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Old 01-28-2013, 07:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Who's right--my husband or me?

Hi, Have a question, and if this goes under obedience vs puppy thread, please let me know. I have an awesome 16 week old female pup. This is my first Doberman, (I've had a boxer before), but this is my husband's first dog ever, and he's 54 (never too late, lol). So here' the debate: his way or mine. Little long, but it's all needed for this story.

As with anything, even with child rearing, you get a lot of opinions and advice. I'm asking for all your opinions since you all have experience with Dobermans, and to me, they are a different breed than a typical dog. My husband is getting advice from his co-workers, none of which have ever had a Doberman, just different big dogs, like labs. Remember, my husband has never owned a dog before our Doberman, either. They are telling my husband how we should be correcting our puppy Harley, which he tells me. This is what they say, i.e. he says: we should be using a prong collar to correct Harley every time she chases the cat....we should use the prong collar to correct her every time she nips out butt or thigh, etc.....

Well, I completely disagree. There may be a point, a prong may be needed, but I don't feel it's now. Harley has a flat collar on in the house, all the rooms are gated off, and half the time, I still have a 20 foot long leash on her. I do correct her, with "mine", redirections, giving different toys/chews vs my hands, and yes, I say "mine" sternly when she tries to chew on the cat. The cat, frankly, is being pretty stupid, keeps coming back to puppy, after only a few mins behind the cat gate. Keeps walking right up to the puppy, or when I let Harley on my lap on the couch, the cat will jump on the couch too and sit behind my head, so in all fairness to Harley, it's kind a hard to resist the cat. Harley goes to weekly puppy/beginner obedience classes, and I did ask the trainer about it. SHe said I can call Harley off the cat, but also the cat is very capable of taking care of himself against a puppy or being invisible to the puppy. So that's what I've been doing (what the trainer said).

As for nipping... Harley is now teething, and I really think she's much better then the first couple weeks home. Yes, I need to redirect her, yes, sometimes, she still gets my arm. If I yell or say Mine, she lets go, and her bite is getting softer, if that makes sense. Like getting a softer mouth when she bites/nips at us. I try to have lots of toys, chews, her blankets around to redirect her to those items. I think she will outgrow a lot of it as her permanent teeth finish coming in. When she nips me in the butt (or anyone else), it's her way of "talking back" after I have walked away from her from either finishing play, or she was trying to jump on me, and I walk away. I usually correct her with a "no, mine" and make her sit and stay for a few seconds. IF she still persists after she gets up (going for another butt nip), then I simply put her in her kennel in our family room for about 5 mins. She's always better when she comes out, or she goes right to sleep. Sometimes, I think she gets overly stimulated or tired as this tends to happen later in the day or evening. That's my way. My husband says his co-workers said their puppies would never try that at her age, as they used a prong collar on their puppies and stopped that behavior right away. I feel that's a little harsh as she's only 16 weeks.

I mean, if needed, yes, I would use a prong collar as she gets older, if the trainer thinks it's needed for specific corrections or obedience. I feel to use one now would be so drastic and extreme. I want to let her learn to do the correct behavior (good behavior gets rewarded with love, praise, treats, play, etc) and bad behavior means no play, no chew or even a little time out.

Now since I have never owned a Doberman, and my husband has never owned any dog, I keep trying to explain to him that this is normal puppy behavior and it will improve. In fact, my college age daughter was home the first 2 weeks with Harley here, then back to college. She just visited last weekend, and said she thought Harley was getting better, getting a little calmer and listening more.

My husband yesterday, said Harley was being bad. I laughed and said no, you were being "bad". He played with Harley for all of 10 mins and thought that would do it and she would lie still after that, while he.... lol..... sorted through a bunch of papers on the couch. Oh my, just how tempting those papers were for Harley; she kept coming back for more. Especially, when he would push her away...hello? game on, lol. Then my husband kinda yelled no many times and then put her in her crate. I came out of the other room (I was just getting back from a long run and had to shower). I asked what's up, why are you yelling at her (no raising voice, but stern voice). He said she's being bad. Explained his side to me. I said, she's "being bad" because you set her up to fail; you should have done your papers at the table. And 10 mins of playing isn't enough. So I took over for the rest of the night. Of course, he loves having her sleep on his lap during sleepy time. He loves her, just needs more time with her.
Mind you, we've only had her 5 weeks (got her at 11 weeks).

