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Old 02-01-2013, 09:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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All of a sudden... snapping and barking.

I've got two new issues that just showed up this week. They aren't related, but I figured I'd save some space and post them in the same thread.

The first is snapping. My 9 month old female, Lexi, has never shown any aggression, ever. Just this week, she starting doing these brief growls at my wife when she would lean over her. It was always when Lexi was laying on the couch, but not when she was asleep. It only happened a couple times and it wasn't consistent. Then, today, she was laying next to me and my niece came up to pet her and she growled and then snapped at her. Didn't make contact, but snapped at a person for the first time, so that was enough to concern me.

The second is out-of-control barking. She's always had a tendency to bark in the back yard at times. Nothing I would call excessive. Sometimes she doesn't bark at all. Sometimes she will for a bit. Anyway, today, she went to the back door and started spinning around and barking a bit (more so than she usually does in the house). It was like she was driven to. I thought maybe she just had to go out, so I let her out and she just sprinted out the back door and instantly started barking like mad. Just running around the back yard and barking. Not barking AT anything. Just barking. I tried to call her in. Even tried to go out in the yard and get her, but she would just run away from me and bark some more. Eventually, I just left her to "bark it out" and went inside. She continued for quite some time before finally coming back to the door and whining to be let in.

So far, each incident has only happened once, but I don't exactly wanna wait around and see whether or not they escalate.

So... does anyone know what the possible causes of these things could be and what the solution(s) might be?

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Old 02-01-2013, 10:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Some questions I have...

What's her routine like?
What kind of house rules do you have in place for her regarding furniture and interacting with the humans?
How much and what kind of exercise does she get?
What training have you done with her?
Are you actively training her now? In what? Where?
Who handles her most? (Feeds her, exercises her, trains her, etc.)
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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for me, sudden behavior changes mean a visit to the vet to rule out medical issues.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brw1982 View Post
Some questions I have...

What's her routine like?
What kind of house rules do you have in place for her regarding furniture and interacting with the humans?
How much and what kind of exercise does she get?
What training have you done with her?
Are you actively training her now? In what? Where?
Who handles her most? (Feeds her, exercises her, trains her, etc.)
This
and:
Quote:
Originally Posted by falnfenix View Post
for me, sudden behavior changes mean a visit to the vet to rule out medical issues.
This.

You guys, I don't have anything else to add!
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brw1982 View Post
Some questions I have...

What's her routine like?
What kind of house rules do you have in place for her regarding furniture and interacting with the humans?
How much and what kind of exercise does she get?
What training have you done with her?
Are you actively training her now? In what? Where?
Who handles her most? (Feeds her, exercises her, trains her, etc.)
What do you mean by "house rules"? What would be some examples?

I'm not walking her presently due to the cold, but I still run her around in the yard a few times a day. Usually fetch. She also likes to play tug-o-war and jump for things.

I've only done basic command training using rewards.

My wife and I handle her about equally, but I do most of the training.

WATYF
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You might want to consider taking her to the vet and have her looked at. It could be a sign that she's in pain in some way or not feeling well. I hope that's not the case, but Dobermans tend to mask their pain like cats do.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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From the beginning of adolescence to sexual maturity, the condition you described can materialize, in some dogs (many others, never).
IMO starts with a lack of leadership and direction, in the home - like letting your dobe bark its head off outside, until it decides to come back in:
- doesn't help any
- while owner doesn't stop/correct the dog, and didn't promptly bring it back in...dog sets the time table schedule
- one can't enforce rules and boundaries outside, staying in the house and just watching silently...out the window

^^^^ Keep this up, and your canine problems will surely esculate - your dog is climbing rank, under your eyes...baring any medical issues.
- the good part is, the problem just started // so now is the time to be the respected & confident leader

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The development and correction of canine aggression.
Dog Owner's Guide: Canine Aggression

Obviously, dogs are not people. They have a pack order that determines their social rank, a pack order that is established and maintained by body language. Some dogs occupy dominant or alpha status, and some have low rank or omega status. When dogs live with people, they look at humans as members of the pack and try to establish their place in the social order by challenging the more submissive family members, particularly the children. If dogs display a dominant gesture such as growling while guarding the food dish, and they are not corrected for this behavior, they have established a bit of dominance to build on with any or all family members. If these dominant gestures remain uncorrected, the dog slowly but surely gains in status over one or all family members.

