Comparing the two Doberman breeds, you might think they’re exactly the same except for the country they come from. But these are different breeds.

If you want the American Pinscher as a pet, you should know that it’s a very amiable and tranquil dog. It’s sensitive, a great show dog, and gets on well with people.

In contrast, if you’re considering a European dog, you should know that it can be a loving family dog, too. It’s reserved and courageous, and it needs a strict and confident owner for training sessions.

Let’s dive into an in-depth analysis of the American vs European Doberman, so that you can make an informed decision for your family. Keep reading if you want to discover more information about the differences between these breeds. We’ll cover each one and compare them:

European Doberman

It’s a descendant of the dogs that Louis Dobermann bred in the 1880s. He was a breeder and taxman from Apolda, Thuringia, Germany.

Louis wanted a dog that would protect him in his work and act as a deterrent to anyone who would try to rob him. To get the best possible combination of intelligence, speed, and character, he mixed several breeds: 

  • Greyhound
  • German Shepherd
  • Rottweiler
  • Weimaraner
  • Manchester Terrier

By the 19th century, Louis Dobermann had established the type of dog he wanted. The German Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1899.

In honor of Dobermann, Germans named the dog the Dobermann-Pinscher. But they later dropped the word “Pinscher” due to its inappropriate connotation.

American Doberman Pinscher

Due to the breed’s German influence, the second “n” was taken off the name to avoid confusion. But Americans still use the word “Pinscher.”

The American Pinscher became popular as a working dog quickly on an international level. It excels in various fields, including as a military K-9 unit and therapy dog.

This furry pal is a loving and obedient dog that performs great in the show ring. It often has cropped ears and tail that give it a dignified and alert look.

Unlike other working breeds, the American Pinscher usually takes the role of a family pet. These dogs are very obedient and easy to train.They’re also shiny, muscular, and graceful.

Due to its history in collecting taxes, this Doberman always protects its family. If you give it proper training, it can be a great pet. Despite its intimidating looks, it’s also very sweet and can be a big couch potato.

European Doberman vs American Doberman Difference

A very noticeable difference is that the European Dobie has uncropped ears, while the American one has cropped ears. Although the European breed is larger, it still belongs to the group of average-sized breeds.

Compared to the American Dobie, the European has dark, long, and rounded eyes. If the Doberman has brown fur, its eyes may be brighter. There’s also a European all-black Doberman that looks quite stunning.

The European dog is designed to protect humans and properties. Its head and snout are bigger. These dogs also have a powerfully built throatlatch and larger paws.

With a muscular and large chest comes a thick and short neck. This is an excellent body for work, and its legs are straight and stockier.

The American Pinscher’s stunning appearance makes it ideal for dog competitions. It has a long, fit, and graceful body with a shiny coat. It’s powerfully built but average in size.

The head of the American Dobie is long and has a blunt wedge-like shape that widens towards the ears. The eyes are elliptical. Compared to the European type, the American Dobie’s snout is slim and has a narrowed throatlatch

One more notable physical difference in American Doberman Pinscher vs European comparisons is the neck. It’s well-arched with a sharp rise.

The American Dobie has a smaller but good-looking chest. Also, it has delicate and gracious straight legs.

European Doberman vs American Doberman Size

In the tables below, you can check out the FCI and AKC standards on size for each breed.

American vs European Doberman Height

European Dobies are taller than American Dobies. Here’s the difference:

EuropeanMale: 27–28 inches Female: 25–27 inches
American PinscherMale: 26–28 inches Female: 24–26 inches 

European Doberman vs American Doberman Weight

The table below shows that European Dobies are heavier than the American type.

EuropeanMale: 80–105 pounds Female: 65–85 pounds
American PinscherMale: 75–100 pounds Female: 60–80 pounds
doberman pinscher sitting in the grass with a fetch toy

American vs European Doberman Energy

Despite being well-suited to family life, American Pinschers still need plenty of exercise to maintain health and happiness. They benefit from regular exercise sessions with their owners.

European Dobermans require more exercise than their American counterparts due to their working heritage. This breed is best suited for working families.

No matter which one you choose, you need to stimulate your dog mentally. Also, make sure to provide enough exercise so they can spend their energy and feel good.

Objects can easily distract Doberman Pinschers. When you’re walking them on a leash, they can pull you in any direction. That’s why you need to find an easy walk harness and train to keep your pet focused on you during your walk.

European vs American Doberman Temperament

European Dobermans are working dogs, so their breeders focus on their skills.

While European Dobermans are popular for being belligerent, the American type is a tranquil family pet. Let’s dig deeper into the behavior of these two dogs.

