Doberman Pinscher Dog Training

Doberman Pinscher Dog Training

Doberman Pinschers require early socialization and good, positive training. Learn more about how to train your Doberman Pinscher here.

Originally bred to be a guard dog, the Doberman Pinscher has a noble and sleek look and can be a devoted, loyal companion with the proper training. These intelligent dogs learn quickly and need to be taught using positive training methods. You should avoid negative training methods and punishments when you train your Doberman Pinscher because such methods are counterproductive and because of the possibility of aggression in this breed.


To prevent aggressive behavior later in life, socialize your Doberman Pinscher puppy in its first few months of life in many different places and with many different dogs and people. Keep these events positive, and give your dog treats at appropriate times during meetings with the dogs and the other people. Let people you encounter give treats to your Doberman Pinscher. This teaches the dog to associate people and pets with good things. Doberman Pinschers are naturally loyal and prone to guard; socialization does not prevent them from acting as guard dogs. This training will simply prevent unwarranted aggression or shyness around strangers and other dogs. Your Doberman Pinscher should be a generally friendly dog with a good temperament. On that foundation, you can build successful training for the type of work you want your dog to be able to perform.

Training Methods

Incorporate exercise and games into your Doberman Pinscher's training. These energetic dogs need plenty of activity to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors. Make the training mentally stimulating as well, giving your dog challenges such as hide-and-seek games as part of teaching the "Find" command. Incorporate the teaching of other verbal commands, such as "Sit" or "Stay," into the games as well. Say the command and reward the dog with a treat and verbal praise when the Doberman Pinscher performs the wanted action. Use repetition a few times once the dog responds properly to the command, then leave that work on a successful note and move on to other work to keep your dog's attention. Don't push your Doberman Pinscher too much. If you notice the dog's attention is wandering or he's becoming frustrated, end the training with a command you know he performs well, followed by a game. Always end training on a high note. You want your dog to view training as enjoyable, not as a chore that's apt to end badly. Never train if you are in a bad mood or angry.

Obedience Commands

Basic obedience commands to teach your Doberman Pinscher include "Sit," "Stay," "Come," "Down," and "Leave it." Teaching the "Leave it" command is important for this breed because some Doberman Pinschers tend to eat non-food objects such as rocks and toys. This command helps you control what your dog inspects and possibly ingests by getting the dog to ignore the object. Save this command for after you teach your dog "Sit" and "Stay." Keep your Doberman Pinscher on a leash to prevent the dog from accessing the object. Place an object in front of your dog, and give the "Leave it" command; if your dog ignores the item, give your Doberman Pinscher a treat.


Doberman Pinschers enjoy physical activities, including running, jumping, swimming, and chasing flying discs. These active dogs need at least one hour of exercise each day. Agility training provides the opportunity for the needed exercise and allows you to teach your dog some skills at the same time. If you join an agility training group, your dog's socialization also benefits. This training prevents obesity, which can cause a variety of health problems in this breed, including arthritis, ligament tears, and some types of cancer.


Purchase your Doberman Pinscher from a responsible, reputable breeder registered with an organization such as the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, or Canadian Kennel Club. To avoid problems and heartbreak, you want to provide yourself every assurance that the breeder selected the parents of your puppy with a careful eye to sound temperament, sound body, and avoidance of genetic diseases.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you discipline a Doberman?

Disciplining a Doberman requires a combination of positive reinforcement and consistency. Consistency is key, so it's important to establish rules and boundaries that you consistently enforce. Positive reinforcement, such as giving rewards for good behavior, can also be effective in training a Doberman. It's also important to establish yourself as the leader of the pack, as Dobermans respond well to a clear leader. Training classes or working with a professional trainer may also be helpful. It's essential to remember that Dobermans are highly intelligent and active dogs, so they require regular mental and physical stimulation to keep them engaged and well-behaved.

At what age do Dobermans calm down?

Dobermans generally reach physical maturity by around 2-3 years of age, and some may exhibit a slight decrease in energy levels as they age. However, it's important to note that Dobermans are a highly active and energetic breed, and they may not fully "calm down" until they are closer to 5-6 years of age or older. It's also important to remember that genetics, environment, and individual differences all play a role in a dog's behavior. So some Dobermans may remain more active and excitable throughout their lives. Additionally, proper training, socialization, and exercise are key in helping a Doberman to develop into a well-behaved and well-adjusted adult.

What are the disadvantages of a Doberman?

Dobermans are highly intelligent and active dogs, and they require consistent training, socialization, and exercise to thrive. They can be prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, bloat, and von Willebrand disease, which can be costly to treat. They also have a tendency to become overprotective if they are not properly socialized and trained, which can lead to aggressive behavior if not handled correctly. Some people may also be intimidated by the breed's appearance, which can make it difficult to find a landlord or homeowner's association that will allow them. Additionally, Dobermans have a strong desire to be with their family, and they tend to suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time. They also have a strong prey drive, which may make them inclined to chase small animals. Sometimes, Dobermans are known for being vocal and may bark or whine when they are excited or anxious, which can be a problem for some people who live in close proximity to others.

Are Dobermans hard to raise?

Raising a Doberman can be challenging and requires a significant commitment of time and energy. Dobermans are highly intelligent and active dogs that require consistent training, socialization, and exercise to thrive. They have a strong desire to be with their family, and they tend to suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time. They also have a strong prey drive, which may make them inclined to chase small animals. Proper training and socialization are essential for Dobermans to develop into well-behaved adults. Dobermans can be prone to certain behavior issues, such as aggression, if not properly trained and socialized from a young age. Training classes or working with a professional trainer can be beneficial.

What to do if your Doberman growls at you?

