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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Questions, Questions!

Couple of questions/remarks!

1. Should I limit the amount of cuddles I give my pup to assure that I'm seen as an alpha in the household? Trust me, Zeus and I do a lot of training together, and he listens to "sit" "down" "break" and ... we're still working on "place" and "drop it". There are times when he's being hardheaded and he won't listen to "sit" the first or second time I tell him, and I have to push his bottom down to get him to compl, but for the most part he obeys. But he's just so cute, there are times I just want to snug him and have him in my lap (big as he is) and cuddle with him for as long as he'll stay still to do so. I've read that dobermans need strong leaders, else they can grow up to become headstrong and thinking they are the alphas. Am I conditioning him for that by giving in to his overall cuteness and rewarding him with affection for no real reason?

2. His cropped ears are still healing, but they're pretty much standing up. Should I still post them? There are still spots where the edges are hard with scabs, but they're no longer tender or red. I've bought all the supplies needed, but now I'm not sure if it's even necessary. I'll try to post pictures later when I can get him still, though I have some in an earlier post "Puppy Antics". They tend to flop when he's playing or relaxed, but when he's paying attention to something, they stand.

3. Back to that alpha thing ... He sometimes barks at me. Usually, it's when he wants my attention to play, because he'll bark and playbow with his tail wiggling. I've been trying the "ignore til he stops" approach, and reward when he's quiet. Usually, it's with praise instead of a treat. Is that the best method? Sometimes, his barking only lasts a few seconds, but sometimes he'll go at it for a few minutes.

4. He likes sitting on my feet. .. Is that a dominance thing that I should correct or just a ... silly doberman thing? lol
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 06:48 PM
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Throw away your alpha ideas. It's an out-dated way of thinking about dog behavior. A lot of it is bunk. Don't worry about him sitting on your feet or about snuggling him too much.

I hope someone here will recommend a good book for you to look at about this whole issue. I'm having a senior moment. A puppy class with a good trainer to give you some hints about how to react to his behavior should help you too.

Yes, you'll need to post him--but not until his ears are healed completely--no scabs, no open areas....just clean smooth skin on the edges. Most of the time, you will need to post until your puppy is done teething....at about 6 months old or so. If his ears are particularly short, you may be able to get away with less time....it sorta depends on the individual dog. You said you've got supplies, so this may be overkill....but this forum shows different ways to post puppy ears, so you can take a look
Ear Cropping and Posting - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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Last edited by melbrod; 02-11-2018 at 08:53 PM.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 06:56 PM
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My opinion in a nutshell.

1) No.. Forget what you have read.

2) Yes but not until the ears are TOTALLY healed. Plan on posting all the way through teething.

3) Alpha thing? LOL... He is a puppy, trying to get you to play. Wait until he bites all the skin off of your arms. My well trained 3 yo boy still comes up to me an plants his face about 6 inches away and woofs when he wants to play

4) Get used to it.... They are not called "velcro dogs" for nothing. LOL

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Uh... OK... What Mel said^^^ (Dang, she is quick on the draw!)
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 07:14 PM
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Great advice above - - Other than - If it's bad for them to lay on your feet - then we have been doing things wrong for 30 years - lol

Should I limit the amount of cuddles --- What ?????? You can never share enough love - that's what there doing to you in the first place -- right ?

If ours didn't do this - then I would be loading them up to go to the Vet - There must be something wrong with them

Have a good one Gamer !
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 07:23 PM
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I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book: The Thinking Dog

Dogs do what works; whatever is reinforced is what they do more of. So that means that the things that you reward are things they'll repeat, or the things they find self-rewarding (for example, if they jump on you and love it) they'll repeat that. Training is all about manipulating the environment so that they are rewarded for the things you like and don't get rewarded for things you don't like. It's just like your paycheck - you might like, even LOVE your job, but you probably won't work for no paycheck, right? Your dog works for his "paycheck" and it teaches him that the things YOU like are worth doing! Eventually those things are so valuable to him that he does them a lot, even when he no longer gets a treat every time.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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@MeadowCat , I've ordered the book. Thank you for the reference!

