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German Shepherd vs Doberman Pinscher

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German Shepherd vs Doberman Pinscher
  • I've always been a German Shepherd person... and have been anxiously awaiting the day I could possibly get another one. However, the more I think about it the more I'm thinking about possibly a Doberman. I like the idea of not as much hair, a LOT... and the docked tail....and in general like the looks. I've heard their temperment, trainability, and versatility is very similar to that of the German Shepherd. I'm more familiar with German Shepherds, my sister had a doberman once that I really liked... she was a dog we rescued and with us already having three dogs, she went to live with my sister. She was on the small side... I'm looking for a larger dog, height wise. I'm assuming that would be in the breeding, like most other breeds. My plan is to adopt/rescue an adult, but it will be years down the road. Right now I'm merely researching and learning and trying to decide which route to go when the time comes.

    Share with some doberman info, if you'd like... life expectancy, health issues, training issues, general temperment, etc....

    Maybe I should get one of each? LOL  

  •  There's a lot less hair! LOL

     

    They do have serious health issues, in the breed. DCM (heart disease), VwD (bleeding disorder), hypothyroidism, and hip dysplasia seem to be among the worst. They're also quite prone to cancer.

     

    I love them, think they're gorgeous and wonderful dogs. They tend to be very sensitive, and sweet dogs, with their people, and can be a bit pushy. They're also very protective. I love that sensitive, sweet side. I have a friend that has Dobes, and I love that her 90 lb boy can play with toy breed puppies, and help them learn that big dogs are coolBig Smile 

  • There are similarities but also huge differences, but maybe not really noticeable if you don't do extensive training/work.  German Shepherds are my life, and I love the look of a nice Dobe, but could never own one myself.  They both have some serious health concerns.  I'm not really sure which breed is larger.  An adult male GSD is 65-85lbs and stands about 25"-26".

  • I've been owned by several German Shepherds in years past... my last died about a year ago from pancreatic cancer at the age of 12. She was a wonderful dog. We've had three other purebred German Shepherds, all of which were great dogs, beautiful and special to us in their own way.

    I really like the looks of the darker GSD's... dark sables, dogs with mostly black coats....

    But I really like the sleek, short hair and regal look of doberman's, especially red ones. But I am leaning towards dogs with ears cropped.. not seeing many of those in rescues, most have natural ears.

    I can't remember if I said before, but my goal is to adopt an adult... not really a puppy person...  that's my plan anyway.

  • Dobes are considered a medium-sized breed - females 24-26 inches, males 26-28, which is large by most average owner's standard.  Any breeder offering taller/larger Dobes is doing a huge disservice to the breed and should be avoided.

    Be aware that almost every rescue (regardless of breed) will have dogs that you'll never see on their websites simply because they come in, and then go right back out the door on adoption.  So, while it's becoming more popular to leave ears natural in Dobes, you can still find plenty of cropped Dobes. 

    I assume this is just a feeler thread, since you have issues you're working out with Greta, who needs your attention now.  What else would you like to know about living w/a Dobe?  I have never lived w/a GSD, only trained.

  • After living with Dobes (26+ years) and GSDs (13 years)  I would say they are like apples and banannas  (totally different orgins, same general catagories with differences just starting at the covering).  While both are intelligent trainable dogs, GSDs are more biddible (comes from the herding background).,  Dobes I find to be more perseverative and less willing to give up something interesting when told when compared to a GSD.  I have found Dobes to be more clownish for the fun of it, humor is hugely reinforcing to them;  they dont seem to mind being wrong.  GSDs seem to take it to heart.  Neither dog has ever quite on me in training but the dobes required more varability and surprize to hang with me during long sessions.

    I found the weather issue with dobes to be a problem especially since the last two were hypothyroid.  I did find coats (old sweatshirts actually) worked well, as did covering them in their bed in the winter.

     Life spans are reported to be similar but I did have one dobe live 17-9, spoiled me a lot when the others were only 10 and 12 when they died.  Both the healthiest and sickest dogs I have ever owned both came from backyard breeders one was the dobe the other GSD. (those plastic genes can do it every time)

    Both need INCREDIBLE amounts of socialization and I would expect that will be problematic for any rescue who was not in a "treatment/training" foster home.  Not saying dont go that route, just suggesting you be prepared.

    So, if you look at my avatar you will see I changed breeds.  Respectfully, I suggest you add belgians to the list.  We have lots of mals in rescue, you wont loose any of the hair but the dogs are really good.  They combine the speed of light and humor of my dobes with the biddability of the GSDs.

