German Shepherd Doberman mix: One of the best breeds?

Last Updated on April 27, 2023

Looking for a crossbreed that’s a mix of the two most beloved guard dogs? Then this designer dog must be it.

Nicknamed Doberman Shepherd, this hybrid is an intensely loyal and loving canine. It may not be obvious because of their intimidating appearance, but they’re affectionate and observant.

The panting German Shepherd Doberman mix dog resting on the grass

Keep reading to find out more about the German Shepherd Doberman mix’s appearance, personality, maintenance, and health.

History of the German Shepherd Doberman mix

Like most other designer or hybrid dog breeds, the German Shepherd Doberman mix breed probably evolved sometime during the 1990s.

But despite not knowing a lot about their origin, the best way to determine how this crossbred will turn out is to look into the history, characteristics, and skills of both its purebred parents.

Meet the Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher dog lying outdoors during autumn
A sleek Doberman Pinscher dog lying outdoors during autumn season

The Doberman Pinscher breed is said to have originated in Apolda, in Thueringen, Germany.

In 1890, a tax collector named Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, who the breed now takes its name from, looked to create a breed that could accompany him on his work, being a loyal guard dog and a good companion.

He mixed several breeds, including the Rottweiler, Weimaraner, and German Pinscher, to create the first Doberman.

Dobermann’s crossbreed became a popular working dog during wars, acting as scouts, messengers, and sentries.

Their use in war is evidenced at the war dogs cemetery on the island of Guam, where many Doberman Pinscher graves can be found.

The breed, known for its shiny coat and athletic build, was added to the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1908, and the Doberman Pinscher Club of America was formed back in 1921.

These slim and sleek dogs stand 24 to 28 inches (61 to 71 cm) tall and weigh 60 to 80 pounds (27 to 36 kg).

Their defining characteristics include their black, red, or blue coat, and their upright, triangular-shaped ears are often docked. However, this practice is outdated and illegal in some places.

Meet the German Shepherd (GSD)

Two German Shepherd dogs sitting on green grass
Two German Shepherd dogs sitting on green grass at autumn background

The German Shepherd breed’s lineage can be traced as far back as the 7th century AD to a mountain sheepdog in Germany.

However, Captain Max von Stephanitz is acclaimed for having registered the first GSD in 1899.

During the end of the late 1800s, Stephanitz bred a variety of local shepherd dogs to develop a dog that could be used effectively in military and police work.

His first German Shepherd was officially registered under the term German Sheepdog.

Also, in 1899, the Verein fur Deutsche Schäferhunde SV was created to oversee the breeding of the German Shepherd. The goal of the organization was to develop a good herding and all-purpose working dog.

When World War I broke out, these dogs were used as war sentries. American Kennel Club changed the breed’s name from the German Sheepdog to Shepherd Dog to avoid association with the Germans.

The breed is the country’s most commonly used military dog. This name was only changed to the German Shepherd in 1931.

In the United Kingdom, the breed was, as sometimes still is, referred to as the Alsatian Wolf Hound.

The German Shepherd is a large dog that stands between 22 and 26 inches (56 to 71 cm) tall and weighs 75 to 95 pounds (34 to 43 kg).

This breed of dog features a double coat of medium length which is typically straight and features black and cream, tan, or red patterns.

This powerful and energetic dog features a muscular body and thick and sturdy thighs. Their body structure is rectangular, and their hips are slightly sloped.

They are said by some to have a wolf-like appearance due to their upright ears and long muzzle.

What does a German Shepherd & Doberman cross look like?

A Doberman German Shepherd mix dog sneaking
A Doberman German Shepherd mix dog sneaking on a park

German Shepherd Doberman mixes have a commanding, unmistakable appearance. This breed is characterized by their muscular and agile bodies combined with their large ears that stand on their own.

Their faces feature a long muzzle, black nose, and brown or black eyes.

They have a tail that’s full and is carried straight with a bit of a curve.

How big does a Doberman Shepherd get?

Given the size of its parents, the Doberman Shepherd mix will be a large dog with an average weight of 90 to 110 pounds (41 to 50 kg) and a height of 22 to26 inches (56 to 66 cm).

Typically, females are slightly smaller and slimmer than males, standing roughly 2 inches shorter and weighing about 10 pounds (5 kg) lighter.

Even Doberman Shepherd puppies are quite large, weighing between 25 and 30 pounds (12 to 16 kg) at three months old.

Puppies start to reach maturity at around 8 to 10 months old and are considered fully grown at 24 to 30 months, with the females reaching full size quicker than the males.

Their size can make them difficult to handle, and this should be kept in mind when purchasing a puppy from this hybrid.

Besides their size, it’s best to know and consider that these energetic dogs would do better if they live in a spacious home, like a rural farm, where they have the space to run and play, or at the very least in a house with a large yard.

Does the Doberman-German Shepherd mix shed?

GSD & Doberman crossbreeds have a low to moderate shedding coat that can vary in looks and texture, depending on which parent it takes after.

It can be short and glossy like the Dobie or the German Shepherd parent’s fluffy, wiry, or long hair.

The Doberman Pinscher and German Shepherd hanging out together
The Doberman Pinscher and German Shepherd dog hanging out together

What are German Shepherd Doberman mix dogs like?

Combining the GSD with the Doberman Pinscher created this intelligent and independent hybrid born to be an alpha.

Don’t be intimidated by them, though. They have an affectionate side and would show how loving and loyal they are to their human family.

We recommend this mixed breed to dog lovers who have experience with smart and dominant dogs to assert that you’re the leader in your pack. Doing this wouldn’t be limited to your pet’s puppyhood phase.

