I have trained many dogs in my life and Eli, my doberman, was the hardest puppy to train and figure out. The best thing I ever did was have him in classes most of his life for the first 18 months. Also, I free hiked with him and this made him more attune to me and he had no need to run away. As a young pup he was not interested in me, I was taken aback. He would not come to me even when I ran the other way or got on my back on the ground and patted my tummy, even doing that with treats. The first month was bizarre and frustrating. I have titled several dogs and this was a first for me.
I decided to keep him on a line tied to me in the house and he had a tie out in the living room so he didn't hammer the little dogs, cats and old dog. I exercised every single day by hiking at least 2 miles, sometimes twice a day and on the weekends more. I taught him to fetch, that was hard because he didn't want to bring it back but Ellen on here told me to use two balls, I had never had to do that before but what do ya know it worked. I had him fetch sticks in the lake and I took him EVERYWHERE with me, he basically lived in my car lol. It was in the mountains and it didn't get real hot. He came to work with me and I hiked with him at lunch time. I trained with treats and kept a long line on him out when he was free when he went through an I don't have to come, look there is another dog over there, phase.
Class was priceless and taught him to control himself over time in situations with other dogs. He had to be on a line in class the first year because he played too rough with the other puppies and I had to be able to control him if he chose not to respond.
Eli is 4 years old now. He has passed his inital therapy dog test. He won't leave the front yard and he won't leave me, even when a rabbit runs out, well he will start to chase but come back if I call. He is awesome in therapy work and is the demo dog in new obedience classes. I work with a wonderful positive trainer now and she uses him in each new class (I do advanced stuff with him there )but Eli needed more than that however I have always done a mix. When he was younger I thought, "I don't know what the hoopla is about dobermans" as we have gotten closer through obedience, hikes and life in general we have come full circle, we appreicate, love and respect each other. I have a collie puppy, 7 months old now. Eli is a wonderful example for him and plays beautifully with Seb. The collie has been much easier and more fun as a puppy but as an adult Eli is close to perfect. If he would just stop jumping at slider door he would be perfect. Yes he has a dog door but jumps at the slider when we are in the family room...yes I can train him not to do it LOL.
Take your puppy to class, learn what motivates her, PLAY WITH HER and in doing so teach her commands. One of the ways to keep her inside when the door is open is a good down stay or a wait. Use treats, toys and make learning a continuous thing. Do not call her to come to you now, say cookie and give her a treat, then teach her another word for "come" since you ruined come, I'd use "here". Run the other way to play with her, calling her name with a long rope toy, engage her. I had to do all this with Eli. I do it with every puppy but with Eli I could never take a day off, everything was training and playing, everything even hiking I called him to me, treated and let him go. He was very difficult in that he didn't instinctively want to come to me, I am used to herding dogs and boy are they different. You do need to take her class so she can learn to watch you, behave and look to you with other dogs around, that is the point of class, the main point to me, I know how to train, with Eli I had to learn how to engage him and it wasn't easy, it stretched me as a trainer and frankly has allowed me to enjoy my newest puppy even more because I see how well my perserverance paid off with Eli. You would never know Eli wasn't a devoted puppy, never know it now and now he is my boyo, my solid brick of a dog who get compliments constantly on his behavior when we are out and about. Demo dog with crazy new needing to be trained yappy, lunging dogs and he is stellar!!!
I know this is long but wanted to share my experience. Please take your girl to class, take her to a large park and let her run off leash (in an enclosed area) while you run with her, retrain her to come and try to understand her, she isn't like other puppies, she is a doberman and can be molded into the best companion of your life if you do it correctly.
Last edited by Lori Z; 12-26-2012 at 06:47 PM.