The Doberman Pinscher, or Doberman, is a loyal, loving, and intelligent breed. It can also be energetic, boisterous, and very strong. Although the individual character is more important than the sex, and you can socialize and train a young puppy to integrate into your family, there are some notable differences between the two sexes.
As with most breeds, the male will grow to be taller and heavier than the female. Males are also more prone to playfulness and are more comfortable in the company of strangers. They’re also messier and are more easily distracted.
Read on for more differences between male and female Dobermans, to see which is right for your life.
At a Glance
Doberman Dog Breed 101
The Doberman breed originates from Germany in the 19th Century when tax collector Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann combined several breeds to create a formidable guard dog that would protect him during his rounds. Although the exact breeds that were combined are uncertain, experts believe that Dobermann, who was a dog pound keeper as well as a tax collector, included Rottweilers, German Pinschers, Great Danes, and German Shepherds.
The Doberman’s intimidating appearance, muscular body, and fierce bark meant that its utility as a guard dog spread. Still popularly used for this function, the breed has also been used as a police dog, military dog, and rescue dog. It has also been used as a therapy dog and is known for being a caring and affectionate family pet.
It is an active, muscular, and energetic breed, so the Doberman does need a lot of exercise. This should include daily walks but should also incorporate games and playtime with the family. The Doberman’s energy levels mean that it is always ready to play, and it can excel at canine sports and agility, as long as you can keep your Dobie’s attention long enough.
Because the Doberman has been bred as a guard dog, you must train and socialize the breed, regardless of sex. This will help ensure a better-behaved dog and will prevent any unwanted aggression or excessive protectiveness.
Male Doberman Overview
Personality / Character
The male Doberman is often described as playful and fun, although you could also say silly and boisterous. These playful tendencies will wear off when the dog reaches maturity, but males don’t reach this point until they are about 4 years old, compared to 2 years for the female. This not only necessitates firmer training practices, but the combination of a muscular frame and goofy playfulness means that the male Doberman can be accident-prone and messier.
The male is more likely to bond with all family members and is eager to please its humans. In fact, it gets along well with strangers and is more likely to get on with other dogs than a female. With that said, a male Doberman that has not been socialized or trained can be aggressive towards other male dogs at the dog park.
The playfulness of the male Doberman means that it is easily distracted during training. As such, you need to have a clear voice, concise commands, and you need to be consistent during all of your training efforts, to enjoy the best results. If you do not keep the male’s attention, he will find something else to entertain.
The male is eager to please, however, and the breed itself is very intelligent. Once you master how to keep the Dobie’s attention, you will see excellent training results.
The Doberman is renowned for its intelligence and even the male of the breed, which is considered more challenging to train than the female, is easier to train than many other breeds.
Health & Care
The male grows bigger and heavier than the female. This naturally puts more pressure on bones, joints, and the heart. As such, the male Doberman is more prone to joint dysplasia and also to dilated cardiomyopathy, which is a serious heart condition.
This means that the average male Doberman’s life expectancy is a little shorter than that of the female, but there is little to no difference in healthy males and females.
Make sure that the puppy and its parents have been screened for dysplasia and other health concerns when buying, because this will reduce, although not eliminate, the likelihood of your dog becoming seriously ill.
Female Doberman Overview
Personality / Character
While the male is considered goofy, the female Doberman is more serious. She reaches maturity at about 2 years old, which means that she will be easier to house train and can be left alone from a younger age. The breed is not especially prone to separation anxiety, but the male can get bored and be destructive. The female is less likely to show these unwanted tendencies, so if you go out to work all day, the female’s personality is likely a better match for your lifestyle.
The female also gives her owner more space, although she is still loving and loyal. While the male’s playfulness endears him to all family members, the female is more likely to pick a favorite human and form a closer bond with that one person. She may not be as good a choice for a family with children, for this reason.
The more serious character of the female does mean that she causes less mess than the male, and she is more reserved around strangers, although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The male’s attention wanders but he is eager to please. The female is less concerned with making her owner happy, but she is targeted and driven, so is considered easier to train. If you are a first-time or novice dog owner, the ease of training and the sensible nature of the female makes her the better choice. The female will potty train sooner, is less likely to cause a mess with her food, and it is easier to get and keep her attention when giving commands.
The female is said to have better off-leash skills than the male. Dobermans, in general, have excellent skills off the leash, but the female has better recall and is unlikely to approach strangers or chase other dogs.
Health & Care
Less prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, and less likely to develop dilated cardiomyopathy, the female is generally healthier than the male. Some state that this, combined with the fact that they are lighter than the male, means that they have a longer lifespan, although males and females both have an average life expectancy of around 12 years.
The female Doberman is still a big dog, which means that she has the same risk of illnesses like bloat, hepatitis, and von Willebrand’s disease, and although she is less likely to develop joint dysplasia, it is still a possibility.
Which Sex Is Right For You?
The Doberman is an intelligent breed that has found utility in a variety of services but has been especially popular as a guard dog. As a family pet, the Doberman is loving and loyal, easy to train, and will fit right in with most families. It does require training and early socialization, but it is a good family pet breed.
While the individual character of the dog is more important, there are some notable differences between male and female Dobies.
The male is bigger, more playful, and is more tolerant and welcoming of strangers. It will bond with all family members, rather than a single person, but its playfulness can translate into distraction. The female, on the other hand, is more likely to listen but less eager to please. She will potty train sooner but will tend to form a close bond with a single family member, rather than all of the family.
Whichever sex you choose, socialize your Doberman early, ensure that they are properly trained, and be prepared to give plenty of daily exercise to ensure a healthy and happy dog.
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Featured Image Credit: (Right) Male, Eudyptula, Shutterstock, (Left) Female, Yama Zsuzsanna Márkus, Pixabay