How to Stop a Doberman's Neurotic Behaviors

A Doberman is often very affectionate toward its owner, but wary of outsiders.
A Doberman is often very affectionate toward its owner, but wary of outsiders. (Image: Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images)

The Doberman pinscher is a breed of dog that was developed in Germany in the mid-to-late 1800s. They're intelligent and courageous dogs and possess a strong guarding instinct, which has led to their frequent employment by police and security firms. A Doberman is highly trainable and fiercely loyal to its master. A Doberman does, however, require firm control to prevent its protective nature from giving rise to neurotic tendencies.

Take your Doberman for a brisk walk every day. Dobermans are large dogs that demand plenty of physical exercise, so a regular run in an expansive area is also necessary to vent their natural energy. Without exercise and the essential companionship that goes with it, a Doberman is likely to become restless, which can lead to stress.

Allow your Doberman plenty of mental stimulation. They're "thinking" dogs and enjoy even simple exercises like chasing a ball. As renowned guard dogs, Dobermans excel when it comes to advanced obedience training, tests of agility and tracking. If you deprive your Doberman of challenging activity, you're increasing the prospect of anxiety and behavioral issues.

Socialize your Doberman from a young age. This is critically important. While being very friendly with its owner(s), a Doberman is naturally suspicious of newcomers, which can manifest itself in aggressive reactions, including biting. Therefore, it's best that it learns what normal behavior around strangers is from a young age, before it's fully grown and more capable of causing harm. Once it identifies normal behavior, it becomes more adept at recognizing abnormal behavior, which is where its guarding skills can be put to full use.

Try to maintain a calm, quiet atmosphere at home. Dobermans can become high strung if the people around them are tense or hostile. An owner who dishes out rough treatment to her dog is likely to receive a defensive, possibly aggressive reaction, whereas another breed may cower in deference to its master. The sharp, unexpected movements and loud noise associated with children may also elicit neurotic behavior. Family problems in the home have led to Dobermans becoming physically sick.

Tips & Warnings

  • Dobermans require an exceptionally experienced dog handler who is fully aware of their specific needs and knows how to encourage their many positive traits.

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