Trying to decide on a breed (GSD/Dobie)

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by Gguevara, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. Gguevara

    Gguevara New Member

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    Hey everyone - new here.
    I'm planning on getting a new puppy around December. Now, I'm in between a GSD and a Doberman. I have a few questions and I hope for unbiased replies, thanks!

    It can easily get to -25 Celsius here in my area of Ontario, that's -77 Fahrenheit (I think) and can get up to -30 to -35. In the summer it also get's really hot, around the same temps except above freezing.
    I know a GSD could handle that cold fairly easily and only need a coat on during the very cold temps, but around what exactly would that be?
    I know that Doberman's don't have an undercoat and hardly any body fat and everything I've read says they can't stand the cold but here (Animal Planet :: Dog Breed Profile :: Doberman Pinscher) it says they get 3/5 for cold tolerance which is on par with the GSDs (Animal Planet :: Dog Breed Profile :: German Shepherd Dog) I'd like to know at what point does a Dobie need a coat?

    Their heat tolerance in also on par, and that doesn't seem right either. I'd also like to know at what temps does each breed get to hot.

    I'm also interested in which breed is more athletic (run speeds, jump distances/heights, agility, etc).

    I just moved to the country and there are a lot of wild animals around here and a few 'sketchy' people. So, I want a dog that can defend if it is ever needed. Both breeds are obviously great at this but I've read Dobermans tend to be more alert to impending danger, confirm/deny?

    Intelligence? Stanley Corens research shows GSD at 3rd smartest and Dobermans at 5th, I'd like to hear some personal observations if anybody has experience with both/either breeds.

    Last of all, I'm not a dog fighter but out of curiosity I'd like to know which breed has a stronger bite per square inch. I watched a video saying the GSD has the second strongest bite next to the Rotty at 238 psi but I've read so many different numbers for both breeds.
    A strong bite could be good in extreme situations (the wolves and coyotes around here seem to be extremely bold) But, it could also be bad if for whatever reason my dog decided to attack someone/another dog. I'm not saying either of these situations would happen but like I said, it's out of curiosity.

    I may think of more questions :p and I know it's a lot of specific questions lol, but thanks for any replies.
     
  2. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    I'd take a GSD over a dobe for extreme temperatures. In really hot temps the only thing that is going to be a danger for either dog is if you push them physically in the heat. For the cold, GSD.

    as for brains? Good dogs of both breeds are smarter than the average owner.

    Athletic? I'd take a working line GSD, but dobes can be agile too.

    as for bite strength, that's going to depend on so many thing things with the dog, let alone the breed. But does it really matter? A bite from either is going to hurt like hell.
     
  3. Gguevara

    Gguevara New Member

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    Hey thanks for the reply, I'm talking two dogs in perfect physical condition, but no it doesn't really matter. Like I said, I'm curious =p
     
  4. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    What release the hounds said.

    GSD would be better in the cold, both are smart, GSD's are very atheltic; mine can/jump climb into a dump truck box fairly easily.

    When I speak of GSD's I'm speaking of working lines.

    As for bite force, it's pretty much impossible to measure accurately anyways, even with those little meters National Geographic has. You need to test many different representatives of the breed and dogs bite differently depending on what "drive" they're in, whether they're scared, etc.. Also bite force matters very little in practical applications- for instance, the APBT had a low PSI according to National Geographic, yet the breed was designed for fighting other canines.

    In a typical dog fight the serverity of wounds is determined by how long the dogs holds the grip and how vigorously it shakes its head, not so much a few pounds difference PSI.

    And for the record, while either breed should be able to dispatch a single coyote (and you will likely be taking it to the vet unless you know how to put in stitches), don't expect it to be fighting wolves or coyote packs ;)
     
  5. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    My Dobermans fair pretty good in the cold with a sweater/coat on. When it hits about zero here, I put their coats on to go outside and they're fine. They certainly don't do well when it's -20 C or colder though -- it's very hard to exercise them in temperatures like that, as they can't stay out for long. Just a quick bathroom break and then they're right back inside.

