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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Need help ASAP

My 6-year-old daughter has been great with Shavo. He's 10 months old now and he's been doing fantastic too! Great with training and very obedient.

My 6-year-old has been told not to hit him, but there have been a few times where she's smacked him lightly to stop him from nipping when he gets too playful with her. He's been fine every time, just stopped playing rough. Today however she decided to hit him with a metal piece of a hose for whatever reason and hurt him. Now anytime he sees her he goes absolutely nuts, barking and growling and lunging at her.

We've been keeping them separated because he won't calm down if he can see her. I have no idea what to do at this point, aside from keeping them separate. We obviously can't keep them separate forever though and I'm afraid he will attack her.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 07:42 PM
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Your daughter should not be tasked with disciplining your dog for playing too rough, she should have never been left alone with him and you should have been closely monitoring their interactions and been ready to step in immediately for rough play or naughty behavior. Without knowing the exact situation that happened between them I can’t say for sure why your dog is acting the way he is towards her but I would venture to say that he sees your daughter as an unstable human that inflicts pain on him and that she can’t be trusted. Therefore he is saying don’t come near me because I don’t know what you are going to do to me. He needs to learn how to trust her again, he needs to be on leash whenever they are any where around each other, you need to remain calm and make sure she remains calm. I’m not going to give any more advice then that because I think you have a potential for a very bad situation, there are people here that are better qualified than I am to provide advice and I don’t want to lead you down the wrong path.

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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She was never tasked with disciplining him, we have told her and corrected her for hitting him.

Shavo was outside and she went out to play with him and she said she accidentally hit him with the hose. We always closely monitor both of them, I stepped away for a few minutes to use the restroom.

She is really scared of him now, which I understand, but I also understand why he's attacking like this because he is also scared and untrusting of her.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 08:07 PM
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I also agree with tethering. You now have 2 "critters" in need of training.

I cannot offer any real advice here. While our boys have aways been around kids including infants and toddlers, supervision was alway quite strict until we were sure of their relationships and even then, always a watchful eye.

We've never had a child hit a dog or a dog snap/lunge or even growl at a child hence my inability to make any suggestions other than to keep them both under your control at all times.

I am sure that there are folks here, who have either had experience with this kind of thing or are familiar with what a behaviorist could accomplish.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 08:14 PM
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This is why breeders won't sell a Doberman to a family with small children.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunni_honey_buns View Post

Shavo was outside and she went out to play with him and she said she accidentally hit him with the hose. We always closely monitor both of them, I stepped away for a few minutes to use the restroom.
You cannot ALWAYS closely monitor them, and leave them alone together while you use the bathroom. Please understand that it is never okay to leave a small child alone with a dog, this is a recipe for disaster. Children of that age do not know right from wrong, children are incapable of seeing warning sign from an agitated dog. This is why they get bit, it is not the childís fault or the dogs fault....it is the adults fault.

I was bitten in the face by my grandmothers dog when I was 3, she was standing 2 feet from us and I went to hug him she missed the low growl he gave and I as a child did not understand. I almost lost an eye and almost died from a nasty infection. Iím not trying to attack you, Iím trying to make you understand the possibility of a dangerous situation.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 09:38 PM
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I had a lot to say about this post but to prevent being kicked off of the forum I'll digress.

You can try to bring in a animal behaviorist to remedy this situation, they aren't cheap but they are worth every penny. I'll be honest your daughter probably scarred this poor unfortunate dog for life, forever to be in a home without children around. I'm not blaming your baby girl by any means, I blame you, you failed both of them.

A 6 year old should NEVER be allowed to give a dog discipline. On top of this, a dog should NEVER be smacked or kicked, that's not how you properly discipline...ANYTHING. Not sure if I'm sadder that she felt she had to discipline the dog or the fact that she learned somewhere that her actions were ok. These situations are how children end up getting killed. Hopefully these small wounds will heal and you're grateful that something more tragic didn't occur. Hopefully everything can be remedied and the dog doesn't end up losing it's life.

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 10:15 PM
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I will take a bit of a different view here. I would say that probably 1/2 of my puppies have gone to homes with young kids - my own kids were raised with Dobermans. While you obviously need to supervise your kids, sh*t happens. If you are telling the whole truth about what happened, then I'm pretty concerned about the temperament of your 10 month old Doberman if he is now trying to attack a member of the family he has been raised with. This is NOT normal behavior for a family dog even if he did get smacked by a 6 year old. Are you sure that he was not seriously injured and in pain? It is the only thing I can think of that *might* explain the dogs behavior. I'd talk to your vet and then for sure look for a reputable behaviorist.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 10:22 PM
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I agree with Fitzmar...there has to be more going on here. Either the puppy is unstable, injured more severely than you think, or there's a lot more to this story for him to be acting this way. Or, you missed a LOT of warning signs earlier than he's been showing discomfort with her. I'd have him evaluated by a vet (for pain), and if nothing is physically wrong, you need a really good trainer in house.


