In the late ’70s and early ’80s, a popular dog used for guarding property was the Doberman Pinscher.
The “Dobie,” as it is affectionately referred to by dog fans, is fiercely loyal and very protective. These qualities make it both a good dog to own and a terrifying dog to encounter.
Dobermans have been known to attack intruders and maul intruders viciously. It’s part of the reason why some people fear Dobermans so much.
There are also several dogs that look like Dobermans, which those same people might be afraid of just because of the looks of these lookalike breeds.
If you are worried about whether or not a lookalike dog breed resembling a Doberman is dangerous or not, you needn’t fear. Most of these lookalike dogs are quite harmless and make great pets.
The German Pinscher
The German Pinscher existed long before the Doberman variety did. The German Pinscher is much smaller than a Doberman, but its body, head, ears, and even coloring look exactly like a Doberman.
Although the appearance is strikingly similar between these two dogs, their temperament, trainability, and ability to stay on task are at opposite ends of the work dog spectrum. The Doberman is much better at all of the above overalls.
Warlock (King) Doberman
This dog is not a breed of dog at all and is not recognized by AKC. It is, in fact, a cross between a Great Dane and a Doberman to achieve a very large Doberman-looking animal.
Since it is next to impossible to actually breed an enormously large Doberman naturally from mid-sized Doberman dogs, this is how you get a “King” Doberman.
The Mini Pinscher or Toy Pinscher
These little dogs look a lot like Dobermans too, but that’s because they have been bred with smaller dog breeds to make the Doberman much smaller than it usually is.
It is fairly common to breed a Doberman with a Chihuahua or other really small dog breed to accomplish the look of a Mini Pinscher or Toy Pinscher.
As such, these dogs do not carry the majority of the personality traits or work ethic of the Doberman.
The little versions of the Doberman are expected to be lap dogs or companion animals. They would not likely herd or attack anyone on command, although they will frequently bark long and loud.
AKC standards have set requirements for Mini Pinschers and Toy Pinschers. They must have at least one direct parent or grandparent that was a Doberman.
They also must adhere to specific weight and height requirements to be registered as Mini Pinschers or Toy Pinschers.
Teacup Pinschers are an abnormally small version of larger Pinschers. Either a Doberman or a German Pinscher is in their lineage.
Teacup Pinschers have been bred to be part of the “teacup dog” craze that has taken over the celebrity spotlight with celebrities who want tiny dogs as accessories rather than pets.
As with most other teacup dog breeds, AKC doesn’t recognize teacup varieties of full-size dogs as AKC recognizes the dangers in breeding dogs too small for their own good. Still, a teacup Pinscher looks like a dollhouse version of a full-sized Pinscher in almost every way.
English Toy Terriers
This breed is often confused for a toy Doberman because it looks almost exactly like a Doberman. The big difference is that it is much smaller than a Doberman, and that explains why it is confused with mini or toy Dobermans.
Unless you visit Prague, Czech Republic, you may never see a Prague Ratter. They rarely leave their home country and there aren’t many breeders anywhere else in the world.
They are so tiny that they are considered one of the smallest breeds in the world, and yet they are confused with teacup Dobermans whenever tourists see them up close. Their perfectly shaped heads, upright ears, and coloration look just like a Doberman’s.
Many dogs native to India have somebody composition similarities to Dobermans. However, no Indian dog more so than the Sarail Hound looks like a Doberman.
In fact, if a Doberman could have a brindled or tiger-striped coat, these two dogs would be confused for each other all the time. Their bodies, heads, snouts, gaits, and even the way the dogs run look almost identical.
The Sarail Hound is even the same size as a Doberman and has about the same expected lifespan.
Sadly, you might never be able to see a Doberman side by side with a Sarail Hound because the Sarail Hound is on the verge of extinction.
They were once commonly bred to defend homes and herds against jackals as well as racing and fighting dogs. There aren’t many left because there isn’t much use for them anymore.
The Manchester Terrier is a very old English breed that looks a lot like a very skinny, scruffy Doberman.
Its snout, long legs, and coloring look just like a Doberman, although the Manchester Terriers do not have the long, tapered lean, and muscular look of a Doberman.
The ears of the Manchester Terrier are also floppy and hang down, unlike the upturned and very alert ears of the Doberman.
These little dogs are great companion pets. They also make excellent tracking and hunting dogs because they were originally bred to be rat killers.
Interestingly enough, part of the Doberman’s ancestry lies in the genetics of these little dogs.
These little dogs look a lot like Dobermans too. It’s their coloring and body composition that makes them look similar to the bigger dog, but their distinct terrier faces with the beards and their floppy ears help you tell them apart from Dobermans.
They are used as hunting dogs in Germany, but they make very good family pets too.
