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When will my 8-month-old Doberman start barking at strangers?

Hi everyone,

I have an 8-month-old Doberman who has been very quiet and friendly with everyone so far. However, I am starting to get concerned that he isn't showing any signs of territorial behavior or protective instincts. I've heard from other dog owners that Dobermans are known for being great guard dogs and can become quite vocal towards strangers. My question is, when can I expect my Doberman to start barking at strangers and showing signs of protection? Is there anything I can do to encourage this behavior or is it just a matter of time? I appreciate any advice or personal experiences that you can share. Thank you!

All Replies


Hello there,

As a first-time Doberman owner, I have been curious about my dog's guarding instincts since he turned five months old. However, despite my frequent research online, I learned that Dobermans develop protective instincts at different ages.

In my opinion, training is the most significant factor in developing Doberman's guarding instincts. Dogs are social animals that require training and engagement with people and their surroundings to develop a better understanding of how their behavior should be around strangers.

To encourage your Doberman to learn these important skills, you should engage your dog in different activities that improve its socialization. This includes exposing your dog to various people (strangers, family members, friends) and environments. Training sessions should be consistent and focused on obedience, tone, and proper interaction during these activities.

Furthermore, it is essential to consider professional training services for your dog's development. This can help your dog to develop discipline and consistency in their training. If your Doberman is unresponsive or does not exhibit the desired behavior after training sessions, you may need to seek the advice of a professional dog trainer.

In conclusion, every dog is unique and may exhibit different development timelines. It is important to be patient, consistent and demonstrate love and care when training your Doberman to develop protective instincts. Professional training services can also help contribute to the development of positive behavior in your dog to protect and guard their family and home.


Hello everyone,

As a Doberman owner for the past five years, I can attest to the fact that Dobermans are known for their excellent guarding skills. However, my dog did not start barking at strangers until he turned a year old.

In my experience, training and socialization are the most significant factors that can help develop and enhance your Doberman's guarding and protecting instincts. Teaching your dog obedience, learning which tone works well and how to interact with strangers properly, can help build its confidence and accuracy when trying to distinguish between strangers and harmful people.

It is crucial to remember that not all dogs naturally develop these instincts, regardless of their breed. Dogs have their unique personalities, and they can only understand and learn at their pace.

Over time, continued training sessions, consistent exposure to strangers, and other factors will have an impact on your dog's protective instincts. However, this does not guarantee that the dog will exhibit these positive traits every time. An overprotective dog can be aggressive towards people, which can cause harm to the family and the community.

In conclusion, every dog is unique, and their development process varies. As a responsible pet owner, it is essential to ensure that your dog is well-trained and properly socialized to exhibit positive behavior towards strangers. We should embrace the natural guarding instincts of a Doberman while taking measures to ensure that they do not become aggressive towards people.



I have a 4-year-old Doberman and can share my personal experience with training, socialization and protecting instincts. My pup started showing protecting instincts at a very young age. However, it is important to note that overprotecting can lead to aggressive behavior towards strangers. Hence, training and socialization is important.

Teaching good behavior and obedience must be a part of the training process. Make use of treat-based positive reinforcement techniques and commands that allow the dog to distinguish between strangers that are safe or may be a potential threat. Training, along with socialization, helps the dog understand what is normal, playful and what is not based on their experiences.

It is also crucial to expose your Doberman to different people and situations from a tender age, so they can easily differentiate between normal and unusual behaviors of people. Socialization should be continued throughout their lives; this helps the dog become more confident and quickly adapt to new situations.

In conclusion, the timing of when your Doberman started barking may differ depending on the dog's personality and experiences. However, you can train your dog from a young age by associating treats, commanding voice and professional training to exhibit good behavior and protective instincts towards strangers.


Hi everyone,

I have a 5-year-old Doberman who has been a great guard dog since we brought her home as a puppy. I noticed her barking and growling behavior towards strangers started around 8 months, but it wasn't until she turned 1 that her protective instincts really kicked in.

In my experience, training your Doberman is key to encouraging protective behavior. We worked with a professional trainer to teach our dog commands such as "show me," which she now associates with alerting us to any potential threats. We also rewarded her with treats and praise when she reacted appropriately to strangers or unfamiliar situations.

It's important to remember that Dobermans are naturally protective and territorial dogs, but proper training and socialization are still necessary to ensure they behave appropriately. By exposing your dog to different people and situations and teaching them the commands that you want them to associate with specific scenarios, you can encourage protective behavior while also instilling good manners.

Overall, I would say that with patience, consistency, and a focus on positive reinforcement training, your Doberman will develop his own unique personality and protective instincts at his own pace.


Hello all,

As a current Doberman owner, I want to share my personal experience with my Doberman's protective instincts. My dog started showing guarding tendencies from a young age of around four months. However, it was not until he was about a year old that I witnessed him barking at strangers.

Through my experience, I have observed that Dobermans are loyal and protective yet playful and friendly. My dog likes to observe people and surroundings and can differentiate between friendly and harmful strangers.

