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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I have a 5 month old doberman. He is great with my family and I’ve started taking him to dog parks as well to socialize. I bring him to places that allow dogs such as Lowes, but I’m hearing that he’s becoming too friendly. I want him to be vocal when it comes to knocks on the door. Will he become more protective as he grows? Am I socializing him too much. I don’t want a dog that shows aggression, but I also don’t want a dog that will allow everyone to walk up to us every time we’re out either. Will he gain a more protective nature as he grows?
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What do you mean when you say that you take him to Lowe’s and dog parks to socialize. Are you taking him there to observe people and other dogs? Or to interact with them? Because if he is interacting with other people and dogs. Then he is going to except to interact with anybody he meets no matter your house or out in public.
 

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I took him to Lowes to get a few things after going to a pet shop for him. But people constantly ask to pet him. It sounds like I need to start saying no unfortunately. It doesn’t sound like the dog park is a good idea either.
 

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Read the thread I started about my 7 month olds temperment. It’s kind of the opposite of your situation. Take the socialization out of it. If you keep allowing your dog to self reward by doing meet and greets with every dog and person out in public. You are going to have a hard time with him being remotely obedient around other dogs and people.
You want to be the most interesting person in your dogs life. Not the least interesting. You want people and dogs to be neutral when you are out and about. I try to treat people and dogs out in public as if they were a tree, just another object and keep moving. I mark and reward for attention on me. And we are far enough in training that corrections are levied if she tries to self reward. And not stay at a heel and focusing on me.
 

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Opinions will vary but mine is that I want Beau (my 9 month old boy) to be friendly. Dobermans are a discerning breed from what I have read and what I have heard from the experts - as they grow up they will begin to determine what is acceptable and what is threatening.
I don’t think one can have too much socialization (both exposure and face-to-face). When Beau was 5 months old, lots of people did ask to pet him when we went to Lowe’s each Friday evening and I let them approach him. There were a few people he wasn’t sure of, even then.
These days, very few people even stay on the same side of the street as we are when we walk. At 9 months he looks like a hellhound and already (despite not being mentally mature) he is very aware of people that seem off (and in DC there are a lot of them :ROFLMAO:
That noted, I will decline people’s request to approach or pet him based on his body language (ears, tail, body, mouth) and most people are okay with that.
Post more photos! The puppy phase is far too fast!!
 

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First of all a 5 month old Doberman is still very much a puppy. Personally I don't think you can socialize too much. All of my dogs start out intended for the show ring (conformation and later performance) so I make sure they go lots of places with me and see lots of things, dogs, people, cars, bicycles etc. I do, however, not allow the my dogs to approach and try to play with other dogs on leash. I will let people without dogs who want to pet my dog do so unless I'm getting messages from my dog that they don't like this person--there's usually a reason and I may not know what it is but basically I want polite behavior when my puppies or dogs are on leash and in public.

I've never had a problem with even the friendliest of my dogs alerting to odd noises, people at the door or anything that is unusual when they are adults. My loaner dog, Joey who will turn 2 in July (August?) started to bark at unexpected sounds when he was in the house--and in the last six months he has learned that he only need to bark once to alert me. I then check things out and if it's OK I tell him it is--if it's not I'd probably call the police but that hasn't happened.

If he's outside alone he will bark at people walking in the alley behind the house or if the little dog next door barks he'll bark too.

And yes, Dobes do become more protective as they grow into adults--don't expect it from a puppy that young--I expect the babies to start learning to watch what is going on around them even when they are pretty young. But I don't actually expect much in the line of protection--at five month a lot of people think the hair raising and barking from a puppy is the signs of beginning protection and it's not--it's the notice to all and sundry from the puppy that he's scared and he'll try to make you go away.

dobebug
 

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I agree with Bug. Puppies are...puppies. You shouldn't expect him to be "protective" at this age. If you DON'T socialize and expose him to many people he won't understand what is normal behavior and what isn't, so he won't be able to discern when something is out of the ordinary and worthy of notice and being alert to it. You can certainly elect not to let him interact with every single person - I say no sometimes because my dog is "training" so they learn that every person isn't out there for fun and interaction, but I also want my dogs to know that most people are, in fact, friendly. Both of my dogs were socialized to people. One turned out more aloof, one really enjoys meeting people. It's who they are. Both of them still alert to things that are strange or worrisome.

