Doberman vs Rottweiler: Which One is Better For Your Home?

Last Updated on February 20, 2022

The Doberman Pinscher and the Rottweiler are two dog breeds known for their intimidating looks and protective natures.

If you’re looking for an excellent guard dog, you’re undoubtedly considering one of these breeds.

Close-up images of the Doberman Pinscher and the Rottweiler
The equally lovely Doberman Pinscher (left) and Rottweiler (right)

But what exactly is the difference between a Doberman and a Rottweiler and which one is better for your home? Keep reading to find out.

Breed Comparison: A Quick Overview

Both Doberman Pinschers and Rottweilers are excellent family pets and working dogs.

These dog breeds are also very fearless, wary of strangers, and obedient to their owners, making them excellent guard dogs.

There are however some key differences that set these two breeds apart. 

Here is a quick comparison table between Rottweilers and Dobermans. 

  Doberman Pinscher Rottweiler
Nickname Doberman, Dobie Rottie
Height 24-28 inches 
(61-71 cm)
22-27 inches
(56-68 cm)
Weight 60-100 pounds 
(27-45 kg)
80-135 pounds 
(36-61 kg)
Temperament Fearless, Loyal, Alert Loyal, Confident, Loving
Energy Very active Moderate 
Lifespan 10-12 years 9-10 years
Price $1500 and up $1500 and up
Uses Military, protection, therapy Police, protection, farmwork

Are Doberman Pinschers Related to Rottweilers?

A Doberman Pinscher and a Rottweiler standing outdoors
A Doberman (left) and a Rottie (right) standing outdoors

Dobermans and Rottweilers look alike. Although that isn’t really surprising as the Doberman Pinscher was actually bred from the Rottweiler, and thus they share some of the same DNA.

One of the oldest recorded dog breeds, the Rottweiler is a descendant of Mastiffs from Roman times.

Rottweilers were used by the Romans for herding and to provide protection from wild animals and bandits. 

These dogs get their name from the town of Rottweil where they were used by traveling butchers to guard their money, which was kept in a purse around the dog’s neck.

Tax Collector, Louis Dobermann began breeding Dobermans around 1890 in Germany.

Dobermann wanted an imposing-looking breed that could accompany him as he was met by hostile residents as part of his job.

He crossed the Rottweiler with an Old Shorthaired Shepherd, a Smooth-Haired German Pinscher, and the Black and Tan Terrier to create his breed.

Doberman Pinschers were officially recognized as a breed by the German Kennel Club in 1900 and were brought to the United States around 1908.

How Can You Differentiate a Doberman from a Rottweiler?

A Doberman Pinscher lying down and a Rottweiler sitting outdoors
The equally stunning Dobie (left) and Rottie (right)

While Rottweilers and Dobies share similar coloring, it’s pretty easy to tell these two breeds apart.

Dobermans are slightly taller and more slender than Rottweilers, standing between 24 and 28 inches (61 and 71 cm) tall and weighing between 60 and 100 pounds (27 and 45 kg).

The stockier and heavier Rottweiler stands 22 to 27 inches (56 to 68 cm) tall and weighs between 80 and 135 pounds (36 and 61 kg).

Due to their large size, Rottweilers are frequently used to move large objects on farms. 

Rottweilers also generally have large drop ears, whereas the Doberman has pointy, erect ears. Sometimes the Doberman’s ears are also cropped, although this practice is quite controversial.

The face of the Rottweiler is also more square with loose lips. You can expect a bit of drool from this breed!

As mentioned, the color of both dogs is quite similar, with black bodies with rust accents being the most common color for both breeds.

The rust accents are typically seen on the eyebrows, chest, nose, and legs.

Black is the only recognized color for Rottweilers, while Dobermans can also come in fawn, blue, and red. Sometimes white Dobermans are seen, but these are albino dogs.

Which is a Better Guard Dog, the Rottweiler or Doberman?

A Rottweiler and a Doberman Pinscher standing outdoors
The naturally protective Rottweiler (left) and Doberman (right)

Both Rotties and Dobermans are well known for their protection and guarding skills.

They are the ultimate protectors and are commonly used to patrol properties, alerting owners to any danger that might be imminent.

But is one of these breeds more aggressive or dangerous than the other?

Which breed is more dangerous, the Dobie or Rottie?

Both these breeds tend to have quite an unfair reputation. Most members of the public perceive these breeds to be quite aggressive, which isn’t necessarily true.

