How to Obedience Train a Doberman

Medium
1-2 Months
General

Introduction

He may be intelligent, fearless and energetic, but he’s also pretty huge. However, it’s not until you get up close and play with him that you realize quite how strong Dobermans are. You also realize his strength when he jumps up on you when you’re trying to watch TV. Now, this is entertaining for the most part when it’s just you. But guests and small children look positively terrified. So, although Oscar may not like it, he’s going to have to learn some rules.

Obedience training your Doberman will be useful for several other reasons too. Firstly, you’ll be able to use your control to teach him useful commands, such as ‘down’ and ‘stay’. Secondly, this type of training is a fantastic way to bond with your canine companion. Finally, you can channel all his pent-up energy into something productive.

Defining Tasks

Obedience training Oscar will probably be a lot easier than you realize. This is because Dobermans are naturally switched on and intelligent. The biggest hurdle will be initially conveying what it is you want him to do and setting some boundaries. However, once you have done that, you just need to reinforce training using incentives, such as food and toys.

If he’s a puppy then he should be fairly receptive. As a result, training may only take a few weeks. However, if you’ve never used obedience training with your Doberman, then it may take a couple of months. Get this training right and you will soon have Oscar performing a range of tricks for you when guests are over. In addition, stamping out any bad habits will be far easier. 

Getting Started

Before you can start training you will need to collect a few bits. Stock up on tasty treats or break his favorite food into small pieces. Toys and a leash will also be required.

The other main requirement is time. Make sure you can set aside 10 to 15 minutes each day for training. Try and practice in a quiet room where there is less risk of anything valuable getting broken. 

Once you have all that, just bring patience and a pro-active attitude, then work can begin!

The Timing Method

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Step
1
Obedience classes
Sign Oscar up to group obedience classes. This is a fantastic place for him to learn obedience commands from other dogs. Dobermans will learn much quicker if they can copy the behavior of other dogs.
Step
2
Start as a puppy
The earlier you can start obedience training your Doberman the sooner you will see results. Dogs are most receptive in those first few months so put in the effort then and you will yield results far sooner.
Step
3
Start with ‘come’
This is one of the most important commands to teach your Doberman early. It will ensure you can always call him to side your side, no matter the situation. So, secure him to a leash and get down to his level while issuing a ‘come’ command. Give the command in an up-beat, playful voice.
Step
4
Pull him closer
Now gently tug on the leash and hold eye contact to encourage him to come to you. As soon as Oscar does come to you, you can give him a treat as a reward and some verbal praise.
Step
5
Increase the distance
Practice this for several minutes each day. However, gradually increase the distance between you when you call him over. You can then take him off the leash and start practicing in a range of situations, with distractions around. This is an essential command to teach Oscar to ensure obedience.
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The Permission Method

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Step
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Make Oscar work
The crucial part of obedience training is ensuring he will obey your commands. Part of that means he needs to trust and respect you. To help build that respect, make him work for food. For example, take him for a walk before his evening meal.
Step
2
Make him wait
In addition to making him walk, instruct him to ‘sit’ and wait before you give him his food. To do this, simply slowly put his food bowl down. But every time he moves towards it or comes out of the 'sit' position, take the bowl away. He will eventually realize he needs to sit and wait for permission before he can dive in.
Step
3
‘Up’
If he wants to join you up on the sofa, you need to teach him to wait for permission. To do that, simply hold his collar to stop him jumping up. Then issue an ‘up’ command. Give the instruction in a high-pitched voice and pat the sofa as you give it.
Step
4
Release
Then let him jump up onto the sofa next to you. Make sure you give him some verbal praise and cuddle him to show him he behaved correctly. If he jumps up without asking permission, you need to calmly remove him by his collar.
Step
5
Consistency
Obedience training like this will only work if all members of the household are on board. So sit everyone down and ask them to follow the same rules when it comes to feeding him and making him ask permission to do things like join you on the sofa.
Recommend training method?

The Start Basic Method

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Setting up
One of the easiest and first obedience commands to teach Oscar is ‘sit’. It will lay the groundwork to teach him a range of more advanced obedience commands, such as the submissive position ‘down’. Simply take him to a room and stand before him with a treat in your hand.
Step
2
‘Sit’
Give the instruction in a playful voice. Dobermans learn best when they think they are playing a game. In fact, you can use any word or phrase you like for the instruction, Dobermans can learn hundreds of different commands.
Step
3
Move your hand up
As you give the instruction, slowly move your treat hand up and over his head. This should naturally lead him into a 'sit' position. It can also help to practice this with Oscar up against a wall, to prevent him walking back instead of sitting.
Step
4
Reward
As soon as he does sit, hand over a tasty treat or toy. Just make sure he gets the reward within three-seconds, otherwise he may not associate the action with the tasty reward. Then practice for several minutes each day. Once he gets the hang of it, you can slowly phase out the treats.
Step
5
Application
Now you have taught him the first and perhaps the most important obedience command. But now you need to use it to ensure obedience in a range of situations. So instruct him to ‘sit before you put his leash on. Have Oscar ‘sit’ before you cross the road and before he can eat his food. All will help instill discipline and obedience.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Hodoo
Doberman Pinscher
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Hodoo
Doberman Pinscher
2 Months

I am his owner since he starts to listen to me.
The problem is I stay with my boss who uses punishment way for obedience training.
Which makes the dobie angry. Today he made frowny face and tried to bite my boss when my boss tried holding him with force and shouted at him..

What my boss decided is just to give away this dog...
I do not want this to happen again in my life...it is just a harsh one-way decision from my boss. Please help me.....
I do not want to lose my dog. How can I do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
421 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lee, Maybe try educating your boss about defense drive - some dogs naturally have something called a defense drive, which means when you apply physical pressure their instinct is to fight back instead of submit. This isn't exactly aggression because the dog is responding to pressure and is fine at other times. For a dog like this, training that earns the dog's respect through their mind tends to be more effective. German Shepherds often have strong defense drives too. Police training is a lot of structure, boundaries, making the dog work to earn things it wants by performing a command first, rewarding with games of tug, and consistency - but not physical pressure except when a "Bad" guy is pretending to attack during schlutzhund and protection training. Check out the article linked below and follow the Leave it method to deal with the puppy biting. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite To teach tolerance to touch, use puppy's daily meal kibble and feed pup his entire meal one piece at a time - touch an area, like an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Touch a tail and give a treat. Touch a collar and give a treat. Touch mouth and give a treat, ect...Focus on getting pup around a lot of people and having them feed pup treats for calm behavior like sitting....Maybe compromise with your boss on using both positive reinforcement and fair corrections, but find a trainer online "A balanced" trainer who uses those things together correctly, instead of just someone who uses things like alpha rolls and only punishment. Sean o Shea is one good person to follow on YouTube, Ian Dunbar is a good puppy person. Maybe ask your boss if they would kindly be willingly to read this reply so everything isn't your view against theirs - but from someone who has seen the importance of both positive reinforcement and fair corrections and consistency. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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