Rottweiler vs. Doberman: What Are 8 Key Differences?

What is the difference between the Rottweiler and the Doberman Pinscher, aka Doberman? Both are purebred working dogs originating from Germany. However, one is larger than the other and they both have unique temperaments and health issues. This article aims to help distinguish these two breeds by comparing them in 8 key categories relating to appearance, personality, and health.

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: A Comparison

Both the Rottweiler and the Doberman are purebreds that originate from Germany. However, they are notably different, particularly in size and stature.


Key Differences Rottweiler Doberman
Height 22 – 27 inches 24 – 28 inches
Weight 85 to 130 lbs. 71 to 99 lbs.
coat type Shorts, Dense Shorts, Fine
colors Mahogany, Tan, Rust, Black Rust and Blue, Red, Tan, Brown, White Black
Temperament Independent, Courageous, Protective Energetic, Obedient
Social Needs Very High Average
Life Expectancy 8 – 11 years 10 – 12 years
Health Problems Bloat, Hip Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism Cardiomyopathy, Von Willebrand’s Disease
Rottweiler vs. Doberman: A Comparison

Key Differences Between Rottweiler and Doberman

Doberman pinscher standing tall with ears straight up
Dobermans are a medium-sized dog that weighs an average of 85 pounds.

Picture CrediteAlisa/

The main difference between Dobermans and Rottweilers is that Rottweilers are larger. While Dobermans can sometimes reach nearly 100 pounds, they’re a much leaner build.

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So while both dogs can grow to be quite tall, the Rottweiler is considered a large to a giant dog, while the Doberman is a medium dog. Not only do these two breeds differ in appearance, but they also stand out in personality and health. Let’s explore more!


Most Expensive Dog Breeds: Rottweiler
Rottweilers are a large to giant dog that can weigh up to 130 pounds.

Picture CreditMiroslav Cik/

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Height

The Rottweiler and the Doberman are both tall dogs, with the male Rottweiler averaging 25.5 inches in height and the male Doberman averaging 27 inches in height.

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Weight

Although the Doberman is taller on average, the Rottweiler is much heavier. For example, the Rottweiler weighs an average of 112 pounds as a fully grown male, whereas the Doberman male weighs an average of 93 pounds.

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Coat Type

Both the Rottweiler and the Doberman have short coats. However, the Rottweiler has a double coat that is dense in texture, whereas the Doberman has a fine coat, with a limited undercoat.

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Colors

When it comes to color variety, the Doberman reigns supreme. You can find the Doberman in many hues ranging from blue, red, tan, brown, white, and black. These hues are most often paired with rust-colored markings. The Rottweiler is almost always black, with tan to rust-colored markings.


Doberman Pinscher
Dobermans have an average life expectancy of 11 years.

Picture CreditPleple2000 / Creative Commons

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Temperament

The Rottweiler and the Doberman are both alert and fearless breeds that are loyal to their families. The Rottweiler is more independent and courageous, while the Doberman is more energetic and obedient. Both breeds are highly intelligent and easy to train. If you are looking for a lot of affection, the Doberman is your dog. However, if you are looking for a dog who likes a lot of social interaction, the Rottweiler could be a good fit.

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Social Needs

Rottweiler puppy laying outside in grass
Rottweilers are an independent and protective breed that is easy to train.

Picture Jenkins

The Rottweiler is a highly social breed that required a lot of attention. Therefore, they tend to have a lot of separation anxiety if left alone. The Doberman’s social needs are average, and they do okay when left alone unless it’s for extended periods of time.

Health Factors

Rottweiler (Canis familiaris) - laying down against white background
Rottweilers have a shorter than average life expectancy of 9.5 years.

Picture CreditJagodka/

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Life Expectancy

Rottweilers live an average of 8 to 11 years, while Dobermans live an average of 10 to 12 years. Unfortunately, Rottweilers are prone to many health issues, which can shorten their lives dramatically if not properly cared for.

Rottweiler vs. Doberman: Health Problems

Rottweilers are prone to a variety of health issues including:

  • allergies
  • Aortic Stenosis
  • bloat
  • Elbow and Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Pan osteitis
  • Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis

The Doberman is prone to certain health issues as well, which include:

  • cardiomyopathy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Wobbler’s Syndrome

Wrapping Up Rottweiler vs. Doberman

Doberman Pinscher on isolated background
Dobermans are highly adaptable, loyal, and intelligent.

Picture CreditDmytro Zinkevych/

Both breeds share some features, notably their vigilance, fearlessness, and tremendous loyalty. The Doberman is a more adaptable and home-friendly type, but the Rottweiler is a more social and trainable breed. Both breeds can make ideal family pets when given the right environment and guidance.

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