13 Easy Tricks to Teach Your Doberman (with Pictures)

Easy Tricks to Teach a Doberman

If you’re looking for some great fun new ideas on tricks you can easily teach your Doberman Pinscher, then you’re in luck. This is my list of some of the most impressive tricks that Dobermans can easily learn. In order to make it on this list, the trick has to be reasonably easy to teach to this breed of dog, and it has to be just a bit more impressive than what your average dog can do.

Luckily, Dobermans are incredibly intelligent dogs. In fact, according to WebMD (pets), they’re the 5th smartest dog breed in the world. That means they have the ability to learn many of these fancy tricks with ease. Also, they’re very driven dogs who are eager to please their masters. So they have the smarts, the drive, and the desire to learn—they’re an ideal breed for learning some very impressive dog tricks!

The Basics

Before attempting to teach these new tricks to your Doberman, it’s important to make sure they have the basics down first. The commands your dog should know prior to attempting the tricks listed here are:

  • “Sit”
  • “Stay”
  • “Lie Down”
  • “Ok” (or any other release command)

Many of the tricks on this list rely on your dog knowing the basic commands first. So make sure your dog has a good solid grasp on these commands. Then once you do, lets have some fun and start teaching your Dobie some really cool tricks.

I recorded this video with Cooper to better explain the steps for quickly teaching your Doberman the tricks shown below. I also demonstrate many of them—and stick around for the outtakes at the end!

Positive Reinforcement

Learning tricks should be a fun experience for both you and your dog. You’re not correcting a bad behavior here, you are teaching a new one and associating it with a command.

So make sure that you give plenty of praise and positive reinforcement while teaching your dog these tricks. Once they do what you want, or begin to, stop and praise them like they just saved your life. Providing treats is also a great way to highly motivate your dog to learn these tricks. If you want an idea of the treats I use for training, I’ve listed my favorite treats in the Best Food and Treats for Dobermans page of my Recommended Products section. They’re highly nutritious and Dobies absolutely love them!

Remember, plenty of positive reinforcement will go a long way with this dog breed since they’re so eager to please, so use that to your advantage while training.

Using Visual Cues to Speed-Up Training

One way you can greatly increase the speed at which your dog learns these tricks is to incorporate a visual cue. This works extremely well for Dobermans since they are very intune with (and always watching) their masters.

So during these exercises, besides giving a verbal command for each trick, I’ll often also encourage you to use a visual cue. This can be a hand gesture or other motion of your choosing. Make sure you always use the same command and visual cue for each trick during training and your dog will learn most of these tricks quite easily.

1. Shake

Shake

Command: “Shake”, “Paw”

Result: On your command, your dog will lift one paw and place it in the palm of your outstretched hand, mimicking a handshake.

Shake is a great trick to start with. It’s very simple to teach also. Using a treat as motivation, have your dog get into the seated position. Then grab his paw and shake it up and down with your hand while saying “shake” or whatever command word you’ve chosen.

Then praise your dog and give him a treat. Do this over and over a few times a day and pretty soon, he’ll be begging to put his paw in your hand when you say the command.

2. Bark

Speak

Command: “Bark”, “Speak”, “Guard”

Result: On your command, your dog will bark either once, or repeatedly until you give the release command, depending on how you perform the training.

Once your dog learns this trick, he’ll be able to bark on command. Teaching this trick can be a little different for each individual dog. If you know something you can do to get your dog to bark on his own, do that while saying the command, and then praise him while providing a treat.

It was a little more difficult getting my dog to bark. I had to get him very excited and start barking at him myself. Eventually, after looking at me like I was a nut, he let out one very small and hesitant “woof.” I stopped everything and immediately praised him and gave him his treat.

After only about three days, he had the command down. I trained my dog to continue barking until I gave him the “stop” command, but you can choose to stop your dog after just one bark if you’d like.

I decided to use the command “guard” so that my wife could make our dog look somewhat intimidating if she needed to while on a walk at night. If she told our dog “guard” and he started barking, it’s sure to be much more intimidating to a would-be mugger than if she said, “speak.”

