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Should I Choose a Doberman or a Boxer for My Family?

boxer vs doberman

Boxers and Dobermans are quite similar in many manners, but also quite different in others. Each of the breeds is considered a medium-sized dog with short hair and they are both working dogs that originated in Germany.

You may be wondering which of these breeds would be best for your particular family situation.

Education on both breeds can help you to narrow down which of the two breeds will work best for you.

Read on to learn about the differences between each of these popular breeds of dogs.

Dobermans Were Tax Collectors

The Doberman was first bred in Germany approximately in 1890 by Kari Freidrich Louis Doberman and as such the breed took on his last name for a breed.

Kari was a tax collector who wasn’t the most liked person in the past years and he wanted a dog to protect him while he worked.

He bred the Doberman to have strength, speed, loyalty, intelligence, endurance, and ferocity when it was needed.

Some sources state that the Doberman was bred from a German Shepherd background. Dobermans can run as fast as 27 mph and they have a high level of energy as well.

To this day, the Doberman does require quite a bit of exercise each day to satisfy this need in the form of a run, a long walk, and time to play in the yard. Dobermans weigh between 60 and 100 pounds.

Dobermans make great family pets as they are sweet and loyal at home and love kids and human companionship.

If they are left alone for quite some time per day, they do tend to get lonely, and we all know lonely dogs may get into trouble at times.

Boxers Were a Working Breed

Boxers originated about the same time as the Doberman. Boxers are said to have been bred from two German dogs that were much like Mastiffs.

They were originally bred for many things, including dogfighting, herding livestock of all types, pulling heavy carts, and baiting bulls.

Boxers became general working dogs around the year 1900. They are a delightful breed and they remain very playful from the time they are a puppy until they reach about 3 years old.

They have a multitude of energy even as they mature and pass maturity so they do need exercises daily such as a long walk each day or several hours of playtime in the yard.

Boxers are loyal and intelligent while also affectionate, high-spirited, and happy dogs.

They are eager to please all of their family members, but they need a definite pack leader in the family to control their extra boisterousness and they definitely need training in order to teach them not to jump on people–especially children.

Doberman or Boxer: Who’s the Bigger Dog?

As mentioned previously, both dogs are considered medium-sized dogs, although Dobermans are larger in height than Boxers. A male Doberman may be about 25 to 29 inches tall and a male Boxer can be 22 to 25 inches tall.

The females rank a bit smaller in size, as is normal for all breeds. Female Dobermans will be about 24 to 27 inches tall and female Boxers will top out at 20 to 24 inches tall.

As you would expect, taller dogs generally weigh a bit more than shorter dogs. The Doberman is taller and is also heavier. You can expect a male to be about 88 to 100 pounds when mature and a male Boxer can reach between 59 and 71 pounds when fully grown.

The female Doberman weighs between 70 and 78 pounds, while a female Boxer weighs about 55 to 64 pounds when mature.

Doberman and Boxer Appearances: Who is More Handsome?

Dobermans have finely chiseled muscles and they appear alert and proud in their stance. The forelegs and hindlegs trot in unison for an elegant gait. Their heads are long and they get wider from the snout to the ears.

The eyes are almond-shaped and usually, they have cropped ears that stand up and erect on the top of Doberman’s head.

Boxers have a much thicker neck and they are quite muscular and strong with a deep and broad chest. Their eyes are round and expressive and quite often their tails are docked as puppies.

Are Dobermans and Boxers Temperamental or Loving?

Dobermans can be used for police work. However, when they are at home, they tend to be loyal, protective, alert, courageous, intelligent, and mostly quiet. Some Dobermans can be quite shy depending on their breeding.

Boxers have a similar temperament and they are cheerful, courageous, intelligent, loyal, and energetic, but they are much more playful than Dobermans.

In a comparison of the Boxer and the Doberman, Boxers are usually more sociable and friendly with strangers when compared to Dobermans.

Dobermans are highly protective of their human and pet families and they may not readily trust strangers as they can see them as a threat to their loved ones.

Early socialization and training are important for a Doberman, so they can decide if a person is a friendly stranger or an actual threat to the family.

Both breeds get along well with cats, as long as they are trained properly. They will be loving to a family cat if they are introduced to each other when they are young.

Both breeds may tend to be a bit harsh with other dogs at times. This can also be solved with training and socialization from a young age.

Both breeds are kid-friendly, while boxers are a bit more friendly. Both love to have time to play and relax with their family as much as possible because they are very loving.

In addition, Boxers really love to cuddle with family members, and even when full grown, will likely demand to sit in your lap.

Breed Instincts and Behaviors: Naughty or Nice?

