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Beauceron vs Doberman: A Comprehensive Guide to Two Powerful Breeds

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As someone who knows the joy of both working breeds and loyal protectors, I’m fascinated by the Beauceron and the Doberman. Their similarities are striking, but their differences run deep

If you are not familiar with breeds in the canine world, you might think that the Beauceron and the Doberman Pinscher are the same breed. To the unfamiliar eye, these two seem like the exact same dog. But the Beauceron vs Doberman comparison goes deeper. They are two distinct and unique breeds.

What are the main similarities and differences between the two? We will talk about things like temperament, appearance, training, and health issues. Choosing between the versatile Beauceron or the intensely focused Doberman isn’t easy. Let’s together explore the factors that truly set them apart.

Why People Might Mistake The Two Breeds?

There are many similarities between the two, looking at color, markings, and personalities. They are similar in height. Many attributes described in the bred standard cover similar temperament, expression, and relationship to their family. Both of these are loyal, faithful, and intelligent dogs.

Yet, there are people who might mistake them. One of the reasons is many people have not heard of the Beauceron dog breed. Some people might mistake your Doberman Pinscher for a Beauceron, asking whether Dobermans actually came in that color. Often, people see a harlequin, or merle Beauceron, thinking it is a Doberman in a rare color.

We have to admit, the Beauceron is the less common breed in the United States. So, let’s take a look at the comparison and clear the air.

History of the Breed



The original name of this dog breed is Berger de Beauce. It is a working dog from France, developed in the 1500s as a hunter of wild boar. As you can see, the history of the Beauceron dates way back, even though it is not as common in the United States.

In the beginning, it was used as a hunting dog, but it became useful as a herding dog and guardian of the flock as well.

The French Shepherd is from Brie, although many believe it is from Beauce. The name Berger de Beauce was given to the dog to distinct the two breeds, the Briard and the Beauceron.

Despite being developed centuries ago, it is still less common in countries outside of France. The name translates to Shepherd of Beauce, a region surrounding Paris.

Doberman Pinscher

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In contrast, the Doberman is a relatively new breed. It was first registered by the American Kennel Club in 1908. Developed in Apolda, Germany, by Herr Louis Dobermann, the Doberman is a working dog breed.

Louis was a tax collector and night watchman. He wanted a brave and fearless dog that would protect him while he was making his rounds.

According to most historians, the Doberman was developed by breeding Rottweiler, German Shepherd, German Pinscher, and Weimaraner.

Five years after the death of Louis Dobermann, Otto Goeller, one of the earliest breeders, created the National Doberman Pinscher Club. He was the one who perfected the breed, breeding and refining the dog in the 1890s.

The breed was named Dobermann Pinscher in Louis’ honor, but a half-century later, they dropped the word pincher. This word, used for “terrier” was no longer applicable. The US and Canada are the only countries that use the term Doberman Pinscher, but they have dropped one “n” from the name.

During World War II, the United States Marine Corps adopted the breed as the official war dog. Since then, it has grown in popularity, becoming one of the most popular guardian dog breeds.

Beauceron vs Doberman Appearance

Now let’s talk about how these two differ from one another. If you look at them side by side, you might mistake them.

After all, their size is nearly identical. The former grows between 24 and 27.5 inches, while the latter grows between 24 and 28 inches. Their weight is close as well. Beaucerons weigh between 70 and 100 pounds, while Dobermans weigh between 60 and 100 pounds.

Where they differ is the coat color and coat texture. The former has a short and smooth coat with a thick double coat. Dobermans, on the other hand, have a smooth short coat.

And then there are coat colors. Beaucerons are available in black and rust or tan, tricolor, black, and grey. Their harlequin, or merle color is unique to the breed. Dobermans are available in black and rust, blue and rust, red and rust, and fawn and rust.

You can easily distinguish the two by the coat. Beaucerons have a soft and plush appearance because of their thick double coat. Dobermans, on the other hand, have a short and sleek coat that highlights their muscular frame. Dobermans also have a more diverse range of colors accepted by the American Kennel Club.

However, if both dogs sport a black and rust coat, you can make a difference. In this case, you have to be a professional or expert to look at more unique colorations and recognize which is which. We have to mention one big difference. That is Beauceron is never docked.

