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Doberman vs. Rottweiler: Which is the ideal pet for you?

If you want to adopt an excellent watchdog and a protective companion for your home, you must have found yourself confused between Rottweilers and Dobermans. Both breeds have German origins, muscular built, powerful cores, strong work ethics and much more, making them great family pets and appear quite similar in comparison. But they are different in temperament, physical and mental traits and much more that we will explore in this article. But there is one thing we know for sure that both breeds make great companions and will take no time adjusting to your Indian household.

Let’s take a quick look at the breed comparison chart of Doberman and Rottweilers before we dive into understanding the similarities and differences shared by both breeds.

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Comparison 

Height25-28 Inches24-27 Inches
Weight27-35 KGs50-60 KGs
CoatShort and fineShort and dense
Coat thicknessMinimal undercoatDouble layered
Colour and MarkingsBlack & Rust, Blue & Rust, Red & Rust, Fawn & RustBlack & Mahogany, Black & Rust, Black & Tan
EyesDark and medium brown, red & rust, fawn & rust, blue & rustDark brown, black
Bred forWorkingWorking
GroupWorking groupWorking group
HabitatHot weatherHot weather but needs care under cold weather
Lifespan10-13 years8-11 years
Breed RecognitionRecognised as a breedRecognised as a breed
Registration with
Litter Size6-8 puppies6-12 puppies
Adaptable to small
Kid Friendly3/54/5
Dog Friendly1/52/5
Stranger Friendly3/54/5
Prey Drive1/54/5
Easy to train5/54/5
Exercise needs3/53/5
Easy to Groom5/55/5
General Health1/52/5
Good for novice owners3/51/5
Tolerates being alone2/51/5
Barking Level4/53/5
Drooling Level4/54/5

Key Differences in Detail between Doberman and Rottweiler

Origin and History

Dobermans originate from Germany around the 20 century by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermas, a tax collector after which it is also named. It was developed to create a medium-sized guard dog that is intelligent, loyal and athletic. Doberman is developed from breeds such as Rottweilers, black and tan terriers, German Pinscher and possibly the Greyhound as its creator operated the local dog pond and had access to a variety of dogs to use in the breeding process. Louis created Doberman as a protector, who could protect him when he performed tax collection in several areas that were considered unsafe during the civil war which is one of the reasons why it is also called ‘The Tax Collectors Dog’. 

Dobermans have been used as war dogs and police dogs over the years due to their incredible strength, endurance, and muscular and athletic build. It also served as the Marine Corps official dog during World War 2.

The exact origins of Rottweilers are unknown, but it is believed that they originated from the Mastiff and its ancestors that can be traced back to Ancient Rome. They were used as drover dogs who herded livestock for the army. It was later developed in the German town of Rottweil, after which it is named, where it worked as a police and cattle dog. They were also referred to as Rottweiler Metzgerhund, butcher dogs of Rottweil. Rottweilers did not reach India until the mid 1990 but since then, they have become extremely popular in India and make great companions.

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Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Temperament

Dobermans and Rottweilers are people-oriented breeds, but sometimes Dobermans might form a strong attachment with only a single family member. In contrast, Rottweilers can live affectionately with everyone in the family. It can be a problem to leave Dobermans alone for long hours like Rottweilers, as they suffer from separation anxiety. Dobermans tend to be more aggressive with animals residing with them than more friendly Rottweilers.

Both dogs make excellent guard dogs, they are loyal and confident, fierce, loyal, and courageous enough to guard their family in times of danger. Dobermans were bred as police dogs which means they can effortlessly chase away any intruder, but it also makes them intimidating and aggressive towards strangers. Rottweilers are affectionate family dogs that are aloof when near strangers due to their tendency to be on guard in unfamiliar situations. It should be remembered that both dogs tend to be aggressive due to their guarding instincts, which can be managed with proper socialisation and training.

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Appearance and Coat

The main difference between the two breeds is that Dobermans have a leaner, compact and square build compared to Rottweiler’s more extensive, stocky, heavy build. Dobermans are taller than Rottweilers, with a height between 25 to 28 inches, whereas Rottweilers stand at 24 to 27 inches. The average weight of a male Doberman is 40 to 46 kg, and between 32 to 35 kg for a female Doberman. Rottweilers weigh more than Dobermans. A male Rottweiler weighs between 50 to 61 kgs, and a female weighs between 35 to 45 kgs.

