American vs. European Doberman- What is the Difference?

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Last Updated on February 11, 2024 by Aftab Tariq

Did you know there are two kinds of Dobermans? It surprised me! There’s the European Dobermann and the American Doberman Pinscher.

When I found out, I was confused about which one to choose for my family. To make it simple for you, here’s a quick guide on the main differences between them.

American vs. European Doberman

European Doberman VS American Doberman

How is a Doberman from Europe different from one in the United States? The main differences are in their size, strength, and behavior. European Dobermans are typically known for their larger and stronger build, showcasing a distinct European Doberman size, coupled with a temperament better suited for work.


American vs. European Doberman

They have a lot of energy and are good for tasks. On the other hand, American Doberman Pinschers are more known for being beautiful show dogs and are great as family pets.

But there are more subtle differences. Even though they might look similar to someone who doesn’t know much about dogs, experienced people can tell them apart. It’s also important to know that they have different temperaments, which means they act differently in various situations.

Overview of American Doberman


American vs. European Doberman

Height:  24 to 28 inches

Lifespan: 10 – 13 years
Weight:  75 to 100 pounds for males and 60 to 90 pounds for females

Colors: fawn, red, blue, black and rust, white

Markings: rust colored, located above each eye, throat, forechest, all legs and feet
Temperament: playful and very energetic
Price: between $1500 and $2500

Overview of European Doberman


American vs. European Doberman

European Doberman height: 25 to 29 inches

Lifespan:  10 to 12 years

European Doberman weight: 88 to 99 pounds (40-45 kg) for males and 71 to 77 pounds (32-35 kg) for females

Colors:  Black and Rust, Red and Rust,Pure Black

Markings: Rust-colored markings above each eye,throat, chest, legs, feet, and just below the tail

Temperament:  loyal, intelligent, family-oriented

European Doberman price: between $3000 and $4000

Physical Traits of American Doberman

  • Head: Thinner wedge-shaped head with a slender muzzle and jaw.
  • Eyes: Lighter brown.
  • Neck: Longer and thinner, rising sharply at the shoulder.
  • Chest: Smaller and narrower.
  • Body: Long and lean.
  • Legs: Thinner and more elegant.
  • Feet: Smaller refined structure.

Physical Traits of European Doberman

  • Head: Broader with a thicker muzzle and jaw structure.
  • Eyes: Darker brown in color.
  • Neck: Shorter and thicker, displaying less rise from the shoulder.
  • Chest: Larger and broader in comparison.
  • Body: Compact and muscular build.
  • Legs: Thicker and more muscular.
  • Feet: Structured with a larger, compact design.

Variations in Physical Characteristics

Doberman dogs as two distinct characters: the American Doberman and the European Doberman. Spotting the difference between them is like noticing the unique traits of two friends.

Their bodies hold the secret – American Dobermans and European Dobermans follow different rules for weight and height (AKC for American, FCI for European).

American Dobermans can be big or small, but European Dobermans are usually on the heavier side. So, just by looking at their size, you can easily tell if your Doberman friend is from America or Europe.

American Doberman Pinscher

The American Doberman Pinscher is awesome for dog shows. It looks a bit longer and more streamlined compared to the European one. The American Kennel Club has certain rules, like having a gracefully curved neck, that make it really stand out.

American vs. European Doberman

According to the American Kennel Club, the American Doberman’s measurements are:

  • Males: 26–28 inches
  • Females: 24–26 inches
  • Weight: 75–100 lb for males, 60–90 lb for females.

European Dobermann

The European Dobermann is a big, protective dog that’s larger than the American one. It has strong legs and a block-shaped head.

According to the FCI breed standard, the ideal height and weight for European Dobermanns are as follows:

  • Males: 27–28 inches tall
  • Females: 25–27 inches tall
  • Weight: 71–77 pounds (females) or 88–99 pounds (males).

Color Differences


American vs. European Doberman

The two types of Doberman look different, especially in their colors. When you see them together, European Dobermans have darker colors because they have more pigment than American Dobermans.

Dobermans can be six different colors, but not all of them meet the official standards.You can find it called ‘All the Colors and Types of the Doberman Pinscher.

American Doberman Pinscher


American vs. European Doberman

 The American Doberman, recognized by the AKC, comes in standard colors like Rust and Black, along with a mix of red, rust, blue, and fawn known as Isabella. They have lighter rust markings above each eye, on the throat, and chest, with a potential small white spot. Eye color tends to be a lighter brown than European Dobermans.   

European Doberman Pinscher


American vs. European Doberman

European Dobermans, like their American counterparts, have various coat colors. The Federation Cynologique International (FCI) recognizes only Rust and Black or Rust and Red. European Doberman dog without these colors are not approved for certification or breeding. European Dobermans also differ in rust shade and lack the small white chest dot seen in American Dobermans.

