If you are looking for an excellent guard dog and loyal canine companion, the Doberman Shepherd mix is a great candidate. With its formidable look and commanding presence, any person with cruel intentions would be easily intimidated and discouraged from pursuing his plans.
However, these distinctive features and remarkable traits that are associated with Doberman Pinschers and German Shepherds are also the reasons why they are often misunderstood.
In this article, we will shed light on the misconceptions about these large dog breeds. And we will also learn more about the Doberman German Shepherd mix – the designer dog breed created from crossing two intelligent, devoted, and reliable purebred dogs.
Breed at a Glance:
Size: 22 to 26 inches tall
Weight: 90 to 110 pounds
Energy Level: High energy level
Temperament: Devoted, courageous, dominant
Suitable for: Active owners, families living in a large house with a fenced backyard, warm weather
Lifespan: 10 to 13 years
The German Shepherd Doberman crossbreed, also called Doberman Shepherd, is a large designer dog breed that weighs around 90 to 110 pounds and stands 22 to 26 inches tall. These energetic, clever, and strong canine companions can be easy to train for experienced dog owners. Still, their innate intelligence can also be an issue if they were not disciplined at an early age.
On top of these traits, they can also be stubborn, and they love to exert their independence now and then. Hence, they are not suitable for novice pet parents. And while their look and size can be intimidating, these dogs are also affectionate, loving, and attached to their human family members.
Doberman Shepherds demand a lot of maintenance. Dobermans prefer to be in control, and their German Shepherd intelligence allows them to get their way easily. As a result, you'll need to supply them with plenty of daily activity and a strong sense of discipline. A Doberman Shepherd, however, will repay you with unwavering loyalty and lifelong companionship if you put in the effort.
History of the German Shepherd Doberman Pinscher Mix
The Doberman Shepherd mixed breed most likely emerged in the 1990s, along with the majority of other designer or hybrid dog breeds.
However, despite knowing nothing about their ancestry, the best method to predict how this crossbreed would behave is to investigate the background, traits, and abilities of both of its purebred parents.
Up-Close: The German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a large herding dog that can be traced back to a mountain sheepdog in Germany in the 7th century AD. However, Captain Max von Stephanitz is credited with registering the first GSD in 1899.
Stephanitz bred a variety of neighborhood shepherd dogs at the end of the 1800s in an effort to create a dog that would be useful for both military and law enforcement operations. And his very first German Shepherd was registered as a German Sheepdog.
Additionally, the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde SV was established in 1899 to control German Shepherd breeding. The group wanted to create a good working dog with multi-tasking and herding abilities.
These canines served as combat sentries during World War I. In order to distance the breed from Germans, the American Kennel Club changed the breed's name from German Sheepdog to Shepherd Dog.
The breed is the most widely utilized military canine in the country. And it was only in 1931 that its name was changed to German Shepherd.
Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, the breed was once, and occasionally still is, called the Alsatian Wolf Hound.
Like all dogs, the German Shepherd is susceptible to major behavioral problems like depression, anxiety, stress, and fear-based aggressiveness if not given the right care, exercise, early socialization, and proper training.
Up-Close: The Doberman Pinscher
The Doberman Pinscher, an alert, fearless, and loyal working dog, is believed to have originated in Germany (particularly in Apolda, a town in central Thuringia, Germany), just like the German Shepherds.
Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, the tax collector who created and gave the breed its name in 1890, set out to produce a dog that would be a devoted guard dog and a wonderful friend to go along with him as he went about his duties.
To develop the first Doberman, he combined numerous breeds, including the Rottweiler, Weimaraner, and German Pinscher. A common working dog during wartime, Doberman crossbreeds served as scouts, couriers, and sentinels.
Their important role during the war is evident at the war dogs cemetery on the island of Guam.
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America was established in 1921, and the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1908 for its sleek coat and athletic frame.
When properly socialized and taught, these dogs can fit in with families and make fantastic guardians and protectors of people and other animals.
Doberman Pinschers are high-energy dogs; thus, they are not recommended for more laid-back dog owners. Additionally, they also have the tendency to form closer bonds with one person compared with other family members.
