Doberman Vs. Rottweiler: An In-Depth Comparison

Doberman Vs. Rottweiler: An In-Depth Comparison

Doberman vs. Rottweiler is not an easy choice for potential owners picking one or the other of these two amazing dogs. Dobermans and Rottweilers are initially from Germany, neither dog is afraid of anything, and both make excellent guard dogs.

Dobermans and Rottweilers are pretty similar in many ways, but there are some crucial differences in personality, heritage, characteristics, and more. Even allowing for the fierce reputations, both the Doberman and Rottweiler can make excellent family dogs; it does have to be with the right family, though.

Both of these dogs can be overly aggressive if allowed to be or are not socialized and trained appropriately. Suppose you’re comparing the difference between a Rottweiler and a Doberman. In that case, you should thoroughly acquaint yourself with as much information as you can gather on their personality, physical attributes, appearance, and characteristics.

This article offers this comparison for you and will help you choose between the Doberman vs. Rottweiler.

Doberman Vs. Rottweiler, Which Breed Is Best For You?

There are 197 dog breeds on the AKC (American Kennel Club) popular breeds’ list; that’s just in the United States. So it’s fair to say humans don’t all prefer one dog over all the other breeds. Humans are different, so are dogs, and so many dogs to choose from; there has to be a dog suitable for every human personality on the planet.

Dobermans and Rottweilers are pretty fantastic dogs, but they won’t suit everyone; it doesn’t make them bad dogs; it goes back to what I’ve just mentioned.

After you properly assess your situation, such as living conditions, available room, where you live, city, suburbs or in the country, your physical condition, etc., there will be two to three breeds you’ll know will suit you.

1. Doberman Vs. Rottweiler History


When the Romans moved their armies towards their subsequent battles and the lands they wanted to conquer, they brought great herds of cattle to ensure they had an adequate food supply. To move this vast amount of mobile food, they needed dogs and plenty of them, taking Asian mastiffs along with them.

Rottweiler appearance

These dogs mixed with the local dogs on the northern borders of the Roman Empire. After the empire collapsed, these dogs went on to herd cattle for new owners. One area was in and around a German town, Rottweil. They picked up the name Rottweiler because of this association. Once the railway revolution occurred, Rottweilers were no longer needed to drive cattle, so they found alternative employment as police or personal protection dogs. The AKC recognized the Rottweiler in 1931.


We can trace the Doberman’s origins back to the late 1800s to a German tax collector called Louis Dobermann. He required a fierce dog to ensure that no one would dare attempt to rob him on his collection rounds.

Doberman Pinscher dog breed

There’s no documented evidence of how Mr. Dobermann created the Doberman Pinscher. Still, there’s a belief that he crossed several dogs such as the Rottweiler, Great Dane, German Pinscher, Manchester Terrier, English Greyhound, and German Shepherd dogs.

Their initial purpose was as a guard dog, and Dobermans are still famous for that line of work. But Doberman Pinschers have also been police, military, rescue, and therapy dogs. The AKC recognized the Doberman Pinscher in 1908.

2. Doberman Vs. Rottweiler – What Are The Differences?

Looking at these two dogs more closely, you can see they look entirely different if you stood them next to each other. Dobermans and Rottweilers are both working dogs but come from different backgrounds and developed for different reasons. It’s very noticeable when you compare the look of the two dogs. The Doberman is a lithe long-legged muscular dog, whereas the Rottweiler is thick-set, heavier, and more ‘blockier’ looking.

3. Doberman Vs. Rottweiler Characteristics

Doberman Pinschers, to give the dog his full name, is the taller of the two, and males can reach a height of 28 inches; females are a little shorter and grow up to 26 inches. Doberman males will weigh between 75 and 100 pounds; female Dobermans are lighter and weigh between 60 and 90 pounds.

Doberman Pinscher with cropped ears

Rottweiler males grow between 24 and 27 inches; females are not as tall and reach 22 to 25 inches. Males can weigh as much as 135 pounds and females up to 100 pounds.

Both Rottweilers and Dobermans are incredibly popular. If we check the AKC popularity rankings for both dogs, we can see the Doberman is at number 17 while the Rottweiler is at number 8.

