For anyone seeking a strong, intelligent, and work-oriented dog, the Doberman Shepherd is just the ticket. This hybrid cross between a German Shepherd and a Doberman Pinscher is the perfect companion for the dedicated owner.
With that being said, the Doberman Shepherd could also become quite overwhelming for the less experienced or underprepared dog enthusiast.
If you can’t decide if the Doberman German Shepherd would be the right dog for you, you’re in luck. Today, we are talking about this beautiful crossbreed dog in an effort to help you decide if he would make the right addition to your home.
Let’s get started.
What Is A Doberman Shepherd? A Brief Breed Overview
The Doberman Shepherd is a cross between the German Shepherd and the Doberman Pinscher.
Type: Crossbreed, Hybrid, Mixed Breed, Designer Dog
Parent Breeds: The Doberman Pinscher and the German Shepherd
Height: 22 to 26 Inches
Weight: 90 to 110 Pounds
Temperament: Intelligent, Devoted, Courageous, Alert, Obedient, Work-Oriented
Lifespan: 10 to 13 Years
Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV), Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Chronic Active Hepatitis, Cervical Vertebral Instability, Chronic Active Hepatitis, Hypothyroidism, Hemophilia, Epilepsy, Diabetes, Degenerative Disc Disease, Cataracts, and Elbow Dysplasia
Best Suited For: More Experienced Dog Owners, Active Dog Owners
The Doberman German Shepherd Mix Breed Overview:
The Doberman German Shepherd mix is the crossbreed offspring of the purebred German Shepherd and the purebred Doberman Pinscher. As such, we can expect this hybrid to be an energetic, intelligent, and devoted dog that does best with experienced dog owners who are willing and able to commit time and attention to this beautiful mix.
Though the Doberman German Shepherd mix is rising in popularity, he is a relatively new crossbreed in the canine kingdom. For this reason, there are many factors to this dog that are considered unpredictable and quite a bit that we are still learning about him.
In order to better understand the Doberman German Shepherd mix, we must first understand the concept behind crossbreeding and take a closer look at the Doberman Shepherd’s parent breeds.
Keep reading to learn more!
What In The World Is The Designer Dog Debate?
Though popular, crossbreed dogs are somewhat controversial.
The Doberman German Shepherd mix is stunning to look at. He also has the potential to have a phenomenal temperament and disposition when raised by the right owner. However, Doberman German Shepherd mix dogs are also work-oriented breeds that come from two different purebred parents.
As with all crossbreed dogs, this means that the Doberman German Shepherd mix could be unpredictable when it comes to traits like health, appearance, and even temperament.
And this is where the crossbreed controversy comes into play.
What Is A Crossbreed?
Sometimes referred to as a hybrid, designer dog, or mixed breed, a crossbreed dog is the offspring of two different purebred parent breeds. Crossbreed dogs differ from mutts because they are specifically “designed” by breeders in an effort to combine the traits of two chosen purebred dogs.
Mutts, on the other hand, are often born without the help of human manipulation and tend to have a variety of different canine DNA in their genetics.
Originally, crossbreeding was done by breeders working to create dogs with combined breed traits for the purpose of work. In fact, it is believed that the majority of purebred dogs we are familiar with today are the result of careful crossbreeding over centuries.
And though crossbreeding has been an ongoing practice since nearly the beginning of the human and dog relationship, the practice of selling newer generation crossbreed dogs to the general public has only become popular over the last two decades.
Designer dogs are incredibly trendy these days, with many selling for as much if not more than their purebred counterparts.
But there are those that argue against this practice, pointing out that crossbreed dogs don’t have the benefit of the predictability of their purebred parent breeds.
However, crossbreed dogs may have the upper hand when it comes to health. Crossbreed dogs could have the benefit of hybrid vigor, a term used that means hybrid dogs may be less susceptible to inheriting the genetic health issues of their parent breeds thanks to their widened gene pool.
While this theory is promising, it’s important to note that hybrid vigor is not guaranteed, and that crossbreed dogs like the Doberman German Shepherd mix could still be prone to inheriting any of the same health issues as their purebred parent breeds.
For this reason, it is important to take a deeper dive into the origins of the Doberman German Shepherd mix dog’s parent breeds to have a better understanding of not only his health but also his temperament and appearance.
