How Much Drool is Normal for Dobermans (with Examples)

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Dobermans are known for being loveable and excitable dogs. We all know that when dogs get excited, they tend to drool a bit more than normal. But are Dobermans really known for their excessive drooling? Well, no.

How much do Doberman Pinschers drool? Dobermans are not known for producing excessive amounts of drool as compared to other breeds. The Doberman is an elegant guard dog that generally prefers to stay clean. However, a sudden increase in drooling from your Doberman may be cause for concern.

That’s the short answer, but after reaching out to countless other Doberman owners, and keeping my own Doberman, Cooper, under close observation for a few weeks, I feel I can shed even more light on the question of how much Dobermans really drool in their day-to-day life.

Normal Levels of Drooling for Dobermans

Now I need to start by mentioning that every dog is an individual and there are naturally some heavy droolers and some not-so-heavy droolers in the Doberman world.

But, there are definitely some common themes with Dobermans as a whole when it comes to many of their traits, including their levels of drool.

I found that my own experience with my Dobermans falls right in line with the other owners I spoke to while performing research for this article. I’ll describe when I normally notice drool from my dog, but first, here’s the definition of the terms I’ll use to describe the amount of drool most owners usually see.

Levels of Drool Defined

  • Minimal – This means some extra moisture is noted around the mouth or lips, but nothing further. If the dog is resting, a small wet spot might be seen on the fabric they were resting on.
  • Moderate – Moisture and possibly some thicker saliva bubbles are present around the mouth area.
  • Heavy – Moisture and saliva bubbles are present in sufficient quantities to cause dripping from the mouth.

When I Notice Drooling From my Dobermans:

  • Near meal or snack times (moderate).
  • After drinking water (heavy, but brief).
  • Around new people or animals (minimal).
  • While sleeping (minimal).
  • During or after strenuous exercise (moderate).

I can confidently say that, in general, I notice no drool what-so-ever from my Dobermans throughout the day with the only exceptions mentioned above.

However, as with other dog breeds, no two Dobermans are exactly alike. On occasion, a Doberman owner will report their dogs as drooling quite often, with many notable times at night or even during the day.

“Dobermans are naturally very clean dogs who aren’t known to be big droolers.”

– John Walter (
This is what a typical Doberman mouth and nose look like. Minimally moist (mostly on the nose) with no visible drool present. These are very clean dogs overall.

Doberman Drooling Compared to Other Dogs

When ranked on a scale of high to low drool production as compared to other breeds, Dobermans tend to come in on the low end. About half of all Doberman owners report their dog as producing little to no noticeable drool.

Most reputable online dog sites will list the Doberman Pinscher as being one of the breeds with the least amount of drooling issues.

The following is a list of some of the most popular dog breeds, ranked in order of how much they tend to drool.

  1. Bernese Mountain Dog
  2. Bloodhound
  3. Bull Terrier
  4. Bulldog
  5. Saint Bernard
  6. Pitbulls
  7. Rottweilers
  8. Labrador Retrievers
  9. German Shepherds
  10. Chihuahua
  11. Dachshund
  12. Doberman Pinscher
  13. Old English Sheepdog

Those looking for a large, lovable dog bread that does not drool much will likely not do much better than a Doberman. They’re easy to get along with and as they’re not typically known to drool, you almost certainly won’t find yourself having to clean puddles of drool off the floor.

When Dobermans Will Naturally Drool More

Around Food

Same as with most dog breeds, Dobermans will produce a bit more drool when around food or designated mealtimes. This usually shows itself as simply a bit more moisture on the lips or the fur around the lips.

This drooling can increase to the point of causing dripping from the mouth on rare occasions. Such as if you place their food bowl near them, and don’t allow them to go near it for a few minutes. However, this is rare.

After Drinking Water

This is probably the time when most Doberman owners agree that their dogs seem to drool the most. It isn’t completely their fault though. These dogs have such a desire to play and be close to their owners that they often don’t want to take a break, even to drink water.

That means that once they do drink water, they quickly drink a lot of it, and stop drinking abruptly. Then, when they’re done, they usually quickly run around the house in search of something (or someone) fun. This usually means they still have water, mixed with saliva, dripping from their mouths.

This is the time when most owners will experience the highest level’s of drool (well ok, drool mixed with water) coming from their Dobermans.

