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Old 02-19-2008, 04:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Is my puppy over-protective?

I know dobies are supposed to be protective over what they think is "theirs"...but I have a question..Sniper is 5 months and I have a 17 month old daughter, they play together nicely, he follows her around and kisses her...my thing is he sits in his bed and pulls her into it with him, wont let her out of it. Not forcefully, but like he doesn't want her to leave. When we go outside anyone that approaches her doesn't get to b/c he places himself between her and whoever it is....if she is getting a talking to from daddy he growls at him and stands next to her....

Should I be concerned or this is normal dobie behavior and he considers her "HIS"
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Personally I would never allow my doberman to growl at ANY family member. EVER, for ANY reason.

Strangers is one thing, but all human family members should be alpha above the dog. no growling allowed
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you, And I told my husband that he needs to correct him, Sniper doesn't do it to me though (I'm here with him all day though and he receives constant correction and praise)
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Sounds like Dad needs to send Sniper to his 'bed' when he gets sassy. That should be correction enough for him. Your daughter also needs to work with him so he accepts those she accepts. Have her put him in a sit/stay (if he's learned it) while she's talking to her friends, if he won't do it, he doesn't get to be with her. Again, he'll learn that being overly protective gets him no where. Try having your daughter work with him on this excercise. It will teach the pup how to greet people that approach your daughter. Be sure to have her do the excercise with as many people as possible.



Teaching Your Dog To Greet People Politely

One of the most common problems is that dogs lunge towards people. When that happens, we, embarrassed that our dogs are ďout of controlĒ, jerk the dog back and yell at the dog.

Big mistake. Dogs donít speak English and we canít explain to them why we are correcting them and if your dog associates the correction with a person approaching instead of the lunging, you can create a human aggressive dog. This happens a lot more than people realize.

ďUh oh!Ē Here comes a person, Iím going to get jerked and yelled at. Iím going to growl to warn the person to stay away so I donít get jerked and yelled at.Ē

And then of course, we are even more upset when the dog growls and jerk harder and the cycles escalates. (Even though we should know to never correct a dog who is growling because we always want to know when the dog is warning us so we donít get bitten.)

It is very simple to teach your dog to greet people politely. You will need accomplices because it is impossible to teach manners in real life, you need to set the dog up. Your accomplice can be a family member to start, although you will eventually need around 10 accomplices because dogs donít generalize behaviors well and it takes about 10 people before the dog generalizes the behavior.

1. The accomplice should be about 20í away from the dog. If you canít hold the dog, tether the dog. Tie the lead to a tree, slam it in a car door, do whatever is convenient because if the dog pulls you forward, itís going to take much longer to teach.

2. Cue the dog to sit.

3. The accomplice starts to walk towards the dog. You are a tree, which means no talking or moving, the dog will learn much better if you donít interfere (scientifically proven).

4. If the dog gets up, the accomplice dead stops and you wait. When the dog is giving you attention, or after about 30 seconds, get the dogís attention by tapping the dog gently on the butt and cue the dog to sit again. This is the hardest time for humans who are a very verbal species, to be quiet, but it is the most important time for us to be quiet, except to get the dogís attention if necessary and cueing the dog to sit.

5. The accomplice starts forward again. If the dog gets up, the accomplice dead stops, etc.

6. If the dog gets up 3 times, the accomplice turns and goes back to the ďstartĒ about 20í away.

7. When the accomplice is able to walk all the way to the dog while the dog remains sitting, have a party like there is no tomorrow! The accomplice should pet and praise the dog for at least 20 seconds. If the dog gets up, donít worry about it at this time, however if the dog jumps, the accomplice must immediately turn away from the dog.

8. Repeat with every family member and friend you can wheedle into helping. When the dog remains sitting, have your accomplice start talking as the accomplice walks towards the dog. This increases the distraction level and even if your dog was rock solid, your dog may get up when the accomplice starts talking.