Meet The Doberman Pinscher
The Doberman Pinscher is a large breed German dog originally bred as a guard dog by a tax collector by the name of Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann. The breed developed somewhat of a bad rep due to their use by Nazis during World War ll. However, when properly raised, Doberman Pinscher dogs are known to be incredibly intelligent, affectionate, devoted, and trainable.
They can do well in families when well trained and socialized, and they make wonderful guardians and protectors of people and other pets.
However, some Doberman Pinschers have been known to bond more closely with one person in the family, and they are high-energy dogs that are not ideal for the more laid-back dog owner.
For this reason, we recommend anyone investing in a Doberman Pinscher or a Doberman Pinscher mix to consider their lifestyle and ability to commit to this type of dog.
But what about the German Shepherd?
Meet The German Shepherd
Like the Doberman Pinscher, the German Shepherd is a bred working dog with origins that place him in Germany. However, this dog was not bred as a guard dog and instead got his start herding livestock in Germany’s vast hillsides.
German Shepherds are highly intelligent, work-oriented, and trainable. They become very bonded with their owners and are best suited for experienced dog owners with an understanding of working breeds.
When properly raised, trained, and socialized, German Shepherds make great family companions. They do well in active households and with owners who have flexible schedules.
Like all dogs, without the proper care, exercise, socialization, and training, the German Shepherd can develop serious behavioral issues like depression, anxiety, stress, and fear-based aggression.
So, if you are considering investing in a Doberman German Shepherd mix, it’s important to keep reading to learn how to best raise this unique hybrid.
What Is The Doberman German Shepherd Mix Temperament?
The Doberman German Shepherd Pinscher mix is an intelligent and work-oriented hybrid.
Coming from two work-oriented parent breeds, you might think that the Doberman German Shepherd mix is a serious-minded dog with no time for play. While this hybrid does enjoy having a job to do, he is also more goofy and fun-loving than you might think!
The Doberman German Shepherd mix is a playful, energetic companion that can get along well with children and he is a dog that will enjoy having other canine playmates in the home.
However, he will need to be socialized at an early age to help reduce any potential behavioral issues.
The Doberman German Shepherd mix is also highly energetic. He will enjoy having owners who are able to get active with him, and he will especially enjoy having a backyard where he can run and play freely.
Though the Doberman German Shepherd mix will appreciate some outdoor time, it’s important to remember that this is not an outdoor-only dog. In fact, if left alone for too long the Doberman German Shepherd mix could be prone to developing anxiety and depression.
This is a very family-oriented dog, and there is a chance he will bond more closely with a specific family member.
Also, because he is so clever, it will be important to keep your Doberman Pinscher German Shepherd Mix properly mentally stimulated as well as physically stimulated. But we will talk more about this further down.
For now, let’s talk about the importance of training and socializing a Doberman German Shepherd mix.
What Are The Training Requirements For A Doberman Shepherd?
This mixed breed requires training and socialization from an early age.
Training a Doberman German Shepherd mix may seem like it should be a breeze, but these dogs can be stubborn from time to time. Though highly intelligent and quite trainable, without the use of the right tactics, you can easily lose your Doberman German Shepherd mix dog’s interest.
Training should begin as early as possible, ideally during puppyhood, and it should be done using positive reinforcement training that utilizes treats, praise, and patience. Avoid aversive training tactics like punishments, scolding, or fear. This could actually hurt your dog’s ability to learn from you and, worse, it could deteriorate the bond built between you and your dog.
The best way to hold your dog’s attention during training, aside from using training treats, is to keep training sessions short, game-like, and fun. Repetitive five-minute increments of training should suffice, mixed with playtime and breaks in between.
Blue Buffalo Bits
If you are looking for quality training treats to use when it comes to holding your Doberman German Shepherd Mix dogs attention, we recommend the above training treats by Blue Buffalo. Not only is Blue Buffalo a brand we trust, but these treats have all the qualities that make them ideal for training.
They are small, round, smelly, and chewy, which makes them quite irresistible to your dog. We also like that they are made with quality ingredients that you can feel good about offering your dog during training sessions.
Along with routine training, it’s also important to ensure your Doberman German Shepherd mix is properly socialized at an early age. Socializing your dog is the act of introducing your Doberman German Shepherd mix to as many new experiences as possible. This should include new people, places, sights, sounds, and environments.
If you plan on raising your Doberman German Shepherd mix around children, it’s best to introduce him to children during puppyhood and to teach young children how to respectfully interact with your dog.
