Dobermans started as guard dogs. That is one of the main reasons these dogs developed a reputation for aggression. Despite that, a lot of people own Dobermans as pets, so much so the AKC says these dogs were the 16th most popular dog breed in the United States in 2021. Of course, if people want dog breeds similar to Dobermans without just getting a Doberman, they have no shortage of options.
What Are the Dog Breeds Similar to Dobermans?
According to PetHelpful, and other sources, here are 10 dog breeds similar to Dobermans:
10. Australian Kelpie
Kelpie is a rather unusual name for dogs. For context, Historic UK says Scotland is home to a couple of horse-head sculptures called The Kelpies. That makes sense because kelpies are Scottish water spirits that tend to take the shapes of either horses or humans. Interested individuals should also know these aren’t nice spirits. If anything, they are the exact opposite because they like to trick people into getting on before dragging their victims into rivers to drown. These aren’t the characteristics that most people want to associate with their dogs. Still, the Australian Kelpie is indeed named for the Scottish water spirit.
With that said, the Australian Kelpie is a likable dog in a lot of respects. It started as a sheepdog capable of operating with minimal human guidance. As a result, the Australian Kelpie shares the same intelligence, obedience, and general good nature that make other sheepdogs so popular. Still, interested individuals should keep a couple of things in mind. First, the Australian Kelpie is every bit as energetic as one would expect, so it needs both physical and mental stimulation. Those who can’t provide that should choose a more sedate dog breed. Second, the Australian Kelpie exists as both show dogs and working dogs. There are meaningful differences between the two, so it is a good idea for people to choose the one better suited for their particular needs and circumstances.
9. German Shorthaired Pointer
It isn’t 100 percent clear which dog breeds are ancestral to the German Shorthaired Pointers. Dog breeders didn’t create the first studbook for these dogs until 1870, which is a huge problem because the creation of these dogs started well before that point. Regardless, German Shorthaired Pointers are versatile dogs that are as good at being pets as they are at being gun dogs. On top of these roles, they even make good watchdogs because they are so vocal.
Personality-wise, German Shorthaired Pointers have a lot of the characteristics that one would expect from such dogs. As a rule, they have a cooperative nature, which combines with their intelligence to make them easy to train by their owners. Interested individuals can expect German Shorthaired Pointers to get along with not just humans but also other dogs. Unfortunately, they cannot expect the same to remain true in the presence of smaller animals because these dogs have strong prey drives. The other issue with German Shorthaired Pointers is that they are very energetic. If they don’t get enough exercise, people shouldn’t be surprised if they decide to seek out more exercise out of their own will. Chances are good their owners won’t enjoy that process.
Jagd means “hunt” or “hunting” in German. Unsurprisingly, Jagdterriers started as German hunting dogs that excelled at pursuing underground prey. With that said, they were medium-sized dogs, so they were also capable of helping out with aboveground prey. For example, people used Jagdterriers to track wounded animals. Likewise, people used Jagdterriers to drive everything from boars to rabbits out into the open for more convenient access. This versatility wasn’t an unexpected benefit. Instead, Jagdterriers were always more all-purpose than what one would expect based on their name.
Generally speaking, Jagdterriers are brave, smart, and tough. These dogs are more than capable of becoming pets. However, interested individuals should watch out for several things. For starters, Jagdterriers are active animals that crave physical and mental stimulation. They won’t be happy if they don’t get those things, which in turn, means dog owners won’t be happy because bored dogs become problematic dogs. Furthermore, these dogs are hunting dogs with a strong prey drive, so interested individuals must take care when it comes to their interactions with small animals. Dogtime says Jagdterriers don’t even get along that well with other dogs.
The Kanni is an Indian dog breed. Specifically, it is one of two Indian dog breeds that trace their roots to the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The other is the Chippiparai. Curiously, The Smart Canine claims the Kanni and the Chippiparai come from the same population of dogs. Essentially, the Kanni are the ones with either a black and tan coat or a black and sable coat, whereas the Chippiparai are the ones with a solid-color coat. The Kennel Club of India recognizes them as two separate dog breeds, but to be fair, that kind of thing isn’t uncommon.
Traditionally speaking, the Kanni served several roles. For example, people used these dogs to hunt Indian hares. Likewise, people gifted these dogs to newlywed brides to serve as guardians. In the present, the Kanni remains a versatile animal, though it is better suited for certain individuals with certain living environments than others. For instance, these dogs need room, which is why they aren’t a good choice for city living. In exchange, interested individuals can expect a loyal defender that is easy to train but can think independently.
6. Manchester Terrier
Once upon a time, bloodsports were very popular in the United Kingdom. By the early 19th century, sentiments had changed so much that the country passed a law banning the most egregious examples. Still, the change wasn’t 100 percent, so other bloodsports remained popular for quite some time. To name an example, the authorities didn’t bother cracking down on rat-baiting even as they cracked down on bear-baiting and bull-baiting.
