Socializing the Doberman Pinscher

The Key to a Friendly and Happy Doberman

Dogs develop a comfort zone with the things around them. This is especially true for the Doberman breed. Anything outside this comfort zone is met with suspicion and anxiety. Socialization is the effort to expand this comfort zone.

By providing positive experiences to a variety of people, animals, sights, and sounds the Doberman is conditioned to meet new things with less suspicion and anxiety. This process is called socialization and makes the Doberman a more social dog.

In our society, a dog is constantly exposed to new things, especially in cities and town. Socialization is extremely important because it prepares the Doberman to deal with these new things confidently and with sureness. Socialization is vitally important in caring for the Doberman’s mental health and well being.

Socialization will not make a Doberman less protective. In protection training, a Doberman is expected to be confident and sure around new things. If he is not, he will be more difficult to command under pressure and is more susceptible to stress.

When choosing a breeder, proper socialization of the Doberman puppies should be a main concern. Doberman puppies should be handled from day one and be kept in the home where they will be exposed to the variety of household sights and sounds. Good breeders often keep other animals like small dogs and cats to further increase the socialization of their puppies.

The Doberman owner must continue this socialization throughout the Doberman’s life, particularly in the first few months of age by providing consistent positive experiences with all kinds of thing. Simple exposure is not the idea. The idea is positive exposure.

A good place to start is by taking a Doberman puppy along when visiting friends and family and allowing the puppy to interact with guests. The interaction with guests is important. A Doberman puppy should not be locked away when guests come by. This will produce the opposite of socialization, traumatization.

Once your Doberman puppy is fully vaccinated, you can begin positive exposure to other animals. A good way to do this is with puppy play dates and visits to the local pet food store. Pet food stores are great. They are full of wonderful smells and friendly dog loving people. 

The best place to start socialization and training is at a puppy obedience class. These classes require vaccination and provide an environment with numerous friendly people and dogs. They also provide the ideal challenge for teaching a Doberman to maintain obedience despite distraction and to look to his owner for how to react to new things.

Socialization should be made a priority in the care regiment of the Doberman Pinscher. A well trained and socialized Doberman will make a pleasant experience for everyone who meets him and is a testament to the wonderful Doberman breed.