Doberman Vs Rottweiler: Difference between Doberman Pinscher and Rottweiler

Both the Doberman pinscher and the Rottweiler are considered iconic breeds of Germany. They are versatile dogs and excel in the field of agility and companionship. Unfortunately, they are banned from different countries due to their natural aggressiveness. But, this aggression is not harmful if the breeds are trained properly. 

As individual breeds, both have differences in their appearance, temperament and training. They are also known to be wonderful guard dogs. Yet, choosing the right one for your lifestyle should depend mostly on these factors. 

Both the Rottweiler and the Doberman have a similar history of being used during World Wars. Although the U.S. Government has reduced the use of Dobermans in the military, Rottweilers are still continuing the legacy. Due to their natural intimidating looks, the breeds were perfect for serving the army.

Lets dig deeper into the contrasting features of these dogs to help you choose the right breed for yourselves.

Doberman and Rottweiler: Similar or different?

Apart from being wonderful pets, both the Doberman pinscher and Rottweiler have significant characteristics. An interesting fact about these breeds is that they both share the same DNA. This is because, if we look into their history, we find that the Doberman was originally bred from the Rottweiler breed. This explains why they share some similar characteristics, with loyalty and guarding their owners as most important ones. They even have similar coat colours, i.e., short brown and black coats. But having said that, there are still significant differences between the Doberman and the Rottweiler dog breeds.

While Dobermans are fast runners, Rottweilers are stronger and larger. Unlike the Rotties who need training to carry out tasks, Dobermans have a natural ability to analyse a threat level and respond accordingly.

Difference between Doberman and Rottweiler: General Characteristics

Doberman Vs Rottweiler similarity and differences

Both the dogs have been widely used by police and special forces of different countries for various operations over time. Although both breeds are ferocious, the right amount of love and training can turn them into affectionate and sweet pets. Let’s learn about the basic differences between a Doberman and a Rottweiler.

Doberman pinscherRottweiler
Origin and HistoryThe breed was first bred by a tax collector named Louis Dobermann in the 1890s, Germany. 
And because of this they were also known as Tax Collectors Dog. Interestingly, the Doberman borrows its name from the breeder Louis Dobermann.
The American Kennel Club recognised this breed in 1900.
The primary work of this breed was to protect  his owner.
The breed descended from the drover dogs that were left by the Roman legions in Rottweil, Germany.Rottweilers were also named ‘Rottweil Butcher Dog’ which is the English translation of the nickname Rottweiler Metzgerhund.

It was recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1931.
The work of this breed was to drive cattle and other livestock.
HeightThe size of a male Doberman pinscher is 66-72 cm.The size of a female Doberman pinscher is 62-67 cm.The size of a male Rottweiler is 61-70 cm.
The size of a female Rottweiler is 56-62 cm.
WeightThe weight of a male Doberman is 40-46 kg.The weight of a female Doberman is 32-35 kg.The weight of a male Rottweiler is 50-61 kg.The weight of a female Rottweiler is 35-45 kg.
Coat colour and type The coat colours of this breed include red, blue, fawn and black.
They have an overcoat around their neck.
Their coat is smooth and short in length and stays close to their skin.
The coat colours of this breed include black, red, mahogany, rust and blue.
They have an overcoat near the thighs and neck.
This breed has a short double coat that is straight and coarse.
PriceUSA: $1,500-$2,500UK: £2000-£3000India: ₹18,000-₹20,000USA: $850-$5,500India: ₹18,000-₹25,000
Lifespan The average lifespan of a Doberman pinscher is 12-15 years.The average lifespan of a Rottweiler is 11-13 years
Speed A Doberman Pinscher runs at a speed of 35 mph.The Rottweiler runs at a speed of 18-25 mph.
Bite force 228 PSI328 PSI

