rottweiler vs doberman pinscher

The Rottweiler. The Doberman Pinscher. These two breeds carry a very similar stereotype. Just mentioning the name evokes fear in some. They’ve been blamed and banned across the country. So, is either dog worth owning? Is it safe to own a Doberman or a Rottweiler? We’re going to compare the Rottweiler vs Doberman Pinscher so you can feel confident before investing in either breed. We’ll compare statistics, characteristics, intelligence, temperament, and maintenance of both breeds.

Rottweiler Overview

The adorable yet intense-looking Rottweiler originated in ancient Rome. They were bred to work and protect. Rottweilers first found themselves employed herding livestock, or pulling carts of butchered meat to market.

Rottweiler Running

The Rotty is a large dog, ranging anywhere from 70 to 130 pounds. Height is typically around 2 feet. With 328 pounds of biting force, they are a dog you don’t want on your bad side. They have a black coat with tan markings. Typical lifespan is about 8-10 years.


Rottweilers are very trainable and intelligent. Training should be structured and consistent for best results. Due to their combination of strength and intelligence, these dogs were used frequently in WWI and WWII. Today, they are often known for their positions as police dogs. Rotties have the potential to be gentle giants, ruthless protectors, or both. It all comes back to training.

Rottweiler Face


Rottweilers are devoted, eager to serve, and obedient (if trained well). The Rottie’s mean reputation has some validity. Their guarding instincts are strong. Irresponsible ownership, abuse, or neglect of a Rottweiler will lead to an extremely dangerous animal. However,  responsible ownership, early socialization, and early training will create a hard-working, friendly, devoted animal that the whole family can enjoy.

READ: 10 Dog Training Mistakes You’re Probably Making


A Rotties diet and exercise should be monitored to avoid obesity. They tend to have sensitive digestive tracts. Elbow dysplasia and osteochondrosis of the knee and shoulder also occur in this breed. Rottweilers are somewhat prone to eye malfunctions. They desire and require frequent exercise. This breed sheds heavily in the spring and fall, and sheds moderately throughout the rest of the year.



Doberman Pinscher Overview

The roots of the Doberman Pinscher can be traced to one man in Germany. Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann was a local tax collector who also worked at a dog pound part time. Around 1890, he decided to breed a dog that could protect him and be loyal, as his job as a tax collector was dangerous at times. While we don’t know the exact breeds that were used to create the Doberman, it’s believed the Rottweiler, Beauceron, Weimaraner, and German Pinscher could have contributed to this breed.

Dobermans can range anywhere between 70 and 100 pounds. Average height is just over 2 feet. These dogs typically posses docked tails and cropped ears. Dobermans are built like a compact athlete, and typically have a black and rust coat. A few variations of bluish-black coats can be found as well. Most of these dogs live around 10-11 years.

Doberman profile


Doberman Pinschers are ridiculously smart and trainable. If you aren’t careful, a Doberman will outsmart you for his or her own benefit. Often known as watch dogs, this dog breed is very talented at accurately evaluating potential threats. They can live harmoniously with children in the home one second, and scare the heck out of a suspicious person walking by your home the next.

READ: 6 Simple Steps to Train Your Stubborn Dog

Doberman Pinscher head


Despite their mean and tough reputation, most Dobermans can be great house dogs. Early socialization is important. If you build a bond with a Doberman Pinscher, he or she will be very loyal. They are skeptical of strangers. Be sure to exercise and stimulate these dogs frequently for best results. They are courageous, and love working extremely hard. Expect your Doberman to exhibit aggressive behavior and heavy barking toward anything or anyone he or she considers a threat. If you want a companion that will protect you faithfully, look no further. Should a real threat ever come, the incredibly strong and athletic Doberman will have no problems ripping an enemy to shreds.

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Doberman Pinscher


Unfortunately, Doberman Pinschers are susceptible to genetic health issues. A few of the most common are cardiomyopathy, vertebral instability, Von Willebrand disease, and Addison’s disease. As mentioned earlier, you must be prepared to exercise and mentally stimulate this dog breed heavily. Thanks to minimal shedding, you don’t need to groom Dobermans as frequently as most dogs. 


Rottweiler vs Doberman Pinscher Conclusion

When comparing the Rottweiler vs Doberman Pinscher, you’ll find the breeds are quite comparable. Both Rotties and Dobermans are intelligent, protective, and strong. Rottweilers are larger, stronger, and shed more. Dobermans are known for their loyalty, they can run faster, and tend to live a little longer. When raised responsibly and trained well, you won’t go wrong with either breed.

Would you rather own a Doberman or a Rottweiler? Let us know in the comments below!


18 thoughts to “Rottweiler vs Doberman Pinscher

  • Michelle

    Rottie all the way! Had mine for 11 1/2 years before I had to put him down ?due to losing the use of his back legs. He was faithful and very loving! I miss my Zeus every day.

    • John Sabdi

      Our doberman was the sweatest loving dog ever, looking how sweat she was made ridiculous to think she could a good guardian dog until an estranger showed up or even the well known vet tried to enter her front yard. Love her and miss her even after 7yrs she of her leaving us.

  • Ilo

    There is no Rottweiler nor Dobermann with any steriotype… it is my Lua… 100% de duas racas. Wonderfull dog

  • Anna

    Definetly a dobermann! they are handsome and scary

  • Frik

    Rottie all the way, Marmite is my 3rd one in 30 years. Adolf, Tessa and Marmite were all the best friends and pets you can dream of. Thanks for keeping me and my family safe for 30 years.

