Although both female and male Doberman Pinschers make excellent family pets, there are some major and minor differences between the two. Knowing these differences will help you make a better decision and choose the one that best fits your needs.
Deciding on a dog’s gender is one of the first steps to getting a new puppy, and it is an important one as well. However, before we go deeper into the topic of male vs. female Doberman, it is important to remember that it is not just about which gender is “the best”. The more important thing is to find out which one is “the best fit” for you and your home environment.
Should you get a male or a female Doberman puppy? Well, if you wish to have a Doberman that is easily housebroken, gentle around kids, quick to train, and sticks close by your side in public, then you should consider getting a female. On the other hand, if you want a Doberman that is more social, playful, and likely to bond equally with all family members, then the better choice would be a male Doberman.
That said, there is a lot more to this topic, and it is not as simple as you might think. So, read on to find out all the differences between the two sexes of this breed and get as much information as you can before making the big decision.
Did you know that the Doberman breed was first developed in the late 1800s? A German man named Louis Dobermann is credited as the first man to create the breed. He was a tax collector and wanted a fierce protector dog to accompany him on his rounds. Dobermann also kept the local dog pound, so he had access to many strays.
No one knows for certain, but it is speculated that Doberman crossed many breeds to get the Doberman Pinscher we know today. Some of the breeds thought to be involved in creating the Doberman include the Rottweiler, the Great Dane, the German Pinscher, the Manchester terrier, the German Shepherd dog, and the English Greyhound Shorthaired Shepherd.
Male vs. female Doberman: comparison table
|Male Dobermans||Female Dobermans|
|Weight: 75 – 100 lbs||Weight: 60 – 90 lbs|
|Height: 26 – 28 inches||Height: 24 – 26 inches|
|Price: $1,500 – $2,5000||Price: $1,500 – $2,500|
|Lifespan: 10 – 13 years||Lifespan: 10 – 13 years|
|More muscle mass and bulkier||Less muscle mass and slimmer|
|Temperament - male||Temperament - female|
|Loyal, loving, alert, and protective||Loyal, loving, alert, and protective|
|Matures slower – usually by age of four||Matures quicker – usually by age of two|
|Slightly more eager to please his owner||Slightly less eager to please her owner|
|Harder to train when young||Easier to train when young|
|More social with new people and animals||Less social with new people and animals|
|Less suspicious of strangers||More suspicious of strangers|
|Less needy of affection to be happy||Needier of affection to be happy|
|More demanding of attention||Less demanding of attention|
|Less intense/serious||More intense/serious|
|Less likely to stay close off-leash||More likely to stay close off-leash|
|More goofy and playful||Can be a little less playful|
|Sometimes clumsy around children||Gentler/more cautious around children|
|Slightly more stubborn||Less stubborn|
|Messier overall||Generally cleaner|
|More hyper during puppy years||Less hyper during puppy years|
|More likely to bond with family members equally||More likely to bond with one person|
|Less in tune with owner's emotions||More in tune with owner's emotions|
|Excels at protecting a territory or whole family||Excels at protecting an individual|
Female vs. male Doberman: Physical differences
At first glance, male vs. female Doberman can seem like a dull topic because males appear similar to females. But, there are definitely some differences; however, these differences are always more apparent in person than in pictures. Males are about two inches taller on average, and fifteen to twenty pounds heavier. This makes them larger dogs overall.
Male Dobermans also have more muscle mass, so they appear a bit bulkier with hard angles on their bodies when compared to females. When you look closely, you can also see that these pups have larger and chunkier heads that make them more masculine.
When it comes to body mass, the Continental Kennel Club (CKC) official standard for male Dobies states that they should be between 80 and 90 pounds. Their acceptable height is 27.5 inches.
Female dogs of this breed are smaller in size overall than their male counterparts. They are typically about two inches shorter and have fifteen to twenty pounds less on average than males.
Because they have a smaller muscle mass compared to males, these dogs are smoother looking, and some say more elegant in appearance.
The CKC standard for female Dobermans states that their ideal weight should be between 55 and 70 pounds, while their height should be 25.5 inches. When it comes to their coat, both males and females are considered moderate shedders with little hypoallergenic traits.