The subtle signs of dominance usually go unnoticed or are explained away until the dog bites the human for infringement on his alpha position. The owner misunderstands the progression of behaviors and blames the dog for biting "for no reason." These dogs frequently end up at animal shelters and are destroyed because their owners misunderstood the development of aggressive behavior.

How To Handle Interdog Aggression
How To Handle Interdog Aggression | The Balanced Canine

The most common time/age of onset for this issue is when a dog reaches 2 yrs of age (give or take 6 months). A 2 year old dog is the equivalent to an 18 year old human. This is when they, and we, reach social maturity. Many people get lulled into a false sense of security with rambunctious young dog by thinking, “he’s just a puppy, he’ll grow out of it.” Unfortunately, this is not the case. Little problems end up becoming big problems when dogs reach social maturity. The reason being is that these dogs are in a struggle for status and control within the group in which they are living. Notice I said THESE dogs and not ALL dogs. Not all dogs are struggling for status, I am speaking only of those that are. The issue can be initiated by a younger dog that is reaching social maturity and who wants to move up on the “chain of command,” or by an older dog in the household that sees a younger, maturing dog as somewhat of a threat.

Dominance aggression in dogs: Part 1
Dominance aggression in dogs: Part 1

Canine dominance aggression typically develops at social maturity, which usually occurs between 18 and 36 months of age. Although most dominantly aggressive dogs are male, this condition can occur in females, often at a young age (8 weeks to 8 months). Dominance aggression is not controlled by hormones, but the presence of androgens, including testosterone, or the lack of estrogen during sexual and social development may exacerbate the aggression. The fact that dominance aggression usually occurs at social maturity suggests that owners don't cause this problem.

Because it is associated with social contexts, dominance aggression, like other forms of aggression, is probably an anxiety disorder. Dogs with dominance aggression can be divided into two broad groups: 1) those that know they are in control and can compel their owners to do their bidding, and 2) those that are unsure of their social roles and use aggressive behavior to discover what's expected of them.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaumont67 View Post
IMO starts with a lack of leadership and direction, in the home - like letting your dobe bark its head off outside, until it decides to come back in:
And the alternative is?

Quote:
doesn't help any
Kinda like this reply, eh?

Quote:
while owner doesn't stop/correct the dog, and didn't promptly bring it back in...dog sets the time table schedule
Yes... it's almost as if I tried to do that.

Quote:
one can't enforce rules and boundaries outside, staying in the house and just watching silently...out the window
And how does one enforce rules and boundaries outside for a dog that's running away from you and barking its head off?

Also, if anyone knows, what is the tactic for dealing with the growling/snapping? I tried leaning over her while she was laying next to my wife, and she did the same thing (very briefly) to me. So what approach do you take to address that?

WATYF

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WATYF View Post
I've got two new issues that just showed up this week. They aren't related, but I figured I'd save some space and post them in the same thread.......
^^^^ REALLY - there is a true relationship, most likely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WATYF View Post
....And how does one enforce rules and boundaries outside for a dog that's running away from you and barking its head off?

Also, if anyone knows, what is the tactic for dealing with the growling/snapping?
^^^^ Well ever heard of a leash, until she improves outside...and can be relyed upon !!

WATYF - I hope you did read the links I provided...loads of good info. on subject.

Now Lexi.
Please understand - if she does not want to be the weakest link in the family dynamics, mom &/or dad will get there, if it is up to her choosing.
- she is testing the waters now
As much as you love her, may have to be stricter / more structure / & take privileges away, for a while (to start with).
I don't know what the strengths and weaknesses are among your family members, so the solution isn't clearly cast in stone.
- if any member gets scared of the dober girl now (and she will figure this out @ 9 months old), you should seek professional help ASAP & still research much
- the internet can't fix a potentially risky aggression problem, to human welfare
So I can't share what I would do personally / even though I have been involved in a few cases (over 3 decades), each different & still similar enough.
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You might look up NILF dog training google it she would loose her privilege of being allowed on the couch and or bed.You most likely might get bitten if you reach for her collar to remove her from the couch. Thats where a long line comes in keep one on her all of the time to remove her from the couch & or bed. Also works when you let her outside and she is doing the crazy barking just go out step on the line pick it up reel her in.A obedience class that you both go too is helpful with bonding and learning. if you try the NILF please do not do what one person did they had the dog do something for every bite of food you do not need to do it have her do a sit or down when she comply s just put her food down and leave her in peace to eat. Good Luck
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Just like Beaumont said and Patches mom - I would be implementing some ground rules for your pup. NO couch for a while, and then she only gets to go up when she earns it AND when YOU decide if she gets to come up. Its a privilege not a right. She needs to realize that she is not the boss, and the couch is not hers - which right now sounds like she might be thinking it is hers.
There are actually a number of couch "aggression" related threads on this forum if you do a google search.