Behavior of American and European Dobermann

Differences in behavior exist between American and European Dobermans. Doberman breeds exhibit variations in both physical attributes and temperaments.

While some Dobermans, like the European type, are robust and excel in tasks requiring strength, others serve as loyal guard dogs suitable for families and individuals.

It’s important to know that saying American Dobermans are not good for jobs or European Dobermans are bad for families is not true.

American Dobermans, who are slimmer and more easygoing, can still be good at work. Meanwhile, European Dobermans, who are strong and smart, are great for jobs like police or military work.

Health Differences

American vs. European Doberman

We don’t know much about the health differences between American and European Dobermans. Both can face issues like stomach problems, hip and heart conditions, liver disease, bleeding disorders, neck instability, eye troubles, thyroid problems, and bone cancer.

But now, it seems European Dobermans are having more health problems than we thought. This goes against the idea that they are generally healthier than American Dobermans.

American Doberman Pinscher

American vs. European Doberman

The American Doberman Pinscher and the European one can both have health problems, but in the United States, there are cheap and widely available health tests for puppies and breeders.

Both types of Dobermans often face a health issue called dilated cardiomyopathy, which means an enlarged heart. However, only one study has looked into this. The study discovered that American Dobermans have much lower rates of this problem compared to European Dobermans (source).

European Dobermans

American vs. European Doberman

American Dobermans, European Dobermans can face health problems. More European Dobermans are getting a heart condition called Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), with about 58% affected, higher than in American Dobermans.

In Europe, genetic health tests are rare and costly. Some argue they’re unnecessary due to a larger breeding pool and lower genetic issues, but opinions vary.


There’s a clear difference in how Dobermans are bred in the United States and Europe. In the U.S., it’s mostly influenced by the free market, while in Europe, there are rules and restrictions guiding Doberman breeding.

American Doberman Pinscher

In the US, anyone can breed Dobermans without strict regulations. Unlike Europe, it relies on the free market.

No certification or testing is required; AKC registration is simple and online. American Dobermans excel in breed competitions but may struggle in working dog events.

European Dobermann

In Europe, Dobermans must pass the ZTP test before breeding, evaluating their behavior and protective instincts. Without ZTP certification, breeding is not allowed.

Engaging Dobermans in activities like Schutzhund and IPO enhances their value through testing tracking, obedience, and protection skills. European Dobermans may face challenges in Schutzhund/IPO, but excel in other working dog competitions.

Ideal Doberman

American vs. European Doberman

 It’s important to find a Doberman that suits your home well. Look for a dog whose personality matches yours. Every dog is different, so check the temperament and traits of any puppy you’re considering.

Focus on getting a dog that fits your lifestyle and family, rather than worrying about whether it’s a European or American Doberman.

Find Your Perfect American Doberman Pinscher

  • Intelligent and quick learners
  • Loyal and devoted to their families
  • Energetic with a need for regular exercise
  • Natural protectors with a strong guarding instinct
  • Vigilant and alert, making excellent watchdogs
  • Athletic and versatile, excelling in various activities
  • Sleek appearance with a well-muscled body

If You Want the Best, Go for a European Dobermann

  • European Dobermanns boast elegance and strength.
  • They are highly intelligent and quick learners.
  • Fearless and courageous, making them excellent guard dogs.
  • Versatile in roles such as police work, search and rescue, and therapy

American vs. European Doberman

Find a good breeder, choose a European Doberman puppy that feels right for your family. Check my article for tips and a worksheet to see how each puppy behaves. Don’t rush; take your time picking from the litter. Every Doberman can be a great friend, smart, easy to train, and loving. Both types are good with kids if introduced early. I’m here to help, no matter what you decide.

Note: We’ve met lots of great American Dobermans, and they make wonderful family pets. However, we focus on breeding European Dobermans because they excel in qualities like protection, intelligence, and loyalty. If you want to learn about Dobermans, visit our website

To find a great dog with excellent genetics and temperament, it’s important to check out trustworthy European Doberman breeders. Discover your ideal furry friend with European Doberman puppies for sale. If you want to buy a puppies click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Distinguishes European vs American Dobermans?

The European Doberman is known for its strong and athletic body, and it has a shorter, thicker coat. In terms of temperament, they are considered to be more balanced and steady compared to American Dobermans.

Are European Doberman a Good Family Dog?

We think European Dobermans make great all-around pets. They're super smart, protective, loyal, and love being with their family. They're not just dogs; they're part of your family.
Aftab Tariq

I am a dedicated content writer with more than five years of experience, particularly skilled in the art of storytelling. My writing journey commenced during my college years, where I pursued journalism and unearthed my talent for creating captivating narratives. Protection Status