The Doberman Portuguese Water Dog Mix, affectionately known as the “Doberwater,” is a captivating crossbreed that combines the impressive qualities of the Doberman Pinscher and the Portuguese Water Dog. This unique canine blend inherits the intelligence, loyalty, and protective instincts of the Doberman, along with the water-loving prowess and friendly disposition of the Portuguese Water Dog. In this exploration, we delve into the origins, physical attributes, temperament, health considerations, and care requirements that define this extraordinary crossbreed.

Breed Group:Mix:
Height:20-28 inches
Weight:50-90 pounds
Lifespan:10-14 years
Suitable for:Active families with space
Temperament:Loyal, intelligent, protective
Energy Level:High, needs exercise and mental stimulation.

Unfortunately, top kennel clubs like the American Kennel Club (AKC), Continental Kennel Club (CKC), and United Kennel Club (UKC) do not recognize The Doberman Portuguese Water Dog Mix, because they are a mixed breed.

History of Crossbreeding:

The crossbreeding between Dobermans and Portuguese Water Dogs, resulting in the intriguing Doberman Portuguese Water Dog Mix, is a relatively recent development. This mix is often referred to as the “Doberwater.” To understand its origins and the motivations behind this crossbreeding, we must delve into the unique traits of both parent breeds.

Origins: The Doberman Pinscher, known for its loyalty, intelligence, and protective instincts, was initially bred in Germany during the late 19th century. On the other hand, the Portuguese Water Dog, famous for its swimming prowess and work alongside fishermen, has a long history in Portugal. The Doberman Portuguese Water Dog Mix is believed to have emerged from the desire to create a versatile working dog with a blend of these two distinct skill sets.

Reasons for Crossbreeding:

  • Temperament: Dobermans are renowned for their loyalty and protective instincts, making them excellent guard dogs and companions. Portuguese Water Dogs are known for their friendly and outgoing nature, as well as their love for water-related tasks. By crossbreeding the two, breeders aimed to combine the protective traits of the Doberman with the friendly disposition and water-loving qualities of the Portuguese Water Dog.
  • Working Abilities: Portuguese Water Dogs have a strong work ethic and excel in water-related tasks, such as retrieving items from the water and assisting fishermen. Combining this work drive with the Doberman’s intelligence and trainability was seen as an opportunity to create a versatile working dog that could adapt to a variety of tasks and environments.
  • Size Considerations: The size of the resulting mix can vary, but it often falls between the Doberman’s medium to large stature and the Portuguese Water Dog’s medium size. This intermediate size range makes the Doberwater suitable for various living environments, including homes with limited space.

In essence, the deliberate crossbreeding of Dobermans and Portuguese Water Dogs aimed to create a dog that could excel both as a loyal family companion and as a versatile working dog, with the potential to perform various tasks.

Physical Characteristics:

The Doberman Portuguese Water Dog Mix, or Doberwater, exhibits a distinctive physical appearance, reflecting its unique combination of parent breeds.

Size: Doberwaters generally fall within the medium to large size range, with variations depending on the individual dog’s genetics. They typically stand around 21 to 27 inches (53 to 68 cm) tall at the shoulder and weigh between 50 to 80 pounds (23 to 36 kg).

Coat Color and Texture: The coat color of a Doberwater can vary widely, drawing from the Doberman’s color range, which includes black, red, blue, and fawn, as well as the Portuguese Water Dog’s coat colors such as black, brown, and white. This mix often results in a combination of colors, which can be solid or have markings. The coat itself may be of medium length and may have a wavy or curly texture, reminiscent of the Portuguese Water Dog’s coat.

Unique Features:

  • Ears: Doberwaters may have ears that stand erect or flop over, depending on their genetic inheritance from the Doberman or Portuguese Water Dog parent.
  • Tail: Their tail can be straight or slightly curved, influenced by their genetic lineage.
  • Build: Doberwaters often have a muscular and well-proportioned build, with a sleek appearance similar to the Doberman.

Images of Doberwaters can provide a visual representation of their unique appearance, showcasing their blend of characteristics from the Doberman and Portuguese Water Dog.

Temperament and Personality:

The Doberman Portuguese Water Dog Mix, or Doberwater, possesses a blend of temperament and personality traits inherited from both its parent breeds. Understanding these characteristics is crucial for potential owners. Here’s an exploration of their typical traits:

Intelligence: Doberwaters are highly intelligent dogs, drawing their smarts from both the Doberman and the Portuguese Water Dog. This intelligence makes them quick learners, problem solvers, and adaptable to various tasks and environments.

Loyalty: Similar to their Doberman parent, Doberwaters are known for their loyalty and devotion to their families. They form strong bonds with their owners and are protective when needed.

