Last Updated on May 18, 2023 by The Puppy Mag
We constantly receive messages from Dobie owners regarding bathing. From how often, how to do it, and what shampoo is best, there’s a lot to know when it comes to giving your Doberman a good scrub.
Thankfully, this article explains everything owners need to know, let’s get into it.
Overbathing does more harm than good, and owners may be surprised to know that more bathes, doesn’t necessarily mean cleaner and healthier. I’ll explain everything below.
How Often Should You Bathe a Doberman
After having bathed all kinds of dogs with different coats for many years, I’ve found that some breeds don’t require much bathing, and in fact, their coat improves when bathing is kept to a minimum.
Dobermans should be bathed just once every 2-3 months. Dobermans are naturally hygienic and don’t typically smell, allowing them to go many months before needing another bath.
Some owners bathe their Dobies even less than this, and that’s still fine too!
Plus, if you are using baby wipes or grooming wipes (which are awesome & I will explain why soon) it will increase the time your Dobie remains clean.
Why Overbathing Can Ruin a Doberman’s Coat & Skin
So what’s the big deal with frequent bathing and why is it so bad? Let’s explain…
First of all, the main issue is the shampoo. Regular dog shampoo contains harsh chemicals, alcohols, parabens, and detergents… all for the purpose of “cleaning”.
➡️ Unfortunately, these shampoos remove more than just dirt: they strip all of the essential natural oils from the skin and coat. And it’s these very oils that make your Dobies skin and coat healthy and clean in the first place.
➡️ So, when you frequently bathe your Dobie using these shampoos, it constantly prevents his skin and coat from correctly maintaining itself, which it will do.
But won’t my Doberman be really dirty if I don’t bathe him often? Nope! that’s the beauty of it. With regular brushing and usage of wipes, his coat won’t need much bathing anyway. And Dobies are a naturally hygienic breed that do a lot of “self-cleaning”, much like cats.
💡 Did you know? Dry skin remains to be the no.1 reason why dogs visit the veterinarian, period. And one of the leading causes of dry skin is… you guessed it, overbathing.
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What Shampoo Is Best For a Doberman
When it does come around to bathing, using the correct shampoo is really important.
Regular pet shampoo and human shampoo are not suitable, as both are too strong.
The best shampoo to use is a natural ingredient oatmeal-based pet shampoo. And if you don’t have access to natural-ingredient pet shampoo, then baby shampoo is the next best thing temporarily.
✅ Our favorite natural oatmeal shampoo: Pro Pet Works Natural Oatmeal Shampoo
I explain in another article about making your Doberman’s coat shiny, that oatmeal-based shampoos are the ones to go for.
Oatmeal has long been used as a therapeutic way to heal and soothe dry skin. Oatmeal shampoo acts as an anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial, and is one of the best at moisturizing the skin and hair.
It will help clean your Dobies skin and coat, without removing the existing essential oils.
Can You Use Baby Wipes On Dobermans?
If you aren’t already on the wiping bandwagon, it’s time to jump on!
You can either use baby wipes, or there are real grooming wipes made for dogs. Either one is good.
What is this all about?
Well, in general, most Dobies hate being bathed, and although wiping doesn’t replace bathing altogether, it certainly does prolong the time they can go in between baths.
What do you do?
Owners use a few baby wipes to wipe down the entire body of their Dobie. Starting from the head down making sure you get all around the ears and neck, through to the underbelly, back, and legs.
Some owners prefer using circular motions when wiping and others go in long straight strokes. It’s up to you 🙂
What’s the point?
Baby wipes do a few things, not only are they great at cleaning off top surface dirt from the coat leaving it smooth and shiny, they’ll make your Dobie smell clean and fresh, it will remove some of the loose hair in his coat, plus, he will love the TLC!
This isn’t a technique that all breeds suit, that’s why many haven’t heard of it before.
You may also add a few drops of coconut oil to the wipes before starting. Coconut oil has numerous health benefits including anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties as well as soothing, moisturizing, and strengthening the skin and coat. Although this is just an optional extra!
