Dobermans are one of the most popular dog breeds around. These dogs are big, beautiful, and considered royalty in the canine world. They are also considered one of the best guard dogs around. Often, a Doberman’s protective nature gives people the wrong impression. While a Doberman will protect their owners with no hesitation, they are also one of the most loyal, loving, and intelligent dog breeds around. Unfortunately, though, they do bark. Especially, when they are on alert.
Deciding to bring a dog into your home means learning what you can about that breed. One of the most common questions that pop up when a family is considering a Doberman as a pet is do they bark a lot? How often? Can it be stopped? The answers to those questions are simple. Yes, Dobermans bark as most dogs do. Barking usually happens when they are stressed or on alert and yes, with proper training barking can be controlled. Let’s learn a bit more so you can better understand this dog breed and why barking is a normal part of owning one.
Dobermans Were Bred for Protection
It’s odd to imagine that such a beautiful dog breed came into existence due to people not wanting to pay their taxes but it’s true. In the late 19th century, Louis Dobermann was a tax collector in Germany. Unfortunately, most people weren’t quick to offer up those taxes. Many tried to run or even attack the men who came to their door looking for money owed. Luckily, for Dobermann, tax collection wasn’t a full-time job. He was also a night watchman, taxidermist, and dog catcher. It was his knowledge of dogs that led Dobermann to breed the dogs who would eventually take his name.
Dobermann wanted dogs that would protect him while he collected taxes and put enough fear into people that they wouldn’t dare try to rob him. It isn’t exactly clear which dog breeds he used to do this, but most believe it to be the German Shepherd, for its intelligence and stamina, the Rottweiler for its guarding abilities and strength, the German Pinscher for its ambition and speed, and finally, the Weimaraner for its great scenting abilities. Either way, the Doberman breed was eventually a success that was introduced to the world to become an impressive breed in the world of dogs.
How Much Do Dobermans Bark?
Knowing what a dog breed was originally bred for helps determine the amount of barking they may do. It’s clear Dobermans were bred for protection, loyalty, and power. Their appearance is enough to make people take a step back, especially after Hollywood put the breed into movies to depict them as dangerous. Luckily, Dobermans have evolved into being beloved family pets. But don’t let that fool you. They are still powerhouses who will protect their families when needed. That is why barking is such a part of them. They are always on alert.
It’s difficult to predict just how much a Doberman will bark. They feel it is their job to bark when they think their owners should be alerted to something. That could be the mailman outside, a dog walking past the house, or the lack of food in their bowl. While the barking may be annoying or troublesome if you have neighbors, it is a Doberman’s way of caring for the family. Thankfully, with the high level of intelligence this dog breed exhibits, training them to control their barking is easy.
The 6 Steps for Stopping a Doberman’s Barking
Dobermans are highly intelligent and love to impress their owners. This makes working with them to control their barking simpler than with most breeds. They are also a dog breed that doesn’t require a trained professional to step in and do the training for you. In most cases, a Doberman can be trained at home by its owner. The key is for the owner to know how to work with their dog properly. Here are a few steps you can take if you want to teach your Doberman to control its barking.
1. Recognize the Trigger
It’s hard to stop a Doberman from barking if you can’t isolate the reason. As we’ve mentioned, being on guard or being hungry are common reasons Dobies bark, but they aren’t the only ones. Dobermans are a working dog breed. This means they can get bored easily. When you are away from home for long periods, this can be an issue. Without you there, your Dobie isn’t sure what to do so, after a few hours, the boredom kicks in and random barking may start.
Dobermans also bark due to separation anxiety. Dobies love their families and are often called “Velcro dogs.” This phrase means they want to be by your side constantly. When you have to be away, and your Dobie misses you, they may start barking then add in a few long, pitiful howls to the mix.
2. Reducing the Temptation to Bark
Once you’ve decided what’s causing your Doberman to bark, it’s time to reduce the temptation. If they are on guard, take notice of what is stirring them up. If they notice things happening outside of the house, perhaps heavier curtains or blinds could help them avoid seeing the issues. For Dobermans who get worked up when you’re away from home, make sure they have lots of toys, especially those that keep them thinking or working things out. No matter the issue, try to install a solution to make things easier for your pooch.
3. Recreating the Temptation
When the issues have been eliminated from your dog’s daily routine, it’s time to toss them into the situation. For dogs that bark when you leave, go through the steps to make them think you are on your way out of the house. You can simply go around back to wait and see what your dog does. If they bark when people are outside or moving around the neighborhood, ask a friend or neighbor to help out.
4. Correct Your Doberman’s Behavior
The moment you hear your dog barking in a situation where you want the action to stop, move into action. This must be done quickly, while your dog is barking. Tell them in a firm voice, “stop”, “quiet”, or whatever command you want to use. Then have your dog move into a sitting position. From there, have them lie down. Kneel by your dog and place your hand on its shoulder blade. Put firm pressure, but not enough to cause any pain. Finally, hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds, then release your dog.
Dogs are often shown by their mothers when they have done something wrong. You’ll notice that the mothers hold their pups down to stop the behavior. This is one of the reasons placing your hand firmly on your dog during this training helps. It also shows your dog that you are alpha and what you say goes. As with any training, however, do not yell or strike your dog. This often shows a Doberman that you aren’t the calm, in-charge, alpha-type person, which can make them disobey more.
5. Reward Your Dog
The key is to keep your dog from barking for longer intervals. Set goals of 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and so on. When your dog successfully avoids barking during this training, offer them a treat. They need to realize that the longer they avoid barking, they will receive a reward. You may be concerned that this could take ages, but Dobermans are highly intelligent and train easily.
6. Repeat If Necessary
According to your Doberman, how long you have to dedicate to this training, and the triggers your dog deals with, you may need to repeat these steps a few times. Dobermans are fast learners and should only require a handful of sessions to learn not to bark.
Whether you are a Doberman owner or plan on bringing one into your home, barking is part of life. If you feel your dog’s barking is excessive or if it’s causing issues in the neighborhood, you can work with your Dobie to remedy the issue. Before long, your Dobie will make it through the day without all the barking and the two of you can simply enjoy your time together.
Featured Image Credit: Mary Swift, Shutterstock