3. Turn Around

Spin

Command: “Turn Around”, “Turn”, “Spin”

Result: On your command, your dog will spin around in a complete 360-degree turn.

This is a fun trick that’s also very easy for an intelligent dog like a Doberman to learn. Start with a treat in one hand. Give him the command you’ve chosen (I use “turn around”) while pointing your finger at him and doing small circles with it as a visual cue. Then put the hand that has the treat inside of it down toward his nose so that he can smell it through your hand. Encourage your dog to go for the treat while leading him in a complete 360-degree spin. Then stop your hand directly in front of you once he’s completed the turn, open it up, and give him the treat.

After a little practice, slowly start leading him less and less with the hand that has the treat, but continue with the verbal command and the visual cue of pointing to the ground and spinning your finger around. Eventually, he’ll be able to do it completely on his own with only the verbal command or the visual cue.

4. Back Up

Back Up

Command: “Back up”, “Back”, “Space”

Result: On your command, your dog will take approximately one step directly backward.

This is a very useful command for your dog to know. If he has a tendency of putting his nose right up in your plate as you’re eating, you can use this command to get him to back away and give you some space while you’re eating.

To get your dog to back up on command, start with a treat in your hand as motivation. Now, his natural instinct will be to get as close as possible to the treat, and stay there until he gets it. So this part can be a little tricky (pun intended).

Show your dog the treat and give him the command along with a visual cue of your choosing (I do a “shoo” motion with both my hands). Now you need to get him to back up any way you can. Try getting uncomfortably close to your dog and placing your knee on his chest. Gently push against him enough to get him to back up. Then praise him and give him the treat while repeating the command.

As you repeat this exercise, you should be able to do it without actually touching your dog at all. However, you may still need to approach him and act like you’ll be placing your knee on his chest. Eventually, you’ll be able to just give him the verbal command and he’ll back up on his own.

5. Jump

Jump

Command: “Jump”, “Happy”, “Fly”

Result: On your command, your dog will jump straight up in the air and back down.

This trick doesn’t have a whole lot of usefulness to it, but it can be great for impressing your friends or family when they visit. It can also be great for a laugh when you tell your dog “Come on boy! FLY!” and he jumps straight up in the air.

The best way I have found to teach this trick is to start with a toy that he or she loves and will naturally jump to get without much hesitation. This is usually a ball or frisbee that he often plays fetch with.

Start by holding the toy in one hand outstretched in the air over your dog’s head and a treat in the other hand. Give him the command and a visual cue. I like to use a sweeping motion with my arm by my side, ending with my finger pointing up to the sky as the visual cue. If you do this sweep your hand by your side, ending with it pointing up to the ball. Do this while saying your chosen command and encouraging your dog to jump up to get it. When he does, release the ball so he is able to get it as he jumps. Then give him the treat along with lots of praise.

Repeat this process until you can start to do it with just your hand above his head without his favorite toy, while still doing the visual cue and the command. The first time he does this without a ball in your hand, quickly give him the treat and then praise him like he just won a gold at the Olympics. Soon, you’ll be able to just give him the command and he’ll jump.

6. Jump Up

Jump Up

Command: “Jump Up”, “Up”

Result: On your command, your dog will jump up in a hind-legged standing position and place both paws in your hands.

If you love giving your Doberman kisses, this is the trick for you. With this command, you won’t have to bend down to your dog and instead he’ll jump up to you. In my experience, this is one of the easiest commands for a Doberman to learn. They can almost do it naturally. Usually, the hard part is teaching your dog not to do this to strangers when they come to visit at your house.

To train your dog to do this, walk up close to him with a treat nearby for motivation. Give the verbal command and visual cue at the same time. I like to use the motion of tapping my chest with both my hands as the visual cue. Then, reach down and grab his two front paws in both your hands and stand straight up. At this point, your dog should be standing on their two hind legs and their two front paws should be in your hands (one in each hand). Pause for a second, then release their paws, setting them back on the ground. Give lots of praise and a treat.

