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How To Train a Doberman To Be a Guard Dog: 4 Vet-Approved Tips

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 7, 2024 by Dogster Team

Doberman Pinscher

How To Train a Doberman To Be a Guard Dog: 4 Vet-Approved Tips


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Dobermans may appear to be aggressive and threatening, but they are kind and gentle at heart, which may make the perfect combination for a good guard dog. In fact, the dogs hold all the characteristics of a good guard dog, but patience and perseverance are needed to train your dog.

With your Doberman’s intimidating appearance, loyalty, and high levels of intelligence, you can easily train it to be the guardian you want it to be. In this article, we include step-by-step instructions to help you train your Doberman to be the best security guard for your home and family.

In this article, the term “guard dog” is used interchangeably with the term “protection dog,” as many dog owners use that term. However, it is very important to note that guard dogs need to go through specialized training and get a certification as they are considered working dogs. This is especially important if you have a Doberman.

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Are Dobermans Good Security Dogs?

Dobermans are known for their natural inclination to be guard dogs and were originally bred to do so. They are smart, aware, loyal, athletic, fast, and strong dogs and are continually rated as the best guard dogs. These characteristics combine to make an outstanding security dog. Their determination, personality, and stamina make them excellent companions and guard dogs. Because they are intelligent dogs, they can be trained fairly easily.

Both male and female Dobermans make exceptional guard dogs, but females tend to be ready sooner than males because they mature faster. Females are also more prone to be protective of their owners, while males are more protective of their homes as they are more territorial.

dobermans sitting on grass
Image Credit: Piqsels

Getting Started

You will need a short and long leash and your Doberman’s favorite treats. Most importantly, you will need patience. Patience will allow you to stay optimistic and motivated, making it a more pleasant task for you and your dog.

Try to stick to a consistent training schedule since consistency provides discipline. Try to set aside 15 minutes a day. If you stick to a routine, you will begin to see results quickly.

It’s also important to remember that you’re training your Doberman to warn you of danger and protect your home, not to be aggressive and attack. It is critical not to encourage aggression because there is no guarantee that your dog will not attack you, your family, or a visitor one day.

dogster paw dividerThe 4 Steps to Train a Doberman to Be a Guard Dog

1. Obedience Training

The first thing you need to teach your dog is obedience. When you call your dog or say a command, it should listen and respond 100%. This makes the training process a lot easier and gives you more control. You may want your dog to learn the commands sit, stay, come, and leave it.

If your Doberman is still a puppy, enroll it in obedience classes. The earlier you can do this in your dog’s life, the better. To teach your dog commands, ensure there are no distractions and that you have your dog’s favorite treat to reward it.

doberman training
Image Credit: Piqsels
  • Hold a treat in your hand and close to your dog’s nose.
  • Raise your hand slowly without pulling it away from the dog, gradually raising its head and causing it to sit.
  • When your dog sits, say the command “sit!” and reward it with its favorite treat and some praise.
  • Repeat this step until your dog obeys the sit command.
  • When your dog is sitting, tell it to “stay.” Start moving away and if your dog doesn’t get up to follow, reward it with a treat.
  • Continue teaching the stay command, taking a few steps further away each time.

2. Bark on Command

Encourage your dog to bark when a stranger approaches. This teaches your Doberman to warn you and your family of any potential danger.

  • Spend a few days watching your dog for situations that cause it to bark. You will use these cues to teach it to bark on command.
  • Choose a command you and your family will use to associate with barking.
  • When your dog is about to bark, say the chosen command word in a clear but firm voice. Then hand over a treat and praise your dog so that it can associate the command with barking.
  • Your dog will associate the command with barking after a few days. You can start giving the command when your dog isn’t already barking and continue with rewards and praise until your dog consistently responds.
  • Find a helpful stranger to approach where your Doberman is guarding. When the stranger comes, use your command word, and if your dog responds and starts to bark, the stranger should run away to show your dog what you are trying to achieve.
  • Once the stranger has left, give your dog its favorite treat.
  • Keep repeating this with different strangers until it barks without the command. Keep treats with you if you are out so you can reward your dog outside training sessions.

3. Territory and Boundaries

Demonstrate to your Doberman and train it to know what its territory is and is not. Begin this training when your Doberman is still a puppy. They are more receptive, and you will get better results.

  • Attach a long leash to your Doberman’s collar and let your dog roam the area or thing you want it to protect.
  • Doing this once in the morning and evening will reinforce that whatever it is guarding is in its territory, and your dog will naturally want to defend it.
  • If your dog barks at an approaching stranger, hand it a treat as a reward to reinforce that that is what you want it to do.
doberman training
Image Credit: Yama Zsuzsanna Márkus, Pixabay

4. Know When to Leave It

This is one of the most crucial aspects of training a guard dog. Your dog must be willing to protect you while also being ready to leave something offered by the other person alone.

  • Hold a toy in your hand, but don’t offer it to your dog.
  • Say the command “leave it” and distract your dog with something else.
  • When you notice your dog is no longer paying attention to the toy praise it, then hand it a treat.
  • Gradually work up to longer periods, but with the toy easier to take. Eventually, you can leave the toy on the floor or table without your dog taking it.
  • Once your dog has a clear understanding of the “leave it” command you can start to transfer it into leaving food items.

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Dobermans are renowned for their ability to be guard dogs due to their intelligence, athleticism, and loyalty. With some patience, routine, and positive reinforcement, you can easily train your Doberman to be a great guard dog for your family and home.

It’s important not to encourage aggression as your dog could end up attacking someone one day, so remember that your objective is to teach your dog to protect.

Featured Image Credit: DragoNika, Shutterstock

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