Doberman Puppy Behaviors

Doberman puppies are very mouthy and love rough play, which includes gentle biting and grabbing. To develop their little bodies and minds, Doberman puppies wrestle with their littermates, barking, growling, and dragging each other around. Puppies will transfer this behavior to their new families. The problem here is that Doberman puppies grow strong faster than they realize, have brand new sharp teeth, and tend to get carried away.

In nature, when puppies get too rough they are corrected by their caretakers. Even in the domestic setting, puppies are corrected by their mother and other close canine family members. The correction used is a gentle but firm grab with the muzzle or sometimes a ‘swat’ along with a sharp deep bark, which sends the naughty puppy into a submissive cry of apology. This correction doesn’t hurt the puppy or cause pain. It just gets their attention and teaches them quickly.

The Doberman puppy’s new family must take over this dominate pack member role. Training away play biting is much aided by numerous chew items and toys, which should all be safe for puppies.

When the puppy starts play biting, the person being bitten should grip the puppy gently but firmly by the collar or shoulders, then give a sharp deep “NO.” Then an appropriate chew item should be offered, or even playfully placed into the puppy’s mouth. Once he begins biting the appropriate chew item, praise should immediately be given. This method redirects this behavior to the chew item. Simply training the puppy not to bite is not only ineffective but unhealthy.

Before long, the puppy will learn his family does not enjoy his loving playful bites, and will replace them with feverish licking. Play biting will then be reserved for his toys and chew items.

This same method can be used to train a Doberman puppy not to chew inappropriate items. The puppy must learn that only certain items belonging to him are for chewing. A healthy well trained puppy will learn this and joyfully maul and destroy his chews and toys. This is important for his development and will not produce bad behavior, but it will wear out plenty of chews and toys, so a responsible Doberman puppy owner will be sure to supply his puppy with plenty of new ones and discard the worn out ones before they become dangerous to the puppy.