Great Dane vs. Doberman: Which is The Best Breed for Your Family

Deciding between two great breeds of dogs, such as the Great Dane and the Doberman Pinscher can be a task. These two dog breeds are very popular and have a lot of similarities.

Learning about each of the breeds in depth can help you to make a great decision on which dog will fit best with your family and in your unique situation.

Similarities of the Great Dane and the Doberman Pinscher

The Great Dane and the Doberman Pinscher have many different traits in common with each other.

They are both purebred breeds of dogs that are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Both dogs, even though they are large, can live in an apartment, inside a house, or in a small yard, if they get enough daily exercise.

Neither the Great Dane nor the Doberman Pinscher is easily distracted, making training them, even as a puppy, very easy. Neither of the two is very independent because they crave being with their human family members all the time.

Both dogs have a low propensity to dig or burrow in the yard as well as herd others and each is moderate in their tendency to chase small animals. Both dogs have short, straight coats, making grooming very easy.

Differences of the Great Dane and the Doberman Pinscher

The Great Dane is considered a giant breed of dog that is larger and definitely heavier than the slender Doberman Pinscher, which is considered a large breed of dog.

The Great Dane ranks as the 14th most popular dog in the USA and the Doberman Pinscher ranks as the 16th most popular.

Both dogs are sought after by American families to join their families as protectors and companion dogs.

The Great Dane is very good at being friendly to kids, pets, and strangers, while the Doberman Pinscher is okay with friendliness to strangers and kids, but not so much with other pets.

The Great Dane is the more vocal of the two breeds and he will bark or howl often, whereas the Doberman Pinscher rarely vocalizes at all.

The Great Dane is more docile and laid back and only requires a medium level of exercise, while the Doberman Pinscher requires a bit more exercise because he has a higher energy level.

The Great Dane has a medium to high tendency to drool, whereas the Doberman Pinscher very rarely drools.

The Doberman Pinscher is more aggressive than the Great Dane, but the Doberman is also a better guard dog.

Doberman Pinschers have a longer lifespan than Great Danes, which is to be expected as all giant breed dogs have shorter lifespans than smaller dogs.

Breed History Comparison

Great Dane

Great Danes are German-bred and then were eventually brought to the United States.

The German nobles used these dogs to hunt very large and ferocious wild boars because the dogs were so big and they were trained to be aggressive as well.

At a later date, the Great Dane’s jobs were to protect families and their homes and they are now sought after to be family protectors and companions.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers were first bred by Louis Dobermann to aid him in his job of being a tax collector.

The reception when he knocked on doors to collect taxes was often hostile and the Doberman Pinscher was his protector, as well as having an appearance that was daunting. This secured this breed the name of the “Tax Collector’s Dog.”

He was known internationally as a first-class working dog and, in the United States, has been a great breed for police K-9 duties as well as war dogs. Today, the Doberman Pinscher is used as a protector and family companion.

Appearance Comparison

Great Dane

The Great Dane is certainly of great size. At maturity, a male Great Dane can reach between 30 and 32 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 140 and 175 pounds.

The females of the breed are a bit smaller but still quite formidable at 28 to 30 inches tall and with a weight of 110 to 140 pounds when mature.

Great Danes have smoothly muscled bodies and a great powerful size and strength. In length and height, the breed is considered square, as he isn’t longer or shorter than he is tall. The head is long and distinguished in a rectangular shape with expressive eyes.

He has medium-sized eyes that are deep-set and dark brown to black. The ears are of a medium length that folds toward the cheek unless his ears are cropped.

Standard colors of the Great Dane include black, black and white, blue, brindle, fawn, harlequin, merle, silver, and mantle. A dog of this breed can have black markings, including a black mask and white markings also.

Doberman Pinscher

A male Doberman Pinscher at maturity will reach between 26 and 28 inches tall at the shoulder and weight between 75 and 100 pounds.

The females, as expected, are a bit smaller at 24 to 26 inches tall and have a weight of 60 to 90 pounds.

The Doberman Pinscher has a square, strong and slim body that is compact, muscular, and powerful for great endurance as a working dog. The head is long and thin and it gradually widens toward the base of the ears.

Doberman’s eyes are almond-shaped and they range in color from medium brown to black. The ears are usually cropped and they stand high on the head.

The breed’s standard colors are black and rust, blue and rust, red and rust, or fawn and rust.

Temperament Comparison

Great Dane

The Great Dane is a very friendly breed of dog who is affectionate and loving to his family members and to other pets and stranger friendly as well.

He loves to snuggle and is very willing to please his family. The Great Dane can be a bit jealous and he does not like being left alone for long periods of time. Danes can be a bit stubborn at times.

Great Danes are definitely packed members as they love to be with their family as much as possible, but they do not want to be a pack leader, instead, they want to be a pack member.

