The Powerful Doberman Pinscher Dog Breed

doberman pinscher with cropped ears

Although the Doberman pinscher wasn’t bred to be a companion dog, it can make a wonderful, loyal and protective pet if it is socialized early and trained well. Dobermans often serve with distinction alongside the military, police, first responders and health care professionals as therapy dogs.   

Do Dobermans Bark a Lot?

Dobermans were initially bred to be guard dogs, so they have an innate tendency to alert their humans of just about everything. What can be a positive trait for owners that want or need a highly protective pet can become a nuisance if your dog barks incessantly because of innocent movements — people walking by, neighbors mowing their lawn, a delivery person making a drop…  

Before you can correct your dog’s barking problem, you ought to determine the cause. After all, if you don’t know their triggers, how can you train them to stop? Although there are many reasons, including injury and illness, some of the most common reasons dogs bark include:

  • Hunger or thirst
  • Needs to go to the bathroom
  • Boredom
  • Frustration
  • Separation anxiety
  • Stranger danger

Boredom can be a significant issue with Dobermans. These dogs are a working breed and are at their best when performing an interesting task. Doberman pinschers are called “velcro dogs” and don’t do well when left home alone. Dobermans can quickly become bored or suffer from separation anxiety when left to their own devices, especially in Doberman puppies. Your dog may display his fear through a barking and howling combo.

If you’re willing to put in the time and effort into training your dog — and recruit everyone in your household to do the same — you can take several steps to reduce your Doberman’s barking.

doberman pinscher without clipped ears
This Doberman is shown without clipped ears. Doberman pinschers need a lot of daily exercise.

Step 1: Exercise your Dobermann regularly and stimulate his brain

Doberman pinschers are serious athletes and need a regular amount of exercise and mental stimulation every day. Without, your Doberman may be more tempted to launch into a barking session.

When leaving the house, provide your pet with a collection of chew toys. They can offer him plenty of chew options to release stress. You might also consider hiding toys and treats to give this working dog something to do while you’re away.

Step 2: Reward good dog behavior

Reward your pet when he’s not barking. If you notice your Doberman is quiet, offer him lots of praise and a treat. Make it a point to provide positive reinforcement while increasing the length of his quiet time. At first, it may only be a few minutes of quiet that he’s rewarded a treat; next time, make sure your dog has been quiet for 10 minutes and so on. 

Step 3: Remove triggers that make your Doberman bark

Cloak sights and sounds that trigger your dog to bark. Close curtains or blinds, and turn on your TV or play music to drown out noises like passing cars, playing children, or barking neighbor dogs.

We have included even more dog training resources in our barking guide. We recommend using the handheld BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool along with firm commands.

Lastly, be sure to get everyone in your home on board regarding your pet’s behavior. Without cooperation, you may find all of your training efforts useless.

Facts About Dobermans 

The Doberman breed, developed in the late 1800s, derives its name from Louis Dobermann, a tax collector from Apolda Germany. As you can imagine, Dobermann wanted protection when he visited taxpayers (or tax non-payers) (Source: Hillspet).

doberman pinscher needs daily exercise

The Doberman is considered a people-oriented breed. They are intelligent and relatively quick to learn, protective, affectionate, and loyal. Dobermans are good with children, providing they were raised with them. This breed is energetic and can adjust to apartment living if exercised daily. Known as excellent guard dogs, Dobermans do well alongside police and military dogs. They also make good rescue dogs and therapy dogs. 

Size: Dobermans grow up to 24 to 28 inches in height and weigh 60 to 100 pounds.

Life expectancy: Dobermans tend to live 10 to 12 years.

Coat: Dobermans have a short, smooth coat with shades of black, blue, red, or fawn, with rust markings.

AKC group: Dobermans belong to the AKC working group.

Are Dobermans Easy to Train?

The high level of intelligence allows the Doberman pinscher to learn easily and respond quickly. With that said, Dobermans are powerful dogs that can be destructive, aggressive, and unmanageable if not raised properly.

doberman pinscher with clipped ears

For that reason, it’s crucial Dobermans receive early socialization and obedience training as puppies. Dobermans are inherently observant and will take advantage of an ambivalent leader; so as the trainer, you must be confident and use a firm tone to earn this breed’s respect. 

Do Dobermans Need Grooming?

For the most part, Dobermans are considered a “wash and wear” breed with few grooming needs. A quick daily brushing with a short-bristle brush or grooming mitt will keep the Doberman coat shiny and healthy. Dobermans only require a bath when they get into something messy. Ears need to be cleaned every few days, while nails should be trimmed monthly, and teeth brushed regularly.

Doberman owners typically crop the breed’s ears and dock their tails. Many animal care organizations have come out against ear-cropping and tail docking, saying they’re cosmetic and not medically necessary. Talk to your veterinarian about properly cleaning your Doberman’s ears and if you have questions or concerns about the above procedures. 

What If My Breed Is a Dobermans Mix?

Due to the popularity of the Doberman pinscher, many breeders select this breed to create designer dogs. Before you get a Doberman mix, research the genetic strengths and weaknesses to give you an idea of what characteristics your pup may possess. If you love Dobermans, you’re sure to love a mix.

Here are some popular Dobermans breed mixes:

  • Beagleman = Doberman pinscher + beagle
  • Bullderman = Doberman pinscher + bull terrier
  • Doberdane = Doberman pinscher + Great Dane
  • Doberhound = Doberman pinscher + greyhound
  • Doberidgeback = Doberman pinscher + Rhodesian ridgeback
  • Doberlab = Doberman pinscher + Labrador retriever
  • Doberlian shepherd = Doberman pinscher + Australian shepherd
  • Doberman shepherd = Doberman pinscher + German shepherd
  • Dobie = Doberman pinscher + collie
  • Dorgi = Doberman pinscher + Welsh corgi
  • Rotterman = Doberman pinscher + rottweiler