    I don't feel that GSDs are any more intelligent than a Doberman, but they are a bit more trainable/people pleasing. Dobermans are incredibly intelligent dogs, but while they love to work for you, many also need to know what's in it for them. My female Dobe, Keira, was very difficult to train (and still is) because everything has to be all about her all the time she thinks. Ripley (my male), on the other hand, is the easiest dog I've ever had to train. He learns things quicker than any dog I've ever known, and his whole goal in life is to make me happy. He's a dream puppy and I can hardly wait to see how he matures as an adult.

    As far as athleticism, Dobermans are extremely agile, athletic dogs. They're very versatile and do well in pretty much any task asked of them. Many are wonderful obedience dogs, they can make excellent Agility dogs, etc. They do need quite a bit of exercise. Mine need at least a couple of hours a day of physical exercise, and when Keira gets to the park, she does nothing but run the entire time. I have to slow her down and make her rest, otherwise she won't.

    My Dobes adore close friends and family, but are pretty reserved around strangers. Very friendly still, but they don't want to be best friends with everyone they meet. I don't think it matters which breed has a stronger bite -- I wouldn't want my dog to ever bite anybody. They're presence alone is enough to keep all sorts of people away anyway, in my experience. Socializing a Doberman is very hard as the majority of people in the world are afraid of the breed thanks to the media.
     
  6. babymomma

    babymomma Remembering Casey ♥

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    I would have to say GSD.

    They are SOOO smart and even more eager to please! My dog kacee is a GSDxLAb and at 10 years old she scaled a fence today and caught a rabbit. Her body is JUST like a GSDs, Same shape and form.

    Lots of Intruders are scared away from GSD's because they are known as "Cop dogs" lol.. And they are very protective of the family..

    Last year, Kacee chased away a Coyote that was getting rediculously close to me. I thought I was going to loose her because I figured a Coyote would turn on her and kill her. Thinking back Im pretty sure she could have took him if he/she had turned on her.

    Kacee is also protective of My yorkie. Kacee LOVES everybody and everything, but she has that "on switch" when she feels either of us are threatened. Today A JRT came after my yorkie and even though she is friendly with everybody and all dogs, She warned the JRT to back the h*ll up..lol..

    I cant wait to get my PB GSD.

    Good luck on your search. Kacee does fine in the cold, she lives outside all year round and does fine in the snow and low temps.
     
  7. Gguevara

    Gguevara New Member

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    Hello everyone thanks for all the quick replies and I have to say I like the pics of all your dogs.

    Xandra - wow I figured a GSD would be very athletic since they were bred to herd all day but a dump truck? That really is impressive.
    I was planning on getting a GSD (if that ends up my choice) from a breeder with german working lines so that's good to know.
    Dogs bite differently depending on their drive and that PSI doesn't matter - drive part obvious when you think about it but I hadn't (lol) two more things that are good to know.
    I wasn't really wondering which dog could cause more damage (although after reading my post I see how I kind of implied it) but, just curious about the bite PSI for the sake of knowing random facts =p. You know when you just want to know the answer to something regardless of it being important or not?
    Of course I would take my dog to the vet if he ran into a serious fight! I don't plan on pitting my dogs against packs of wolves/coyotes or single ones for that matter, I was just giving an example of one of the reasons other then curiosity to why I was asking the question because asking about bite strength seems to get people riled up (although now I know in that particular situation it wouldn't matter as much). Nice pic btw!

    Toller_08 - A Duck Toller or Border Collie were actually my first choices, have to say Dance looks just like the one in my magazine. Glad you told me that under 20 is when it's too much for your Dobies. It's almost always under 20 here in the winter so that wouldn't be good for a Doberman.
    I've read that Dobermans always want to know why they're being asked to do something, seems like your Keira fits that description haha. I hope Ripley the best while he's growing up, how old is he?
    Sounds like Keira is really a handful lol, a wonderful Dobie nonetheless.
    I wouldn't want my dog to ever bite anyone or anything either, trust me I was just wondering. As for people being so afraid of Dobermans it makes it hard to socialize them - **** the media!

