Great Dane vs Doberman: How Are They Related And Different?

Do you intend to adopt a puppy for your family? Are you considering a Great Dane or a Doberman Pinscher? If yes, then this article may help you decide which of these popular dog breeds suit your lifestyle.

Choosing a Great Dane vs Doberman is a tough choice, because these two dog breeds have great qualities. Great Dane and Doberman Pinscher are bred as working dogs.

The temperament of each dog breed varies. Despite the fact that they belong to the same group, there are some variances as well as similarities between Great Danes and Doberman Pinschers.

Let us understand more about the qualities of Great Dane and Doberman, so you can decide which breed is perfect for you and your family.

Great Dane vs Doberman

Great Dane

Great Dane

The Great Dane, also known as Deutsche Dogge, German Mastiff, or German Boarhound, is a dog breed that originated in Germany. Other nickname for Great Dane is gentle giant. The Great Dane is one of the world’s largest dog breeds, descended from hunting dogs from the middle ages.


A lot of European countries’ nobility brought long-legged, strong dogs from England in the middle of the 16th century, which were crossbreeds between Irish Wolfhounds and English Mastiffs. These dogs were termed Englische Dockets because they were dog hybrids of various sizes and traits with no specific breed name. Bear, boar, deer and other animals were hunted by these dogs.

In Berlin, an organization was formed in 1878 to change the name of the Englische Dogge to the Deutsche Dogge, this being the Great Dane and was founded in 1878.

In 1887, the American Kennel Club designated it as a working breed dog.

Great Dane Appearance


  • Male Great Dane: 76–90 cm
  • Female Great Dane: 71–84 cm
  • 50–82 kg
Life span
  • 8–10 years
Litter size
  • 10 to 15 puppies

The Great Dane breed is a German domestic large dog notable for its large size. The tallest living dog is typically a Great Dane. With a bigger frame and heavier bone, the male Great Dane should appear more massive than the female.

The ears of Great Danes are triangular and floppy by nature. Cropping of the ears was practiced in the past when Great Danes were commonly used to hunt animals, such as boars to make the dogs’ ears less likely to be injured during hunts.

Today, Great Dane is considered a companion dog or family dog. Cropping is still practiced for traditional and aesthetic purposes in Great Danes.


Depending on the standard, Great Danes normally have five to six coat colors. Great Danes have short coat. These colors are listed below.

Fawn and Brindle

  • Fawn– The color of the Great Dane is yellow-gold with a black mask. The rims of the eyes and brows should be black, and the ears may be black as well.
  • Brindle– In a chevron striped pattern, the color is fawn and black. Sometimes, they are referred to as having a striped design as well.

Black, harlequin and mantle

  • Black– The coat color is a lustrous black with white markings on the chest and toes. Though, the presence of white markings is considered a flaw and is not acceptable.
  • Harlequin– The color of the base is pure white with black patches scattered throughout the body in an uneven and well-distributed pattern. Preferred color of the neck is white. The black patches should never be too little or too large to produce the appearance of a dappled effect. A few tiny grey patches or a white base with single black hairs are acceptable, but less preferred. It gives a salt and pepper or dirty impression.
  • Mantle– In some nations, it is sometimes termed as Boston because it has a similar coloration and pattern as a Boston Terrier. The coat color the Great Dane is black and white, with a complete black blanket spanning over the entire body. It has a black skull with a white snout, a white blaze is optional, a white chest; white hind legs and forelegs, and a white tipped black tail. A small white marking in the black blanket is allowable.

Blue- It’s a pure steel blue color coat. White marks on the feet and chest are acceptable, but never with a dark blue hue or fawn hue.

Great Dane Temperament

Great Dane is a good natured dog. The breed is commonly described to as a “gentle giant”. They desire love from the dog owners.

Great Danes are usually well-behaved toward other dogs, cats, or other pets, and familiar people. In general, they are not overly aggressive or prey-seeking dogs.

The Great Dane personality is calm and loving animal to its family. This type of dog is child friendly. If properly cared for and trained, it can be a great companion for small children. Early socialization is needed to avoid aggressive behavior. If not properly socialized, a Great Dane may become wary to strangers and unfamiliar surroundings.

These large dogs respond well to positive reinforcement training. Great Danes are sweet, and easy to housetrain. Because of their large size, Great Danes aren’t well-suited to living in apartments or compact homes.

Great Danes hardly ever bark. They have great intelligence and one of the best guard dogs.

They do well when a family member is at home during the day.

Because of their stubborn nature, these gentle giants are not suitable for novice owners.

Great Dane Health Problems

Majority of Great Danes are healthy dogs. However, just like other dogs, they are prone to many health problems, such us heart disease, eye disease, and genetic diseases. A list of common health problems is listed below.

