A Doberman German Shepherd mix, also called a Doberman Shepherd, is a crossbreed from a Doberman Pinscher and a German Shepherd. This mix is large, high-energy, and quite intelligent. This mix can be a lifelong companion and an excellent protector so long as it has space to play and exercise.
A Doberman German Shepard mix will likely be a muscular and athletic dog with a short soft coat, which is often a mix of dark brown to black and tan. The mix often has large upright Doberman ears, a domed German Shepherd forehead, a long muzzle, and dark eyes.
Weight, Height & Length
A fully-grown Doberman Shepherd often weighs 90 to 110 pounds (41 kg to 50 kg) and is 22 to 26 inches (56 cm to 66 cm) tall, with females generally smaller than males. It is often longer than the average Doberman thanks to genes from its longer-bodied German Shepherd parent.
While its Shepherd parent traditionally has a slightly bouncy gait with an outreaching, elastic movement to help them herd animals, Dobermans usually have more powerful gaits with rear action drive. This mix will likely have an elastic, energetic gait with good reach in the forequarters.
A Doberman Shepherd’s coat will often be a tan and black or dark brown mix, but can also be tan, rust, or pale gray. It tends to have a more uniform coat coloring than a full German Shepherd, and many of this mix are visually striking.
Coat Length & Thickness
Exact coat length measurements will vary dramatically, but this mix will likely enjoy a short-to-medium coat of outer hair and shorter, smoother inner hair. While the Doberman parent has a single layer coat, the German Shepherd parent has a double layer coat, so your mix could have either.
A Doberman Shepherd is a working dog who will often express a confident, energetic, and playful personality that may aggressive due to its guarding instinct. It is known to be so loving that it might follow its owner around or voluntarily check back frequently when it is off its leash.
Does Not Like Being Alone
This mix is often a needy dog, focused on its owners and thriving on human contact. It commonly suffers from separation anxiety, as do both of its parents, so it should be socialized for being alone. Even with socialization, it still should not be left alone for too long.
Is Emotionally Sensitive & Territorial
You can expect your dog to be emotionally sensitive, to pick up on your nuances, and get its feelings hurt easily. This mix will also usually have a high guarding tendency, resulting in it defending its territory and anything in it, including possessions, people, and other animals.
May Be Destructive If Alone for Too Long or Bored
The Doberman Shepherd might bark, chew, and dig if it is left alone for too long, or it becomes bored. It does best when it is physically and mentally stimulated. It might bark at night if it wants attention or to be in the same room with its owner.
Many Possible Disruptive Behaviors & a Strong Bite
Your Doberman Shepherd may be aggressive, disobedient, bark, bite, chew, dig, chase cars or suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, among other issues. Some issues are genetic, and others might result from something new, from fear, or from boredom. You can expect it to have extremely strong bite pressure.
Known to Be Aggressive & a Fighting Dog
Both the Doberman and German Shepherd parents of this mix are frequently listed in the top 10 meanest dog breeds and in the top 15 fighting dog breeds. Dogfighting is illegal in most developed countries and cruel, but this fact yields insight into your dog’s gene pool.
Preferred Climate Is Warm Weather
The Doberman German Shepherd mix prefers warm weather because of its short-to-medium coat and lean, athletic body. If the weather is too hot and your mix has the thicker double coat from its German Shepherd parent, your dog may dig a hole to try to cool down in the hole.
Companion or Suitability Factor
As a result of being bred from two canine lines renowned for their loyalty and trainability, this mix is a particularly good companion dog, both for adults and for children. It can be quite responsive to the wishes of its owner and is usually protective without being too aggressive.
Is an Excellent Watchdog
A Doberman Shepherd is, like both of its parents, one of the best guard dogs you can have. It tends to be highly protective of its owner and its household, is alert and fearless. When socialized with other animals, it protects these animals as well as part of its “pack.”
Not Ideal for Children
This mix can be aggressive with members of its owner’s family. Smaller children may be misinterpreted as other animals or outsiders or may behave strangely from the perspective of this mix. All interactions between this mix and children should be supervised and be conducted with caution.
Is Not Apartment Friendly
This mix is a bad choice for smaller spaces. The Doberman Shepherd is a fairly large dog and requires significant physical stimulation throughout the day for its health and happiness. Such a mix at least requires an expansive yard for freedom of movement and plenty of room to play.
Not Very Senior Citizen Friendly
A Doberman Shepherd needs regular mental and physical exercise from its owner. This involves several walks per day, which may be challenging for someone who is older. It also needs games that challenge its mental acuity and agility, especially as it ages, to fend off boredom.
