Help! Stubborn Gus - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-24-2017, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Help! Stubborn Gus

Hello I just created an account and Iím not sure how to even create a new post. I have a 8 month old Doberman. His name is Gus and heís extremely sweet and I love him to death. However, Gus absolutely drives me insane. He is the most stubborn animal I have ever seen. He knows exactly what Iím telling him and keeps doing it anyway. If he jumps on the counter, I will tell him to stop and he will listen. However less than a minute later he does the same thing. He cannot just be anywhere he consistently causes trouble. Itís like having a toddler, but worse. We go on 4 more hikes to get his energy out and he still isnít tired. I love him to pieces and heís my best friend now, but I have got to do something to make him listen. The other day I let him outside to potty and he ran up to a woman who pulled a can of mace on him. He would not come to me. Iím desperate to make him behave. I donít know if this is normal puppy aged behavior or if he is just difficult. Please any tips would help! Also, if someone could tell me how to make a new post that would be great...lol thank you!!
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 04:59 AM
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Hi! Welcome to DT! (Otherwise known as the “We Like Pictures” forum We’d love to see pictures of Gus!)

Kinda late at night for me (or early in the morning, take your pick), which means my thinking ability is severely diminished so I’ll let others add their bit about how to work with Gus.

But for right now, about how to post a thread--

Check out this sticky:
https://www.dobermantalk.com/new-memb...rt-thread.html
That and other helpful info is on our “New member introduction” forum:
New member introduction - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums

Last edited by melbrod; 12-26-2017 at 06:26 AM.
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you soooo much for helping me!! I am struggling. Iím now trying to figure out how to add a picture.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 09:04 AM
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Have you taken any classes or used a trainer?

It sounds like Gus is a teenager who hasn't had the kind of training he needs. Dobermans are really smart and they can absolutely turn into terrors if they don't have good training! Dogs do things that are reinforcing to them...I would suggest you get in touch with a good trainer who can show you how to work with Gus. A lot of positive reinforcement for doing the things you like works very well for laying a foundation of good behavior, structuring his environment so he can't do bad behaviors...a good trainer is really invaluable. I'd start here for a listing: Certified Dog Trainer and Behavior Consultant Directory - CCPDT
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 10:06 AM
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Sounds like a normal rambunctious teen that has had no training. He can't do what you want because he doesn't understand what you want. I second what MeadowCat said - get a trainer or get into a basic obedience/manners class.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 12:58 PM
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I agree with everyone else. He's a teen-aged puppy who needs some training. Oh, and maybe a securely fenced yard, since he was able to run up to someone at the risk of getting maced?
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thank so much everyone! I have tried training him. He is my first big dog and I am learning. He can do basic commands,(sit, give paw, lay down)but loves to test me. I can tell heís smart because he likes to see what he can get away with. I have contacted a trainer. It seems the teenage years are worse than the young puppy ones! Iíve been researching ways to properly train him since I got him, but I guess since this is my first big dog Iím not doing so well. Thank you all for your help! Were your dobies difficult at 8 months as well? Also, I feel silly asking this, but how do I attach a picture?
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Hereís a few of my boy! I changed the viewing on my mobile device and now this is much easier to use. (One of these pictures was taken at 3-4 months)
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by HanTun View Post
Hello I just created an account and Iím not sure how to even create a new post. I have a 8 month old Doberman. His name is Gus and heís extremely sweet and I love him to death. However, Gus absolutely drives me insane. He is the most stubborn animal I have ever seen. He knows exactly what Iím telling him and keeps doing it anyway. If he jumps on the counter, I will tell him to stop and he will listen. However less than a minute later he does the same thing.
Think of a Doberman like a 3 year old child. If you aren't super consistent then commands will become in their minds "Maybe". Like with a three year old there needs to be consequences for their repeated negative reaction.

He cannot just be anywhere he consistently causes trouble. Itís like having a toddler, but worse. We go on 4 more hikes to get his energy out and he still isnít tired.
If you look at the build of a Doberman you will notice how their shape is similar to that of the sight hounds. A Doberman is built for running. Seldom will you find one that is tired out simply by walking.

I love him to pieces and heís my best friend now, but I have got to do something to make him listen. The other day I let him outside to potty and he ran up to a woman who pulled a can of mace on him.

The best way to house train almost any dog is on leash. That way they can't just run and play but are walked out to the same spot every time to releave themselves. This also makes clean up easier as they grow older as in it will be mostly just in one area.

He would not come to me.

