Did you take formal obedience classes or train yourself. How many classes did you take? Do you still continue to train when not in class?
I trained Bruno myself. He was a breeze, being older and less distractable. He is mostly dobe with a pinch of GSD for good luck.
Buggles will be starting formal obedience on 2/2 but I have been working with her from day 1. At 6 months old, she is easily distracted and requires LOTS of one on one. We train throughout the day, every day.
How important/beneficial is obedience training to you for this breed?
Obedience is incredibly important to me for every breed. There is nothing better than a well trained dog and nothing more irritating than an untrained, out of control dog. It's in the doberman's DNA to be well-trained, they thrive on it and need a strong, assertive leader.
Where do you train outside of classes? (backyard, walks, public places)
We train in the house, on walks, in our fenced yard, in the car. Every experience is a learning opportunity. It isn't necessarily formal training, but the dogs know where I stand and what is and isn't acceptable in all situations.
How much time do you spend in a training session? Do you find it easy to train a male or a female? Do you think a doberman is easy to train compared to other breeds?
We do "formal" training in very small increments, maybe 2 minutes at a time, many times throughout the day. I have not noticed a difference in training ease between the two sexes, age is a more important factor in my mind. I find the dobe to be a fun challenge to train, easier than a small dog but harder than a less stubborn breed.
What type of rewards do you use, if any? (food, toy, praise) Do you use any special training aids? (leashes, clickers, etc) What methods of training do you use?
I use a prong collar, a clicker, and bits of chicken liver for training. I dry the liver in the fridge for a few days so it isn't icky on my hands. Other than the prong I use positive reinforcement. I find the prong a valuable tool but only use for extreme situations, such as walking with lots of distractions. Bruno wears a prong for walks but he doesn't know that the leash isn't hooked to it, it's hooked to his flat collar. His prong is also very loose now, since we don't use it for corrections. He wears it because it's his cue to behave around horses, other dogs, etc.
What have the rewards/accomplishments been since you started training your doberman?
I love that my dogs are so tuned into me. They have amazing focus and I feel that training has strengthened our bond. What's better than a nice loose leash walk, followed by a big romp in the yard, and then a nap with two tuckered out dobes? Not much, in my opinion.