Most Dobermans can pick this trick up in two days, with some of them grasping the concept in as little as one day. Give this a try, you’ll be surprised with how quickly these dogs will pick this one up.

7. Balance

Balance

Command: “Balance”, “Stay”

Result: On your command, your dog will be able to remain perfectly still, enough to balance an object on his head until you give the release command.

This trick is a pretty amusing one that you can get really creative with. You can balance treats, remote controls, a dog leash, even the dog’s own bowl on their head with this one. For a visual cue, I prefer to hold my hand up flat like I am giving a “stop” signal.

It’s easiest to start training your dog to do this by having them balance a treat on their nose first. For Dobermans, the ideal way to balance an item is by using the area between their eyes and the base of the nose as balance points.

Start by making your dog sit and stay. Then hold their nose level while you place a treat on top of it. Pause for a few seconds with your hand on their nose, still holding it level, then give the release command and let them eat their treat.

After some practice, you should be able to slowly use less of your hand that’s keeping their nose level and eventually all you’ll need to do is set the treat on their nose. After accomplishing that, try moving onto other objects, other than treats, and only rewarding him after 10 seconds or so of successful balancing.

8. Hug

Hug

Command: “Hug”, “Love”

Result: On your command, and while in a seated position, your dog will put both of their front paws on each of your shoulders and their nose over one shoulder.

This is just a really cute trick. People get a laugh out of seeing a big “dangerous” dog like a Doberman give a hug to their owner.


Start with your dog in the seated position, and make sure you have a treat or two nearby. Tell your dog to “stay” while you kneel down in front of them. Then give the chosen command for this trick and a visual cue. I like to tap my two shoulders with each of my hands.

Then, quickly grasp their two front paws and place them on each of your shoulders. Lean in so their nose is over one of your shoulders and pause for a few seconds. Then give the release command, praise, and reward them with a treat. After some practice, you shouldn’t have to manually put their paws up on your shoulders anymore, and your dog will do it on his own.

9. Cross Paws

Cross Paws

Command: “Sit Pretty”, “Formal”

Result: “On your command, and while laying down, your dog will cross one paw overtop of the other.

This trick is mainly just for amusement but it can get some good laughs and impressed looks from friends and family when they come by. Your dog will need to know a command to lay down first since they need to be already laying down for this trick.

Give your dog the command to lie down, if they aren’t already. Kneel down in front of your dog and show them a treat in your hand. Then give the verbal command, pick up one of their paws slightly off the floor, and lay it overtop of the other. Pause for a second and then praise your dog, giving him the treat. Repeat this trick and pretty soon your dog should be able to do it independently with just your verbal command.

10. Pray

Pray

Command: “Pray”, “Say Your Prayers”

Result: On your command, and while laying down, your dog will bury their nose in between their outstretched front legs as if praying. They will stop on your release command.

This is a fun and impressive trick to teach your dog. It’s a great one to combine with the play dead trick, especially if you use the “BANG!” command to get your dog to play dead. You can start by telling your dog “Say your prayers!” to get him to pray and then “BANG!” to have him play dead. You wouldn’t believe the laughs and all the love your dog will get by doing the two of these together. You can learn how to teach your Doberman to play dead here.

Start with your dog laying down in front of you and a treat in your hand. Give the verbal command along with a visual cue. Then guide the nose of your dog (by using the treat in your hand as motivation) between their front legs so that their nose is straight down to the ground between their legs. Pause there for a few seconds, give the release command, then praise and reward.

With practice, you should be able to do this without much involvement other than your verbal command and visual cue.

11. High-Five

High Five

Command: “High-Five”, “Five”, “Nice Job”, “Awesome”

Result: On your command, your dog will raise one paw up to about their eye level to meet your waiting hand for a “high-five” type motion.

This is a great trick because you can make up any fun commands you want in order to have your dog give you a high-five. You can tell your dog “great job!” or something similar and always have a high-five coming your way.

