The Doberman Pitbull mix, also known as Dober Pit or Pit Pinscher, is the result of cross-breeding a Doberman Pinscher with an American Pitbull. Both these breeds have a bad reputation for aggressive behavior and often receive bad press, but they are intelligent, loyal and loving. This mixed breed has the potential to make a great companion, but requires a knowledgeable and experienced owner to provide excellent training. You’ll need an appropriate living space with a secure backyard and the time to exercise this energetic dog. Since many Dobermans and Pitbull experience separation anxiety, their pups thrive best in households where someone is home for most of the day. Although the Doberman Pitbull mix is good with children, he may not get along with other pets due to the Pitbull’s fighting roots.
We can learn more about this working dog blend by looking at the history of his parents.
The Doberman Pinscher was developed by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann in Apolda in Germany during the late 1800s. Dobermann, a tax collector, wanted to produce a dog with an intimidating appearance, aggressive enough to protect him in dangerous neighborhoods.
Many believe that the Doberman developed was from shorthaired shepherd dogs, black and tan terriers, Rottweilers, German Pinschers, Greyhounds and Weimaraners. The Doberman worked in both World Wars, searching for and rescuing wounded soldiers and detecting enemy locations.
The Pitbull was developed from Old English Bulldogs, and used for bull baiting. Aggression was bred into these dogs, but coupled with it was an unwillingness to bite people. Immigrants to the USA brought these Pitbulls with them. They were used for working on farms, protecting property, and as companion dogs.
Pitbulls represented US forces on posters during World War I and served in the field with the military.
What Does the Doberman Pitbull Mix Look Like?
This muscular, strong hybrid has a medium build and weighs around 90lbs in adulthood. They often have a large wedge-shaped head with slight wrinkles, floppy ears and a tapered tail.
They have short coats, that can have the tan and black markings of the Doberman but might also show flashes of red, blue, fawn or even white.
Both breeds shed moderately all year round and require little grooming. Brush their coats once or twice a week to remove loose hair. A Doberman and Pitbull mix breed will have the same grooming requirements.
Inherited Temperament Traits
Your puppy is likely to form a very tight bond with you and your family. Early socialization can help to prevent this turning into overprotectiveness, but it’s not guaranteed. They will bark to alert you to visitors, and might be wary of strangers in the home.
Separation anxiety has the potential to rear it’s head, and this breed does best when with their main handler for most of the day. If you work from home or are able to bring your dog with you during the day, then no worries. However, if you are planning to leave them for longer periods of time they are likely to be loud and potentially destructive.
This is a mix with a fair share of bad press on both sides of the family, but positive reinforcement training and calm handling will go a long way helping them fit in.
How Will Your Doberman Pitbull Mix Turn Out?
Your Doberman Pitbull mix may inherit any of the personality traits mentioned from the parent breeds. This uncertainty is exciting for many crossbreed owners, but you need to be confident you can handle any outcome.
Since both breeds are at risk of separation anxiety, their puppies need a knowledgeable and experienced handler.
For generations, both breeds were taught to respond to some situations aggressively. They will need lots of socialization and positive reinforcement to grow up calm and confident, so they don’t resort to aggression again.
Exercise and Training Requirements
As working dogs, both the Doberman and Pitbull have high energy levels. A Doberman and Pitbull mix puppy will have the same exercise requirements her parents.
This means at least two walks per day and access to a secure backyard where she can run loose and play games like fetch. The best way to prevent a bored dog taking their frustration out on the furniture is by burning up their energy.
A Doberman Pitbull mix dog likes lots of doggy jobs to do to channel that focus and feel purposeful. If you can find dog classes near you specially tailored to working breeds, that’s a great place to start!
Finally, some people are still of the mistaken impression that dogs historically bred for aggression need to be “dominated” by their owner to keep them in line. This is categorically not the case. Dominance theory has been widely and conclusively discredited.
Like all dogs, your Doberman Pitbull mix will respond best to patience, kindness, and positive reinforcement training.
Doberman and Pitbull Health Issues
The Doberman has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years – fairly average for a dog of their size. However, like all pedigrees, there are some health conditions which affect Dobermans more frequently than the canine population as a whole. Heart and thyroid disease are possibilities, along with hip dysplasia and von Willebrand disease.
The Pitbull’s lifespan is an average of 12 to 14 years. This breed is also generally healthy but prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, thyroid disease and degenerative myelopathy.
It is especially important that both parents of Pitbull Doberman mix puppies have been screened for the diseases they have in common – thyroid disease and hip dysplasia. Tests for both of these should be arranged by the breeder with their vet.
There are also simple tests readily available to identify Dobermans which carry the von Willebrands gene, and Pitbull who carry the degenerative myelopathy gene.
Does Crossbreeding Make Healthier Dogs?