    Babymomma - I keep hearing GSDs can really jump lol, poor rabbit though.
    Good thing the coyote didn't attack, even if she could have taken it, close call! Kacee sounds like a good mix of GSD and Lab, friendly but can sense danger and isn't threatened by it. How cold does it get there? I bet you have a well built dog house for her, good luck on finding a good breader for your new GSD.

    Looks like it's going to be GSD, I wouldn't want to have a poor Dobie in such a cold place if they don't like it. I came up with more questions =o. Do the animal planet breed profiles seem right to you? Many of what I hear from owners and other sites don't exactly match their profile. Aaand, would anybody be able to list the exact differences between American and German lines for GSDs. I've read things that contradict each other =/. I love the rich red shepherds and those ones seem to be from German lines, here's a picture http://pics.hoobly.com/full/AGA4DPNOXP8YHTFLVF.jpg.
     
  8. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    just fyi, that is not a picture of a german working line shepherd
     
  9. AGonzalez

    AGonzalez Not a lurker

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    I think what you'll find with GSD's is more of a showline vs working line as far as difference in appearance, etc.
    Most American working lines are bred on German lines anyway, and people do a lot of importing of the German working line dogs.
    The differences in American showlines and German showlines are in body structure...I think you tend to see more roach-backed dogs in the west german showlines. The working line dogs are more square, coarse, and larger boned IMO.

    Honestly, if you're getting a working-line GSD from a reputable breeder, you won't see much difference between a DDR (east German) import and their stock...showlines is a whole 'nother can of worms though.

    the picture you posted looks like a west german showline dog...but to quote Cpt. Max Von Stephanitz - "No good dog is a BAD color."
    I'm not sure how up you are on good breeders, but anyone breeding for color only of a working line dog is breeding for the wrong reason. You're more likely to see a lot of rich colors like the red and sables in working-lines I've noticed though.
     
  10. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Sounds like you got your answers already, but just one bit of information FYI about dog coats.

    GSDs have a double coat - coarse uppercoat and cottony undercoat. The undercoat is mainly insulation. That's what keeps them warm in the winter. Much of the undercoat will shed in the spring (and the fall), leaving the uppercoat in the summer. The uppercoat keeps him cooler, protects him from the sun, kind of like us wearing a hat.

    Dobes, though, have [debatably] no undercoat.... at the very least much less undercoat than a GSD. That's what makes them tolerate cold less than GSDs, but they tolerate heat about the same.
     
  11. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    It's very cold in the winter here as well (I live in Alberta). In fact, it's not uncommon for most of our winter to be between 30 and 40 below. I wouldn't let that deter you from having a Doberman if you're that interested in them, as IMO, not many dogs tolerate weather that cold very well. It's too cold even for Dance past -10 or so if I have her out for longer than a half hour. It is certainly hard to exercise a Doberman in such severe weather, but mental exercise works pretty well to keep them occupied. Haha, yes, Keira definitley fits that description. But honestly, eventhough training her is a challenge, she's not really a handful. She's super sweet and easy to live with. I find male Dobes to be easier to train and get along with than females in general though. I've had 4 Dobermans of my own (well, one was a foster), and am around many more constantly (at least 20) and the general consensus is that everyone adores their boys and can't say enough good things about them. Personally, I was never really a fan of male dogs to live with before getting involved with Dobermans, and now I hope to always have a Doberboy with me. Ripley's just 5 months old, and will hit a naughty teenage stage in a few months, but after that stage is done and over with he'll be good again. They're an amazing breed -- as much as I adore Tollers, they don't compare to Dobes really. I've never been around a breed so irrevocably devoted to their owners. They're so intune and attached to their people.

