German Shepherd vs. Doberman Pinscher

If you love big dogs, you might consider getting a German Shepherd or a Doberman Pinscher. Both working alongside the police and military . have probably been seen. All large-breed dogs are not created equal.

German Shepherds are consistently ranked as the second-most popular breed after Labrador Retrievers and the American Kennel Club .. In 2018, Dobermans ranked number 17. Do you think this means that Dobermans don’t make a great family pet? Not necessarily!

This article will provide more information about each breed. You’ll find more information about each breed to help you make an informed decision when you read this article. You should ensure that you make the right choice for your family and pet long-term commitment ,. You’ll learn interesting and useful information about different breeds in , as well as our other GSD comparisons .

German Shepherd vs. Doberman Pinscher

Breed History

Dobermans and German Shepherds were bred to help people .. Despite the fact that they might appear to be working dogs, they are not. Both are German, but do their histories have any connection? Let’s find the answer.

German Shepherd

Many people associate German Shepherds and police operations. They have been trained to detect illegal drugs and served in the armed forces. The breed was developed by Captain Max von Stephanitz in western Germany in 1889. These animals were valued by Von Stephanitz for their utility and intelligence. Stephanitz wanted a dog that could be a servant. He also wanted to standardize herding breeds. Although all herding dog breeds in Germany were called shepherds, they did not always have the same traits.

They shared intelligence and loyalty. Von Stephanitz also desired to breed a dog with natural beauty. After breeding the best dogs from each area, Von Stephanitz created the German Shepherd. German Shepherds were extensively used during World War I. Some American soldiers brought these dogs home, and movies like Rin-Tin-Tin and Strongheart made the breed somewhat famous.


Doberman Pinschers were also developed in Germany, by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann. Like the German Shepherd, the Doberman is also a relatively new breed of dog, as it was standardized at the end of the 19th century.

Dobermann was the owner of a dog pound in his hometown, and he mixed many breeds into the Doberman Pinscher. Although no one knows the exact breeds that went into creating the Doberman Pinscher, they believe it to have genetics from the following dogs:

The Doberman has also been used in the military and police service over the years. U.S. soldiers observed that their enemies used dogs as scouts and sentries. In 1942, the Doberman Pinscher Club of America was asked to provide canines for the Marine Corps War Dog Training Facility in North Carolina. The Doberman became the official U.S. Marine War Dog during World War II. These dogs were nicknamed “Devil Dogs ” during World War II. The Dobermans were outnumbered by German Shepherds at the end of the war.


These dogs share many physical similarities. Both breeds are large-sized dogs that range from 50 to 100 pounds and stand about 26 to 27 inches tall at one year of age. Once fully grown, Dobermans are usually the larger of the two breeds. Both dogs are athletic, but Dobermans tend to be taller and more muscular than shepherds. Dobies’ spines slope more towards their backs, so their backs are also steeper than Dobies.

Dobermans are short-coated and require minimal maintenance. They come in black and blue, blue and the rust, red and the rust and red and the rust. Black is the most popular color combination. German Shepherds have thicker, longer, double-layered coats. They shed more and need more grooming. their coats are most commonly black and tan, but they also come in solid black as well.


Working dogs are more intelligent than herding dogs. However, Dobermans are one of the two working-class canine breeds that have made it onto the top 10 most intelligent dogs. Dobermans rank #3 on this list. They are almost as intelligent than you and can get bored with tedious tasks. This can make it difficult to train them. It is important to make sure you are the leader of the pack as soon as possible.

Dobermans are extremely loyal and protect their family .. However, they may be attached to one family member. It is important to socialize them as soon as possible. This will prevent them being shy and snappy.

German Shepherds might be more mischievous than Dobermans .. Dobermans are more open to being treated with kindness and honesty by people who interact with them. German Shepherds can become very high-strung if they are not socialized properly.

Both of these dogs scored high in a trait called guarding tendancy HTML1. They will defend their territory, as well as their family members and animals. Dogs that are aggressive or territorial can make it a problem. Both of these breeds must be taught how to protect their territory.

In the Home

This loyalty makes them great family pet . German Shepherds can be adapted to life with high-energy families, even though they are more comfortable with children than Dobermans. Your children should be trained as well as your dog. Children should learn how to interact with large pets in order to be seen as leaders and not enemies.

German Shepherds

are part of the herding category, while Dobermans belong to the working canine group. But these groups were classified together until 1983. The loyal and easy-to-train herders are simple to understand. They keep track of the animals and people they protect. They are great companions and often do protection work.

The working group of dogs has less specifications. A Husky, for example, is a working dog since it can pull a sled. The Doberman was bred to protect . Dobermans aren’t natural herders. They are intelligent and loyal and can be trained to herd other animals.


Both of these breeds require lots of exercise as they get bored easily. They may become bored if you don’t take them out before or after work. If they are left alone for more than eight hours, they may resort to this behavior. They both require at least an hour of intense exercise each day. Owners suggest they should be exercising for at least two hours each day. This is something you should be ready for. Please, active families only!

Working dogs need to exercise vigorous to keep them energized. These guys don’t like long, boring walks around the block. This will be your warm-up!

They make great jogging companions and enjoy fetching and agility games. Dobermans rival Labs in their activity levels, and German Shepherds likely will exceed both in the terms of exercise commitment as a dog owner.

They will also require mental stimulation throughout their day to keep them happy. You should invest in plenty of toys for your dogs. They are strong and durable toys. We can guarantee that if your dog doesn’t have a chew toy they will find something to chew on. Or raid your best sneaker collection!


