Dobermans are handsome dogs. However, their muscular physique and sharp features give Dobermans an unfair reputation, their portrayal in films and the media does little to help this. Properly bred Dobermans make great companions and are generally friendly and loving. The breed originates from Germany, and was first developed as a guard dog, their protective nature can be attributed to this. It is natural for owners or perspective owners to wonder whether Dobermans bark a lot.
So, to answer the question do Dobermans bark a lot? Dobermans are not known for barking a lot. However, they may do so when trying to communicate something to their owner. Barking could be an indication that they are hungry, thirsty, or bored. It is quite likely that Doberman will bark if they sense a threat to their family. They are highly protective by nature and also incredibly loyal; they will seek to alert their household of any suspicious activity.
Understanding why a Doberman may bark is key to training them to bark at appropriate times.
Owners will need to invest time training their pet Doberman, they are highly intelligent and need an outlet for their energy as well as strong leadership.
Owners do well not to underestimate their Doberman; they are highly intelligent and need stimulation.
Barking is a dog’s way of communicating with their owner and understanding why your Doberman may be barking is highly important.
Why Do Dobermans Bark?
If your Doberman is barking more than you would like or at inappropriate times (e.g. late at night), understanding why they are barking is the first step in being able to stop this behaviour.
Doberman typically have a strong, loud bark intended to alert their family of any potential threats and also act as a deterrent for intruders.
They were originally bred as guard dogs, but seeing as most families don’t necessarily need a fully-fledged ‘guard dog’ they have been welcomed into homes and quickly become a protective member of the family.
Your Doberman may bark as part of their protective instinct. Doberman who are well-bred, live in the family home and are well loved and cared for are likely to become highly protective of their family.
This endearing trait can mean that your Doberman will bark if people approach your home or knock on your door.
If you are considering getting or own a Doberman for security purposes, this type of barking can be desirable and owners can invest time in training their dog to bark in these situations.
The assertive bark of a Doberman is a great alert system and can also act as a deterrent for any potential threats.
Dobermans are typically (when bred correctly and with due care and consideration) a highly intelligent, loyal and instinctive dog.
If you are seeking a Doberman with the qualities of a guard dog, you will not need to get a fully-trained protection dog as these have generally been bred for working purposes, rather than a family pet.
Instead, the protective nature and the bond that a Doberman builds with their loving, assertive and affectionate family, will mean that your Doberman instinctively protects their family.
Your Doberman may bark because they are bored. Dobermans, whilst relatively easy to look after, are quite high maintenance in terms of the stimulation they need to avoid boredom.
They are highly intelligent dogs and thrive when given the correct amount of exercise, attention and stimulation.
As a family pet, your Doberman should live in the family home, otherwise they can become lonely, bored and even aggressive and destructive.
Owing to their high intelligence and loyal nature, your Doberman will want to spend time with you, exercising, playing and even relaxing with you.
Your Doberman will become another member of your family very quickly!
It is important for owners to establish leadership and dominance over their Doberman, consistency is key in terms of their training and should be started from a young age.
A Doberman who is raised in this way, is likely to also be a good companion for children, as long as they are used to them.
Anecdotal stories from Doberman owners suggest that Doberman can be quite attention seeking pets when bored and will likely bark if they do not feel they are getting enough attention.
Make sure your Doberman has enough exercise during the day so that in the evenings you can relax together. Pent up energy can also lead to your Doberman barking.
Your Doberman may bark because they haven’t been trained not to. It sounds silly, but originally bred as a watchdog, it is in a Dobermans nature to bark.
It is important that owners factor this in to their Dobermans training from a very young age to establish a pattern of behavior: when you want your Doberman to bark, and when they should not bark.
Most owners find that incentivizing desirable behaviour gives the best results when training a Doberman.
When they are quiet at appropriate times, give them a treat. Some owners also report that spraying your Doberman in the face when they bark at inappropriate times using water in a spray bottle can be effective in deterring the barking behavior.
Any Doberman owner knows just how affectionate and loyal this fascinating breed is.
Owners should be very selective when choosing their breeder, as carelessness has led to some Doberman being overly aggressive and can lead to lots of barking.
How Often Do Doberman Bark?
Doberman typically only bark to alert their owner of something. Barking is a dog’s way of communicating. Protective in nature, a Doberman may bark if they have perceived a threat to their family.
If people or traffic are constantly moving past your house, you may find that your Doberman barks more frequently.
Invest time in training your Doberman, incentivizing the appropriate time to bark if this is an issue.
Doberman may also bark if they are hungry or bored. Be consistent in the daily routine you have established with your pet Doberman. These dogs are highly intelligent and respond well to strong leadership and structure.
How Do I Get my Doberman To Stop Barking?
There are many different reasons why a Doberman may bark. Once you have understood why your Doberman is barking, you can begin to address the issue.
Remember, it is in a Dobermans nature to be protective if you as their owner, and this is probably one of the reasons you were attracted to the breed in the first place.