"Come" is usually trained initially on leash. as they progress it is switched to a long piece of cord and done with treats. Training isn't complete till it is also done with all kinds of distractions.

Iím desperate to make him behave. I donít know if this is normal puppy aged behavior or if he is just difficult. Please any tips would help! Also, if someone could tell me how to make a new post that would be great...lol thank you!!
Having a trainer will help train you how to train your dog.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I have tried some of these things. I do not run with him because while I was researching the breed, I read that Dobermans should not run until theyíre at least two? Iím not sure if this information is accurate, but I have not tried it in fear of doing something wrong. We go to the dog park, long hikes, and walks around my neighborhood daily. Also, he loves fetch in the backyard. Thatís normally how I exercise him. He listens much better when his energy level is lower. I try to use positive reinforcement with him, but I donít know if that discipline is the correct fit for him. I have tried using a 30 foot leash and training him to come, however, he doesnít seem to get it when not forced to listen. This is my first dobie and large breed dog so I really appreciate all the help! I love him, but am ready for him to behave a little better.....lol
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 04:26 PM
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You don't want to force them to run, nor jump. But they still need to build those muscles. So they need to be able to run, but they need to be able to stop when they have had enough.

Dog parks are generally a disaster waiting to happen. You never know the other dogs coming to the park or how they will react to different situations. Even though you have been to the park with certain other dogs you don't know how that dog will react to the personalities of the other dogs that may come into the park. You really don't want your pup to be on the loosing side nor to have the emotional trauma of being grabbed by another dog.

Training "come" start out with a short leash and gradually get longer and longer over the period of weeks.

Like you have noted it is always best to train after some exercise, but not wore out.

Keep training periods short. No more then 15 minutes. Their active mind will become bored. When they do right don't just use a treat. Praise, lots of praise then treat. You want them to obey primarily for the praise.

Discipline comes in many forms. Discipline doesn't have to be physical. When you scold that is discipline. The extent of discipline needs to be equal to the level of deviation.
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 05:29 PM
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Yes, the teenage phase is the worst! My girl was an easy young puppy to train but when she turned 7 months or so became a sassy, nippy brat who seemed to forget everything she had learned! Takes lots of patience and persistence but hang in there - sounds like you are on the right track. And we are here for you whenever you to ask advice or just to VENT!
Oh, and Gus is a cutie!
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you both for your help and encouragement! I will start doing short training sessions with coming and this time try working him up to big leash. That is very helpful. Also, thank you for letting me vent!! Itís good to know itís not just mine that is like this. I have loved having a puppy, but am now feeling ready for him to grow up a little. Side note: this is a weird question, but do any of your dogs howl at sirens? Gus does every time and it doesnít bother me. I just think itís funny because heís not very vocal at all!
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 09:07 PM
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 09:11 PM
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I had one that would imitate the siren pretty good. But I would say that most of mine will howl if they hear one especially if it is close.
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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Haha! Yeah just like that. I tried posting a video but Iím still trying to understand how this site works. Iím just going to take advantage of this and ask you guys all my Doberman questions. How much do yours weigh? Gus is 8 months old and close to 80lbs. Iím not sure if thatís normal. Is that about normal? Big? Small?
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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-27-2017, 04:15 PM
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Hello from Texas! Gus is super cute! My guy Moose aka The Manatee is almost 14 months and weighed 90lbs today. I feel like heís (moose) is the biggest dog Iíve ever seen in my life! If Gus is 80lbs at 8 months I bet he gets close to 100.

Regarding the training, donít give up. Be consistent. If you go the E-Collar route make sure to have a professional dog trainer teach you how to properly use. When used correctly, It works wonders IMO. In the beginning we pushed the button on level 4-6 (there are over 100) every time we said a command , even if we know they will comply. According to my trainer this teaches them to pay attention but the level is so low it isnít like a disciplinary thing itís just a ďwe are working nowĒ kinda deal. We give the command and if they donít comply we turn it up in increments of 5 and try again. They always comply. They get very excited when the collar comes out bc they think they are going to train. The collars I use are the Dogtra 1900s for Moose and Mina works on the E collar technologies mini educator ET-300 with the comfort pad for dobermans and other breeds with short hair . I also have the dogtra Arc but itís kinda just my extra collar for emergencies. If you do get one the most important thing is having a professional show you how to use it bc if misused it could be detrimental.

