Dobermans vs. German Shepherds

Your family’s best friend isn’t easy to find; it takes dedication and commitment. You have a large number of choices of dogs that you can choose from, with their own individual traits. For most people who like bigger dogs, the options boil down to the ultimate finalists, Doberman and German Shepherd. German Shepherd and Doberman are good options that have a number of similarities and a lot of differences as well. In order to help you decide, we will take a look at what they have in common and what features help them differentiate.

Breed history

German Shepherds were developed in Germany in 1889 by Captain Max von Stephanitz. He wanted the breed to be an efficient servant that would help standardize the herding breed. The apparent characteristics of German Shepherds are loyalty and intelligence. In order to achieve the perfect breed of German Shepherd, the best specimens were bred that would make sure that the breed had desired characteristics.

Dobermans are also relatively newer dogs that were introduced in the late 19th century in Germany. A number of breeds were mixed to create the desired characteristics, some of them being Weimaraner, Rottweiler, Greyhound, and the Great Dane.

Like German Shepherds, Dobermans are also used in police and military operations. Both of the breeds were used in the world wars, and Dobermans were the official war dogs of the US Marine in World War II.


German Shepherds and Dobermans share a number of traits, both of the breeds are alert, loyal, and highly intelligent. German Shepherds are loving at an even younger age than Dobermans to their owners and always want to please them. German Shepherds can be aggressive as well, a trait that can be controlled by obedience training. By adequately training German Shepherds, you can significantly reduce or eliminate aggressive habits.

Dobermans, on the other hand, tend not to develop an attachment to their owners at an early age as German Shepherds do. Nonetheless, they are very loyal animals. They are aloof and are very intelligent. They can sense and act aggressively when they think that their owner is in danger.

The aggression, however, is of a higher degree than that of German Shepherds. With training, you can also limit the aggressive behavior of Dobermans. Making them socialize with the owner and family members can prevent them from being shy and snappy.


When talking about appearances, the two breeds have a lot in common. Both are large-sized dogs, and the average weight ranges from 50 pounds to 100 pounds. On average, both of the dogs, at age one year, stand about twenty-six to twenty-seven inches tall. German shepherds are stockier than Dobermans and are even shorter.

There is a higher degree of slope seen in the spines of German Shepherds. They have thicker coats of fur that are generally medium-length and have a double layer. German shepherds are known to shed more than Dobermans, and they require a lot more grooming than the latter. The most common coats of German Shepherds are black and tan, but they come in solid black too.

Dobermans, on the other hand, are slimmer and taller than German Shepherds. Both the dogs have an athletic build, though, that helps them be good guard dogs. As far as the coats are concerned, Dobermans have shorter coats that do not require a lot of grooming. Dobermans come in a lot more coats than German Shepherds, and some of them include blue and rust, rust and fawn, and rust and red.


They both need plenty of exercise since they are very active. A minimum of one hour of exercise is needed every day, with many owners suggesting the minimum exercise time to be two hours. In addition, both of these breeds get bored quickly if you don’t walk them or take them out for exercise, and when they are bored, they start showing destructive behavior.

Long walks are nothing for both of these breeds, and it may be just the warm-up for them as they require intense activity every day. In order to wear them out, the exercise needs to be vigorous because both of these breeds are working dogs with lots and lots of energy. If you like to take frequent walks, both of these breeds will make for perfect walk buddies!

German Shepherds may be slightly more active than Dobermans, but there isn’t a lot of difference regarding the exercise commitment for both breeds. Because they get bored easily, you’ll need to ensure that they get enough entertainment to last them through the day. You should definitely invest in a bunch of pet toys for both breeds. Look for extra-durable dog toys because they can easily chew delicate toys and will be asking for newer ones in no time.

Which one of these is right for you?

Both Dobermans and German Shepherds will become cherished members of your family when they become your pet. But there is a strict need for training as they can become non-obedient when not properly trained. Obedience training, in addition to vigorous daily exercise, will make these dogs the best for you. As far as choosing the breed goes, you can keep in mind the aforementioned similarities and differences to make a better choice.


Your final verdict may be based on the location you live in. If you have a large backyard and have enough time to buddy up with your dog on an everyday walk, German Shepherd is the right breed for you as long as you don’t mind a few dog hairs in the home. You’ll surely get a lovely companion in return. However, if you live in an apartment and do not have the required space for daily exercise and training, a Doberman might be the right option for you.