Friendly and Social: Doberwaters often inherit the friendly and social nature of the Portuguese Water Dog. They tend to be outgoing and enjoy interacting with people and other dogs. This social disposition makes them great family pets.

Energetic: Both parent breeds are known for their energy and work ethic. Doberwaters have a high level of energy and require regular exercise to stay happy and healthy.

Water Enthusiasts: Taking after the Portuguese Water Dog, many Doberwaters have a love for water. They may enjoy swimming and playing in the water, making them suitable for families with access to water bodies.

Potential Behavioral Traits: While Doberwaters typically have a well-rounded and friendly temperament, it’s essential to be aware of potential behavioral traits that can arise from their parent breeds. For example, their protective instincts inherited from the Doberman side may lead to guarding behavior, which can be managed through early socialization and training. Additionally, their Portuguese Water Dog ancestry may result in a strong desire to work or perform tasks, so mental stimulation through puzzle toys and activities is essential.

In summary, Doberwaters are intelligent, loyal, friendly, and energetic dogs that make excellent companions for families and individuals alike. Their unique blend of traits from both parent breeds creates a well-rounded and adaptable canine personality.

Exercise and Training Needs:

Meeting the exercise and training needs of a Doberman Portuguese Water Dog Mix (Doberwater) is vital for their well-being and behavior. Here are considerations for keeping them physically and mentally stimulated:

Exercise Requirements: Doberwaters have a high energy level, thanks to their parent breeds’ working backgrounds. Daily exercise is essential to keep them physically and mentally satisfied. Activities may include:

  • Regular Walks: Daily walks are a must to meet their exercise needs and provide mental stimulation.
  • Playtime: Engage in interactive play sessions, such as fetch, tug-of-war, or agility exercises.
  • Swimming: If your Doberwater enjoys water, consider providing opportunities for swimming, which is not only fun but also excellent exercise.
  • Mental Stimulation: Offer puzzle toys, obedience training sessions, and brain games to keep their minds active.

Training: Doberwaters are intelligent and eager to please, making them highly trainable. Consider the following training tips:

  • Positive Reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise to motivate them during training sessions.
  • Consistency: Be consistent with commands and expectations to avoid confusion.
  • Socialization: Start socializing your Doberwater from a young age to ensure they are well-adjusted around other dogs and people.
  • Basic Commands: Teach basic obedience commands like sit, stay, and come, which are essential for their safety and well-being.

Training Challenges: Doberwaters may have a strong protective instinct inherited from the Doberman parent, which can lead to territorial behavior. Early socialization is crucial to prevent any potential aggression or guarding tendencies. Additionally, their desire to work and perform tasks may require outlets for mental stimulation to prevent boredom-related behaviors.

Health Considerations:

The Doberman Portuguese Water Dog Mix, or Doberwater, may be prone to certain health issues due to its parent breeds. It’s essential for owners to be aware of these potential concerns and take preventive measures to ensure their dog’s well-being. Here are some common health issues and recommended actions:

 Hip Dysplasia:

  • Both Dobermans and Portuguese Water Dogs can be prone to hip dysplasia, a condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly. It can lead to pain and mobility issues.
  • Preventive Measures: Regular exercise to maintain muscle tone and weight management can help reduce the risk. Breeders should screen for hip dysplasia in parent dogs.

 Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM):

  • Dobermans are known for their susceptibility to DCM, a heart condition that can lead to heart failure.
  • Preventive Measures: Regular cardiac screenings are important, and dietary recommendations should be followed to support heart health.

 Bloat (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus):

  • Both Dobermans and large breeds, like the Portuguese Water Dog, are prone to bloat, a life-threatening condition where the stomach twists on itself.
  • Preventive Measures: Feeding smaller, frequent meals, avoiding vigorous exercise immediately after eating, and monitoring for symptoms of bloat are important.

 Von Willebrand’s Disease:

  • Dobermans are prone to Von Willebrand’s disease, a bleeding disorder due to a deficiency in clotting protein.
  • Preventive Measures: Regular blood tests and clotting factor checks can help diagnose and manage this condition. Responsible breeders screen for Von Willebrand’s disease.

 Eye Issues:

  • Portuguese Water Dogs are known to be susceptible to certain eye conditions like progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and cataracts.
  • Preventive Measures: Regular eye examinations by a veterinarian can help detect and manage these conditions.


  • Both parent breeds can be prone to hypothyroidism, which can lead to weight gain, lethargy, and skin issues.
  • Preventive Measures: Routine thyroid function tests can help detect and manage this condition.

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for monitoring your Doberwater’s health and addressing any potential health issues promptly. Responsible breeders should provide health clearances for parent dogs.

