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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Hello Dobie people

I adopted my first full Doberman 3 weeks ago. I'm thrilled with him. I wish I hadn't waited so long to get a Doberman.

Anyway, greetings from the Pacific Northwest.

I'm Beth Anne and my dog's name is Falcon.
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 09:43 PM
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Hi Beth Anne and Falcon... Welcome! Also from the Pacific NW.

How old is Falcon? Maybe you could post some pictures. Where in the PNW?

I live in Portland.

John
Portland OR
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Hi John, I'm just west of Seattle. My dog is about 12 months old. I've been trying to figure out how to post pics. I'll try one.

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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 10:18 PM
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What a handsome boy! Thanks for the pic....

John
Portland
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 10:53 PM
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HI! Welcome from Colorado!
Yup...keep the pictures coming
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 06:12 AM
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Welcome from Indiana

Thanks for the picture !

Doc
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 06:23 AM
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Another welcome from Colorado!
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 06:36 AM
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Welcome from Costa Rica!
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 07:39 AM
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Big welcome from Florida.
Falcon...love that name. Pretty boy !!
So start a thread if you have questions about stuff........we all love to give advise !!!
And we love stories to .......some of us start threads that are just about our own dogs ........great to have later to look back on as they get older.
Love the pictures ...........how is your pup settling in to his new home.......things going good so far ?
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 08:46 AM
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Welcome from another PNWer! I'm in Issaquah.
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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 10:28 AM
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Good job on the picture--your boy is very handsome. And I'm another one from the Pacific Northwest. Portland Oregon (same as 4x4 John) but I was raised in Seattle so I knew where Vashon, Washington was.

So welcome to the forums.

dobebug
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 10:49 AM
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Welcome to you and your handsome boy from Utah! I, too know where Vashon, Is. is. Picked strawberries there every summer as a teen, for extra money in the summer!
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 11:10 AM
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Welcome from England xxx


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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everybody for warm welcome! I'm sure I'll have questions along the way about Dobermans.
I have wondered if I'm strict enough naturally for this breed of dog or do I need to be more specific and get formal training. The other breed of dog I had for many years were Basenjis, the African barkless dog. After Basenjis the Doberman seems relatively easy.
So, how much formal training do you recommend?
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 06:34 PM
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You and your dog should train together. Even if you have taught your dog all of the relevant commands at home, you should take the chance to expose him to all kinds of new people and other dogs in a class. A lot of dog training is actually owner training, and a good instructor can point out places where you can change your approach to have a more socialized and manageable dog. A good trainer can also be invaluable in giving you tips on how to manage any kind of problem behavior you may run into.

As you live with your dog, you will get a handle on just how much you want to require from him in terms of behavior, and how interested you may get in various kinds of training venues (there is more than just obedience out there---nosework, tracking, agility, rally.......) that could lead you into different classes and activities.

But all dogs should learn things like sit, down and stay, to walk calmly on a loose leash, to be non-aggressive toward strange dogs on leash and people who pass by on a walk, to settle down calmly in the house, potty training of course, to control his chewing and destruction urges, to be OK with being alone in the house while his people run errands or work.....

Strictness is not quite the word I would use for living with a dog....consistency is a better term. If you don't want a certain behavior in your adult dog, don't let your puppy indulge in that behavior. If it is not OK for him to pull on the leash, it is never OK for him to pull on the leash. If you don't want him on the couch, he should never be on the couch. Set your rules...you stick to them too.

You need to make special efforts to reward good behavior (by food, play with toys, praise....). You do need to let him know when his behavior is unacceptable, but (especially with a puppy) that can mean something like giving him alternatives (sit instead of jumping up; chew on this toy, not me) or depriving him of your attention (if you're going to be bitey, pup, you can stay in another (puppy-proofed) room for a couple of minutes until you calm yourself down).