Are female Dobermans more aggressive: Behavioral differences
Male Dobermans tend to be a little goofier and more playful. They usually calm down around four years old (whereas their female opposites usually calm down around the age of two). Many Dobe owners prefer males, though, due to their laid back and fun-loving nature when compared to females.
Males are more tolerant of strangers in public and more likely to run and play with someone new than females. They are also very eager to please, and they are excited for whatever task you might have in store for them next.
This carefree attitude does come with some minor downsides, though. Males can be a bit messier than females at times, meaning they can often be found tracking in mud or letting water drool out of their mouth after drinking, and they tend to be a little more clumsy overall. This can be somewhat scary at times, especially if you have young children around and they get overly excited.
Testosterone is great for building muscles and when a dog is protecting its territory from other male intruders, but it can also affect their temperament. Male Doberman Pinschers can be a bit more headstrong and willful. Because of this, they need a clear, firm direction from their owner. Male Doberman dogs can also be a bit pushy about getting attention when they want it. Some owners state that males are much more “on top of you” throughout the day than females are.
Both sexes are amazing guardians and protectors. While males are more likely to bond with the whole family as a pack and be more protective of their home and property, females tend to focus more on guarding and protecting one specific person with whom they’ve bonded with. Because of this, male Dobermans also like to mark their territory by peeing everywhere they can, and quite often.
Many owners who have both male and female Dobies will tell you that their females are more serious and intense in everything they do. They tend to mature quicker, and therefore, are easier to housebreak and train early on.
Female Dobermans usually start to “act like adults” at around the age of two, which is about half of the time for a male Doberman. That means, among many things, that females can be trusted to be home alone earlier than males. Many people say that a female Dobe is easier to own for a first-time owner.
You can expect a female to be less tolerant of strangers in public, which can be a bad or a good thing depending on the situation. Females are also less social with new people or dogs they aren’t familiar with. Because of this, they might take a little longer to warm up at the dog park.
Female Doberman dogs don’t have issues with same-sex aggression like males do when in a casual setting like a dog park. However, this can be a different story when two female Dobies live together in the same household.
Gals are also a bit cleaner than gents. They will make sure they are completely done drinking from their bowl before they run off around the house with drool and water dripping from their mouth.
If you’ve ever experienced a dog messing up your home with drool, you’ll know that this is a really great thing.
Females also love to be close to their owners and cuddle just as the males do, but they also know how to give you occasional space when you need it. Girl Dobermans are more in tune with your emotions than males are, and you can expect them to behave accordingly.
One minor inconvenience about female Dobies is that they have a reputation of being a bit more “moody” and emotional than their male opposites. In addition, most of the stories where Dobermans turn on their owners involve female Dobes. But, these pups can be trained with a bit softer direction and guidance than males due to how well they maintain focus.
Male or female Doberman: which one is better in trainability?
Males tend to be a little more playful, and we can even say “goofy” at a young age. This means that you might struggle a bit to keep their attention when they are young. This, obviously, has an impact on training time.
So, it may be harder for you to keep your pup’s attention while teaching it a new trick or going through obedience training. Because of this, males are generally considered to be a bit harder to train and housebreak when they are younger. After around four years of age, they will calm down considerably and start showing a bit more of a mature attitude.
Because boy Dobies tend to be more playful and social, they easily get distracted when walking off-leash. However, most first-time Doberman owners won’t even notice this as an issue since this dog breed, in general, excels at being off-leash, especially when compared to other breeds.
Male Dobermans are also quite eager to please their owners, and are usually very excited for the next task that is given to them. They have all the drive and will to do what you are asking of them, but sometimes, these pups are just too happy and carefree to focus on it.
Female Dobermans are often described as more serious, intense, and focused than males. They mature earlier, usually growing into their adult attitude at around the age of two. This makes them highly trainable, and you can potty train a female, trust her to be alone, and generally expect her to be more successful with more in-depth training earlier in her life.