  • Paresh

    Definitely Rottweiler – A Handsome Devil ‘;.;’

  • Jayakumar

    Obviously I prefer Doberman olwayz

  • Tim Tobish

    My first rottie lived to be 14, my second one is seven. They couldn’t be more different. Blitz was triple alpha dominant, and a one person dog. He got crotchety as he got older, and he was much more aggressive. Otto is a big goofball that has no interest at all in being in charge. He loves everyone and everything, his vet dubbed him Happiest Puppy Ever.

    Not sure what I will do when I eventually lose him, probably get another Rottie pup.

    • April L

      I have a rotti mastiff x, a rotti golden retriever x , and a rotterman! Yep best of both worlds there. Half and half.

      • Antoine Jennings

        That sounds great. I was wondering if you know of any good rotterman breeders.

  • Adrienne

    Doberman. I’m a mother to four children first, and our huge Dobie tolerates and loves them beyond what I could ever expect of a pet. Espresso is 4 years old, happy, active, and definitely too smart for his own good sometimes.
    Given the choice, I would choose another doberman over ANY breed in the future.

  • Warren

    I did the best of both the Dobie/Rottie world, I found a breeder who bred Rotterman Hybrid puppies. Maxx, was Rottie/Dobie mix. At 141 pounds, he could put his paws on top of my shoulders. (I’m 6’5”) I got him in ‘94, 3yrs later, my dad passed away leaving my mom alone at home. I moved back so she could keep the house, but how will a 77yo lady deal with a 141 pound rotterman? They became the best of friends. He would go back to her bedroom and watch the soap operas with her until I got home. When my mom passed 4yrs later, Maxx spent each day for the next year looking for her. He died of Torsion while being boarded while I was out of town. I always thought he died of a broken heart.

  • Gage Weaver

    Given the Doberman’s heavy distrust of strangers, I’d have to go with the Doby. On thing anyone should take into account when choosing a dog from protection is how they view strangers. If anyone remembers the Golden State Killer, that guy would give meat to dogs at houses he wanted to attack that way the dogs would trust him and not bark to alert their owners. A Doberman wouldn’t be fooled by that, because of how distrustful they are of strangers. If a stranger tried giving the Doberman meat they would know something is up and alert their owner immediately. Not all breeds are that smart.

  • Praveen

    I love doberman very much but i have a cute lovely rott

  • Andrew

    We were staying in a hotel once while our house was getting some plumbing work done. We had a guy in the room next to us that my dobe hated passed the usual skepticism towards a stranger. Well on one of the last days we were there he and bruno finally met face to face with literally zero distance between them. Bruno immediately started snarling at him and the guy tried to give him part of his food. Bruno made the guy think he was gonna take his food and then bit him anyway. Turns out bruno was right about him. The cops had been looking for him for a robbery/home invasion. He was arrested the next day.

  • Liz Horvet

    I had a rottie, who I adored. She was my soul dog. Her predecessor was a Rotterman or a Dobeweiller. He was hilarious, dapper and gentle spirited. Both were the biggest goofballs you’d ever want to meet. I miss them both.

  • Veronica Cartier

    My daughter had a gentle but very smart I believe hybrid Dobeweiller, name Logan age 5. He loves me so much and feels so secure when I came to visit my daughter. I visited them often; after dinner usually we chat by the fireplace, Logan will came laid by my side and put his head on my lap and fell asleep even snored. The tragic story that my daughter had estrange boyfriend and they moved very far away to the farm country without telling me that difficult for me to visit. The estrange boyfriend next step to stop seeing my daughter, I felt deep in my heart that he did something to Logan for stopping me to visit. One day my daughter called me on the phone crying to tell tell me that Logan had diagnosed prostate cancer on his front right leg just above the joint. I visited veterinarians for advice, researched for holistic cancer treatments. and called the animal rescuer. I was not given a chance to see Logan immediately but after the leg being amputated to the the whole leg up to his hip with reason given by the surgeon to avoid damage of Logan will with use the right leg?? I was shocked because the swollen leg just above the joint which I taught can be replaced. When I visited again 2 wks later after my daughter called and told me that Logan will soon die for me to come to say goodbye, and they are thinking to put Logan down to stop his suffering. My living place not allowed dog, was my problem to take Logan with me to rescue him because I saw the rest of his body was still look very healthy. I visited two consecutive times ; the second time I spent 2 days sleeping with Logan to feel what I should really do, he did not look t me at all as usual, or what really Logan wanted. I did told Logan privately that to give me sign if my daughter boyfriend was the caused. I also asked Logan to give his best face for a picture after I place a handsome tie around I bought for him and he did. The second night around midnight Logan was hitting his head so hard on the floor woke me up, I saw his face so unhappy and I knew his was telling me to let him go. Before I leave in the morning, I was hugging him by his side on the floor and whispering to his ears to comfort him and asked him to give me the sign if the estrange boyfriend is a good man for my daughter? The estrange boyfriend came to pet him, I was shocked and never seen before that Logan ever barked so loud and angry at him scared all of us. When I was leaving by the door early that morning, I stood to look at Logan and he looked straight at me with glittering wet eyes tried to smile to say the last good bye.
    After Logan was put down to sleep late that afternoon I went to get his pictures developed, my heart was melt looking at the picture that Logan was smile so gently as the best memory I cherished and to look at him in the picture frame on my desk every day. This story meant to tell the reader how smart and gentle Routweiler and Doberman can be.

  • AJ

    That sounds great. I was wondering if you know of any good rotterman breeders.

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