Doberman Pitbull Mix: The Double Danger

For many, the Doberman Pitbull mix embodies muscular strength with elegance and athleticism.

For others, the mix is intimidating and conjures images of a mega dangerous super dog. What is the true nature of a Doberman Pitbull mix, and what does it look like?

A Doberman Pitbull mix is a medium-large dog commonly color-pointed or brindle. Although the parent breeds have reputations for aggression, the mix is a level-headed and friendly dog with some guarding instincts. With a dedication to training, socialization, and exercise, Doberman Pitbull mixes make excellent family companions like larger working dogs.

They can be challenging for first-time owners because of their strength, pushy natures, and stubbornness.

Overview of Doberman Pitbull Mix

A Doberman Pitbull mix is a designer dog named Dober Pit, Doberman Pit or Pit Pinscher. Dober Pit and Doberman Pit are more inclusive because Pinscher is no longer used in most areas outside North America or Canada.

Dober Pits are usually 21 to 25 inches tall and weigh 40 to 75 pounds. Why they were first developed or “designed” is unclear, but it was likely to make the Pitbull more protective of property and people.

The mix has a rich ancestry. The Pitbull originated in the UK in the early 19th century from the Old English Bulldog.

It became a generalized farm dog in the US but was soon coveted for its talents in illicit dogfighting. It served primarily as a pit dog killing rats and later fighting other dogs. It serves mainly as a companion dog with increasing popularity.

Dobermans originated in the latter part of the 1800s and Germany. Several breeds contributed to the Doberman, including the Greyhound and Old German Shepherd.

When Dobermans came to America, fanciers focused on creating a show dog and a well-tempered family pet. They bred out a lot of the original Doberman’s ferocity.

The AKC never accepted the American Pitbull Terrier except for a single branch of nonfighting dogs that became known as American Staffordshire Terriers. The Doberman joined the AKC in 1908, shortly after the German Kennel Club recognized it in 1900.

Is a Doberman Pitbull Mix the right dog for you?

We do not necessarily advocate crossbreeding dogs. Aside from public outcries for and against the practice, the results are unpredictable. Nevertheless, the trend of mixed breeds that sometimes get elevated to designer dogs appears to be here to stay.

If you want a Doberman Pitbull mix, they are readily available. You must perform your due diligence as you would for any other puppy or dog you consider bringing into your home.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get a Doberman Pitbull Mix

  • Bad reputation of the parent breeds
  • High energy
  • Intense work ethic
  • May become too protective
  • Can be dog-aggressive
  • Strong and powerful for a novice
  • Needs a lot of exercises

Reasons Why You Should Get a Doberman Pitbull Mix

  • In capable hands, highly trainable
  • Intelligent
  • Potentially good guard dog, excellent watchdog
  • Easy to groom
  • Loyal and affectionate
  • Attractive
  • Short, smooth coats that shed moderately

Traits of Doberman Pitbull Mix

Mixed breeds are not always reliable when expressing physical and personality traits.

However, most Doberman Pitbull mixes have several features in common.

  • Loving to owners
  • Great with older children that are over 10 years of age
  • Protective tendencies
  • Social in situations where you are comfortable
  • Powerfully built
  • Smart
  • Clingy
  • Fast
  • Suspicious of unfamiliar dogs
  • Medium to medium-large dogs
  • Active with a desire to have a job

Appearance, Personality, and Lifespan, of a Doberman Pitbull Mix

Appearance

Since the Doberman Pitbull mix is a hybrid, it does not belong to any significant registries, has no breed standard, and is not consistent in appearance. Many of them have the following physical characteristics.

  • Head – somewhat triangular with a strong muzzle, well-developed cheeks and jaw, and flat top of the skull
  • Stop – gradual but pronounced
  • Ears – medium-sized, high-set, and half prick or folded over
  • Eyes – wide-spaced and oval
  • Neck – medium in length and thick; dry (no dewlap)
  • Shoulders – prominent, well-muscled, and well laidback to allow a fluid and effortless movement in the front
  • Hindquarters – in balance with the forequarters and powerfully built; well-angulated and straight (not bowed or turned in or out)
  • Chest – very deep with moderate to the little breadth
  • Moderate uptuck
  • Topline – level or very slight upward slope from the withers to the rump
  • Tail – set on high or naturally from the downward curve of the spine; former carrier high with a slight curve and latter hangs low except during work or at times of excitement

A Dober Pit can be either of two body frames. One is sturdy with heavier bone than a Dobie and can look like a sleek Rottweiler if the dog has black and brown coloration. The other is slender with a smaller face and head. These latter types look like Greyhound mixes.

