Rottweilers and Dobermans look quite similar, have a lot in common, and share similar ancestry…but do they get along well together?
Rottweilers and Dobermans often get along because of their similar behavioral tendencies and instincts. They’re also both intelligent and share a common playstyle. However, they may not get along well due to the bold bravery present in both breeds and a possible tendency towards dog selectivity.
Rottweilers and Dobermans typically get along quite well together, although there are certainly exceptions. If you’re wondering whether these are the right two dogs for your household or if you already have one and are thinking of getting the other, here’s what you need to know about how well these dogs coexist.
But first…let’s enjoy this video of a Rottie and Doberman having a hard play session!
Reasons Dobermans and Rottweilers may get Along Well
Rottweilers and Dobermans have a lot in common (and it isn’t just because they look alike), which means that there is a fairly good chance of your Rottweiler and Doberman getting along.
Here are a few of the key reasons that you may expect these two breeds to be the best of friends:
Similar Play Style
Dobermans were very likely created from Rottweilers, so it should come as no surprise that these breeds have a lot in common. One of the things you are most likely to notice as a similarity between these two breeds is their play style.
Different types of dogs tend to have different ways of playing with one another. Some dogs prefer to chase and bounce, others enjoy playing rough, wrestling games. Other dogs are often a combination of these play styles or match their play style according to their playmate.
Both Dobermans and Rottweilers tend to have a rough and tumble play style. These are dogs that are very likely to enjoy roughhousing together and engaging in very intense play. In fact, a Rottweiler and Doberman that get along very well and trust each other may play so intensely that it can be mistaken for fighting.
If you have a Rottweiler and Doberman together, there is a good chance that they will spend hours occupying one another in play.
Rottweilers and Dobermans are both highly intelligent dogs. These are dogs that are constantly learning and are highly adaptable to whatever new training their owner expects from them. This similarity in intelligence and adaptability means that you are very likely to be able to train your Rottweiler and Doberman to do similar activities, which they may enjoy doing together.
For instance, both Rottweilers and Dobermans have historically been used in police, military, and personal protection work. These breeds still excel in these areas today.
In this way, you can provide both dogs with superb exercise and self-control training while you only need to engage in one training session. In fact, Rottweilers and Dobermans are so intelligent that it is very common for them to be able to learn from one another.
You may be able to train your Rottweiler to do one thing while your Doberman watches and then find that your Doberman can perform the behavior with fewer repetitions or no repetitions at all just because they watched you train the other dog. This is a huge advantage when training two dogs.
Both Rottweilers and Dobermans have historically been protection dogs. They typically display strong protection instincts around their home and often with their handler as well. Since both breeds experience similar instincts, there may be less of a problem with confusion between them when one dog is experiencing an instinct that the other one isn’t.
For instance, if someone approaches your property, there is a good chance that both your Rottweiler and your Doberman will behave by barking aggressively and showing other guarding behavior. Since both dogs respond the same way, they are relatively unlikely to misinterpret one another’s behavior.
This is distinctly different from breeds that do not experience guarding instincts, who may misinterpret barking and growling towards a stranger, leading to aggression between the dogs. While it is still certainly possible for there to be misdirected aggression, it may be slightly less likely between these Dobermans and Rottweilers than between one of these dogs and a breed that doesn’t share their instincts.
Why Your Rottweiler and Doberman May Not Get Along Well
Generally, Rottweilers and Dobermans coexist quite well, but these are both powerful dogs with their own minds, and they don’t get along on every occasion. Here are a few of the reasons that you may experience problems between these breeds:
Bold, Confident Dogs
Rottweilers and Dobermans are both historically protection breeds, a job that requires a high degree of bravery and boldness. Both Rottweilers and Dobermans have needed to be courageous to put their lives at risk to perform the jobs that they have needed to perform throughout history.
In most cases, this braveness and boldness will result in dogs that are well-matched playmates, but if a disagreement does occur between these breeds, it is fairly unlikely that either will back down. For instance, if one of your dogs takes possession of a high-value item like a meaty bone or a live prey animal, there may be aggression and even a serious fight as dogs determine who should be in possession of that item.
Some dogs display considerably more possessiveness over items than others. For some dogs, any toy or even a water bowl can be a high-value item. Since neither your Rottweiler nor your Doberman is likely to back down if they want this desirable item, a fight may occur.
Occasionally Prone to Dog Selectivity
Neither Rottweilers nor Dobermans are especially well known for being aggressive towards other dogs, but it can occur. These breeds may be more likely to be dog selective with dogs of the same gender, so if you have two male or two female dogs, aggression can occur between them.
Nearly all puppies get along well together. If your four-month-old Rottweiler and Doberman get along well, it isn’t an indication of how they’ll do in the future. Dog selectivity often does not come out until dogs are physically mature at around two or three years of age.
This can be a serious shock to the owner when their Doberman and Rottweiler that have gotten along well throughout puppyhood suddenly start showing aggression towards one another. This is not especially common and is not as common in Rottweilers or Dobermans as it can be in other breeds, but it does happen.
Generally, the tendency of both Rottweilers and Dobermans to be protective of their home and owner will tend to make these dogs get along better, not worse, but sometimes it can result in problems. Rottweilers or Doberman may become possessive, rather than just protective, over their home or people and begin guarding their people against the other dog.
This can result in a fight. Rottweilers and Dobermans may also show unexpected aggression when another dog is entering their territory after an absence, even if they typically get along. Therefore, if you take your Rottweiler for a walk and leave your Doberman at home or vice versa, you may find that the dog left at home suddenly behaves aggressively when you cross the threshold with your other dog.
This behavior can come as a significant surprise to an owner who is not expecting it. In most cases, your Rottweiler and Doberman will only show this sort of aggression to strange dogs and people, but occasionally it will be shown to other dogs in the family as well. Often, restricting one dog when the other dog enters the territory can eliminate the behavior, but not always.
How to Make it More Likely That Your Rottweiler and Doberman will get Along Well
If you want a successful Rottweiler-Doberman relationship, there are a few things that you can do to increase the probability that your dogs will get along. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Choose Opposite Genders
While same-gender Rottweilers and Dobermans certainly can and often do get along, aggression with same-gender dogs is slightly more likely, to set your dogs up for successful cohabitation, it’s best to choose opposite genders. If you have your pick, it may be better to choose a female Rottweiler and a male Doberman, since Rottweilers tend to be slightly bigger than Dobermans and female Rottweilers are smaller than male Rottweilers.
Prevent Competition Over High-Value Items or Possessiveness Over You
Always feed your Rottweiler and Doberman separately and give them treats and chew toys separately as well.
If you notice your dogs acting possessively over you by stopping each other from getting close to you or actively growling or showing other aggression signs when another dog approaches you, prevent this behavior immediately by separating yourself from the dog that is behaving possessively and never rewarding possessive behavior.
Enforce Downtimes During Play
Rottweilers and Dobermans often play very hard together, and this is absolutely fine as long as both dogs are enjoying the experience. However, from the human perspective, it can often be hard to tell whether dogs are playing well or beginning to fight.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to enforce break times when your Rottweiler and Doberman are playing. The best way to do it is to teach a very good recall by giving your dogs high-value treats when they come when they’re called. Practice breaking up the play for brief periods from the time that they are young puppies.
Enjoy Your Rottweiler and Doberman Together
Rottweilers and Dobermans don’t just look similar. They tend to have lots in common in other ways as well. It is very common to be attracted to both of these beautiful breeds. Thankfully, you are likely to find that your Rottweiler and Doberman can get along well together in most cases provided you set them up for success.