Doberman Pinscher Dog Training

Doberman Pinscher Dog Training

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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.

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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