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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Feedback Regarding new Doberman Puppy

Hi all! I'm a new member of DT and also a brand new owner of a now 10 wk old Doberman puppy . His name is Sheru, which in Punjabi (my native tongue) means "little lion" . I was wondering, as a first time dog owner, if I can get some feedback regarding my new fatherly duties as well as any advice!! Here we go!

Why I got a Doberman?
- Ofcourse like many of you, the doberman to me is one of the best dogs out there; they're loyal, obedient, loving and very intelligent. Me and my father have fantasized about owning one for years. I myself have been pretty much researching and learning about dogs religiously every since we decided on getting one, around last year.
- My family and I just moved into an acreage and I have a full summer off from school which seemed like the perfect combination to begin raising a puppy

Daily Schedule:
- Now that I'm home for the summer I have plenty of time to train and bond with Sheru
-Everyday we do approximately 1 hour of obedience training. He has in the 2 weeks I've had him already learned sit and paw
- I also take him on walks ranging from 20-25 minutes everyday. Living on an acreage I have plenty of trails connecting to my house which I heard is better for his joints then concrete, though I have began introducing him to road walking as well.
- I also spend 2-3 hours just being around him/watching tv/etc.
- When i am busy or not around he spends most of his time napping or playing in the backyard (under supervision ofcourse.)
- Feeding him 1.25 cups of Royal Canine Puppy Food 3 times a day as of now.
- We are planning on, when he is around 6 months of age to a raw meat/veggies/fish oil diet.

- I believe he is going through the fear stage of puppy-hood as well as being introduced to many new things all at once. He seems to be very fearful of the road and noises (ie. from construction)
- Whenever we are on the road walking he's very reluctant in going away from the house and is literally sprinting back home when we turn around. I feel as if this behavior is common among all dogs and Sheru will eventually get over it.
- I try my best and usually (80%) of the time use positive reinforcement always in his training. However, I'm human, and sometimes I do scold or hold back his collar when he is being particularly naughty.
- Am I spending enough time with him? I want to bond and ensure my puppy is happy but at the same time also teach Sheru to be alone. I struggle finding that balance at time, as he is always crying/whining to be held or played with

Crate Training:
- We are crate training our doberman. His crate his located in the kitchen/den area. He has soft bedding and plenty of his favorite chew toys. We have a TV in the den and keep him company by watching TV or my mom cooking in the kitchen.
- His crate is right next to a sliding door which is left open whenever anyone is home for him to roam around and explore the backyard as well as poop.
- He's been great at potty training. From the age of 8 wks until now he's only had 2 accidents in his crate and other than that goes to an assigned potty spot in the backyard.
- I sleep right next to his crate and so far has not gotten up much at all to poop/pee at night. He usually gets up once a night to poop/pee which has been very easy on me. There have even in fact been times where I get concerned, wake him up and is reluctant to go outside because he just wants to sleep. Perhaps I've been blessed with a puppy with a good bladder?
- He whines and cries very loudly when he is in his crate and I am beside him watching TV. Ofcourse we ignore this behavior and eventually he quiets down but not before 10-15 minutes of intense and loud crying. How can I correct this behaviour?
- The times he did have the accidents in his crate the sliding door was open, which is odd because he usually runs outside to do his "business". Perhaps it was due to an upset stomach and he could not control his poop at that time.
- He also began licking/eating his poop. I know this is normal puppy behavior and was curious about everyone else's experience regarding this.
- Right now I have not opened up the house for him to have a den area yet. He's usually outside or in his crate. As an adult we wish to give him freedom to roam the house except for the living room and dining room areas (very expensive furniture and other stuff there). Is it okay for me to begin opening up the house to him little by little? How should this be done?

Second Dog:
- We also had the idea of getting a second dog in the next coming months when Sheru is more trained/obedient. It will most likely be a German Shepherd.
- Motive behind this is that not only do we want a second dog because we love dogs but also so Sheru can have some company while we are not home some days. What is everyone's opinion regarding dobermans interacting/living with other dogs?
- I know this is going to be a Herculean effort, but is something my family is ready/planned for.

Though the first couple weeks of being a father have been a little tough, overall I am absolutely in love with Sheru! He has already grown so much in two weeks. Last week I visited my girlfriend's Labrador retriever and was shocked to see how big it was, probably because I'm used to seeing my puppy. It's crazy that Sheru will probably outgrow my girlfriend's dog soon while now he's only 24 lbs.

Thanks in advance so much for the advice/comments and again so happy to be apart of the Doberman community. All I want for Sheru is to have the best life possible
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 04:17 PM
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I think that you are probably doing a fairly good job with him. Positive reinforcement for getting past the fear stage is important, but you may want to avoid really loud stimuli for a little while if it is really freaking him out. He is just a tiny baby right now and is looking to you for protection. I would look into finding a puppy class for the socialization. Also, add some good books on dog training/puppy raising to your library if you don't have any already. A book I've sent home with all of my puppy families is: How to raise a puppy you can live with by Rutherford and Neil.

I would advise you not to get another dog until this one is raised and trained. You want to make sure he bonds to you and not another dog instead of the humans. A good age to add another dog (and a bitch Not a male) is about 2 years of age.

Mary Jo Ansel

AKC GRCH/UKC CH Fitzmar's Command A Minute CGC "Harvard"
Fitzmar's Victory Hop Devil RN CGC "Jezebel"
Jalyn One Moment Please "Mabel"
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 04:41 PM
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HI! Welcome to DT.

I'm just going to mention a couple of things that stuck out to me...others will probably respond with more info, or I'll be back to fill you in on more details. Ask questions, questions, questions when you have them; it's OK. That's how we learn.