Coat and Colors of Doberman Pitbull Mix

Doberman Pits have short straight fur that lies flat, giving them a smooth appearance. They can have a range of colors, but most are color-pointed or brindle.

  • Color-pointed – points refer to brown markings above eyes, on the chest, paws, legs, muzzle, and chin, and under the tail; this mix can be black & brown, blue & brown, or red & brown; brown is tan to rust
  • Brindle – tan, cream, or blue with darker striping
  • Solid colors with white markings – blue, yellow, or black
  • White – can be solid white or primarily white with patches of brown or black

Personality

A well-socialized Doberman Pit is exceedingly active and rambunctious but also friendly. Although initially wary of strangers, Dober Pits quickly warm up to guests. They are intelligent, playful, strong-willed, tenacious, and loving.

If they choose a favorite person, they become entirely devoted. Dobermans suffer anxiety and distress when separated from their people for extended periods.

Lifespan

Doberman Pits live between 10 and 14 years. Their lives are generally shortened by cancer or heart disease.

Doberman Pitbull Mix Puppies for Sale

By now, the mix is well-established, and many sellers are happy to supply the demand. Occasionally, Doberman Pitbull mixes turn up in humane societies. Doberman and Pitbull rescues may also harbor a few mixes now and then.

When selecting a puppy, the minimum standard is a pup that has undergone a veterinarian examination and been dewormed. Acceptable puppies must be free of obvious signs of illness such as diarrhea or discharge from the eyes or nose. Look for puppies that are curious and willing to engage with you.

If you get lucky, you may find records on your puppy that include health screenings on the parents’ hearts, eyes, and hips. Many sellers of mixed breeds will not bother with tests.

Rarely can you find Doberman Pitbull pups for next to nothing? A Doberman Pitbull puppy might cost you between $500 and $1,500. With current demands for certain hybrids, however, the practice of giving away puppies of mixed heritage has largely gone by the wayside.

Grooming Your Doberman Pitbull Mix

Doberman Pits require minimal grooming. Brushing your dog weekly will keep her skin stimulated and her coat healthy.

A Doberman Pitbull’s nails are usually hard and frequently dark. If it is challenging to locate the quicks (where blood and nerves run through the center of the nail) of the nails, you can take your dog to a groomer for a trim. These dogs should get a nail trim every six to eight weeks.

Doberman Pitbull Mix Health Problems

The Dober Pit can inherit the same health problems as its parent breeds. However, if both the parents are carriers, your puppy may be more vulnerable. A larger gene pool, as occurs with first-generation mixes, may lower the risks of your puppy developing severe genetic disorders such as hip dysplasia, von Willebrand’s disease, degenerative myelopathy, and heart failure.

A list of some common problems of the Doberman and Pitbull that they can pass down to any mixed offspring are as follows:

  • Von Willebrand’s disease (Dobie) – a clotting disorder brought about by the lack of one of the clotting factors
  • Hip dysplasia (both) – growth abnormality of the hip joint whereby the ball and socket grow unevenly
  • Dilatative cardiomyopathy (Dobie) – weak heart muscles cause the heart to become like a balloon
  • Bone cancer or osteosarcoma (Dobie) – can affect some dogs at a young age (six years old, for example)
  • Elbow dysplasia (Pitbull) – is similar to hip dysplasia, but the elbow has three areas of potential issues
  • Subaortic stenosis (both)- heart disease that begins with narrowing under one of the heart valves
  • Hypothyroidism (both) – immune-mediated destruction of the thyroid gland causing problems with the skin and energy levels
  • Wobbler’s syndrome (Dobie) – issue with an unstable spinal cord in a specific area of the neck; causes ataxia (weakness and lack of coordination) in the hind legs
  • Degenerative myelopathy (Pitbull) – a progressive neuromuscular disorder that leads to paralysis in the hind end
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (Pitbull) – a genetic issue where dogs gradually lose their night vision and then become completely blind
  • Immune system deficiencies as puppies (both) – more vulnerable than other breeds to parvovirus and Demodex (proliferation of naturally-occurring cigar-shaped skin mites that cause hair loss and sometimes, secondary bacterial infections)

Doberman Pitbull Mix Food Requirements

A Doberman Pitbull mix’s food requirements are like other dogs in that it must be primarily a diet of animal-sourced proteins.