Also if she wants to run around acting like fool, barking her head off and not listening when she is outside, you need to put her on a leash and take her outside. That way you can correct the unwanted behaviour every time. It will be a pain, but eventually she will learn and you won't have to. We have had to do this with Angus and digging in the backyard - it sucks, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WATYF View Post
What do you mean by "house rules"? What would be some examples?

I'm not walking her presently due to the cold, but I still run her around in the yard a few times a day. Usually fetch. She also likes to play tug-o-war and jump for things.

I've only done basic command training using rewards.

My wife and I handle her about equally, but I do most of the training.

WATYF
You can take her to the vet and get checked out just in case, but I think it sounds like she's being a typical spoiled young Doberman; an adolescent brat.

What I mean by "house rules" regarding furniture and people is...do you have rules in place for those things? Or is she allowed to do what she pleases? Can she use the furniture at her leisure? Is she allowed to steal your seat or do you make her move?

And, I can't believe I forgot to ask this but, how do you deal with her when she growls at someone? And what did you do when she snapped at your niece?

As for the out-of-control barking...I would only let her out on a long-line, meaning you're going to have to go out with her. Because right now she knows you can't do anything about it with her off leash, she can just prance away again out of your reach. And if you're not out there with her you're not there to work on problematic behavior. So, out on a long line with you so you can put in some training time on her recall and you can stop her from boredom barking.

This is a pretty crucial time for good, consistent training. I would recommend getting her and yourself into a training class. It's good bonding, socialization, and it will help give you a timeline of progress on which to work with her. It will also put you in face-to-face contact with people who may be able to help you in person with other challenges along the way.

Does she have a coat? I know it's cold and I'm not sure where you live so it may be sub-zero or something, but if it's 20* F or above here, we suit up and get out for exercise. If she doesn't have a coat you can use an old sweatshirt and just roll the sleeves up for her front legs (cheap alternative to buying a coat for a growing pup) but I really think you gotta brave the winter and get her out every day for exercise (within reason - if it's freezing rain maybe no walks in that ). Even if it's just a 20-minute walk, it can make big difference in how difficult she is to work with.

An un-exercised young Doberman is a PITA. The problem with not exercising a young Dobe is that they are not consistently polite and obedient yet. So when they get restless, they also become rude and obnoxious (hence, the barking). They're like a pressure cooker of energetic pup waiting to erupt.

Exercise, stricter house rules, and more challenging training.

Oh, and have you ever raised a Doberman before? What's your experience with dogs, in general? Do you have any experience formally training a dog? (Just trying to get an idea of what you're comfortable with and what your level of experience may be.)
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:33 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaumont67 View Post
^^^^ REALLY - there is a true relationship, most likely.
My point wasn't that they couldn't possibly be caused by a single underlying factor, but that they were different behaviors which didn't necessarily have to do with each other.

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^^^^ Well ever heard of a leash, until she improves outside...and can be relyed upon !!
Are you saying that your suggestion is to return to leashing her whenever she is outside? If so, it'd be nice if you would just offer that as a suggestion, instead of making some snarky comment about the possibility that I'd never heard of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaumont67 View Post
WATYF - I hope you did read the links I provided...loads of good info. on subject.
I did look through them. Unfortunately, I've read about eight trillion web pages full of info on dog psychology and dominance and so on and so on. Every page has its own opinion (often contradicting the other pages) and every one of them is heavy on behavioral theory and light on what to actually DO about that behavioral theory.

What people on dog forums need to understand is that for every word they utter about "how dogs are", there are just as many people out on other forums and websites uttering something different about "how dogs are". Everybody's got an opinion. The way most people talk, you'd think that owning a dog nowadays requires a freaking PhD in psychology. It's ridiculous. I'm not really looking to dig through a hundred competing theories on dog behavior.