Tends to Be Aggressive with Other Animals
This mix tends to attempt to assert dominance over animals and other owners it hasn’t met before. It should be introduced to other pets while it is still a puppy and appropriately socialized. It will need to be trained well to control the more domineering aspects of its personality.
Not the Best Boat Dog
Don’t expect your Doberman Shepherd to do well on a boat. Neither of its parents is known to be good boat dogs, but some owners report success if their dogs are socialized to the water early, and they have a doggie ramp attached to the back of their boats.
Training & Intelligence
The Doberman German Shepherd mix is genetically an extremely intelligent dog and is well-suited for both fun and games as well as complex working tasks. Training this mix as a puppy will result in a more responsive and intelligent companion as it ages.
Are Easy to Train
The Doberman Shepherd’s high intelligence enables it to understand new commands after five tries, and 95% of the time, it should obey your commands the first time you say them. This mix is usually easy to train, but you might find that your dog is stubborn and hard to trick.
Are Extremely Intelligent
The Doberman Shepherd is an extremely intelligent dog, with both of its German Shepherd and Doberman parents ranking in the top five breeds worldwide for intelligence, according to Dr. Stanley Coren. Its sharp intellect leads it to get bored easily, so keep it occupied to avoid seeing its destructive tendencies.
The Doberman Shepherd demands a mentally and physically stimulating and affectionate lifestyle, as well as nutritious food to facilitate muscle growth and maintenance. This dog becomes more prone to diseases if it doesn’t receive enough exercise and nutrition. Active owners are good pairings for this mix.
Eats 2.5-5 Cups of Kibble Per Day
This mix should be fed in multiple meals to prevent it from gorging itself and bloat. The food should be high in protein and vitamins and minerals with some grains and adjusted based on your dog’s level of activity, weight, metabolism, and whether it has been neutered/spayed.
Needs At Least 2 Hours of Daily Exercise
Your dog will need plenty of time to run and vent its energy, at a minimum of two hours per day, with extra playtime on top of that. It should also be kept mentally stimulated to help avoid boredom. It has a lifespan of 7 to 12 years, on average.
Needs Ample Physical Touch & Affection
Of equal importance is this mix’s need for physical touch. This dog bonds emotionally to its owners and family members and responds well to petting and general affection. Do not withhold touch or affection as punishment or for extended periods of time, as this mix may become sad or depressed.
Shedding & Bathing
If your dog’s coat resembles its German Shepherd parent, it needs brushing twice per week and will shed its undercoat twice per year. If it resembles its Doberman parent, it will hardly shed, and a quick brushing once per week should suffice. Bathing about 3-4 times per year is recommended.
Background & Pricing for a Puppy
Both the Doberman and German Shepherd breeds are well-known dog types and have well-studied physical attributes and characteristics. Since the background of this mix is unknown, it instead focuses on its parents, particularly when considering the long list of medical issues that the mix may encounter in its life.
Dobermans and German Shepherds were both first bred in the 1800s in Germany, as protective dogs, and as herding dogs, respectively. Dobermans are popular as guard dogs and for police work, and Germans Shepherds are one of the most popular dogs in America, often serving as police or service dogs.
Price for a Puppy
A German Shepherd Doberman mix is a popular crossbred dog because of its versatile characteristics and suitability for a variety of family units, outdoor activities, and working tasks. As a result, new Doberman Shepherd puppies may cost anywhere from around US$200 up to US$500 or more.
You can save a dog’s life and help stop the cruelty of puppy mills by adopting from a shelter. Rescued dogs are typically cheaper, screened beforehand by medical professionals, and often come with behavior assessments. Also, your dog will have recently had good care from the shelter employees and volunteers.
A Doberman Shepherd may have several health issues depending on which parent it gets most of its genetics from. Doberman-dominant mixes may have fewer health issues overall but face more major concerns, the possibilities of which should be investigated regularly through veterinarian visits.
Common to both of the parents of the Doberman German Shepherd mix is the development of hip dysplasia as they age, especially if their nutritional and exercise needs are not appropriately met. Hip dysplasia makes it hard for your mix to walk, run and jump, and will cause it pain.
Hip dysplasia is hereditary but can be mitigated by feeding your dog a nutritious diet with supplements for its bone and joint health, making sure it gets adequate exercise, and keeping it at its ideal body weight. Before purchasing your dog, consider asking for its hip score for each hip.
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.