Peeing....from fear? - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2020, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Peeing....from fear?

Ok, so Mace just turned 5 months on Sunday (the 26th). We got him just over a month ago, a couple days before he turned 4 months. In that time, he has almost doubled his weight (from 23lbs to 45lbs- far more normal), he is happily using his crate, he goes to the back door to let us know he needs to go outside, he sits nicely to have his ears posted, and he has been overall a good citizen .

HOWEVER (and yes, I know he is still a baby) when we try to work on commands (sit, down, back, settle, come), he gets super avoidant (he runs away, typically) and sometimes pees a little. We have never hit or 'punished' him, and we don't yell at him (we call his name outside, or say things like "Mace, come!" when he's further away, but not yelling because we are upset or being aggressive).

Our first dobie is a girl, and she was SO easy to train, but we also got her at 10 weeks, and were the only family to have her. So! What do you think? He doesn't seem 'afraid' when we are doing commands, and I typically set it up so that his food is ready to go (so he is motivated to work) and I have treats in hand, and he will actually just walk away and go lay down. If I push the issue at all, he pees a little. I've read that I shouldn't let him not obey (especially commands like "come") but I also don't want to drag him across the room. He seems MUCH more stubborn than our girl, and it took a long time for him to go along with the command to crate, and only because we never gave him another option (we herded him to the crate, and blocked the other bed options). He also obeys now at night to go out one last time before bed, and that took a long time to train as well, he would just lay where he was and refuse to get up (he typically falls asleep at our feet around 8pm, and we put him in his crate at 9:30 when our kids go to bed, so we have him get up and go outside for one last potty run, then he (now) goes directly into his crate for bedtime).

Do you guys think he is afraid? I really don't want to traumatize him, but he also needs to learn commands, especially 'come' when we are out off-leash (we go on nature walks, and haven't taken him yet because I don't think he will listen). Is there something I can do to help him? Or should I continue to push the issue with him? It seems like the only commands we have gotten him to obey are ones that we don't give him any options but to obey, if that makes sense. He get's lots of praise and cuddles, as well as treats when his behavior is good, but he seems very resistant to practicing commands.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2020, 09:44 PM
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I'm going to try to say this super nicely, and sometimes things come across poorly in text, but it doesn't sound like he's had the most "fun" training experience so far? Everything he's done has been "forced"...?

He may be more sensitive...a lot of boys are more sensitive than the girls, and he may be a particularly sensitive pup. With the previous experiences, he may be a bit "gun shy" about learning.

Can you tell us more about your training methods? With pups, I like to make everything super fun, and super short. I love clickers for puppies, because it really teaches them what's "right" and that a reward is coming. And I honestly would never expect a recall (come) on a puppy this young...not ever. It's a long process to teach reliable recall, and actually, anything "reliable" on a 5 month old...just, nope At this age, you're laying a foundation for what they are learning, and you're teaching them HOW to learn, and that learning and working with you is fun!

With a pup that age, I wouldn't have him off-leash - he'd be on a long line and we'd be working on recall and sticking close. Of course you want to have fun and "do" stuff, but you have to keep in mind that he's really still a baby. You can't expect adult behavior yet and there's a lot of work that goes into building the behaviors you want. My dogs get a LOT LOT LOT of treats as puppies - I'm rewarding stuff constantly, because I'm seeking out things that I like and want them to keep doing. It's kind of a dance, almost, building that relationship. You want a dog that WANTS to figure out what you want.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2020, 10:04 AM
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Meadowcat pretty much read my mind and asked the same questions I would ask.

I don't know who the breeder is but if the puppy wasn't stressed by the breeder through ENS this might be how he deals with stress? That's only a guess. I think your puppy is a mix of being a bit afraid and confused and he's a growing boy and sometimes the puppy outgrows that bladder for a bit and they lose some control.

Have you been taught how to properly train puppies and has it been in the last 5 years? I'm asking because I taught all of my dogs obedience and I used to use similar methods as you. I've now changed that philosophy about 180 degrees. I agree with Meadowcat. a 5mo. puppy shouldn't be off leash or expected to be.

