Hand Me Down Dobes

Every Doberman Deserves a Forever Home

Hand Me Down Dobes, Crate Training
Crate Training-The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Dobe

Your Dobe needs a place he can call his own– a place where he can retreat and not be bothered by the hustle and bustle of the household, including guests who are eager to spend time with him, and children who are enamored with their new best buddy. Because of this, crate training is in your Dobe's best interest.

Where to Put the Crate

If your Dobe seems reserved, shy or uncertain, make sure his crate is in a location that is quiet and private. If you have children, teach them that when the dog is in his crate, it is his "quiet time" and he is not to be disturbed. This way, the dog learns that he has a refuge when needed.

Step 1: Entering the Crate

1. Toss a tasty treat into the crate and make sure your Dobe sees the treat go in.
2. Guide him into the crate using his collar, and gently crowd him from behind.
3. Once he is inside and turns around (usually after eating the treat), praise him!
4. Allow him to come out of the crate.
5. Repeat this process about five times.
6. That's the end of this training session! If your Dobe readily entered the crate, you can move on to the next step (staying in the crate). If he resists, repeat the crate entry training sessions several times a day until he becomes comfortable entering the crate.

Step 2: Staying in the Crate

1. Toss a tasty treat into the crate and make sure your Dobe sees the treat go in.
2. Guide him into the crate using his collar, and gently crowd him from behind.
3. Once he is inside and turns around (usually after eating the treat), praise him!
4. Close the crate door and leave the room for a few minutes. Most dogs will generally cease their barking or whining fairly quickly once you've left the room.
5. Allow him to continue barking until he stops or gives a long pause.
6. Re-enter the room, praise him, and let him out of the crate for a bit of playtime.
7. Repeat steps 1 - 6.

You're working to achieve 2 goals:

Goal 1: Teach him to associate the crate with a positive experience (a treat, praise, and an ultimate return when you let him out).

Goal 2: Teach him that barking or whining will not result in you coming back to let him out.

Tips: Some dogs take to crate training faster than others, so be patient, and above all. . . be consistent. Some people will place a favorite toy or chew-bone into the crate before they put the dog inside. The idea is the dog will have something pleasant to do while he is in there, so he won't mind being confined.

If your Dobe Does Not Like the Crate

Our foster homes work very hard to teach our dogs to "crate", but your dobe might try to convince you that he is about to roll over and die the minute you shut the door. You may get an accusing glare or a pitiful look that says, "I just want to be with you every waking moment" or "Please let me out so I can love you some more!" You may get loud barks of protest or howls of discontent. If you fall for this, your Dobe, being of extraordinary intelligence, is on his way to training you, rather than you training him. So, how do you convince your Dobe that the crate is a happy place? Break crate training into the two behaviors previously discussed (entering the crate and staying in the crate) and be consistent!

A Word of Caution!!!

When your Dobe is in his crate, especially if he has just had an experience that upset him, it is a bad idea to go into the crate after him, no matter what your intentions. If he feels threatened, he may give you a serious bite since you'll be entering head-first.

If he snarls, growls, or acts afraid or withdrawn when you try to get him out of the crate, use a stiff nylon loop leash to place a loop over his head, allowing you to pull him out of the crate without reaching in too far. Under no circumstance should you ever put your head into the crate during this procedure. Remember, a dog who is approached while inside a crate is cornered, so if he perceives you as a threat, regardless of what you say or do, the only responses available to him are to cower in fear or to attack.

What Type of Crate to Buy

Since Dobes are classified as medium-sized, an extra-large size crate will give him ample room to stand up and turn around without being cramped.

Extra-large size (#500)*:
40 in. long x 27 in. wide x 30 in. high.

There are two generic types of crates, plastic and wire. Plastic crates have molded plastic shells that fasten together, with a wire grill door. Wire crates have wire grill sides and tops and a removable solid tray on the bottom. Wire crates allow for more ventilation, although in our experience, plastic crates allow for plenty of airflow. When used indoors for crate training, many people place a cloth cover over wire crates to make them more private and secluded for the dog, so the ventilation difference is minimal. Expect to pay between $80.00-$120.00 for a crate, but trust us, it will be the single best investment you make for you and your new Dobe.


Doberman Pinscher Club of America