Start with the dog in a seated position, and some motivational treats nearby. Kneel in front of your dog and say your chosen command along with a visual cue. In this case, the visual cue will be showing your dog the palm of your hand in front of them (as if you were giving a high-five). Then, use your other hand to place their paw directly onto the palm of your waiting hand. Praise and reward your dog. With practice, you shouldn’t have to physically place your dog’s paw on your hand as they’ll be eager to do it to get their treat.

12. Kiss

Kiss

Command: “Kiss”, “Kisses”, “Love”

Result: On your command, your dog will kiss your cheek.

This trick is for you big softies out there. Get a kiss from your dog on command! It’s a simple one for a Doberman and they have no issue quickly picking up on what you expect with this trick.

Have the dog in a seated position. Get close and present your cheek to your dog’s nose while saying the chosen verbal command. Many Doberman’s will just naturally lick your cheek at this point. If that’s the case, give lots of praise and a treat. Repeat this exercise until your dog associates your verbal command with this action.

If your dog doesn’t want to, and assuming you trust your dog enough, try putting a small (very small) touch of peanut butter on your cheek so your dog will lick it. When he licks your cheek once, stop, reward, and praise the dog. After some practice, you should quickly be able to perform this without the use of food on your cheek.

13. Under

Under

Command: “Under”, “Hide”, “Be Brave”, “Are you a brave dog?”

Result: On your command, your dog will run between your legs from the front, turn around behind you, and stick only their head out through your legs.

Here’s a great party trick. You have friends over and they comment on your impressive and strong looking Doberman. Then you ask your dog something like “Are you a tough dog?” and your dog runs between your legs and sticks just his head out from behind you!

To get your dog to do this, have him sit a few feet in front of you while you have a treat in your hand and your legs spread wide enough for them to walk through. Give your dog the command, a visual cue (I point down towards the ground between my legs), and get them to follow the treat that’s in your hand. Guide them between your legs from the front, and then turn them around behind you and guide their head through your legs from the back. Stop when just their head is now between your legs and their body is still behind you.

Pause there for a second or two, then praise and reward him. After some practice, you should be able to gradually do less and less “guiding” with the treat until eventually, the dog will do the entire trick on their own.

Fun Tip:

Once your dog has a few basic commands, why not use a remote pet camera to interact with your Dobie from work? Kill some time at work, practice the tricks remotely, even talk to and see your Dobie through your cell phone. You can even remotely launch treats when he performs the trick correctly! It really is a lot of fun. You can see some of these devices on my Cool Tech Gear page here.

Final Thoughts

Well if you’ve made it this far, than you have a very solid foundation of commands that your dog now understands. Dobermans are incredibly intelligent and the tricks I list here are just scratching the surface of what these dogs are capable of.

If you think you’re ready to try a few of the very cool “advanced tricks”, check out my next article 10 Impressive and Advanced Tricks to Teach Your Doberman.

The tricks in this next article are a little more complex, much more impressive, and a whole lot more fun!

Related Questions

Is it hard to train a Doberman? Doberman Pinschers have a strong desire to please their owners and are among the top five smartest dog breeds. These qualities are what help to make the Doberman one of the most trainable dog breeds in the world.

Are Dobermans stubborn? The Doberman Pinscher is a working breed that’s incredibly intelligent and eager to please their masters. For these reasons they are rarely considered stubborn and are generally easily trainable.

How do you teach a Doberman tricks? The best way to teach a Doberman a new command is with a combination of clear direction, positive reinforcement, and practice. Dobermans are easily trainable and can quickly learn new tricks.

John Walter

I'm the founder of Doberman Planet. I live in the Sacramento area of California and love spending quality time with Cooper, my 6-year-old Doberman Pinscher.

One thought on “13 Easy Tricks to Teach Your Doberman (with Pictures)

  1. I am thinking about getting a new Doberman puppy. This would be my first experience with this breed. I am kind of scared to start training him because I have a Shepard whom I was unable to train. I really do not want another dog who is not trained. Training to me would him being off the leash for walks, and obeying commands as directed. Any pointers?

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