Physical Appearance of Doberman Shepherds
Depending on whose parent gene becomes more dominant, a Doberman German Shepherd mix will have a different appearance. It is worth noting, though, that the majority of dogs owned by Doberman German Shepherd mix owners look more like Dobermans than German Shepherds.
The dog may naturally have the pointed ears of the German Shepherd or the floppy ears of the Doberman, depending on which gene is more dominant. The Doberman German Shepherd's ears may be cropped if desired, as most owners of Doberman Pinschers do.
Doberman Shepherds are powerful, compact dogs with long muzzles and dark black or brown eyes that reflect their smart nature. As mentioned earlier, these large dogs weigh 90 to 110 pounds and stand up to 26 inches.
These mixed breed dogs have short and silky coats that may come in tan, black, or black and tan colors. However, compared with other hues, you can expect to see more black Doberman Shepherd mix dogs. You can also occasionally see some red Doberman German Shepherd puppies that are descendants of fawn or rust-colored Dobermans.
Personality & Temperament
It should not be a surprise that the Doberman Shepherd is extremely devoted, protective, and athletic given the traits of both parent breeds. They may be stubborn and strong-willed at times, but they make up for this by showing their owners a lot of love and affection. Their most problematic qualities can be greatly reduced with proper training and early socialization.
While they appear fearless and bold on the surface, German Shepherd Dobermans can be so deeply attached to their human family. Underneath their large size and fierce-looking facade, these dogs can have a very sensitive nature and they can actually experience separation anxiety when left alone. Having said this, Doberman Shepherds are regrettably not suitable for people who spend a lot of time away from home.
These dogs can be difficult to properly exercise because they are just as active and athletic as their parent breeds, if not more so. But it's crucial to give these dogs the correct amount of exercise because, without it, they risk becoming bored, disruptive, or even hostile.
Additionally, these large dogs require strong, confident leadership, or else they will assume the job themselves. Hence, proper training is even more crucial!
A Doberman German Shepherd mix may just need light to moderate brushing. However, this large designer dog could provide an issue for folks who have allergy problems even if its coat may not shed as much as some other dog breeds.
Hence, to reduce the amount of dead hair scattered inside your home, it’s recommended that you brush your dog three to four times a week. For Doberman Shepherds, brushing sessions are more of a bonding between them and their owners rather than a medical necessity.
Unless your dog is smelly or dirty, baths are not necessary. As soon as you can, start exposing your puppy to bathing and grooming so that he will become accustomed to it. You can only imagine how difficult and potentially dangerous it can be for you and your dog if you did not train him to love water or even to just tolerate bathing when he was still young.
And just like other canines, you should not skip cleaning your dog’s ears with a damp cloth if necessary, to prevent ear infections. You may also occasionally need to trim his nails to prevent injuries and brush his teeth to prevent dental disease. If you feel that you can’t handle doing all of these by yourself, or even with help from someone at home, don’t hesitate to bring your dog to a professional groomer.
Common Health Issues
Doberman Shepherds are generally healthy dogs – thanks to their hybrid vigor, which is a result of having two purebred parents. Nonetheless, just like other dogs, they are also not immune to diseases that plague most canines, in addition to those health issues that are common in their parents’ lineage.
German Shepherd Doberman mixes are large active dogs. Hence, you can expect that the common health problems that they may run into are related to their bones and joints. Having said this, you need to be extra careful in observing the signs of elbow and hip dysplasia.
Moreover, these dogs enjoy eating a lot and struggle to control how much they eat. So, if they are regularly overfed, they can quickly suffer from the effects of obesity. That's why it is crucial that their daily meals should be divided into two to three smaller portions to stop them from eating too quickly.
Another disorder that is common with this dog breed is Gastric Torsion. This condition is brought on by swallowing too much air along with food, and this often occurs in large dogs that eat their meal too quickly. Unfortunately, this illness usually results in death.
Below are other health concerns that the Dobermans and German Shepherds can pass on to their hybrid offspring:
- Wobbler Syndrome
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Chronic Active Hepatitis
- Degenerative Disk Disease
Doberman German Shepherds can live for 10 to 13 years with the right care and a good lifestyle. Just like other dogs, they need regular exercise, and a complete and balanced diet, on top of having regular visits to the clinic for veterinary advice, vaccinations, deworming, and so on.
How to Care For a German Shepherd Doberman Mix?