However, I'd also recommend no dog parks for puppies - it only takes one bad experience to really cause some serious issues with fear based behavior around other dogs, and that is REALLY hard to turn around. I've seen many, many puppies have a bad experience at the dog park. I'd much rather see puppies have one on one play dates with trusted dogs who have good temperaments, have play time in puppy classes, or, if you really must, occasionally go to a really excellent doggie daycare (there are some out there, but they tend to be the exception rather than the rule). I'm always sad to see a puppy at a dog park...they are almost without exception overwhelmed, scared, or overaroused. Or all three.
 

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My 6 year old male is the friendliest and most socialized Doberman that I have ever owned. On leash with my permission he loves to be noticed, petted and fawned over by strangers. He is patient and gentle. He is wonderful with my Grandkids, 2 and 4 years old. He is also completely non-reactive to other dogs.

That being said... If you come to my front door or he detects that you are waking up our 40 stairs you would swear that here is a Hell Hound on the other side. He sounds very loud and aggressive. He will totally let up after I give him verbal approval of his behavior ("Very good boy McCoy") and assure him everything is fine. If I do not intervene, I or am not home, the ruckus continues until he no longer detects the intruder. If someone enters my fenced backyard, he also barks aggressively. If the people are supposed to be there, workers for example, all I have to do is to have him meet them and they can come and go as they please. He will, however, go back on alert if they knock or come to the door.

In addition when my wife or I are walking him and we don't acknowledge an approaching stranger, he acts formal, alert and aloof. Typically, if I don't cede right of way, the other person avoids us. It is strictly due to McCoy's perceived demeanor.

Finally, several years ago, a person very high on drugs climbed up my balcony and tried to break in. This occurred at about 3 am. I did not hear him, but McCoy who sleeps up one floor, came racing down on full alert. He startled the guy and held him at bay until I could grab a shotgun and hold him for the police.

I love my boy's temperament and enjoy the modest amount of security that he brings us and our home. I am fairly confident that his above described behavior is a combination of both a desire by his breeder to produce dogs with this type of temperament and my very persistent and comprehensive attempts to socialize him to our everyday world.

John Lichtwardt
Portland OR
 

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Agree with others - no such thing as being too friendly at 5 months. So important to socialize as much as possible!
 

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I socialize my puppies as much as possible. You don't want your dog to bark at strangers, you want your dog to bark at aggressive strangers. I would not suggest taking to dog parks. Too many dog fights and diseases and ill behaved dogs. Socialize with friends dogs that you know are well mannered with other dogs.

5mo. is a baby. You want them to be friendly. If left intact, he will hit fear stages and mature and grow comfortable in his skin. You won't see his true temperament until he's 2-3 years old. You may start seeing some fear barking around 7-8mo old that's likely when he'll start barking when someone comes to the door.
 

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What do you mean when you say that you take him to Lowe’s and dog parks to socialize. Are you taking him there to observe people and other dogs? Or to interact with them? Because if he is interacting with other people and dogs. Then he is going to except to interact with anybody he meets no matter your house or out in public.
Hey guys,

I have a 5 month old doberman. He is great with my family and I’ve started taking him to dog parks as well to socialize. I bring him to places that allow dogs such as Lowes, but I’m hearing that he’s becoming too friendly. I want him to be vocal when it comes to knocks on the door. Will he become more protective as he grows? Am I socializing him too much. I don’t want a dog that shows aggression, but I also don’t want a dog that will allow everyone to walk up to us every time we’re out either. Will he gain a more protective nature as he grows? View attachment 138824
I have the most friendly doberman of all.......when friends and family heard we got a new puppy,well they all had to stop by to see and pet/play with the dog-my wife thought this was great. Now at 1 yr old she will cry to answer the door to greet strangers with tail wagging looking to play.....try to climb out of open car window to play with every person who walks by the car. But she is a great companion,just will never be much of a watch dog or protector of the family or property. On the bright side,she will never bite anyone.....
 