What I'm looking for here is, "If the dog is doing X, you need to do Y". Just that simple. So, "If the dog is running around like a psycho in the back yard, then you need to do Y", or "If the dog is snapping at people, then you need to do Y". I will then implement those things until I find one that works for my dog. Easy peezy.

But if I come here saying, "I tried X and couldn't get it to work, so how can I get this to work?", then the last thing I want to hear is, "Well, you shoulda done X". Really? You don't say? It's almost as if I already knew that because that's the first thing I tried to do. And if I come here looking for advice on how to change my approach, the most useless thing someone can say is, essentially, "Well, the problem is with the owner... you need to change your approach". Really?? You DON'T say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaumont67 View Post
As much as you love her, may have to be stricter / more structure / & take privileges away, for a while (to start with).
OK. What would be an example of this? I have looked into NILF training and am starting to implement some of those things. We've also decided not to let her on the couch any more as every single growling incident has happened when she was on the couch.

Just to be clear, I already have a fairly "strict" approach to many things. She must wait for her food or treats. She must be invited on the couch (obviously not any more). I issue her commands every day. She has to sit before she can come in. I make her go through doors behind me. Etc, etc. I'm really just looking for what types of things I might need to do to better establish her as a subordinate so that she stops growling. The barking like mad thing may have just been from not getting as much exercise (due to the winter), but I'd still like advice on what to do when a dog gets excited and runs away from you when you're trying to get her to come inside.

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- if any member gets scared of the dober girl now (and she will figure this out @ 9 months old), you should seek professional help ASAP & still research much
- the internet can't fix a potentially risky aggression problem, to human welfare
So I can't share what I would do personally / even though I have been involved in a few cases (over 3 decades), each different & still similar enough.
So, just to be clear, are you saying that if it gets to the point where your dog snaps at a person, you believe it's already too late for advice and that you have to take the dog to a professional?

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Old 02-02-2013, 11:02 AM   #14 (permalink)
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You might look up NILF dog training google it she would loose her privilege of being allowed on the couch and or bed.You most likely might get bitten if you reach for her collar to remove her from the couch.
OK. So that's another vote for NILF. Actually, she doesn't bite if I pull her off the couch. Just to be clear, this hasn't turned into any crazy aggression yet. This is the first time she's even snapped at all, so I want to nip it in the bud before it turns into something where I can't even grab her by the collar.

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Thats where a long line comes in keep one on her all of the time to remove her from the couch & or bed. Also works when you let her outside and she is doing the crazy barking just go out step on the line pick it up reel her in.
So you're saying to not let her outside unattended (off leash) any more? Obviously I did this in the beginning, but have since "graduated" to letting her out unencumbered in our fenced-in backyard. Now, if I need to put her on some kind of leash. Does this have to be every time she goes out in the yard, or only when I want to "train" her with certain commands or something?


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Old 02-02-2013, 11:17 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Just like Beaumont said and Patches mom - I would be implementing some ground rules for your pup. NO couch for a while, and then she only gets to go up when she earns it AND when YOU decide if she gets to come up. Its a privilege not a right. She needs to realize that she is not the boss, and the couch is not hers - which right now sounds like she might be thinking it is hers.
There are actually a number of couch "aggression" related threads on this forum if you do a google search.

Also if she wants to run around acting like fool, barking her head off and not listening when she is outside, you need to put her on a leash and take her outside. That way you can correct the unwanted behaviour every time. It will be a pain, but eventually she will learn and you won't have to. We have had to do this with Angus and digging in the backyard - it sucks, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
OK, another vote for re-leashing her while in the yard. Is this also another vote for NILF?

And now that you've mentioned it, she does dig sometimes (there's one specific place in the yard along the back of the house), and I haven't even gotten around to figuring out how to deal with it yet. So... what is this method exactly? Are you saying that every time she goes out, I need to have her on a leash and walk her around the yard? How will this teach her not to dig (she never does it when I'm around)? Also, does this mean I can't play fetch with her any more (can't do that on a leash obviously)?

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Old 02-02-2013, 11:43 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Just FYI, you come across as very rude. I'm not sure if you mean to, but to me you do. You havnt said please or thank you for anyone's suggestions, instead you've just picked apart people's responces, when they've spent their time writing out responces for you, expecting nothing in return.

