How to calm a hyper Doberman

Why is my Doberman so hyper

Dobermans are a high energy and intelligence breed. They require one to two hours of exercise and activity every day to maintain good health and burn off pent up energy. For a full guide to Doberman exercise needs see here.

Due to their high intelligence, Dobermans also require plenty of mental stimulation and enrichment to challenge their minds. Mental exercise can tire a dog just as much as physical activity. Failure to do so will result in frustration ad boredom. This will leave them unsettled and often results in behavior issues.

Read “Mental stimulation and mind enrichment for dogs” to learn about the 6 types or categories of mind stimulation a mental enrichment and some great ideas to provide this.

Hyperactivity can also be a state of mind. Over excitement and even anxiety can make the mind over-aroused. This also can result in hyperactivity and leave them unsettled. Calmness can be trained into a dog making it possible to calm the mind.

When do Dobermans calm down

Between the age of 4 months to one year old, they will be at their most hyper. This is an important period to ensure they get the right training, exercise and mental enrichment they need.

As they reach adulthood at between one to two years old they will settle more compared to what they have been like. This doesn’t mean they will not be highly active but they will have matured.

When your Doberman is in the middle years of their lifespan from 2 years old to around 8 years old they will truly be an adult. As long as you have built a strong foundation of training, a regular exercise routine, and mental enrichment your Doberman will be reasonably calm. They will obviously still be active but a lot more controlled.

Once they reach 7 to 8 years old they are considered a senior dog. It is still important that they receive regular exercise even in their senior years. This will help to keep their muscles and tendons supple and strong, manage their weight, and prevent diseases such as heart disease. For a guide to exercise for a senior dog see here.

Are Doberman puppies hyper

Every dog is an individual even of the same breed. Some Dobermans will be full-on most of their lives while others may be more laid back.

Between the age of 4 months to one year old, they will be at their most hyper. This is an important period to ensure they get the right training, exercise and mental enrichment they need.

As they reach adulthood at between one to two years old they will settle more compared to what they have been like. This doesn’t mean they will not be highly active but they will have matured.

How to calm down a Doberman puppy

Everything is new and exciting for a puppy. They are full of energy. They will also sleep a lot so you will have periods of quietness with a short period of full-on activity.

The exercise needs of a puppy are different from those of an adult. This is because their bodies, joints, and bones are growing. Over-exercising a puppy can result in damage to the growth plates. For a guide to how to exercise a puppy see here.

The best ways to tire a puppy is with free play and short walks. Mental stimulation will help tire a puppy just as much as physical activity. For more on mental stimulation and enrichment to tire a puppy see here.

There are many other techniques you can use to help calm a full-on Doberman puppy. See below for ideas.

Do Dobermans calm down after neutering

It is commonly thought that neutering your male Doberman will make them calmer. There is much debate as to whether or not neutering a dog has much if any effect on behavior.

What neutering your Doberman will do is not only stop them from being able to breed. It will stop them from producing testosterone. A neutered Doberman may show some subtle behavior changes but it will not necessarily make them calmer.

At around 6 months of age, a Doberman puppies testosterone level will increase rapidly. By neutering around or before this age can help to reduce any territorial or aggressive behavior. However, it is not likely to have any or much effect on their energy levels and hyper behavior.

How do I get my Doberman to calm down

Many Doberman owners often ask how do I get my Doberman to calm down. Fortunately, there are many ways to help manage and reduce your Doberman’s hyper behavior.

These are suggested ways to help calm a hyper or even out of control Doberman;

Calm the mind

Over excitement is a state of mind. A hyper Doberman is the outward manifestation of an over-aroused state of mind. The trick is to catch the state of arousal before it gets to a high level. A dog doesn’t go from calm to hyper excited in one step. The state of arousal goes up in stages.

Calm your energy

If you are speaking and interacting with your Doberman with excited energy it will excite them. If your energy is calm and you speak to them in a calm monotone pitch it will keep them calmer.

Provide sufficient exercise

As stated above, Dobermans are an athletic and high energy dog. They require daily exercise of at least one hour. For a full guide to Doberman exercise see here.

Provide mental stimulation and enrichment

Dobermans are smart and curious. It is important to challenge their minds and provide mental stimulation. Boredom is one of the main causes of behavior issues. Mental exercise can tire a dog just as much as physical activity. For more on providing mental stimulation and enrichment for your Doberman see here.