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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 10:50 PM
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I don't have nearly as much experience as most of the people of this forum. However, my 2 cents, when my husband wanted a doberman I researched the breed. Doberman's are very capable but not an aggressive dog breed. I agree with the vet and behaviorists comments, however, if those don't work out you need to rehome the dog, to a family with no children. If the story is correct the dog seems to be really acting out of the norms of what you would expect from Doberman. My dog (at the same age), (even hurt, vet drawing blood from the juggler or scared 8 year old nephew screaming around the house) will avoid but never lash out. Please, keep re homing in mind if the vet and behaviorist don't work out. Sometimes it's for the best. My dog is a rescue and as painful as it may be, there are good homes out there. For your daughter's safety and your dog's safety.

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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He was hurt, I never said he wasn't. The vet said he's fine and nothing was severely injured, but he was basically bruised. He has NEVER ONCE shown any sign of aggression, never growled at her, never barred his teeth at her or anything like that. We've had him since October 2018 and he's been nothing but sweet. He is well socialized and loves people and children. He is also extremely obedient and listens very well. This is why I believed it would be fine to leave him alone with her for a few minutes. Don't act so high and mighty like you are the perfect person who never left a dog alone.

My child has NEVER ONCE been told it is ok to hit him to correct his behavior, and we have been working with her since we got him to make sure she KNOWS it's not ok to hit him ever. She's also only 6 years old and pushes him away often when he gets too wild and has lightly slapped his butt. WE DO NOT hit him to correct his behavior, we never have and never will, because it doesn't work and only causes aggression. No one has EVER hit this dog in my home. My mother in law corrects her small dog by smacking his butt, and this is where she learned this behavior.

Thank you for the completely useless 2 cents that some of you threw into the pot, and thank you to the ones who actually provided advice. He's currently in his kennel for the night sleeping, after my 6-year-old gave him a few frozen berries through the cage. It seems he has calmed down a bit, and we will see what happens tomorrow. I also have a behaviorist coming out tomorrow to see what can be done.

Also, I would NEVER have him put down, he would be rehomed if absolutely necessary. Having a dog put down for being scared is not the answer and was never an option in my book.
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 02:09 AM
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Ok...
Let's take a step back.

Kids and dogs need really serious supervision until one is absolutely sure of the relationship that has developed between the child and the dog.

I grew up with a very aggressive American Eskimo. We had strict rules about interaction with this dog. No problems ever came up.

When my son was born, we had 2 males and a female. We were in a "crate and rotate" situation. (SSA) That was 36 years ago. With constant supervision and love, even with the difficult living arrangement, my son be came a life long lover and owner of Dobermans.

The same son has a Doberman and 2 sons. The youngest is too young to understand, but he will. The dogs treat him with respect and deference. The other is pushing 3 yo. I can already tell that he will be just like Noah (my son) and fall in love with this breed....

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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 02:14 AM
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BHB...

You need to relax and reflect.

No one is accusing you. They are just offering advice.

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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 05:23 AM
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Sorry this has happened to you.....I reviewed some of your posts from November of last year......looked at his puppy PIC again.......what a great looking pup. Ears as straight as an arrow ....nice.
Through this forum I have read so many posts about situations like this ...........sorry this has happened to you.
Wondering about something that might link to this .........last year you mentioned starting the pup in protection training classes ........What level is he at now in training? Still doing the basics sit down stay stuff or is he into something more specialized...............would like to see updated pics of your pup now.......you will work through this ............I am certain of it..........you have to go back to the very beginning .....tether the pup to your hip..............you know the routine ..........watch all of them like a hawk. Wishing you the best ......now send us PICís ......you have friends here......

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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 09:34 AM
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First of all thank you for contacting a behaviorist, this is the best way to figure out exactly what is going on and try to get it under control.

I understand that you are extremely stressed right now, anyone would be, but since it is a new day and you've hopefully been able to get some sleep, take a step back and reread some of the advice that was given to you. No on here is judging you, everyone has made mistakes, that's how you learn and gain experience. People are genuinely trying to help you.