Difference between Doberman and Rottweiler: Appearance

1. HeightThe Doberman pinscher is much taller than the Rottweiler. Its height is 25-28 inches.However, the Rottweiler has a height of 24-27 inches. 
2.Build upThe Doberman has a muscular build that is visible under their short coat. They have slopping shoulders along with a well-arched back.On the other hand, the Rottweiler is bulkier in shape. Their coat is straight and has a rough texture.
3.HeadDoberman has a long head that resembles a blunt wedge. The forehead is wider around the ears and becomes narrow near the nose.Rottweilers have boxy heads that have the same height and width. However, the distance between the nose to the back of the head is a bit longer.
4.MuzzlesThey also have a wedge-shaped face and a fine athletic body. The muzzle extends parallel to the length of the dog’s skull.They have a lean build along with strong square muzzles.
5.EyesDobermans have deep set almond-shaped eyes. Rottweilers also have almond-shaped eyes along with tight-fitting lids.
6.EarsDobermans have erect earsRottweilers have ears that are bent towards their face.
7.NoseThe nostrils of a Doberman are developed and round along with large openings. Rotts also have a developed nose. Their nostrils are broader than Dobermans and are always black.
8.TailDoberman goes through a docking procedure. Their tails are short.Rottweilers also go through docking surgery. But their tails are even shorter than the Dobermans.
9.LegsThe front legs of a Doberman are parallel when seen from the front and side.The front legs of a Rottweiler are straight and not bowed outwards. Thus, their shoulders look slightly higher than their hindquarters while standing.  
10.MarkingsDobermans have markings on their chest, ears, muzzles, eyebrows and underneath their tail.These dogs have marks all over their face, starting with the eyes and the cheeks, on each side of the muzzle and also on the legs, chest and tail.

Doberman pinscher and Rottweiler: Difference in the Personality and Temperament

Both the Doberman and the Rottweiler are people-oriented breeds. But, sometimes it is seen that a Doberman gets attached to only one person while the Rottweiler can live affectionately with everyone. Also, male Dobermans can be aggressive with other dogs residing with them. But, a Rottweiler is friendly with different dogs, especially if it grows up with them. 

While the friendly Rottweiler can live in solitary, Dobermans are victims of separation anxiety. They cannot be left alone for long hours like the Rottweiler dog breed. Bred to guard and protect, both dog breeds are possessive about their owner. Their guarding talent also makes it very necessary for their owners to socialize them properly. The general guarding  characteristics of these dogs can be dangerous for others, especially the unknowns. Also,the general aggressive nature of these dogs possess a threat to others. There have been multiple cases of such behaviours in many different parts of the world and this has forced many countries to impose a ban on these dogs.

Difference between Doberman and Rottweiler: Health issues involved

Every dog breed is susceptible to some or other diseases in life. However, the issues can be different in different breeds. The difference between Doberman and Rottweiler also involves the health issues they face.

Health issues of Doberman pinscher:

Health issues of  Doberman Pinscher
  • Cervical Vertebral Instability (CVI) or Wobbler Syndrome: This is a severe condition that is more common in large dogs like Great Dane and Doberman. It’s a condition where the vertebrae of the neck slip out of joint and are malformed causing progressive incoordination of the rear legs.  
  • Von Willebrand : Most often in Doberman, this is a type of bleeding disorder caused by defective blood platelet function. An autosomal trait affecting both the sexes of Doberman.
  • Narcolepsy: Dogs like Doberman are often attacked by this chronic sleeping disorder characterized by sudden attack of sleep and drowsiness lasting for various lengths of time.

Health issues of Rottweiler:

Health issues of Rottweiler
  • Elbow Dysplasia: This is one of the common health issues that occur in dogs including Rottweilers characterised by abnormal development of elbow joints.
  • Subaortic Stenosis (SAS): In this condition, there is a tightening of the outflow opening for blood to go from the heart into the aorta therefore working harder than necessary.
  • Vitiligo: A condition of lack of pigment in skins. Affected Rotts have patchy areas with no pigment.

Several diseases are common for both dog breeds. These include hip dysplasia, cardiomyopathy, and hypothyroidism.

Difference between Doberman and Rottweiler: Grooming, shedding and Feeding

The Doberman has a thicker coat while the Rottweiler has a coarse coat. Both these guard dogs require very less grooming due to their short coats. Brushing them daily to remove loose hair and trimming their nails from time to time keeps them fresh and healthy.  