Around Friends (Human or Otherwise)

According to the book “The Doberman Pinscher” (Amazon link) by Janice Biniok, Dobermans are generally extremely friendly and ready to make friends with other dogs from a young age—this is very true in my experience.

Since Dobermans are so friendly, they may also have increased drool production when meeting another dog (or person), due to this natural friendliness.

However, they do also naturally prefer being clean so they usually do a really good job keeping their own drool in check by routinely licking their mouth.

When it comes to expressing their fondness for humans, Dobermans also tend to enjoy laying their heads gently on their owners’ laps or nuzzling them, rather than drooling all over them.

Doberman drooling while he sleeps.
One of the few times a Doberman will drool is usually while sleeping. In this picture, my Doberman had just re-adjusted his head to the side revealing two small drool marks.

While Sleeping

Many Dobermans sleep with their mouths open, so they do tend to produce a bit more drool at night when they’re sleeping.

This is almost always a minimal level of drool and you usually won’t even notice that there’s any drooling going on while your dog is asleep until they wake up.

Then you might see a small damp area near where their mouth was resting while they were sleeping. If your Dobie is lucky enough to have his own pillow, you might see this small damp area on the pillowcase, for example.

During Strenuous Excercise

Dogs sweat through their mouth and when they need to cool off, they naturally produce more moisture and breathe with their mouths open. Dobermans are the same as pretty much every other breed of dog in this sense.

That means you’ll often see increased drooling after or during strenuous exercise, but really that’s a good thing. It means that their body is doing what it’s supposed to do! Make sure to always provide them with plenty of water to help them hydrate and keep cool.

How to Reduce Drooling

Because there are several potential causes for drooling in your Doberman, some more severe than others, it may be tough to tell exactly what’s causing your dog’s drooling.

It’s always best to see a veterinarian if you are at all concerned. Especially if there is a sudden increase, or decrease, in drool production.

However, if there’s nothing seriously or medically wrong with your dog, you may be able to deal with the increased drool production with some at-home solutions.

Decreasing Drooling Due to Nausea

If you believe your Dobie is experiencing a temporary increase in saliva production due to nausea, your first step is to see a veterinarian. Once your vet rules out any potential serious reasons for nausea, there may be some at-home remedies he or she may suggest you try.

Some Dobermans can have sensitive stomachs. Although they may seem as though they want to eat everything and anything, there are some foods that they’re not able to easily digest, such as:

  • Seafood
  • Sweets
  • Fatty foods
  • Heavily processed meats
  • Fruits

If you find your dog is exhibiting consistent symptoms of nausea after eating, including excessive drooling, licking, dry heaving, or diarrhea, it may be time to consider some changes to their diet. Trying switching him over to a simpler diet free of these foods.

In Dobermans, a condition called bloat (or Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus) is somewhat common and a very serious condition. It can often be life-threatening for Dobermans. One of the symptoms of this is excessive drooling.

I know I’ve said this more than once in this article, but please make sure to see your vet before assuming that the excessive drooling you observe is benign.

Decreasing Drooling in the Car

Remember that Dobermans can be sensitive to travel. This is especially the case when in a car, bouncing down a windy road. So, it’s a good idea not to feed your dog right before you travel.

Try taking your Dobie for a gentle walk after eating and before doing any traveling to ensure that they’ve digested their food as much as possible.

If you’re going for a particularly long drive, it may be helpful to put your Doberman pup in either the front with you or the middle seat if your dog must sit in the back. I know you’re probably thinking that your Dobie won’t fit in the front.

But, many owners are very surprised how happy their pup is in the front seat with them. Remember, they’re velcro dogs and just want to be as close as possible to you. If they do enjoy it, it will probably help your dog to avoid motion sickness (and the resulting drooling) as much as possible.

If you’re still worried about your Dobie while traveling, be sure to give him (or her) frequent breaks along the way. Try taking him for a walk and playing with your dog during the breaks to ease your dog’s nausea and anxiety, thereby reducing the amount they drool.

Decreasing Drooling Due to Anxiety

It’s definitely possible for your Doberman to experience increased saliva production due to stress or anxiety. Separation anxiety, for example, is a known problem in the Doberman breed.

If at all possible, do your best to alleviate your dog’s anxiety by eliminating the stressors your Doberman is responding to. For example, if this occurs mainly when you are leaving for work, your Doberman is probably suffering from separation anxiety.

