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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Puppy Bonding! Help!

Hi all! I recently got my first Doberman puppy! We love him! However he is incredibly independent, would rather go and lay by himself in his kennel and honestly not once has come and cuddled with me or my husband. We have had him for 4 weeks now. I train him, feed him, play with him and he's pretty meh about all of us. Is there anything I can do to bond with him a little more?

Pictures of little man attached, His name is Kaiser!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 08:19 PM
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Beautiful Pup AyeSammi.

Our 2nd girl Amy bonded immediately, but she was bullied by an aggressive runt litter mate.
- he was happy, to be on our lap, watching TV at night...on the leather couch
- with us, she didn't have to worry about getting her tail and ears bit
- she never left our side, or failed to have her eyes glued on a family member

Our current 3rd girl Kelly - was aggressive / independent / and dominating...at 10 weeks old.
- she was a spitfire, with insane Prey drive...to a quick red zone
- with her litter-mates, she had to fight bigger brothers...for her food

^^ So rearing environment of puppies...makes them all different / but not all is lost.

BONDING - our pups get touched, petted, ear & neck runs & trained soft bite with muzzle control, etc.
- and our girls, get talked to all the time, like a human child

Our daytime dog bed for naps, is our leather sectional, 2 feet from Dads computer station.
- we are a crate free home here // 24/7 supervision works well here
- if your using a crate, night time the crate should be right beside an adult side of the master bed
- but our puppy's sleep between Mom & Dad, in the master bed
- Dad will soft rub fur-baby under her tail &/or give her belly rubs...while we both fall asleep

This spitfire of a dog, is now totally bonded between Mom sharing couch time watching TV at night.
And fully bonded with Dad, Kelly will always need to be outside when dad goes on the porch.
- our property faces a busy Hwy, but out bond is so strong now...she is always off-leash
- and sticks to dad, like glue...even when I take her closer to the roadside while taking out weekly garbage
- I command her to stay back 15 feet, while I turn my back and head to the curb
- heading back, she is excited to wait for me...and gets excited to feel my loving hand, patting her

Never let a pup, distance itself from its new Master - they have to follow their Leader...in Life.
- bring it in close and sometimes play and comfort it ... frequently, planting any form of Love &/or Attention

------------Kelly & (Amy - RIP @ 11.7 y/o)

Last edited by Beaumont67; 06-02-2020 at 08:28 PM.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-04-2020, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AyeSammi View Post
Hi all! I recently got my first Doberman puppy! We love him! However he is incredibly independent, would rather go and lay by himself in his kennel and honestly not once has come and cuddled with me or my husband. We have had him for 4 weeks now. I train him, feed him, play with him and he's pretty meh about all of us. Is there anything I can do to bond with him a little more?

Pictures of little man attached, His name is Kaiser!
Welcome!

Every puppy has their own personality, and it hasn't been that long. Be patient with him.

What kind of training do you do? Do you use a lot of high value treats to make it fun for him? Do you keep it short and leave him wanting more? With puppies, I try to keep training sessions to about 5-10 minutes, and really fun, so they always end on a good note. I want my puppies to really, really love training. It's always fun fun fun, with lots of really high value treats. Boiled chicken, fish treats, grilled steak...I figure out what makes them SO excited to work with me. I make sure we end before they are bored, or don't want to work anymore so they always want to keep engaging with me.

Play time...dogs have different play styles, too. Some like to chase toys, some like wrestling, some like to play with a ball...it can take a while to figure out what your puppy enjoys. If he's not into roughhousing and you're playing a rough, push you around game, he might find it to be too much. Try different things, and see what he enjoys.

You might set up an x-pen, and just sit in there with him, while he enjoys a high value chew - a stuffed Kong, a bully stick. Let him associate the really good stuff with being with you.

You may be a person that wants dogs on the furniture, or not. If you are, wait until he's sleeping, and bring him up to just be up there with you and have a nap. He may not be a dog that wants to be RIGHT on top of you. That's okay. It may come with time, it may not.

You can also do a little bit of hand feeding, too. Take a tiny bit of his meal, and just feed it to him out of your hand, a few kibbles at a time. It creates a good association, and you can use it for training.

I would still provide his crate to him, and allow him to choose to be there when he wants. A safe space for dogs to relax is a GOOD thing, and crate skills are very, very valuable for dogs.

Don't stress about it. Bonding will come.


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Richter & Sypha
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-05-2020, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Well I do train with him, I use high value stuff, boiled chicken, tripe, etc. However his food drive really isn't that high, he's pretty meh about his food so training is usually only about 5 minutes because he isn't wanting to work super hard for the food. I talked to my breeder and she said to cut back on his food a little, that he needs to want to work for it instead of it being constantly available.

I'm really the only one that plays with him, my other dogs have no interest in him, so I play fetch and I roughhouse with him or I'll chase him in the yard.

I do pick him up and put him with me on the bed or couch but he always just goes to the other end and looks like an upset girlfriend or something haha.

I do handfeed him, I hold his bowl while he eats, but I do that to make sure we never have issues with food aggression.

And he does have a crate, we've already been crate training him so he doesn't stress so much when I am at work.

I just feel his is incredibly independent and happy to want to be around everyone. I have fostered Dobermans in the past and they all immediately latched to me and only wanted to be around me. I guess I was just expecting that same reaction especially since we got him as a baby.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-06-2020, 07:13 AM
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Nice looking pup you got there !
Maybe needs more time to build confidence.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-06-2020, 08:44 AM
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Some dogs are just more independent, too. I'd just keep doing what you're doing. He sounds well adjusted, and you are doing things right with him. They'll all be who they are. Trying to force it too much will probably backfire.


DSC_0133
by Shanoa Delta, on Flickr

Richter & Sypha
Glengate's Mountain Fortress CAA ORT L1E L1C NW2 L2V L2I ACT1 RATI SOG WAC
& Sirai's Golden Masquerade ORT L1V L1E L2C L2I NW2 RATI SOG DOG TKN WAC
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you.
What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
― Jane Goodall
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