Due to their tendency to be exceptionally wary around strangers, and even other animals, both the Rottweiler and the Doberman Pinscher need to be socialized at a young age. 

Socializing your dog from a young age in a variety of different environments will allow him the opportunity to get used to other animals and people as a puppy.

Failure to do so can result in a dog that is overly protective and quite aggressive. However, with the right upbring and proper training, these dogs can be very loving members of the family

Of the two breeds, the Rottweiler is the one that tends to be more aloof around strangers and has more of an independent streak.

Rottweiler puppies that are not appropriately trained can grow into unruly and aggressive adults.

These powerful dogs with their muscular jaws can prove quite dangerous to a pet owner that can’t properly control them.

How strong is a Doberman and Rottweiler’s bite force?

Due to their sheer size, Rottweilers are one of those dogs you don’t want to get on your wrong side. Rottweilers have 328 pounds of bite force, so an attack would hurt.

That said, the Doberman’s bite force of 245 PSI and athletic ability are the force to be reckoned with in their own right, and this breed is also likely to bark quite a bit.

Which is a better family dog, Rottweiler or Doberman Pinscher?

Close-up images of smiling Doberman Pinscher and Rottweiler dogs
A Dobie (left) and a Rottie (right) giving their sweet smiles

Doberman Pinschers have quite an affectionate side and will enjoy a good cuddle on the couch.

Although the Rottweiler can also be loving, the Doberman craves this love. If he is ignored or left alone for long periods, this dog can suffer from separation anxiety. 

If you’re away from your pet all day, then the Doberman Pinscher may not be the best breed for you. Because of their loyal, unwavering nature, Dobermans are often used as therapy dogs

Which is smarter and easier to train, Doberman or Rottweiler?

Both Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers are intelligent dog breeds that like to work, much like the German Shepherd.

They thus both enjoy being trained by a strong and confident master. Their eagerness to please nature can make training these dogs relatively straightforward.

However, these breeds are still not recommended for first-time dog owners. 

If you fail to establish yourself as the dominant pack leader quickly, then you will struggle to gain control of your dog.

Both breeds will benefit from positive reinforcement training techniques. 

A dog that is treated negatively with punishment may turn towards being aggressive and show a stubborn side.

In addition, an owner that isn’t on their toes can easily be outsmarted by the super-smart Doberman. 

Dobermans are commonly used in military and protection services. Rottweilers too are also used often by protection services and also as police dogs.

Rotties were also used in WWI and WWII, where they cemented their reputation as both ruthless protectors and gentle giants.

Are Dobermans and Rottweilers High Maintenance Dogs?

A Doberman Pinscher and A Rottweiler being active outdoors
The outdoorsy and active Dobie (left) and Rottie (right)

Although Dobermans and Rottweilers require quite a bit of exercise, they have low grooming needs.

They are also easily adaptable to a range of environments and quite comfortable for extending periods outdoors. 

The Rottweiler has a slightly thicker coat, making it more tolerable of cold weather conditions, whereas the Doberman is the better breed in warmer climates.

However, they eat a lot, so be sure your budget can handle giant quantities of food when getting one of these dogs.

Doberman vs. Rottweiler exercise and training needs

As working dog breeds, both the Rottie and the Dobbie require quite a bit of exercise. At least an hour of exercise a day would be the minimum requirement for both of these dogs.

Of the two, the Doberman is the more energetic and lively breed. Along with physical activity, he will also require a fair deal of mental stimulation.

The Doberman Pinscher will enjoy an energetic game of tug of war, playtime with puzzle toys, and competing in agility challenges and canine sporting events. 

If these dogs aren’t exercised sufficiently, they can both become quite destructive. Due to their large sizes and robust frames, they can cause quite a bit of damage if they want to.

So you need to invest the time into exercising your pet if you should decide to get one of these breeds.

Grooming of Rottweilers and Dobermans

These dog breeds have a short coat, although the Doberman Pinscher’s coat is typically smoother and shinier.

Although both breeds have low grooming needs, they are known to be moderate shedders, so they’re not suitable for pet owners with allergies. 

Of the two breeds, Dobermans shed slightly less, although both breeds shed more with the changing of the seasons in spring and fall.

You will need to brush either breed’s coat at least once a week to keep it looking great and remove any dead hair or skin.

Feeding your protector dogs

Both Dobermans and Rottweilers require about four cups of dry kibble daily.