Most people are likely to confuse the Australian Kelpie with a German Shepherd since the two dogs both have thick, shaggy coats and heavy, sturdy heads and bodies.
However, you can see by looking at an Australian Kelpie that it might be easy for non-dog lovers to confuse it for a Doberman.
The color choices and coat patterns for these dogs are exactly the same for purebred Dobermans.
The sharp, triangular ears that stand straight up on the Kelpie’s head look like the Doberman’s too.
Because both dogs are trained to herd and protect, it’s easy to see how they might be confused with each other.
These Egyptian dogs are some of the oldest bred dogs in the world. All of the images of dogs and dog-gods in Egypt are modeled after the look of these dogs. Some of these dogs were even revered by Egyptians as gods.
Except for the golden coloration of these dogs, their heads, ears, bodies, tails, long legs, and even snouts look just like a Doberman’s.
Sometimes some people have thought that the Pharaoh Hound was some sort of “albino” Doberman because it lacks the black markings of a Doberman. That is how closely these two breeds resemble each other.
The Beauceron is a French dog that looks like a slightly overweight Doberman. In fact, you might even think that someone bred a Doberman to a German Shepherd and the Beauceron was the result.
It has the small, upright ears of a Doberman, the coloring of a Doberman, and the hindquarters of a Doberman.
What it doesn’t have is the smaller, more rounded, and sleek physique of the Doberman. A Beauceron also tends to be a much more playful dog, looking for someone to play catch with it.
Beaucerons are not the most intelligent breed, and they present with more trainability issues than a Doberman ever would. Still, they make for good protectors and herding dogs.
Dogs With Similar Coloring to Dobermans
There are dogs that look nothing like a Doberman at all, but because they have the traditional fawn and black coloring of Dobermans people think that there’s a link.
The reality is that a lot of dogs have the fawn and black coloring associated with Dobermans and that this coloring is also synonymous with these other dog breeds.
Here’s a couple of breeds that also have the “Doberman coloring” but don’t look anything like Dobermans at all.
Kanni dogs are very rare. Their breed hails from one region in India, and they are not commonly sought-after dogs.
The body, legs, and coloring look like a Doberman, but the head, hindquarters, and long-tail resemble a Greyhound’s.
Kanni dogs are frequently black and tan, and this coat coloration is the preferred coloration of those who own and/or breed Kanni dogs in India.
Additionally, they are very large dogs and would cast a shadow over a Doberman if the two breeds were standing next to each other.
A Rottweiler is an obviously recognizable dog. It has fawn and black coat markings, but “Rotties” is heavier, stockier, and have more powerful jaws.
For a while, these dogs were bred to be fighting dogs, which is why they have such thick, muscular forms and heavy heads.
When it comes to people who know little to nothing about dogs, the question is always “Do Rottweilers come from Doberman stock?”
The answer is no, most definitely not. Rotties just have their coloring because that is how the dog breed naturally presents itself.
Black and Tan Coonhound
Black and tan Coonhounds have the markings and coloration of Dobermans, but that is where the physical similarities stop.
Coonhounds were developed and bred to hunt as their noses are incredibly powerful tools in tracking down “coons” (i.e., raccoons) and other games that many pioneers and settlers wanted to shoot.
These dogs are a wholly American breed, having been created here first in the United States. Purebred Coonhounds only come in black and tan coat markings and coloration.
They are extremely affectionate and friendly, which is great as a family dog, but not so good as a guard dog or protector dog.
How anyone can confuse a Great Dane for a Doberman is beyond understanding. Great Danes are so massive that there is next to nothing that would even cause you to think it’s a Doberman. Yet some people still think a Great Dane is a Doberman.
Perhaps it’s the long lean body ending in small hindquarters, or maybe if a Great Dane is colored like a Doberman it’s almost believable.
However, if you stood a Doberman next to a Great Dane, you would see right away that the size of the Great Dane is easily double the size of a Doberman.
The mistaken identity here doesn’t hold merit beyond the fact that people still do make this mistake when meeting a Great Dane.
Dogs That Look Nothing Like a Doberman but Are Still Confused
As previously mentioned, a Great Dane is one such dog commonly confused for a Doberman despite the fact that they hardly look anything alike at all. There are other dogs people confuse for a Doberman too. Here are a few of those dogs.
Most Weimaraners are grey or some shade of brown. Their big floppy ears and gentle temperament make them excellent pets, but they’re not likely to attack an intruder any time soon. They look a lot more like a hunting dog or a coon dog than they do a Doberman.
The “Chippi” dog is Indian in origin. It is more closely related to Greyhounds than most any other breed.
The body, hindquarters, and height of the Chippiparai are similar to a Doberman, but this dog is larger and is never the same color or coat pattern as a Doberman.
Chippis are excellent guard dogs, which is what they are bred for in India.