european doberman

Doberman is a fun, happy, active, and perfect kind of dog, but do you know that there is more than one variant of this dog breed?Yes, it’s pretty surprising, but that’s the truth!

Don’t worry; you’re not alone; only a few people know about this.

So basically, there are two types of Doberman dogs: European Doberman (also known as the Dobermann) and the American Doberman Pinscher.

At first glance, you might think that these two dogs are the same and there is nothing much difference! Yes, there are many similarities as they both come from the same breeding, but there are also many differences.

So, what are the key things that make these two dogs differ from each other?

You’ve got on the right page if you’re planning to adopt a Doberman puppy or just want to know about the difference between American Doberman and European Doberman Pinscher.

Today in this article, we have penned down the differences between European vs. American Dobermans. We’ve included everything from their origin and history to temperament and characteristics.

Let’s start with an overview of both types of Doberman. 

European Doberman Overview

european doberman

The origins of the European Doberman are from Germany, which was the first-ever bred by Louis Dobermann during the 1880s. He mixed different breeds like Rottweilers with a type of shepherd dog from Thüringen and also the German Pinscher and Tan Terrier.

European Doberman dogs are strong, muscular, and super active. These happy dogs are also recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which is the international federation of kennel clubs.

With a fearsome look, these types of Doberman dogs are extremely loyal to their owners. And due to their confident and assertive nature, they’re also used as police and guard dogs.

You can find these dogs everywhere in the world and specifically in Germany, Canada, and the United States. 

American Doberman Pinscher Overview

european doberman

American Doberman Pinschers are not so different from the European Doberman dogs as both come from the same line of dogs bred by Louis Dobermann.

Previously these dogs were known as American Dobermann, but later the letter ‘n’ was taken out. These dogs are obedient and loving; hence they are wonderful family dogs. 

According to the American Kennel Club“they are most often used as family pets, rather than police or guard dogs.”

Easy to train, this dog breed loves its family and is always in tune with their human emotions and feelings.

Comparing American vs. European Doberman

european doberman

Here is the complete comparison table of American Doberman vs European Doberman: 

NameAmerican Doberman PinscherEuropean Dobermann
Size24 to 28 inches25 to 29 inches
Weight60 to 100 lbs70 to 100 lbs
ColorBlack and rustBlue and rustRed and rust (i.e. brown or chocolate)Fawn and rustBlack and rustBrown and rust with tan markings
MarkingsLighter brown rust with white acceptable on the chestDarker brown rust
HeadMore elegant and sleekLarger and broader
Ears and TailEars cropped and tail dockedNatural and uncropped
AppearanceMuscular but not bulkyLarger and more sturdy
TemperamentLoyal, loving, obedientLoyal, protective, head-strong, assertive
TrainingObedient and easy to trainHard-headed and stubborn
PurposeFamily PetWorking Dog
Price$1,500 to $2,500$2,500 and $3,500

So this is all about the characteristics and overview of falcon and hawk. But the real question is how to tell the difference between hawks and falcons? Below is the list of top 8 differences from which you can easily identify whether a bird is a falcon or hawk. Keep reading to know!

10 Key Differences Between American Doberman and European Doberman

european doberman

Below are the top 10 differences between American and European Dobermans that can point out their uniqueness clearly. We have also divided their differentiation section-wise so that you can easily and clearly understand everything.

Here they are 

  1. Bloodline
  2. Breed Name
  3. Size, Weight & Height
  4. Color & Markings
  5. Physical Appearance
  6. Lifespan
  7. Health
  8. Temperament
  9. Training & Exercise 
  10. Puppies

Now let’s know each trait of both dogs in detail.

American vs. European Doberman: Bloodline

Let’s start with the first difference between these two dogs by their history. The first-ever Dobermann was bred by Louis Dobermann of Apolda, Germany, in the 1880s.

He was a tax collector and was often bullied by other people. So he decided to breed the Dobermann to defend himself and get a work partner. That’s why Louis is also known as the “Tax Collector Dog.”