I was going to write out some suggestions for you, but after reading your responces I chose not to. I wonder if there where others who though the same...

Anyway, though you ought to know. Catching flies with honey, and all that
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:46 AM   #17 (permalink)
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You can take her to the vet and get checked out just in case, but I think it sounds like she's being a typical spoiled young Doberman; an adolescent brat.
Yeah, my first inclination wasn't anything health-related. I figured this was just the beginning of her "adolescent" problems manifesting. Yay!

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What I mean by "house rules" regarding furniture and people is...do you have rules in place for those things? Or is she allowed to do what she pleases? Can she use the furniture at her leisure? Is she allowed to steal your seat or do you make her move?
When we're sitting on them, she must be invited up on the couch. And yes, I tell her to move when I go to sit down. She is very slow to do it. It takes several commands if not forcibly pulling her by the collar. Sometimes I will break out a treat to get her to do it. Also, the last two or so days before this happened, she had been sleeping on the couch at nights. Instead of sleeping on her blanket by our bed, she went to the couch in the living room and just plopped down on that. I figured I'd try it out to see what happened. Maybe this is simply a result of letting her do that. I'm guessing it's probably more deeply rooted than that, though.

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And, I can't believe I forgot to ask this but, how do you deal with her when she growls at someone? And what did you do when she snapped at your niece?
This is a great question because there are SO many opinions out there about this type of thing, and obviously I don't know which one is "right". At the moment, I will bop her in the nose when she reaches at something she shouldn't or (now) if she growls, and then I'll say, "NO!" or "Not for you!" (depending on what she is doing at the time). Often times, if she persists, I will stop doing whatever we're doing and ignore her.

I've heard so many different views on this (everything from, "You should NEVER use force punishment" to "You should alpha roll her if she does that" and everything in between), so this area is basically just a big confusing mass of contradicting opinions at the moment and I'm trying to figure out what will work for my dog specifically.

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As for the out-of-control barking...I would only let her out on a long-line, meaning you're going to have to go out with her. Because right now she knows you can't do anything about it with her off leash, she can just prance away again out of your reach. And if you're not out there with her you're not there to work on problematic behavior. So, out on a long line with you so you can put in some training time on her recall and you can stop her from boredom barking.
OK. So, not a leash, but rather a really long line that will give her some freedom? And does this mean (as I asked a previous poster) that she can't go out at ALL without the line, or do I just use the line some of the time for training?

Also, when we first got her and for the first several months, she was on a line in the front yard (we hadn't gotten our fence in the back yard yet), and I still wasn't sure exactly how to deal with "corrections" in such a situation. I would get the line (after she ran and barked a bit) and pull her in, but that didn't seem to "teach" her anything (obviously, since she would still do it then and she's still doing it now). Are there specific methods I can use with a line to train her not to bark and run away?

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This is a pretty crucial time for good, consistent training. I would recommend getting her and yourself into a training class. It's good bonding, socialization, and it will help give you a timeline of progress on which to work with her. It will also put you in face-to-face contact with people who may be able to help you in person with other challenges along the way.
Yeah..... I'm hoping it doesn't come to this. I don't have a whole lot of disposable income at the moment (about to have my first kid) and I'd like to deal with this on my own, unless it's proven that that's simply not going to be a possibility. Obviously I'll bite the bullet and do it if that's what it takes, I'd just like to try learning how to train her directly before I go that route.

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Does she have a coat? I know it's cold and I'm not sure where you live so it may be sub-zero or something, but if it's 20* F or above here, we suit up and get out for exercise. If she doesn't have a coat you can use an old sweatshirt and just roll the sleeves up for her front legs (cheap alternative to buying a coat for a growing pup) but I really think you gotta brave the winter and get her out every day for exercise (within reason - if it's freezing rain maybe no walks in that ). Even if it's just a 20-minute walk, it can make big difference in how difficult she is to work with.
I honestly had no idea that you could buy winter coats for you dog.

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An un-exercised young Doberman is a PITA. The problem with not exercising a young Dobe is that they are not consistently polite and obedient yet. So when they get restless, they also become rude and obnoxious (hence, the barking). They're like a pressure cooker of energetic pup waiting to erupt.
Yeah... I'm starting to get that.