Right, time to get the baby wipes!
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6 Great Tips For Bathing Dobermans
Below are some useful tips to help make bathing easier, more effective, and enjoyable for your Dobie.
1. Peanut butter keeps your Dobie still
Peanut butter can be the ultimate treat for your Dobie, as well as a helping hand for you. Peanut butter has been deemed safe for dogs to consume as long as it doesn’t have Xylitol or a high salt content. But you do need to ensure your Dobie doesn’t have any peanut allergies first.
How do you use P.B? If you are bathing him in a bathtub and have washable tile walls, you can smear a tablespoon right on to the wall at head height. He’ll be completely zoned out for 7-10 minutes while he tries to eat the wall. This gives you valuable time to wet him, shampoo & conditioner him, and rinse without him fighting.
If you don’t have tile walls, you can use a dinner plate and just pop it on the ground.
What’s great about this is that he’ll soon associate bathing with getting rewarded, and eventually he won’t mind being bathed with or without the P.B (that might take a while though).
2. Use lukewarm water
I know it’s tempting to use warm or really warm water to bathe your Dobie, but it’s not advised. Sticking to lukewarm water which is neither hot nor cold is always best.
This temperature won’t shock him either way and it doesn’t run the risk of drying out his coat and skin after the bathing stops (which warm or hot water does).
3. Talk to your Doberman
I know, most Dobermans hate bathing. The death-stare is a common reaction to receive while you’re bathing him. It’s like he’s genuinely “mad” at you. lol!
Well, by talking to him and using a happy and joyful tone you can ease the discomfort your Doberman experiences. It’s has been found that dogs understand the tone of voice to a very high level. And the way in which we speak to dogs can trigger certain emotional responses.
Talking to him in a happy and playful way, reminding him he’s a good boy, will involuntarily trigger a positive response in him, and he’ll slowly come around to it, despite looking at you like Voldemort.
4. Use a rubber bath brush
If your Doberman tolerates bath times to a moderate level, you can introduce the bath brush to make the overall experience much more effective.
Rubber bath brushes work really well to remove loose hair while wet. They are generally soft with blunt nobbly ends which won’t cause any discomfort as long as you keep the pressure light.
Not only will you remove loose hair but the rubber nobbles provide a stimulating massage type of feel. I’ve personally used these brushes for years on short-haired breeds and I haven’t come across one dog who didn’t enjoy it.
Our favorite bath brush: Bodhi Bath Brush
5. Rinse thoroughly
If your Dobie finishes bathtime with a few suds left in his coat, it could cause some problems. Not only will suds cause irritation for his skin which will result in a lot of scratching, but it can also dry out his skin too.
I know how it goes, you rinse and think all the suds are gone, but they’re not… When you think you’ve finally got them all out, rinse again! I try to remember that rule every time and so far, we’ve been sud-free after bathing 🙂
6. Keep him inside until thoroughly dry
Dobies can get cold very easily, especially when wet. Even on a sunny day, if there is a slight chill or breeze, he could become too cold.
When you’re finished bathing, be sure to pat him dry as much as possible, and then keep him indoors until completely dry.
This will also prevent him from rolling in the mud while he’s still wet! Yep, it happens every time.
Key Points Summarized
Here are the key take-aways from this article:
● Dobermans should only be bathed once every three to four months (3-4 times per year)
● Dobermans are naturally hygienic and remain clean for long periods
● Using baby wipes or grooming wipes are a great way to maintain his coat in between baths
● Have a weekly brushing routine to keep on top of shedding
● Only use a natural ingredient shampoo (preferably oatmeal-based)
● Only use lukewarm water when bathing to avoid drying out his coat
● Try to make bathing a fun and enjoyable experience to make him increasingly receptive
Thank you for reading! I really hope all your questions were answered. If you were expecting something I didn’t cover, please let me know. I am always happy to add relevant information. Have a great day with your Dobie! 🙂