While it is important that your Doberman German Shepherd mix has new experiences, it’s also important that these new experiences are positive for your dog.
Avoid forcing your Doberman German Shepherd mix into a new situation that is clearly frightening or stressful for him. Instead, allow your dog to explore the world at his own pace. You can use high-quality training treats and gentle praise to help encourage him.
Does The Doberman Shepherd Need Lots Of Exercises And Mental Stimulation?
Without proper exercise and mental stimulation, the Doberman Shepherd could become anxious, depressed, and destructive.
The quick answer to the above question is YES, the Doberman German Shepherd mix is going to require plenty of routine exercise and mental stimulation.
Remember, this is a crossbreed that is the offspring of two working breeds, and as such he can be prone to developing serious behavioral issues if not kept physically and mentally fit.
These issues could include barking, marking, chewing, scratching, and even depression, anxiety, and aggression.
When it comes to exercising your Doberman German Shepherd mix, this is a high-energy dog that is going to need at least an hour or more of dedicated exercise each and every day.
Exercise should include long walks, but you can also have your Doberman Shepherd mix dog’s exercise needs to be met by hiking, swimming, and going on brisk jogs.
When you are exercising your Doberman German Shepherd Mix, be sure to walk him on a proper leash and harness. Like many high-energy dog breeds, your German Shepherd Doberman Pinscher mix may be inclined to pull on leash.
Avoid walking your dog using aversive training equipment like prong collars or choke chains, as these can cause damage to your dog’s sensitive throat and trachea. Instead, use proper walking equipment that not only helps to reduce and redirect pulling but also teaches your dog proper walking manners without harming him.
No Pull Easy Walk Dog Harness
The above No Pull Easy Walk Front Clip Dog Harness above is highly recommended by a number of trainers because it not only helps to reduce pulling but it also helps to gently train your dog how to walk with you properly.
The harness works by clipping in the front, which means that when your dog does pull he will be redirected back to you. This also reduces the pressure put on your dog’s throat and makes walking feel more natural for him.
These harnesses come in a variety of sizes and colors, so we recommend you do your dog’s measurements to ensure you get the correct fit.
Just as physical exercise is important for your dog’s body, mental exercise is important for your dog’s mind.
Mental stimulation can help curb unwanted behaviors, reduce potential destructive behaviors, and ensure your dog is happy, healthy, and well-rounded.
Many people find that their Doberman German Shepherd Mix dog is a great help around the house! In fact, if you work diligently enough with your Doberman Shepherd mix, you could be able to teach him how to help sort the laundry, bring in the mail, or take out the trash.
The Doberman German Shepherd mix will also enjoy routine training sessions and learning new queues, and he will appreciate puzzle toys to help keep him busy and engaged when you are away.
KONG For Large Breed Dogs
A KONG is a strong, durable chew toy that is a must-have for your dog’s toybox. KONGS are great because they provide your dog with long-lasting chew time, especially when they are filled with treats, KONG filler, peanut butter, or even other, smaller chews.
When you are choosing a KONG for your dog, be sure you choose one that is the proper size and durability for your dog’s breed and weight. If your Doberman Shepherd mix is a puppy, we recommend a puppy KONG before graduating to the tougher adult KONG for large breed dogs.
How To Groom A Doberman Shepeherd
Grooming a Doberman Shepherd is relatively simple, though these are shedding dogs.
The Doberman German Shepherd Mix has a short, smooth coat that sheds year-round. Though it may not shed as heavily as some other dog breeds’ coats, this is a dog that could be problematic for those who struggle with allergies.
You can help combat allergies, dander, debris, and shed hair by ensuring you keep up with routine grooming practices.
The Doberman German Shepherd Mix should be brushed at least once a week using a grooming comb to help remove loose hair and debris.
The FURblaster Grooming Brush
The FURblaster Grooming Brush listed above is a professional-grade deshedding tool that helps to remove loose hair from your dog. It is great for the Doberman Shepherd mix, who has a short, smooth coat that sheds moderately year-round.
It is made with environmentally friendly materials and can help reduce shedding by up to 95% when used regularly. This is also a great tool for multi-pet households as it can work on both dogs and cats.
Along with routine brushing, your Doberman German Shepherd Mix should also have occasional baths. Experts recommend bathing the Doberman Shepherd mix at least once every four to six weeks unless he gets particularly dirty in between.
Overbathing your Doberman Shepherd could damage his skin and coat, as could bathing your dog using a shampoo not specified for canine use.