Here's my advice for what's it's worth:

-We can only go off of your post but it sounds like you aren't a fun person to train with and your puppy doesn't think you're a fun person which isn't good. I'm not dissing you because I used to be that not fun person and most people here who have known me from the beginning can attest to that. But now, when my puppies come out of the crate they get a semi-high pitched voice with kisses and they are so happy to see me, yay! After they go out to potty they want to come back in because I have a VERY high value super fun toy that they see when I call their name (they NEVER get this toy any other time except when they're playing with me). Then the playing begins. I'm on the floor very very gently tugging back and forth with them but I always let them win(the tugging is gentle because they are teething and you NEVER want them to feel pain while playing with you). We are playing around, they're jumping on me, I'm making weird noises and they are having the BEST time. I. AM. THE. BEST. PLAYMATE. THEY. COULD. EVER. FIND! And I even have other dogs! This playing last for a few minutes. Then we work. I don't necessarily lure my puppies but we don't have the time here to go over behavior modification so I would encourage you to lure. I spend 5min. tops training and I do that about 3x a day. behavior, treat, behavior, treat, behavior treat.... When we are done training I "release" the puppy with my release word and then we start playing again. as the puppy matures I start using less treats, the reward is they get to play with me. If they finally catch onto something sometimes instead of a treat reward they get a playing with me reward. YOu will quickly begin to see the drive for playing is much stronger than the drive for the treat.

-There's another trick. Training isn't always filled with the puppy learning the behavior. Sometimes you hit a road block, the puppy just isn't getting it. You're a bit frustrated, the puppy is frustrated.... that's ok. go back to something the puppy does know, repeat it a few times, praise the puppy up and then end the session on a high note. If your training sessions always end with you being frustrated and the puppy being frustrated, then you're not only failing at training, you're also failing at building your puppy's confidence.

-I would suggest that you Stop using commands with a 5mo. old puppy until you KNOW he knows the behavior. EVERYTHING should be you luring the puppy into the behavior, then a reward word and a treat. Do that 100x or more and I'm not exaggerating. If you don't feel like a human dog treat pez dispenser then you're doing it wrong. If you don't find treats in your laundry, then you're doing it wrong lol. Once the behavior is solid as a rock, then add the command. Once you add the command then you require the puppy to do what is asked. Still don't START with forcing it, starting by luring it.

-Just an FYI I'm NOT a purely positive trainer. I have e-collars and prong collars and I use them when necessary. I expect my mature dogs to do as they are told and I DO NOT repeat a command. But this is done much later when my dogs are confident and can handle the correction. I've had dobes that would take a correction and stare at me as if daring me for another. My Male will take a correction and still revert back to a bad behavior. My female has NEVER had an e-collar on and I RARELY give her corrections on the prong, I actually can't even raise my voice to her, yes, she's THAT sensitive. The nice thing about her is I don't have too. She WANTS to please and when given a correction she rarely will ever do that behavior again. All dobes are different which means your training will always have to be different, what works with one may not work with another.

-Obviously this is a very summarized synopsis of how to become a better trainer for your puppy but I would suggest finding a trainer who's training somewhat matches this. I've never regretted any training or seminars I've attended, ever.

I do wish you luck.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2020, 10:28 AM
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He may be more sensitive...a lot of boys are more sensitive than the girls ?????????????????????????????

That really hurt my feelings Meadowcat ! Can't believe you said that would hurt us guys like that - I think I'm going over to the barn and have a good cry - Don't want my son ( Mr. B ) to see his dad have a moment !
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2020, 10:58 AM
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Agree with others have said sorry Ecin but boys are just more sensitive than girls. They don't call them bitches for nothing hahaha Seriously I had nothing but girls for 30 years and now have one boy 27 months old and one girl 5 years old. The boy takes lovin to another planet, super cuddly not that my girls were not loving and cuddly however it was more on their terms. Each dog is different and needs a different approach to training. I always found that Dobermans need a softer hand when training vs it's my way or the highway. Use a clicker and up the high value treats for rewarding. take you time
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2020, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input!! It seems I need to clarify!

We don't do any intensive 'training' sessions. It has been over 5 years since we have had a puppy. We do positive behavior training- he gets treats constantly, and I honestly can't ever remember spending this amount of money on treats and toys...it's a whole thing. I only try to get him to follow 'commands' a couple times a day, and it is a super short, couple tries, and always reinforced immediately with treats. I do talk to him with a high-pitched voice, and we (the entire family) play with him, and give him lots of outside play and inside play time with us (my husband, myself, and my kids, an of course, our other dog). We haven't 'forced' him to do anything, with the exception of picking him up to take him out a few times the first week or so we had him when we were first potty training. In reading through the comments, most of what we do with him is 'lure' based, with toys or treats, or just us to play with. We don't play tug games, he is teething, and I don't want to hurt his teeth or his spine, we also don't play 'fetch'. There's lots of sitting on the floor and cuddling and tummy rubbing.

