Begin Training Your Doberman

Keys to Getting a Good Start

The key to training any technique is consistency, not intensity. Especially with puppies, training sessions should be short and often. Training a puppy for five minutes three times a day is much more effective than once for 20 minutes.

Training should immediately stop if the dog, and more so if the trainer, becomes confused or frustrated. A frustrated or confused handler or dog will make the training process unpleasant and more frustrating. Training must be a positive experience for it to be at all effective.

With more mature and more advanced Dobermans, training sessions can increase in duration but should be broken up with periods of play or techniques already mastered in order to keep the Doberman interested.

The basics of training are simple. A reward is present and immediately given upon performance of the intended behavior. The tough part is communicating the intended behavior. The reward presented depends on the Doberman’s personality and drive. Most Dobermans are highly motivated by simple praise. Other Dobermans work well for a toy or food treat. Under more complex training, toys and food treats can be helpful in training a Doberman who normally is happy with praise.

Food treats should be used with care. The treat itsself should be small and healthy. Food treats can also form a silly but common problem and are why many trainers avoid them. Dogs, especially Dobermans, are sharp. They know when a food treat is to be won. So, outside of the training session, when there is no treat to be won, some dogs simply will not perform the behavior which negates the training session altogether.

To avoid this problem, most training techniques that do use food treats do so only in the beginning of training a new or complicated behavior. Don’t let your training program become dependent on food treats!

Besides rewards, many Doberman training programs make use of negative correction. Negative correction usually consists of verbal corrections such as the word ‘No’ or a ‘tssst’ sound, and the physical correction of snapping a pinch (choke) or pronged pinch collar.

When used correctly, negative correction is natural to a dog, similar to how his mother or other superior pack members would instruct him in the wild. It is important to note here that negative physical correction should never be used on a dog less than six months of age, and especially not during the first fear imprint period. Negative verbal corrections are appropriate for this age and any other.

Regardless of the training method you choose, the training process requires patience, consistency, and dedication. It is essential to the proper care of a Doberman to maintain consistent training. Training provides mental stimulation and maintains proper behavior in the Doberman, which will allow him to be a productive member of the family and a positive example and contribution to the Doberman breed.

One of the best places to get started training your Doberman puppy is by enrolling in a puppy training class. These classes are more for the puppy owner that the puppy, but are great for the puppy's socialization.