How To Calm Your Doberman

Owning a Doberman is fun.

calm your doberman from noises and anxiety

Unfortunately, some Dobermans are not as mellow as we would like. For a variety of reasons, some Dobermans have more anxiety or nervous behaviors than others. This could be a result of poor breeding practices, poor puppy socialization, training issues or stressful home environments.

So what can you do to help calm your Doberman?

Depending on the situation, you may need to try different things. A dog with separation anxiety will need different treatment than a dog with a fear of noises or thunder. But some of these tips will help in either situation.

  • Exercise your dog. A mentally stimulating walk, a good run, tug of war, flirt pole game, or a wrestle with a doggie friend is sure to get excess energy out.  Do this before you expect a stressful event.
  • Feed nutritious food. There is the belief that a healthy diet will improve a dog’s mood.  Just imagine children who have eaten lots of junk food, sugar or pop, running around like little maniacs.
  • Try behavior modification with treats. For noise phobias, try throwing your dog a favorite treat after every thunder and lightning strike. Food helps dogs to focus and may work as a distraction to whatever is scaring them. Hopefully, your dog will learn to associate a scary noise with something positive.
  • Try to mask the sights or sounds that are upsetting your dog. For example, close the curtains so he can’t see lightning or turn up the tv or music so he doesn’t hear the wind blowing outside.
  • Some dogs feel safer in their crate, while for others crates make them more nervous. Let your dog, go to the place that he likes. My dobe likes the bathroom during thunderstorms, (maybe because that room has less static electricity).
  • Try calming devices. These tools need more research, but some seem to work to help dogs be less nervous.  Anti-anxiety tools include: Dog Appeasing Pheromone, Body Wraps (like the Thundershirt), Calming Caps, Storm Defender (shirt with metallic lining) and Mutt Muffs.  The dog Appeasing Pheromone  is available as a collar or room spray. It works by giving off a synthetic version of pheromones naturally released during lactation. I tried this product since it was recommended by my vet for noise/thunder anxiety, but I didn’t notice any visible difference with my two Dobermans.
  • Be calm yourself. If you look or feel tense and anxious, so will your dog. Keep your body position relaxed, don’t look upset, afraid or agitated and talk calmly. Your dog will pick up on these subtle visual cues. They look to you for guidance in stressful situations. Make your dog feel that they can trust you to protect them from scary stuff. (Keep in mind, standing over or staring are seen as threatening body language to dogs.)
  • Get anti-anxiety medication from your vet. If your dog is very fearful, he needs relief right away. Meds will also help with desensitization training.
  • Music can help calm your Doberman.  I had suspected that classical music had a calming effect on dogs and have since learned that solo-piano music is the key to influencing a dog’s 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, psychoacoustic classical music showed fewer stress behaviors on dogs. (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 calming music for your dog.

I recommend solo-piano as an option to easing your dog’s 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 the CD, Through a Dog’s Ear: Music to Calm Your Canine Companion.

With my two Dobermans, I have noticed that within minutes of the music playing they settle down and sometimes even go to sleep. On another note, it’s great for calming humans too!

How do you calm your Doberman? Do you have any special tricks?



  1. Alice said:

    Our Dobie was 13 years old in October. He still gets complements on his looks. But he has high anxiety, more so then when he was younger. We just got a new paper delivery person with a loud muffler on his car. (At first I thought it was a truck) He gets to scratching at me in bed. Wines, barks. He does this even before the paper is delivered, I thinks he knows the time it will show up. So I am up from 3 or 4 AM. I have given him a pill from the vet but not sure if it is safe for every day. He won’t keep a tundershirt on he chews it off. Has anyone experienced This or can give me some advice on this. I am not a happy person at that time of the morning and I don’t treat him with the best of care.

    April 6, 2015
    • Jaki said:

      Have you tried giving him a super favorite treat when the car comes around? Maybe he can learn to associate the dreaded car with a great treat coming.
      Can dog sleep in an area where he won’t hear street noise?
      If all else fails bribe the muffler kid to avoid your street or change his delivery schedule on your street.

      April 6, 2015
  2. bittu said:

    My dog is a super excited one. We both go racing in our field. He is much faster than me even if I am on my quad his maximum speed is nearly 60 km/ph recorded

    February 9, 2015
  3. Caren Jacobsen said:

    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.

    May 16, 2014
  4. Lea Curry said:

    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!”

    April 22, 2014
  5. Lisa said:

    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.

    April 15, 2014
  6. Karin Patrick said:

    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.

    July 17, 2013
  7. Teddy Carr said:

    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

    June 24, 2012
  8. chris said:

    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!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 31, 2012
  9. Anita said:

    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.

    October 14, 2011
  10. Wendy Forster said:

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

    July 28, 2011
  11. Deepblue said:

    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!

    July 27, 2011
  12. Tino Juarez said:

    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

    July 27, 2011

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