Does Your Doberman Have Good Manners?

Unfortunately, the doberman breed still suffers a bit of a public relations image problem.  It’s getting better but we still have work to do and this is where doberman obedience training is vital.doberman obedience training

In an effort to promote well-mannered dogs, the Canine Good Citizen Program was created.  Passing the canine good citizen test shows your dog’s ability to be well mannered in various situations and your commitment to responsible dog ownership.

Having passed the canine good citizen requirements can have multiple benefits. Certification may be helpful in convincing owners of rental properties to allow your dog in apartments. The CGC test may also be used as a screening tool for therapy dogs or rescue centers.  To find a canine good citizen test evaluator contact local dog trainers for the nearest classes.  The American Kennel Club offers a list of American CGC evaluators.


Canine Good Citizen Requirements

Dogs performing the CGC test will need to successfully pass 10 activities. These are done in a public area with distractions. If the dog gets excited or disruptive it may lead to failing the test.  Failing the canine good citizen test just means your dog needs more training and it can perform the test again in the future.  Note that food rewards are not allowed during the test.

Test 1 – Accepting a friendly stranger. The dog owner shakes hands and talks naturally with a stranger. Does the dog accept an  unfamiliar stranger? Does it jump or lunge at a stranger?

Test 2 – Sitting while being petted. This judges the dogs shyness and defense of personal space.  During training, you may wish to use treats to teach your dog to remain sitting and calm while being petted.

Test 3 – Allowing grooming.  This is essential for veterinarians and groomers to feel comfortable working on your dog. The dog will be brushed, ears checked and paws raised.

Test 4 – Loose leash walking. This test shows the handlers control of their dog.  The dog should be attentive to the handler and not pull on the leash.

Test 5 – Walking through a crowd.  The dog will politely pass by at least 3 people without becoming stressed.

Test 6- Sit/Down/Stay commands. The dog responds to commands while on a 20-foot line.

Test 7 – Come command. From 10 feet away the dog is to obey the come command by its owner.

Test 8 – Passing other dogs. Two dog handlers approach each other while the dogs remain politely by its handler.

Test 9 – Visual and sound  distractions. These may include a jogger, a person walking a stroller or a bike passing by. The dog should show confidence to surprises or unusual objects.

Test 10- Supervised separation.  The dog will be left for 3 minutes with another person. He should not bark, whine or pace at your leaving.

In this video, we get a glimpse at a wonderful pit bull taking the canine good citizen test.

What do you think about the CGC test? Does your doberman have good manners in public?


  1. S. short said:

    I have had Dobies for 40 years but was unable to overcome my young adopted girl’s shyness and signs of becoming a fear biter. I had experienced this problem when I was showing and breeding in the 70’s, but not this bad. A wonderful trainer identified her shyness as genetic and not environmental. He said we could not train her out of her fear of everything ,but could train her to trust me completely and become calm while under my control. An intense year of basic obedience training for both of us followed. All I wanted was to be able to take her to the vet and not muzzle or restrain her just for a basic exam. Now at the age of 5, Robin is a wonderful companion and well trained in basic obedience. I am very aware of her body language and can tell when she is becoming nervous or frightened. I immediately give her a sit or stand command (she is too vulnerable on down) and she relaxes. I must be very aware of her limits and put her in no situation where she can be harmed.
    As for aggression with other dogs. Per my trainer, don’t allow it. That’s what training is for and be very firm, you are the alpha.

    December 6, 2012
  2. Kumar said:

    Very useful one for pet dog owners.

    May 6, 2012
  3. Jaki said:

    I have same issue with my dobes. I think the best you can do is keep distance far and distract dog with fav food. Don’t worry about other people.

    February 7, 2012
  4. PJ said:

    We have three Dobermans and I think perhaps the CGC would be an interesting thing to pursue with a couple of them. They are all trained in basic obedience and I do agility with one. They are all rescues, however, and tend to react poorly to other dogs on leashes. Off leash they’ll play normally with other dogs, but on a lead it somehow blows their minds to see another dog on a leash. It’s very embarrassing. I’ve tried sitting at a park with them individually and just letting my dog watch other dogs on leads go by, but every time it’s like a national emergency when they see that other dog and I end up getting a lot of dirty looks. I wonder how people who own older Dobies deal with these sorts of reactive behavioral issues? I’m sure it’s more straightforward if you start out with younger dogs.

    February 7, 2012
  5. Becka said:

    Both of my Doberman Pinschers passed their CGC on the first try this spring. Sam, a red male, was 1 year and Sasha, a black female, was about 18 months. They get compliments everywhere they go on how pretty and well behaved they are.
    I’m planning on doing higher level obedience with Sam and Sasha is higher energy so she is working agility (she already jumps about 40″) and schutzhund. I love my Dobes!

    September 13, 2011

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