Because females are harder to distract than males, they tend to do better with off-leash training. On the other hand, they also tend to be less eager to please or show excitement for the next task asked of them by their owner.
Female Dobies are more in tune with their owner’s feelings, and therefore, respond better to praise and light correction during training than males. All in all, any Doberman will be quite easy to train compared to other dog breeds, but females seem to excel at it.
Male or female Doberman for protection: differences in guarding skills
Male vs. female Doberman in Guarding people
Although, overall, male Dobermans are tagged as better guard dogs, it is not suggested to entrust them with your life. This is because they bond equally with all family members, and they tend to get along well with strangers.
Males are less suspicious of others than females, so they would probably shrug off anyone who tries to approach you.
Female Dobies, however, excel in protecting people because of their maternal instincts. These pups also mostly bond with their owner rather than the whole family, making them outstanding personal protectors.
The ability to be easily trained and the tendency to stick to their owner’s side even when off-leash are just some of the characteristics that contribute to a female Doberman’s guarding skills.
Another key characteristic of female Dobes is that they are always on edge when a stranger approaches you or them. This means that they probably won’t let anyone near their owner if they are not familiar with their face.
Male vs. female Doberman in Guarding property
Guarding property is a male Doberman’s specialty. Their larger and more muscular build can send a potential burglar running away in fear. And, if you take into consideration that these dogs have a bite force of 328 PSI, who wouldn’t run?
Males are very territorial creatures. They show aggression towards humans or other animals that approach their boundaries. You can also see these pups marking the perimeter of their home by urinating around it. That is how serious males are when it comes to protecting you and those close to you.
Female Dobermans can also serve as good protection dogs to your property, but they are not as effective. This is due to their smaller build compared to males, and also because their aggressiveness is not on par with them.
Girl Dobies are also not that territorial, so there is a chance that they would only laze off when someone takes a peek at your house.
Doberman Pinscher male vs. female: differences in dealing with strangers
Male Dobermans are usually real sweethearts to strangers. These doggies quickly bond with others, allowing them to belly scratch, pat, and play with their ears in no time. This might seem a bit odd given their territorial characteristic, but it is entirely true.
A study conducted by Arizona State University and the University of Florida found that dogs seek attention from strangers due to location.
For instance, if you are at home with your male Dobie and someone comes to visit, you may notice that your pup will approach your guests and try to play with them for the rest of the time they spend at your home. This is because your Doberman is in a familiar place.
On the other hand, if you take your pup for a walk in a new setting, it will not respond much to strangers and will constantly seek you for reassurance.
Unlike their male counterparts, female Dobes aren’t that welcoming. This is mainly attributed to hormonal reasons. When female Dobermans are in heat, their mood is very much affected, which makes them more aggressive toward other people or animals.
The changes in their hormone levels cause nervousness and irritability, and their maternal instincts also go into overdrive.
Are male or female Dobermans better: differences in children engagement
We’ve already mentioned that male Dobermans are more carefree than females. They love spending their energy playing and running around the house. This is a good thing as it indicates that your dog is active and healthy.
However, males are also quite clumsy creatures. They can occasionally knock over some objects inside your home, which may injure a little child. They can also be quite unaware of their muscular build and robust bodies. But, aside from these accidental injuries, male Dobies do not pose any other risk to your kids.
If you have children at home, then a female Dobe might be the better choice. Because girl Dobermans mature early, they are not as goofy and playful as the male ones. Females are generally more cautious towards kids, and they develop strong relationships with them.
Most dog owners would agree that some female Dobes even consider the kid in the household as their favorite person. They often spend their time playing with the kids, and are known to even sleep in their beds from time to time.
Females also don’t possess the same energy levels as males do, so you can expect them to eventually stop playing with your kids and spend time on their own.
Which is better – male or female Doberman: differences in relationship with other dogs and pets
Male Dobies are generally labeled as alpha dogs since most of the time, they want to assert their dominance among other breeds. It is recommended that they live with female Dobermans or a female of another breed instead of the same gender in order to avoid conflicts.
If you do not have the luxury of choosing or you really want to have another male dog in your home, then make sure to have both of them neutered. Neutering will lessen the aggression among them and towards others, and it should be done when the pup is six to nine months old.