Both European and American Dobermans later come from these first Dobermans. They are classified as working dogs (European) and family/show dogs (American Pinscher).

Other than this, there are also Warlock Doberman, also known as “king Dobermans.” This is a result of crossing a Rottweiler or a Great Dane and a Doberman.

American vs. European Doberman: Breed Name

People usually call the American Doberman the American Doberman Pinscher; however, that’s not the right name. That’s because Pinscher refers to one of the breed’s ancestors, the German Pinscher. You can see the traits of German Pinscher in this American variety, such as sleek body type and long head shape. 

European Dobermanns don’t get called by Pinscher because it was dropped by the people as the breed no longer resembles and had many of the Pinscher’s traits.  

Another interesting thing about this breed is that American and European Dobermans are spelled a little differently! 

During the late 20th century, the second “n” was taken out of the American’s name “Dobermann.” This was done to remove the German influence on the breed as it brought negative connotations after World War II.  

American vs European Doberman: Size & Weight 

european doberman

Size and weight are another two key differences in physical traits that can be easily identifiable. With these two traits, you can distinguish between American and European Dobermans. 


Male26 to 28 inches27 to 29 inches
Female24 to 26 inches25 to 27 inches


Male75 to 100 lbs88 to 100 lbs
Female60 to 90 lbs70 to 77 lbs

American vs European Doberman: Color & Markings

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), there are four color varieties for the American Doberman:

  • Black and rust
  • Blue and rust
  • Red and rust
  • Fawn (Isabella) and rust

As per AKC, for the American Doberman, white is not an acceptable color; though the dog can have small white patches on its chest, they should not be larger than ½ square inch.

You might be thinking that the breed standards are strict for American Doberman; just wait for the European Dobermann!  

When it comes to European Doberman, the Federation Cynologique Internationale accepts only two color varieties: 

  • Black and rust
  • Brown and rust with tan markings

White markings are not allowed on the European variant. All these rules are necessary due to the breed suitability test (ZTP). 

tan markings in European Dobermanns are usually found on:

  • the muzzle
  • forechest
  • throat
  • hind thigh’s inner side
  • Above the eyebrow
  • Under the tail
  • forearms
  • metatarsus, metacarpus, and feet

American vs European Doberman: Physical Appearance

european doberman

One of the major differences between both the Doberman dogs is their physical appearance. 

American Doberman was bred to be shown as showing dogs. That’s why they breed according to a show standard set by the American Kennel Club (AKC). American Dobermans are great at agility and scent work rather than all those bite work. 

On the other hand, European Dobermans are bred as per the FCI standard. That’s why they’re really strong, sturdy, and powerful. Anyone can get easily intimidated by a European Doberman. Not only are these dogs bigger and heavier, but they’re also good at personal protection as compared to American Doberman. 

Here’s the table of differences in the physical appearance of both the dogs: 

American DobermanEuropean Doberman
Overall  Build: Medium-sized toned and longer body with thinner bone structure.Head: Long, thinner and blunt wedge-shaped head.Eyes: Almond-shaped and medium brown to dark brown.Neck: longer and thin neck that widens gradually toward the body.Chest: Smaller and narrow.Body: Long and lean.Legs: Refined but delicate legs.Overall Build: Thick and more compact and body with muscular bone structure.Head: Wide and broad head with a thick muzzle. Throatlatch and jaw structure are wider and muscular.Eyes: Oval in shape and dark brown in color.Neck: Short and thick with a lesser rise from the shoulder.Chest: Muscular and broad.Body: Solid and pronounced.Legs: Straight and stockier legs.

American vs European Doberman: Lifespan

Both breeds, American Doberman Pinscher and European Dobermann have about 10 to 12 years. 

So make sure to give them a lot of love, care, and support! 

American vs European Doberman: Health

Now let’s talk about one of the most important factors about dogs, their health! Many of you have thoughts like American VS European Doberman, which is healthier? Does one breed have more health issues than the other, or do both have the same problems? 