Due to inbreeding practices, many purebreds are now prone to widespread hereditary health issues. Mixed breed dogs are likely to be stronger, healthier, and less likely to inherit genetic disorders, because they draw from a larger gene pool. This is known as hybrid vigor.
We got ours from a pit rescue and he was found as a stray at about 5 months old. We already had a 2 year old German shepherd pit mix. So we get this new pup and introduce them with mesh muzzles out in the street. They got along right away but our pup came with a LOT of resource guarding behaviors with food and toys. He was fully potty trained in 2 days. He now finishes his food and sits by his bowls until our other dog is done eating before going to the other side of the kitchen. I found out I was pregnant a few days after we adopted him and my son is now 7 months old and my scrappy little former resource guarder actually brings toys to our son to try to play and our son at 6 months started trying to give his toys to him right back so he taught our son to share. He LOVES people. Follows us around the house. He did learn a lot from his big brother as well as us and even taught our big boy how to go potty in the rain under the big glass table by the house. He must’ve picked that up as a stray LOL. We foster other pitties now and he helps train them happily(mostly because of getting treats) and our older dog is fine with that because at 4 he’s become kind of a couch potato. We have dig experience and really do our research on breeds. We are the pack leaders and they’re part of the pack. Positive reinforcement as there’s never a reason to harm a dog for training. You want a dog to be obedient out of respect, not fear. Please research, be patient and get a trainer if you need help. Honor dogs and don’t give up on them no matter what. Baby gates help if you need to keep them away from another dog or baby/toddler until you can teach them not to climb on the dogs and be gentle. Take no chances with babies. No matter what. Our boys are the best boys and I’d be lost without them. We love our human and fur babies the same.
We have a Doberman cross pit bull and he is 6 years old . Very muscular and aggressive but works on my command he barks so heavy and loud to scare any intruder .. very protective of our property and will act if he sees you very suspicious otherwise do not enter without any of the family member around or come close to the fence because he will do his job
I have, very beautiful mix of Doberman and Pitbull. He’s fearless, obedient… the best guard dog I ever had.
Mary G Beauchamp says
My son just got a Doberman Pit mix puppy from his friend and we love him more then anything.I had other breeds dogs and to be honest Vinnie my sons Doberman pit mix is the best out of all my other dogs.He is a handful but if you have the patience and time these dogs will be great pets.I will never give up Vinnie he is our world.So if your looking for a great pup get a Doberman Pit .
We just recently got a pit Doberman mix and noticed the front legs bow out to the sides. Almost as if her legs are go long in front. Her leg shakes when she stands on it and as she sits looks as of shoes trying not to put pressure on it. At first it was just one leg, now its both. She walks and runs just fine. Doesnt show any indication of being in pain. Is this normal for this mix of breed? We have a pit already but she’s not a mix.
I have a pitt doberman mix puppy I love him but highly aggressive will bite and he has never been in a bad situation I got him at four weeks. Will attack my other animals and if a unknown person comes to touch my kid he will attack I never taught him this hes been to trying they said he is untrainable its his mind his father was kind same as mother this is not inharited but something in his head do not get one if you can’t handel big strong willed dogs
Dani g says
I just recently got my big ol boy. Long story how it came about. I have been in his life for over a year. I married his former owner. Now we are getting a divorce and I took him. He looks a lot like the first pic. He is red dobie and rednose pit mix. I have a few issues with him. He has separation anxiety amd if there is anything plastic he can chew up, he will. He has also went after big dogs. Now small dogs, he loves them. I do keep him on a lead at all times and have him under my full control. I live in an apartment and he loves it. His former owner had him locked in a bedroom all of the time with 2 other dogs. I think he went crazy. He loves elderly people and they love him. Everybody in my complex loves him and know him by name. He gets so excited to see them. He loves car rides as well. He saved my life not once but twice.
Bobbi Roberts says
We have a dobie/pit mix. She is the kindest most loving dog I have ever had. She is extremely loyal and sweet. Everyone loves her and she loves everyone. No bad habits to note, except she does not like to be left alone for long. She will even sit outside the bathroom waiting for us. She actually looks like the brown dog at the beginning of this article. She does have thyroid disorder and is on meds. She is 5 years old and is more like a person than you can imagine. She was a rescue dog at 8 weeks. She was abandoned in the winter with a litter mate and he had been hit by a car and she was protecting him. She is the most wonderful friend I could ever ask for.