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Exercise, stricter house rules, and more challenging training.
What would an example be of "more challenging training". I've been teaching her the same "Sit, down, stay, come, etc" commands since I got her and I really don't know what to "graduate" her to. I saw the "spin" command on a video on YouTube the other day so I taught her that, and it only took her a couple days to pick it up (it still takes a few repetitions of the command before she'll do it, though).

Of course, that's true for almost every commend. She is still VERY sporadic on how she obeys commands. She knows "down" quite well and does it instantaneously almost every time. "Sit" will often take several attempts, if not a whole bunch of moving her around and trying to calm her down. "Stay" and "come" are OK, but take a lot of "concentration" on her part (no distractions). Is this because she wants more "challenging" training? Or can I not proceed to other things until she has figured out "the basics"?

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Originally Posted by brw1982 View Post
Oh, and have you ever raised a Doberman before? What's your experience with dogs, in general? Do you have any experience formally training a dog? (Just trying to get an idea of what you're comfortable with and what your level of experience may be.)
I've not only never raised a Doberman, but this is the first dog I've ever raised from a puppy. We have another dog that we got from a shelter and she was a year and a half when we got her (and deathly afraid of me and all other men. My wife did most of the "training" with that one. She doesn't listen to a word I say and she pretty much sleeps all day, so I just ignore her (the dog, not my wife).

I'm willing to learn anything, it's just a matter of WHAT to learn. I would think there would be a YouTube video out there that walks you through "how to train your dog to do X step-by-step", but I have yet to come across it.

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:02 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Just FYI, you come across as very rude. I'm not sure if you mean to, but to me you do. You havnt said please or thank you for anyone's suggestions, instead you've just picked apart people's responces, when they've spent their time writing out responces for you, expecting nothing in return.
Correction. I picked apart one person's response because it basically amounted to "You're the problem and it's only gonna get worse if you keep it up" followed by a bunch of generic info on dog behavior. I'm here because I know that what I'm doing isn't working. I don't need someone to tell me, "What you're doing isn't working". I need someone to say, "Do this instead".

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I was going to write out some suggestions for you, but after reading your responces I chose not to. I wonder if there where others who though the same... anyway, though you ought to know. Catching flies with honey, and all that
That's cool. You're free to not help someone who you think is rude. And I'm free to tell people that I'm not interested in hearing them point out nothing other than the painfully obvious.

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:04 PM   #19 (permalink)
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If you aren't familiar with long lines, they are normally about 50ft, you can get longer ones I think.

They are like really long leashes and not just tie out cables.

In order for them to be effective for curbing things like barking it's important that you are out there at the other end of the leash.

I have no fence so I am out on a long line every time the dog goes outside. My dog is either on a martingale collar or an easy walk harness because she hits the end of the leash on a flat collar and pulls like a bear.

If she sees something and I think she is about to bark, I call her back to me and then issue a command such as sit or something. This way she focuses on me and not on whatever is getting her dander up. If she ignores me and starts to bark, immediately the command is to come and we walk away from the stimulus.

Is this the "right" way? I don't know. Is it "a way" to handle reactivity, yes.

I don't mind being out with the dogs every time, I teach recall with treats and healing, and other small skills while we are outside.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:36 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Oh, and I forgot to mention. Another thing we do for exercise is the treadmill. She does that for several minutes at a time.

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:41 PM   #21 (permalink)
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So, just to be clear, are you saying that if it gets to the point where your dog snaps at a person, you believe it's already too late for advice and that you have to take the dog to a professional?

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I *think* that what Beaumont meant is that if the snapping continues to the point where other family members are afraid of your dog, that this would be a good indication that you should seek a professional trainer to help with behaviour modification as a trainer would have more/different suggestions on how to help, and they would be able to better view your situation as a whole. I don't think he's saying "there's nothing you can do at this point", I think he's trying to say "know when you need to seek outside professional help".

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OK, another vote for re-leashing her while in the yard. Is this also another vote for NILF?

And now that you've mentioned it, she does dig sometimes (there's one specific place in the yard along the back of the house), and I haven't even gotten around to figuring out how to deal with it yet. So... what is this method exactly? Are you saying that every time she goes out, I need to have her on a leash and walk her around the yard? How will this teach her not to dig (she never does it when I'm around)? Also, does this mean I can't play fetch with her any more (can't do that on a leash obviously)?

WATYF
Yes another vote for NILF in a way - every dog and family is different, but I'd say you'd need to enforce some rules regarding the couch and your pup. And she needs to learn that she doesn't get everything she wants/she needs to do something in order to get a privilege.

