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Old 09-04-2011, 01:06 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by friskybinx View Post
First of all I have to say that my all time favorite trait of the Doberman is their watchdog and natural protection gene.

We bought Bentley last year after our house was broken into and my husband was stabbed. With him being gone randomly (and for weeks at a time) with the military, I needed more protection. If anything, I wanted a bigger dog that will bark at strangers. Max, our first dog we got (as a couple) hid under the table when my husband was being assaulted and did nothing to warn anyone of these two strangers. I love him to death, but had to find another dog that did more alerting.

Since I've owned Bentley I've had people completely avoid walking near me, coming near me, going down the hallway at the same time and full out RUN away from me when he barks at them. I had a guy flailing his arms, yelling in Spanish and running. I have to admit, I did laugh. If only because I know the second Bentley comes in the house, he's the biggest squishable softy ever. He always barks at strangers in the house, too, and refuses to let someone pet him until he's SURE they are good people. He likes to run in circles around the person, sometimes peaking out from behind furniture but always barking. When the person takes their shoes off and settles down, so does Bentley. Though, it does take them coming around a few times for him to be fully trusting.

My question is, when you are walking your dog and he barks at strangers, do you reward him, try to quiet him or say nothing? I love the fact that Bentley barks at people he doesn't know because even tonight it scared someone out of their skin when I was walking him late at night. Around where I live, it's VERY sketchy with pretty shady people, so I love the fact that my boy tells everyone to back off from coming too close to his momma.

Anyways, I just wanted to hear some other opinions on how your Dobe's react to strangers, and if you feel it should be praised or hushed.
frisky, We love Key West...it's one of my favorite places!!! We were just down there in June on Star Island. My experience with dobermans barking at strangers depends on are they family, friends or strangers. If the dog doesn't know them yes let them bark. If you're out walking your dog and they see a cat or stranger they will bark.........I never let people that I don't know near my dog.We just had our back window broke out and because the dog was home no one entered...........We weren't at home the police said they didn't come in because the dog!!My friend who has raised/trained dobes said if you don't know them they are strangers and should not be near your dog.You may want to go for some training. Check the websites on this site don't be afraid to ask. I hope I've helped ....
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:22 PM   #27 (permalink)
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on walks, my dogs all alert on other people or dogs, but they don't normally bark even if another dog is barking at them. A full grown Doberman alerting at the end of the leash is pretty scary - they don't need to make a sound IMHO. I know that people in my neighborhood would complain if my dogs were being aggressive on walks and barking. I work pretty hard to keep my dogs from being obnoxious in any way - I don't want complaints.

That said my 3 dogs all bark like idiots when someone comes to the door - 1/2 of what they are barking at is each other. Depending on who is at the door, sometimes I'm ok with it and sometimes not. We live in a very low crime suburban neighborhood, but you never know. I don't try to keep my dogs from barking at the door, I just manage it.

The OP's barking boy also sounds like fear barking to me and I would not encourage it. I'd work on some major socializing and training to help develop his social skills and confidence. A fearful dog is often a dangerous dog - they need to learn the difference between what is ok and what isn't.
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:44 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Fitzmar Dobermans View Post
The OP's barking boy also sounds like fear barking to me and I would not encourage it. I'd work on some major socializing and training to help develop his social skills and confidence. A fearful dog is often a dangerous dog - they need to learn the difference between what is ok and what isn't.
Agreed 100%....and the only way to teach them the difference is to expose them to as many different situations as possible...I call it advance socialization...take them with me everywhere i go, make them a part of whatever i do..
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:47 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Have to agree with everyone else - barking at people on walking is unnecessary and obnoxious. For one, you are the one in control - not the dog - and unless someone is coming at you with the intent to harm, the dog should always defer to you first and not cause a scene.

For two, walking a Doberman down the street who randomly barks at and intimidates people further increases people's irrational fear or them, which does nothing to improve their reputation - especially if your community comes around to vote on banned breed legislation. When I am in public with my dog, I go out of my way to show people that my dog is even-tempered and well-socialized for this reason.