Early socialization and training should be consistent and continuous to ensure that your fido is a well-behaved canine.

With that said, this designer dog is not recommended for families with very young children, while first-time dog owners may struggle to provide for the needs of the German Shepherd Doberman mix.

They’re not inherently aggressive, but it’s best to consider the background of their parents for their high prey drive and protective instincts.

All that time spent together makes this mixed breed prone to separation anxiety. That alone can lead to behavioral issues such as barking and digging.

Check out this video of a German Shepherd Doberman mix named Mason, happily digging a hole:

How to care for a Doberman German Shepherd mix

If you’re thinking about getting a Doberman Shepherd of your own, there are a few things you need to bear in mind about looking after this big and bold crossbreed.

First off, if your hybrid pooch has a coat that’s more on its Doberman parent’s side, it means he doesn’t fare well in very cold weather. The rest is covered in exercising, feeding, and grooming.

Give your Doberman-Shepherd cross enough exercise

With a lot of energy, at least 90 minutes of exercise a day will be sufficient for this doggo. That’s why we recommend this hybrid to active families who can take them on runs, hikes, and other adventures.

Canines who are bred to work need to be raised with a job or feel like they have a mission to do.

Games are a great way to engage your GSD & Dobie mix, but you can also get him to join dog sports like agility and obedience trials.

Your Doberman Shepherd’s grooming routine

Doberman Shepherd dog lying on the couch
Source: @ericacoci / IG

To minimize the amount of hair inside your home, we recommend brushing your Doberman Shepherd mix’s coat three to four times a week.

Baths aren’t necessary unless your fido is dirty or starting to smell. Get your pup used to getting washed and groomed as early as possible so he’ll get used to it.

Besides that, weekly cleaning of the ears with a damp cloth is necessary to prevent ear infections from developing. If you feel like this is a lot of work, bring your fur baby to a professional groomer.

What to feed your Doberman Shepherd?

As a large breed, the Doberman German Shepherd mix will require 4 to 5 cups of dog food divided into two meals daily.

When considering what type of dog food to feed your pet, you have to ensure that it’s appropriate for his age, weight, metabolism, and health.

Having trouble choosing between dry kibbles, canned food, and raw? Each type of diet or dog food offers different benefits like dental health, more palatable, and fresh ingredients.

Then, you have to consider if he has any food sensitivities, so you know if you should get him a recipe with grains or without grains.

You can check out our articles for the Best Dog Food for German Shepherds and Best Dog Food for Dobermans. The lists may help you choose a brand and formula that’s suitable for your canine’s needs.

Is the German Shepherd Doberman healthy?

Bred as working dogs, Doberman and German Shepherd mixes are tough and resilient with few health issues.

There’s what we call hybrid vigor, where designer dogs are believed to be healthier than their purebred parents.

It’s a process that occurs when crossbreed offspring display the dominant, superior qualities of both parent breeds.

Still, it’s best to be prepared for any illnesses that the Doby and GSD can pass on to their hybrid offspring.

Major concerns include elbow and hip dysplasia, which are common in German Shepherds, and cardiomyopathy and CVI or Wobblers Syndrome.

Other minor health problems that can affect the Doberman Shepherd include gastric torsion, which often occurs in large dogs, as well as osteosarcoma, cataracts, and dermatitis.

With proper care and a healthy lifestyle, German Shepherd Dobermans have a lifespan of 10 to 13 years.

Where to buy a German Shepherd Doberman mix?

Young German Shepherd Doberman mix puppy playing tennis ball
Source: @oldhamlee / IG

Doberman Shepherd puppies typically cost around $200 to $500 from a reputable breeder.

But, after purchasing a pup, keep in mind that you’ll have other expenses to worry about, like food, vet visits, vaccinations, and emergency care.

If you’re still very much decided to get a German Shepherd & Doberman mix of your own, we provided a list of breeders and rescue sites.

Doberman German Shepherd mix breeders & rescues

Be sure to research about the breeder or kennel to find out regarding their previous clients. Visit their site if you want to avoid problems, like health issues, with your puppy later on. 

Currently, no specific kennels are breeding this hybrid, but you can check out these rescues for each purebred parent and see if they have an available GSD-Doberman mix.

If not, check out the other German Shepherd mixes or Doberman mixes they have.

Here are just a few of those rescue organizations to kick start your search for a Doberman Shepherd to call your own:

German Shepherd rescue sites:

  • Sedona Shepherd
  • German Shepherd Rescue and Adoptions
  • Westside German Shepherd Rescue

Doberman Adoption rescue sites:

  • Dobies and Little Paws Rescue 
  • Doberman Rescue of the Triad
  • DPCA Rescue

Dogs that are similar to the GSD-Dobermans

The German Shepherd and the Doberman Pinscher are often crossed with other breeds to produce similar mixes.

Similar German Shepherd mixes include:

Other popular Doberman mix-breeds include:

  • The Doberman Collie mix
  • King Shepherd Doberman mix
  • Doberman Rottweiler mix

Why get a German Shepherd Doberman mix?

Doberman Shepherd mix dog enjoying the snow
Source: @lilies.and.ladybugs / IG

The strong protective traits of this dog can either be a good or bad thing, so it’s important to set realistic expectations.

You need to dedicate lots of time and energy if you want to own this breed, but they will repay it by being loyal.

The Doberman Shepherd is an excellent pick if you are looking to get a pet for security purposes while being a good companion at the same time.

Have you seen this breed before? Or do you currently own a German Shepherd Doberman mix? Let us know what they’re like by sharing your story below in the comment box.

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