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German Shepherd Doberman Mixes: Your Complete Guide

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Key Points

  • The German shepherd Doberman mix is best suited for active families with big yards. 

  • This breed is incredibly intelligent and needs plenty of stimulation. 

  • The German shepherd Doberman mix requires experienced dog owners.  

The Doberman shepherd — also known as the German shepherd Doberman mix — is a cross between the German shepherd and the Doberman pinscher. These two formidable guard dogs combine into large and powerful animals with plenty of energy. Anyone who owns one of these dogs needs to provide them with plenty of daily exercise and have a confident hand in training. 

German shepherd Doberman mixes are highly intelligent and can be easy to train for experienced owners. The downside to any smart dog is stubbornness. These dogs need discipline — or you may find yourself with a bored dog and a torn-up couch. 

Socializing and training your Doberman shepherd at a young age significantly decreases the risk for unwanted behaviors. Considering these are strong dogs as adults, you want to correct any negative behavior earlier. 

Before You Buy

If you’ve ever seen the face of a German shepherd Doberman puppy, then you know just how easy it is to fall in love at first sight. Those cute babies are tough for anyone to avoid.

However, these dogs are not suitable for everyone! This breed of dog comes from two lines of fierce protectors which can be a wonderful trait, but you may find that these dogs show signs of aggression easily. This breed isn’t for starters who do not know how to train their dog. 

Yes, they are adorable, and giving them all the cuddles is tempting, but that little puppy grows up into a tough adult. These dogs are very smart but they lack the awareness of just how big they are. 

German Shepherd Doberman Mixes Info: Temperament And Traits

Here are some basic facts and stats about the breed:

Height: 22-26"

Weight: 90-110 lbs

Lifespan: 10-13 years

Colors: Black, brown, and tan

Suitable for: High-energy families, active singles, and homes with large backyards

Temperament: Loyal, loving, intelligent, protective, and stubborn

German Shepherd and Doberman standing in the grass on a sunny day

Temperament & Intelligence of the German Shepherd Doberman Mix

Both parents of this breed are extremely intelligent, loyal, protective, and athletic. It should come as no surprise that the German shepherd Doberman mix is the same. At times, you may feel like your dog has outsmarted you because they are so stubborn. They're strong-willed and seem to enjoy making things difficult. They make up for it with their love and ability to enjoy being part of a family. 

Be ready for a dog that has a high-energy drive. They are just as athletic as their parent breeds. If you don’t give your dog the ability to burn through this energy daily, then you just might find they take it out on your things. A bored dog is a destructive dog. Proper training is required for this breed. You also need to be a confident leader or you will find that your dog takes that position upon themself. 

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

Yes! These dogs make great family dogs provided they are trained and socialized properly. Like most big dogs they forget that they are bigger than smaller children. You have to be ready to remind your dog that they need to be gentle around children and smaller animals.

The German shepherd Doberman mix is a highly affectionate breed but can still knock over children and even the elderly or infirm. It is almost always a mistake because they forget not everyone is as strong as they are. This breed does fantastic in a family with older kids as they are loyal and fierce protectors. 

If you socialize your dog young and keep up with training, then this breed makes a great family pet. Plus, with so much energy the dog and the kids can get their energy out by playing together. 

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Typically, yes, the German shepherd Doberman mix gets along great with other dogs. Even better? They are also typically great with cats, too. This breed is great at protecting those it calls family. If that family happens to have another fluffy family member, then you can rest assured that they are safe. 

These dogs don’t have a high prey instinct. Smaller animals in your house are generally safe as long as you properly socialize your Doberman shepherd. If you didn’t do any socialization or are adopting an older dog, then it is best to take things slowly when introducing your dog to new friends.

German Shepherd and Doberman play in the grass

What’s the Price of German Shepherd Doberman Mix Puppies?

You’ve decided you want a Doberman shepherd puppy, but how much do they cost? The cost of a German shepherd Doberman mix is anywhere between $200 to $500. The price changes depending on the age of the dog, the location, and the sex. Female puppies are more expensive than males. 

Always find a breeder if you are looking for a puppy. Do your research into the breeder to ensure that your puppy is as healthy as possible. Knowing the breeder benefits you. You’ll get a history of the puppy’s parents and any health issues that might come with genetics. 

3 Little-Known Facts About the German Shepherd Doberman Mix

German Shepherds Were Originally Bred to Heard Sheep 

Von Stephanitz is the creator of the modern German shepherd. In the 1880s he wanted an all-purpose working dog. The goal was to breed a dog that had the courage, athleticism, and intelligence of all the herding dogs combined. In 1931, the American Kennel Club changed the name of the German cattledog to what it's known as in 2022: the German shepherd.

No One Knows What Breeds a Doberman Pinscher Came From 

Seriously, no one knows! The creator of the Doberman, Louis Doberman, created the first dog in 1876. This breed isn’t that old compared to some others out there. It is speculated he created the Doberman by using Rottweilers, German Pinscher, and black and tan terriers.

However, when Doberman died in 1894, he took the secret with him to his grave. The mystery remains today, but they named the Doberman canine in his honor. 

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Big Softies 

The world has never really met Dobermans with loving arms. They look mean, but just like other aggressive-looking dogs, they are big softies under it all. The same goes for the German shepherd Doberman mix. These dogs love their families and remain puppyish until they are three or four years old.

Like every dog, they need to be socialized young to ensure they are well-rounded. They think they are smaller than they really are, but if you love a dog that wants to be close to you at all times, then this breed has you covered.

German Shepherd Doberman puppy

Things to Know When Owning a German Shepherd Doberman Mix

Owning a German shepherd Doberman mix is an investment in time and money. Just like every dog, there are some things you need to know before getting one yourself. 