Instead, it took more time for sentiments to turn against rat-baiting, so much so that the practice didn’t die out until the early 20th century. To name another example, the United Kingdom didn’t ban hare coursing until this millennium. The BBC reports that it remains a serious issue in the country, which is why the authorities introduced even more countermeasures in 2022.
Manchester Terriers have a not-so-distant connection to these bloodsports because they descend from two dog breeds. One is the Black and Tan Terrier, which excelled at rat-baiting. The other is the Whippet, which excelled at hare coursing. A man named John Hume quite literally created the Manchester Terrier because he wanted a dog that could excel at both bloodsports.
Of course, modern Manchester Terriers are quite different from the earliest members of their dog breed. Some terriers have a reputation for stoicism. Manchester Terriers share the same courage as these counterparts, but they aren’t stoic so much as lively, affectionate, and downright eager to please their humans. Suffice it to say people could do much worse when choosing a canine companion.
5. Pharaoh Hound
As royal titles go, pharaoh is pretty distinctive. Sadly, people would be much mistaken if they guess that Pharaoh Hounds come from Egypt. There are claims about these dogs being distant descendants of ancient Egyptian dogs, but there isn’t much evidence to support those claims. Instead, Pharaoh Hounds have a much stronger connection to rural Malta where the locals used them to hunt rabbits. Supposedly, the locals would use these dogs to chase the prey into burrows, use ferrets to flush out the prey, and then use these dogs to snag the prey on its way out.
There is much to like about Pharaoh Hounds, but these things come paired with potential issues interested individuals should keep in mind. For instance, Pharaoh Hounds come from a Mediterranean climate, meaning hot summers and mild winters. As such, they don’t do so well in cold temperatures. These dogs are somewhat reserved towards strangers, though they are still friendly enough that they don’t make very good guard dogs. Simultaneously, these dogs don’t necessarily make very good watchdogs either. Yes, Pharaoh Hounds are unusual by being sighthounds that bark a lot. That is beneficial because they won’t hesitate to bark if they see something suspicious; that is not so beneficial because their cautious nature means they consider many things suspicious.
3. Prague Ratter
People sometimes see the Czech Republic as one of the newer countries in Central Europe. However, the truth of the situation is rather complicated. After all, the Czech Republic traces its roots to Bohemia, which existed more than a millennium ago. Said polity came under Habsburg rule in the 16th century, remaining there until the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire following the First World War.
This history is relevant because Prague Ratter owners claim that these are one of the oldest Czech dog breeds, so much so that their ancestors were around more than a millennium ago. Initially, they were dogs of the nobility. Later, they spread to the common people. Prague Ratters started declining during the 18th century because of imported competitors. Luckily, Czechs and Slovaks took a renewed interest in them during the 1980s, thus enabling their international spread.
Prague Ratters are ratters. As a result, they are very small, so much so that they have an average height of 20 to 23 cm plus an average weight of 3.3 to 7.7 pounds. Despite that, Prague Ratters possess a surplus of spirit to see them through their duty. Outside of that context, these dogs are loyal, loving creatures that can thrive even in apartment living. They have a reputation for being quiet, though they still need training and socialization from an early age to prevent them from turning yappy.
Rottweilers are another German dog breed with an undeservedly bad reputation. Like Dobermans, much of these dogs’ bad reputation comes from bad ownership of one kind or another. Still, Rottweilers are self-confident creatures that don’t automatically get along with everyone and everything around them, meaning they need someone who can exercise firm, consistent leadership. So long as they are properly trained and socialized, they make wonderful companions. Without those things, Rottweilers can be as poorly behaved as any other dog breed, though they come with more territoriality than many of their counterparts.
Curiously, Rottweilers come from a working background. Specifically, they worked for butchers in their namesake city by pulling loads and herding livestock. The versatility of the Rottweiler has enabled a relatively smooth transition to both working and non-working roles in modern times. Due to that, one line of these dogs isn’t necessarily the same as another because dog breeders with different focuses have different priorities.
The Weimaraner received its name from the city of Weimar. With that said, it has an even stronger connection with a man named Karl August, who was the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach back when Germany was still the Germanies. Indeed, said individual became the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach through the merger of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach, which was relatively straightforward by the standards of those times. Regardless, Karl August boasted a brilliant court with a noted interest in the arts and sciences. With that said, they also had a taste for the traditional pursuit of nobles, which is how they winded up developing the hunting dog that is the Weimaraner.
Reputedly, people used the Weimaraner to hunt large animals such as bears and boars. Later, when large animals became rarer and rarer in Europe, people started using the Weimaraner to hunt smaller animals instead. Thanks to that, these dogs are all-purpose gun dogs in modern times. They are fast and tough. Simultaneously, they are fond of their human masters. Weimaraners might be a bit too fond of their human masters because they are one of the dog breeds prone to developing separation anxiety. Training and socialization can make this less of an issue, but interested individuals should expect to spend a lot of time with these dogs anyway because they need activity.