European Doberman Temperament

Dogs aren’t simply domesticated animals that lie around and cuddle with their family. They can work for a living. For instance, European Dobermans are often part of law enforcement. They’re very determined, driven, and protective, making them perfect for the task. 

You shouldn’t be surprised to see a Doberman barking. The worst-case scenario would be for your dog to bite someone who has provoked it.

The breed has a strong personality and intense prey chase. So, you have to provide strict training. Dobermans can be unpredictable and outgoing, meaning they may jump on strangers. That’s why you should train them to behave properly.

Strong discipline is crucial for this dog. Since they’re hypersensitive, they can feel their family’s emotions, which may have a huge impact on them. So, you need to provide proper training to raise their self-confidence.

The difference in personality between the North American vs European Doberman is huge. Due to European Doberman’s superior work capabilities, breeders from Europe are more likely to reject American Dobermans who lack this trait.

American Doberman Pinscher Temperament

Since the American type gets along with family members, it also has a lower prey drive than the European. It’s very sensitive and creates a strong relationship with its human family.

These dogs may intervene when someone or something threatens them because they’re very watchful and would do anything to protect their owners and home. Unlike their European cousins, they’re more level-headed.

The American loves cuddling with family much more than the European Doberman. These furry pals wear their hearts on their sleeves. They also prefer an owner who is kind and calm in training.

When these dogs are in an unfamiliar environment, they’re very watchful and cautious. You cannot use them for police investigation work because they can easily recede. Also, they eat less than the European type.

If you need a furry friend who will hang out with your entire family, is easier to handle, and is reserved, the American type would be a great choice.

Differences in Movement

European Doberman breeders focus on the dog’s movement as a working dog trait. The FCI describes it as graceful and free-form. When analyzing the dog’s movement, you’ll notice that its forelegs are wider than the back limbs. Their good joints and ligaments help them simultaneously move their forelegs and back limbs.

Comparing it to the European, the American one is a balanced and free-running dog. It has strong hindquarters. Once they get used to running, they become even stronger. In this way, the dog is also steady when it moves fast, meaning it has proper balance.

doberman standing in profile at the beach

Health Issues

Like any other breed, these are prone to some health issues. Aside from their differences, both Doberman types may suffer the same diseases:

  • PHTVL/PHPV: Experiencing persistent hyperplastic primary causes a cataract formation.
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM): It’s a type of heart disease that can lead to death if left untreated. It affects the organ’s ability to pump blood.
  • Hypothyroidism: It can be easily detected with blood tests. The symptoms include low cold tolerance, loss of hair, and weight gain. To prevent that, consider giving your pet food for a well-balanced large breed diet.
  • Hip Joint Dysplasia: This hereditary disease causes limping and wobbliness.
  • Wobbler Syndrome: It’s a condition that affects large dogs. Their nerve roots and spinal cords are compressed, resulting in a nervous system shortage or neck pain.
  • Gastric Volvulus: Dobermans are prone to this condition due to their large chests and deep stomachs. It usually begins with bloating that progresses into volvulus. This results in blockage of the belly’s entrance and exit.
  • Von-Willebrand Disease: A hereditary illness that occurs when the body doesn’t have protein to prevent blood clots.

Let’s check the results from a study on American vs European Doberman health. It was led by Dr. R. Haberzetti, explaining the breeds’ possibilities of suffering the conditions mentioned earlier:

European Doberman

DiseaseEastern Europe ChancesWestern Europe Chances
PHTVL/PHPVLittleLittle to medium
Dilated CardiomyopathyLittleVery high
HypothyroidismLittleLittle but increasing
Hip Joint DysplasiaLittleLittle
Wobbler SyndromeLittleLittle but increasing fast
Von-Willebrand DiseaseLittleLittle but increasing
Gastric VolvulusLittleHigh and increasing

American Doberman Pinscher

Dilated CardiomyopathyVery high
Hip Joint DysplasiaLittle
Wobbler SyndromeHigh
Von-Willebrand DiseaseHigh
Gastric VolvulusHigh

Health screening can help prevent dogs from getting sick. It involves various tests, including a DNA test for hereditary diseases like Von Willebrand’s Disease.

All Doberman breeders need to pass a breed qualification test. That’s how buyers can feel secure in adopting a European or American Doberman puppy from a qualified breeder.

Another thing that helps in preventing and treating diseases is supplements. For example, dog treats with antioxidants can also calm and relax your Dobie. You can check out user opinions on Austin and Kat’s hemp-infused CBD biscuits.

