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Old 01-01-2013, 04:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Separation anxiety

Any ideas? Koda is 2 years old. He can't stand being left alone, particularly when I am at home. He does NOT like to be in the garden on his own and will only really stay there when we go out, or I/we are sitting outdoors. Even then he wants my attention.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like Koda needs a job. Dobes need mental stimulation as well as exercise. If he doesn't have sufficient mental stimulation he will fixate on you...or something else. It will not be healthy for him. He needs a task to keep him thinking.
Good luck.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Dobes don't like being left alone (they love their people too much, aka called velcro dog), when someone is home.
- you fix it by keeping the dog with you (simple really - you outside & dobe outside / you inside & dobe inside)
True SA to me, is a dobe that chews up the house, when the owner is gone (eg. to work).
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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LOL, Koda seems to have got over chewing things up, but hey! He does like to steal a toy or a teddy or a sock or some washing off the line when he get's the chance. This is usually when we are beginning to trust him. He's like a naughty little kid. He knows what he's doing and it's actually quite funny, now when he takes things, I don't get angry, chase him, corner him and scold him like I used to. He loves stale baguettes, so I break pieces for him and he just can't resist. So with a teddy in his mouth he will prance around thinking, "how am I gonna get the baguette and keep the Teddy." I satnd and I wait. Sometimes it gets a bit irritating especially if I had been planning to go out. Buit I wait. He eventually comes close and I make a deal, "Out, and you get the baguette." And it works on the most part. He can be sooo cheeky! lol
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobedream View Post
Sounds like Koda needs a job. Dobes need mental stimulation as well as exercise. If he doesn't have sufficient mental stimulation he will fixate on you...or something else. It will not be healthy for him. He needs a task to keep him thinking.
Good luck.
I do Obedience training for about 15minutes 4 times a week. Would you classify this as 'mental stimulation?' Excuse my ignorance, but what do you mean by he needs a job? Would you mind giving me a couple of examples. What you have suggested seems to have hit the nail on the head. He is fixated on me....quite flattering, but really quite irritating at times. When I am at home, which is most of the time since I work from home, he needs to be next to me. I literally tether him next to me or walk around with him right next to me when possible as left of leash, he can get up to mischief with the cats or if you take your eye off him. He lets me know when he needs to potty and actually we are getting into a fairly good rhythm. But if you could answer my first couple of questions, it would be appreciated.

Thanks

Last edited by JAGABAGS; 01-08-2013 at 02:30 PM.. Reason: I needed to add something
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JAGABAGS View Post
I do Obedience training for about 15minutes 4 times a week. Would you classify this as 'mental stimulation?' Excuse my ignorance, but what do you mean by he needs a job? Would you mind giving me a couple of examples. What you have suggested seems to have hit the nail on the head. He is fixated on me....quite flattering, but really quite irritating at times. When I am at home, which is most of the time since I work from home, he needs to be next to me. I literally tether him next to me or walk around with him right next to me when possible as left of leash, he can get up to mischief with the cats or if you take your eye off him. He lets me know when he needs to potty and actually we are getting into a fairly good rhythm. But if you could answer my first couple of questions, it would be appreciated.

Thanks
I am not an expert on training, but my girl is also with me during the day, so I am speaking from experience.
First, obedience training is a good example of mental stimulation, which is great, because it is focusing his obviously very busy mind.
When you tether him to you, you are reinforcing his focus, and he will assume that his "job" at the time is to pay close attention to you. It is in his nature to be "protective" which really just means "watch me" which is why he is "fixated." His reward for this is your attention. So he will naturally strive for your attention all the time.
When he is not in this mode, he is looking for something else to occupy the void left by your diverted attention...hence the teddy bear game or seeking out the cats He may need an additional task to fill up these moments, to avoid the need to come to his own conclusions (or self-reward, which is term you should look up and understand, it has been very helpful for me.)
For Roxy, at mealtimes, for example, when we don't want her literally sitting right next to us, we have a "place" command for her. She has to go to her "place" and watch us from there. We reinforce this with treats, which is rewarding for her because she is food-driven. She will stay there for quite awhile, intent on her task of watching us from afar.
She also has the "job" of checking on the kids in the house, and will faithfully make her rounds when they are home. This keeps her out of trouble.
Some examples might include a Kong with treats which can keep him challenged trying to figure out how to get them out...or another kind of entertaining chew.
You may also have to increase the training time. Again, I am not an expert, but my hubby trains for anywhere from half an hour to one hour per day, in one or two sessions, and more on weekends. We also build on the skills she is learning, so there is always a new challenge. It is amazing to see how much this calms her down. Between her training sessions, exercise, and her regular jobs, she is beginning to learn to take time out to chill and relax.
Having said all that, she is here giving me nose-pokes for pats right now, so I can't say your boy will ever really get over his clingy-ness entirely, that's just a Doberman for you!
Hope this helps
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Friends,

Thank you all for your wonderful tips and advice. Maybe it's just coincidence, the law of attraction, call it what you will. Koda is doing fantastic since I started posting. It's as though he has read my mind and the two of us, well my whole family and him are just getting along so much better. He still steals the odd sock and bolts! But he is just being so much more obedient. It's like all of a sudden, we have a better understanding of each other. All of us! His recall is not great, so I wouldn't dream of leaving the yard without him on leash, but we live close to the beach (20 second walk) and I am always so jealous of the strays who hang out at the beach, and of course those who have dogs with good recall and can walk on the beach with their dogs off leash. But now, I am using the 20m rope that I have had hiding away. Koda is having such fun on the beach now when I take him with this rope, and he listens surprisingly well, though he will still remains on a lead. But of course he is free when I take him swimming. He loves that, and of course when he decides to chase after a dog he sees on the beach, there is enough time for me to catch him because I leave the leash attached. Sometimes he'll swim for an hour or so until I think he's pooped, then we go home.

