This hybrid is what you get when you cross two of the most beloved guard dogs in the world.
A cross between a Doberman Pinscher and a German Shepherd, the Doberman Shepherd is a loving and deeply loyal canine. Despite his intimidating appearance, this fido is actually affectionate and observant.
Find out everything you need to know about the Doberman Shepherd breed here.
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.
The best way to determine exactly how this crossbred will turn out is to look into the history, characteristics and skills of both his parent breeds.
Meet the Doberman Pinscher
The Doberman Pinscher breed is said to have originated in Apolda, in Thueringen, Germany.
In 1890, a tax collector by the name of 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 but also a good companion.
He mixed several breeds, including the Rottweiler, Weimaraner and German Pinscher to create the very first Doberman.
Dobermann’s crossbreed went on to become a popular working dog during times of war, 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 their sleek 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their black, red or blue coat and their upright, triangular shaped ears that are often docked, however this practice is outdated and illegal in some places.
Meet the German Shepherd
The German Shepherd breed’s lineage can be traced as far back as the 7th century AD to a mountain sheepdog in Germany.
However, it is Captain Max von Stephanitz that is acclaimed for having registered the first German Shepherd 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 and American Kennel Club changed the name of the breed from the German Sheepdog to Shepherd Dog so as to avoid association with the Germans with the dog being 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/red patterns.
This very strong and energetic dog features a muscular body and thick and sturdy thighs. Their body structure is rectangular and hips slightly sloped.
They are said by some to have a wolf-like appearance due to their upright ears and a long muzzle.
What does a German Shepherd Doberman look like?
The German Shepherd Doberman mix has a commanding, unmistakable appearance. This breed is characterised 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 while their tail is full and is carried straight with a bit of a curve.
How big does a Doberman Shepherd get?
Due to the characteristics of this crossbreed’s 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 the female of this breed is typically a bit smaller and slimmer than the male, standing roughly 2 inches shorter and weighing in about 10 pounds (5 kg) lighter.
Even Doberman Shepherd puppies are quite large, already weighing between 25 and 30 pounds (12 to 16 kg) at three months old.
The puppies start to reach maturity at around 8-10 months old and are considered fully grown at 24-30 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.
These large energetic dogs love rural farm environments where they have the space to run and play, or at the very least in a home with a large yard.
The Doberman German Shepherd’s coat
The German Shepherd Doberman mix’s coat can vary slightly depending on which of their parents characteristics are the strongest.
Their coat can either resemble the short and shiny doberman’s or the wiry, longer and fluffier German Shepherd.
Typically the Shepherd Doberman’s coat will be of a short to medium length and have a black, brown or tan colour, often with patterns of all three colours.
These dogs are low to moderate shedders and are not considered good companion dogs for people with severe allergies.
What are German Shepherd Doberman mix dogs like?
Crossing a German Shepherd with a Doberman Pinscher results in a very intelligent cross breed that also has a strong, independent streak.
Due to these dogs’ history of military work, training should be done early, making it very clear to the dog who is in charge.
Once you have garnered the loyalty of the German Shepherd Doberman mix they will show you their loving and affectionate side, however their loyalty can also show as dominance and aggression and so early socialization is essential with this hybrid breed.
The Shepherd Doberman can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone.
Due to this tendency to be fiercely loyal, the Doberman Shepherd 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.
While well suited to a life outdoors, due to his Doberman Pinscher parent, the Shepherd Doberman doesn’t fare well in very cold weather and should be kept indoors in lower temperatures.
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.
Exercising your Doberman German Shepherd cross
The German Shepherd Doberman mix has a lot of energy and will require at least 90 minutes of activity a day. These dogs are best suited to an active family that will take him on several long walks a day as well as runs, hikes and visits to the dog park.
An average of 12 miles of walking per week is recommended for the active Doberman Shepherd.
As this hybrid breed was bred to be a working dog, they like to have a mission and a job to do. While a variety of gameplay will keep them busy, obedience training is also a good idea for this breed to stimulate the mind.