Regarding the backyard - every time you let her go outside she should be on a leash - or like someone above suggested (sorry can't remember name) a long line of some sort (which would work for playing fetch with her). You need to be able to be able to have some sort of control over her if she's going to act like a crazy dog lol. You can ask her to "be quiet" or to do a command (we work on sit/lay down when Angus barks in the house), and if she decides not to listen to you, you can now pull her in (if she's on a long line) and re-ask your original command and/or bring her inside.

With the digging aspect, we put him on a leash whenever we just needed him to go potty and not play. This way we can get him in and out quickly, as well as make sure he wasn't digging. If we went outside to play I made sure I had the leash in case, but for the most part it wasn't necessary because we would be playing and he wouldn't think of digging. For the one or two times he would dig, I told him "No" and "Leave it" and got him away from the dig spot. In this situation, digging is easier to discourage off-leash than barking because (at least in our situation) the digging was located to one spot (and isn't continued on around the backyard like barking can be). A couple of "no's" and "leave its" and Angus now knew he wasn't allowed to dig.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:46 PM   #22 (permalink)
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If you aren't familiar with long lines, they are normally about 50ft, you can get longer ones I think.

They are like really long leashes and not just tie out cables.
OK, because what she was on before we had the fence was, I believe, a tie-out cable. One of those metal (with plastic coating) cables attached to a big spike. Where would one get a long line?

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My dog is either on a martingale collar or an easy walk harness because she hits the end of the leash on a flat collar and pulls like a bear.
I currently use a slip collar for walks. Is there an advantage in having a martingale collar or harness?

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I don't mind being out with the dogs every time, I teach recall with treats and healing, and other small skills while we are outside.
What is "healing"?

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:59 PM   #23 (permalink)
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What would an example be of "more challenging training". I've been teaching her the same "Sit, down, stay, come, etc" commands since I got her and I really don't know what to "graduate" her to. I saw the "spin" command on a video on YouTube the other day so I taught her that, and it only took her a couple days to pick it up (it still takes a few repetitions of the command before she'll do it, though).

WATYF
I don't think learning new things with the basics not being performed 100% is going to be a bad thing, I just think you'll need to continue on with training the basics as well as anything new you want to learn. When you train, how long do you train for? We try to at minimum get 10 minutes a day of training during the weekdays when we come home from work, but usually it manages to be a half hour each night. We break them down into 10 minute segments so that Angus doesn't get bored, plus I find it easier to manage in small amounts for myself too

Have you seen this website? I personally haven't used it, but they have a variety of different tricks - might give you some ideas
52 Tricks to Teach Your Dog
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:02 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I *think* that what Beaumont meant is that if the snapping continues to the point where other family members are afraid of your dog, that this would be a good indication that you should seek a professional trainer to help with behaviour modification as a trainer would have more/different suggestions on how to help, and they would be able to better view your situation as a whole. I don't think he's saying "there's nothing you can do at this point", I think he's trying to say "know when you need to seek outside professional help".
Got it.

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With the digging aspect, we put him on a leash whenever we just needed him to go potty and not play. This way we can get him in and out quickly, as well as make sure he wasn't digging. If we went outside to play I made sure I had the leash in case, but for the most part it wasn't necessary because we would be playing and he wouldn't think of digging. For the one or two times he would dig, I told him "No" and "Leave it" and got him away from the dig spot. In this situation, digging is easier to discourage off-leash than barking because (at least in our situation) the digging was located to one spot (and isn't continued on around the backyard like barking can be). A couple of "no's" and "leave its" and Angus now knew he wasn't allowed to dig.
OK. I guess my issue is that she's never done this when I was around. Only when we let her out by herself and she does it when we're "not looking".

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Old 02-02-2013, 01:06 PM   #25 (permalink)
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When you train, how long do you train for?
I usually do it for a few minutes at a time, but more than once a day, so it probably adds up to 10 minutes (or more) a day.

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Have you seen this website? I personally haven't used it, but they have a variety of different tricks - might give you some ideas
52 Tricks to Teach Your Dog
Thanks. I will check those out.

I kinda got away from the clicker (I used it in the beginning) and have just switched to "Good job" or "Good sit" or whatever. I'm wondering if I need to go back to the clicker, though.

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