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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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Is my dog normal??

Hi guys,
So I have a male doberman who is currently almost 9 months old. He is still intact because our vet would like us to wait until he is a year old. He is usually quite sweet, but he gets quite nippy. I have already read all over this forum and other sites before getting one and know that they are often referred to as "Dober Sharks", but I am not sure what is play nipping and what's not normal. He is very polite around strangers, but with people he knows well, he jumps up at you and tries to bite repeatedly. This often times occurs if someone tells him to get off the couch, when people are eating, or sometimes if you just walk past him in the hall. He growls and makes a face and seems to get very cranky and not be playing (?). Sometimes he then runs over and thrashes his dog bed all around after.

He has already attended the puppy Headstart classes and passed those, as well as the puppy Fun-da-mentals classes, and recently completed basic behavior and obedience. He will be starting advanced behavior in a couple weeks. I work fulltime, but try to keep him exercised. Recent example of schedule: Saturday we went on a short interval run (after vets approval), Sunday we went on a moderate hike, Monday we went on another interval run, Tuesday he attended doggy daycare and then Wednesday we went on a run again. None of this seems to calm him down. We provide him with a lot of bones that he likes to chew on, which occupies him when they are new, and have a buoy type toy that you fill with treats for him to knock around.

My sister in law is a dog trainer and her and all the trainers have said if he tries to bite, put your thumb in his mouth and push down and hold the top open. This is not working for me at all because it is so hard to do with a dog repeatedly lunging at you; once you let go he goes back to trying to bite you again, and once I did not catch the top quick enough so he crunched down on my thumb.
Most the time now he wears the leash around the house so I can grab it when this happens.
I always try distraction with toys and have started carrying treats in my pocket to get his mind working with sit etc. I know everyone on here says it is all about consistency..
We also practice things that put us in the leader position (going through doorways first).

Does anyone have any other suggestions? I am really hoping he is normal and keep telling myself all this hard work will pay off and he will grow out of it. We are starting to get nervous having him loose around anyone in our house.

Sorry for the long post. Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 06:23 AM
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What do you do with him on any given day? How much physical and mental stimulation does he get? What kinds of classes is he in now?

Without seeing the behaviour it sounds to me like an excited puppy who wasn't taught self control. At nine months he's also in the teen stage where naughty behaviours can tear their little heads again. Jamming your hand in his mouth is ridiculous imo.
If he's leashed when this behaviour starts up I would say 'no bite' once and if it doesn't stop I would calmly take the leash and put him in his crate for a time out. Give him time to calm down and the. Let him out, if he continues you repeat the exercise.
These dogs generally need jobs. A walk around and some fetch doesn't often cut the mustard
When it comes to lowering energy and keeping them from seeking their own entertainment.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 08:37 AM
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Biting is not tolerated in any way, shape or form. If my boy was still biting at 9 months old, even playfully, he would get a stern "NO BITE" and I'd quickly end whatever game we were playing, or if it was as I was coming home and he was excited or something, I'd leave the room. You have to teach them that biting is not an acceptable form of communication and it will not lead to attention. Putting your hand in their mouth and holding it open is a new one to me. I've never heard of that as a way of deterring biting.

The only type of this behavior we allow is a type of lick / nibble... If I'm in the kitchen cooking and he walks up by my side and my hand is next to my body, he will lick and gently pull a finger or two between his front teeth and give a little squeeze. It is very gentle and not in an excited way, and I think it is more to let me know he is there. I don't know where he learned it from but I let it slide because I rather him do that than bark or lean against me when I'm moving something hot!

Consistently reminding him that exciting jump and biting will not lead to fun or attention is the only way to get him to stop. Reward for good behaviors! Make sure he gets lots of time to play off leash outdoors with you. Running and hiking are okay but if your boy is like mine, even if I'm running he is trotting lol. More of a work out for me than him. I really only counter hiking as an exercise 'for the day' if we go for more than 45 minutes. Otherwise I throw in something else

You're doing great! Hang in there!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks guys!! I don't like trying to grab his mouth either. I will definitely start trying the "no bite" and then putting him in his crate for short time outs, but then not quite sure what to do if he happens to not have his leash on, other than distract him and to have him to sit, and then hopefully he has calmed enough where I could grab his collar to lead him to the crate. I will try getting him some more time just to play in the yard off leash too.
It is a couple weeks until our next obedience class begins and then that will teach kind of a bridge between the Obedience class and working towards off leash obedience.
This morning he went on a run and then met up with two dobie friends for the first time to run and play! We will try to do more of that and more doggy daycare when I am working so he can get some exercise. I hope this all starts working soon!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingTheDobie View Post
Ok, thanks guys!! I don't like trying to grab his mouth either. I will definitely start trying the "no bite" and then putting him in his crate for short time outs, but then not quite sure what to do if he happens to not have his leash on, other than distract him and to have him to sit, and then hopefully he has calmed enough where I could grab his collar to lead him to the crate. I will try getting him some more time just to play in the yard off leash too.
It is a couple weeks until our next obedience class begins and then that will teach kind of a bridge between the Obedience class and working towards off leash obedience.
This morning he went on a run and then met up with two dobie friends for the first time to run and play! We will try to do more of that and more doggy daycare when I am working so he can get some exercise. I hope this all starts working soon!
I wouldn't try grabbing his collar. Let him wear a leash in the house till this issue goes away. Collar grabbing can create issues as you'd likely be darting in to grab the collar. Leash leash leash. I'm hoping you yourself aren't running with your pup. At 9 months of age his growth plates aren't even close to being closed and forced repetitive exercise is not a good thing.
Look on YouTube for different tricks you can teach and each night before Godzilla rears his head grab a bag or treats and tackle some trick training. Draining the brain will tire your pup out faster than trying to physically drain him.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 05:48 PM
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I growled at Axel when he was doing that. It supposedly was supposed to be mimicking Mom when she reprimanded her bratty pups. Wouldn't pet him until he knocked it off.