Grooming and Maintenance:

Maintaining the grooming needs of a Doberman Portuguese Water Dog Mix (Doberwater) is crucial to their overall health and well-being. Here are considerations for grooming and maintenance:

Coat Care:

  • Doberwaters may have varying coat types, including short and sleek like the Doberman or wavy and curly like the Portuguese Water Dog. The grooming requirements can differ accordingly.


  • If your Doberwater has a short coat, occasional brushing to remove loose hair and dirt should suffice. Use a bristle brush or grooming mitt.
  • For Doberwaters with wavy or curly coats, regular brushing (at least weekly) is essential to prevent matting and tangling. Use a slicker brush or a pin brush.


  • Bathe your Doberwater as needed, usually every two to three months for dogs with short coats and more frequently for those with longer, curly coats. Use a mild dog shampoo.

Ear Cleaning:

  • Check and clean their ears regularly to prevent wax buildup and potential infections. Use a dog-specific ear cleaner and a cotton ball.

Nail Trimming:

  • Trim their nails every few weeks to prevent overgrowth, which can lead to discomfort and difficulty walking.

Teeth Care:

  • Brush their teeth regularly to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent dental issues. Use a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste.

Professional Grooming:

  • Some Doberwaters may require professional grooming, especially if they have a curly coat. Trimming and shaping may be necessary.

Grooming routines should be tailored to your Doberwater’s specific coat type and needs. Regular grooming not only keeps them looking their best but also promotes their overall health and comfort.

Living Arrangements:

The suitability of a Doberman Portuguese Water Dog Mix (Doberwater) for different living environments depends on various factors, including their size, exercise needs, and temperament. Here’s an overview of their adaptability to different living situations:

Apartments: Doberwaters can adapt to apartment living, provided they receive adequate exercise and mental stimulation. While they are often medium to large in size, their versatility and adaptability make them suitable for apartment life as long as their exercise needs are met. Regular walks, playtime, and mental stimulation are essential to keep them content in smaller living spaces.

Houses with Yards: Having a yard can be a significant advantage for Doberwaters, as it provides them with more space to roam and play. However, it’s essential to note that they don’t require an extensive yard, as their exercise needs can be met with regular outdoor activities. A securely fenced yard is ideal for letting them run and play safely.

Exercise Needs: Regardless of the living environment, Doberwaters have high exercise requirements. Daily exercise is crucial to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Activities may include:

  • Daily Walks: Regular walks are essential to meet their exercise needs and provide mental stimulation.
  • Playtime: Engaging in interactive play sessions, such as fetch, frisbee, or agility exercises, helps burn off energy.
  • Swimming: If your Doberwater enjoys water, providing opportunities for swimming is an excellent way to keep them active and happy.
  • Mental Stimulation: Puzzle toys, obedience training, and interactive games can keep their minds sharp.

In summary, Doberwaters can adapt to different living environments, including apartments and houses with yards, as long as their exercise and mental stimulation needs are met. They are versatile dogs that thrive with an active lifestyle.

Feeding and Diet:

Feeding your Doberman Portuguese Water Dog Mix (Doberwater) a balanced diet is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Consider the following recommendations when determining their diet:

 Size and Activity Level:

  • Doberwaters can vary in size, and their activity level may differ based on individual characteristics. Select a dog food appropriate for their size, age, and activity level.

 High-Quality Dog Food:

  • Opt for high-quality commercial dog food formulated for medium to large breeds. Look for options with real meat as the primary ingredient and avoid foods with excessive fillers.

 Portion Control:

  • Be mindful of portion sizes to prevent overfeeding, especially if your Doberwater has a smaller build. Follow the feeding guidelines on the dog food packaging, but adjust as needed based on their activity level and age.

 Avoid Table Scraps:

  • Refrain from feeding them table scraps or human food, as it can lead to digestive issues and obesity.

 Fresh Water:

  • Provide access to fresh water at all times to keep them properly hydrated.

 Dietary Restrictions or Preferences:

  • If your Doberwater has specific dietary restrictions or allergies, work with your veterinarian to select an appropriate diet that meets their needs.

 Regular Feeding Schedule:

  • Establish a consistent feeding schedule to help regulate their digestion. This typically includes feeding them two meals a day.


  • Use treats in moderation for training and rewards, choosing low-calorie, healthy options to avoid excessive calorie intake.

These are other Doberman mix Breeds: 

The Doberman Newfoundland Mix

The Doberman Greyhound Mix

The Doberman Pug Mix

The Doberman Jack Russell Terrier Mix


Setare Afshar is a seasoned veterinarian and an accomplished writer with a passion for dogs. With over five years of dedicated experience in the field, she has become a trusted expert in dog breeds, behavior, and dietary needs. Setare's journey began with a profound love for animals, which led her to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine.

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