I would tell a person wanting a dog to do some thinking about exactly what they expect from their dog, and whether they can meet the specific needs of a particular breed. I would advise them to research different breeds and visit with owners of a breed they think they might match well with. To read a little bit about dog behavior so they can figure out what makes their dog tick, and what methods would work to teach them what they need to know. A basic puppy class to work on socialization and get you started on the right foot when it comes to teaching living skills to your puppy, and a basic obedience class to teach leash manners and the basic commands would be the minimum formal training I would recommend.
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post #16 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Melbrod!
I agree with you on every front. Consistency is super important. I did a lot of obedience classes with my other rescued dog. Her fear issues were very severe compared to the new guy and the classes were very helpful. He's got some triggers especially around his back end but otherwise he's a very friendly and easy going type of dog. He's learned some basics like wait and down and he's a great on a leash (I won't put up with being dragged by horse or hound) but shuts down if you ask for sit. He'll go flat if he thinks he's in trouble. I have some background in horse training, bird training and feral cat taming which will help if I need to be creative. He shadows me all over my farm every day. He's already learned well how to stay out of my way and to anticipate my next move. Even though I have another dog that he loves I have him go with just me on a daily basis for certain tasks so he learns independence. We go for runs on forest trails where we always see people and their dogs. I think obedience classes would be ideal for him. I don't know if teaching him sit is something I should focus on. Should I insist on sit?
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post #17 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 09:12 PM
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" Should I insist on sit?"

In my opinion... Yes. It is one of the most basic and useful commands available to a dog owner/handler.

John
Portland OR
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post #18 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 09:58 PM
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You need to be able to tell him to do something that will keep him in place. "Down" is probably a little more helpful to me in terms of the dog being able to wait quietly until I need to move on--in the checkout line at the pet store, on the ground next to me on a park bench, waiting in a car while I unload stuff out of it, lying on the floor watching me cook or when I answer the doorbell. A lot of dobes find it uncomfortable to stay for a long time in the sit position--the hair is thin on their hocks and they don't have a big fat butt to spread out on.

But a dog can't necessarily jump up quickly and get going from a down position the way they can from a sit. I like to have my dog sit at the edge of the street curb before we cross the street, for example. If you don't have that much time to get across, getting your dog up from a down quickly might be a problem. And if you want to allow people to pet him but need to keep him from getting overeager or pushy, a sit works better than a down. The dog is more at their level and they're not bending over him as much to touch him, which many dogs would find extremely threatening. Sitting and waiting for your permission to eat dinner is easier to teach than expecting them to wait in a down position.

I teach a "wait" command too, which is basically an informal stay in place, whatever he is doing, sit, stand or down. It is useful when you're trying to navigate with a baby stroller or an armful of grocery bags and a tangled up dog leash, useful when you open the car door before you tell him he can get out, useful if he is off leash and you don't necessarily want to call him to you, but want him to stop heading in the direction he is going until you give him permission to. I don't like to call a dog to come just so I can put him on a leash--I just tell him to wait and go get him. It is informal; I'm not expecting him not to move a muscle and to focus intently on me without looking away. A very useful command for me.

It sorta depends on what your needs are.

Many dogs will be stubborn or scared/squirmy about sitting if you try to use that old fashioned classic method of pushing down on the top of his butt. From your description, it sounds quite possible that your dog was swatted or hit on his butt a lot to correct him. To teach a sit on command, it is better to get his attention with a treat or something in your hand and then move it above his head. Most dogs will sit as they try to keep an eye on your hand. Another trick you can use, (though maybe not in your case, with a dog who seems to have some trust problems when you're around his rump) which works if the dog is not facing you or is beside you, is to tap him lightly on the back of his upper thigh, right behind his knee. That will often get you an automatic sit, sort of the kind the dog may do when he doesn't want another dog to sniff his rump.

One comment here...if you find your dog is reluctant to sit, even on grass or a soft surface, and seems to be slow standing up again, or also that he doesn't like you to touch his hips or back, it is possible he has a bit of soreness in his hips--if you see it a lot you may want to have him checked out for joint or back problems.
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post #19 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 11:32 PM
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Yeah. What Mel said about about pushing down a dog into a sit^^^ I have never done it. Just be consistant and firm (in a calm manner) and they eventually get it. Reward well with praise and treats and once learned, it becomes automatic.

