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German Shepherd Doberman Mix

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Doberman Shepherd

Bold and Well Mannered

The Doberman Shepherd is a large to giant cross breed that is a mix of the Doberman Pinscher and the German Shepherd. He is a very versatile dog who takes part in a number of events including racing, military work, herding and sighting. He should live between 10 to 13 years. He is sometimes referred to as a German Shepherd Doberman mix. This is one of the largest designer dogs you can find, large ones are less common than small to mediums, probably because of that cute factor. However these are still good looking dogs and have a lot to offer the right owner.

Here is the Doberman Shepherd at a Glance
Average height 22 to 26 inches
Average weight 90 to110 pounds
Coat type Short and silky
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Low to moderate
Shedding Low to moderate
Brushing Three to seven times week
Touchiness Quite sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low to moderate
Barking Occasional
Tolerance to Heat Good to very good
Tolerance to Cold Moderate – not good in very cold climates
Good Family Pet? Good to very good with socialization
Good with Children? Moderate to good with socialization and if raised with them
Good with other Dogs? Moderate
Good with other Pets? Moderate to good with socialization and if raised with them
A roamer or Wanderer? No
A Good Apartment Dweller? No, too large
Good Pet for new Owner? No, need an owner with experience
Trainability Very good to excellent
Exercise Needs Very high, very energetic dog
Tendency to get Fat Moderate
Major Health Concerns Bloat, EPI, heart problems
Other Health Concerns Joint dysplasia, allergies, eye problems
Life Span 10 to 13 years
Average new Puppy Price $200 - $500
Average Annual Medical Expense $500 - $650
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $500 - $650

Where does the Doberman Shepherd come from?

As mentioned this is known as a designer dog, or a hybrid. The mixing of two purebreds is not a new thing, but in the 1990s in America it became suddenly very popular, they were labeled designer dogs and prices shot up. Some are more successful than others and some are more unusual than others. Most when done by a well meaning breeder are meant to combine the best traits of two great dogs. But sometimes you more of a mix, and sometimes you get a puppy with the worst of both dogs, so make sure you chose your breeder carefully and visit the puppy before buying. Without a history the only way to see where the Doberman Shepherd comes from is to look at the origins and temperament of its sires.

The Doberman Pinscher

There was a tax collector called Louis Dobermann in the 19th century who needed a dog to protect him from bandits when he was collecting money. He also wanted the dog to be a good companion and loyal. He bred the first Doberman Pinscher and others took this desire and expounded upon it. Other breeders wanted to create a kind of master dog, one that could be the bravest, strongest, toughest and smartest. However it went too far and the dog became known for being too stubborn and aggressive. But other breeders shaped him into something better and he came to America in the early 20th century. During the World Wars there was a lot of anti German sentiment and that included German dogs too. His popularity declined and in Germany they became rare.

Today in Germany and Britain he is called a Doberman. He has had the edge taken off of him so his no longer strongly aggressive, but he still has a protective nature and will act to protect his family if he deems it threatened. He is very intelligent and very active, completely loyal and also playful and affectionate to his family. He is a dog you can trust but he needs a lot of physical and mental challenges to keep him happy. He responds best to firm but kind leadership.

The German Shepherd

The German Shepherd was bred by a captain in the German cavalry at the end of the 19th century to be the best herding dog possible. He wanted a dog who was intelligent, athletic, exceptional at herding and loyal. However this was at a time when industrialization was happening and the need for herding dogs was going down. To keep his breed useful he used his connections to get him police and military work. During World War I they were excellent as messenger, carrier, rescue, sentry and guard dogs. The Americans noted their bravery and they became popular there too. Rin Tin Tin is a famous Hollywood star and is also a German Shepherd. In the early 1920s changes happened in how the dog was bred, in Germany he remained bred for his abilities and temperament. In America he became more bred for looks. When looking for a work dog the military and the police looked to German bred dogs.

In the last few decades more American breeders focus on health and abilities rather than appearance and the breed there is recovering. He is now a reserved dog but not aggressive, if he does not know you. With his family he is loving and relaxed and very loyal. If he deems a threat is near he will protect his family. He is very intelligent and this combined with his quickness at training and his athleticism still make him an excellent working dog or family dog today. He is not good at being left alone though and can suffer from separation anxiety.