I had a doberman x pit bull boy. I got him from the owner at 12 weeks old fit and healthy. I took him to the park regularly and socialized him with others dogs often. How ever as about the age of 6 months he got into a fight with another older staffy where i noticed he went for the dogs throat to hold and kill. He still got to see his parents and brother and sister though out his time. He had 2 fights with his brother leaving his brother cut up and blood requiring many stitches. My dig was just the better fighter. He still needed minor stitching. He then got more and more agressive towards most other dogs as he reached the 1 year mark. I could never let him off the lead when other dogs were around in fear he would maul them. There were 2 other instances were he got into fights with other dogs were i was bitten breaking up the fights. It all ended one day at about age of 1 and a half were he suddenly went into kill mode when with his brother again. There was no stopping him. He went into kill mode ripping chunks out of the brothers neck and face and ears. I had my hand badly mauled trying to stop him. They both fought for about 10 minutes before i finally got them seperated. His brother had to go to the vet in serious condition and recieve multiple treatments. I had him put down later that day. He was such a sweet and loving dog but i could never trust him around other animals or children. He was my best friend but i had to think of other peoples saftey. The underlying agression was to severe and breed into his bloodeline. I will muss hom dearly.
Jason Baughman says
We have 3 pups ( Scooby, Loki, and precious) they’re 5 months old and are the laziest pups I’ve ever had, except for the shoe chewing and garbage can diving. My entire family loves them and they love us right back.
Hi! You have done a wonderful job explaining this breed. I adopted a rescue (I believe) bull terrier/red doberman mix. This breed seems to split the behaviour down the middle. She is the cuddlist dog I have ever owned (terrier) yet she seems to bond strongly with only one person in the house (doberman). She is no longer good with most other dogs since we bonded however I strongly believe this behavior could have been avoided with strong knowledge and training while in the puppy fearful days. She is an on/off dog there is no in between. She’s either sleeping in her bed or on alert. She has an incredibly high prey drive and hates fetch. As much work as she is (needs strong training/hand) the love she gives is worth it all. As far as grooming she has long nails and some minor ear issues but barely sheds. Health wise she has some underlying problems with her heart which I believe is related to her having heart worm when I adopted her although my vet says this isn’t the case. It has been prevalent until now and she is around 8 years. It took a while to find the right food for her but once we did I have had no other heath issues. Hope this helps further doberman terrier owners!
Lizzie Hughes says
When I was about 10 years old, our family dog was the chunkiest, dimwitted, baby-lover sugar plum you would ever meet. Her name was Mo and she was a pure bread German Doberman. We were visiting with some family out of town when Mo came up missing.. We found her half a day later ‘stuck’ with the neighbors red-nosed Pit. About 2 months later, we were being terrorized by 9 (huge) puppies.
They. Ate. Everything. The walls, the gates, the legs to tables and chairs, ankles, shoes, you name it. They were the sweetest little balls of energy you would ever meet, but did not know how to settle down. We ended up selling and giving away all but two puppies(we ensured they all went to loving families). These two puppies would end up being my very best friends.
Samson and Delilah is what their names ended up as. They were my protectors, running buddies, roller-blade-pulling beasts. They were the biggest babies ever- UNTIL I was by myself. If a man approached me that they did not know, they were out for blood. When we were with my parents, they were kind to anyone and everyone.
Once they were about two-three years old, they started to calm down.. We were able to train and teach them amazingly. They were two of the smartest dogs I have ever met still to this day.
Unfortunately Samson died in 2016 from a stroke. There were no signs or symptoms, nothing. Our family was devastated.
We are ever so grateful to still have Delilah in our lives- She will be turning 12 this October. She has turned into the sassiest, most pampered, anxiety filled, wrinkly faced old lady.. But she still to this day acts like shes a pup(when she’s not napping). We walk/run a minimum of two miles a day and she is still dragging me behind her. Totally clean bill of health from her veterinarian as well. She loves to go into stores and to parks to demand all the pets from anyone walking by.. but has a very very difficult time being left home alone.
I wish that there wasn’t such a stigma about dobermans and pits. It’s about how they are raised, not the breed of dog. I love that in this article, it states that the pits were bread for aggression.. but they would never bite a human. This rings so true. They are the biggest babies you will every meet. I hope everyone enjoys my little input and considers this when thinking about getting a “Dob-It”-like my family always called them.
Shari Kwiatkowski says
I drove to a bad part of Miami to buy a “Labrador Mixed puppy listed on Craig’s List. In the photo of the puppy, he looked like a Black Lab with a white spot on his chest. After I got him to our home, I quickly realized that he was not a BLACK LAB! In my younger years, I adopted a Stray Dobie that came to my 3 year old daughter in the woods and became her guardian for life, The moment that I watched my supposed “BLACK LAB” puppy move and run, I knew he was a Doberman. I had a DNA test done and found that his main lineage was Doberman on paternal lines with Pitbull on maternal lines. Oops, A Rooster in the hen house? Whatever, he is an Awesome Dog! He is a Doberman and Pitbull mix, yet, I never in all my Old age years, have found a more sweeter and obedient dog. As an older female (over 60), he is easy to train and handle, despite his massive size, and I always feel safe when he is by my side. He is my Baby Puppy…and sadly, he has a sissy bark, because when he was a puppy, we took in my Dead Mother’s Pomeranian that taught him about life. My Dobie/Pitbull loved and respected that 12 pound Pomeranian. Go figure?