Train your Doberman to be calm

Training will make your Doberman more obedient and will teach them how to focus their mind. Learning is also a great way to provide mental stimulation and mentally tire them.

Gentle belly rubs and massage

Compassionately rubbing your Dobermans’ belly, has a similar effect, that a back massage has on their human owners. This rubbing sensation has the ability to calm your dog down so much, that they will fall asleep.

This should be done in a calm manner and not turned into a game. This will excite your Doberman. If you are in need of some sleep (or maybe need to make an important phone call), try calling your Doberman over to you, putting them in a soft area right next to you, and begin to gently rub their bellies’ until you notice that their eyes have been closed for around 5 – 10 minutes.

Then you can gently put them off to the side go and get some sleep (or make that important phone call). A calming relaxing massage will have the same effect. See here for how to massage a dog.

Gently rubbing your Dobermans’ muzzle and stop area

Gently rubbing your Doberman’s elongated nose, will have a similar effect on your dog, as gently rubbing their belly.

Rubbing the stop is also very calming for a dog. The stop is the area on the bridge of the muzzle between the eyes. This area has many nerve endings. Rubbing here releases endorphins to their brain giving them a fell good calming effect.

Another similar spot is where the ears join the head. Rubbing here has the same result as rubbing the stop area.

Keep your Doberman away from cats, small pets, and small children.

Keep your Doberman away from cats, small pets, and small children (generally those children under the age of 6) when they are in a highly excitable state. Children can make a dog very excited with their quick and unpredictable movement. To a Doberman, this is a cue to chase and play.

Keep your Doberman away from other excited/active dogs

Separate your Doberman from other excited/active dogs if they are becoming too worked up.  Even if you are able to get your Doberman calm, by performing one, or more, of the methods, mentioned, they are likely not to stay calm if there is another dog getting them worked up.

Dobermans are not only active dogs but very playful as well. If you get them to lay down, and be calm, and then one or more playing dogs come within their field of vision, they will get excited and will want to, and very likely try to, go and play with them.

Use the Calm Hold technique

A calm hold is a technique used to settle and calm a dog. Simply place your hand on the side of your dog’s shoulder just holding them still. Don’t make eye contact with them and you don’t even need to say anything.

You can hold your Doberman by the collar if you wish to hold them in place with your other hand on the shoulder. If you wish you can say something like “Relax” in a calm monotone unemotional tone. Once your Doberman has relaxed you can remove your hand. This video also shows a similar technique you can try.

Provide chew toys for your Doberman

Chewing is a natural instinct for dogs and has many benefits. These include keeping your dog occupied and helping with dental health. However, one of the main benefits of chewing for a dog is that it is extremely relaxing.

When a dog chews it releases endorphins to their brain making them feel happy, calm and releases stress. For more on the benefits of chewing and the best chew toys for your Doberman see here.

Use dog meditative music

There is plenty of music designed specifically to relax and calm a dog. You can either purchase dog relaxation music on Amazon or there is plenty of free dog anxiety music on Utube.

Recommended products to calm a dog

ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser for Dogs

This is a diffuser you plug into a powerpoint that releases dog appeasing pheromones that give then a calm feeling. To us, these scents are odorless and are only perceived by dogs and provide a strong signal of security and comfort. The diffuser will cover an area of up to 700 sq. ft. It comes with a diffuser head and a vile that lasts up to 30 days. Replacement viles are also available on Amazon.

Rescue Remedy

This is a well known homeopathic remedy that has been around for 80 years. It is quite commonly used by humans to feel relaxed, calm and stress-free. As a dog groomer, I have used Rescue remedy with great success when working with highly anxious dogs. Easy to use as you just put a drop or two on the tongue.

Summary – How to calm a hyper Doberman

It is not uncommon to hear a Doberman owner ask when will my Doberman calm down or how do I calm down my hyper Doberman. They are high energy, intelligent and can be full-on dogs.

The above suggestions may be able to help you keep your Doberman in a calmer state of mind. However, the most important thing you can do is provide them with sufficient exercise, both physical activity, and mental challenges. Let us know in the comments what has worked for your Doberman.

Doberman related posts

How to exercise a Doberman

The best type of toys for Dobermans

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