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I have two grown female Doberman in my neighborhood that walk with their families. Im just not realizing that they never take them to the dog park in our neighborhood. They don’t bark at you but they will stare you down and walk towards you if you approach their owner. Thats the type of dog I want. Id rather tell my dobi to stop barking or relax. During the pandemic I would have to leave my pre teen at home for a hour or two. It would be great to leave him upstairs and have added deterrents aside from security cameras and alarms. Ive seen the biggest people scared of the smallest dogs. I want them to see my 100lb dobi (onlya third of that now) in the yard or through the window and never think twice about approaching my home or family. If they do, I want him to let it be known that he is there and it is not a good idea to approach him. Based on the thread, he will not be a part of any puppy time or dog parks moving forward, and he’ll only be around family and my neighbors when they come over. I’ll probably discourage any petting when in public too.
 

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I have the most friendly doberman of all.......when friends and family heard we got a new puppy,well they all had to stop by to see and pet/play with the dog-my wife thought this was great. Now at 1 yr old she will cry to answer the door to greet strangers with tail wagging looking to play.....try to climb out of open car window to play with every person who walks by the car. But she is a great companion,just will never be much of a watch dog or protector of the family or property. On the bright side,she will never bite anyone.....
Don't count on her never being a watch dog or protector. At a year she's barely an adult. And not all dogs react the sme way to strangers. There is a report that I saw on a long ago Doberman list--and it was a classic--their very friendly Doberman would let anyone in the house if her owners weren't home but as a repair guy found out to his dismay, she wouldn't let them out until the owners came home. He came in a back door deliberately left unlocked for him to come in and check on a pilot light on a water heater. The Dobe came and checked him out--watched him while he was doing that and when he packed up his tools to leave--she rolled her lip back and said "No way..." she backed him into a corner of the kitchen and he finally gave up and sat down and they waited--eventually one of the owner came home and found them and told his bitch to leave the man alone and let him leave. Told the repair guy that he had no idea she'd do that or he'd have crated her.

At a year--your girl can change her attitude a lot--and you may find that if you aren't around she isn't all that friendly.

dobebug
 

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Best way to avoid being suckered into petting sessions with strangers is for you, the human dog owner, to avoid eye contact with the other human.
Boy you can see these people coming ...they start with noticing your dog...then the other human starts trying to have eye contact with you....do not give the eye contact to the other human...keeping walking ...if they start to approach just shake your head no.
Now with visitors that you trust I play the simon says game...while dog is on a lead d ring down loose leash,.......get your human in place ........get your dog in place......then say to human Simon says stand real tall......simon says to human do not lean forward..... simon says to human extend your arm down ...hand and fingers pointed down towards floor in a fist and let dog smell your hand.
This is just an example of a controlled introduction. Many things can be done with this game that keeps things in check and allows you to watch your dogs behavior closely and intervene if necessary.
If not controlled anything can happen because humans are the biggest rule breakers...they ask can I pet your dog...you say sure with no other actions on your part ..and in a split second the humans do crazy stuff ....they lean forward and begin letting your dog lick their face because their dog at home loves to give kisses........or they let little johnny grab the dogs neck to hug your dog because thats what Johnny does at Home with their dog.
I have one friend that knows my rules and thinks they are ridiculous so he is never left alone in a room with my dog.
He wants to feed my dog from his plate when dining with us. He bangs on his chest encourage Hoss to jump up onto his chest.
And wants to wrestle with him inside the house. Nope not gonna happen with my dog.
I have explained to him Hoss cannot do these things not acceptable in my house, but the human continues just to get the hair up on my neck I suspect. But with grandkids just cannot chance a Doberman with bad manners.
 