We recommend using a dog shampoo that is made for dogs with skin sensitivities and a dog shampoo that is free of dyes, parabens, alcohol, or scents.
Your Doberman German Shepherd Mix will also need to have his nails trimmed or ground down once every two weeks or so to keep them from cracking or splitting. Like all dogs, the Doberman German Shepherd Mix can be prone to suffering from dental disease.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to invest in a toothbrush and toothpaste kit specified for canine use and to brush your dog’s teeth at least once a day.
The Health And Lifespan Of A Doberman German Shepherd Mix
Doberman Shepherds can be healthy dogs, though they can also be prone to some unique health issues.
The Doberman German Shepherd Mix is a healthy dog with a lifespan of around 10 to 13 years.
As we did discuss briefly above, the Doberman German Shepherd Mix can be prone to many of the same health issues as his purebred parent breeds, in spite of also having the benefit of hybrid vigor.
Some of the most common health issues that potential owners of a Doberman German Shepherd mix dog should be aware of include but may not be limited to:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV)
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy
- Chronic Active Hepatitis
- Cervical Vertebral Instability
- Chronic Active Hepatitis
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- And Elbow Dysplasia
It can be difficult to determine what your particular dog may be most predisposed to, especially if you don’t get him from a reputable source. Luckily, there are a few ways you can go about combatting certain health issues for your Doberman German Shepherd mix.
Get Your Dog From A Reputable Source
When you’re looking to obtain any dog, it’s important to go through reputable sources you can trust. If you choose to get your Doberman German Shepherd mix through a breeder, choose breeders with a history of breeding these types of dogs and a breeder who can provide you with paperwork proving their puppies have been screened and cleared of any serious health issues.
Avoid backyard breeders, online sellers, or those looking to sell puppies for much more or much less than their average price.
If you choose to rescue your Doberman Shepherd mix, we recommend going through reputable shelters or rescues.
There are, of course, plenty of benefits of going through a rescue. Many rescue dogs cost a fraction of the price of going through a breeder. Dogs that are over a year old may also have already been spayed or neutered, and many have been microchipped.
For crossbreed dogs over the age of one, you’ll have a much better idea of what their appearance will be.
Keep Up With Routine Vet Visits
Just like us, our dogs should be seen by a doctor on a routine basis to help combat potential health issues and catch any potential problems from arising.
Experts recommend that large breed dogs like the Doberman German Shepherd mix be seen by their vet at least once a year up until they are the age of 7, and then twice a year thereafter.
Feed Your Dog A Quality Dog Food
The Doberman German Shepherd mix can be prone to some health issues that may be combated by a poor diet, including Gastric Dilation Volvulus, Diabetes, and bone and joint issues.
To help combat these issues, we recommend a high-quality dog food specified for your Doberman German Shepherd dog’s age, weight, and activity level.
He should also have dog food that is rich in real animal protein, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and a dog food that has a good source of water.
Avoid dog foods that contain by-products, corn, soy, wheat, or gluten, or dog foods that contain additives like dyes.
Outward Hound Fun Feeder
Unfortunately, the Doberman Shepherd mix dog can be prone to Bloat, so it’s important to not only keep your dog on quality dog food but to consider investing in a puzzle feeder.
A slow feeder like the Outward Hound Fun Feeder above can not only help enhance digestion, reduce obesity, and encourage healthy eating habits, but it can also help to stop Bloat.
Is The Doberman German Shepherd Mix The Right Dog For You?
Picking a healthy Doberman German Shepherd mix should involve going through reputable sources.
Choosing the right dog for you goes far beyond choosing a dog that has a specific look, coat type, or history. The Doberman German Shepherd mix may be an appealing dog on the surface, but he is certainly not the right dog for everyone.
The Doberman Shepherd is an intelligent and energetic dog that is best suited for active, engaged owners who are able to invest a good amount of time and attention in their dog. Remember, Doberman German Shepherd Mix dogs will need daily exercise and consistent training and socialization throughout their lifetime.
This mix will also do best in a home with a securely fenced backyard and with active owners who are able to get up and get moving with their four-legged family member.
And while the Doberman Shepherd can have the benefit of hybrid vigor, remember that he may also still be predisposed to some of the same serious health issues as his parent breeds.
So, is the Doberman German Shepherd mix the ideal dog for you? Tell us what you think about this beautiful crossbreed in the comment section below.
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.