The breed mentality of a Boxer is to be a part of a family or pack, whereas the breed mentality of a Doberman is to be the dominant or alpha of the family.

Boxers may get distracted a bit easier because of their high energy levels. Dobermans have an average attention span and will wait for commands from you.

The breed instincts include several items that were bred into the breed over time. Some dogs may be a bit more or less instinctive with some traits.

Boxers display average aggression traits, while Dobermans can display more aggression if they sense a threat to their pack.

Boxers don’t generally dig holes in the yard as their tendency to dig or tear up things is very low. The Doberman is below average in his instinct to dig holes or destroy items.

Both breeds are average in the ability to listen and perform commands, although as a puppy a Boxer can be easily distracted.

Each of the breeds has a high propensity to be a guard dog to their families while they are about average in their instincts to fight with other dogs, humans, or pets.

Both the Boxer and the Doberman are not very likely to be herding dogs as they were not bred for this activity. They also are not usually used for a hunting dog either.

Each of the breeds is great at protecting their families or packs but does not readily remove any type of vermin.

Doberman and Boxer Life Spans: Who will Be by my Side the Longest?

Larger dogs don’t usually live quite as long as smaller dogs, so Dobermans live a shorter life than Boxers. Dobermans usually live about 9 to 11 years and Boxers can live from 9 to 15 years of age.

What are Common Health Issues?

All dog breeds are genetically inclined to have some health issues or diseases that have been passed down through their lineage–Boxers and Dobermans are no different.

Dobermans are prone to a spinal cord compression called Wobbler’s syndrome. It produces a wobbling gait in the rear end when they walk and run.

They are also susceptible to a disease-causing prolonged bleeding time called Van Willebrands Disease, much like the free bleeding syndrome in humans when the blood doesn’t clot as it should.

A Boxer can have aortic stenosis as a heart condition, though Dobermans don’t generally have this. Boxers can also suffer from bloating syndrome, which can be life-threatening and it is something you need to catch quickly if you decide to adopt a Boxer puppy or dog.

Boxers can also get cancer as a mast cell tumor, brain tumor, or lymphoma. White Boxers are also susceptible to skin cancer and white Dobermans can also get this disease. White Dobermans can also have light sensitivity and skin lesions.

Eye conditions are common in both breeds of dogs, with retinal atrophy in Dobermans and cherry eye, uveitis, and corneal dystrophy in Boxers that are usually caused by the shape of their face.

Boxers may also face hip dysplasia, which in turn leads to osteoarthritis and thickened muscles around the stomach’s end that cause rapid weight loss in the breed.

Dobermans are a less high-maintenance breed than boxers because of the health issues they may suffer. So Boxers may have health concerns that will increase the cost of veterinarian bills and procedures, making them a bit more expensive breed than Dobermans.

Who is the Greatest Shedding Breed?

Both breeds of dogs have similar coats, with the Doberman having a very short and thick coat with rust-colored markings over the eyes, neck, chest, muzzle, and below the tail and on all four feet.

Boxers have smooth and very shiny coats and they have coat colors of brindle, white and fawn. Both breeds will not really shed if you give them a quick brushing regularly.

Brushing both breeds once a week and bathing them about 3 to 4 times a year is recommended. Of course, when they are young they may get muddy or dirty and need a bath just to clean them up.

Boxers and Dobermans Trainability: Which is Easier to Train?

Dobermans want to please their owners and they are quite easy to train because they enjoy being guard dogs. They are highly active and love learning new commands and are not so energetic as Boxers, so they are easier to train.

Boxers are so exuberant that training may be a bit more difficult than training a Doberman. One of the first things to teach them is to sit.

You must be the pack leader because Boxers are very bouncy and love to jump like they are spring-loaded. You need to teach them to sit, stay and come and definitely not to jump.

When Boxers launch their full force and bounce off a person, they can actually knock them down and may cause injuries to the person. In a household with smaller children, this is one of the biggest drawbacks.

Both breeds of the Doberman and Boxer get very excited when learning new things from their owners.

The key is to try and keep them calm during training sessions and offer treats to them as rewards.

Dobermans may learn a bit quicker than Boxers as they are considered the 5th most intelligent canine in the world.

Which is Best Suited for my home and Family?

Boxers will be fine living in an apartment as long as they get lots of playtime and attention outdoors too. Dobermans are happier to have a yard to play in than staying in an apartment all day, as they may have separation issues.

Either breed is suited to a rural or urban area as long as they have playtime and walks on a regular basis. However, they do better in a temperate climate where it doesn’t get very hot in the summer or very cold in the winter, due to their short coats.

Both breeds of dogs are loving and loyal family companions. They are similar in many manners and make lovely additions to your family. Either of the breeds will make you a wonderful new four-legged family member.