Great Danes are very gentle and have earned the name of a gentle giant. They are also very intelligent and devoted to their family, making them easy to train as puppies.

You will find that a Great Dane does have a higher than average tendency to chew, nip, play-bite, and herd people until you notice these qualities in your furry friend as a puppy and train him not to use this behavior.

Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman Pinscher enjoys attention from his family members and people he knows. However, he is not as stranger friendly and ranks poorly in the pet-friendly area.

He needs a lot of socialization from a very young age to be accepting of other pets in the household or when meeting new dogs or cats.

Dobermans would much rather be the alpha or dominant pack leader instead of a pack member. They may try to take things into their own hands when it comes to training them.

They also have a high chance of aggression, which will be worse if they are allowed to misbehave without correcting them.

Doberman Pinschers are very good guard dogs for families and they are very protective of their human pack members. They are very alert and obedient as well as fearless, making them excellent guard dogs.

Exercise Comparison

Great Dane

This breed of gentle giant has a medium energy level and a medium need for exercise as he is usually a very docile and calm pooch. Due to his larger-than-life-size, he is extremely strong and can engage in strength and pulling exercises.

Your Great Dane should have about an hour of exercise per day, whether it’s going for a few walks each day or playing in the backyard or in a park.

Doberman Pinscher

A Doberman Pinscher has a high level of energy and, as such, you should make certain that when he’s left at home alone, he has several different toys and chew bones to accompany him.

This breed doesn’t like to be left alone and he needs to stay busy when he is alone or he will find other things to play with that could include redesigning your furniture or tearing up his dog bed.

You should strive for about an hour and a half of exercise per day. Brisk walks or taking your Doberman on a jog is a great way for him to get daily exercise and tire him out so he isn’t destructive.

Training Comparison

Great Dane and Doberman Pinscher

Both breeds of these dogs are very easy to train because they are very intelligent and they want to please their handlers.

The Doberman Pinscher, however, can be a bit pushy in training and try to be the pack leader so you will need to make certain he doesn’t overstep his boundaries.

Both breeds of dogs need to learn the sit command first. The Great Dane needs to learn this so he doesn’t jump up on people as he will grow very fast and the Doberman needs to learn to sit because of his high energy level.

Health Comparison

All purebred dogs have some health issues that are common to their breeds. Both of these breeds are primarily healthy dogs without many concerns.

Great Dane

Great Danes do often suffer from bloat, although this is a condition that can easily be avoided by not letting them overeat at once and not exercising them just before or after a meal.

They may also have heart and eye issues as well as hip dysplasia, which is common in all giant breed dogs.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers can have the same identical health issues like the Great Dane of bloat, heart and eye issues, and hip dysplasia because they are large dogs.

Responsible breeders will do medical testing on the dam and sire of a litter of puppies before breeding them to screen out all of these medical issues.

A good breeder will provide you with paperwork from the vet showing both parents are healthy and a written health guarantee on your new four-legged pal as well.

If the breeder doesn’t give you this paperwork, you should look somewhere else for a Great Dane or Doberman Pinscher.

Nutrition Comparison

Great Dane and Doberman Pinscher

Since both breeds of dogs can develop bloat, they have the same nutritional needs except the Great Dane will, of course, eat more food per day because of his size.

You should also feed a Great Dane a food that is specially formulated for large breeds of dogs.

Spread their daily kibble out in at least two meals per day to avoid overeating and getting bloat. Spacing out their meals will also give them energy throughout the day for good growth.

Grooming Comparison

Great Dane and Doberman Pinscher

Both breeds of dogs have the same grooming needs because they have short and straight coats that are easy to maintain.

They only require brushing about once a week on a normal basis. When they are shed in the spring and fall, you should brush them every day to remove the loose hair.

Both types of dogs only need a bath when they get dirty or about every 2 to 3 months with a dog shampoo.

Puppy Prices Comparison

Great Dane

A purebred and registered Great Dane puppy will be between $800 and $1,200 with the higher end of the spectrum being for puppies that come from champion show dog bloodlines.

The price will be lower if you are simply looking for a purebred family companion who may not have perfect markings.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher puppies are close to the same price as Great Dane puppies. You can expect to pay between $800 and $1,000 for a Doberman pup.

The same is true that the higher price tag on a pup will be for one with great bloodlines and the lower part of the price range for a companion dog.

Final Thoughts

Both breeds of dogs have many similarities, but the Great Dane is more friendly and laid back. Both dogs are easy to maintain in the grooming department as well.

Dobermans also have more of a tendency to be aggressive than Great Danes, so it could be in your best interest if you have children or other pets in your family to choose a Great Dane, otherwise, both breeds will make a great new four-legged family member.

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