So, advice, opinions please. Who's right, who's wrong.... perhaps middle ground. I know I still have lots to learn too, but I just want us to do it correctly as she's a wonderful, beautiful pup.
thanks!
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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First off, congrats on your puppy! how exciting.... and second, i think you are doing all the right things. I would not put a prong on ANY puppy, that is way too young... its a baby, who is learning and playing with you. At 16 weeks, i know it doesn't seem like they are still babies, but they are! For the nipping and teething, whenever Scarlet would do it to us we would yell "ouch". Our word for her to stop doing something is also "ahh ahh" like when she shouldn't be nose poking something LOL.

and 10 minutes of play won't do it hahahaa.... anything crinkly, or that makes noise puppies will want. Scars favourite toys consisted of water bottles, boxes, and anything she wasnt suppose to have lol. pushing away and using hands is also considered play in this house. So if I want her to leave me alone, I will just tell her to go lie down, or leave it. Give her something else to do... give her a bone, make her a kong with peanut butter!

I don't think you need to start worrying about a prong just yet. try directing her with your commands... and the long line is a great idea in the house... or even a 6' leash... I found it helpful to actually put her on the 6' leash and tether her to me so i could keep a close eye.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Lots of different points that could be made--I'm gonna stick with--she's just a baby. Try redirection and distraction instead of correcting. Try removing the problem (the papers) or the puppy (puppy is wild with biting and won't quit--timeout) Teach her a "leave it" command, where she learns to associate getting something good (praise, treats, games) with her relinquishing the item in question. Negatives, to my mind, are used once a dog knows what he is supposed to be doing, not to shape the initial behavior you want.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Redirect, redirect, set her up to win! You've got a lot of good things going on, sounds like. You just need both humans on board!
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks.....she is just a baby. That was my point to my husband to. If she takes something of mine, say a sock, for example, I just go to her and say release, and she lets it go, so she has learned. I see improvements all the time with her. Just today, she walked loose leash the whole time. Of course, it helped that I lessened distractions by putting her on the side closest to cars vs sidewalk (safe in my rural neighborhood). WHile walking we were working on sitting every time I stopped; slow, but she did it each time. so proud of her. She no longer bits/tugs at my pant legs either, like she did the first week. She's just a baby, and I think she's progressing well and will turn out just fine with slow, positive constancy in redirection/commands, etc.

Anyway, I thought I was doing what was right, maybe not perfect, but at least not harmful to her. Read a ton on DT before and since getting her. I told my husband (he travels during the week) that yes, that is my evening right now.... play, play and play some more with Harley (not 10 mins, lol). That's why we are both ready for bed by 9pm haha.

Even though my husband says we should do those things, he knows Harley is my baby, and none of those things will fly with me; I don't agree with them. Not while she's a puppy, and my trainer said the same, as well as all you DT doberman owners to. He's a good guy, but having never owned any dog, he's just listening to bad advice in his office. Plus, none of those co-workers have ever owned a Doberman before either. They are different then other dogs.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sounds like you're on the right track, you just need your husband on board.

For the record, I can sympathize;
I'll keep Bruce, but the husband is free to a good home...

We could start a club.

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Old 01-28-2013, 08:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh I laughed at your post a great one. Yes, my husband knows I'm the final say with Harley. He does try but doesn't always listen,like when I remind him to only say the command if he can make her do it if she ignores him and to only say it once. But I still hear him saying it about three times,lol. Then he says "she listens to you better cause your with her more". He's so cute sometimes and frustrating sometimes, like your bruce. Guess I'm really training both now
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Dogs learn faster.
Oh how true (and frustrating) this is!
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You're right!

Did you see the recommendation for The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller? It sounds like that is pretty much what you're doing, but the book will perfect your method.

Your husband works with a bunch old fashioned yank and crank guys. Dog training has evolved. I can't imagine correcting with a prong as those are supposed to be used as a self correcting type tool. That's my understanding anyway. I've never had to use one.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Your way! All the dogs in the house are mine, YAY! But my hubby is the same way he wants them to lay in his lap. Or the new thing we are doing is going to the LSU lakes and jogging and of course he wants Kyrah!
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Firstly, congrats on your pup! She will give you lots of joy for years to come.

I agree with what everyone has said here. The only thing I'd add is that you should tell your husband not to punish Harley by putting her in her crate. I'm not sure if that's what he actually did or meant to do, but if we correct our pups by yelling at them and then put them in their crates, they can start seeing it as something negative. The crate should be a happy place, and our pups should always feel like it's a safe environment.