I will say he has an enormous bladder, though he does a fantastic job, and hasn't had an accident in the house in a couple weeks. He goes to our back door to indicate he needs to go, and we praise him and let him out. Same with the crate at night, we tell him good job as he goes out to go potty, he goes quickly and comes right back to the door, and then he walks to his crate, and we 'reinforce' with the word 'crate', he walks in, lays down, gets a treat and rubs and cuddles, then we tuck him in with his blanket and bear, and close the door.

Reading through the comments and thinking through the preceding events before he has one of these pee accidents (he isn't really peeing to go to the bathroom, its like a tablespoon of pee), I am thinking he might be stressed by not understanding what we want, but knowing we want something. He isn't afraid of me, and lays all over me when I am on the floor with him (his favorite way to cuddle is to sit on my legs and stick his nose between my head and neck, like he is giving hugs- he comes over to me often to get quick cuddles and rubs).

My big concern and the reason I posted is that I don't want to cause any more stress (we got him from a home that couldn't care for him, and I have no idea what happened to him there), and we haven't been pushing to really train him formally (like a session that's focused on training), though I did try the food thing were I put his food behind me and with treats asked him to 'sit', and he just wandered off. I shrugged it off, called his name and shook his bowl, so he came right back over for his lunch, and happily ate, and I didn't ask him to do anything else. The times that I have had treats and tried to teach him sit (holding the treat up high so his nose goes up, and his butt goes down) he has done well, and get's treats and praise. When I have tried other words like settle or stay, that tends to be when the little bit of pee happens. I am thinking he doesn't know what I am asking, and gets stressed.

We haven't really gone anywhere (pandemic) with him beyond the vet, and he would still be too young to be off leash anywhere we go. He is off leash in our fenced in backyard (its about an acre of fenced property), though we were initially using the leash to take him to the 'potty area', but he goes there on his own now.

I think my big problem is he is so big (almost the size of our girl!!) and I am not remembering he is actually the baby he is, so I'm surprised when I call his name outside and he doesn't come right over. When we were working on him going into his crate on his own, we would tell him "crate" and have a treat and his bear (his favorite toy), and he would run circles around our couch that's in the middle of the room. We did pick him up and bring him over to the crate because we didn't want to make him more anxious about what we meant. And every time he would go in or we put him in, we would say the word 'crate' and then give him a treat and lots of praise for being in there.

I have been watching Doberman Planet on youtube since everything is closed in terms of training. Would you guys recommend someone/somewhere different?
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2020, 12:59 PM
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Thanks for the input!! It seems I need to clarify!

We don't do any intensive 'training' sessions. It has been over 5 years since we have had a puppy. We do positive behavior training- he gets treats constantly, and I honestly can't ever remember spending this amount of money on treats and toys...it's a whole thing. I only try to get him to follow 'commands' a couple times a day, and it is a super short, couple tries, and always reinforced immediately with treats. I do talk to him with a high-pitched voice, and we (the entire family) play with him, and give him lots of outside play and inside play time with us (my husband, myself, and my kids, an of course, our other dog). We haven't 'forced' him to do anything, with the exception of picking him up to take him out a few times the first week or so we had him when we were first potty training. In reading through the comments, most of what we do with him is 'lure' based, with toys or treats, or just us to play with. We don't play tug games, he is teething, and I don't want to hurt his teeth or his spine, we also don't play 'fetch'. There's lots of sitting on the floor and cuddling and tummy rubbing.

I will say he has an enormous bladder, though he does a fantastic job, and hasn't had an accident in the house in a couple weeks. He goes to our back door to indicate he needs to go, and we praise him and let him out. Same with the crate at night, we tell him good job as he goes out to go potty, he goes quickly and comes right back to the door, and then he walks to his crate, and we 'reinforce' with the word 'crate', he walks in, lays down, gets a treat and rubs and cuddles, then we tuck him in with his blanket and bear, and close the door.

Reading through the comments and thinking through the preceding events before he has one of these pee accidents (he isn't really peeing to go to the bathroom, its like a tablespoon of pee), I am thinking he might be stressed by not understanding what we want, but knowing we want something. He isn't afraid of me, and lays all over me when I am on the floor with him (his favorite way to cuddle is to sit on my legs and stick his nose between my head and neck, like he is giving hugs- he comes over to me often to get quick cuddles and rubs).