Consistent training should be a top priority when trying to develop a Doberman's protective instincts. Effective training techniques such as obedience training help the dog listen to their owner's commands, be disciplined, and learn self-control. I found positive reinforcement training to be extremely effective and rewarding for my Doberman.

Socialization is another way to encourage the development of your dog's protective instincts. When your dog interacts with other people, they can learn how to react correctly in different situations. This can make them adaptable to any situation they may encounter in life.

In conclusion, Dobermans are known for their guarding abilities, and training and socialization play a significant role in developing them. My personal experience has taught me that with proper training, including obedience and guidance, coupled with a healthy socialization process, your Doberman will learn to understand when to protect and when to be friendly.


Hello everyone,

As a Doberman owner for the past three years, I have experienced my dog's protective instincts developing slowly but steadily. From my experience, the age at which a Doberman starts to show their guarding abilities varies significantly.

Based on my experience, socialization and training have a significant impact on a Doberman's protective instincts. Socialization helps your dog get used to different people and situations, and training teaches your dog how to behave in response to different situations.

I would recommend that you gradually introduce your dog to different situations, people, and animals. This will help your dog get used to different stimuli and become more confident. You can also help your dog develop guarding instincts by teaching them certain commands they need to follow.

Furthermore, I have found that effective training is the key to developing a Doberman's protective instincts. Training should be focused on enhancing your dog's obedience and self-confidence. Keep sessions short but consistent, make them fun and exciting and introduce new challenges regularly.

In conclusion, personal experience has taught me that Dobermans exhibit their protective instincts differently, but, socialization and training play an important role in fostering and developing their guarding skills. Therefore, consistent training, socialization and teaching the dog certain cues are vital to their protective instincts.


Hi there!

I have a 3-year-old Doberman and I can share my personal experience. My pup started to become more vocal and protective at around 10-12 months, but it wasn't until he reached 2 years old that he really started to bark and show his guarding instincts towards strangers. It also depends on the individual temperament of the dog - some Dobermans are naturally more vocal and protective, while others may be more laid-back and friendly.

In terms of encouraging this behavior, socialization is key. Make sure to expose your Doberman to a variety of people and situations from a young age so that they can learn what is normal and what is not. This can also help them develop confidence and assertiveness so that they are more likely to bark and protect their territory when needed.

Remember though, guard dog behavior isn't necessarily a desirable trait for every dog owner, especially if you live in a neighborhood with lots of foot traffic or if you have small children or other pets. Make sure to train and socialize your pup in a way that is appropriate for your household and lifestyle.

Hope this helps!



I have a 7-year-old Doberman and my personal experience has taught me that Dobermans have a natural instinct to protect their family and territory. My dog started showing his protective qualities at around 8 months of age when we were out for a walk, and a stranger approached us aggressively. He didn't bark, but he became alert and positioned himself between me and the stranger.

It is imperative to remember that every Doberman has their own unique personalities; hence, they can learn and grow at different rates. Though socialization is important to a Doberman's development, we mustn't forget that the dog's genetics play a significant role.

Training your pup at a young age fosters a great relationship with your Doberman. Focusing on obedience and teaching your dog to recognize which person is good or bad behavior is vital. Treats can be used as a positive reinforcement technique, gently associating proper commands, and praise to good behavior from the dog.

A Doberman's bark is loud and can be startling, but teaching them to bark and quiet down on command can help. Keep practicing regularly to maintain a sense of comfort with the commands for the dog to obey just as you trained them.

In conclusion, Dobermans are known for their guarding abilities, but each dog will develop at their pace. Consistent training and socialization play a great role in a Doberman's development. Maintaining obedience and calm behavior while helping them understand their job to protect the family and territory shouldn't be overlooked.


Hey there,

I have a 1-year-old Doberman and I can tell you my pup started barking at strangers around the six-month mark. That said, every dog is different so it's impossible to predict exactly when your dog will start showing signs of territorial behavior. I would suggest continuing to socialize your pup and exposing him to different people and situations so he can become more confident and comfortable in various settings.

In terms of encouraging protective behavior, you can train your dog to recognize certain commands and reward him for behaving appropriately when faced with a perceived threat. I've found positive reinforcement to be the most effective method when training my dog, so that might be something worth looking into.

Overall, I wouldn't worry too much about when your Doberman will start barking at strangers. It's more important to focus on building a strong bond with your dog and creating a positive and safe environment. With time and patience, your dog will develop his own personality and behaviors that reflect his unique personality. Good luck!


Hi there,

I have a 3-year-old Doberman and I remember being in your shoes when he was around 8 months old. I was starting to get concerned that he wasn't becoming protective or showing any aggression towards strangers. However, over time I realized that his protective instincts developed gradually and he started barking at strangers around 12-14 months. I think it's important to remember that every dog is different and will develop at their own pace.

In terms of encouraging this behavior, you can start by socializing your Doberman with strangers and exposing him to new situations. This will help him become more confident and comfortable in his surroundings. You can also consider enrolling him in obedience classes to reinforce good behavior and build his trust in you as a strong leader.

Overall, my advice is to be patient and continue to expose your Doberman to different people and situations. With time and proper training, you will see his protective instincts develop. Good luck!

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