  • Gastric dilatation volvulus– also known as bloat. This is common to large breeds. It is the most notorious killer of Great Danes. It is advised to let the dog rest for 40 minutes to one hour to avoid bloat.
  • Cancer
  • Hip dysplasia a health condition affecting the skeletons. Hip dysplasia can lead to osteoarthritis and pain.
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy– a condition of the heart in which the heart enlarges and cannot pump blood effectively.

Great Danes are also prone to other congenital heart diseases.



The Doberman, also known as the Doberman Pinscher, is a medium-large domestic dog that was bred in Germany.


In 1980, Doberman Pinscher was bred by a tax collector named Louis Dobermann.

Doberman Pinscher is believed to be a mixed breed of various different breeds of dogs. Such breeds include Beauceron, German Pinscher, Rottweiler and Weimaraner. The old German Shepherd is also commonly thought to have been the single largest donator to the Doberman breed.

In memory of Dobermann’s death in 1894, the Germans termed the breed Dobermann-pinscher. However, half-century later, the word ‘pinscher’ was eliminated on the grounds that this German term for terrier was no longer suited. A few years later, the British did the same. Only the United States and Canada continue to use the term Pinscher, and have omitted the “n” from Dobermann’s surname.

Doberman Appearance


  • Male Doberman Pinscher: 68 to 72 cm
  • Female Doberman Pinscher: 63 to 68 cm
  • Male Doberman Pinscher: 40–45 kg
  • Female Doberman Pinscher: 32–35 kg
Life span
  • 9 to 12 years

Litter size

  • 6 to 8 puppies
  • Black & tan
  • red & tan

The muzzle of this dog breed is quite long. It is usually a light-footed animal that stands on its pads. They should, in general, walk with a smooth and even gait.

Traditionally, the ears are cropped and posted and the tail is docked. However, in some nations, these practices are not allowed and it is often considered cruel and inappropriate.

The chest, paws, legs, muzzle, above the eyes, and underneath the tail of Dobermans have markings.

Naturally, the tail of a Doberman pinscher is long, but as a result of docking, a practice in which the majority of the tail is removed shortly after birth, many dogs have a short tail.

The ears of Dobermann Pinschers are usually cropped, a practice that is assumed to be done for both traditional guard duty and effective sound localization purposes. Ear cropping, just like tail docking, is illegal and prohibited in several nations.

Doberman Pinscher Temperament

Doberman pinschers are generally characterized as fierce and aggressive dogs.

The Doberman pinscher was developed with these characteristics, enormous and frightening, fearless, and capable of protecting its owner from attackers, but they are obedient and controlled only if commanded to do so. They are a breed that is very easy to train.

Doberman Pinscher is one of the smartest dog breeds.

Doberman Pinschers do well with family members, but early socialization and proper training are required.

The personality traits of Doberman Pinschers are loyal, soft and gentle, loving and loving dogs the dog owners. Just like Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers are not suitable for new owners, because of their stubborn personality.

Doberman Pinscher Health Problems

Generally, the Doberman Pinschers are healthy dogs. However, they are also prone to to a number of health issues. Common health problems are listed below.

  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)- a dog’s genetic condition that causes gradual blindness over a period of months or years.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease- a bleeding disorder. Inability of the blood to clot.
  • Wobbler’s Syndrome- a neurologic disorder that affects the spine and neck. It is very common in large breeds.

Training Great Dane And Doberman pinscher

These dog breeds require early socialization and training to have the appropriate traits. If properly trained, these dogs can get along with other pets, animals and people. Dogs that have been socialized are more well-rounded.

These dogs are smart, easy to train and quick learners. The Doberman pinscher learns quickly and can become bored. It is recommended to teach new tricks and keep the lessons interesting.

If they don’t have sufficient tasks and challenging activities, it can lead to destructive behavior and stubbornness. They need a firm and consistent handler or owner.

Grooming Great Dane And Doberman Pinscher

Baths are required once a month for both breeds, depending on how active they are and how often they get dirty. Their teeth should be brushed once a week, and if necessary, their nails should also be clipped once a month. Both breeds require minimal grooming.


Great Danes have average energy levels and are mellow dogs indoors. An adult dog will only need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day while a puppy will require only 90 minutes of exercise per day.

Because Doberman pinschers have lots of energy, they need a lot of physical and mental activities every day.


With that said, Great Dane and Doberman pinscher are an excellent choice for families because of their outgoing and sociable nature. Both are affectionate with their families and will quickly become a part of them.

If you are planning to get a puppy, it would be better to get a rescue dog. Look for local shelters and rescues. Do not buy a puppy from a pet store or puppy mill.

If you’re thinking of obtaining a Doberman, be ready to give him a lot of exercise and activities.

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