I've reread all of the posts and want to touch on a few things. First, as a few people said this is abnormal behavior for a doberman, you said he was completely fine up until this point and now he is not. Either, you missed some of the early warning signs, you weren't around for some of the warning signs or he has a temperament issue going on. When your child lightly smacked him in the past for playing too rough, you said he was fine...what did he do? Did he keep playing with her but calmed down a bit or did he stop playing with her all together? If he walked away from her it could be that he was uncomfortable with her behavior and wanted to avoid it. I know you've said you monitor them all the time but you also were not around during this incident, were there other times you left them alone for a few minutes? If so, maybe there were other instances of her causing him pain that led up to the his severe reaction this time. Once again it is not normal for a family dog to turn on a child out of nowhere.

When a dog bites a child or anyone for that matter, you often hear, "I can't believe he did that, he's always been great with the kids, never showed any signs etc..." This is usually not the case, but rather all the early warning signs were there, just went undetected. They can be so subtly and if your not specifically looking for them it's really easy to miss. It doesn't have to be a growl or a bark, it could be getting up and walking away, a lick of the lips, a yawn.

Also, no one suggested you put your dog down, they suggested taking him to a vet (which you did) and calling a behaviorist (which you did).
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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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In the past when she has lightly smacked him, he has never walked away from her. He just calms down and keeps playing with her. His other temperament issues were with another dog we have, and they get along fine now. There was a longish adjustment period for both of them to get to know each other and there have been no issues for months. He still plays rough with her, and she still gets annoyed but the other dog will walk away from him and he lets her.
We haven't started him in any type of protective training yet, because unfortunately with medical school I haven't had any time. He's done the basic training and got him good canine certification through the AKC, but that's as far as he's gone so far.
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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 08:29 PM
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Well... It is wonderful that you jumped right on this problem and seem determined to correct it.

I have a feeling that with help, this will work out. You may have to push the restart button and go back to square one with respect to your daughter and Shavo's interactions and ultimate relationship.

JMO
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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 10:23 PM
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One more thing to keep an eye on with him...he's likely right smack dab in the middle of teenage-hood. You can get some behavior changes then as he figures out how those hormones impact his status and relationships with the various members of your family. Usually those settle back down again as he hits 14 months or so, if he's had a good foundation in proper social behavior 101. But he may come up with new and unexpected facets to his personality as he matures.
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Last edited by melbrod; 06-19-2019 at 01:02 PM.
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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 10:15 AM
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Any updates on Shavo and your daughter?
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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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He's calmed down a ton, no longer lunging at her when he sees her but still barks if she gets close. We are waiting for a behaviorist that will be able to help us with him. She has been able to feed him treats and give him a toy but he won't allow her to pet him. She's very upset about it and feels bad, but she doesn't understand why he's 'mad' at her. She's been going to bed crying because he normally sleeps with her and loves to cuddle. I feel so bad and just want them to get along again and we'll do anything it takes to fix this.
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post #21 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 08:13 AM
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Hang in there, it may take some time but hope it goes well!
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post #22 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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My 6-year-old was able to pet Shavo today, and he even gave her licks. He's ok with her if he isn't alone with her. I finally found a behaviorist that is willing and able to work with us, we are going to start on Wednesday doing 8 2 hour sessions. Also we took him to the dog park today, and he was fine with the other children that were there, and was able to play with them after giving them a good sniff.
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post #23 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 09:50 PM
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That would be an excellent thread for you to start .....lay out the problem and let us follow along with behavoristís instructions.
I would find that interesting ....the steps you take to get past this ......just a thought........glad things are improving. That must be of some relief.

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post #24 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunni_honey_buns View Post
My 6-year-old was able to pet Shavo today, and he even gave her licks. He's ok with her if he isn't alone with her. I finally found a behaviorist that is willing and able to work with us, we are going to start on Wednesday doing 8 2 hour sessions. Also we took him to the dog park today, and he was fine with the other children that were there, and was able to play with them after giving them a good sniff.
I'd suggest not taking your dog to dog parks. They can develop bad behaviors, pick up diseases and get into dog fights and everyone blames the Doberman.
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post #25 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 07:06 PM
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Yeah.... What GR said^^^^. Too many clueless owners (and parents) at leash free parks. If a Dobe gets into an issue with another dog or, heaven forbid a child, as GR said... Guess who gets blamed?

In addition many Dobermans do not do well in an uncontrolled mob of dogs. Many play way too rough and tumble for the average park dog, leading to altercations.

John
Portland OR
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