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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Training a abused Doberman

I need help!

I have 2 Dobermans - Both Rescues. Even with all the experience I have with rescues it is not enough 2 help me with my youngest. He is about 14 months. I have had him since he was 8 months.

The youngest was abused as a pup & has major issues with authority. He trembles and shakes @ the sound of no or correction. Its been a long journey. @ 1st I gave him a grace period 2 allow him 2 adjust to his new setting. However there are things that can not go uncorrected.

For example: He pulls while walking. I have trained several dogs in my life & never before have I been so challenged. When he starts pulling he looks @ me with as if he knows he is doing something wrong. However the minute I tighten the leash & try to correct him he squats into a submissive stance - almost as if he is anticipating to be beaten.

He knows his commands: Sit Stay Tricks Etc. However from the looks of it its almost as if he is trying 2 see what he can get away with. Maybe I added 2 it. Spoiling him because I felt bad about his early life and he has picked up on it.

I really don't know what 2 do.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 12:19 AM
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Make it fun for him. No corrections.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 12:33 AM
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There are several recommended training suggestions, that do not require corrections that DT Educational Archives suggest. Please follow link below:
here



The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 03:51 AM
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When he starts pulling he probably looks at you because he's expecting to get shouted at or hit for it, as may have happened in the past, and then pulls more to get as far away from you as he can.

I had this with my dog when I was correcting him for pulling, or getting frustrated because I thought he KNEW what to do. I think his previous owners may have made him heel in an aggressive way. Turns out my body language because I was annoyed was making him back away from me, and every time I brought him back to me, he would cower a little then pull away again after a second. It took me a while to realise he wasn't doing it out of spite, he just didn't WANT to be next to me.

In the end I worked alot on making being next to me a nice place to be, rather than him thinking I was always going to tell him off or shout. A clicker, lots of treats and lots of praise. Its taken a long time, but we are getting there, still if I raise my voice or even grit my teeth trying not to get frustrated, its like a neon signal to him and he starts to pull away again and act like he's completely ignoring me.

He also has a problem with authority, or so I thought. I had to turn my thinking right on its head, and figure out what worked for him. Shouting NO, or even trying to grab his collar, sent him crouching with his tail between his legs and diving just out of my reach, and then air snapping and barking at me. I have now figured out that the worst punishment for him is being ignored, he really doesn't like it, and keeping myself quiet and my body language calm, we've completely stopped that behaviour.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 04:59 AM
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Try the good old over the top out of control im a nutter with my dog i dont care what you think "Good boy" any time he does anything good. With the walking part you are just gona have to stick at it as soon as he pulls turn on your heels face the other way untill he gets to you side then repeat the above "Good boy"....

He really needs to be trained with positive methods rather than "no" and "stop it" ect

It will take you a bit longer to get there but in the end the outcome will be better

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 11:09 AM
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Dogs cower and "act like they know they did something wrong" because they are confused. They don't understand what it is that you want, but they know you're angry about something so they're trying to pacify you. Don't ever think your dog is doing something out of spite. He simply does not know what it is you want from him. It is your job to figure out how to communicate to him what it is that you DO want.

A good way to think about is that you need to think about what your dog SHOULD be doing, not what he SHOULD NOT be doing. It's hard to explain, but instead of telling your dog what it is that he shouldn't do, you should focus on telling him what he should do. You should eliminate a lot of corrections just by thinking this way.

Training with markers seems to really help the dog to understand quicker. A marker could be a word or a clicker or whatever you want it to be, as long as it is the same EVERY time and is ALWAYS followed with a treat or some form of praise (playing with a toy, etc.). This makes it easier because the dog doesn't have to always guess at what he did to recieve the reward. He knows because you marked it!

When you walk him, do you have him on a pinch? If so I'd probably take that off and maybe use a martingale collar on him (that way he won't back out of the collar). Have some treats with you and whenever he is next to you with the leash slack, mark and treat. When he pulls at the end of the leash, stop or walk in the other direction. Mark and treat when the leash goes slack. It will take a while, but your dog will be happier for it and I'm betting your relationship will be a lot better.

A GREAT website to go to for marker training information is Index
She lists things in levels. If you follow everything you'll have a very nicely trained and happy dog!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 04:21 AM
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as someone who has trained multiple dobermans and most of them being rescues, the first thing i would really push you is that no matter what has happened to him in the past, stop looking at him as an abused dog.

very few dogs, even rescues, are truly abused. many rescues are absolutely neglected, but if you constantly have the mindset that they are abused and are carrying baggage around, then its going to be an obstacle for the rest of your time together.

most dogs live in the moment and forget the past pretty quickly - its why they can learn new names, love new people, and move on with their life.

and in terms of the dogs actual behavior, some dogs naturally have those behaviors and have never been beaten or abused in their entire lives - its just having a soft, sensitive dog. mercury was adopted at 3 and was a dog that hit the ground and peed when he was stressed or someone raised their voice. building his confidence through training and making clear rules for him have helped him - he still needs careful correction and he's sensitive to overbearing personalities like mine - but he's come so far. i can show this dog in obedience and give him collar corrections, when he first came he hit the ground if ANYONE touched his collar and peed himself. he just wasn't confident.

bunny the aussie is soft and sensitive too (lydia likes her dogs like that) - any raised voice she hides, she avoids confrontation and if she's corrected she stops working. she has absolutely NEVER been abused in her life -and in fact i dont see her changing like mercury, its really just her temperament. confidence isn't her problem.


both these dogs are very different from my other two! but its personality and temperament, not abuse and neglect.




http://www.fortunatek9.com/Articles/..._McDonough.pdf


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more beatings, less love!
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