Both breeds have the same lifespan of 10–12 years.

European vs American Doberman Price Differences

The price of a Doberman baby is a bit complicated since many factors go into it. Some of these include the breeder’s reputation, the dog’s pedigree, and the DNA test results.

The cost also depends on the country where you buy the dog. Some countries crop the dogs’ ears and tails, impacting the cost and the puppy’s value.

If the breeders are selling King Doberman Pinschers or Warlocks, they offer a mix of different types. Usually, they breed a Dobie with another large breed, like a Rottweiler or a Great Dane.

Warlock is the name of a popular champion, Doberman. Breeders use it to confuse dog lovers. So, if a dog’s name is Warlock, people may think it’s an exceptional Doberman.

Due to the larger size, Kings lose their agility and speed. They also tend to have health problems like hip dysplasia and heart disease.

The average cost in the US for a European Dobie is around $2,300–$3,500. The breed is rare, which is why the price is higher.

If you live in Europe, you can get a British Doberman for a lot less. The average cost for a Doberman there is around $500–$2,000, depending on the puppy quality.

Countries like Russia, Poland, and Ukraine, sell Dobermans at a lower price. But people believe that some European breeders put unwanted dogs on the market and keep the best ones.

If you want to get an English Doberman in the US, you can get one for around $250. Shipping can increase that to $800.

The average cost for a purebred American Doberman in the US is around $1,500. If the doggo is great for dog competitions, that could be up to $2,500.

A good-looking dog that’s perfect for a dog show doesn’t mean it cannot be a wonderful pet. After all, there are no behavioral differences.

Breeding Regulation Differences

European breeders think that American Dobie types have lost their ability to work due to the lack of strict rules. That can affect the dogs’ temperament. That’s why there are rules in Europe that specify the breeding and the Doberman types that should be kept.

European Regulations

In Europe, Dobermans need to do well on a test called ZTP. It measures a dog’s nerves, mental stability, working skills, and social skills.

Dogs that don’t pass the test can’t receive FCI pedigrees and cannot be registered. Read on to find out what European Dobermans need to do during the ZTP test:

  • Identify friendly people
  • Remain non-aggressive and calm when there’s a gunshot
  • Walk among noisy strangers
  • Successfully protect their owner during a staged attack

Aside from their temperament, European Dobies also have to be measured to meet the FCI requirements. The judges consider their protection performance and inspect the dogs’ appearance.

Dogs that participate in working competitions and events such as Schutzhund are more important.

American Regulations

American Dobies are also bred with European lines to improve their temperament, appearance, and bone structure. So, the American European Doberman mix isn’t a restriction.

The AKC doesn’t regulate the Doberman Pinscher breeding as it focuses on the breed’s consumer preference. So unlike their European counterparts, these dogs can’t handle various social and environmental tests.

The American Doberman’s registration to various US kennel clubs is relatively easy. The organizations don’t inspect the dogs, so you just need to pay a symbolic fee for a certificate.

Which Type of Doberman Is for You?

After learning what makes these breeds different, you can choose the dog that fits your lifestyle. For example, if you want a dog that’s more like the size of a Cane Corso, you should consider a European Dobie.

Choose a European Doberman if you want a:

  • Dog for competitions like French Ring or Schutzhund/IPO
  • Strong and large furry friend that looks threatening
  • Dog that’s energetic, and you’d love to spend time with
  • Good guard dog for your property

Choose an American Doberman Pinscher if you’re looking for a:

  • Relaxed dog that would be great for your family
  • Good-looking and elegant furry pal
  • Dog that can feel human emotions
  • Friendly pal with dangerous looks

If you choose a dog by its size and want the largest one possible, consider the European type. It’s the biggest Doberman breed. Also, unlike the King or Warlock breeds, it’s purebred.

When choosing a furry companion, you should consider if its temperament matches your lifestyle. For instance, if you’re an active person living alone, a female European Doberman is a good choice. In contrast, family people, who like to socialize often and bring guests, should go for a boy American Dobie.


So which breed would win in an American vs European Doberman battle? Both have advantages and disadvantages in appearance, temperament, health, price, and regulations.

In the end, everything comes down to your need as a future dog owner. You choose a purebred Doberman or a mixed breed with some of the Rottweiler’s unique characteristics.

Decide if you need a fierce pal that will guard your property or a kind dog with elegant looks that will hang out with your family. Remember that Dobermans are aggressive dogs that need proper training and socialization to stay on their best behavior.

All dogs are unique, so choose a furry friend that fits your lifestyle.

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