My big concern and the reason I posted is that I don't want to cause any more stress (we got him from a home that couldn't care for him, and I have no idea what happened to him there), and we haven't been pushing to really train him formally (like a session that's focused on training), though I did try the food thing were I put his food behind me and with treats asked him to 'sit', and he just wandered off. I shrugged it off, called his name and shook his bowl, so he came right back over for his lunch, and happily ate, and I didn't ask him to do anything else. The times that I have had treats and tried to teach him sit (holding the treat up high so his nose goes up, and his butt goes down) he has done well, and get's treats and praise. When I have tried other words like settle or stay, that tends to be when the little bit of pee happens. I am thinking he doesn't know what I am asking, and gets stressed.

We haven't really gone anywhere (pandemic) with him beyond the vet, and he would still be too young to be off leash anywhere we go. He is off leash in our fenced in backyard (its about an acre of fenced property), though we were initially using the leash to take him to the 'potty area', but he goes there on his own now.

I think my big problem is he is so big (almost the size of our girl!!) and I am not remembering he is actually the baby he is, so I'm surprised when I call his name outside and he doesn't come right over. When we were working on him going into his crate on his own, we would tell him "crate" and have a treat and his bear (his favorite toy), and he would run circles around our couch that's in the middle of the room. We did pick him up and bring him over to the crate because we didn't want to make him more anxious about what we meant. And every time he would go in or we put him in, we would say the word 'crate' and then give him a treat and lots of praise for being in there.

I have been watching Doberman Planet on youtube since everything is closed in terms of training. Would you guys recommend someone/somewhere different?
Super glad to read this post!!

First, it sounds like you've not been doing things "wrong."

Second, I'm NOT a fan of Doberman Planet. The guy that runs that website and channel really portrays himself as an "expert" and the amount of misinformation I find all over the website really turns me off. Again, just my opinion, but...not a site or channel I'd ever use! I feel like he got lucky with choosing a great name and now...yeah. LOL.

If you want a really good youtube trainer, check out Kikopup! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-q...k6bfs3UZuue6IQ

I also posted a lot of links on socializing and training a puppy during the pandemic in another thread - I highly encourage you to read through it: https://www.dobermantalk.com/puppy-c...ns-please.html

There are some free webinars, links to awesome trainers, etc. I think you'd get a lot out of it!

I also know of some training classes offered online. Some are trainers local to me, but since they are virtual, it really doesn't matter that you aren't local. I'd personally recommend getting into a class. It really helps to have a trainer help you learn!

And totally, YES, you forget they are just babies when their bodies start getting big!


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He may be more sensitive...a lot of boys are more sensitive than the girls ?????????????????????????????

That really hurt my feelings Meadowcat ! Can't believe you said that would hurt us guys like that - I think I'm going over to the barn and have a good cry - Don't want my son ( Mr. B ) to see his dad have a moment !
Awwwww--don't cry Kenny--it'll be OK--you and Mr. B can both have cookies...

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2020, 01:33 PM
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One of the things I've learned over a lot of years of Dobermans (all males and yes, I think they are more sensitive than the bitches) is that I don't put a name to a "command" until they are performing the desired response (pick how you do that--luring, click training with the dog offering responses and earning a treat when they accidently happen upon the desired response.)

Recalls are one of the things I don't name until I can get the dog to come to me when called every time. I keep puppies on leash or a long line and I don't use the word come until they actually know what it means. Instead, because I have the physical connection between me and the puppy (the leash or long line) if I want them to come to me I start with their name, clap my hand, run away from them if nothing else works and when they come to me--even if I had to put a little pressure on the leash to start them moving. When they are actively coming toward me call out words of encouragement--Atta boy and stuff like that. Because eventually any dog I have is going to be in performance venues where they need to do recalls I don't attach a formal "Come" to the behavior until they know what I want.

I do the same thing for "heeling" If I walk a dog I've got a couple of words that I use--Heel means the dog at my left, his shoulder next to my left leg. Walk means he can be roughly at my left and a little in front or a little behind as long as he isn't putting pressure on the leash. And "Let's go" As long as he's on the left side he can pretty much do anything he wants--stop and sniff things and except that I don't want him pulling me (or trying to) he can do as he pleases.

You are probably right in thinking the urine dribbling is the kind of thing that happens with really sensitive dogs when they don't know what they are supposed to be doing. Most of them outgrow it. About the only positive thing you can do is to ignore it when it happens.