In August of 2019 we thought we were adopting aN uncropped 4 month old female blue Doberman puppy from the rescue Doberman Underground. When the volunteer brought her to our home I immediately noticed the white patches on her chest and neck along with the brindle coloring where it should’ve been tan. The size of her paws and shape of her head seemed slightly different too. We were already experienced Doberman owners and I asked the volunteer if they were sure she was all Doberman and she stated yes. As Jyn which is what we named her grew we became more sure she was not full Doberman and suspected she had pit terrier in her. We did a DNA test through Wisdom Panel and confirmed our suspicion. Jyn is a perfect 50/50 split of Doberman & American Staffordshire Terrier. She has the body shape and chest of a Dobie but head of a pit. She got along very well with our senior male Doberman and senior male min-pin (both who recently passed)as well as with our senior female cat. We recently adopted a male 10 week old Rottweiler mix (waiting on his DNA results). Jyn loves him to death and they have completely bonded. Jyn is amazing and a beloved family member. I did spend a lot of time training her as a puppy which is key with any breed.
I have brother and sister puppies. They are great with my daughter who is 2. They are working on house training. I worked with K9’s in the IDF and these are 2 of the best puppies I have had. Love them!
I have a 4 month old puppy and she listens real well already and is basically potty trained already. All she ever wants to do is play and be given love. She does have severe seperation anxiety and thats a big hassle. But im sure she will grow out of it.
Jason Baughman says
Not likely she will never leave your hip
Our first dog was a Doberman Pit Bull and he was the biggest marshmallow – not an ounce of hostility in him, no trace of aggression towards any of the numerous cats we had, the other pup we brought home, or even the Chihuahua that attempted to attack him on one of our walks. He got as tall as his Doberman dad and as broad as his Pit Bull mom and weighed in at 130 at his highest. He was impressive looking and his appearance alone kept people from approaching the house, once they got on they’d see he was sweet and lazy. God I miss that dog!
Do you have any advice my wife and I have one he is almost a year old and have no manors at all he chews on everything and has bad separation anxiety we need help
Our Koda (African for the baby of the family) was a Walmart puppy when we got him at 5 weeks and we were told that he was a pitt chocolate lab. But there are an awful lot of breeds that look like chocolate labs when you only see their butt. I took him one: because my husband passed and I had been wanting a dog since about a year after my lou passed. Two: I could tell he wasn’t the six weeks they were claiming and even though I usually refuse unless the pups are 12 weeks, the people wanted them gone and didn’t care. And finally: I very had and trained dogs for 30 years. I knew whatever he was I could handle it and teach my kids about raising tiny puppies, as they had only been exposed to adult rescues prior. I consider Koda a rescue because I know the odds of even one Walmart puppy surviving to adulthood.
Anyway. Koda definitely has the separation anxiety and the moment I’m home he’s wrapping his arms around me and whining as if I have been gone years. However, my youngest teen is homeschooled and I am confident that Koda will protect her with his life if needed. He loves her and is just as dedicated to her as to me. He is a giant clown who loves throwing his toys around the yard and hiding my shoes.
I haven’t had DNA tests done yet, but will be getting one done by the end of next month. His health is perfect as far as the vet and I can see. He looks like someone put a putt head and muscles onto a greyhound body, but still sleek as the best racehorse. He is liver colored, but in direct sun he has golden brindle stripes. And since he was taken before he was weaned he didn’t get as big as he probably should have, only about 60 pounds. And on his hind legs for kisses I don’t have to bend down for loves.
We really lucked out, but I’ve also put hundreds of hours into training him. Koda fits perfectly with his super intelligence, goofy personality, expressive face, and unconditional love. We got the best of both worlds with my baby boy.
Alisa LaVine says
I just found out through DNA testing that my 10 year old Am Staff mix is actual an Am Staff/Doberman cross. I rescued her from the Humane Society when she was about a year old.
She has always been an extremely loving dog who loves to cuddle. She’s easy to train and responds best to positive reinforcement but also prefers having a reliable and consistent human.
She does have mild separation anxiety. She also doesn’t care much for other dogs. She goes to the dog park and is happy to lope around by herself or with a chosen running mate. Preferably one with a long stride who enjoys running at full speed. But she never actually rolls around with other dogs. Even with her doggie housemate. She will yip at him and wait for him to chase her.
Sleeping completely under the covers is a must! Especially in the winter!
She’s been a wonderful companion!