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Calming Your Doberman

July 27th, 2011 Posted in Doberman Health & Care

Some dogs are not as mellow as we would like. While the Golden Retriever seems to the poster child for well-adjusted, calm dogs, the doberman on the other hand could use some help. For a variety of reasons some dobes have more anxiety or nervousness than others. This could be a result of breeding practices, training issues or home environments just to name a few causes.

So what can you do to help your doberman relax?

The best option is still probably exercise, a good run or wrestling match with a buddy is sure to get all that excess energy out. Some people also state that a healthy diet will affect a dogs mood.  Then there is appropriate training to address specific issues like separation anxiety.

And lastly there is medication available to treat certain anxiety disorders.  Along these lines you may have heard of something called DAP or Dog Appeasing Pheromone. It is available as a collar or room spray. It works by giving off a synthetic version of pheromomes naturally released during lactation . I have tried this product since it was recommended by my vet for noise/thunder anxiety. Personally I did not notice any visible difference with my two dobermans.

What I have noticed that works for my dobes is music.  I had suspected that classical music had a calming effect on dogs, but have since learned solo-piano is the key to influencing your dogs mood. A research study conducted by Dr. Deborah Wells, an animal behaviorist, studied the effect of different styles of music on shelter dogs.  You can read more about the study here .  While heavy metal caused dogs to bark and pace around more, psychoacoustical classical music on dogs showed less stress behaviours. (Pop and conversation seemed not to have a noticeable difference either way.)

Calming solo-piano seems to have an effect of reducing heart rate due to the slow rhythms and simpler arrangements.  For dogs with separation or noise anxiety,  try playing this style of music 20 minutes before you leave.  If you expect visitors and your dog is a handful, try calming him with music to assist with training obedience when the person arrives.  If you plan to board your dog, ask the kennel if they can play your soothing music for your dog.

I recommend solo-piano as a great option to easing your dogs stress.  In my home I frequently play solo-piano music from an internet music station, (there are a few that specifically play this music) or you can purchase specially created music for dogs like, “through a dog’s ear“.  With my two dobermans, I have noticed that within minutes of the music playing they settle dog and sometimes even go to sleep.

On another note it’s great for calming humans too!

How do you calm your dog? Do you have any special tricks to de-stressing your doberman?

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10 Responses to “Calming Your Doberman”

  1. Tino Juarez Says:

    Maybe it’s the way you bring them up, I’ve had Dobes for for 40 yrs,and they’ve all have been big babys. They all had back yards, but I think it’s because petted, stroked etc


  2. Deepblue Says:

    Lmao,
    Saxon is six is about 6 months and he is
    full of good honest pure energy he is so
    fast,he just loves to run and jump.So
    I run him or play fetch with him. Then
    Bring him in feed him water him and he
    Is out.Simple and it works well.
    But it don’t last long!


  3. Wendy Forster Says:

    We are on with our third Dobie and they have all been big, soft, daft, loving adorable animals. We would have no other breed.


  4. Anita Says:

    This may be long, sorry, as I grew up w/Dobies and it’s the only breed I will ever have. I also worked w/Dobie rescues. What I’ve learned from decades (I’m 56) about them is their 1st yr(s) of life are soo very important. How they are raised and treated early will contribute to a nervous dog or a calm Dobie. They’re very sensitive & should never, ever be hit–of course, yelled at, or left outside–they are inside dogs. Get ready to share your couch & bed, they are “velcro dogs”. When trainnig a pup use a water bottle & squirt them while saying “no” in a normal voice–they learn quickly & have the i.q. of at least a 7 y.o. child & understand sentences. Give them lots of love, play/exercise and good care & they won’t have the nervous issues I’ve seen in abused or abandoned Dobies. We currently have one that had 5 different families in his 1st 18 months. He was starved, weighed 30 lbs @ 18 mos old when we got him. He is now a big boy at 110 lbs. Luckily he’s learned that an “oppsy daisy” is ok, coz at 1st he’d cringe & hunker down if he bumped into a table or anything–& we’d say “oopsy daisy” in a hi-pitch, fun sounding voice. When one of us did one we’d say “mama (or papa) did an oopsy daisy”). Now he doesn’t cringe at anything. He loves cats & lets them climb all over him and sleep w/him. He is now my husband’s service dog & goes to school w/him (teacher). He’s good w/everyone especially the handicapped, small kids, animals & the elderly. He is such a lover boy. Once in a while he will have lose stools & I know he’s been stressed by something. Like anohter contributor reported, the “Thru a Dog’s Ears” music works miracles. He also loves to ride in hubby’s van and of course is a “velcro” Dobie, so get ready to share your couch & bed. Just love them & they will give you 100% more love back to you. As I always stress, PLEASE RESEARCH ANY BREED YOU’RE CONSIDERING, AS WELL AS YOUR LIFE STYLE & LIVING CONDITIONS.