And big dog puppies grow sooooo fast and get soooo big especially the males it's really easy to forget they are puppies, with puppy brains and expect more from them than you are likely to get at young ages.

For training purposes I do a lot a very short stuff (kitchen training) one of the things I do because the puppies I get are always conformation hopefuls so the default behavior I want is going to be a stand. As opposed to what most puppies learn first--a sit. I will stop a puppy for a minute keep the standing by putting my hand under them just in front of the hind legs with my hand under their chin and say "Stand" and give them a treat--that's about 30 seconds of training but I might do it 5 or 6 times a day. Takes two or three weeks and my puppy usually knows both stand and stay--but none of the behaviors require his attention for more than a minute or two.

You've gotten some really good information about early training in the responses and I think you've already realized some of the things that you've had problems with are mostly to do with the puppy's age.

Also, it's a good thing to always remember that dog's don't generalize well and even when you think you've got a fool proof recall in your yard--until you've practiced a lot of different place with the puppy on leash or long line--expecting an immediate response in a new place doesn't usually happen. More often you get a look of disbelief "I don't know what you mean?" And that means that you need to work in more place doing the same thing until the lightbulb goes off.

Good luck--it just takes more time for the puppy brains to put it together.

dobebug
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2020, 04:01 PM
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Super glad to read this post!!

First, it sounds like you've not been doing things "wrong."

Second, I'm NOT a fan of Doberman Planet. The guy that runs that website and channel really portrays himself as an "expert" and the amount of misinformation I find all over the website really turns me off. Again, just my opinion, but...not a site or channel I'd ever use! I feel like he got lucky with choosing a great name and now...yeah. LOL.

If you want a really good youtube trainer, check out Kikopup! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-q...k6bfs3UZuue6IQ

I also posted a lot of links on socializing and training a puppy during the pandemic in another thread - I highly encourage you to read through it: https://www.dobermantalk.com/puppy-c...ns-please.html

There are some free webinars, links to awesome trainers, etc. I think you'd get a lot out of it!

I also know of some training classes offered online. Some are trainers local to me, but since they are virtual, it really doesn't matter that you aren't local. I'd personally recommend getting into a class. It really helps to have a trainer help you learn!

And totally, YES, you forget they are just babies when their bodies start getting big!
I could go ON about that Doberman Planet guy. I think he's doing a great job since he is on his FIRST Doberman, but it's his FIRST DOBERMAN!!! Some of his advice is pretty good but some is just...…awful and he portrays himself as such the expert on all things Doberman, including the differences between Amer. and Euro. But I just shrug him off because he could be a lot worse lol.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2020, 06:05 PM
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A timely post from Denise Fenzi on training a great recall!

https://denisefenzi.com/2020/05/want...tastic-recall/
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-02-2020, 06:47 AM
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Good morning everybody Because I'm a sensitive guy And don't forget - Guys are from Mars and gals are from Venus - Or is that the other way around ? Anyway -

I think that all of our pups have had them little accidents , As far as ours - I never thought about it being a stress issue . I did go back and reread the OP about this , I have to wonder if it is more a excitement deal going on ? He knows that if he does good - then he will get a treat ! and he is heavily treated too . I know that when working with both of the girls - they tended to have them little accidents more than Kadin has - They would run around - shake there rearends and then it would happen .

Well - That's my 2 cents . LOL

Now time to see if we can plant corn today

Doc
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-02-2020, 02:24 PM
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Good morning everybody Because I'm a sensitive guy And don't forget - Guys are from Mars and gals are from Venus - Or is that the other way around ? Anyway -

I think that all of our pups have had them little accidents , As far as ours - I never thought about it being a stress issue . I did go back and reread the OP about this , I have to wonder if it is more a excitement deal going on ? He knows that if he does good - then he will get a treat ! and he is heavily treated too . I know that when working with both of the girls - they tended to have them little accidents more than Kadin has - They would run around - shake there rearends and then it would happen .

Well - That's my 2 cents . LOL

Now time to see if we can plant corn today

DOC
Hope you are sticking to Indiana for the planting party Kenny--despite the weather guessers who forecast "showers" the rain producers in lovely green Portland, Oregon (you know, the left hand ones) just opened the skies so there will be not corn planting (nor yard work for me) today if this keeps up.

Joey went running with his dad--they'll both be soaked by now. It'll make him sleep well (he's house trained so I don't have to get up in the night--but he's 10 months so that explains a lot.

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