Despite his somewhat intimidating appearance, you know your Doberman is totally soft at heart. True to their nature, he’s loyal, alert, and intelligent. For the most part, he’s also a pleasure to have. When you’re in the house he’s relatively well behaved. However, when you head out the door for a walk then standards start to slip. He simply will not heel and because he’s pretty big and strong, he’s constantly pulling you across the sidewalk when he sees a dog on the horizon or something he wants to sniff.
Training him to 'heel' is essential for your health as well as his. You worry he may pull you into the road one day and cause a traffic accident. You also worry that nobody will be able to walk him when you aren’t around because he’s simply too much to handle.
Training any dog to heel can be challenging. With Dobermans. it can be increasingly difficult. This is a result of their size and strength. The first thing you need to do is take a number of steps to deter him from pulling. You will then need to use obedience commands to keep him walking calmly by your side. The right incentive will also play an important role. Luckily, Dobermans, like most dogs, have a soft spot for all things edible.
If he’s a puppy, the habit should be relatively new and he should be a fast learner. You could see results in just a week. However, if he’s older with years of poor leash behavior under his collar, then you may need a couple of months. Get this training right though, and you can enjoy those relaxing strolls you first pictured when you brought him home.
Before you can start training, you will need to get your hands on a few bits. Because Dobermans are relatively big and strong, using a body harness is a sensible idea. This will increase your control while reducing strain on his neck.
You will also need a short training leash and a generous supply of tasty treats. Alternatively, you can break his favorite food into small pieces. You can train when you are out on your normal daily walk.
Once you have all that, just bring patience and a positive attitude, then work can begin!