Types of Training - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Types of Training


Looking to get a Dobe pup towards the end of the year. Ideally my plan is therapy work. My question is, what are the best types of training / skills for Doberman's in this arena - especially in regards to socialization.

I know some people who swear by the "e-collar" off leash method, but as I understand it, Dobe's don't really respond to that well. So aside from traditional obedience training, I'm looking for some guidance and/or tips.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 02:15 PM
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Welcome from florida.....glad to have you with us.......hang on....we have some folks that will give you some good info on this subject.
We have one member that goes to schools with his pup and reads with kids .
He will have some detailed information for you soon......stay tuned !!!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 03:39 PM
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EK- Welcome to DT from San Antonio!

Our male 9 y/o Dobe, Spock has been a Pet Partners (PP) Therapy dog since 2018.

Here's the thread about it:

I recommend socialization early on with your new Dobe pup, obedience training, then working toward CGC certification. The CGC certification is great training for the PP Therapy Dog evaluation skills testing. Spock was late on getting CGC at age 6.5, mainly because of my work. Now that I'm retired, I am devoting much time to his therapy visits. I might try to get our Eva PP certified, also, but she is much more cautious meeting people.

For therapy work, the most important factor will be your dog's temperament and interactions with strangers. Some of this is inherent and some due to your pup's early socialization experiences. Spock is the kind of Dobe that just can't get enough attention, petting or loving. This has been field-proven with whole classes of 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders fawning all over him with attention and physical affection!

One other word about Dobes... Don't be in huge rush for the training/certs as some Dobes take a couple years to mature out of "puppy brain" stage, when they will settle down. Most experts do recommend socialization as much and as soon as possible, since early good experiences will make good lasting impressions...
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Ten Doberman Rules
Poke Everything.
It's New? Bark At It.
Moves? Chase It.
Doesn't Move? Smell It.
Liquid? Spill and Dribble It.
Treat or Food? Wolf It Down.
Not Food? Chew It Slowly, Be Quiet & Hide From Human.
A Toy? Shred & Destroy It.
Stuffed? De-Stuff It.
Bites You Back? Wrestle It!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 03:44 PM
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More than anything, go to a great breeder who's producing dogs sound in temperament (and conformation). Look for breeders who apply early neurological stimulation methods to their newly whelped puppies. These breeders can generally be found through the doberman pinscher club of America or a local DPCA chapter club. You still need to do your due diligence, but that's a great place to start. Where are you located and what is your dog/dobe experience?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 04:29 PM
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An e-collar can be used, in experienced and trained hands, as a tool to proof the dog's learning (to make sure he knows that no matter how far away from you he is, you can "get" him). It should not be used as a primary method of instruction--the dog needs to KNOW what various commands mean and what he needs to do to obey, BEFORE he is subject to negative consequences (like an e-collar shock) if he doesn't do what you want him to.

Many (even most) dogs do not need to be trained with an e-collar in order to be considered steady and rock-solid in their training.

They can be a useful addition to the wide variety of tools for dog training, but they don't work miracles. In the hands of people who are just trying to skip some of the steps that should go into training to get a faster response, they can backfire, and create or worsen an unstable temperament.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 01:45 PM
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The foundation of a great therapy dog starts with the right temperament, and that starts with finding the right breeder. Don't be in a rush, and don't have a certain timeline in mind. Look for a breeder that has produced other therapy dogs, and not just one...several. Make sure you're clear that that is your goal for your puppy, so you can be matched with a pup with the right temperament for the work. While Dobermans can make good therapy dogs, I think it's not necessarily the "norm" for them...the breed standard says they can be "aloof with strangers" and that's not uncommon, so it can take some extra work to find a Doberman who WANTS and LOVES to interact with lots of strangers and really, truly enjoys it. Not all of them do. It doesn't mean they aren't GOOD with strangers, it just means it isn't something they love and enjoy, so you do have to seek out the right dog for it. Again, there are MANY successful Doberman therapy dogs, so everyone doesn't need to jump all over me for this, but it's not necessarily our breed's natural inclination

Your puppy's early experiences with their breeder are critical to later success, so you want a breeder who provides great socialization - your puppy MUST have good, positive experiences. Take your time to do your research!

Think about what kind of therapy work you want to do...do you want to work with kids? Older adults in hospitals or nursing homes? The more variety of experiences your puppy has even before they come home with you (that are POSITIVE) will make a huge difference - not only with a large variety of people, but with different surfaces to walk on, with different equipment and noises...these early types of things can really set the stage for later in life. Then you continue this...a good puppy class that utilizes stuff like walking on unstable surfaces, exposure to different types of people and strange sights, all kinds of things as a first start, all in addition to starting your obedience foundation is what I would be going for. All this in addition to a pup that's outgoing, relatively calm, bombproof-type of personality....

Best of luck in your puppy search.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 02:58 PM
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Every dog is different and not all will be therapy dog material even with good temperament. The last therapy dog (Doberman) that I had was my Velma and she died over 7 years ago - I really miss doing therapy work. My Louise had great temperament, but was aloof with strangers .... so would not have been good at therapy work. Jezebel does not like strangers and Harvard is aloof with them.

I'm hoping that my Mabel (currently almost 14 months old) will eventually be a therapy dog. She is currently showing towards her championship (has 7 points with one major). I socialize her a lot and have gone through basic obedience.... which we missed a lot of and she needs work - haha. The obedience work will come - but you can't make them a good therapy dog if they don't enjoy it.

Find a breeder who's dogs have great temperament and hopefully have some therapy dogs in the pedigree already. Then socialize socialize socialize. Go to puppy classes, obedience classes, etc.... I would recommend mostly positive training, but truthfully am not an advocate of purely positive training.... I think there need to be consequences for bad behavior as well as reward for good behavior..... I was pretty much the same for my human kids - haha.

Mary Jo Ansel

AKC GRCH/UKC CH Fitzmar's Command A Minute CGC "Harvard"
Fitzmar's Victory Hop Devil RN CGC "Jezebel"
Ch Jalyn One Moment Please "Mabel"
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