Dober Pits are active medium-large dogs, so they usually require 28 to 32 calories per pound. Their deep chests mean that you should break up their daily food allotments into two or more meals.

Carbohydrates are always points of contention. Some feel they are extraneous and cause harm, while others think certain fruits and vegetables benefit dogs. The only consensus is that canids do not need carbs to survive. Consult your veterinarian, but your dog can likely get beneficial antioxidants from berries and greens.

Doberman Pitbull Mix Exercise Requirements

It is universally understood that Dobermans are working dogs. Combining the breeds creates a highly active dog with plenty of stamina. The American Pitbull Terrier is a terrier but also has a long history of working in the US.

Your Dober Pit requires 90 to 120 minutes of exercise every day. A couple of sessions a day is more beneficial than marathon workouts every one or two days.

Your dog’s regimen should include 20 to 30 minutes of high-intensity activities and 15 to 25 minutes of training. Puppies need less rigorous exercise and more training and socializing. Dober Pits thrive on team activities where they can bond with you.

  • Shutzhund
  • Agility
  • Obedience competitions
  • Tracking

Doberman Pitbull Mix Training

Doberman Pitbull mixes are exceedingly smart. The Doberman Pinscher ranks No. 5 in working intelligence while the American Pitbull Terrier would be on par with its closest relative, the American Staffordshire Terrier, at No. 38. The numbers measure the two breeds against almost 140 dogs, a list compiled by Stanley Coren and excluding dogs outside of the AKC.

Dogs can be clever in many categories, but working obedience correlates closely with trainability. Dober Pits are trainable. However, challenges arise with the Doberman’s propensity for boredom and the Pitbull’s stubbornness.

Doberman Pitbull mixes are willing to please but resist forceful and harsh training techniques. The mix inherits formidable strength from its parents. Basic obedience should begin when your pup is young and before he learns his strength.

Doberman Pitbull Mix and Families

Dober Pits potentially make wonderful family pets for people who have older children and no other pets. They misbehave, like most dogs, in one or more of the following situations:

  • Separation – you spend too much time away from your pet
  • Lack of socialization – an unsocialized dog becomes unpredictable with a low startle threshold
  • Insufficient or improper training
  • Lack of exercise
  • Boredom – too little mental stimulation or not enough human company
  • Poor genetics

Dober Pits do not always make effective guard dogs because many of them are too friendly.

Most have at least minimal protective instincts and will announce visitors and warn you of intruders or suspicious occurrences. With their vicious-sounding barks, Dober Pits are usually excellent watchdogs.

Unless bored or suffering from separation anxiety, Doberman Pits are generally quiet.

Most Dober Pits are affectionate to all family members but may show favoritism toward one person. Doberman Pitbull mixes enjoy children but is generally too strong and rough for small kids and toddlers.

Moreover, they can be mouthy if nipping behavior is not corrected early. They should never be unsupervised around young children.

Doberman Pitbull Mix and Other pets

Many Dobermans are territorial and dominant with other dogs. Although socialization with other animals at a young age helps most dogs, they may still grow up with same-gender aggression.

Combined with many Pitbulls’ ancestral roots in dogfighting, these features make introducing your Dober Pit to other dogs a stressful venture.

Judge your pet as an individual because one dog’s tolerance for others of its kind may be much higher than another’s.

Moreover, Dobermans and American Pitbulls can often be seen playing in dog parks, so generalizations do not always fit.

Doberman Pitbull mixes can cause severe injuries to smaller dogs under 20 pounds and cats. Do not expose your Dober Pit to the latter unless you know how your dog will react. Doberman Pitbulls that grow up with other animals are likelier to remain friendly with them into adulthood.

Example

This video shows a solid tan Dober Pit with white markings. You can see Doberman and Pit Bull breeds in the face and head. Notice how the ears are between semi-prick and folded over.