Considered one of the most intelligent breeds, the Doberman is one of the most popular dogs in the world. And is that this wonderful dog is also energetic, affectionate and very protective. However, it also has its weak points, such as impulsiveness. That is why it is important to train a Doberman correctly from puppyhood.
From article we are going to show you the most important steps that you must take in the education of your puppy, or if your dog is already an adult, the best tips to train him. Read on and discover with us how to train a Doberman properly.
The character of the Doberman
Before embarking on the adventure of learning to train a Doberman, it is imperative to know their character and personality, since each dog is a world and we must fully adapt to it. In general, this canine breed is characterized by being friendly, peaceful, affectionate, familiar and sensitive . All these traits indicate that we must act with caution during their training, always using loving words, effusive congratulations and avoiding yelling, punishment or physical violence at all times.
On the other hand, the Doberman is ranked number five on Stanley Coren’s list of the most intelligent dogs , so we have before us a dog that does not present difficulties when it comes to internalizing commands. Of course, the fact of being so intelligent also indicates that their education should be a constant process, since a lack of mental stimulation can cause behavioral problems derived from boredom in the Doberman.
The importance of socialization
In addition to knowing our dog to establish an adequate work plan, we must socialize it properly to avoid altercations with other animals or people in the future. If we have just adopted a Doberman puppy, the task is much simpler, and it is that we must begin with this process immediately. But what is socialization? Very simple, a process that allows the animal to learn to relate correctly to all the factors in its environment: people, animals, objects, landscapes and noise.
To begin with the socialization of the puppy , we will choose other puppies or well-socialized adult animals, since putting the little one with an unstable dog, for example, can cause the adult to try to bite him and the puppy to associate the socialization with a negative experience. Likewise, we will take walks through various places, and we will allow you to interact with other people.
If the Doberman we have adopted is already an adult and has not been socialized, the task is more complicated. Here it is essential to look for stable and patient dogs, since our dog may bark at them and even try to attack them. During the meeting, we will try to find a safe distance, that is, a distance between the Doberman and the other dog in which our dog is not restless or excited. At this point, we will proceed to reward him while observing the other dog and congratulate him, so that he understands that the calm and calm attitude is appropriate. Little by little we will shorten the safe distance, but we will never force the animal to relate.
Doberman puppy training
It is essential to understand that puppies do not have the same learning capacity as adult dogs, so we must be very patient during their education and always use positive reinforcement . This training technique consists of rewarding the puppy with a treat, lots of caresses and congratulations when he obeys our orders or when he does something right, and ignore him when he does something wrong.
To begin with the training of the Doberman puppy, we must wait until our dog is three months old; trying to exercise before is wasting time, since it is still very small. Once he is three months or older, we can start little by little with the exercises, since raising a Doberman puppy is not an easy task. Puppies only want to play, eat and sleep, so with a lot of patience and always using positive reinforcement, we will start with the basic exercises for their training.
Teaching our Doberman puppy to sit
This exercise can be practiced both at home and on the street, being advisable to do it in a place where our puppy does not have many distractions. We will only need to have at our disposal some dog biscuits or treats to use as prizes .
It is essential to learn to give the orders correctly, for this we must always say the name of our dog followed by the order. If our dog is called “Toby”, the right thing to do is to say: “Toby, sit down” or “Toby, sit”. It does not matter which word we select to carry out the order, the really important thing is that it does not coincide with other words in common use (such as another order) and that we always use the same one. In this way, it is also essential to inform the rest of the members who live in the home so that they all use the same language.
Now that we have the prizes ready and we know the word that we are going to use to teach our puppy to sit up, the time has come to start! To do this, we will hide the prize in our hand , closing it completely, and we will bring our fist to the puppy’s snout so that it can smell it. Once their attention is captured, we will pass our arm over the little one, creating an imaginary line , so that our hand follows and, by inertia, it feels. As he makes the gesture of sitting down, we will say the order and reward the dog once seated. The first few times we will create this imaginary line by hand to, little by little, begin to give the order without doing the journey.
Doesn’t your puppy sit up automatically? Then you should do the following: let him smell the hidden prize, give the command and, a few seconds later, gently press the lower part of his spine with your hand (near where his tail begins), thus prompting him to sit down. When he sits down, congratulate him vigorously and pet him as you give him his award.
We must repeat the exercise every day, but without exceeding 15 minutes a day per session, since an excess of time could lead the puppy to get tired and bored.
Teaching our Doberman puppy to lie down
Once our puppy has mastered the sitting technique, we can begin to teach him to lie down. To do this, we will first need to execute the sitting command and, once our little Doberman puppy is sitting, we will not give him the prize but we will execute the lying command: “Toby, lie down.”
To get our dog to lie down, once he is seated, we will hold the prize cookie in front of him, at ground level. We can put the cookie near his snout but without him eating it, and gradually lower it so that he lies down naturally . Once lying down, we will give you the cookie and congratulate you strongly. Most Doberman puppies learn these exercises quickly, but if our puppy is a bit clueless, we can help him lie down by gently sliding his front legs forward so that he drops.
