Have you recently added a Doberman puppy to your family? If so, you may have noticed that they have a strong need to chew and sometimes may bite as they play and explore. You’re smart if you want to put a stop to unwanted biting while your Doberman is still a puppy. But how do you do so? Well, here is everything you are going to want to know, do, and consider.
So, how do you train a Doberman puppy not to bite? You can train a Doberman puppy not to bite with a firm yet gentle approach, using clear verbal and physical cues to discourage biting. Redirect to desired behaviors, apply positive reinforcement using treats and toys, and be patient. Teach the “no” command and demonstrate disapproval through body language, guiding them toward alternative, preferable activities.
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How To Train A Doberman Puppy Not To Bite
Successfully training a Doberman puppy not to bite involves a few steps that are not difficult but do require consistency to be most effective.
Using these steps will help teach puppies that biting is not an acceptable way to interact with people.
Use A Simple But Firm Verbal Command Such As “No” or “Stop”
A young Doberman puppy will learn bite inhibition, the ability to control the strength of their bite or chewing when interacting with other animals, from their parents.
However, some puppies will still need to work with this when they come home with you.
Verbal commands can help teach a puppy that rough biting hurts. Verbal commands need to be given right away when biting takes place.
They should be simple and easy to say, such as “No,” “All Done,” or “Stop.”
The important part is that you pick a word that you – and anyone who interacts with your puppy – can use clearly and consistently when biting happens.
When your puppy bites, you will loudly (but without screaming) say your chosen command with a clear, firm voice.
The goal isn’t to scare your dog but to let them know in a way they can understand that their behavior is harmful.
When you give the command, remove your hand or the object being bitten.
Offer praise when your dog stops biting and shows a sign of being calm. If your dog bites again, repeat the command.
If you find you need to use the command more than 3-4 times in a ten-minute period, you may need to give your dog some space to calm down and reset.
Withdraw From Play When Your Puppy Bites
Dobermans are very physical dogs; a verbal cue alone may not be enough to stop their attempts at biting.
Puppies are easily overstimulated, which can lead to biting even after a verbal cue has been used.
Withdrawing from play can help your puppy learn that biting is unwanted and also gives your Doberman a chance to settle down their excitement.
When your puppy bites while playing or receiving attention, continue to use a firm verbal cue such as “No,” but this time remove not just your hand (or area being chewed on) but actually step back from your puppy and stop any play.
Do not restart interaction with your puppy until they are calm.
If your puppy jumps up to try and bite after you have stepped away, you can push them back with a firm hand, repeat your verbal command, and then withdraw again.
Withdrawing should last until your puppy appears to have calmed.
Make sure never to strike your puppy during training. Hitting or yanking on your puppy can cause fear and further aggression.
Redirect Your Puppy’s Behavior
All puppies have a need to chew and use their teeth to explore their world.
To help teach your puppy not to bite you, be ready to offer alternative options for chewing and gentle biting.
These may include rope toys, rubber chews, or other durable bones and toys.
When your Doberman puppy bites, use your verbal cue, slowly remove your hand, and then calmly offer an alternate chewing option.
Be sure to praise your dog after they chew on the offered toy instead of your body.
A puppy that has acceptable options for biting and chewing is less likely to try and bite people or clothing.
Remove Biting Triggers From The Environment
Sometimes the best training tool an owner can use is the prevention of unwanted behavior.
When Doberman puppies get excited through rowdy play or are scared by loud noises, they are more likely to bite.
Try to avoid activities where your hands or feet flail or fling themselves near your puppy’s face to help prevent biting.
Provide your Doberman puppy with a calm environment and consistent routine to help lower their natural instinct to bite.
The steps above may not resolve all biting issues, but they are very effective when used on rambunctious Doberman puppies who need to learn not to bite.
With many puppies, a few lessons in manners about their teeth will go a long way toward preventing biting from becoming a habit.
Why Do Doberman Puppies Bite So Much?