Keep us updated on your girl!!!
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Firstly, congrats on your pup! She will give you lots of joy for years to come.

I agree with what everyone has said here. The only thing I'd add is that you should tell your husband not to punish Harley by putting her in her crate. I'm not sure if that's what he actually did or meant to do, but if we correct our pups by yelling at them and then put them in their crates, they can start seeing it as something negative. The crate should be a happy place, and our pups should always feel like it's a safe environment.

Keep us updated on your girl!!!
There's two schools of thought on this...and I am on the side that crating, or removing from the good things/action for a short period is okay. I do think 5 minutes is too long for a pup this age tho. Five minutes is more appropriate for a grown dog. I just use 2 minutes for up to say four/five months and three six months to nine or so. There's no set in stone rules about it.

Others don't believe in crating and that's fine too. Just however you want to get your point across. I don't use crating except for a pup that is not listening and is blowing me off or has already had a couple or three warnings.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LindaH View Post
Others don't believe in crating and that's fine too. Just however you want to get your point across. I don't use crating except for a pup that is not listening and is blowing me off or has already had a couple or three warnings.
I do this too, and only when he is extra wound up (usually biting the hubby), and not listening to warnings. I also never put him in there in anger. I calmly take him to it, and nicely tell him to go to his bed for a break. Just leaving the room does not get through to Bruce, he needs the "time out" to actually get it and chill out. Usually I come back to him rolling around on his back grumbling and playing...this dog is special lol.

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Old 01-28-2013, 10:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Shell81 View Post
I do this too, and only when he is extra wound up (usually biting the hubby), and not listening to warnings. I also never put him in there in anger. I calmly take him to it, and nicely tell him to go to his bed for a break. Just leaving the room does not get through to Bruce, he needs the "time out" to actually get it and chill out. Usually I come back to him rolling around on his back grumbling and playing...this dog is special lol.
Good point. Yes, don't put them up in anger and hold no grudges or being harsh when letting them out. Everything is forgiven when they're released. It may take up to three separate cratings, but Parker was a whole new boy after the end of that third crating.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:38 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Shell and Linda, I absolutely agree. I definitely have to give Grizzly a break sometimes...I'd go nuts if I didn't! But like you both mentioned, even if I'm ready to tie him down and tape his mouth shut......I put him in there with a happy voice and still give him a mini-treat for being a good boy. Sorry that I didn't make myself clear!
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:00 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I had to laugh because when I got Roxy 7 years ago, she was my 3rd dobie and my husbands 1st dog ever. We went to training together mostly for him and I see him giving the sit command. Not bad you say, well he was giving the command to Roxy's ass becasue she kept turning round and round. I had to laugh. That is when I realize go slow with the husband and train your dog and him at the same time. Yep the husband will take longer
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:27 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Good things you are doing so far but WHAT training are you doing? She should have a big repertoire of trained behaviors by now and you should be training her every day for 5 minutes here and there (try to get in as many as possible). Training is EXERCISE!! It helps tire out a puppy but, more importantly, it gives them a job to do. When she is full of herself you can cue her to do behaviors: sit, down, stay, spin, touch, retrieve, tug, roll over, play dead, paws up on a target such as an old phone book covered in duct tape, spin on the book target to develop hind end awareness for heeling pivots and lots of advanced "tricks", get into heel position, stand, high 5, etc. If your husband can get into the training his interactions with the puppy will reap more benefits for both of them - he will have many behaviors he can cue the puppy to do instead of always telling the puppy "NO!", the puppy will be calmer when she knows what is expected of her (telling her no or anh-anh is VERY ambiguous - it does not tell her what you want her to do instead of what she is doing). Go to YouTube and visit Kikopup's channel. She has over a hundred excellent videos for teaching everything a puppy needs to know and anyone can follow them very easily. Give this girl a JOB!

1) Dobermans are a working breed and your puppy does not have a job.
2) Doberman puppies are extremely active when they are awake and often get only a tiny percentage of the exercise they need.
3) Harley is a very intelligent dog without enough mental stimulation.
4) Doberman puppies are highly social, often without enough "quality" companionship time - their humans often spend most of the time the puppy is awake trying to stop her from doing things they don't want her to do instead of engaging the puppy in positive socially interactive behavior.

Keep your puppy's needs in mind and stop focusing on controlling "bad" behavior. When you meet the puppy's needs the bad behavior will be reduced to practically nothing. Keep us posted!
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:43 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I can tell you from experience that using a prong to correct a dog in prey drive can make your problem much worse; it can really ramp them up.

