Smart and fiercely loyal, the Doberman pinscher is a highly active breed that can be prone to hyperactivity for various reasons. If you're considering this breed or you own a Doberman already, spending a little more time with the dog can alleviate the potential for hyperactive behavior. When they get proper exercise and attention, Dobermans can become loving and stable companion dogs.
Possible Reasons for Hyperactivity
As an energetic breed, Doberman pinschers require regular exercise. Without it, these natural athletes become bored and restless. Compounded restlessness can boredom can result in wild spurts of hyperactive behavior. Dobies are known for being highly intelligent dogs; they cannot handle being alone with no stimulus for several hours of the day. In addition to lack of exercise and boredom, anxiety plays a role in a dog's hyperactivity. Dobies who are prone to separation anxiety pay close attention to the movements of their owners; stimuli that tell the dog you're leaving, such as a morning alarm or your grabbing of keys and coat will prompt increased energy and activity if your leaving upsets her. Spending more time interacting one-on-one with the dog is a first step toward overcoming anxious hyperactivity. This obsessive behavior can lead to heightened anxiety if they associate your leaving with being alone or feeling neglected.
Make sure your bonding time is more than just cuddling and petting. Increase your exercise together. Dobies, especially younger pinschers, need at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise each day. Daily walks are not enough to stave off boredom in this working breed. The Doberman requires high amounts of exercise. Take him to a park where he can run at top speed for minutes at a time; find a hardy large-breed playmate to engage your Doberman in intense wrestling; practice brain-challenging games with your Dobie such as training him to do tricks or to run agility courses -- after you've mastered basic obedience training, of course.
Doberman pinschers are athletic and they're quick to catch on. The breed is born with an inherent desire to work, protect and serve, which makes them excellent guard and companion dogs. One way to alleviate hyperactive behavior is to include your Dobie in mentally challenging and emotionally bonding training. Whether this is agility training, guard dog training or even simple obedience lessons, consistent and focused training classes can calm your dog's wild energy and channel it into something helpful. Locate obedience classes in your area, and attend them regularly to teach your dog helpful everyday commands.
Providing your Doberman pinscher with heavy-duty toys that stimulate multiple senses can alleviate hyperactivity and focus your dog. When providing toys, make sure they are tough and resistant to chewing. Select toys that can hold treats, and get them in a variety of textures. Food-filled toys such as Kong-brand chew rubber and puzzle games such as Zanies are examples of toys that stimulate the intellect. Remember too, that toys alone are not a substitute for exercise or training, both of which are important to your Dobie's overall health.