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Hey, our 11 week old dobe bites at our feet/ankles constantly. How would you suggest discipling him on this(no!, spanking! ) we want to do what's right in curing this problem and will he grow out of this. For a short time when you first start playing with him or just start to walk him he's fine but not long after he starts his biting and snapping at you like you telling him no furiates him. Please suggest ways to help us. Thanks.
 

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How are you playing with him? If you are using your hands to play with him, first thing is to stop doing that. Use toys instead. Yes it is normal for a Doberman puppy to do this.

What I do when it happens is to shriek loudly like it really hurts(which it usually does). This usually has the effect of startling the puppy into letting go, even if only for an instant. In that instant give him an appropriate toy, then praise him.

If that doesn't work you can also try turning your back on him and ignoring him when he does that. The shrieking resembles what a litter mate would do and it has such good startle value that it's the first thing I try.
 

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I would just say "OUCH" Real loud when he does this...It is normal for a puppy to be nippy, jumpy, and mouthy...just let him know that it hurts you by saying ouch. Also I when I encounter a puppy that is constantly going after hands and stuff I try not to pull my hands away so much...in my opinion the puppy might think you are playing with him...so I will keep my hands and whatever very still and say ouch until he calms down.
Also keep his mouth busy by giving him bones to chew on...you can either let the puppy chew the bone by or away from you on it's own...or if you still want the puppy very close to you...you can hold on to the bone for the puppy...:)
Since this time is so important when it comes to teaching manners and mouthy behavior is a natural puppy thing it is important to encourage good behavior all the time. Also stay calm and never physically harm the puppy..
make sure the puppy is getting enough exercise and always have treats on you so that you can reward the puppy when its calm or did something good.

Another good thing to teach a puppy is "settle". when the puppy is jumpy and mouthy, you can roll the puppy onto it's side gently holding his head and butt down. once he settles down you can start saying "good settle" and as long as he is completely still you can start petting him. then for him to get up you can say "Break" and give him a treat if the behavior is still calm.

but remember to try to resist yourself from pulling your hands away from the pup b.c then it turns into like a game and might make them want to try to get your hands more. Just say "Ouch" and provide bones, kongs, give treats when calm, and try to raise him to be as calm as you can :)
 

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Like micdobe said a loud scream or squeal like a hurt dog should get the attention and make him let go, then turn the attention away with a toy or a treat.
 

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What if the problem is not that the puppy is grabbing hold of hands and clothing, but pretty much just touching your hands with its teeth. Hard to explain I guess. My neighbours 7 month old puppy loves to play with his mouth wide open. He knows not to bite with any force so he's really just hitting your hand with his teeth or lightly nipping on clothing?

The kids love to chase or play wrestle and the dog uses its mouth, while its pretty gentle, teeth on skin or knocking into a knuckle can still be somewhat painful, especially to children.

So are you saying to scream bloody murder every time there's contact? Should we be discouraging any sort of wrestling with the dog?

Hopefully this is still in the realm of the original question,
Thanks.
 

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Dobedad said:
The kids love to chase or play wrestle and the dog uses its mouth, while its pretty gentle, teeth on skin or knocking into a knuckle can still be somewhat painful, especially to children.

So are you saying to scream bloody murder every time there's contact? Should we be discouraging any sort of wrestling with the dog?
I think there are far more constructive ways to play with a dog...like "ball", etc. Letting a dog chase or wrestle with children (especially small children) seems like it could turn into a tragedy really easily if that dog's prey drive kicks in, I wouldn't be encouraging it.
 

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Murreydobe said:
I think there are far more constructive ways to play with a dog...like "ball", etc. Letting a dog chase or wrestle with children (especially small children) seems like it could turn into a tragedy really easily if that dog's prey drive kicks in, I wouldn't be encouraging it.

Yes i totally agree here. Almost like an accident waiting to happen kinda thing. Ball and our dobe loves a frisbee(sp). Good Luck!
 

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Kilo,
Chi was a monster at 11 weeks - she had no concept of personal space and it seemed like biting any/everything was her ambition in life :) Shrieking to get her to stop and her attention and then redirecting her to an appropriate chew toy worked very well for us. I also found that the more excited she got, the worse the biting got; so, I tried to keep play pretty low key when she was nutty. Walking helps with this but since your pup doesn't have all of her shots yet, I would be hesitant to take her on walks but you can put her leash on and walk her around your house and yard to wear her out a bit before you play.
As far as being mouthy in play but not biting - it sounds like that pup has a good concept of bite inhibition. Back in the day, I remember the golden rule was no teeth, not ever, ever, ever - dogs don't make mistakes in the wild with their teeth (the consequence could be death) and therefore shouldn't be allowed to use their teeth in human play. My idea on that has altered a bit over time but not a whole lot. I agree that there are much better ways for kids to play with dogs than wrestling and rough housing.
 

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I think the folks above have it right, tho when it comes to dobes, I believe there should be no teeth ever. even tho the dog may have a soft mouth, if there is an accident and teeth hit and breaks skin (even if the dog got smacked in the mouth as opposed to him biting) you can have a huge problem on your hands. Especially if it happens with a friend/neighbor's kid and they don't know dogs. Dobes have such a bad reputation, I think it is better to be safe than sorry.

cc
 

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Thanks for the responses...to clarify, my question was regarding my neighbours dog which is a miniature austrailian shepherd. I don't allow kids to wrestle with my dobe for the obvious reasons! I do enjoy a little rough play with her though and she's good about using her mouth.

Hopefully we can eliminate the mouthing on the aussie through the above advice.
 

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Be even more insistant that the Aussie not mouth. Virtually all of the herding breeds are bad about mouthing and unless you work at making sure that they keep their mouths to themselves they tend to be mouthers and nippers all of their lives. It's kind of hard wired into them as part of their built in herding drives.

But having had an Aussie who was taught that the rule was no mouthing/no nipping allowed from the time I walked away from the breeders house with him I know that it can be successfully done.

I don't think kids should be allowed to play wrestling and rough housing type games with any dog--it's just not a great idea. Balls, frizbees, anything that you can throw and they can chase and retreive are great--too many possibilities for accidents with kids wrestling with dogs.
 

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DD, you're not alone. My dog mouths a lot, but since it's around teething age it's to be expected. We've been doing the bite inhibition since we got him about a month ago, and honestly he's really good about it unless he gets hyper (which he does by himself, just naturally happens as his chewing on a toy progresses). If he ever gets too rowdy and out of control, we let him cool off in his crate for a few. Hopefully it works ^^;.
 
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