Possible methods for dealing with anxiety in Dobermans:

  • Increase daily exercise.
  • Additional attention from their owner.
  • Gradual increasing levels of exposure to the situation(s) that aggravate the anxiety (conditioning).
  • New and interesting toys.
  • Mentally stimulating toys (see my toy recommendations here).
  • Provide plenty of room for them to run, play, and hide.
  • Leave the TV or Radio on when leaving the house.

If your dog seems especially prone to separation anxiety, take a look at the article I wrote on handling a particularly needy Doberman here.

My Doberman is balancing treats on his nose without drooling at all.
My Doberman Cooper waits patiently for the release command so he can eat his treats. I balanced them all the way up his nose (and put one in his lips). Zero drool is present. Dobermans are very clean dogs.

Decreasing Drooling Around to Mealtime

Drooling around mealtime is probably the most common time a Doberman will drool. It might seem harmless if your pup gets particularly drooly when it comes to their mealtime, and frankly, if your dog is salivating over the food you’ve purchased them, it likely means you’ve done a good job picking a food they love!

See my recommendations for the best food and treats for Dobermans here.

However, it is highly likely that your Doberman is drooling at some less opportune times—such as your own family mealtime. Dobermans are likely going to salivate over your food, especially if meat is involved.

Luckily, there are some steps you can take in order to communicate to your dog that not every mealtime you have is mealtime for them. The essential thing that all of the suggestions below have in common is that they all involve keeping your dog occupied and redirecting their behavior while you eat so that they learn that begging at mealtimes is not acceptable.

Eat at the Same Time as Your Dog

Try to give your dog their own food while you’re eating your meal. That way, your Dobie will get used to not sitting and staring at your meal in anticipation. You’ll also be getting your dog full and satisfied rather than ready for another meal when you sit down to eat yours.

If you feed your Doberman at the same time as you eat, your dog will be too preoccupied with eating to follow you around, beg for scraps, and drool in your lap. Even better, your dog will have a better distinction between your food vs. their food.

Even if it’s not your dog’s mealtime, you can try giving your pup food in a “food puzzle”, a toy designed to make eating active rather than passive. Your dog will be distracted and engaged in the puzzle while you are eating, therefore keeping your dog’s attention away from your food.

These food puzzles are amazing for Dobermans since they help engage the dog’s mind as well as keeping them busy. If you want to see the puzzle toys I recommend for Dobermans, take a look at the recommended products page located on the main menu of this website.

Train Your Dog With Another Action

Rather than encourage begging at mealtimes, condition your Dobie to perform another action while you are eating. For example, try training your Doberman to lay down in their bed when it’s your mealtime.

Training this takes a lot of patience and extreme consistency, but it’s possible. As with any time you train your Doberman, after enough practice and consistency from you, your dog will soon begin to associate your mealtimes with their relaxation time. This can eliminate begging behaviors and the idea that they will get a portion of your meal.

Put Your Dog in Another Room

I really don’t like recommending this option, but it could be useful early on while you’re still training your Doberman to place their attention somewhere else during meal times.

This is certainly not the longterm solution, but keeping your dog in another room can help get your dog used to the idea that your mealtimes are not for them.

Keep your food out of sight and give them something to preoccupy themselves with until they begin to get used to the idea of engaging themselves in other activities during your mealtime. A puzzle toy with food inside is great for this also.

Medical Problems That Can Cause Excessive Drooling

As you know by now, extra drooling from your Doberman is definitely expected in many situations. However, occasionally excessive drooling can be rooted in a more serious medical problem.

Here are some examples of possible medical issues that could be causing excessive drooling in your Doberman:

  • Gum infections.
  • Chipped or cracked teeth.
  • Poisoning.
  • Foreign object lodged in the throat.
  • Bloat (GDV).
  • Liver or kidney disease.
  • Heatstroke.
  • Injuries in the mouth.
  • Tumors.
  • Rabies.
  • Digestive tract obstruction.

In general, your Doberman likes to be clean and will do a good job licking their lips and keeping their drooling to a minimum. So with Dobermans specifically, it’s usually easy to spot a sudden increase in drooling.

Pay attention to any other small clues (besides drooling) that may indicate your dog is potentially sick. If you spot anything of concern, it’s important to see a qualified veterinarian as soon as possible to rule out some of the more dangerous explanations.

