How to Discipline a Doberman Pinscher

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Dobermans are obedient but also assertive.
Dobermans are obedient but also assertive. (Image: Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images)

The Doberman Pinscher, or simply Dobe, is a breed that was named after Louis Dobermann, who developed it as a guard dog. Dobes are intelligent, loyal, energetic, loving and obedient, but they are also assertive and this makes them overly protective. These innate features make a Dobe’s training a complex learning process in which mutual respect is mandatory. The Doberman’s determined character and assertive personality require a particularly designed training approach. Take advantage of the Dobe’s inborn desire to obey.

Things You'll Need

  • Treats
  • Crate
  • Leash

Start the training process at a young age, preferably at 6 months or earlier. You can also train or correct behavior in adult Dobes, but the process will be more difficult.

Conduct short training sessions and repeat them throughout the day. Repetition is a key factor in training a Doberman. Establish and maintain eye contact; this asserts a position of control over your Dobe. Give commands in a firm tone, and soften your voice when praising your pet.

Train your dog to walk alongside you by combining the command "Easy" with a short pop to the leash whenever it pulls in a different direction. Praise the dog with treats to reinforce positive behavior.

Teach your Dobe basic commands such as "Sit" and "Down" using the same command-reward method. Use treats to lead the dog in the desired position; once there, keep repeating the command until it is allowed to move.

Crate-train your Doberman and improve its indoor behavior. Place plenty of treats and toys in the crate, and encourage your dog to stay inside. If your pet refuses to enter the crate, gently put it inside and close the door. Leave the television on during the early stages of this phase so that the dog does not feel lonely.

Improve your Dobe’s chewing habits by using chew toys that have treats inside.

Allow your dog to socialize with other people and dogs starting from an early age. Socialization reduces a Dobe’s aggressive and overprotective instincts.

Introduce grooming in your Doberman’s life as early as possible, especially if the grooming is not performed by you. Dobes can become aggressive in contact with strangers. Chose a groomer and stick to him.

Tips & Warnings

  • The Doberman Pinscher is the fifth-most intelligent dog breed, according to The Daily Tribute. Appeal to its intelligence when training the dog. Make your way around your Dobe's innate stubbornness rather than confront it.
  • Moderate the aggressive undertones of a Dobe's instincts through a firm and consistent training process.
  • Use a reward-based corrective method instead of punishing a Dobe.

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