Dobermans have a muscular build and a long head that resembles a blunt wedge compared to Rottweiler’s bulkier built with a boxy head. Dobermans have wedge-shaped faces, athletic bodies, almond-shaped eyes, erect ears and a muzzle parallel to the length of their skull. Rottweilers have a lean build, almond-shaped eyes, ears bent towards their face and strong square muzzles. 

Dobermans have short coats that lie close to the skin and might have a slight undercoat around their neck. Their standard coat colours are black & rust, blue & rust, red & rust, and fawn & rust, along with rust markings above their eyes, on their muzzles, chest, throat and legs and feet. Rottweilers have a straight and coarse short double coat, their outer coat is medium in length, shorter on ears, heads and legs. The standard coat colours in Rottweilers are black & mahogany, black & rust, and black & tan. They have markings from rust to mahogany that appear over the eyes, cheeks, muzzle, chest, legs and beneath the tail.

Dobermans are great dogs for the Indian climate due to their short hair, they prefer warmer temperatures and will not face the problem of overheating like other breeds. On the other hand, Rottweilers too can survive in India but need additional care and protection during harsh climates, they will have a cold place to escape the heat and access to clean water 24 hours a day. 

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Intelligence and Training

Dobermans are eager to learn and obey commands quickly, making them extremely smart and well-trained for being employed by militaries and police forces all over the world. They are physically strong dogs that come with an equally strong will. They need a firm leader with a firm hand, as they won’t respond to a leader they don’t respect. It is essential to start training early as this breed can become destructive when bored. Coupled with socialisation, you will have a well-mannered, obedient Doberman. 

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Rottweilers have an incredible work ethic that makes them fantastic working dogs, along with being highly intelligent, learning and performing tasks efficiently. They benefit from early obedience training and socialisation classes. Rottweilers also need a firm, persistent, disciplined leader, as they tend to show occasional stubbornness. Training them is more accessible as they are always eager to please and naturally intelligent. We recommend not being tough during training as it encourages aggressiveness. 

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Diet Requirements

The food your puppy or adult dog needs depends upon age, size, metabolism, build and activity level. Feeding your dog regularly rather than leaving its bowl full throughout the day is essential.

Since both breeds need intense activity and training, they will need nutritious food to support their needs and health. Rottweilers need 4-10 cups of high-quality dry food daily, divided into two meals. Dobermans need 2.5 to 3.5 cups of high-quality dry food every day, divided into two meals. 

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Exercise Needs

Dobermans are full of energy and need regular exercise to be healthy. If they don’t get enough exercise, they start to exhibit behavioural problems, which is not something an owner wants. Dobermans need 2 hours of exercise every day which can be a high-impact exercise like swimming, ball chasing, or running, as long as it doesn’t lead to rough training sessions. 

Rottweilers also need daily exercise but less intense than Dobermans as they are a little more chilled. They will be sufficient with 45 minutes to two hours of daily exercise, depending upon their age and size. Rottiee loves playing games, hide and seek, treasure hunts or obstacle-solving games. 

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Health

The unfortunate fact about our modern world is that all dog breeds have health problems that can arise from genetics, crossbreeding, or a mixture of both. Both breeds are susceptible to various health problems that can be common or different from the other. Dobermans face Cervical Vertebral Instability (CVI) or Wobbler Syndrome, Von Willebrand, Narcolepsy, gastric torsion and hypothyroidism. Rottweilers face problems like Elbow Dysplasia, Subaortic Stenosis (SAS), Vitiligo, eye disorders and Wobblers Syndrome.

These health conditions can get severe and, in some cases, even lead to death. That’s why taking care of your dog is essential by taking them for regular vet visits, medical procedures, vaccinations and medications. 