When it comes to a male Dobermans’ relationship with other animals, we must admit that they get along with most other pets pretty well. This is because male Dobermans are highly social. Early socialization can play a huge role in this as well. When a dog is introduced to many different animals at an early age, it has a higher chance of getting along with other pets in adulthood.
Female Dobies are not big fans of dominant confrontations, even though they tend to be tensed up in front of strangers. But, if they are forced to live with another female dog, it can be a different story.
Unlike male dogs that stop fighting with the same sex once they have established their dominance, females typically don’t stop until they have injured their adversary. Same-sex aggression is one of the biggest problems with female Dobermans and other dog breeds as well.
Research published in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association states that same-sex dogs manifest 79% of household aggression. Out of this percentage, a staggering 68% involved females.
When it comes to a female Dobermans’ relationship with other pets, they are less friendly than male Dobies. They can still get along quite well, but they need a significant amount of time to warm up to another animal’s presence.
Male or female Doberman for family: differences in family companionship
There are a lot of perks of having a male Dobie be your family’s companion. These pups form equally strong bonds with every family member, and you don’t have to worry whether they will be aggressive towards any of them.
Their laid-back and easy-going nature is also something that many owners praise. You can practically bring them anywhere and expect them to be able to bond with anyone. They are also recommended if you have a variety of pets inside your household.
Another reason that makes them the perfect choice for families is that they are great guard dogs. They will always make sure that you and your property are well protected. You can even trust them to take care of your stuff on the beach while you are swimming carelessly. Yes, they are that responsible.
On the other hand, female Dobies can be great family dogs. If you have young kids at home, then it is recommended to buy a female Doberman. Gal Dobermans aren’t as clumsy as their male counterparts, which makes the possibility of accidental injuries less likely to happen.
In addition, females are easier to train and are generally less hyper. They are able to focus more on the commands you are trying to teach them, and they also respond to them quicker.
Female dogs of the Doberman breed are also less trusting of strangers, so you can rest assured their loyalty is solely yours. A female Dobie will protect you at all costs from those she perceives as a threat to your safety. If you want an excellent pet that can also fiercely protect one of your family members, then females are your best bet.
Male vs. female Doberman: Health differences
Because they have a larger body mass, male Doberman dogs are more prone to a lot of diseases. They might encounter problems in their bones, hips, and joints more frequently than females.
Among all of the conditions they might get afflicted with, the most dangerous one is Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), also known as heart enlargement. This condition occurs when the heart muscle of a dog gets thicker, which can lead to respiratory failure.
Some of the symptoms of this health issue are:
You can find out whether your dog has DCM by asking a veterinarian to perform an echocardiogram or heart ultrasound. In the case that your dog is diagnosed with this condition, your vet will offer you possible treatments that can extend its life.
Since female Dobes are relatively smaller, they are not as susceptible to diseases such as hip dysplasia as males are. Lady Dobermans are also less likely to develop DCM because their heart is not under that much strain due to their lower body mass.
That said, some females may suffer from Chronic Active Hepatitis (CAH), which occurs when they are between four and six years of age. This condition results from the inability of the dog’s liver to metabolize copper, and copper is usually found in most dog foods.
This copper build-up is toxic to canines because it can lead to scar tissue accumulation. This can lead to liver failure, and ultimately, even death. The symptoms of this condition are the following:
• Extreme thirst
• Abdominal fluid retention
• Loss of appetite
• Loss of weight
Sadly, there is no cure for this condition as of yet, so the best thing your vet can do is recommend a low-copper diet for your pooch. This means you have the responsibility of carefully reading the label for its copper content when buying food for your pup. Apart from regulating their copper intake, Dobies with this condition also need to drink distilled water instead of ordinary tap water.
Aside from Chronic Active Hepatitis, female dogs of the Doberman breed may also experience some ailments that male Dobes also suffer from. Problems that affect both genders are the following:
• Von Willebrand Disease: This condition is a bleeding disorder characterized by bloody gums, nosebleeds, and blood in the urine and stool. Luckily, this problem is not fatal and is highly treatable.
• Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus syndrome (GDV): If your Doberman is experiencing GDV, it will feel bloated and gassy. Primary symptoms of this medical condition are stomach pain, gagging, a distended belly, and excessive slobbering.
Male and female Doberman differences: price comparison
When it comes to Dobermans, the difference between the cost of a male and a female puppy is not that big. But, some breeders might sell male Dobies at a higher price because it is believed that they are better guard dogs.
The cost of an American Doberman regardless of gender may range from $1,500 to $2,500. Those that are priced at around $1,500 are usually pet-quality Dobes, while those that reach the price tag of $2,500 are probably show-quality dogs.
If you wish to purchase a European Doberman, you should expect to part with at least $3,000 to $4,000 because they are more massive than the American variety. While male European Dobermans are slightly higher in price, they still fall between the same price range we mentioned.
Should I get a male or a female Doberman?
At last, we’ve come to the most exciting part of the male vs. female Doberman guide. This is the section where you get to make the decision of whether a male or a female Dobie better suits your needs.
Are male Dobermans more likely to make you happy? Or, are female Dobies perfect for your lifestyle? To help you decide, we offer a summary of everything we went over in this article.
Male Doberman Pinschers are excellent for:
• Those who wish to own a massive and dominant-looking dog.
• Those who love carefree and energetic canine companions.
• Those who want to have a dog that is very friendly to strangers and other animals.
• Those who like giving commands and being pleased by their dog.
• Those who want a pet that will bond with the whole family.
• Those who wish to have a pet that will guard their house, their yard, and their possessions.
• Those who own a female Doberman or any other female dog breed.
A female Doberman Pinscher is excellent for:
• The more casual dog owners who want to have a striking and elegant pup.
• Those who have children at home because females are less likely to accidentally injure them.
• Those who lack the patience to train a dog – females are much easier to train.
• Those who live alone – females aren’t really fans of pleasing more family members.
• Those who need a protector as females are great personal guards.
• Those who want a dog that can be in touch with their emotions.
• Those who need a dog that can be left at home when they need to leave for a couple of hours.
• Those who prefer less aggressive canines.
• Those who already have a male dog at home – females don’t get along well with the same gender.
How to choose the best Doberman puppy from a litter
This wouldn’t be a complete male vs. female Doberman guide if we didn’t include some tips and tricks to help you choose the best puppy possible. So, regardless of what gender you decide to buy or adopt, here are some things you should take into consideration.
Step 1: Perform basic litter research.
The first step is to do some basic research on the bloodline of the puppies in the litter. This will give you a glimpse into the accomplishments, longevity, and health testing that has been performed on the pups.
• Ask your breeder for bloodline information: Reputable breeders will be willing to send bloodline information about their puppies. Make sure to ask for a family tree that includes the registered names and the Kennel Club’s registration numbers for at least four generations back.
• Research the bloodline on Dobequest: On dobequest.org, you can use the information you get from the breeder to research the ancestors of the litter you are considering. Check four generations back and take note of the cause of death and age of death of each dog. Also, look for any trends that may show red flags, such as early deaths or deaths that were caused by inherited genetic diseases.
Step 2: Visually inspect the litter and the puppies’ environment.
It is essential to visually inspect the litter in person in order to get an idea of any potential health problems they might have. It is no less important to meet the breeder in person and inspect the conditions his puppies are living in.
If the puppies seem like they are the cream of the crop regarding health, but they live in horrible conditions, then you probably want to reconsider getting a puppy from that breeder.
You should look for the following signs of health issues in any of the puppies in the litter:
• Wheezing or coughing
• Sneezing or excessive sinus drainage
• Signs of physical injuries
• Overly lethargic or non-responsive
• Any abnormalities in how they walk
• Any unusual behavior
The doggies should be clean, happy, and playful. They are puppies, after all, and they should be joyful and full of life! A puppy’s normal reaction is curiosity in the new visitor (you). Therefore, excessive fear of your presence should indicate that something is wrong.
Step 3: Ask the breeder which puppy would be best.