  5. chris Says:

    I have a doberman who has just this year been diagnosed with epilepsy, yup grand mal seizures, I have been a vet tech for years and I keep my 112 lb baby calm with deep tissue massage, my boy just loves it especially when I rub his spine from his neck to his tail, he has even fallen asleep during his rubdowns!!!!!!!!!!!


  6. Teddy Carr Says:

    For about the last three months I have been feeling close to Morgan Freeman because Ive been driving “Miss Daisy” around. I never knew how much fun a doberman ls! They are sudh intelligent beings


  7. Karin Patrick Says:

    My one guy liked the smell of lavender. He loved smelling candles and I put lavender oil on the his ears (not on the fur). He thought that was great. My girl liked massages which I always gave her. They were great dogs, very pleasant to have. They both passed in the last couple years and I am awaiting another one.


  8. Lisa Says:

    Since I was young I have always remembered the not so smart little 3 year old that laid on the back of her black Doberman satan and chewed on her ears. she let me several times and I guess I bit a little to hard and she growled a warning . I never did it again, what a patient dog. The same dog had a litter of puppies the same time as our cat had kittens. They never cared if it was a puppy or a kitten they shared feeding each others litter just like they were their own. My last blessing was a beautiful long legged red Doberman named Liberty (Libby). She chose me or we chose each other when I moved back in with my parents. she was a naughty girl before I came. she chewed up a couch and 2 chairs and she pulled a crock pot with roast in it off the counter when no one was home. She also ate an entire Chocolate cake of the stove. All I can say is separation anxiety is all I could think of and boredom .She was my closest friend from 2004 until 3/3/2014 she will make me smile for life.


  9. Lea Curry Says:

    I just lost my back female , Phoebe, two weeks ago, less than a month after her 13 th birthday . She had also survived lymphoma for three plus years, and about a month ago at the dog park, people were so awed by her speed and spirit , they couldn’t believe she wasn’t a puppy!
    At home , she was just like a great big , mostly calm cat! Very mellow , and ladylike , BUT IT WAS STRANGE SOUNDS, mostly fireworks and skateboards that would induce extreme irritation or PANIC!
    I noticed that almost any OTHER Behavior was traceable right back to ME, as our Dobes are most of all WATCHERS! And they are always aware of our abrupt mood changes. Such things as screaming while having to endure badly programmed voicemail menus on the phone when trying to get a real human to answer, ( my achille’s heel),or loosing my keys at the last minute, ( whatever tpet peeves we have), would be interpreted by Phoebe as being about or towards HER, unless I took care to nip it in the bud and reassure her all was AOK!
    It’s good to always remember Dobes are VERY Sensitive and aware of YOUR State of mind, so maybe if your dog seems unduly nervous , it could help to really look at the way YOU move, do housework, or talk to yourself OR The phone! Dogs don’t understand phones, computers or bad voice mail programming, and sometimes, in a dogs eye, our environment might not feel as peaceful to them, as it does to us! I thank Phoebe for teaching me to conduct myself in a slightly calmer manner, and it’s better for me , too, ” Thanks, Phoebes!”


  10. Caren Jacobsen Says:

    As a child I always had 2 Dobermans which we had a huge yard & I ran my large male daily. When I grew up & my son was 11 I couldn’t find anyone to sell me just a pet quality Doberman I could spay, for I wanted a puppy that hadn’t had issues, so my son would have a protector over the summer between 6 & 7th grade. My prayers were answered after I built a cedar fence for the rottie mix puppy I got. My neighbor gave me his beautiful male dobie because it had issues with another dog he owned & Max thought he was mine anyway. He told me he was scared of everything. That dog was the best well-trained dog I had. He knew when I was going to get a migraine, he protected all the kids in the yard. I would just walk him with gracie the rottie daily. I couldn’t take him to a dog park, because if he even thought Gracie or I were in danger he would just show his teeth. Never bite anybody but I always felt safe & loved. He slept with me & my declawed cat. Am the most stressed out person yet both him & the red one I have now are the absolute bees knees. Amber knows when I need to wake up & wont let me sleep in, she also senses my migraines, yet she is content to lay on the couch under a blanket next to me. She see’s me putting on my shoes for work & she goes straight to her crate. I will always have Dobermans for me they are the best breed around. the super perceptive, great with kids, wonderful housedogs, car travelers & I disagree that your house has to be peaceful, for they make my house peaceful. They are very calming & loving dogs.


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