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Beauceron vs Doberman Temperament

When you look at Dobermans, you might think they have an intimidating demeanor. But while they are great guardian dogs, they are not aggressive or attack people for no reason. These dogs are intelligent, athletic, and alert. Those are all personality traits that make them amazing guard dogs, the reason they were bred for.

These working dogs take their job seriously. Their drive and imposing physical appearance, have earned them a reputation for being notoriously protective. Yet, with proper training and early socialization, these dogs are extremely loving members of the family.

You will quickly discover that despite their formidable presence, they also possess a deep devotion to their people. They bond so deeply, that many people refer to them as Velcro dogs.

Beaucerons have been bred for nearly the same things as Dobermans. They are friendly and regal guardians who can adapt to children when socialized properly.

With both breeds, if you want to have them as a family pet, you have to socialize them with children early on, when they are puppies. We have to note, that they are herders and have a herding instinct to herd everything, small children included. So, monitor their interactions when they are around children to ensure everyone respects each other’s boundaries.

Same as Dobermans, they might look intimidating, but they are not aggressive. When they do run up to people, they do it to greet them enthusiastically.

Both breeds are highly intelligent, making them easy to train. But sometimes, those smarts can lead to problems when they do not get enough mental stimulation. Without consistent obedience training, work, and mental stimulation, these two can turn into destructive and anxious behavior.

Both of them have a strong prey drive. We do not suggest getting them in a home with cats or small dogs. If they are socialized as puppies, they can accept smaller animals as part of the pack and will protect them. Yes, a Doberman protecting a tiny kitten is a thing.

Different Purpose

When it comes to the temperament comparison of Beauceron vs Doberman, we have to mention these two were bred for different purposes. They have different jobs in their background.

Nowadays, the Beauceron is part of the Herding group, while the Doberman is part of the Working group.

Beauceron has the typical traits of a sheepdog, they are slow to mature, they bore easily with repetitive training, and can be quite unforgiving of handler errors. Dobermans are working dogs, meaning they live to please their owner and finish the task at hand.

Both can be used for police and military work. But while the Beauceron is primarily a herding dog, the Doberman is primarily used for working with people.

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Beauceron vs Doberman Training

Both of these breeds are high in intelligence and eager to please their owner. But the Beauceron is less forgiving of an inexperienced owner and one who makes mistakes. Dobermans are more willing to please their pet parent compared to Beaucerons.

Early training will help both breeds thrive in the world. Socialization is quite important as well. Their protective nature and guardian instincts need to be addressed as early as possible.

Of the two dogs, the Doberman Pinscher is willing to work and train more. In any case, positive reinforcement works amazingly. You can motivate your dog with either treats or toys. Or sometimes, you can make work being the reward for good behavior.

Exercise Needs

If you want a dog that will sleep around the house, forget these two. They need plenty of exercise to get their legs moving. And then you have to add some mental stimulation for their mind to work.

Out of the two, Beaucerons need more exercise. They are still herding dogs that love to run around, roam, and do their thing. In simpler terms, that is at least 60 minutes of physical exercise and playtime per day. Dobermans might need a bit less, but they demand more mental stimulation. If their mind doesn’t get challenged, they will turn to destructive behavior.

You can use training as part of the exercise with Dobermans.


Of the two breeds, the Beauceron is the healthier one. This dog is prone to hip dysplasia, dilated cardiomyopathy, and progressive retinal atrophy. Dobermans, on the other hand, are also prone to bloating, hypothyroidism, narcolepsy, and albinism.

The good news is that with proper diet, exercise, and regular vet checkups, you can have your dog by your side for more than 10 years.

Grooming Needs

As we said in the beginning, Beauceron has a thick double coat. Yet, these dogs do not need much grooming. Once or twice per week will ensure your puppy is comfortable and cool.

Dobermans are considered moderate shedders. Brushing them once per week will lower the shedding.

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Which One To Get?

You should pick a Beauceron dog breed if:

  • You can provide enough physical and mental stimulation and you want a “different” Doberman
  • You want a dog that doesn’t shed as much, but is still a good protector and guardian
  • If you want a challenging dog to train, but one that will be amazing once you master its training

You should pick a Doberman if:

  • You want a dog that is more willing to please its owners
  • You live in a household with small children, as Dobermans are better family pets
  • You want a dog that will work all day long

beauceron vs dobeman infographic

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