And y'all, don't get me wrong. I looooove cuddling with my pup! I just didn't want it to somehow make him intolerable when he's older when it comes to training. Trust me, he's not going to be short on lovin' from me! He's spoiled rotten. My husband's gone for a while (yay Army life) and I was contemplating letting Zeus up on the couch with me .. even though we've already discussed the "no dogs on the furniture" rule before we even got our puppy. But I don't want to start bad habits!

I can't believe how much I love this puppy already. As big of a pill as he can sometimes be, I can't imagine not having him in my life.

Thanks for the posting info also. I'm sure there will still be a few weeks worth of healing before I start that adventure with him.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 08:51 PM
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If the rules will later be "no dogs on the couch" don't let him up now. It will be SO confusing for him later. Consistency is really, really important for dogs. It's very hard for them if something is sometimes okay and sometimes not okay. So if your husband isn't on board with dogs on the furniture, don't start now and then change your mind later. On the other hand, if your husband is on board...I LOVE cuddling with mine on the sofa. Nothing better than one Doberman on each side of you!

When you are working on things now, think about if you want him doing them when he's a full grown dog. If not...don't allow it now, even if it's cute

I'm quoting below my post in another thread with some excellent puppy books for you:

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I love and recommend the following:

Puppy Start Right

Perfect Puppy in 7 Days

The Puppy Primer

Social, Civil and Savvy

And this last one isn't a puppy book, but I think it's SO valuable for dog owners. The Other End of the Leash
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 08:56 AM
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How old is Zeus again? This all sounds really familiar to Radar.

1. I wouldn't push his butt down when he doesn't listen. Instead, maybe try keeping him on leash tethered to you. That way, if he doesn't sit, he doesn't get to go do other things. He will figure it out. Have you been training with hand signals and words? If I don't get a response the first time, Radar gets the hand signal, followed by the word again. Usually he will comply the second time.

2. I don't know anything about posting so I'm gonna skip this one...

3. Right around the time he was in the throes of teething, Radar would bark at my boyfriend and I for EVERYTHING. We couldn't even go into the kitchen without him launching off the couch, plopping his butt on the floor and barking at us for whatever we had. Even the milk jug was something that he just HAD to have. For the most part, I just tried to ignore him. When he would go on for what *seemed* like hours - I would just look at him until he stopped. Then I would shower him with praise and pets ("yay! good quiet! smart puppy!" etc). I didn't use treats for teaching "quiet", because I didn't want to reinforce his already bad habit of begging.

4. You are probably going to want to invest in a nice pair of fluffy slippers - that bony little doberbutt isn't gonna stop landing on your feet. Radar will sit on the feet of people he has just met. Last time I picked him up from daycare they were receiving a package from UPS - the delivery guy stopped moving for about 2 seconds to get a signature, and Radar had landed on his boots, staring straight up at him expecting his pets.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 12:49 PM
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I'm one of the "no dogs on the furniture or my bed!!!!!" And the only solution for that is that from day one, minute one no puppy, no matter how cute or cuddly gets on my bed or the furniture.

However, I have big Costco dog beds in every room--and I spend a lot of time sitting on those dog beds with the puppies especially when they are new to my home and very small.

I have this posted on my refrigerator (from a long ago artlcle in either the Sacramento Bee or the Los Angeles Times: HOW DOGS BRAINS WORK If you have a dog and there is something you don't want them to ever do--don't start out shooting yourself in the foot by letting them do it--EVER! You don't want your dog on the furniture? Don't ever let them on the furniture. The dog brain in action goes--"I got up here once and it was OK--and even though I've now tried to get up again 4,376 and get yelled at and pushed off every time maybe, just maybe they'll let me up there next time."

Good luck (oh yeah--no puppy ever got too much cuddling)
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 01:26 PM
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What bug said^^^^

40 some years ago, I looked at my wife (to be) and said. This is BS! 3 dogs all over the furniture. Pig piling in our bed. Dirt, fleas, worms. YUK. Oh yes, worms and fleas. This was the mid 70's. Times have changed.

So we started a "no furniture" policy. The 3 doggies were a lost cause. LOL

Since then no dog has EVER been allowed on the furniture or beds. From day one, they are never invited up on the furniture. Honestly, it would never even occur to them.