Talking is an added distraction and very likely to happen in real life, but you start teaching with a quiet accomplice because you teach in steps so the dog can be successful at each step. If you ask too much of the dog, the dog will fail and you never want to set your dog up for failure.

Have the accomplice increase the talking and use a high squeaky voice to get the dog excited, but because you are teaching in steps, donít add the
high voice until the dog is rock solid sitting with a calm voice.

9. The dog should be kept at home until the behavior is solid. Then the dog can go to the pet store or for walks. When a stranger approaches, politely ask the stranger to help you train your dog and to please stop if the dog gets up. Cue the dog to sit and have the stranger approach. I did this with a Mastiff puppy and everyone was very cooperative. In fact, he loved attention so much that eventually if he thought a person was coming towards him, he would automatically sit. If the person passed him by, he would look so disappointed LOL!

10. Patience, consistency, teaching in steps and letting the dog figure out what the right behavior is are the keys to success!

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Old 02-20-2008, 05:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The daughter is 17mths, a tad young for her to do too much although she may be able to give sit/down commands with an adults help.

First thing I would do is have dad put dog in crate when doggie gets over protective. I would also make it a point that dad should spend more time if possible with dog and child interacting together. Especially more time with the child in front of the dog. (while doggie is crated after making a growl for example) so dog sees dad is ok too.

To me this seems as if dog sees dad as somewhat of an outsider (like everyone else), at least when it comes to the child. Mom seems to have no problems but moms home all day and interacting with them both more, especially with the child in front of the dog?

As for how the pup does around others, mom or dad would probably benifit from putting the dog into a down (better habit with small ones around than sit which still puts the dog at the childs eye level).

Doggie putting himself between her and strangers isn't imo a bad thing as long as the dog is in watchful mode and not showing signs of aggression. Personally I would teach the dog to down between her and others because it is a non threatening stance when viewed by others. Adults and even older kids usually recognize that the dog although down can be up in a flash and will still keep thier distance keeping the child safe and friendly strangers (or company) feeling unthreatened. This is what I trained my rottie to do when she wanted to place herself between my daughter and others. You may also want to teach the pup a command that says others are ok.

I totally agree that the dog needs to be exposed to friendly strangers who speak to the child but are not in any way threatening towards her to show the dog that others approaching is not a bad thing and that she can remain alert without being on guard. He is very young and still has to learn what is acceptable and what is not.

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Originally Posted by cshellenberger View Post
Your daughter also needs to work with him so he accepts those she accepts. Have her put him in a sit/stay (if he's learned it) while she's talking to her friends, if he won't do it, he doesn't get to be with her. Again, he'll learn that being overly protective gets him no where. Try having your daughter work with him on this excercise. It will teach the pup how to greet people that approach your daughter. Be sure to have her do the excercise with as many people as possible.

Last edited by Dobemom2b; 02-20-2008 at 05:33 AM..
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Old 02-20-2008, 05:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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when leroy was around 4-5 months he would show me his teeth and growl and i put a stop to that real fast! better to do it when he is younger.
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm sorry, I guess I read wrong, I thought she was 17 YEARS LOL. It sounds like he's doing his job. He knows that she's not old enough to fend for herself and he's protecting her. I would still give him a time out for growling at family members, remeber NOT to speak to him, snap on a leash and take him to a quiet room and IGNORE him. He'll get the picture pretty quickly.

You might also research a method called body blocking, it's a tool dogs use to calm each other. you physically put yourself between the dog and the child and use your body to push him away without touching him. It works great in thses situation and it also works for barking at windows.

I would still work with him on the greeting politely, it's a skill he needs anyhow.
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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thank you all for your answers, my hubby is in the army so he leaves early and gets home sometimes late..but on the weekends I will have him to spend more time with baby and Sniper. He doesn't get aggressive when other people come he just watches them and makes sure she is behind him at times. Other than that he's fine. He does sit when she tells him too though..
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