The Shepherd Doberman will also excell at herding and racing activities.
Your Doberman Shepherd’s grooming routine
As this mix is a moderate shedder, thus not hypoallergenic, it is recommended that you brush your Doberman Shepherd mix three to four times. It is also only really necessary to bathe this crossbreed when dirty.
Due to their parent’s dislike for bathing, the German Shepherd Doberman mix also typically won’t like to be washed and so doing so as a puppy will help to train your dog to tolerate bath time.
That said, regular brushing, as well as ear cleaning, will help to keep your dog healthy.
As the Shepherd Doberman has been bred for a working lifestyle, lots of grooming is not necessary and professional attention at a salon is rarely needed.
What to feed your Doberman Shepherd?
As a large breed, the Doberman German Shepherd mix will require twice daily feeding with a total of about 4 to 5 cups of food a day.
Due to this crossbreed’s energetic and active lifestyle, organic dog food is recommended and extra vitamins or supplements may be necessary.
While it’s always best to consult your vet regarding supplements, a variety of natural additions can be added to your dog’s daily kibble to keep them fit and healthy.
The Doberman Shepherd will benefit greatly from boneless fish which provide protein and omega-3 as well as fresh fruits and vegetables which are a good source of vitamins.
Due to their wolf background, the Doberman German Shepherd mix is also a good candidate for a raw food diet which is said to increase energy levels and build a healthier coat.
Is the German Shepherd Doberman healthy?
Due to the strong, working nature of both parent breeds, the Doberman German Shepherd mix will typically be tough, resilient dogs with few health issues.
As this dog is a crossbreed it will in fact often be even healthier than its purebred parents due to hybrid vigor.
This is a process that occurs when crossbreed offspring display the dominant, superior qualities of both parent breeds.
That said, these reliable lifelong companions are susceptible to some common ailments in dogs.
Other minor illnesses that can affect the doberman shepherd include gastric torsion which often occurs in large dogs, as well as osteosarcoma, cataracts and dermatitis.
Similar to the life expectancy of most large dog breeds, Doberman Shepherds have a tendency to live between 10 and 13 years.
Due to the active nature of the German Shepherd Doberman mix, you may see wear and tear in your dogs joints as they get older.
There are a variety of supplements that will help your German Shepherd Doberman mix to overcome these issues, such as Omega-3 fish oils which were mentioned earlier, as well as Vitamin E.
Where to buy a German Shepherd Doberman mix?
Doberman Shepherd puppies typically cost around $200 to $500 at a breeder.
However, when purchasing one of these puppies, it is vital to ensure that you can account for their initial medical expenses and vaccinations.
You can expect to spend a minimum of US$500 when purchasing your puppy plus a good amount annually on activities and food – remember this large breed eats a lot!
Doberman German Shepherd mix breeders
If you love everything you have read then you may be wondering about getting your own German Shepherd Doberman mix.
A good Doberman German Shepherd breeder will only breed only 2-3 litters a year. Be sure to research your breeder well and visit their site if you want to avoid health issues with your puppy later on.
A variety of breeders specialise in mixing German Shepherds and Dobermans with other breeds to create good watchdog crosses, such as the Doberman Shepherd.
Here are some of them to get you started on your search for the perfect puppy:
Doberman German Shepherd mix rescue/adoption sites
With both parent breeds being popular dogs, there are a variety of adoption sites and centres for these breeds. These adoption and rescue centres also do advertise mix or cross breeds that are available.
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:
- Doberman Adoption rescue sites:
Dogs that are similar to the German Shepherd Doberman mix
Both the German Shepherd and the Doberman Pinscher are often crossed with other breeds to produce some similar mixes.
Similar German Shepherd mixes include:
Other popular Doberman mix breeds include:
Why get a Doberman Shepherd?
The strong protective traits of this dog can be both a good and a bad thing, so it’s important to set realistic expectations. You need to dedicate lots of time and energy to this breed but they will match this with devoted loyalty.
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.