If your Doberman growls at you, it's important to address the behavior immediately and take appropriate action to ensure the safety of yourself and others. Do not show fear or aggression towards your dog. Speak in a calm and assertive tone. Try to understand what may be causing the growling. Is your Doberman feeling threatened or scared? Is it protecting something or someone? If possible, remove the trigger or the source of the growling. For example, if your Doberman is growling at someone because it feels threatened, have that person step away. If your Doberman's growling is a recurring issue, or if you are unsure how to handle it, it may be helpful to consult a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. Sometimes growling could be a symptom of a medical issue such as pain, discomfort, or an underlying health condition. In this case, it's important to consult with your vet to rule out any medical issues.

Are Dobermans easy to train?

Dobermans are a breed that is generally regarded as being reasonably simple to teach because they are known for their intelligence and trainability. These dogs possess a strong desire to please their owners and are quick learners, which can facilitate the training process. Their high level of intelligence allows them to grasp commands and concepts swiftly, enabling them to excel in various training exercises and activities. However, it is important to note that individual Dobermans may vary in temperament and personality, which can influence their training experience. When training Dobermans, consistency and positive reinforcement are essential. Establishing clear rules and boundaries from an early age helps to shape their behavior and prevent any potential behavioral issues. They will understand what is expected of them and there will be less uncertainty if training techniques and expectations are consistent. Positive reinforcement, such as rewards, treats, and praise, is particularly effective with Dobermans as they respond well to positive feedback and encouragement. These sensitive canines are susceptible to fear or hostility, thus harsh training methods or severe punishment should be avoided.

How do I train my Doberman to be calm?

Training a Doberman to be calm requires a combination of techniques aimed at managing their energy levels, promoting relaxation, and reinforcing desired behaviors. To train your Doberman to exhibit a calm disposition, be consistent, patient, and encouraging. Firstly, provide regular physical exercise to help burn off excess energy. Engaging in daily walks, runs, or play sessions not only provides an outlet for their energy but also promotes overall well-being. Additionally, you could help them become tired and keep their thoughts engaged by providing them with interactive toys, brainteasers, and training activities. Teach your Doberman relaxation practices as well, including lying down on a special mat or bed. Begin by praising them for being calm and lying down in a certain location. Gradually increase the duration, using verbal cues like "settle" or "relax" to associate the behavior with the command. Reinforce this behavior consistently and provide rewards such as treats or praise when they remain calm and relaxed in the designated area. Further, implement a structured daily routine to establish predictability and stability for your Doberman. Dogs enjoy routine, so setting up a regular plan for their meals, exercise, training, and rest will make them feel safe and less anxious. Avoid sudden changes or disruptions in their routine whenever possible. Additionally, you should ensure your Doberman receives appropriate socialization opportunities to help them become comfortable and confident in various environments and situations. Expose them to new people, animals, and experiences gradually and positively. This will help them develop coping skills and prevent over-reactivity or anxiety in unfamiliar circumstances. Consider incorporating calming activities into your Doberman's routine, such as interactive feeders or puzzle toys that require problem-solving. This engages their minds and helps redirect their focus onto a specific task, promoting relaxation.

Can a Doberman protect you?

Yes, they can. Doberman pinschers are renowned for their fierce guarding instincts and abilities. With proper training, socialization, and a strong bond with its owner, a well-trained Doberman can be an effective protector. Their natural instincts, combined with their intelligence and loyalty, make them highly capable of providing security and protecting their family members. Dobermans are naturally loyal to their owners and fiercely protective of the people they care about. They are often vigilant and alert, making them quick to detect potential threats or intruders. Their imposing presence, muscular build, and intimidating appearance can act as a deterrent in itself.

How do you discipline a Doberman?

Start by creating explicit rules and constraints early on. Consistency is key, so everyone in the household should enforce the same rules to avoid confusion. To encourage desirable behaviors, use positive reinforcement strategies like treats, compliments, and affection. This could include commands like "sit," "stay," or "leave it." Reinforcing positive behaviors encourages your Doberman to repeat them and strengthens the bond between you and your dog. Redirecting unwanted behaviors is another effective discipline technique. If your Doberman engages in inappropriate behavior, such as chewing on furniture, calmly redirect their attention to an appropriate chew toy and reward them for chewing on that instead. This teaches them what is acceptable and redirects their energy into more appropriate outlets. Consistency is crucial when disciplining a Doberman. Respond immediately and consistently to unwanted behaviors. Use a firm and assertive tone of voice to express disapproval, but avoid shouting or becoming overly aggressive. Dogs respond best to clear and consistent communication, so ensure your body language and vocal cues are consistent with your expectations.

How do you train a Doberman to come when called?

Training a Doberman to come when called requires consistent practice, positive reinforcement, and patience. Start by using a calm and inviting tone of voice when calling your Doberman's name. Start your training in a peaceful, distraction-free area and work your way up to increasingly difficult situations. To get your Doberman to come to you, reward him with goodies or his favorite toy. As soon as your dog complies with the recall command, reward them. Avoid using the recall command in a negative context or for activities your Doberman dislikes. Practice short recall sessions regularly, gradually increasing the distance and distractions over time. It is important to make coming to you a positive experience, so avoid punishment if your Doberman takes longer to respond. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement will help establish a strong recall command with your Doberman.

More on Dog Training

Large Dog Training Tips
Training An Older Dog
Teaching Your Dog Basic Commands

References & Resources

American Kennel Club: AKC Meet the Breeds: Doberman Pinscher
Doberman Pinscher Club of America: Basic Care
United Kennel Club: Doberman Pinscher
VetInfo: Doberman Dog Training Tips
Pet Care Veterinary Hospital: Your Doberman Pinscher
Pet Care Veterinary Hospital: Preparing Puppies for Adulthood: Socialization and Leadership
Doberman Pinscher Club of America: Living With a Dobe

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.

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