I'd just like to thank you all again for your ideas, even those in other threads! It's all great.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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BTW Dobedream, that profile pic of your baby is BEAUTIFUL. Absolutely stunning! My Koda is a beach-bum. He is beautiful too, medium cut ears and probably about 73-75cm and about 45kg. He has not filled out too much yet...uh...2 years old, but maybe he runs and swims too much and just does not gain weight??? He's my first large breed dog/doberman and is a bit of a vagabond, but so mellow by nature, very athletic and he's rather funny. He's at the bottom of our pack. Me (pack leader), my wife, 4 kids, a little street dog, 5 cats and then him. I say at the bottom, otherwise I think he'd eat the cats. So he's been trained to leave them alone! And it's sooo funny when the cats ambush him! They wait and when he comes around the corner the nonchalantly swipe him ...playfully....and he backs off too! But when they are loose in the garden and mom is inside, oh boy does he give chase. Actually I egg him without mom looking. I know he hasn't a hope of catching them. They are up a tree or through the window before he knows what has happened. I have such a good laugh, and this happens EVERY day!
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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And it's sooo funny when the cats ambush him! They wait and when he comes around the corner the nonchalantly swipe him ...playfully....and he backs off too! But when they are loose in the garden and mom is inside, oh boy does he give chase. Actually I egg him without mom looking. I know he hasn't a hope of catching them. They are up a tree or through the window before he knows what has happened. I have such a good laugh, and this happens EVERY day!
I would in strongest terms discourage you from allowing this game ever again. All it will take is one mis-step on the part of a cat and he will have killed it... once he is in full prey drive, he is not going to stop and consider that this is his cat that lives in his house. He is liable to understand what he has done after the fact, which will probably be quite distressing to him. I know of one situation which involved two little dogs in a state of over-aroused frenzy who turned on each other out of frustration... it was over very fast, and one was dead; they had been the best of friends for years, and the survivor never recovered from his grief. Do NOT assume that your dog will think when he does somehow catch one of his cats... and, he WILL catch one of them.

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Old 01-18-2013, 01:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would in strongest terms discourage you from allowing this game ever again. All it will take is one mis-step on the part of a cat and he will have killed it... once he is in full prey drive, he is not going to stop and consider that this is his cat that lives in his house. He is liable to understand what he has done after the fact, which will probably be quite distressing to him. I know of one situation which involved two little dogs in a state of over-aroused frenzy who turned on each other out of frustration... it was over very fast, and one was dead; they had been the best of friends for years, and the survivor never recovered from his grief. Do NOT assume that your dog will think when he does somehow catch one of his cats... and, he WILL catch one of them.
Never thought of that-thanks
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:55 AM   #11 (permalink)
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LOL, Koda seems to have got over chewing things up, but hey! He does like to steal a toy or a teddy or a sock or some washing off the line when he get's the chance. This is usually when we are beginning to trust him. He's like a naughty little kid. He knows what he's doing and it's actually quite funny, now when he takes things, I don't get angry, chase him, corner him and scold him like I used to. He loves stale baguettes, so I break pieces for him and he just can't resist. So with a teddy in his mouth he will prance around thinking, "how am I gonna get the baguette and keep the Teddy." I satnd and I wait. Sometimes it gets a bit irritating especially if I had been planning to go out. Buit I wait. He eventually comes close and I make a deal, "Out, and you get the baguette." And it works on the most part. He can be sooo cheeky! lol
That is SO funny-my dog does the exact same thing! She runs into the bedroom and will steal (her favorite) a sock hubby's left on the floor or grab a toy from the cat and run around with it until she gets my attention. If I ignore her she'll come up to me, push me with her nose, then run around again. It's hard to get mad at her tho!! And I do the same thing-I'll get a treat and tell her to drop it and she gets the treat. Works every time but I know I'm reinforcing the fact that if she steals and shows me, then she gets rewarded. Sometimes you just can't win!!
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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That is SO funny-my dog does the exact same thing! She runs into the bedroom and will steal (her favorite) a sock hubby's left on the floor or grab a toy from the cat and run around with it until she gets my attention. If I ignore her she'll come up to me, push me with her nose, then run around again. It's hard to get mad at her tho!! And I do the same thing-I'll get a treat and tell her to drop it and she gets the treat. Works every time but I know I'm reinforcing the fact that if she steals and shows me, then she gets rewarded. Sometimes you just can't win!!
Sometimes, you CAN win!

I really enjoy "Chase me! Chase me! You can't catch me!"... what I do NOT enjoy is dogs thinking that they are in a position to MAKE a person do anything (by stealing something expensive/dangerous/irreplacable). My solution is to leave an item (most generally a paper towel) draped somewhere specifically for the purpose of being stolen. When I see that the bait has been taken, I have a ritualistic response... each person can make up their own, but I say "You baaad dog! I'm gonna.... GIT YA!!!"... I make threatening claw hands and jump at the dog... and, the chase is ON! If it is nice outside, the back door is open and the game goes out around the yard... if it is cold or wet or night time, the game is around the house inside. The point of this is that I can and do choose when to disengage... when I am done, I am done and there is nothing the dog can do to MAKE me play more. I turn away with an "All done" or "That'll do" and just walk away. The paper towel gets eaten, usually, but I don't care. Dogs who get to play this would much rather take the paper towel than steal a sock...
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