  • miranadobe

    Dobes are considered a medium-sized breed - females 24-26 inches, males 26-28, which is large by most average owner's standard.  Any breeder offering taller/larger Dobes is doing a huge disservice to the breed and should be avoided.

    Be aware that almost every rescue (regardless of breed) will have dogs that you'll never see on their websites simply because they come in, and then go right back out the door on adoption.  So, while it's becoming more popular to leave ears natural in Dobes, you can still find plenty of cropped Dobes. 

    I assume this is just a feeler thread, since you have issues you're working out with Greta, who needs your attention now.  What else would you like to know about living w/a Dobe?  I have never lived w/a GSD, only trained.

    Yes, like I stated in my originl post, I'm merely looking and researching and trying to learn more about the breed so when the time comes, several years from now, I'll know which direction to head and what to look for.

    Greta and Sadie are enough right now... I wouldn't even consider adding another dog to the family at this point. But it's fun to look and plan for the future, no?

  • I have a k-9 friend who has a malinois and it's a beautiful dog... but just wasn't drawn to it like I am GSD's.

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    Well there are three other belgians too (two long coats and a wire coat).  A correct coat has mininal care, now a soft coat is a whole 'nuther story/Big Smile
  • mehpenn
    wouldn't even consider adding another dog to the family at this point. But it's fun to look and plan for the future, no?

    Yep!  I'm meeting and planning and researching a potential second breed, myself.  But nothing will happen in the next year at least. :)
  • mrv

     

    Well there are three other belgians too (two long coats and a wire coat).  A correct coat has mininal care, now a soft coat is a whole 'nuther story/Big Smile

    Wire coat? Hmmmmmm... never had a wire coat breed....

  • Belgian Laekenois? Is that the wire coat you were talking about? Wow... that looks like a lot of hair.

    I keep being drawn to the GSD and Doberman....

    Are Doberman's good family dogs? Do they tend to gravitate towards one person? How are they with livestock, goats and horses and chickens?

    We live on a farm, I know GSD's require extra training with chickens and sometimes the goats.... been down that road.

  •  

    As to family dog,,, raised with kids great with kids. Not socialized with kids, then you will need to do a lot of management and training.  Because (here comes the caution for livestock and poultry)  Dobes have HIGH prey drive.  They dont tend to nip at heels as much as herding dogs.... more body slamming.  Reggie, the last Dobe, spent the first 2 years of her life airborne.  She never went around anything,  It was over or through which ever seemed fastest at the moment.  We called her the land shark as her mouth was always open and she was looking for some thing to catch or chew.  She never bit anyone, but Jerilyn did get a passing blow from that open mouth on occassion.

    Jerilyn learned to walk with the Dobes and was absolutely safe from anything else when they were around.  Marshall was particularly coy about guarding. If he didnt not trust someone, he always managed to put himself between Jerilyn and the person.  He was quite the gentleman, no hair raised, no dentition, no sound,  just this "you and what army" attitude.  Morgan was "look at my teeth, hear my voice, get away from my car or my house".  She was quite the civil dog on lead.  Reggie was one of the ambassador for our local humane society visiting schools every May during Pet Week.  She was a great at teaching kids how to pet a dog safely (she was rock solid and moved her head away with shy or scared kids) and made a general fool of me to applause which had her grinning and wiggling like you would not believe.

    Since you have added the information about kids and livestock(maybe I just missed it first),  you need to be very up front with rescue.  Do not take a dog that has not been socialized with kids (and cats or pocket pets) either in the foster home or through the training (I mean formal kinds of training with distractions etc).

  • Forgot to add,,,,, beware of "king" dobes and white dobes.... lots of potential for money sucking vet trips.  Dont look for "big" in dobes, they are plenty big enough.  If you want more brawn look at Rotts.

  • mrv - I know this was originally about Dobes vs GSDs, but since you brought up Belgian breeds... I went to a Belgian Shep event this weekend and even in this collection I continued to see what I've seen at many other dog events.  Tervs and others (Belgian Sheepdogs) who were great in practice, then put them under "pressure" in the ring and they lost their edge.  They seemed nervous, more concerned with the surroundings, lost focus on the handler, slowed down everything while they appeared to go to their "safe place" mentally.  While not completely shut down, they were shall we say "introspective" once they were in the ring.  Nervous, careful, slow to respond, looking all around the venue, etc.  I've never seen a Malinois do that...

    Is this to be expected?  Is it just coincidence?  They all seem so sweet, but what an average person might describe as nervous and scared.    Sadly, I have yet to meet a confident, outgoing Terv.  Again, the Malinois I've experienced are sooo not like this.  I thought the two are related and differ mostly by coat?  How can temperament be so seemingly diff?