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American Doberman vs European – Key Differences and Similarities

Doberman Pinscher
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The Doberman Pinscher is a fun, happy, active, and loyal dog. Did you know there are two variants of the popular guard dog? Well, you are not alone if you didn’t. The American Doberman vs European is a worthy debate.

The Doberman Pinscher: a single breed with a fascinating transatlantic divide. Are you Team America or Team Europe? I’ve been around Dobbies for a long time. And yet, I cannot decide. Let’s break down the nuances.

Is there a difference between the two breeds? Or they are just two dogs of the same name, just on a different continent?

What are the similarities between American Doberman vs European Doberman? We will go over all the distinct features of each breed and then find some similarities and differences.

We hope to help you get a true understanding of this lovely dog breed. At first glance, you might think these two dogs are the same. Yet, while there are many similarities between European Doberman and its American counterpart, there are also many differences.

Yes, they come from the same breeding, but let’s see what the differences are.

European Doberman Overview

Before we go over the debate of American Doberman vs European Doberman, let’s talk about each breed separately.

The European Doberman puppy originates from Germany and was the first-ever bred by Louis Dobermann in the 1880s.

How did he come up with this dog breed? He mixed breeds like a Rottweiler with a shepherd dog from Thuringen, but also the German Pinscher and Tan Terrier.

The result was a strong, muscular, and super active dog. This guard dog is recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale or FCI, the international federation of kennel clubs.

The European Doberman puppy is extremely loyal to its owner. Their confident and assertive nature makes them an amazing guard dog and police dog.

American Doberman overview

When you think about it, the American Doberman Pinscher is not so different from the European dog breed. Both come from the same line of dogs bred originally by Louis Dobermann.

Initially, the dog was known as American Dobermann, but the last letter “n” was taken out. According to the American Kennel Club, this puppy is most often used as a family dog and family pet, rather than a police dog.

Easy to train, the American Doberman dog loves its family.

Size Differences

Now let’s talk about the differences between European Doberman vs American Doberman. The main difference between these two comes in their physical appearance and size.

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European Dobie grows slightly larger than its American counterpart and has a more muscular body. Additionally, the American Dobie is better suited for families and as a companion dog. This is because of its usage. Europeans use the dog as a police dog, while Americans use it as a family pet.

You might not tell the difference between the two just by looking at them. But there are size differences.

For example, the European Doberman weighs between 65 and 105 pounds, while the American weighs between 60 and 100 pounds.

American Doberman vs European Appearance Differences

As we said before, the European dog breed is more muscular and thicker in the face and neck.

The general build of the European Dobie breed is a medium-sized toned and elegant body with a thinner bone structure. They have a long head that resembles a blunt wedge. Their eyes are almond-shaped and medium to dark brown. Their neck is well-arched and widens gradually toward the body. They have a smaller and narrow chest.

The American Doberman has a more compact and broader body with a thicker bone structure. Their head is wide and has thick muscle. Their eyes are oval in shape and dark in color. The American dog breed has a short and thick neck with a lesser rise from the shoulder.

As we said, these two look nearly identical, with roughly the same shape, color, and same distinct triangular ears and docked tail. The European version is more muscular and thicker in the face and neck.

American vs European Doberman Color and Markings

The American Kennel Club recognizes four color varieties of American Dobies. Those are black and rust, blue and rust, red and rust, and fawn and rust.

The AKC does not consider white an acceptable color. Yet, some dogs might have small white patches on the chest. But according to the breed standard, they should not be more than ½ square inch.

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FCI, on the other hand, accepts only two color varieties for the European Doberman. Those are black and rust, and brown and rust with tan markings. The Federation Cynologique Internationale does not accept white markings as well.

The tan markings, on the other hand, can be found on the muzzle, forechest, throat, above the eyebrow, forearms, under the tail, and feet.

Ancestry and Purpose

You can say that the primary difference between these two is that the American Dobie is only bred in the United States of America, while the European on the European continent.

Both have the same origin story. They were first bred in Germany in the year 1890 by Louis Dobermann. Because they are now bred on a different continent, they have different breed standards.

Only by following the standards, they can be considered a purebred dog.

Their purpose is also different. In the US, the puppy has been domesticated as a family dog. In Europe, they are still mostly used as police dogs.

Behavior comparison

As we said before, the American Doberman Pinscher is a loyal guard dog, great for family protection and companionship. The European Doberman Pinscher, on the other hand, is a strong and powerful working dog.

There are subtle differences in their behavior. Now, we do not say that the European Dobies are not great family dogs. Or that the American is not suited for work. But given their build and overall strength, the dogs have different usage.

Temperament comparison

We can say both these dog breeds are smart, intelligent, and devoted to their family. If for a second, the Doberman breed feels any danger to its family, it will attack and bite the stranger. But in a friendly environment, they are friendly and caring dogs.

Personality traits of American Doberman Pinscher include:

  • Loyal and loving dog
  • Fearless
  • Protective toward owners
  • Easy to train
  • Love to sit and relax
  • Understands human emotions
  • Great with kids and other animals

Personality traits of European Doberman Pinscher include:

  • Always on alert
  • High training and exercise required
  • Loving and extremely caring
  • Alert with strangers
  • Alert with other pets
  • Excellent for police work

Training and Exercise

Regular training is a must, no matter if you have the American dog breed or European dog breed. Yet, we do not recommend vigorous and sustained exercise until your puppy grows completely.

These dogs require at least two hours of physical and mental activities to keep them busy. They need early and ongoing positive reinforcement training and obedience training.

Try to socialize your Doberman with other pets early on.

Which is the best for you?

Now that we talked about the European vs American Doberman debate, let’s see which one is better for you.

These two are basically the same, with small differences in size and appearance. The main difference is the usage.

So, if you want a guard dog who will be always on alert, get the European version. And if you love a more loving family dog, go for the American variation.

american dobeman vs european doberman

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