Dobermans are one of the most popular dogs in the world for number of reasons, whether it is their guarding skills, athleticism, loyalty or high intelligence. But did you know, that even the official breed standards of the biggest kennel clubs describe Dobermans slightly differently?
There are two main types of Dobermans – the European and American Doberman. Both types are pure Dobermans but there are some important differences between them
The Doberman is a breed from Germany where it was developed by tax collector Louis Dobermann for protection purposes. It was bred for work, to be alert and sharp, absolutely devoted, very strong dog with great stamina. And the European Doberman is even today bred for these qualities. It is still, even today, bred as a working dog, as a guard.
On the other hand, the American Doberman is bred more for companionship. It is still excellent guardog, but they are bred more as an elegant family pets, that are less assertive and kind of softer than the European Doberman.
So to sum it up, the European Doberman is the type selected on the basis of their qualities for work, for guarding, they are more alert dogs with greater instinct for protection and stronger and more assertive temperament. On the other hand the American Doberman is easier to handle for average person, they do not require that much stimulation, even though they are still very active and intelligent dogs. They are softer and gentler dogs better suited for average family life.
It is impossible to say, which type is better, it is up to your personal preferences, but i would love to hear from you in comments which type do you prefer!
Next to temperament, American and European Dobermans differ in their appearance as well, as you can see on this photo comparsion. The European Doberman is on average slightly taller and heavier than its American counterpart, they are more muscular dogs with broader chest and broader head, while the American Doberman is leaner and skinnier.
One of the biggest distinguishing appearance difference is the neck. The American Dobermans neck is much longer and thinner and it rise sharply at shoulders, while the Europeans neck is much thicker and it less rise from the shoulders.
Dobermans can also differ in colors. The FCI breed standard states, that The Dobermann is bred in two colour varieties: black or brown with rust red, clearly defined and clear tan markings. And indeed, the black and tan is by far the most common Doberman color, followed by red and tan Dobermans.
The American standard also accepts blue and tan and fawn and tan colors. There are also very rare Doberman colors, that are not accepted by any kennel club, which includes all black, and all white Dobermans.
The color of the dog is not affecting its temperament or working skills, if it is a purebred Doberman, than they should share the same temperament no matter what color it is.
Dobermans can also have different ears and tails. The ears can be either erect or folded and the tail can be either long or short. Naturally, Dobermans are born with folded ears and long tails and it dependes on us, on humans, whether we want to crop the ears and dock the tail or not.
Erect ears and docked tail is considered to be traditional in Doberman. These are photos of two Dobermans from the beginning of the 20th century. The ears and tails were considered as weak spots for protection work, which is a reason why they were enhanced. It is also believed, that cropped ears prevent ear infections, since it increase airflow into the ear canal. But there is nothing wrong with leaving Dobermans ears and tails natural, especially if you have your dog as family pet.
The last difference i will talk about is male vs female Dobermans. Just like with majority of dogs, male Dobermans are taller, heavier, bulkier and more muscular than the slimmer females.
It is also believed that male Dobermans are more social with strangers, on contrary to more alert females. Females are typically also more serious, less demanding of attention, less stubborn and more in tune with the owners emotion, but of course, all the temperamental characteristics are vastly influenced by early socialization.