual AKC registrations moved up to 2nd in registrations by the early 1980s. Grover states, "When Dobermans were being bred by everyone and sold as ways to get rich quick, hundreds were sold in the underground as Warlocks, each with a secret sign of distinction and value known only to a few."

    The legend has been used by some to take money from people under false pretenses. It has been used by others to see what they would like to see. When all of that is stripped away, Borong the Warlock was a wonderful dog, an outstanding member of the breed, and an ambassador for all Dobermans with an unusual name. Most of all Borong was a great companion to his owner, Henry Frampton.

    Over the years Warlock has been associated with oversized Dobes. Dobe fanciers in Texas thought this was just a local phenomenon, but there have been reports that there are "Warlocks" in many other states. Because of their size, the "Warlocks" are not shown and have no connection to the original Borong the Warlock.

    There probably always will be breeders telling people their puppies are "Warlocks" so the name will live on. Regardless of their size and their pedigree or lack of pedigree, the Warlocks have one thing in common with the best of the Dobes in the show ring and that is they are loved by the people who own them. When one of them dies the owner will start looking for another Warlock.

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  14. MLR

    MLR Novitiate

    What a lovely tribute to an amazing dobe. Thanks for sharing Iceman. :)
  15. Apollo

    Apollo Novitiate

    thanks icemen
  16. Winstonftw

    Winstonftw New Member

    People still talk about Warlock's down here in S.FL today. Usually though they refer to dogs that have Doberman mother's that were bred with male Rottweiler's.
    • Empathetic Empathetic x 2

    GOD'S GRACE Notable member

    Great Story.

    Reminds me of the Kennel Ration Jingle..."My dog's better than your dog"...

    In life, there will be others, bigger, smaller, smarter, etc...

    I try to identify, not compare.........Grace is my BFF and "that's the way it is"...
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