Also, just FYI if you do use the e collar wear the remote around your neck or clip it to your pants. We had a couple of incidents over the holidays and guess what.... i did NOT have the remote ready when they happened. I have found in my short time with dobermans that if you give them an inch they take a yard! You caught Gus and told him no then he did it again in front of you. If I catch moose on the counter I tell him OFF. If he does it again Iím ready with the remote in my hand. You have to catch them in the act otherwise they wonít understand. How do I stop it in the first place? Well, for starters I was giving him his dog treats for tricks in the kitchen by the food prep area. It didnít even dawn on me that it wasnít a good idea. I just thought well if he is doing a trick for me I can give Him one of his treats. I stopped giving treats while we were cooking and I switched counters and only give it to Him by the coffee maker which is away from the food. Does that make sense? I have a hard time explaining things LOL.

I donít know about your city but in San Antonio there are 2 kinds of trainers.... you have your ďFur kids/dog mom/fur babies/PAWsitive vibes only ďgroup and then the ďno nonsense and there ARE consequences when you do not do whatís asked of youĒ group. We chose the latter. So far, Mina, the youngest one and Moose are really thriving in this kind of training.

Just Sharing what works for us good luck and have fun with Gus! - AJ


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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 06:03 PM
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Help! Stubborn Gus

On a side note, when do the Ďteenage yearsí end? Jack is 16 months and he still has bratty moments. Chooses when to listen, doesnít follow commands, talks back, gets nippy, etc.


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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 10:13 PM
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I did not have solid recall on my 2nd Doberman until she was three. Then I could call her off of anything. My third Doberman is almost 3 and everything is starting to sink in now. Been at obed training for all this time. Dobies do not mature as fast as other dogs. They stay puppy for a long time. Remember that. And don't get discouraged. But you have to be very firm (males are worse than females). And everything has to be in black and white. There can be no grey area. None. My training consists of two obed classes every week and schutzhund one day. With this crappy weather Wyo is experiencing she is pretty much getting cabin fever. Find someone you are very comfortable with and be consistant. Good Luck. You just have a normal male Doberman puppy, that's all.
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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your input! I have thought about taking that route. We are signed up for training classes soon! Also, I hope they end sooner than 3 years!! They are insane at this age. Also, about Gusís weight....I talked to my friend I got him from and he said Gusís momís Dad (his grandfather) was a 115 lbs....I guess this is why Gus is so big ?
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post #21 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thought you guys would appreciate these pictures I took today.
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post #22 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 03:30 PM
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post #23 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 07:22 AM
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Thought you guys would appreciate these pictures I took today.


Very handsome


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post #24 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 02:00 PM
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Thank you so much for your input! I have thought about taking that route. We are signed up for training classes soon! Also, I hope they end sooner than 3 years!! They are insane at this age. Also, about Gusís weight....I talked to my friend I got him from and he said Gusís momís Dad (his grandfather) was a 115 lbs....I guess this is why Gus is so big ?
About weight--it's often very difficult to predict adult weight when trying to judge from a puppy weight. On average male puppies gain weight at the rate of about 10 pounds per month from 3 months to 6 or 7 months--but that's just an average. 80 pounds at 8 months may fall into the average range--depends so much on heredity and maturity. Muscle weighs more than fat so an 80 pound puppy may be fat or may be muscular.

Dobes really should never weigh 115 pounds--the standard doesn't specify weight but in many years of Dobermans I've found that most people don't really do a good job of estimating weight. (I have an older male at present who was 83 pounds when we started showing him at 7 months--he weighed 90 pounds most of the time he was being shown in conformation because he was young and extra weight made him look a bit more mature. When he finished his AKC championship and was competing in Obedience, Rally and Agility I put him on a diet and since then he has weighed right around 85 pounds.)

I've found that when people tell me about Dobes owned by relative weighed 115 or in one case 125 pounds that they tended to be overestimating the weight of the dog. Some of these dogs turn out simply to be rolling in fat and in other cases they didn't weigh anything like the claimed weight.

I've had people ask if my senior dog weighs 120 pounds--that's 35 pounds more than his actual weight. And people frequently thought the smallest male I've ever owned (who weighed 73 pounds in working weight or 75 pounds at show weight) was 100 pounds.
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post #25 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I think heís handsome too. Also, about the weight, yes I thought that too. Iím no expert on the breed but didnít think they could break 100 pounds naturally. Then when the guy I got Gus from told me that, I thought maybe I was mistaken. It is probably an overestimation, however, I think the Doberman was still exceptionally large.I weighed Gus 2 days ago now and heís currently right at 80 pounds at 8 months. Do you think he grew quickly and will now stall out? Honestly, when I got him I expected him to be 80-90lbs. I canít believe heís this young and already reached that point.
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