Comparing American and European Doberman Pinschers

Learn about the differences between American and European Doberman Pinschers - from physical characteristics to temperament tests & more!

Comparing American and European Doberman Pinschers

The European Doberman and the American Doberman may look almost identical, but there are some key differences between the two. The European Doberman is more muscular and thicker on the face and neck compared to the American Doberman. European Dobermans are bred to be working dogs, so they need to be stronger and more muscular than their American counterparts. The American Doberman is a smaller, shorter and more elegant show or family dog.

The physical difference between European and American Dobermans can be seen in the photo above. According to the breed standards, the Doberman is a medium-sized dog, but European Dobermans tend to appear stronger compared to the American's slimmer body. The fur of both types of Dobermans is soft to the touch and evenly distributed on its body. European Dobermans must pass a ZTP temperament test before being raised, while the American Doberman prefers a milder training approach with frequent positive reinforcement.

Europeans emphasize walking because they associate it with a dog's ability to work, while Americans focus more on consumer preferences. All European Dobermans are not allowed to cut their ears or cut off their tails. DCM is a growing problem in Europeans and a study concluded that 58% of European Dobermans will develop DCM throughout their lives, at a much higher rate than in American Doberman Pinschers. A much higher percentage of European Dobermans didn't reach that level of maturity until after age 5 compared to American Dobermans.

Both American and European Dobermans require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, but Europeans are happier when they work. This is why, to a certain extent, they reject the refinement and elegance of modern American Dobermans, who have less aptitude for work.