Exercise & Living Conditions
Doberman Shepherds require a lot of daily activity due to their high level of energy, which helps to keep them content, healthy, and out of trouble. They should exercise for at least 90 to 120 minutes a day, split into two sessions, although more is preferable. You'll wear out much before these canines do, so they make great running and cycling partners!
Given its large size and high levels of energy, the German Shepherd Doberman mix is not suitable for apartment living. This energetic dog thrives in homes with large fenced backyards where it can run around.
If properly taught and socialized, Doberman Shepherds can make wonderful family pets. However, they can be a little loud and hyperactive around young children. Although they are often kind and friendly with small kids, they have a tendency to trip them up and accidentally hurt them while playing. However, because they are fiercely devoted and capable protectors, they make ideal family dogs for households with older children.
Doberman Shepherds typically get along well with other dogs and are fine with cats, too. So, all other pets in your home are generally safe around Doberman Shepherds. They make excellent security dogs as long as they have been properly socialized, of course, since they don't have a strong predatory instinct.
Diet & Nutrition
These dogs require a diet rich in nutrients and wholesome, animal-based protein due to their high level of energy and relatively large size. Dry food is excellent as long as it is devoid of fillers and has animal protein in the first three ingredients.
Doberman Shepherds need a daily diet that is made of 4 to 5 cups of high-quality dog food per day, divided into two meals. They shouldn't be allowed to graze freely because they are notoriously bad at self-control and can easily gain weight.
It's a good idea to sometimes add lean meat to their dry kibble as a treat because this will offer them an extra boost of important amino acids and provide them with variety. And make sure they always have access to fresh, clean water, as you should with any dog.
Doberman Shepherds have a high level of intelligence and typically adapt to training without any problems. However, they can have a stubborn side that can be difficult for first-time dog owners. Doberman Shepherds benefit greatly from early socialization because they will be less distracted by other dogs and people when you take them on walks, which will make training much simpler.
Although these dogs are strong and imposing, they are extremely sensitive and do not respond well to rigorous training techniques. Hence, resorting to these training tactics may cause aggressive behavior. The finest training techniques are kind and reward-based since they can help you and your dog develop a lovely bond and sense of trust.
What to Look For
Checking for dog breeders who specialize in producing offspring of Doberman German Shepherds is the best way to find this puppy. As always, you should stick to reputable dog breeders to ensure the health and well-being of the dog.
These breeders don't solely breed for profit, they also ensure that they only produce a healthy litter. And they are pretty aware that this starts by ensuring that the parents are unquestionably healthy so that their kids and future offspring are less likely to inherit “poor” or unhealthy genes.
Price of Doberman Shepherd Puppies
After ruling out any potential health problems from the parent dogs, the other concern that you need to address is the amount that you are willing to spend to get your dream dog.
A good breeder will normally charge between $200 and $500 for a Doberman Shepherd puppy. However, bear in mind that you'll have additional costs to consider after buying your pup, which can be around $400 to $500.
These initial additional costs cover food, vet appointments, immunizations, and emergency treatment. On top of these expenses, you’ll also need to consider the cost of other essential procedures, such as spaying or neutering, and microchip tagging.
Selecting the ideal dog for you entails more than picking one with a particular appearance, coat type, or background. Although the Doberman German Shepherd mix may appear to be an appealing option, it is undoubtedly not the right dog for everyone, and it is definitely not the ideal dog for a laid-back household.
The Doberman Shepherd is an intelligent and vivacious dog that thrives with engaged, and active owners who can devote their time and energy to them. Remember that Doberman German Shepherd Mix pets will require daily exercise, continuous training, and socializing for the rest of their lives.
Due to its large size and demand for space to run around, the Doberman German Shepherd mix is not the best dog for apartment dwellers. It is also not a good dog for you if your family lives in a colder climate and has limited opportunity to take your Doberman Shepherd outside for a walk or to play at the dog park.
Overall, the Doberman German Shepherd mix can be intimidating, but it is a devoted family pet. Although it might not be the best dog for kids or novice dog owners, you can easily overcome the dog's less appealing qualities and make it a more family-oriented pet through early socialization and proper training. The most crucial thing to keep in mind is that in times of danger, your courageous and loyal dog will defend your family with its life.