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Old 11-18-2012, 02:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How do I handle this???

For months now I have been working on Toby's fearfulness/reactiveness and if I say so myself we have been making progress.

Well we were, that was up until the night my son came home and thought it big and clever to try and make Toby react to a threat when he came out of the house barking.

You see, Toby tells me whenever anything is going on outside, the way he does this is by barking and going outside all puffed up (big dog mode) to scare away intruders. Obviously once he realises it is family he stops being a big dog, changing into his excited Dobe boy welcoming his humans home.

Anyhow, one evening a couple of weeks back Toby was busy telling us someone was at the gate, running as he does between my position and the gate, telling me as he does so that he is on the job so I need not fear. Now Toby had seen it was my son at the gate, so he had toned down his response accordingly. As my son drove into the compound I called Toby back to me, (he is a bit daft when the cars are moving so I play it safe and get him to come to me instead of run around) I told Toby what a good boy he was for telling me my son was home and as normally happens he went into wiggley bum mode coupled with laughing Doberboy.
In this frame of mind he ran back towards my sons position but as my son got out of the car, because he was being a moron he decided to test Toby's mettle by roaring aggressively at him. Immediately he did it, Toby ran into the house and refused to come back out no matter what. Now whilst he will go out barking during the day, the moment it goes dark he is uncertain, you can see it. In particular he won't go out when a car comes up to the gate, which of course is not ideal.

I seriously could throttle my son and whilst it still might happen I would appreciate it if you guys could give me some advice as to how I handle this problem. Toby is my eyes and ears regards unfriendly's (thieves). I told my son he was bloody lucky Toby didnt bite his head off for what he did. Jesus in a handbasket, how stupid can you get.

Alcohol was partly to blame for his actions, but sometimes I think my son has a screw loose and now I have a fearful Doberman who I really do not know how to help.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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He's got to decide it's OK

Dobermans are REALLY smart critters, as we all know, and have a mind of their own. My only suggestion would be to practice with him under safe or friendly conditions, until he decides it's OK.

For example a few years ago I replaced my pickup truck. The new truck has a good space behind the seat for Levi to ride, as opposed to riding in the back camper shell. He could be warm or cool depending on the season, and closer to us when riding. But, no way was he going to jump up there, and no amount of coaxing was going to work.

We put treats in there and made a game of it. Finally he jumped up for his favorite treat, but not while I was within reach. It took WAY too long, but he finally decided it was safe. Mind you it's carpeted, and has a back window that he can safely stick his head out of, but until HE decided it was OK you couldn't even pick him up to put him there.

Now he's an absolute pain in the A$$ trying to get back there.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Your son was driving drunk? Then he got out of the car drunk and scared the dog he knows you have been working with? I don't know how you work through something like that since your son is the one who needs to be controlled. I'm sorry but there is no advice to help Toby because it could and maybe will happen again. I feel for you but I have thing when people try to say, "well, he didn't mean it he was drinking" as if that is an excuse. I have a very BIG thing for driving after drinking any amount of alcohol.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lori Z View Post
Your son was driving drunk? Then he got out of the car drunk and scared the dog he knows you have been working with? I don't know how you work through something like that since your son is the one who needs to be controlled. I'm sorry but there is no advice to help Toby because it could and maybe will happen again. I feel for you but I have thing when people try to say, "well, he didn't mean it he was drinking" as if that is an excuse. I have a very BIG thing for driving after drinking any amount of alcohol.
I totally agree with you, drink driving is a scourge. And my son despite not being drunk acted like a complete jack ass. Luckily he wasn't driving on public roads, he had gone down to the village left the car at the bottom of our mountain and walked into the village, (around a quarter of a mile, I know he did this because I took Toby out that evening to my friends place for training and passed the car). My son only drove up our mountain on our private roadway, used only by those who have property up here and only by us after dark. He freely admitted afterwards he was a complete ass and whilst he maintains he had only had a couple of beers I would say he felt slightly tipsy and in my opinion he should not have driven up our mountain, instead he should have called me and I would have gone and picked him up. I have had severe words with him and I think he is suitably sorry he did it. He also admits he shouldnt have made Toby scared though he has said he thinks I mother Toby too much, (unfortunately he listens to his macho friends sometimes instead of good sense.) which I have put right, or at least I have tried to do so.

Toby is our first Dobe, despite having done copious amounts of research I have come to realise I know absolutely nothing about them and my son alas knows even less.

I have warned my son if he ever drives having had a drink or tests Toby like this again, he won't have to worry about what Toby may or may not do. But he will have to worry about me.

Last edited by Toby'shuman; 11-19-2012 at 01:15 PM..
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