Rottweiler vs. Doberman: What Are 8 Key Differences?

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Updated: September 20, 2023
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What is the difference between the Rottweiler and the Doberman Pinscher, aka Doberman? Both are purebred working dogs originating from Germany. However, one is larger than the other and they both have unique temperaments and health issues.

This article aims to help distinguish these two breeds by comparing them in 8 key categories relating to appearance, personality, and health.

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: A Comparison 

Rottweiler vs Doberman
Both the Rottweiler and the Doberman are purebreds that originate from Germany. However, they are notably different, particularly in size and stature.
Key DifferencesRottweilerDoberman
Height22 – 27 inches24 – 28 inches
Weight85 to 130 lbs.71 to 99 lbs.
Coat typeShort, DenseShort, Fine
ColorsMahogany, Tan, Rust, BlackRust and Blue, Red, Tan, Brown, White Black
TemperamentIndependent, Courageous, ProtectiveEnergetic, Obedient
Social NeedsVery HighAverage
Life Expectancy8 – 11 years10 – 12 years
Health ProblemsBloat, Hip Dysplasia, HypothyroidismCardiomyopathy, Von Willebrand’s Disease
Rottweiler vs Doberman: A Comparison

Key Differences Between Rottweiler and Doberman

Doberman pinscher standing tall with ears straight up

Dobermans are a medium-sized dog that weighs an average of 85 pounds.

©eAlisa/Shutterstock.com

The main difference between Dobermans and Rottweilers is that Rottweilers are larger. While Dobermans can sometimes reach nearly 100 pounds, they’re a much leaner build.

So while both dogs can grow to be quite tall, the Rottweiler is considered a large to a giant dog, while the Doberman is a medium dog. Not only do these two breeds differ in appearance, but they also stand out in personality and health. Let’s explore more!

Appearance

Most Expensive Dog Breeds: Rottweiler

Rottweilers are a large to giant dog that can weigh up to 130 pounds.

©Miroslav Cik/Shutterstock.com

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Height

The Rottweiler and the Doberman are both tall dogs, with the male Rottweiler averaging 25.5 inches in height and the Doberman male averaging 27 inches in height.

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Weight

Although the Doberman is taller on average, the Rottweiler is much heavier. For example, the Rottweiler weighs an average of 112 pounds as a fully grown male, whereas the Doberman male weighs an average of 93 pounds.

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Coat Type

Both the Rottweiler and the Doberman have short coats. However, the Rottweiler has a double coat that is dense in texture, whereas the Doberman has a fine coat, with a limited undercoat.

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Colors

When it comes to color variety, the Doberman reigns supreme. You can find the Doberman in many hues ranging from blue, red, tan, brown, white, and black. These hues are most often paired with rust-colored markings. The Rottweiler is almost always black, with tan to rust-colored markings.

Which is Stronger Doberman or Rottweiler?

When evaluating the Rottweiler versus the Doberman Pinscher, you’ll discover that these breeds share many similarities. Both Rottweilers and Dobermans are characterized by their intelligence, protective instincts, and physical strength.

All in all, Rottweilers typically have a bigger build, greater physical strength, and a tendency to shed more. Dobermans, on the other hand, are recognized for their loyalty, agility (enabling them to run faster), and a slightly longer life expectancy.

When raised with care and provided with proper training, both breeds can be excellent choices.

Characteristics

Doberman Pinscher

Dobermans have an average life expectancy of 11 years.

©author: Pleple2000, editor: Localzuk, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons – License

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Temperament

The Rottweiler and the Doberman are both alert and fearless breeds that are loyal to their families. The Rottweiler is more independent and courageous, while the Doberman is more energetic and obedient. Both breeds are highly intelligent and easy to train. If you are looking for a lot of affection, the Doberman is your dog. However, if you are looking for a dog who likes a lot of social interaction, the Rottweiler could be a good fit.

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Social Needs

Rottweiler pup laying outside in grass

Rottweilers are an independent and protective breed that is easy to train.

©iStock.com/Meagan Jenkins

The Rottweiler is a highly social breed that required a lot of attention. Therefore, they tend to have a lot of separation anxiety if left alone. The Doberman’s social needs are average, and they do okay when left alone unless it’s for extended periods of time.

Health Factors

Rottweiler (Canis familiaris) - laying down against white background

Rottweilers have a shorter than average life expectancy of 9.5 years.

©Jagodka/Shutterstock.com

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Life Expectancy

Rottweilers live an average of 8 to 11 years, while Dobermans live an average of 10 to 12 years. Unfortunately, Rottweilers are prone to many health issues, which can shorten their lives dramatically if not properly cared for.

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Health Problems

Rottweilers are prone to a variety of health issues including:

  • Allergies
  • Aortic Stenosis
  • Bloat
  • Elbow and Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Pan osteitis
  • Sub valvular Aortic Stenosis        

The Doberman is prone to certain health issues as well, which include:

  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Wobbler’s Syndrome

Wrapping Up Rottweiler vs. Doberman

Doberman Pinscher on isolated background

Dobermans are highly adaptable, loyal, and intelligent.

©Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock.com

Both breeds share some features, notably their vigilance, fearlessness, and tremendous loyalty. The Doberman is a more adaptable and home-friendly type, but the Rottweiler is a more social and trainable breed. Both breeds can make ideal family pets when given the right environment and guidance.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © DragoNika/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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