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Puppy Price

The most essential and foremost questions inquired by owners are the initial price of the dog to the yearly maintenance cost of raising it. The initial price is affected by various factors like size, height, health, colour, markings, and much more. The average price of a Rottweiler puppy costs between INR 25,000 to 45,000, whereas it lies between INR 15,000 to 40,000 for Dobermans

After bringing a puppy home, there are several initial costs such as registrations, grooming essentials, licenses, veterinary care, toys, bed and crates and much more, which adds up to the first year of owning expenses. The annual cost of owning a Rottweiler can be between go up to one lakh rupees, whereas Doberman costs can go up to INR 90,000.

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Grooming and Shedding

Rottweilers must be brushed weekly with a bristle brush to remove dead hairs and distribute skin oils. They’ll need frequent brushing twice a year during shedding season to keep their loose hair in control and avoid hair all over the house, along with occasional bathing. You will have to brush their teeth at least twice or thrice a week to remove tartar buildup and keep them clean.

Dobermans have sleek short coat that needs minimal grooming with a minimal body odour. But despite the short coat they shed, they will be sufficient with weekly brushing using a grooming mitt or rubber curry. They don’t need frequent bathing unless they get their coat dirty or smelly due to playing. They will also need to brush their teeth twice weekly to maintain hygiene and remove bacteria and tartar buildup. We recommend trimming their nails once a month unless they naturally wear down. 

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It is, in fact, a tough choice when it comes to choosing between the two breeds due to their tons of similarities which makes them great companions and even greater protectors of your family. To clear out the dilemma, we’ve discussed a few similarities below.

  • Origin in Germany- Both breeds were initially bred in Germany, but the stories of how and why they were bred are entirely different. Rottweilers were developed by crossbreeding Roman dogs with local dogs of Rottweil, whereas Doberman was developed by crossbreeding several cattle dogs and shepherds.
  • Guard dogs- Rottweilers and Dobermans make the finest guard dogs due to their undying loyalty towards their owners. They are vigilant, adaptive, alert guard dogs that protect their homes at all costs.
  • Highly Intelligent- Both breeds rank among the best (top 10 categories) regarding obedience and intelligence. They are adaptive and intelligent when learning or obeying new commands, making them easily trainable.


What is the running speed of Rottweiler and Doberman?

Due to their build and body type, it is clear Dobermans have quite an advantage. Dobermans run at a speed of 40 mph, whereas Rottweilers run at a speed of 25 mph.

Can Rottweilers and Dobermans live together?

Both dogs can easily cohabit with the help of early socialisation, proper training and regular obedience classes, which will help getting along with each other, other dogs and even family members. The owners will need to dedicate time and effort to regular training.

How strong is the bite force of Rottweilers and Dobermans?

Rottweilers have 328 pounds of bite force, and Dobermans have a 245 PSI, which makes it essential to teach both dogs early socialisation.

Should I get a male or female Doberman?

Male Dobermans are protective of the whole family as they tend to bond quickly and are calmer when neutered. Female Dobermans are calmer, easier to manage and more protective of a single individual as they form strong bonds with one person.

Conclusion: Doberman vs Rottweiler: Which One is Better for you?

We understand that getting a dog is a big commitment which means committing for ten years or longer. Thus, you must take an informed and rational decision when selecting the right dog for your family. It is a hard decision since both breeds make excellent guard dogs, loving family pets that are highly intelligent and undyingly loyal. 

Dobermans are loyal, intelligent, protective, hard-working dogs that are quick in learning and regarded as one of the highest breeds regarding obedience intelligence. They develop strong bonds with their family members, which might lead to separation anxiety. They need intense exercise but cannot withstand rough training. They aren’t comfortable in low temperatures and have a high prey drive which leads to chasing small animals like rats around the house.

Rottweilers are brilliant dogs that need physical as well as mental stimulation. They are quick to learn commands and responsive to training. Their short coat makes grooming more manageable, but they also need regular physical exercise, which, if not completed, can lead to aggressive and destructive tendencies. Their high prey drive makes them unsuitable for living with other small animals. Many people misjudge them as aggressive when they are pretty protective of their owners, as they make excellent guard dogs.

If you are looking for a loyal family pet, guard dog, working dog or a family companion, you can’t go wrong by choosing either of these breeds.

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