“The Doberman breed is susceptible to its fair share of medical conditions, many of which are life-threatening. If you suspect anything unusual is going on with your Doberman, it’s important to get them to a vet as soon as possible.”

-John Walter (
My Doberman asleep on me.
I love letting my Doberman take a snooze on me while watching TV, but the biggest downside is that he might drool a little. This is one of the only times I ever notice drool coming from my Doberman.

When to Talk to Your Vet

The Doberman breed is prone to a number of health conditions that are very serious and who’s symptoms can include excessive drooling. So it’s important to take your dog to the vet any time you suspect something unusual is going on. Many of the conditions that Dobermans are prone to can be successfully treated if caught early.

As I mentioned previously, some Dobermans do just naturally drool more than others, but sudden or excessive drooling in a Doberman that does not normally drool should be a red flag.

If your dog is experiencing any of the following in conjunction with excessive drooling, you should get him or her into a veterinarian as soon as possible.

  • Unusual behavior.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Sudden collapse.
  • Any other unusual signs.

It is important to remember that you likely do not have the ability to diagnose your dog at home and that there is no replacement for solid medical advice from a qualified veterinarian.

While some dog owners may find themselves hesitating at the cost of bringing their pets to the vet, most will agree that it is worth the peace of mind.

If You Can’t Afford a Vet Visit

I thought I would include this section simply because I’ve noticed a lot of people come to this page who are attempting to self-diagnose their Doberman due to the fear of the cost of a vet visit.

Cost should never be a reason you don’t get your Dobie pup the care he or she needs. It’s difficult, or sometimes impossible, even for a professional to diagnose their own dog at home.

Luckily, the Humane Society keeps a regularly updated list of resources available for pet owners state-by-state that work to provide pet owners with financial assistance for veterinary care. This list also includes options for temporary financial aid and tips for working out payment plans with veterinarians.

Another great option is to just be honest with your vet about your concerns regarding the cost. Many vets maintain a list of other resources and alternative payment options that are available to you to help with the cost and all you have to do is ask!

Catching the Drool

If you have already addressed your dog’s medical condition but need to deal with excessive drooling in the meantime, consider affixing something around your dog’s neck in order to catch excess drool that may fall from your dog’s mouth.

Many owners of excessive droolers are using something like this Wipe It! Drool Catching System (Amazon link) as a means to keep their Dobie’s cleaner.

At least one Doberman owner told me her dog clearly enjoys wearing it, probably because since it’s somewhat warm and her dog (like most Dobermans) probably just prefers being clean.

Related Questions

Do Doberman puppies drool more than adults? Like many breeds of dog, Doberman puppies will often drool more than adults, especially during the teething stage which starts when the dog is about 12 weeks old and continues until their adult teeth come in at about 6-months of age.

Do Dobermans smell? Dobermans have a short coat and coarse hair which doesn’t easily hold onto dirt. They also naturally prefer to stay clean. For these reasons Dobermans rarely smell bad.

John Walter and Cooper, his Doberman Pinscher.

About the author

John Walter is a Family Doberman Specialist, holds a CPD certification in Canine Communication, and is an active dog trainer specializing in the Doberman Pinscher breed. He's been quoted in Doberman Network Magazine, Bark Magazine, Doberman Dispatch, and he's the founder of Doberman Planet. Learn More

2 thoughts on “How Much Drool is Normal for Dobermans (with Examples)”

  1. Hi John,
    We got a set of male Doberman litter mates 9 yrs ago. One of them passed away last September. The other Doberman (Je’sus) then had the house to himself. Last week we picked up our new 10-month old male Doberman puppy (Payne). Payne is the same size as Je’sus and very friendly; however, our 9-yr old Je’sus doesn’t want anything to do with him.

    Je’sus started drooling at times (which he never drools). His pupils get huge when Payne is in the same “space”. Je’sus won’t engage in his normal play activities with Payne in the house (depression/anxiety?).

    We shower Je’sus with attention, but I don’t think that’s enough. Any ideas?

    • I think you might be onto something with the depression and/or anxiety thought. That’s my guess too from your description. It’s hard to tell, but I think I would start with a trip to the vet just to make sure nothing unusual is going on with Je’sus. Then I’d start slowly with some desensitization techniques, slowly getting him warmed up to the idea of interacting with Payne. That’s most likely how I’d start with this issue. Good luck to you Sharon! So sorry for the loss of your other dog in September.


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