    I forgot to add previously that a good Doberman breeder is hard to find. I know that there are a couple in Ontario, but I don't recall the names of them at the moment (I can find out for you if you're interested though). In any case, make certain that whatever breeder you choose health tests. You need to make sure that the dogs were tested for cardio, hips (OFA), eyes (CERF), VwD, and thyroid. And keep in mind that a puppy may not be ready for you by December, but going through the waiting period for a puppy from a reputable breeder is well worth it. DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy) is a health problem that plagues the breed, and no line is completely free of it. Some "breeders" will try to tell you otherwise -- don't believe them. Even with that, I find Dobermans to be a pretty healthy breed. And, if I'm ever unfortunate enough to have my dog die young of DCM, I'd rather have had 6 wonderful years with a Doberman than 10 or more years with most any other breed.

    I'm not sure if you're picky about colour or not, but be aware that Dobermans come in four colours; Red, Black, Blue, and Fawn. Blue is the dilute of Black, and Fawn is the dilute of Red. The dilutes have a major chance of developing colour dilution alopecia, and need a lot of special coat care and supplements. Personally, I think the dilutes can be very pretty, but I wouldn't seek one out.
     
  12. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Eventually I think I want either a dobe or another GSD. I can't decide which (I had included a rottie at first because I loved my relatives but I think dobes and GSDs are more my speed). GSD would be better with the cold for sure. GSDs have a lot of variation. There's more than just Am showline and German working line. The dog you posted looks like a German showline to me.

    My GSDx (He was supposed to be pure but obviously wasn't) was the best dog you could ever ask for. He was amazing in every way... except physically. He had pretty bad HD but still lived a long, full life despite it. Both breeds are very plagued with health problems.

    There are many people with a lot more GSD experience than I have though so I'll let them talk.
     
  13. Gguevara

    Gguevara New Member

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    So many replies!

    release the hounds -
    The picture I linked is from a German show line, I was merely saying it was my fav color, that it's usually from german lines and showing an example.

    ACampbell0304 - Thanks for the info ACampbell, I am aware of what to avoid when choosing a breeder, thanks for looking out haha. I was wondering about the roach-back so thank you again for that bit. Why does DDR mean west German, to me that's dance dance revolution lol.

    lizzybeth727 - Another thing I didn't know, that they lost most of their undercoat when it's hot. Ty ty.

    Toller_08 - Forgot most boards censor d amn. Hey again, I see how you make it with the cold and I could probably do the same. Thing is I enjoy to spend lots of time outside exercising , I don't have a treadmill or anything either. So staying inside - despite being with my Dobie - would get pretty boring. I could get a treadmill though and a thick dog coat lol. Hopefully Ripley doesn't get too naughty hahaa.
    About breeders, I have this magazine with a huge list of breeders in Ontario for many breeds. After I pick a breed, my plan is to go through the list starting with the closest ones and find the best that's closet. The magazine also has an extensive list of what and what not to look for in a good breeding including shots and hips/eyes etc. I didn't know that no line is completely free of DCM so that's a big surprise to me =(. I said Dec because I'll have xmas holidays and will be able to be on full time puppy watch for the first couple of weeks to get the puppy acostumed to my place, so it would be the ideal time but, waiting wouldn't be an issue for me. Thanks for the reply, forgot to ask can Dobies jump?

    Laurelin - Cute pics, looks like you can't decide either haha. Yeah, I know there's so many variations of GSDs and, it's sad to hear about your GSD at least you took good care of him though.

    I think I have all the info I need about Dobermans thanks to Toller_08.
    Last few questions (I think lol) Does anybody know the general temperament differences between a male and female GSD?
    Are German lines (working or show) more expensive then American ones? I keep seeing them for $1500-2000 =O. Ty in advance.
     
