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Old 09-15-2009, 03:00 PM
Gguevara Gguevara is offline
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Default Trying to decide on a breed (GSD/Dobie)

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 and I know it's a lot of specific questions lol, but thanks for any replies.
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:31 PM
release the hounds release the hounds is offline
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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.
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:01 PM
Gguevara Gguevara is offline
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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
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:10 PM
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Xandra Xandra is offline
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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
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Old 09-15-2009, 05:29 PM
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Toller_08 Toller_08 is offline
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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.
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:07 PM
babymomma babymomma is offline
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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.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:56 PM
Gguevara Gguevara is offline
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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.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:01 PM
release the hounds release the hounds is offline
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just fyi, that is not a picture of a german working line shepherd
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:04 PM
AGonzalez AGonzalez is offline
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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.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:14 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gguevara View Post
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.
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.
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