Food & Diet Requirements

Just like any bigger dog, the German shepherd Doberman mix is prone to obesity. These dogs love to eat! You should look at giving your pet two to four cups of high-quality dry food a day divided between two meals. Just like people, they need different amounts of food. How much your adult dog needs depends on its size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level.

The quality of dog food also makes an enormous difference in how much your dog needs at each meal. The better the food, the more they get out of it, and the less you need to give them. Break up your dog's meals rather than leave food out all day. This breed is not great at knowing when to stop eating and will eat it all in one setting if you allow them to do so. 

Exercise

The German shepherd Doberman mix is an active breed. They need around 90 minutes of exercise each day because of their high energy levels. Split this time up into different sections to get the most out of your exercise time.

These dogs make excellent running, cycling, or hiking partners. You’ll run out of energy long before they do! 

If you want a dog that will cuddle on the couch all day long, this breed is not for you. Ideally, this breed needs a big backyard to run around in. Apartment living doesn’t suit this breed unless you can meet their needs for activity. 

German Shepherd Doberman dog face

Mental

This breed requires a lot of mental stimulation. Their high intelligence and endless energy can make for a very destructive, bored dog. Regular playtime and training are great ways to combat this. 

Many owners find that agility classes are a great way to keep their dog's mental needs met. If agility classes aren’t your thing, then toys that require mental stimulation are key. Items like lick mats, food puzzles, and even treat balls are great. If you must leave your dog for an extended period then considering a doggy daycare may be in your best interest. It will not only socialize your dog but it will keep them busy. Many pet owners find that they have an exhausted dog by the time they pick their pet up.

Training

These dogs are extremely intelligent and usually take to training like a fish to water. However, they have a stubborn streak. This can make it a challenge for novice owners who don’t know how to combat it. 

Again, early socialization is key. It can make training your dog easier when they are already going to be less distracted about everything going on around them. 

This breed does not do well with harsh training methods. They are smart and with harsher methods come dogs who can get aggressive. Things like leash popping or yelling are going to be ineffective. Gentle, reward-based methods are best. Treats work great for this breed. They are highly food motivated and will do just about anything for a treat. 

Grooming

The grooming needs of the German shepherd Doberman mix vary depending on the length and thickness of your dog’s coat. While most dogs of this breed have short hair and don’t shed much, some dogs have longer hair. 

Brush your dog around three times a week to ensure that shedding is kept to a minimum and to help spread the coat’s natural oils. One of the best brushes for this is a slicker brush. You can find one at any pet store or even online.

From puppyhood forward, get your dog used to getting their nails trimmed and teeth brushed. You may also benefit from training your dog to get in and out of the bathtub as a puppy to make it easier once they are older. 

Naturally, your dog is going to have semi-floppy ears. Floppy ear dogs need their ears cleaned each week to help prevent ear infections. 

German Shepherd Doberman lying in the grass

Health and Conditions

These dogs are considered fairly healthy. They come from a line of two relatively healthy breeds but that does not mean they aren’t susceptible to genetic issues. They are also prone to some of the issues that bigger dogs have. Because they are also athletic, they can have problems with their joints. Not every dog will have these diseases, but it is important to be aware of them. 

Von Willebrand’s Disease 

This is an inherited blood disorder that interferes with the blood's ability to clot. There is no cure for this and something only known through testing. Some common symptoms of this disease are excessive bleeding after surgery, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, or bleeding in the stomach or intestines. Most dogs with this disease can lead normal lives.

Hip Dysplasia 

Bigger dogs are prone to hip dysplasia — when their hip slips out of place — as they grow older. Arthritis is also common with hip dysplasia. Some dogs show lameness while other dogs don’t show any signs of outward discomfort. The best way to know if your dog can suffer from this is to have regular checkups with your vet to ensure they are growing properly and to help mitigate this problem before they get older.

Wobbler Syndrome

This is suspected to be an inherited condition from the Doberman side of the breeding. This disease happens when the dog suffers from spinal cord compression caused by cervical vertebral instability. Extreme symptoms are neck pain and paralysis of the legs. There is no cure for this. 

Cardiomyopathy

This is a disease of the heart muscle. It is when the walls become thin and weak in the heart chamber. Most often this results in an abnormally large heart and eventually results in heart failure. Catching this disease early by using treatments can improve heart function. 

German Shepherd Doberman lays on the beach

Separation Anxiety  

If you leave your dog alone too much, it can develop separation anxiety. This can lead to your dog destroying your things in a fit of panic. To help combat this, make sure your dog is getting enough time with you and has plenty of toys to keep their mind busy while you are gone. If your dog starts showing signs of separation anxiety, it means they are lacking something when you are present.

Male Versus Female

There is a negligible difference between the males and females of this breed. They are the same size and weight and possess the same energy levels. The biggest difference is temperaments. Male German shepherd Doberman mixes are more territorial than their female counterparts. Females are more nurturing. 

Both require the same training due to similar energy levels. Regardless of sex, if you don’t train your dog, you will have a dog that believes it can do anything it wants without getting into trouble. Otherwise, with very little difference between males and females, you get a great dog either way.

Final Thoughts

No matter how you look at the Doberman shepherd breed, it will take work to ensure everyone is happy. This breed is the product of two working dogs that need jobs to do. You can’t just leave them alone and expect trouble to stay away. 

The bond you get with a German shepherd Doberman mix lasts a lifetime. These dogs are great family pets and great guard dogs. If you are looking for a faithful friend and have the time to put in the work, you can’t go wrong.