In addition to Linda's suggestion of the Pat Miller book, I just read a truly wonderful puppy book that is fantastic. It's a fast read but it lays out how dogs learn, with some training plans and a ton of practical advice. I highly recommend it and I think it would help you guys out if you both read it. It's "Puppy Start Right" (Puppy Start Right: Foundation Traininf for the Companion Dog: Kenneth M. Martin: 9781890948443: Amazon.com: Books).
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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RE:
- Now since I have never owned a Doberman, and my husband has never owned any dog
- I keep trying to explain to him that this is normal puppy behavior and it will improve
- As for nipping... Harley is now teething
- As with anything, even with child rearing, you get a lot of opinions and advice
I mean, if needed, yes, I would use a prong collar as she gets older, if the trainer thinks it's needed for specific corrections or obedience.

This is what they say, i.e. he says: we should be using a prong collar to correct Harley every time she chases the cat....we should use the prong collar to correct her every time she nips out butt or thigh, etc.....

^^^^...Totally COULD harm the girl, please have hubby JUST LEARN & PLAY...while BOND BUILDS.
He is getting idiot advice from co-workers & I have personally never or ever needd to use a prong collar.
- my 1st dobe puppy was purchase in 1977, so slightly more experience than your MIS-DIRECTED hubby
- Patience and a loving bond will solve much...this Dad here is getting MAD reading about your dumb ass SO.
F*** the unnecessary Prong Collar, not a quick fix in the hands of ignorance (sorry "a" STUPID hubby...in dog smarts) !!
[fit prong on S.O. 1st...see if he likes the "pull & tug & stabbing in the neck"]
- and let HIM READ these posts // if someone needs to talk to him, I volunteer / I grew up using a choke chain (now don't need it):
The SKILL comes from "knowing how to use it, while never needing it - in the first place !!
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:13 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaH View Post
You're right!

Did you see the recommendation for The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller? It sounds like that is pretty much what you're doing, but the book will perfect your method.

Your husband works with a bunch old fashioned yank and crank guys. Dog training has evolved. I can't imagine correcting with a prong as those are supposed to be used as a self correcting type tool. That's my understanding anyway. I've never had to use one.

I ordered the book,should get in a few days . Yes, I think my
Husbands co-workers are also from that school. They think is awful and should be stopped instantly , when she nips me in the butt. I'm not listening to them
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:17 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PortersMama View Post
Firstly, congrats on your pup! She will give you lots of joy for years to come.

I agree with what everyone has said here. The only thing I'd add is that you should tell your husband not to punish Harley by putting her in her crate. I'm not sure if that's what he actually did or meant to do, but if we correct our pups by yelling at them and then put them in their crates, they can start seeing it as something negative. The crate should be a happy place, and our pups should always feel like it's a safe environment.

Keep us updated on your girl!!!
You are right. I'll work with him more...he's like a human puppy,lol. He did yell at her. I never yell at her when I put her in her crate...lots of praise and a treat, even if I want to scream lol
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:21 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobegal View Post
I had to laugh because when I got Roxy 7 years ago, she was my 3rd dobie and my husbands 1st dog ever. We went to training together mostly for him and I see him giving the sit command. Not bad you say, well he was giving the command to Roxy's ass becasue she kept turning round and round. I had to laugh. That is when I realize go slow with the husband and train your dog and him at the same time. Yep the husband will take longer
Love it,lol! Sometimes I do forget to be very specific as I forget he's never had a dog before and I think he already knows some of those things. Like telling Harley a command. I keep reminding him to never give a command he can't enforce if she doesn't do it (like Come) and even sit. He keeps telling her three or four times. I keep reminding him to only say it once. I think by the time Harley is an adult, he will have it
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:28 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triciakoontz View Post
Good things you are doing so far but WHAT training are you doing? She should have a big repertoire of trained behaviors by now and you should be training her every day for 5 minutes here and there (try to get in as many as possible). Training is EXERCISE!! It helps tire out a puppy but, more importantly, it gives them a job to do. When she is full of herself you can cue her to do behaviors: sit, down, stay, spin, touch, retrieve, tug, roll over, play dead, paws up on a target such as an old phone book covered in duct tape, spin on the book target to develop hind end awareness for heeling pivots and lots of advanced "tricks", get into heel position, stand, high 5, etc. If your husband can get into the training his interactions with the puppy will reap more benefits for both of them - he will have many behaviors he can cue the puppy to do instead of always telling the puppy "NO!", the puppy will be calmer when she knows what is expected of her (telling her no or anh-anh is VERY ambiguous - it does not tell her what you want her to do instead of what she is doing). Go to YouTube and visit Kikopup's channel. She has over a hundred excellent videos for teaching everything a puppy needs to know and anyone can follow them very easily. Give this girl a JOB!