Even-tempered and well-socialized does NOT equal unprotective. It means that your dog is well-balanced, is not fearful or fear-aggressive, and is able to tell the difference between a threat and a non-threat. A dog who walks down the sidewalk barking at everything, and hides behind furniture while barking at people is fearful - not protective. And a fearful dog is an unpredictable dog, and will likely not protect you when push comes to shove.

For a dog his age, you should be working on socialization and basic obedience. Get into some structured training, if nothing else but for the exposure to other people and dogs. The main thing in training (imo) is your ability to hold your dog's attention during distractions. If you have your dog's attention - no matter what else is going on around you - you have control over your dog. Which is a must when in any social situation.

When you train with your dog and create a bond of trust, and your dog is well-socialized and not fearful, he will protect you.


Edited to add: I do encourage my dog to bark when a car pulls into the driveway or someone knocks on the door. But once me or my husband invites this stranger into our home, that is cue for the dog that everything is fine and nub-wagging can commence. Your dog should know the difference when you let someone in versus someone who came in uninvited.
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:19 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Oliver only barks in the house or out back (our house overlooks a park) when he smells or hears another dog. I did have a women with 3 jack russells run the other way when we went into the park. Oliver looked, but could have cared less.
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:20 PM   #31 (permalink)
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I definitely don't want my dogs barking at people when they are out with me on leash. We go to far too many dog shows for that to go over well with me or the other people present. All of my dogs except the puppies will more out in front of me if they see something (people, other animals etc) that seems out of the ordinary--they will do this faster at night than during the day. As a result I've been out walking dogs at motels at shows pretty late at night and have encountered people that I didn't want to get chummy with--once it was a group of four teen aged boys who were coming up a dark street and got to wondering loudly, "what the lady standing over there by the street light would do if we walked up and surrounded her..." The lady didn't have to do anything the dog who had been poking around in some bushes came out to see what the voices were and gave them the old Doberman stare down and the kids quickly decided they had business in the other direction.

Some of my dogs will bark at people outside the back fence (it's 7 foot board and they can't see who it is behind it). One of the dogs will always bark at other dogs when he's in my truck or in the house but shuts up when I tell him to.

And if my dogs bark in the night I get up to see what the heck is going on and turn one of them loose in the yard--they don't usually bark at night and the dog that I generally turn loose definitely ran someone over the back fence in a big hurry on two occasions.

That stuff is fine--but I really don't want them just barking willy nilly at strangers just because they are on the same street. That's rarely protection and is generally what truly fearful dogs do.
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:34 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I love that our girl Supra is sensitive to how i feel towards strangers.. She picks my vibe... So if im nervous she will def let ppls know how she can protect us..and if im calm or say hello to a stranger shes fine.. Love that about dobermans.. True guardians...but still civilized.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:07 PM   #33 (permalink)
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He sounds fearful to me. A dog who is not afraid doesn't need to bark unless he see someone as a real threat. I have taught all my GSD to bark on command that way if you are walking and feel uneasy you can use the command when you need it. I don't live in a area where I feel threatened when walking, Eli has never barked at a person we have encountered.
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on walks, my dogs all alert on other people or dogs, but they don't normally bark even if another dog is barking at them. A full grown Doberman alerting at the end of the leash is pretty scary - they don't need to make a sound IMHO. I know that people in my neighborhood would complain if my dogs were being aggressive on walks and barking. I work pretty hard to keep my dogs from being obnoxious in any way - I don't want complaints.

That said my 3 dogs all bark like idiots when someone comes to the door - 1/2 of what they are barking at is each other. Depending on who is at the door, sometimes I'm ok with it and sometimes not. We live in a very low crime suburban neighborhood, but you never know. I don't try to keep my dogs from barking at the door, I just manage it.

The OP's barking boy also sounds like fear barking to me and I would not encourage it. I'd work on some major socializing and training to help develop his social skills and confidence. A fearful dog is often a dangerous dog - they need to learn the difference between what is ok and what isn't.
I agree with both. Someone that knows what to look for can tell the difference pretty quickly. There's some pretty bad-ass dogs out there, that they look at you, and you know them mean business. They don't have to bark, or grumble, just a stare is enough to tell you to back down. The majority of people I have come across that think their dogs are protective are really nothing more than scared, and I think the general public would be surprised at how their dog would react if there was real danger. I think most just assume their dogs will protect them, and it's really the opposite.
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