If there are no red flags with the breeder or his facilities, you should ask him for his opinion on which puppy would be best for you based on your lifestyle. A responsible and reputable breeder will interview you as much as you interview him, and he should be able to help you select a puppy that best suits your lifestyle.
After all, the breeder is with his puppies 24 hours a day, and should know their individual personalities extremely well. They probably won’t pair an energetic puppy with someone who sits at home most of the time. So, make sure you ask!
Step 4: Make sure you can distinguish between the pups.
Male vs. female Doberman is not the only thing you should look for when choosing a pup. In this step, you should test each puppy to determine their individual personality traits and check for any signs of poor health, regardless of gender.
It is important that you have a solid way of telling all the cute brothers and sisters apart from each other unless, of course, the breeder hasn’t marked them in some way already.
A different colored collar, or even just a makeshift collar out of colored ribbon works well. Make sure to use a different color for each dog you are considering buying. This way, you can refer to them by the color of their collar in your notes. This, of course, goes if all the dogs are the same color, or similar in color.
Step 5: Spend time with each puppy individually.
This is probably the most important step. Try to spend time with each dog while separated from its littermates or from any major distractions. Ask the breeder if you can have access to a separate area where you can spend some time with each pup individually. You can do this in a different room or even just a separate area of their backyard.
Most breeders will be very understanding of your desire to spend a little one-on-one time with each puppy. Breeders know that this is a great way of ensuring that you get the right dog. In fact, most of them will really appreciate that you care enough to put in the extra effort.
You will probably need to spend at least ten minutes with each puppy. This should give you enough time to inspect each one for any obvious signs of health issues, and also see their personality traits.
Male vs. female Doberman: are males easier to find?
The short answer is no. You can easily find both female and male Dobermans from reputable breeders, and the quality is pretty much the same. However, it can be hard to purchase them from the litter because some breeders take early reservations.
Male Dobermans are simply more in demand due to their ability to be great property protectors. Another reason might be that they are more social than females.
Do Doberman Pinschers need tall fences?
Whether you purchase a male or a female Doberman puppy, you will need to install a relatively high fence. Now, you might be wondering why that is. Well, Dobies can jump up to six feet if they are of good quality and health.
Although this breed isn’t much of a fence jumper because they know how to respect boundaries (quite literally), it is still recommended that you install a six-foot fence around your house for privacy.
This is because they are very territorial and they might bark at your harmless neighbors if they assume that they are about to trespass on your property.
Can a Doberman live in an Apartment?
If you live in a small apartment and you are wondering if you can adopt or purchase a Dobie, the good news is you can. But, if you choose a male Doberman, then you have to make sure to bring it out for its much-needed exercise.
Males are much more active than females and they need regular exercise in order to be in a healthy and happy condition. Females also require regular walks and runs, but not as much as males.
Will Dobermans turn on their owners?
This is where some people can lean to the male side of the male vs. female Doberman comparison. We’ve all heard stories where Dobermans turn on their owners. In reality, there is a minimal possibility that a Dobe will turn on its owner regardless of gender. This is because it is in their genes to protect people.
If you have heard from some pet owners that Dobermans are aggressive dogs, even towards their owners, you can rest assured that it is just an urban legend and it has no basis in reality.
If you are not convinced, then we recommend that you check out some dog forums where owners say how tame and mellow their Dobermans are.
Male vs. female Doberman: summary
Both female and male Dobermans have their pros and cons. So, the topic of male vs. female Doberman doesn’t have a clear winner. It all comes down to the owner’s lifestyle, personal preference, and pet-handling skills. These things are the ones that determine which gender is superior to each owner.
The gender of a dog, especially with this breed, does not measure its overall ability. Socialization and training are still the primary factors that dictate whether or not you will have a Doberman with a superb temperament.
If you are still unsure about which gender you should choose, just pick one of them. We know this can come as reckless advice, but many dog owners are satisfied with both genders equally.
If you put enough effort into obedience training and ensure that your dog grows in a conducive pet environment, then you can be sure they will grow up to be great companions, regardless of what they have between their legs!