The Doberman Shepherd is an intelligent, very energetic, bold and confident dog.

He is as athletic as his parent breeders, and can also be very loving, well mannered and charming. He is loyal and affectionate to his owner and family and protective when he needs to be. He can be strong willed and needs a firm and consistent hand when training. He loves company and to be with people and does not like to be left alone for too long.

What does a Doberman Shepherd look like


He is a large to giant dog weighing 90 to 110 pounds and at a height of 22 to 26 inches. He is muscled and compact to look at. His coat is short haired and silky and comes in common colors of black, brown and tan. His ears can stand up on their own but might not and some even have droopy ears. Some owners choose to crop the ears.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Doberman Shepherd need to be?

He needs a lot of activity each day for his health and to stop him becoming destructive in behavior in the home. He is not good in an apartment because he needs room and access to at least an average sized yard if not bigger. A couple of long walks a day, some play time in the yard, a visit to the dog park are all good. Ideally you are active yourself and he can run along with you, jog with you, go hiking with you and so on. Try to ensure some games are about mental stimulation as well as physical. He also needs the physical activity to stop him from becoming obese.

Does he train quickly?

He is easy to train for the most part as he is super bright, but he does have an obstinate streak and requires you to make it clear you are pack leader. Use a firm tone, be positive, reward with praise and treats. Make sure you train and socialize him from a young age so that you get a better behaved dog and one with his best traits enhanced, and is his worse ones dampened. He will probably train a little quicker than most dogs as he will need less repetition before he grasps one stage and you move on to the next. He will enjoy the training as it will keep him mentally stimulated.

Living with a Doberman Shepherd

How much grooming is needed?

He does not need a lot of grooming really somewhere between low and moderate. He does not shed a lot usually but the Doberman Pinscher is a moderate shedder and it is possible he will shed a bit like that. He needs brushing at least three times a week but you may find once a day works better. Bath time is going to be tricky unless you have trained him from a young age how to get in and out of the tub. Just bathe when he needs it, go to a groomers parlor if it is a struggle to do it at home or use the garden hose! Since his nails need clipping occasionally you could ask the groomer to do that for you unless you know the correct way to cut a dog's nails. You should clean his ears weekly wiping just the parts you can reach, and brush his teeth each day too.

What is he like with children and other animals?

It helps if he has been raised with the children and the other pets, as well as being socialized and trained. But that is true of any dog. He should not be left alone with children if he has not been socialized certainly. If you have him and then have children he will be very good with them, and see them as part of his family because he will have grown as they grow together. The same for other pets and other dogs.

General information

If you are looking specifically for a family dog who can also act as a watchdog and guard dog these make a good choice. He will need to be fed high quality dry dog food, twice a day. The amount should total 4 to 5 cups. He is an occasional barker and he is good for most climates but not very cold ones.

Health Concerns

To avoid having health issues with your dog try to buy from a reputable breeder and avoid places like puppy mills and pet stores. You are more likely to get a dog with potential health issues from those kind of places. The kind of health problems he might inherit from his parents includes bloat, EPI, heart problems, joint dysplasia, allergies and eye problems.

Costs involved in owning a Doberman Shepherd


The Doberman Shepherd is not a top trendy dog to have and that keeps the prices of puppies down to a more reasonable level. At the moment you can expect to pay between $200 to $500. He will need neutering, blood tests and other initial medical procedures like a micro chip put in. He will also need some basics to start out with like leash, crate, collar. These costs fall between $450 - $550. There are also ongoing costs, and larger dogs tend to cost more just because of needing more food and so on. Ongoing medical costs for shots, flea prevention, exams, pet insurance and such will be around $500 - $650. Ongoing non medical costs for food, training, treats, toys, license and so on will be around $500 - $650 also. This gives an annual basic cost of $1000 to $1300. Other costs may come up though like the groomers, extra medical care, kennels, obedience school and so on.


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This is certainly a great dog, but he best suits a very active owner or family and one who has a yard and a house rather than an apartment. He will be dedicated to you and the family, he will love you and be completely loyal to you. And his well mannered and bold nature will win you over too.

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