  14. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    DDR is an abbreviation for the German term for former East Germany, a communist state. DDR and Czech (from former Czechoslovakia, another communist country) and the two primary bloodlines of working German Shepherd. For the most part, neither Czechoslovakia nor the DDR had the time or money to blow on pretty show dogs; GSD's that they kept either lived to work or didn't live. Kennels were primarily (or completely?) government owned, including the famous border patrol kennels, for keeping people from escaping lol ;)

    Prices vary; remember that German showline breeders usually import some or all of their breeding dogs (besides what they produce I mean).

    Do you know what bloodline you are after? Do you just want a pet or do you want a working dog, what are you looking for temp-wise, do you want a hardcore, drivey dog or something more average?
     
  15. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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  16. AGonzalez

    AGonzalez Not a lurker

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    DDR - shortened term for:
    Deutsche Demokratische Republik (former East Germany)

    By the way, I hope you like major shedding...my GSD is blowing her undercoat right now in big globs...I used a furminator and it looks like it snowed gray all over my yard.
     
  17. Jynx

    Jynx New Member

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    this is Masi, my 17mth old czech/ddr girl
    [​IMG]


    I"m partial to those gsd's, simply because I've had them since I was a small child:))
    They are definately a versatile breed some easier to live with than others.

    I personally, wouldn't get a gsd to stand up to wildlife like coyotes /wolves only because I wouldn't put mine into that type of situation. Most do NOT instinctually protect , as with most dogs, they are into self preservation, so don't think any gsd you get will just go ahead and protect family/livestock..

    Not only do you need to get a puppy with an excellent background in stable temperament, they need constant socialization and good training to bring out the best in them :))

    If you also plan on keeping your dog outside (as in they don't live in the house) I do not recommend a gsd, while they can probably tolerate your weather, they really aren't a dog who does well isolated from it's family nor left outside in extreme weather..

    Good luck in your search
     
  18. DanL

    DanL Active Member

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    I've read that Dobes don't handle the heat very well compared to the GSD. There was a story about the military trying to use Dobes in the south pacific- thinking their thinner coats would work better in the heat. They found that the double coat of the GSD helped keep them cooler in the heat as well as warmer in the cold. I know from my own experience that our Dane, who has a coat similar to that of a Dobe, is not as tolerant of heat as our GSD is.

    I think a good dog from either breed is going to make you happy, they are both easy to train and want to please.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Gguevara

    Gguevara New Member

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    I just found this site that pretty much shows every GSD line ever bred lol - Breed Types & Related Families

    Xandra - Oh I see.
    I'm looking for a pet, but I do plan on spending lots of time exercising with him and training for a dog sport. A strong but sound and stable temperament would be best. I'd like to see him have a strong drive but with an 'on/off button' and not hardcore per se.
    After looking at that site I linked, I'd have to say I'm in between German working or show lines.
    I just read that the term roach back is only used when the topline of the arch is higher then the withers and that the German dogs have the slight curve to keep the hips tighter to the body. Which gives them a more solid bone and hip structure and helps prevent HP.

    ACampbell0304 - Ah, okay thanks.
    I don't mind shedding lol, I actually like brushing dogs too o_O

    Jynx - Hi nice pic of your Masi!
    I do plan to spend lots of time training the dog at all ages and, I won't be keeping him outside. Maybe during some really nice days but I'd just be out there with him haha. Thanks for the advice.

    Danl - Looks like your GSD is having fun in that picture!
    Interesting story, it does look like a GSD would be better for where I live. Thanks for the help.

    Does anyone know the general temperament differences between a male and female GSD?
     
  20. Jynx

    Jynx New Member

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    In my experience,,I have found the males to be so much easier going, more velcroey, kinda doofy, my two girls, are live wires,,they are more independent, however, I think they were faster learners, faster to mature. WHile velcroey, they were/are don't necessarily have to hang all over you, as long as they know where you are,,where my boys were always dogs that had to be rightthere,,,hard to explain,,I love both genders of gsd
     

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