1. Obedience training...right now, just train him in little short sessions, for 5 or 10 minutes at a time. An hour a day spent of FORMAL training is probably more than you need. It would be better to spend some of that time on life skills (see below.)

2. You should supervise him in the yard at all times especially now when he's young, to make sure he doesn't eat anything he shouldn't, get into trouble, etc. That means you really shouldn't be leaving the door open for him to wander out unattended unless he is going into a completely puppy-proofed area (a pen or kennel of some sort). Perhaps later (maybe, it depends on him and how safe the area is outside that he will be in)

It will also make it easier for you to keep him from developing bad habits (eating junk, digging...) if you can catch bad behaviors really early and address them before they become a habit. For right now (this applies to anything inside or out that he does in terms of trouble making--inappropriate chewing, etc.) distracting him is the best way to go. Don't be heavy can just say "no" firmly and then give him something else to do (ie..."here's a better toy for you to play with, something better for you to do").

Supervise him in the house too. He's too young to be left alone unless he is in a puppy-proofed area (crate or xpen). As he gets older, you can use some judgement about his maturity level, but it's likely to be MONTHS, maybe even a year or more, before he's ready to be left free at large and unsupervised. Some dogs actually never get to that point.

3. Go out with him to go potty, preferably on a leash (so you can give him lots of positive feedback when he "performs".) Let him know it is a "business" trip, no play until he's done his job. Pick up poop RIGHT AWAY, so he doesn't have the chance to start eating it. That is a tremendously bad habit for him to develop. You shouldn't consider it "normal" and just wait for it to go away. It won't, so address it every time you see it. Again picking up the poop the minute he produces it is the way to go.

4. It is never too soon to start socializing him and introducing him to new things, but let him go at his own pace. If he wants to stop and look at something, let him. Encourage him mildly to approach stuff he's uncertain about, but don't coddle him Just be matter of fact. Not "poor baby, are you scared? Let me fix it for you" but "Look! Oh, you don't want to go closer right now? OK, let's move on"

Never drag him by the collar or force him to go closer to something than HE is willing to go. Encourage him to walk with you on a leash; don't force him.

Keep your interactions as happy as you can. Give him lots of immediate praise for good behavior, interactive play and encouragement, and maybe a toy or food reward if you really want him to move out and be brave.

He needs to see as many different things as he can...different people dressed and acting in different ways, different sights, sounds, busy places, quiet places, every day.

5. Wait a while before adding a second dog. Ideally you'd like him to be well trained, reasonably well behaved and mature before adding another dog (maybe at about 2 years old). He needs your undivided attention right now. Don't worry about giving him company with another dog. You're what he needs now. Once he fits into your household and knows what behavior you expect from him then you can consider another dog. Don't rush it.

Do NOT EVEN CONSIDER getting another male dog when you do add one to your household. Same sex aggression can be a problem with dobes and all it takes is for one of the dogs to "say something nasty" to the other for a fight to start. It can be totally unexpected even between two dogs who have gotten along for years, and once they decide they don't like each other, they will never be able to be left alone together and may not even get along when you're there.

You cannot train a dog out of same sex can teach him to tolerate other dogs and behave decently around them, but they will all need to be under your control (likely leashed). Whether or not either dog is neutered makes no difference; it will not prevent the aggression from developing; it will not stop the behavior if it has already developed.

Not every dobe is same sex aggressive, but because it is unpredictable whether your dog may develop it, often totally unexpected when it happens, and a real pain to manage once it shows up, it is better just not to even try to keep two male dogs, one of whom is a dobe, in your household.

Again, welcome! You've got an adventure ahead of you...sometimes frustrating, hopefully a lot of times rewarding, but still an adventure into the unknown. Good luck. Stay in touch here; we love updates, shared stories, brags; even complaints and blowing off steam are OK. We get it.

Oh, and pictures are absolutely necessary Keep in touch.
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Last edited by melbrod; 05-15-2019 at 06:47 PM.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 06:26 PM
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Hi Shub... And welcome (also) from the Pacific NW.

Great advice above^^^

Mel and Fitz have tossed out some very good thoughts from very good experience.

So yes:

Wait until there is reasonable distance between ages before getting another puppy. 2-3 years is ideal from my POV. Please research "Littermate Syndrome".

Make your next pup of the opposite sex. Please research "Same Sex Aggression in Dobermans". It is real. Should SSA rear its ugly head, dealing with it can be arduous at
best. Been there.

Dobe pups are challenging little buggers. Be patient, be firm, be positive...

Portland OR
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 07:14 PM
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Welcome from Costa Rica! Of course, we need some pics of your pup!

I also agree strongly to wait to get a second dog, maybe when he is 2 yrs or so.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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HELLO ALL! So sorry for the late response; thank you all for the wonderful advise, I truly will take everything in account.
So glad to see how responsive and caring the doberman community is

- Sheru is now 14 wks 25 lbs now! wow!
- Currently still on Royal Canine but the plan is to transition him into raw meat/veggies at age 17/18, any advise?
- Very very scared of other dogs.. trying to find the balance between socializing him in which he becomes adept to it but not scarring him for life!
- Also he does not enjoy walks at all! Always pulling backwards when we are going home. Any advise with this? We go on walks everyday.
- Overall, not showing the typical "confident" doberman personality. Kind of surprising to me, but maybe with time and socialization he will get more confident and doberman-like. After all, he's just a baby

YES! The puppy life is filled with ups and downs. But knowing that with hard work and patience he will be an awesome dog its comforting knowing that there is light at the end of this tunnel.

Thanks all See some pictures of our little lion Sheru

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