Making a Safe Place for Potty Breaks and Exercise

Doberman puppies and adult Dobermans both need plenty of exercise throughout the day. Doberman puppies need many potty breaks throughout the day. The backyard is usually where all this happens.

The Doberman owner should have a backyard with enough space so their Doberman can easily run at full speed for a distance. A dog run is inadequate. The Doberman needs to exert his athletic body for proper development and overall health. At minimum, the yard should be 50 by 100 feet, or equivalent.

Besides being of adequate size, the backyard should be properly fenced in. A fence, however, is only a barrier to a Doberman trained not to cross it.

The backyard is also a place fraught with danger to a Doberman puppy, if the owner does not take certain measures. The following is a list of common hazards the puppy owner should eliminate.

Fertilizer and Pesticides

The Doberman loves to eat grass. This reason alone should prevent a Doberman owner from applying fertilizer or pesticides.

A viable alternative to fertilization of the Doberman’s backyard is to fertilize only the front yard, or part of the yard where the Doberman does not have access to. After a few rains, or after the lawn has been watered to the point that fertilizer no longer remains on the grass, this fertilized area can be mowed with the clippings collected. These fertile clippings can then be harmlessly spread over the Doberman’s area of the lawn where they will degrade into nutrients for the grass. The Doberman will also do his part in applying fertilizer.

Perimeter Poison

Granular perimeter poisons are a bad idea. A better alternative is a liquid that can be sprayed on the foundation. Other alternatives include devices that can be placed under heavy bricks and out of the reach of your Doberman.

Utilities and Junction Boxes

If utilities such as electricity, cable, and phone lines are routed into your home in an area accessible from the backyard, a barrier should be erected preventing the Doberman puppy or adult Doberman from reaching the cables. Likewise any other cables or pipes, such as the attachments to an air conditioning unit or supply lines to out buildings should be protected.


Trash cans should be kept out of the Doberman’s reach. Also, it is a good idea to do a daily sweep of the backyard; not only for collecting poop but also for collecting any trash that may have blown into the area or that has been uncovered by rain or Doberman feet.

Attention should also be paid to any items stored in the backyard such as lumber, firewood, and other materials. Wood with nails sticking out, splintered wood, loose pipes, or anything else you would not allow a child to play with should be stored safely out of the Doberman’s reach, or simply discarded.


Certain plants such as rhododendron and other landscaping materials such as cocoa bean mulch are toxic to dogs. Your local garden canter should be able to help you determine safe landscaping. The ASPCA also has a list on their website of toxic plants. Your Doberman should learn not to eat or otherwise destroy the landscaping, but keeping toxic plants is not worth the risk, especially with a new puppy.

Other hazards can exist in the landscaping. Landscaping with the use of small rocks that can be swallowed is dangerous. Also dangerous are thornbearing plants. These thorns drop off and harm bare feet. Wood chips should be the child safe kind without long sharp pieces.

Landscaping that attracts pests should also be avoided. These pests can carry disease and parasites.

Fence Hazards

The fence should be properly maintained. Voids where the fence meets the ground should be filled, gaps should be repaired that could trap a head or a paw, and protruding wires should be cut and bent away along with protruding nails removed or pounded in.

Stagnant Water

Areas where water can pool and stagnate should be removed such as buckets, trash can lids, tarps, and tires. Dobermans are curious and will give any interesting smelling water a try. This can result in an upset tummy.

Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. This is a good enough reason to remove standing water before it’s allowed to stagnate and breed these nasty little bugs. The mosquito is the culprit that spreads heartworms.

Bodies of Water

Just as with children, Dobermans and Doberman puppies should be supervised around water. The Doberman loves water and is a great swimmer, but he is also made of nonbuoyant muscle and bone, and will sink if he gets into trouble. Dobermans should be given the same safety gear allotted to children when in a boat, mainly a life jacket.

Rope, Wire, String

Rope, wire, and string are all hazardous to dogs. Dogs, and especially the Doberman, should never be kept tied on a leash.


Chemicals and fuels stored in sheds or garages, or leaking out of machinery are especially dangerous. Antifreeze, for example, apparently tastes good to dogs but is very toxic.