Both breeds were bred to be guard dogs but they are not more dangerous than other . breeds. Chihuahuas can be just as dangerous. A Chihuahua’s hard bite isn’t as dangerous as one from a larger breed.

No dog should be considered a biter because of its breed. Aggression is often a result of poor training or fear. Dobermans and German Shepherds can be reactive but will bark more than they bite if they are not taught to use their teeth.

Some people believe Dobermans don’t like small pets or children, but this depends on the dog and its training. German Shepherds are more patient and easygoing with children than other breeds. Both dogs should get along with children , if they are raised together. Children should learn how to be with dogs, and not disturb them while they’re sleeping or eating.

These dogs may bark at strangers or friends if they have guarding tendencies. You may have to use specific training methods to curb this irritating characteristic. As a puppy, the German Shepherd and Doberman must be socialized well. To increase their confidence, you should mix them with other dogs, humans, animals, and places. This will help them to be less protective.


Due to inbreeding both breeds have an inclination towards certain ailments . This is a problem for all purebred dogs. German Shepherds have a longer average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years, whereas Dobies tend to live for 10 to 12 years.

The main health concerns for German shepherds include

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Cataracts

They should have regular checkups, and special attention given to their joints.

These are the main health concerns that Dobermans have.

  • Heart problems
  • Spinal instability
  • Hip dysplasia

Regular examinations of the hips and heart should be done on all Dobermans. They should also be tested for von Willebrand’s disease, which is directly inherited and can cause serious blood loss from minor wounds.


The average German Shepherd will eat around three cups of food per day, despite being slightly lighter. Dobie, a slightly heavier dog, will consume four cups. The amount you give them will depend on their weight and age, as well as their .lifestyle. For a customized cup suggestion, make sure you read the package instructions.

The German Shepherd needs high-quality dog food that can support their activity levels and rapid bone growth. Dobermans also need the same. This rapid bone growth can be controlled with kibbles made for large-breed puppies. By controlling this rapid bone growth, you can reduce the chance of your puppy developing elbow and hip dysplasia. Large breed foods are extremely important for the Shepherd and the Dobie.

Feeding your dog the best nutrition is one of the best decisions you can make for them. Your pup can live a healthy life by knowing the difference between store-brand kibble and trusted brands. High-quality brands will also list meat as the first ingredient and offer a protein content of at least 18% in adulthood. This is especially important for large, energetic dogs such as these two.

These guys are also prone to a life-threatening condition called gastric torsion, also known as bloat. Large dogs with deep chests are the most likely , to get bloat. Both the Shepherd and the Dobie tick these boxes. Do not feed your dog immediately after or before exercise. Give your dog at least two meals per day.


It’s a common misconception that Dobermans don’t shed. They do, but their fine, short fur may not be as noticeable as the longer strands from a German Shepherd. Shepherds blow their fur twice per year. This can cause fur to fall all over your house as the seasons change from winter to summer. This is especially true for Shepherds with longer hair.

Both breeds should be brushed frequently and a regular grooming regime is the best way to manage their shed. To keep your dog’s hair looking its best, you should allow them to brush at least twice a week. You will need to brush your Shepherd more often if they have longer hair.

Thankfully neither one of these men requires professional grooming and it is something you can do . yourself. This is also a great time to bond with your pups and parents.

Puppy Prices

The cost of a German Shepherd puppy and a Dobie pup from a reputable breeder will start from around $1,000. It will be slightly more if you’re looking for a puppy that comes from an elite breeder or is from an award-winning line. Do not be deceived into buying a puppy at a lower price than that. It is a sign they are reckless. Oder worse, a part of a puppy-mill.

It is important to work with a respected breeder for any dog breed. For large, powerful dogs like the Shepherd and Dobie, it is especially important. The key window for important socialization is 3 to 12 weeks. It will be worth it to pay a bit more to have your pup socialized by a breeder. If you don’t, you will end up spending more on behavioral training and other liability costs in the event of an emergency.

You also need to keep in mind the additional costs associated with puppy ownership. It costs money to get your puppy vaccinated, and for you to attend puppy health checksups. food and food-related items like beds, collars or harnesses, toys, etc. . are all expensive. Despite not being the most expensive canine to care for, these guys are often more costly than average dogs due to their size and specific needs.

Final Thoughts

Dobermans and German Shepherds are roughly the same size. how they look is completely different Dobermans have short hair and are muscular, while German Shepherds look like gigantic stuffed animals. They share many similarities, besides their looks.

Both of these dogs share similar pasts and were bred to be working dogs. They can offer high levels of protection. These intelligent dogs can be trained to obey many commands and are loyal. They need to be mentally stimulated because they are so intelligent.

These dogs are always working. They will protect you even when you are taking a stroll in the park. This understanding and meeting their psychological and physical needs can create a wonderful relationship between humans, dogs and people. Dobermans and German Shepherds are great family pets, provided you keep them happy and allow them to exercise.

Becky Roberts

Becky Roberts

One of Becky's favourite things to do every morning is to browse the top pet-related forums, looking for issues and questions that people have. She then shortlists the most common ones, and turns them into blog posts for Fuzzy Rescue. She's had over 4 cats and 2 dogs over the past decade, so she does know a thing or 2 about raising/training, and more importantly, loving them. She's the only one on our team that doesn't like coffee, but it seems to us she really doesn't need more energy :). We're very fortunate to have her on board as she does most of the heavy listing for the site, outputting an insane amount of content each month. Read More

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