Potty training is not a challenge for this highly skilled and intelligent breed. Most dobes quickly catch on within a few days of training with positive reinforcement. This beautiful dog does not want a pee-filled home and practically trains himself, but he still needs your guidance in the beginning.
Take your dog outside frequently. Put your dobe on a leash and walk to the door. Have your doberman sit before opening the door to walk outside. Enthusiastically say the command “outside” as you and your dobe are walking out the door. Direct your dobe to an appropriate eliminating location in the yard, and as he begins eliminating, say “go potty.” Praise and give your dobe a treat when he finishes eliminating and while you're still outside.
Correct “caught in the act” accidents without punishment. A doberman does not respond well to training with punishment techniques. Instead, say “no” with a firm voice followed by an enthusiastic “outside” command, according to the Gentle Doberman. Direct your dobe to the appropriate eliminating location and say “go potty.” Praise and give your dobe a treat when he finishes eliminating and while you're still outside. Thoroughly clean the accident with an enzymatic cleaner.
Confine an unsupervised dobe with a crate or small room. The doberman is not suited for crate life with the exception of short increments during potty training. Crates must be large enough for your dobe to comfortably stand, lie down and turn around. Take your dobe immediately outside after being confined. The dobe thrives with satisfactory human interaction and leadership, according to the Dog Breed Info Center.
Create a routine. Routines give dobes an idea of what to expect. The routine includes times to eat, play and potty. Write the times your dobe eats and then the time he eliminates in a notebook, so you have an accurate idea of his elimination pattern. Always take your dobe outside immediately after waking up and after playing.
- Circling, whining, sniffing and running to the door are all signs that your dobe needs to go potty. Take him outside immediately if you see these signs.
- Do not give commands more than one time. If you're standing outside 10 minutes saying “go potty, go potty, go potty, go potty,” then your dog does not know what you're asking.
- Hire a dog walker if you work outside the home. A puppy can only “hold it” one hour for every month of his age, according to the Humane Society of the United States.
- All family members must be consistent with commands, techniques and potty locations.
- Never physically punish a doberman -- this includes rubbing his nose in a mess. A puppy may show tolerance and fear of the punishment, but it can lead to aggression problems in an adult dobe. An aggressive or fearful doberman is safety hazard for children, strangers, other animals and possibly you.
Melissa McNamara is a certified personal trainer who holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and communication studies from the University of Iowa. She writes for various health and fitness publications while working toward a Bachelor of Science in nursing.