I forgot to mention that Dobes being "Velcro" dogs are frequently in the way as they want to be very close to you. Sometimes at the most inopportune of moments. McCoy follows me into the bathroom, puts his head between my knees when I am doing dishes, Sits or stands right in front of me when I am watching TV, rests his head on my arm when I am on my lap top, etc.

Well you get the idea. So... He has a "Place" command. It tells him to go to any one of his designated spots and wait in a relaxed state He basically has 3 "places".
-One of his several beds around the house.
-His open crate
-Or, if I am sitting, he will often come and lie down right by my side, leaving me alone until I choose to interact with him.

This is a very useful command for us.

This is always done calmly and with positive praise for compliance.

John
Portland OR
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post #20 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 12:51 PM
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Since he's new in your household I would put insisting on an on command "sit". With his shut down when asked to sit and the fact that he doesn't care for his rear being handled it sounds like he had some bad experiences.

You've gotten some good tips on the sit from others here and I'd be inclined to let it slide and use the down for them time being and reintroduce sitting later--as far as the rear end stuff--do a lot of petting that includes running your hand all the way back to his tail and down his thighs--over a few weeks that's a good way to de-sensitize touchy areas a dog may have.

Good luck with him--I like his name too--he sounds like a winner.

dobebug
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post #21 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 01:23 PM
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DB...what did you mean in that first sentence--slow down on trying to teach sit, or continue to insist on getting one at this point, or something inbetween?

The later stuff sounds like you're talking about deemphasizing that skill at the moment to me??

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post #22 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melbrod View Post
DB...what did you mean in that first sentence--slow down on trying to teach sit, or continue to insist on getting one at this point, or something inbetween?

The later stuff sounds like you're talking about deemphasizing that skill at the moment to me??
ARGH! Obviously I'm still on stupid creating amounts of gabapentin--that first sentence was intended to be a negative--as in--I wouldn't insist on a sit for now and work up to it slowly.

But at this point with a new additions I would definitely not MAKE him sit or INSIST that he learn the sit.

It sounded to me like he had had some bad training methods applied or maybe some rough handling and needed to start again with a softer touch.

Thanks Mel for keeping an eye on what I write as what I might really mean...

And the library has hard chairs and my sciatica says it's time to go home.

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post #23 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks very much for all the advice and tips.

His different vets, foster care person and myself think he's probably been hurt somewhere in the back end and gets very frightened if you touch him too hard. Also, when I very first got him, if his leash got looped behind his butt he would pancake to the ground or bolt. Now that he knows me and it happens he just freezes in place until I move it off of his rear. He is beginning to trust me. I do frequently run my hands all over his body and I even trimmed his nails today.

He defaults to a down when I try putting the treat up over his head for a sit. While I don't mind this for now I know it will be challenging later on when I really just want a sit. I have tried a couple times to lift the front of him to shape him into a sit but he goes dead weight on me. This is why I wondered if I need sit to be a top priority. I really appreciate the help. Thank you all!
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post #24 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 10:16 PM
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Do you know if he still has pain in his rump, or has he healed physically and is just "mentally wounded" at this point?

What happens if you hold a treat right above his nose when he is in a down, let him nibble at it and then slowly lift it up as he continues to nibble? Will he start to sit as you pull the treat up?

Anyway, I wouldn't do anything physical to him to try to get him to sit--no trying to push, pull or lift him into position. You're going to have to figure out a way to get him to sit under his own steam. Shaping a sit for him would involve you rewarding (easiest using a clicker once he's connected the clicker noise with a treat) him whenever you see him start to lower himself into a sit position. He'll need to make the motions himself though; you can't force the action on him. If you try that at this point, I think his fear will take over and he'll be too consumed by anxiety to learn what you're trying to get him to do.

But that's for later; for now, keep working on trust building. (And we need another picture!!)

Last edited by melbrod; 04-19-2019 at 10:19 PM.
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post #25 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Trying another photo.

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Last edited by Red Falcon; 04-19-2019 at 11:31 PM.
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