Training is key to encouraging your Doberman only to bark when it is appropriate.
When training your Doberman it is important to start right away from when you bring them home, establishing a strong sense of leadership over them.
Dogs are pack animals: they respond to the Alpha, asserting your dominance over them (in a kind and appropriate way) will allow your Doberman to respond to you and follow your instructions.
Make sure that you are feeding your Doberman enough if you think this might be a reason they are barking so much.
You could also introduce different toys and games for them to play with to make sure that your Doberman is not bored.
Exercise is another key factor in getting your Doberman to stop barking. Make sure that your dog has had plenty of exercise in the day to burn off any excess energy, as this can also be a contributing factor as to getting them to stop barking.
Training Your Doberman To Stop Barking
The are generally three effective techniques and strategies that work well for training this dog breed to reduce their barking tendencies.
These are known as the quiet, meet needs and prevention methods.
Before you attempt to train your dog, you will need to ensure you have a water spray bottle and treats at hand. A toy is also effective.
You’ll need to be persistent with training, and daily is preferable. Spending 5 minutes each day, best done in the morning, will ensure that you have the best chance of success.
You can use any one of the methods below, each are ideal in different contexts.
Method #1 – Quiet Method
Step One: Get your doberman to bark – this is best done by putting them in a situation where they routinely or are most likely to do so. When your dog bark, say the word “bark” aloud. Do so with an upbeat tone. Here, you are teaching your dog to bark on command – it is in doing so that you can do the opposite.
Step Two: Give your dog a treat once they bark and be sure to do so soon after. This will ensure they learn to recognize the behavior with the reward. Also be sure to give them praise during this time. Practice step one and two for several days until your dog learns to bark on this ‘bark’ command.
Step Three: Command your dog to bark and then wait for them to stop. Once they do, say the word ‘quiet’ allowed. While you can use any word you like, you need to be consistent when teaching commands.
Step Four: Reward your dog after you have stated your desired command (e.g. ‘quiet’) and they have remained silent. Again be sure to give a treat promptly. Again, practice this for multiple days simultaneously. Begin to issue the quiet command as your dog barks so that they connect the behavior with the reward for stopping.
Step Five: Now be sure to use the word ‘quiet’ or other used command when your dog barks. This will help them to stop this behavior.
Method #2 – Meet Needs Method
Step One: Dobermans are likely to bark to communicate their needs. Common examples include hunger and thirst. Be sure you keep a regular and consistent feeding schedule.
Step Two: Another cause for barking is a request to go outside for the toilet. Try to foresee when they are likely going to want to go and again, stick to common times you let them out. A good schedule is usually after meals and before you go to sleep.
Step Three: Make sure you give your dog regular attention throughout the day. This can be through playing with them, playing fetch, stroking them etc. Make sure they never get too bored or this can cause ‘needy’ barking.
Step Four: Provide enough exercise and take them out daily for a good long walk. This will help your dog expend energy and should lead to more sleep when you return home.
Step Five: Be sure to treat and reward your dog each time they exhibit positive behavior and do not bark. Good examples of this are when people come to visit or you meet others out on a walk. Your dog will soon associate better behavior with treats.
Method #3 – Prevention Method
Step One: If you notice your dog barking in response to people talking or other general noise, you can leave some quiet music/ TV on in the background to keep your doberman distracted.
Step Two: If your doberman barks whenever they see a potential visitor, neighbor or walker outside, you can help reduce barking by preventing views. You can close curtains/blinds or you can keep them away from open windows, especially at the front of your home.
Step Three: Be sure never to inadvertently reward your dog when they bark. Never reward your dog with attention/treats when they bark.
Step Four: You can consider using a water spray bottle whenever your dog barks. You will just need to spray their face which they do not like. They will soon learn to associate barking with this negative outcome.
Step Five: Spend time daily to teach your dog commands. This will ensure they are learnt, recognized and adhered to.
Dobermans are fiercely loyal and loving pets. They are highly protective of their family seeing as they were originally bred as guard dogs. For this reason, Doberman may bark.
Understanding why your Doberman is barking and consistent training is key to establishing boundaries in their barking behavior. Seeing as Doberman typically bark when they perceive a threat to their family, they do make excellent watchdogs.
Keeping your Doberman well fed, well exercised and their intelligent minds well stimulated, is key to a healthy and happy Doberman who doesn’t bark too often.
Do Dobermans need a lot of attention? Yes, dobermans need to be kept busy, both physically or mentally, or otherwise they will often seek attention from their owners. They are even considered ‘needy’ dogs as they are generally hyper-focused on their owners, liking to be near and close to them at all times.
Are dobermans good family dogs? Yes, dobermans tend to be loving and loyal family dogs. They are very intelligent and people orientated. However, they are also protective and may act aggressively to other people or dogs they perceive them to be a threat to their owners or loved ones.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.