Like dobebug... As a result my dogs are spoiled rotten when it comes to comfort. A large Ruffwear bed on every floor along with the requisite cozy blankets. And of course a huge open crate filled with pads and blankets.

When its sunny, we're talking about lounging in the sun on the Persian rugs

I admit, there have been some exceptions, like when Sheriff had serious mobility and incontinence problems as a puppy. As he was recovering, I let him sleep with me, so I could carry him out at night when he got restless.

To this day, I suspect my wife misses the weight of a big Dobe boy on her feet. Not me!

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 01:56 PM
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Similarly, and amazing when I think back on it--our first dog was never given people food. Never! (You're always harder on your first child.)

And you could literally sit right beside him and eat a fast food burger, and he wouldn't even bother to watch.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 02:06 PM
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Similarly, and amazing when I think back on it--our first dog was never given people food. Never! (You're always harder on your first child.)

And you could literally sit right beside him and eat a fast food burger, and he wouldn't even bother to watch.
Funny you should say that! SO brought home some McDonald's last night and Radar spent almost 30 mins doing a combined routine of puppy pushups, dramatic grunts/groans/sighs, and pathetic stares to get him some cheeseburgers. Unfortunately, he didn't get any, because he had already eaten. We, however, were provided with some excellent dinner entertainment.

"Money can buy a lot of things, but it doesn't wiggle its butt every time you walk in the door."

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 02:09 PM
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And yet no one mentions how begging for people food can be part of a good exercise regimen.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 02:11 PM
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And yet no one mentions how begging for people food can be part of a good exercise regimen.
Essential for nice, toned front legs and shoulders!

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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@RADAR2017 Zeus is 3 and a half months. 15 weeks, to be exact. And I get what you all are saying. Zeus has not been on the furniture, even though I've been tempted to these last few days. (Don't worry, I'm not going to give in to that!) And he always chews up his doggie beds! We've got him a nice comfy one to lounge out in the living room with us, and 50% of the time he'll do that if we tucker him out enough. The other half, it's like another chew toy for him, which we discourage. It's not like he doesn't have a plethora of soft and rubber toys! He has a soft doggie pad in his crate as well, and he has a tendency to chew on that, though he's not as bad as he used to be. I ended up getting this mesh sort of elevated bed (Pet Bed) that he likes to lay on in the living room, though he likes to gnaw on the bars. I got it mostly to practice the "place" command because the puppy class he goes to uses beds similar to that, though they're smaller.

As for hand signals...uuuuh not so much. Kind of? Like, when I say "sit" I point up a finger, like the number one sign. "Down" I point down to the floor. And.. that's pretty much it. I have a lot of reading ahead of me as I ordered a majority of the books @MeadowCat suggested. Geeze, I thought I was prepared! I did a lot of reading up on puppy care and training before I got Zeus. Apparently, I need a bit more!
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-13-2018, 08:37 AM
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3.5 months...sounds like he is gonna be teething soon. Radar destroyed his first bed right around that point too. What worked for us was to get some really cheap, thick blankets (we looked at goodwill and walmart), and just folded them up on the floor so he had a spot to lay. In his crate, I used one of those fleece tie blankets, but I untied a corner of it and put it inside out, then retied it. That way he couldn't get at the fringe. Not as comfy as a bed, but less messy than a dog bed strewn all over the living room. Radar was given a bed for the living room, and he was only allowed to have it when someone was in there with him. At bedtime, or when we were busy doing other things, it would be wedged between his crate and the wall so he couldn't get at it. He was just as content to lay on the rug for a little while, or just follow us around. I would just keep lots of soft toys (think soft rubber/silicone, stuffies if he doesn't try to shred/eat them, or a puppy kong (softer than the regular ones)) with you and keep at least one in each room that he is allowed to go into, so that if he tries chewing anything, you can quickly redirect him by shoving a really awesome toy in his mouth instead.

Radar wasn't big on most of his toys during teething, but he would play with the kong (frozen once he knew what to do). Some of the harder rubber toys he has only recently taken an interest in.

If you have him in class, I would ask the trainer what they suggest for follow through on commands. You want to be consistent.

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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-13-2018, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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I think he has started teething! I was looking in his mouth yesterday (trying to practice him getting used to people inspecting him) and noticed that two of his tiny little front teeth are missing!
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