Doberman Grooming

But a big difference between Doberman and Rottweiler is that the Rottweiler dog breed sheds more than the Doberman dog breed. While the amount of shedding for Doberman pinscher remains the same throughout the year, the Rottweiler sheds mostly during the spring season. 

As highly energetic dogs, they require good nutritious food. Doberman should be given chicken, lamb and whole grains like brown rice twice a day. For puppies, the food should be given in smaller amounts at least three to four times a day. However, Rottweilers are more prone to hypothyroidism than Doberman. Therefore, their protein intake should be within 22%-24%. Besides these, they should also be given food (like sweet potato) to complete the whole grain intake, two times a day.

Difference between Doberman and Rottweiler: Training and Exercise

Both the Doberman and Rottweiler are intelligent breeds. Therefore, owners won’t face much difficulty in training them. But, Dobermans should be trained from the puppy stage. A few months delay in the training period can make the breed destructive and hard to manage. On the other hand, Rottweiler puppies can be trained easily, even during their adult stage. 

Rottweiler exercise regime

Another major difference between Doberman and Rottweiler is that Dobermans are easily adaptable to different tasks. However, Rottweilers are quite hard when it comes to doing work willingly. 

Neither of them is a couch potato. Therefore, they should be made to do both physical and mental exercise regularly. Lack of activity can make them victims of obesity. However, it is observed that the energy level of a Rottweiler is much higher compared to the energy level of a Doberman.   

Difference between Doberman and Rottweiler

As devoted family pets, both the Doberman and the Rottweiler have gained popularity. But sometimes, owners fail to identify their pup. There are minute differences between the Doberman pup and Rottweiler pup that help people distinguish between the two. 

A Doberman’s head is long and looks like a blunt wedge along with a top flat skull. On the other hand, Rottweilers have boxy heads that are long from the nose to the back of their head. Also, the ears of a Rottie are folded downwards in a triangular shape, while Dobermans have typically erect ears. 

Rottweiler puppies also have slight wrinkles around their eyes. But, the Doberman puppies have deep set eyes that provide a vigorous and energetic expression. Finally, Dobermans have jaws that extend parallel to their skull. However, Rottweilers have locking jaws, i.e., they lock their jaws while biting their prey. Both the Rottweiler and the Doberman have docking tails. While the tail of a Doberman is short, Rottweilers have shorter tails. The procedure of docking cuts off the tails that continue up to the dog’s backbone. 

Which one is more suited for apartments?

With proper training, both the Doberman pinscher and the Rottweiler are suitable for living in apartments. However, the Doberman dog breed should be properly socialised before they are kept in apartments. This breed is a better companion when it comes to dealing with small household activities. 


Rottweilers, on the other hand, are perfect for families with many children. They carry out their job as guard dogs with great responsibility for the entire family.  Grown-up Rottweilers are more suitable for living in apartments as compared to puppies due to their changing energy levels.


Finding out the best between these two dog breeds is very difficult. Either of them excels at each other in one way or the other. But, before adopting either of the breeds, owners must learn about a few important points. 

  • Do not buy a ‘white’ Rottweiler when someone is selling it to you. Rottweilers do not have a white coat colour. Those who are white are due to a genetic condition called albinism. 
  • Always buy dogs from a recognised breeder. An irresponsible breeder can sell you a dog with severe health complications and increase your vet bills.
  • Try to devote and involve maximum time with your dogs. While Rotties can spend long hours without any company, Dobermans cannot. They have anxiety issues and can develop destructive behavior if left all alone.


Q. Which of the two breeds is more available?

Rottweilers are available much more easily compared to Doberman pinschers.

Q. Which of these act as a better therapy dog?

Rottweilers are more patient than Doberman and can act as better therapy dogs.

Q. What are the three types of Rottweilers?

The three types of Rottweilers include the German Rottweiler, the American Rottweiler and the Roman Rottweiler. 

Q. Is a Doberman breed for everyone?

For keeping a dog with such an ‘alpha’ personality, the owner must have the ability to take charge and act as a leader. 

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