Yes, it is, in fact, true that both breeds have similar health problems and canine ailments that usually come from overbreeding and inbreeding.

Here are the common health issues for both the American and European Dobermann:

  • Sudden death by heart failure (cardiomyopathy)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Volvulus or bloat
  • Hemophilia (von Willebrand’s disease)
  • Wobbler’s syndrome (paralysis)
  • Degenerative eye disease

Dr. Reinhard Haberzetti conducted a study for Dobermans from Germany, Europe, and the USA, which gives results of the estimated spread of degenerative diseases for each variety.

Also Read: Colors of Dobermans: Black, Red, Blue, White with Photos

Americal Doberman Pinscher: 

DiseaseThe Occurrence of the Disease Among American Dobermans
Dilated CardiomyopathyVery high
Gastric VolvulusHigh
Von-Willebrand DiseaseHigh
Wobbler SyndromeHigh
Hip Joint DysplasiaLittle

European Dobermann: 

DiseaseThe Occurrence of the Disease in Western EuropeThe Occurrence of the Disease in Eastern Europe
Dilated CardiomyopathyVery HighLittle
Gastric VolvulusHigh and IncreasingLittle
HypothyroidismLittle, but IncreasingLittle
Von-Willebrand DiseaseLittle, but IncreasingLittle
Wobbler SyndromeLittle, but Fast IncreasingLittle
Hip Joint DysplasiaLittleLittle
PHTVL/PHPVLittle to MediumLittle

American vs European Doberman: Temperament

There is no doubt that both dogs are smart, intelligent, and extremely devoted to their family. If they feel any danger to their family, they can attack and bite the strangers. Other than this, they’re friendly and caring dogs. They understand human emotions and love to play and cuddle with their owners. 

Here are some Doberman temperament and personality traits of both types of dogs:  

American Doberman Pinscher:

  • Loving, loyal, and fearless.
  • Protective towards their owners.
  • Easy to train but not good at police work. 
  • Love to sit and relax on sofas. 
  • Understand human emotions.
  • Great with kids and other pets.

European Doberman

  • Always on alert.
  • Loving and extremely caring towards their owners.
  • High training and exercise are required.
  • Understand human emotions.
  • Alert with strangers and other pets.
  • Excellent for police work. 

American vs European Doberman: Training & Exercise 

Whether you have a European Doberman or an American one, regular training and exercise are important if you want to keep your pet happy and healthy. 

Here are three important things that you should know about American vs European Doberman training needs: 

  • Don’t allow your pet for any vigorous and sustained exercises until they grow completely, and this is for both American and European Dobermans. This can stress the major joints and cause skeletal malformation or damage.
  • Both dog breeds require at least two hours of physical and mental activities to keep them busy and happy. 
  • American and European Dobermans both need early and ongoing positive training. Try to socialize with other pets and humans from their early stages.

American vs European Doberman: Puppies

You’ll be happy to know that both American Doberman Pinschers and European Dobermann puppies look pretty similar. As they grow up, their body type will differ, and you’ll see other changes as well, as the European Doberman puppy will usually grow 5 to 10 lbs heavier than the American one.

However, it is always recommended to buy or adopt any type of Doberman puppy from a reputable breeder so that you’ll get a healthy and happy puppy.

European vs American Doberman: Which One is Right for You?

european doberman

American Doberman Pinschers are loving, caring, and protective, and that’s why they’re perfect family dogs. They’re also great to show dogs due to their elegant appearance and obedient nature.

On the other hand, the European Dobermann is often used as a police and guard dog. They’re also loyal and protective towards their humans. However, these dogs have temperament issues and are not that friendly. 

So now it’s up to you to decide whether an American Doberman or European Doberman is good for you. Select the one which suits your lifestyle and requirements. So this is all about European Doberman and American Doberman. 

I hope this in-depth guide on European Doberman Vs American Doberman has provided you with all the information you need. So, if you find this blog informative and helpful, please share it with your friends and family. 

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