4. Doberman Vs. Rottweiler Temperament

Both these dogs are renowned for their guarding and protection abilities. Dobermans and Rottweilers will do everything in their power to protect their family. But this protective and guarding nature can go too far in both dogs if not dealt with correctly when they are both very young; the younger, the better.

There have been several examples on T.V. or in movies of both breeds being depicted as evil or aggressive and stupid dogs. This characterization couldn’t be further from the truth, but when the public gets the wrong impression, it can take a lot of work to change that perception.

Rottweiler temperament

One way is for every parent of a Rottweiller or Doberman puppy to socialize and train these dogs from six weeks old. Ensure that when they are puppies, they mix with unknown people and animals, acclimatize them to various sights and sounds outside of their comfort zone.

If there are any aggressive or vicious tendencies in a Doberman or a Rottweiler, you can usually trace the fault back to how breeders and owners brought up the dogs. Both these dogs can be calm and friendly if trained and socialized using kindness and positive reinforcement.

5. Doberman Vs. Rottweiler Coats, Colors, And Grooming

Rottweilers and Dobermans share a typical coat coloring which is black with brown in places. However, Dobermans do have other coat colors, which are red, light brown, and blue. Dobermans can produce a genetic mutation that results in an albino dog where the whole coat is white; this is not a coat color.

The brown color in the dog’s coats is typically along the jawline, above the eyes, the neck, legs, and underside of the dog’s body. The Rottweiler has a medium straight coat that is coarse to the touch. He also has an undercoat around the neck and thighs.

Rottweiler grooming

Rottweilers shed a moderate amount for most of the year, but he will shed considerably more during seasonal changes. To maintain the shine and get rid of any dead hairs, you should brush him once or twice a week; you’ll probably have to double your brushing efforts during shedding seasons.

Dobermans have a short and sleek coat that is low-maintenance. Just a once a week brush down will do him fine; use a brush, or even a grooming mitt will help remove dead hairs and keep his coat in excellent condition. Dobermans don’t need frequent baths; you’ll be doing him a disservice if you bath him too often.

6. Doberman Vs. Rottweiler Health Issues

The life expectancy of these dogs is a little different; the Doberman typically has a longer life span than the Rottweiler. On average, the Doberman lives between 10 to 12 years and the Rottweiler between 9 and 10 years.

It’s a sad fact neither dog has an exceptionally long lifespan, so you should check out the breeders diligently if you intend to purchase a puppy. Don’t rush into buying until you know everything you can about potential breeders.

Professional and serious breeders can furnish you with all the necessary health certificates of the puppy’s parents and grandparents. All breeding dogs should be tested for hereditary diseases.

Doberman Health Conditions

There is a higher than average incidence of these medical conditions found in Dobermans:

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Disc-associated Wobbler’s syndrome
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
Doberman health

Other typical conditions that can occur in Dobermans are:

  • Canine compulsive disorder
  • Prostatic disease
  • Bloat
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Addison’s disease
  • Hypothyroidism

Rottweiler Health Conditions

Rottweiler health
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Sub-aortic stenosis
  • Osteochondrosis
  • Progressive retinol atrophy
  • Panosteitis
  • Cancers

7. Doberman Vs. Rottweiler Facts – Which Is Your Favorite?

Choosing between the Doberman and Rottweiler isn’t going to be an easy decision; consider everything you now know about each breed. Rottweilers and Dobermans are large dogs and need a firm, consistent owner who understands how to establish himself as the pack leader. Both dogs have a strong desire to be protective, and they will need early socialization and proper training to prevent these instincts from becoming too extreme.

Can you give the dogs the exercise and time needed because they must burn off their excess energy; if they get bored and listless, they can become destructive and develop other behavioral issues. You have to fit your life around these dogs and not the other way round. The choice is yours to make.

Final Thoughts – Doberman Vs. Rottweiler

When it comes down to choosing the Rottweiler or the Doberman, it has to come down to personal choice; only you and your family will know which is the best choice for your circumstances. Rottweilers and Dobermans make lovely family dogs. Dobermans might be a better dog for smaller families because Dobermans tend to favor one family member over all others. Rottweilers can be great if your family has children, they will have a personal bodyguard for years to come.