1) Dobermans are a working breed and your puppy does not have a job.
2) Doberman puppies are extremely active when they are awake and often get only a tiny percentage of the exercise they need.
3) Harley is a very intelligent dog without enough mental stimulation.
4) Doberman puppies are highly social, often without enough "quality" companionship time - their humans often spend most of the time the puppy is awake trying to stop her from doing things they don't want her to do instead of engaging the puppy in positive socially interactive behavior.

Keep your puppy's needs in mind and stop focusing on controlling "bad" behavior. When you meet the puppy's needs the bad behavior will be reduced to practically nothing. Keep us posted!
My husband, nothing yet. As for me, I work on her in the house with heel, and stop frequently and have her sit each time I stop. It's 50/50 on if I have to say sit or she does it, she's getting there. I work on getting her on her place board, and sit or down for vary lengths of time wi lots reward. When she sees me strap on the treat bag, she knows its training time and wiggles her little nub and whole hind end. We go to beginner obedience class once a week, and I practice what those leassons are each week too. In the house, and in my back yard, with 20 foot leash, working on Come. She's already great about Release, if she has something of mine. She loves fetch too and tug of war ( I let her win). I've been working on down too. And on loose leash walking, she's doing pretty good with this. Not perfect, but I see improvements each week with her. You had some great ideas so ill try to work some of those in too. Thanks
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:43 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaumont67 View Post
RE:
- Now since I have never owned a Doberman, and my husband has never owned any dog
- I keep trying to explain to him that this is normal puppy behavior and it will improve
- As for nipping... Harley is now teething
- As with anything, even with child rearing, you get a lot of opinions and advice
I mean, if needed, yes, I would use a prong collar as she gets older, if the trainer thinks it's needed for specific corrections or obedience.

This is what they say, i.e. he says: we should be using a prong collar to correct Harley every time she chases the cat....we should use the prong collar to correct her every time she nips out butt or thigh, etc.....

^^^^...Totally COULD harm the girl, please have hubby JUST LEARN & PLAY...while BOND BUILDS.
He is getting idiot advice from co-workers & I have personally never or ever needd to use a prong collar.
- my 1st dobe puppy was purchase in 1977, so slightly more experience than your MIS-DIRECTED hubby
- Patience and a loving bond will solve much...this Dad here is getting MAD reading about your dumb ass SO.
F*** the unnecessary Prong Collar, not a quick fix in the hands of ignorance (sorry "a" STUPID hubby...in dog smarts) !!
[fit prong on S.O. 1st...see if he likes the "pull & tug & stabbing in the neck"]
- and let HIM READ these posts // if someone needs to talk to him, I volunteer / I grew up using a choke chain (now don't need it):
The SKILL comes from "knowing how to use it, while never needing it - in the first place !!
Exactly! I think she's learning everyday. My husband is really a nice guy, but just doesn't know any better. Tonight, we were talking about is again. He travels a lot during the week, so he's mostly home on weekends with us, so it's all my way with Harley. I explains at was old school, yank,crank, etc. that Harley is just fine. Right on track for her age as far as nipping, chewing, etc . I explained that I listen to all you on DT because you have Dobermans! I read up a lot before and since getting her too regarding temperament, teething, being a shark baby, sensitivity, intelligence, ideas of positive reinforcement, redirecting, etc. I could go on. Everything I've been doing thus far, I have learned through DT. I knew I didn't know anything about Dobermans and I didn't want to do it wrong. So he just said okay, after I told him, Harley will be a great Doberman with redirection, positive rewards, etc..... Is she perfect, nope, but me either, but I know she has a great personality and loves everyone I introduce her to out in public.
His coworkers just keep putting the stupid ideas in his head that I'm spoiling her and she she not do those things at her age (16 weeks) because their dogs didn't (harsh corrections).
I'm going to continue doing it my way (from all the DT suggestions) and not their way. She's a great dog and I love the way she is, and think she's fine too. So no worries, I'll never let him be mean, extreme with her, and instead will work on showing him how to do things in a positive way with her. He can learn too.
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