Doberman vs Great Dane: Which Breed Is Better?

The choice of selecting a Doberman versus a Great Dane can be tough especially because both dog breeds have great qualities.

In this dedicated article, we will show you the Doberman and Great Dane facts that you need to decide which breed is suitable for you. 

Doberman Vs Great Dane: Which breed is better?

Both the Doberman and Great Dane are purebreds with good overall qualities. To learn more about them we will examine the differences between them in different aspects.

Let’s take a look! 

Differences Between Doberman and Great Dane

doberman-and-great-dane-dogs

Breed History

The Doberman Pinscher, simply referred to as the Doberman, has its origin in Germany. They are named after their founder Karl Friedrick Louis Dobermann. 

Bred as working dogs, they are fearless guard dogs but with charming personalities.

The Great Dane or ‘gentle giant’ also has its origin in Germany where they bred them as working dogs. They were originally used to hunt wild boars. 

The breed was ferocious and aggressive in their assigned activity. Further temperament adjustment through breeding produced the gentle and calm dogs that we know of today. 

Size

When comparing the size of the Doberman with that of a Great Dane, the Great Dane takes the prize as the largest. 

An adult male Great Dane stands at 32 to 34 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 120 to 200 pounds while the female is 28 to 32 inches tall with a weight of 100 to 130 pounds. 

That’s a giant dog and rightly called the ‘Apollo of dogs’! Males tend to be taller and heavier compared to females.

The Doberman male stands at 26 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 60 to 80 pounds while females are 24 to 26 inches tall. Males also tend to be taller and heavier than females.

The Doberman has a sleek and slimmer body frame and also the classic docked tail and cropped ears. 

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Personality

Both the Doberman and Great Dane are popular dogs with great personalities. There are differences in their personality that make one dog better in certain activities.

There Doberman is a super-intelligent, loyal, highly energetic, playful, and super active dog. The Dobermans personality makes them an ideal guard dog which is the main purpose dog owners have them.

They are natural protectors and only become aggressive when there’s a threat. 

If you were to choose between a Great Dane and Doberman as a guard dog the Doberman clearly is the best choice. 

Although used as fierce guard dogs, they are still family dogs and also get along well with children. This comes about more importantly through early and continual socialization and training.

The Great Dane on the other hand despite being a gigantic dog, are more gentle, friendly, laid back, and people-oriented dogs. They are rated as one of the most affectionate dog breeds. 

Although originally used as hunting dogs, today they are used as family dogs for companionship as well as for protection. They are good family dogs that like to be around people and are also great with children and love to play with them.

The dog breed shares qualities with the Doberman by being intelligent, loyal, protective, easily trainable, and confident dogs. 

Just like with other dogs, the Great Dane also requires socialization and training to have the desired behaviors and to get along with both animals and people. 

Recommended Reading: Are Great Danes good guard dogs?

Grooming and Care

The Doberman has a smooth, sleek, short coat. Their coat requires minimal grooming with weekly brushing and baths when dirty. 

The Doberman is best suited to a country or suburban home with space. They have high energy levels, therefore, require a lot of exercises every day, both physical and mental.

They are sensitive to cold climates, therefore during winter, they require good shelter.

Have a well-secured backyard to ensure their safety as well as other people and animals beyond the fence.

The Great Dane has a short coat that sheds a lot and requires regular brushing to keep clean and remove loose fur. More shedding occurs in the spring. Apart from brushing, their care is simple. 

Both dogs require baths once a month which also depends on an individual dog’s level of activity and frequency of getting dirty. Their teeth should be brushed weekly while the nails should be trimmed once a month when required.

Great Danes have moderate energy levels and are mellow dogs indoors. An adult dog will only need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day while a puppy will require only 90 minutes of exercise per day. 

The exercise is moderate and should not be exhaustive before 18 months of age because their bones are still growing. Moderate exercise prevents injury to their delicate joints and bones. 

The Great Dane is best suited for a home with a large space. They are not suited as apartment dogs or small houses.

They can also be house dogs however you will require a lot of room for them to move about without knocking things down because of their size. If you have a backyard, a 6 ft. fence is required.

Training

Both the Doberman and Great Dane were bred as working dogs to serve people with activities such as offering protection by guarding and hunting respectively. 

The dog breeds are both strong and require early socialization and training to have the desired behaviors as well as get along with other animals and people. Socialization develops well-rounded dogs.

Both dogs are intelligent, learn quickly, and are easy to train. The Doberman learns very fast and can get bored if lessons are not kept fresh and interesting. 

This can lead to stubbornness and destructive behavior if they do not have adequate activities that challenge their minds. They require a strong leader for an owner to direct them. 

Therefore if you are considering getting a Doberman, be prepared to provide lots of exercises and activities for this high-energy dog.

Health problems

When considering selecting any dog breed, dog owners need to know their health histories. 

This will inform you on what to expect and the preventive measures to take to avoid some diseases. Talk to a reputable breeder who will provide this information.

Both the Doberman and Great Dane are prone to breed-specific health problems and risks. The below is the breakdown of the health problems for each dog:

Doberman

The Doberman is generally a healthy dog breed but is susceptible to the following health problems:

  • Hip dysplasia (Inherited by bone disease)
  • Von Willebrand disease (Inherited blood disorder causing an inability for blood to clot)
  • Hypothyroidism (Disorder of the thyroid gland)
  • Cardiomyopathy (Heart disease)
  • Wobblers syndrome (Inherited spinal cord disease)
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (eye disease)
  • Bloat (Life-threatening gastro-intestinal condition)
  • Narcolepsy (Neurological disorder)

 Not all Dobermans will have all or any of the above diseases but the awareness of them helps in making a decision when considering purchasing the breed.

Great Dane

Just like the Doberman the Great Dane is generally a healthy dog however they are prone to breed-specific health problems. The diseases to watch out for include:

  • Hip dysplasia (Inherited by bone disease)
  • Development problems (Due to improper diet for puppies)
  • Bloat (Gastro-intestinal condition)
  • Bone cancer 
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy (Heart disease)

A Great Dane may not develop all of these diseases as well. Understanding the potential health problems and risks for a Great Dane enables you to know how to better care for them as a preventive measure as well as what to expect. 

Remember for both breeds it is important to have their health histories from the breeder. 

Breeders work to eliminate or reduce the occurrence of these diseases and the knowledge of the health history informs you on which diseases are less likely to occur due to breeding. 

Recommended Reading: Why did my Great Dane suddenly die?

Final Thoughts: Doberman vs Great Dane

The Doberman versus the Great Dane is a tough choice because they are both very desirable dogs to have. In a nutshell, the decision comes down to the practical consideration regarding care, your preferred purpose for the dog as well as looks.

If you desire a family dog that is high-energy, protective as a guard dog, easy to train, one that is loyal and loves the family, the Doberman is a good choice.

On the other hand, if you want a more mellow, laid-back, affectionate, friendly, and protective family dog, the Great Dane is a good choice. 

Taking care of a large dog such as the Great Dane will require more space and will also cost a bit more from the food, accessories, and veterinary care. 

However, don’t let this deter you from having a good canine companion because having either one of these breeds will require your commitment and of course lots of love! 

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