In the guide below, we compare the German Shepherd vs the Doberman dog breeds.
We outline what the main differences between them might be, and provide other important information on each breed.
(NOTE: the information in this guide is general information only. It is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. See a qualified vet or animal expert for an expert opinion in regards to your pet/s)
German Shepherd vs Doberman: Differences, & Breed Comparison
German Shepherd vs Doberman – Origin/History
They were bred from different Shepherd breed dogs in Germany at the time (reportedly a sheep type dog, and also a service type dog), with the intention of having ideal working dog traits and working ability.
GSDs as a breed belong to the ‘herding dog’ category.
Today, GSD’s are used in a range of working fields, compete as show dogs, and are also pets & family dogs.
The Doberman was originally bred in Germany around the year 1890.
The Doberman was bred as a working dog, to have the traits of a guard dog that could provide protection.
There were multiple breeds that the Doberman was bred from. Some reports indicate that the exact combination of these breeds is unknown, whilst other reports list the various breeds that the Doberman is thought to have come from.
Today, Dobermans are still used as work and service dogs (across a range of fields), they participate in canine sports, and they are also pets and family dogs.
German Shepherd vs Doberman – Size
Males might average 24-26 inches in height (60-65 cms), and 66-88 lbs in weight (30-40 kg)
Females might average 22-24 inches in height (55-60 cms), and 49-71 lbs in weight (22-32 kg)
Dobermans might be classified as large breed of dog
Males might average 27-28 inches in height (68 to 72 cms), and 88-99 lbs in weight (40-45 kg)
Females might average 25-27 inches in height (63-68 cms), and 71-77 lbs in weight (32-35 kg)
German Shepherd vs Doberman – Lifespan
Although, some reports indicate some GSDs may even live up to 15 years of age
A Doberman might have an average lifespan of anywhere between 9-13 years.
German Shepherd vs Doberman – Popularity
Every year, the American Kennel Club publishes a list of the most popular dog breeds based on dog registration data.
The 2021 list shows:
– German Shepherds as the 4th most popular dog breed
– The Doberman as the 16th most popular dog breed
Of course though, this is only one rankings list, from one organisation, in one country.
Other lists in other locations may look different.
German Shepherd vs Doberman – Appearance, Features, & Colors
German Shepherds might commonly be known for the following appearance and physical features:
– Black and tan, or sometimes black and red coat color and saddle pattern (although other colors exist too)
– Erect ears/ears that stand up
– An angulated back and dropped hips (although body shape differs between the individual lines of GSDs)
– Generally medium length hair/plush coat, with a double coat (although, short and long haired GSDs exist too)
Having said that though, different German Shepherds have different physical features and appearances.
Dobermans might commonly be known for the following appearance and physical features:
– The main coat color is black and rust/black and tan, however other colors exist such as red and rust/red and tan, fawn, blue, and more
– Naturally floppy ears that are then cropped at a certain age so the ears stand upright
– A sleek, athletic, powerful, body, with a narrower, longer head
– Generally a smooth and short coat length, with a single coat
German Shepherd vs Doberman – Temperament
Ultimately, a dog’s personality or temperament might be influenced by a range of factors, with genetics and breeding being key factors
So, this is why the temperament and personality of individual dogs don’t always match the general temperament descriptions found online
However, a generalized description of the temperament of each dog breed, according to either parts of the standard for each breed, or, what they were originally bred to be, might be:
Intelligent, obedient and easier to train, loyal, confident, protective, and may be slightly aloof (without being aggressive)
May have the general temperament of a working breed dog or herding dog
Intelligent, watchful/alert, loyal, obedient, calm, fearless, but loving towards it’s owner
May have the general temperament of an all around working dog
German Shepherd vs Doberman – Intelligence
Intelligence testing for dogs can test for different things, and can also have limitations.
So, intelligence rankings for different breeds might be viewed as a guide only, and not definitive
One online ranking indicated that German Shepherds rank as the 3rd most intelligent dog breed
The same ranking report indicated that Dobermans rank as the 5th most intelligent dog breed
German Shepherd vs Doberman – Bite Force
The bite force of different dog breeds might be a generalized measurement only, and not definitive or comprehensive.
However, when referencing one ‘strongest dog bite force’ list, where bite force is expressed in psi (pounds of force per square inch), the bite force of each of these two breeds might be:
– German Shepherds might have a bite force of 238 psi
– A Doberman might have a bite force of 245-305 psi
German Shepherd vs Doberman – Cost/Price
The cost to buy a specific breed of dog depends on the country it’s bought from, along with a wide range of other factors.
Some general information on buying each breed though might include:
Buying From Breeders
According to different online information at the time of publishing this guide, the general cost to buy each of these breeds from breeders in the US might be:
– German Shepherd
Anywhere from $800 up to $10,000+ (for the highest quality dogs), with the average for a regular puppy potentially being around the $800 mark
Anywhere from $800 up to $5000+ (for the highest quality dogs), with the average for a regular puppy potentially being around the $1000 mark
Buying from a breeder may not be the only option to own each of these dog breeds.
Adopting or rescuing may be other options too.
The cost to adopt or rescue a dog can be significantly cheaper than buying from a breeder in some instances, although there’s usually still a basic cost to adopt/rescue a dog.
Buying a dog that is being re-homed might another option to buy a dog.
The cost for rehomed dogs can vary.
More Information On German Shepherds
It’s worth noting that some of the information in the guide above about German Shepherds comes from our ‘German Shepherd Breed Information Guide‘, which also has additional information about the German Shepherd breed.
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