Nip it in the bud, now.



You own a dog who's breed is sorrowfully misrepresented. My supervisor told me maybe a month ago that Dobermans are mean. I had to inform her that she didn't know what she was talking about, as I have owned 3 and fostered 3 Dobermans. The whole row heard what I had to say to her.

With that being said, I expect my Dobermans to kill that myth with good behavior.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 06:13 PM
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Most dogs donít necessarily play in the yard if they are alone--they tend to do a sniff about and then find a cool place to sack out. You will probably have to be out there with him playing fetch or with a flirt pole if you want to get him to run around and exercise. Just avoid lots of high jumping, twisting and turning until heís about 18 months and his bones and ligaments are mature.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 06:19 PM
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Same thing with young horses. What she said!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingTheDobie View Post
Ok, thanks guys!! I don't like trying to grab his mouth either. I will definitely start trying the "no bite" and then putting him in his crate for short time outs, but then not quite sure what to do if he happens to not have his leash on, other than distract him and to have him to sit, and then hopefully he has calmed enough where I could grab his collar to lead him to the crate. I will try getting him some more time just to play in the yard off leash too.
It is a couple weeks until our next obedience class begins and then that will teach kind of a bridge between the Obedience class and working towards off leash obedience.
This morning he went on a run and then met up with two dobie friends for the first time to run and play! We will try to do more of that and more doggy daycare when I am working so he can get some exercise. I hope this all starts working soon!

You don't even have to crate him, just say "No bite!" and walk away. Close a door between you two if he follows. Wait 60 seconds then come back out and praise him if being clam. If not calm, repeat the closing the door and waiting. If you wait for him to settle then put him in his crate he will have long forgotten why you are even giving him a time out. Timing is important.

As said above, you should NOT be running with your dog at this age. You can cause major damage to his joints.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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The flirt pole is something I think he might really like- I will have to look into ordering one!
He is not going on the actual type of runs that you might think of, because we are aware of the growth plates so were concerned about it as well. He is pretty much going on a 1.75 mile walk, and then jogs for one minute at a time at intervals (totaling 5-10 mins of jogging at most in total) - growth plates is something we were concerned about so we talked to our vet about this last week. She looked at him and his growth and thought this type would be ok for him to start doing, so he just started a week ago. He is never being pushed along to go and always seems to have more energy after than before.
The door method is something that I have not heard of before! I will have to try that also if I can not get a hold of his leash right away. That might make him clearly get the point that if he bites he doesn't get attention anymore

It seems like with all the suggestions, he is just doing it for attention and not to be aggressive, so that is reassuring. We will keep on working at it to make sure he is an upstanding dobie citizen
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 12:44 AM
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It’s easy enough to make your own flirt pole--there are directions all over the internet. From example, from the Team Unruly website:
K9DIY: Make a flirt pole on the cheap | Team Unruly

I’d make sure to keep your sessions limited to just a few minutes at his age, and keep the lure on the ground so he’s not jumping high to go after it; you can sweep it around mostly in a circle to keep him from twisting and changing directions too often.

Last edited by melbrod; 06-27-2016 at 12:46 AM.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 01:14 AM
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Hope you have taught him "Drop It '' & " Leave IT" those will be useful when playing with the Flirt Pole I made mine bought a Buggy Whip at the Country store tied a stuffed toy on the end.
When Buddy my Dobe was doing what your boy is doing we have a fenced back yard went out to play with him. He got jumpy and bitty I went in the house stayed about a minute went out again. Thought I was going to wear the back door out but he finely got the message be crazy Mom goes away be nice Mom plays with me.Also NILF may help teach him to have manners just do not go over board with it. You can Google it NILF dog training you can use it daily in a low key manner.
Yes you should not run a pup need to wait til his growth plates close about 18 months old. You can keep up with the obedience but to keep things interesting teach some tricks, teach him to put his toys up, heck bring you a tissue when you pretend to sneeze just get a Trick Book. Good Luck
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