Rottweilers are also particularly prone to developing obesity and skin conditions, so you need to be careful what dog food you give them.

Rottweiler vs Doberman: Which is Healthier?

Close-up images of the Rottweiler and Doberman Pinscher in black background
The fierce and healthy Rottweiler (left) and Doberman (right) dogs

Despite being large breeds, both the Rottweiler and the Doberman Pinscher are relatively healthy dogs.

However, the Doberman has a slightly longer life expectancy of 10 to 12 years than the Rottweiler which only has an average lifespan of 9 to 10 years. 

Some common health concerns that plague large dogs, including these breeds, are elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia, which are malformations of the joints, leading to arthritis and pain as your pet gets older.

These dogs are also known to suffer from bloat and gastric torsion occasionally. This is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the stomach flips, generally due to exercising immediately before or after eating a large meal. 

Regarding breed-specific illnesses, the Doberman is prone to developing Von Willebrand’s disease, which is a blood platelet deficiency that stops the blood from clotting.

Other illnesses that plague Dobermans are Addison’s disease, dilated cardiomyopathy, cervical vertebral instability, disc-associated Wobbler’s syndrome, Hypothyroidism, and Osteosarcoma. 

Rottweilers, too, are subject to some of these diseases, mainly dilated cardiomyopathy, which is a heart condition that can lead to heart failure.

These dogs also occasionally sugar from osteochondrosis of the knee and shoulder, aortic stenosis, entropion, cruciate ligament rupture, and sensitive digestive tracts. Rotties are also prone to developing eye disease.

Doberman vs. Rottweiler Puppy Prices: Which is More Expensive?

A Doberman Pinscher puppy and a Rottweiler puppy
The adorable Dobie (left) and Rottie (right) puppies

Doberman and Rottweiler puppies from reputable breeders will both cost around $1,500.

However, the price of a puppy can vary significantly depending on the breeder’s reputation, location, and the parent dogs. Puppies from championship parents can cost as much as $4,000 each.

Be sure to always get a puppy from a reputable breeder that can issue you with all the necessary health certificates and where you can be sure the parent dogs have been adequately cared for.

Do not buy from anyone that sells white Dobermans. As mentioned, this is a genetic abnormality, and these dogs are likely to suffer from numerous health issues.

Older Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers can frequently be found at rescue centers; however, these dogs are often crossed with another breed.

In addition, many of these dogs haven’t been trained or socialized correctly and will require a patient and firm owner who can dedicate the time it takes to rehabilitate them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

A Rottweiler and a Doberman Pinscher sticking their tongues out
A Rottie (left) and a Dobie (right) playfully sticking their tongues out

Which is more popular, the Doberman or Rottweiler?

Despite their history as working dogs, both Rottweilers and Dobermans are popular family pets.

The Doberman Pinscher is ranked number 17 in popularity out of 193 breeds by the American Kennel Club.

On the other hand, the Rottweiler is the 8th most popular dog breed in the United States. 

Can a Rottweiler live with a Doberman?

If you simply can’t pick and choose between these breeds, you may be wondering if the Dobie and the Rottie can cohabit?

Thankfully, with early socialization and training, these two mighty dog breeds can get along.

Whether these two dogs will get along depends primarily on you as the owner and how much time and effort you can dedicate to training.

If properly socialized and trained correctly with regular obedience classes, both Rottweilers and Dobermans can get along with other dogs, including each other, as well as all family members, even your kids.

But don’t just take our word for it, check out this super cute video of a Rottweiler and Doberman just having fun together: 

Conclusion: Which is Better, Rottweiler or Doberman?

Getting a dog is a big commitment. When you welcome a furry friend, you’re making a commitment of around ten years, sometimes even longer. Thus, you must select a dog that is right for your family.

Both Dobermans and Rottweilers will be excellent watchdogs and protectors for your property.

The Doberman is bred from the Rottweiler dog; they share many similarities, including their low-maintenance black and rust-colored coat.

However, there are also a few differences; the slender Doberman is more energetic and loving than his Rottweiler cousin.

In contrast, the Rottweiler can handle being on his own and will enjoy farm work. 

No matter which of these two breeds you choose, you’ll end up with a fiercely loyal companion who will do anything to protect his family.

Do you have a Doberman or Rottweiler at home? We’d love to hear all about your furry family member! Let us know more about your dog in the comments below.

Further reading: Your favorite dog breeds compared

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