When it comes down to our family safety, we want to go for only the best and most reliant options. Choosing the perfect guard dog among the numerous dog breeds can be a challenging task. However, many people prefer the classic choice of a German Shepherd or its close alternative, the Doberman breed.
Both Dobermans and German shepherds are good guard dogs. Therefore, it’s best to choose the one with traits that best match your lifestyle. German shepherds are less stubborn and faster learners while preferring large yards to roam. German Dobermans are more playful and adapt better to smaller spaces.
It isn’t easy to sum up two very complex breeds in one quick statement. Therefore, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each dog breed. That way, you can make an informed decision.
Doberman vs. German Shepherd as Protection – Pros and Cons
The strongest trait in both Dobermans and German shepherds is their guarding tendency. They will stop at nothing to defend their assigned territory and people. It’s well-known that loyalty is at its peak in both dog breeds.
However, the higher a dog’s protection tendency, the more you, as an owner, have to invest in their training. As great as being protective is, the dog needs to know how to use it correctly without harming innocent people.
Without proper training, one of the main issues will be that the two breeds will see everyone as a threat to their owners and territory. It’s in their nature to bark and attack intruders, so if an unfamiliar individual enters your house or comes in contact with you, the dog will react protectively and even, at times, aggressively.
Pro Tip: It is usually a bad idea to get an adult dog without training, as this will endanger you, your friends, and your family.
Doberman vs. German Shepherd: Which Makes a Better Family Dog?
Dobermans and German Shepherds are both loving, loyal, devoted, and protective animals. They are great family companions, and as long as you introduce them early to children, they will be great with them as well.
Dobermans as a Family Dog
However, Dobermans are stubborn, while Shepherds can be anti-social, so if they are not used to children or other pets in the house, they can act aggressively and refuse to follow commands.
Even if you do not have children or other pets in your home, the situation might change during the 10-year lifespan. Do not make the mistake of ignoring these factors of training and early socialization.
German Shepherds as a Family Dog
German Shepherds are less stubborn, learn faster, and are more easygoing, while Dobermans are more playful and charismatic. However, try not to leave them alone with really young children and encourage your children and other family members to participate in training sessions.
Which Is More Intelligent/Easier to Train?
When it comes to training, as similar as these breeds are, you will notice personality and temperament differences.
- Friendliness- You can train both dogs, but German Shepherds are less friendly than Dobermans. Shepherd puppies need to be around strangers more often, or they will tend to see a threat in every bypasser.
- Training Focus- Dobermans are more playful and aloof, so it is essential to keep a firm grip on their training sessions. Without the needed consistency and seriousness in training, Dobermans tend to become less aware of dangerous situations.
Shepherds are more temperamental and have higher energy levels, and they do not like closed living areas. With that, Dobermans tend to show aggression more often than Shepherds. It can be considered an advantage as well as a disadvantage. It all depends on the situation and if there is a real threat.
As long as you invest enough time into training, both dog breeds will show intelligent behavior when it comes to guarding and protecting their owners.
Living Environment Considerations
For their training, German Shepherds prefer large yards and fields with plenty of space to run around. If you live in an apartment, then Dobermans adapt better to smaller spaces.
Interesting Fact: Both dogs are known to serve and work for military forces, police, and other guarding jobs. Some house insurance companies won’t even allow these dog breeds to live in your household. German Shepherds and Dobermans are a responsibility that an owner should view with seriousness and commitment. They both learn fast due to their high intelligence level, but their training has to be consistent with daily exercises.
Doberman vs. German Shepherd – Size Differences
The Doberman breed is the larger one, especially if it is a male dog. Its weight is around 70 to 100 pounds, and its height in adulthood reaches up to 28 inches. The Doberman females weigh 60 to 90 pounds and stand 24 to 26 inches tall.
The dog is a proud owner of a square-built body with refined muscles and a powerful jaw. Dobermans have short coats and can be found in a wide variety of colors. With simple daily brushing, short hair is easy to maintain and avoids extreme shedding and intense grooming.
German Shepherds weigh 50 to 90 pounds and are 22 to 26 inches tall. Like Dobermans, Shepherd males are at higher and bigger ranges than females. Yet, it is not a big difference, and both breeds are fast and muscular.
This dog breed has a wolf-like appearance with its pointed ears and a thick double-layer medium-length coat. Shepherds require more grooming, as they shed a lot. However, with the right environmental conditions, exercise regime, and nutrition, you can minimize the shedding frequency.
What Are the Life Spans of Dobermans and German Shepherds?
Dobermans usually live longer than Shepherds.
Dobermans have a lifespan of 10 to 12 years, while Shepherds live 7-10 years. So, if you want a dog that will guard and protect you for a longer time, Doberman is a better choice.
Pro Tip: Before purchasing a puppy of these two awesome breeds, make sure to run some medical tests. There is nothing worse than bringing a puppy home for safety measures and discovering that it has crucial health problems. It concerns both breeds, but German Shepherds are more prone to health issues regarding their joints.
Both dog breeds are similar in many ways and raised to serve humans, yet each has its unique traits. While German Shepherds are slightly higher more popular, many happy owners of the Doberman breed will argue with that statement. The perfect choice is a subjective matter that depends on your experience with the dog and your preferences in traits that your dog must possess.
I hope this article has given you a head start on your research about which one is right for you. The great news is that there really isn’t a bad choice! It’s more about which matches your lifestyle best.
Thanks for reading!
For more, check out 6 Ways To Keep Dogs Out of Your Yard (Vet Recommended).
Hey, I’m Jim, and I’m the author of this website. I have been teaching people a wide variety of survivalism topics for over five years and have a lifetime of experience fishing, camping, general survivalism, and anything in nature. In fact, while growing up, I spent more time on the water than on land! I am also a best-selling author and have a degree in History, Anthropology, and Music. I hope you find value in the articles on this website. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or input!