There is a blend of reasons that Doberman puppies tend to bite. One reason is that biting and chewing is a regular part of puppy growth and development regardless of breed. Your puppy may also be losing their baby teeth and replacing them with adult canine teeth. Another reason is that Dobermans are bred to be athletic and strong-willed dogs with a high protection instinct. Last, Doberman puppies may bite out of fear or confusion.
Biting Is Part Of Normal Doberman Puppy Development
Regardless of breed, puppies tend to bite and chew more than their adult counterparts.
This holds true for Doberman puppies, which are excitable and playful by nature.
If your puppy is under six months old, occasional biting and some chewing should be expected.
The important part of handling this development stage is to immediately begin to teach your puppy that biting people isn’t an acceptable option for play.
The steps listed above are a great place to start with teaching your young Doberman not to bite.
Training combined with an increase in your puppy’s age should lead to a noticeable decline in unwanted biting.
Biting Increases During Teething
It is important to know that even if you have taught your puppy that biting is not acceptable, they may struggle with biting around the age of 4-5 months as they transition from their puppy teeth to their adult teeth.
A puppy’s gums can become sensitive and uncomfortable as new teeth arrive, which leads to an increased desire to bite and chew.
If you find that your puppy was doing well with their biting training and suddenly begins biting again, take time to consider if teething may be playing a factor.
Stay consistent with your training and offer a lot of chew toy options along with positive verbal praise and treats for good behavior.
Breeding Plays A Role In Biting
Dobermans have historically been bred for their intelligence, athleticism, and their protective instinct.
They have been used for protection dogs and as working military dogs for decades.
To serve these roles well, Dobermans were bred for natural bravery and trainable biting instinct.
Dobermans have a long snout and sturdy jaw that make their bites particularly strong.
This means that even a playful bite from a Doberman can pack more punch than a bite from many other breeds.
Dogs like Dobermans that were bred with higher instincts for protectiveness and biting may exhibit that behavior from a young age.
This plays a role in the biting nature of Doberman puppies.
Biting Out Of Fear or Confusion
Puppies do not have the real-world experience of older dogs and need regular positive socialization to help them be happy and confident.
Puppies who are hit or harmed as part of their training can become fearful of humans and other animals.
When a puppy is afraid, its natural instinct will be to use its teeth to protect itself.
This means that a scared puppy, regardless of their training, may bite if put in a situation that feels overly dangerous.
To help with this, spend time socializing your puppy with other friendly humans and dogs from a young age.
Be certain that when you are being firm with your dog, you are not being overly harsh by hitting, kicking, or screaming at your Doberman.
If your puppy bites out of fear, it is usually a one-time reaction to a stressor.
If your puppy regularly acts fearful – hiding, cowering, shaking, or biting at unusual times – be sure to consult with a professional trainer or animal behaviorist to safely improve the situation.
How Long Does It Take To Train A Doberman Puppy To Stop Biting?
It can take anywhere from 2 weeks or more to see a reduction in your Doberman puppies biting after introducing training.
The time frame required to train a Doberman puppy to stop biting is unique for each dog.
But by being consistent with your behavior expectations and training steps, you can shorten the time it takes for your puppy to stop biting in most cases.
Making an effort to incorporate each of the steps above gives you a well-rounded training approach to combat most puppy biting.
After two weeks of consistent work, you should notice your puppy is biting much less.
If your puppy is still a frequent biter after multiple months of training, consider asking a professional for assistance.
Do not forget that all puppies bite and chew to some extent, regardless of their breed. Puppies who are teething might begin biting again even if they had previously stopped.
Patience and clear expectations are the biggest keys to helping your puppy stop biting.
Stopping a Doberman puppy from biting while they are still young is crucial if you want to raise a well-rounded and socialized dog.
Thankfully with the right approach, time, and consistency, it is something you can greatly reduce.
My downloadable guide is just the ticket to walk you through the process.
Related guides you may want to read:
- How Much Exercise Does A Doberman Need? [Per Day, On Average]
- Do Dobermans Like To Cuddle? [Is This Breed Affectionate?]
- Do Dobermans Smell? [This Is What Owners Will Tell You]
- Do Dobermans Bark A Lot? [How Often And Potential Causes]
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.