It is very important to repeat this exercise daily, just like the sitting exercise, because dogs learn quickly through repetition exercises. So if we teach them but then don’t continue to practice the exercises, they will forget them.
Teaching our little Doberman to heed the call
This is perhaps the simplest exercise of all, since we will play with what dogs like the most, food. The exercise itself is really simple, it will simply mean that we always carry a small box with the cookies for our dog.
We will execute the command of “Toby, here” or “Toby, come” while holding a cookie in our hand, making sure that our puppy sees it. When the puppy comes to us to eat it, we will give it to him and we will enthusiastically congratulate him.
By repeating this exercise several times daily we will ensure that our dog always comes to the call. With the passage of time and when you already know how to act correctly before the order, we will reduce the number of prizes (cookies), giving you only occasionally but making it easier as long as you obey.
These are the basic commands that every puppy must learn, once he has reached more than six months of age and knows how to perform all the orders correctly, we can teach him to remain still in the place that we have indicated him to sit or lie down with the same technique , positive reinforcement.
On the other hand, we must continue to practice socialization, bringing our puppy together with other dogs to play and interact. A dog park can be a great place to socialize our pup on a daily basis. Remember that you should also socialize with other humans, allowing yourself to be touched and caressed naturally.
As the little one grows and internalizes the basic orders of education that, in addition to mentally stimulating it, will improve coexistence, we can begin to incorporate new more advanced orders. Also, do not forget to accustom the puppy to the collar and the leash so that the walks are increasingly comfortable.
Tips for Training an Adult Doberman
Doberman dogs are generally affectionate and good, but very protective of their family. Imagine for a moment that there is a tense situation in which your Doberman starts barking at a stranger and ignores you. If he does not obey your orders, he may even attack the stranger, causing a situation of great danger. Dobermans are very athletic and strong dogs, if they are not well behaved they can wreak havoc.
To avoid these possible situations it is essential that our Doberman is well educated from puppyhood, that he carries out our orders without hesitation. However, due to ignorance, many are the people who do not carry out a good socialization process, for example, or who adopt the child before two months of age, something totally counterproductive because it is with his mother and siblings with whom he begins to learn the typical behavior of the species. On the other hand, more and more people are choosing to adopt an adult Doberman and give it a second chance. In any case, it is important to note that it is never too late to train a dog We just have to know the proper techniques and steps. In this way, to achieve good results, we must carry out the same steps that are carried out with puppies, but in a place where our adult dog cannot escape or cause harm to third parties, especially if it is a dog adopted with fear or, as we said, with certain aggressive behaviors.
Therefore, before starting the adult Doberman training process, we must do an analysis of the situation . That is to say, check if the dog is correctly socialized, observe its behavior and know its character well. If, as we mentioned, he is aggressive due to a lack of socialization, without a doubt the first thing we will have to do is solve this problem. To do this, it is essential to know why the animal acts in this way. Once the cause is found, it will be much easier to work it, with patience, perseverance and, always, making use of positive reinforcement.
Once the dog is properly socialized, we can go on to practice the basic commands by following the steps already described but, remember, in closed rooms to later practice them in other environments.
On the other hand, we recommend taking into account the following tips when educating an adult Doberman:
- Teach the dog to sit up before putting the food bowl on him . Once we put the plate of food on the floor, we will not let him eat until he looks us in the eye. When he looks into our eyes, we will give him verbal permission (example: “Toby, go ahead”). If we do not carry out this step and let the animal remain excited while we feed it, we are reinforcing this behavior, which can be aggravated in the future and enhance a possible picture of stress or anxiety if it sees that we do not give it its food.
- Set standards for all family members to follow. Thus, we will decide whether or not the animal can climb on the sofa, has access to all spaces, can sleep in our bed, etc.
- Being a large dog, if he tends to jump on people and we do not want this to happen, he should be worked with to avoid it. To do this, we will avoid any gesture or word that can excite the animal even more, we will reward it when it is at rest or calm, and we will stop it with a simple “No”, since pushing, shouting and punishment will not help us to solve the problem. trouble.
- If the Doberman suffers anxiety about food, we will control the quantity and opt for anti-voracity feeders. If they do not work, we will investigate the cause and treat it.
- In dogs adopted with fear of people, safety and trust must first be worked on. To do this, we will avoid any stimulus that causes fear, we will let it smell us first and, if it allows us, we will proceed to caress it with affection, even performing relaxing massages so that it understands that we are not a threat.
- Get the animal used to allowing itself to be brushed, cut its nails and bathed without problems, little by little and with great patience.
By following these tips, we will make our dog adapt to its new home if we have just adopted it, or we will learn to guide it better, keeping in mind that we should never use aggressiveness, but positive reinforcement.
If our Doberman dog is very old and does not respond to the instructions, we can always consult a professional trainer , who will give us the guidelines to follow based on his behavior.