Training is of paramount importance to a Dobermann, both for their mental wellbeing and stimulation and also to ensure they are well mannered and easy to live alongside. Beauty, Intellect , Obedience and excellent manners will ensure you own a true ambassador of the breed.
The most important training comes from you, the owner, every waking minute of every day. It is your mission to project a calm authority in your household, avoid becoming frustrated, don’t shout and scream, never get violent and never ‘baby’ your dog. Never ever let your dog think he’s got the better of you. You want your dog to follow and obey your direction? Then be the kind of leader worth following. Be firm but fair and above all, be consistent in all you say and do.
Choose your instructor wisely, ideally someone with Dobermann experience or at least experience of large breed powerful dogs. Basic obedience is a pre-requisite for all other types of training.
Advice below is given from Westway Canine who are firm supporters of the work the Trust do and often assist with rehabilitation of our Dobes in need.
Rewards should only be given for correct responses
If you set your dog up for success and manipulate the circumstances to let your dog get ir right first time all he will get is praise and reward and he will always want to do what you ask. Motivate your dog using a reward of praise, toys, food or playtime. If your dog makes a mistake you can give a ‘no reward’ mark and withhold the reward until he gets it right. Right response = reward. Wrong response = try again.
Get Your Timing Right
Be aware that your timing is critical. You must reward the INSTANT your dog gives the correct response. Anytime before or after and your dog may become confused.
Take your time
Don’t expect your dog to understand what is required immediately, it can take time to learn new things. Don’t rush the teaching part of any exercise or you will confuse your dog and become frustrated. If your dog struggles with an exercise, even after a few weeks – go back to basics and try again.
Take it easy
Never train when you’re in a bad mood. Never train when you have no patience. Never get angry with your dog. Choose to train when you are in the right frame of mind.
Anyone in the family can train the dog, as long as you do it consistently. Every command and response or reward must be identical, no matter who is training.
Do not allow your dog to ignore your commands
If you are not in a position to follow through with a reward or correction do not issue a command to your dog if you know it may not be obeyed. You must not allow your dog to ignore your commands.
Practice makes perfect!
Spending just 5-10 minutes per day practicing the exercises learned in class will bring dividends. Try not to follow the same routine, mix it up a little and give your dog some variety. It’s good to keep them guessing and concentrating on how to earn that next biscuit!