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I’d would like to clarify my stance on socialization. And not being for “meet and greets” with strangers. My perspective is coming from the view point of wanting a dog that is focused and listens to me out in public.
It does not come from a desire or want of her to be protective.
My last dog was like a golden retriever and wanted to meet everybody. It got quite tiring and annoying when your trying to go somewhere or get something done. And she always wanted to go see what someone was up to and introduce herself.
But it’s a double edge sword at least with having a younger dog. My wife wanted a Doberman so people would stay away. But if we are out and about and our 8 month old is clearly not comfortable with an individual. My wife seems to not like that aspect at least at the stage we are in. It’s tough to have the best of both worlds.
But like I said I do socialize just no contact. I’ve been taking her to Lowe’s or Home Depot a few times a month since she was 3 months old. But now I’ve committed to taking her to Lowe’s when they open at 6am six times a week. And do a 15-30 minute training session.
I know that’s a lot but I want to see what the results will be. With that much focus training out in public.
 

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@Cferg I am in the same-ish boat with my almost 10-month old boy. He is very alert and stares at anyone moving so we are working on engagement and attention every day, indoors and out, both alone and during our sessions with the trainer.

I think a lot of this resolves as the dog gets older (provided training is continued all along) especially since my understanding is that male Dobermans take quite a while to “get their brains”.

If a human comes up to us (rare on the street) 90% of the time Beau will accept greetings but he has shown distaste for a few folks, which is fine by me. I want a happy stable dog who is able to determine threats and appears aloof, which seems to come naturally to a Doberman (from my research).

I think I just need to get through the next 9 months of Doberman adolescence.

You stated it perfectly: I want to see what the results will be with that much focus training out in public. Same here.
 

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Puppy’s at this age can lack self confidence with new things.
Just like human babies each child is different and so are dogs.
I have several granddaughters between 2 years and 5 years old.
Most of the girls are very friendly and outgoing but one of them, the youngest is very hesitant when exposed to new things or people.
But after some time of us allowing her to sit back in the distance and just observe later she becomes more outgoing.
My boy Hoss was the same way at 5 months...heck it was not that long ago your pup was just beginning to explore the new world with littermates.
So even though the pups look bigger now their brains are that of a very young baby.
So much is brand new to them so as we expose them to things its important for us as humans to make each experience a success.
As your pup ages they will adjust to things that they experience over and over again.
It will take 18 to 24 months and all of your training will come together.
One thing I have found with my Hoss is he hates the smell of cigarettes.
My neighbor smokes a lot. As she approaches Hoss he will back away each time.
Even if she is not smoking but the smell is on her he will back away is disgust With his head hung low.....LOL
Neighbor thinks Hoss is afraid of her......but I know its the cigarette smell. To embarrassed to tell her that inFormation.
When Hoss was real young he bumped into a cigarette when I allowed someone to pet him. It was a quick bump but he has remembered that experience from a long time ago. New thought the stupid human would put the cigarette down so low when petting my pup.
That was the beginning of me becoming very selective on who touches my dog.
Watch out for humans....we are bad to the bone !!!! LOL
 

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Puppy’s at this age can lack self confidence with new things.
Just like human babies each child is different and so are dogs.
I have several granddaughters between 2 years and 5 years old.
Most of the girls are very friendly and outgoing but one of them, the youngest is very hesitant when exposed to new things or people.
But after some time of us allowing her to sit back in the distance and just observe later she becomes more outgoing.
My boy Hoss was the same way at 5 months...heck it was not that long ago your pup was just beginning to explore the new world with littermates.
So even though the pups look bigger now their brains are that of a very young baby.
So much is brand new to them so as we expose them to things its important for us as humans to make each experience a success.
As your pup ages they will adjust to things that they experience over and over again.
It will take 18 to 24 months and all of your training will come together.
One thing I have found with my Hoss is he hates the smell of cigarettes.
My neighbor smokes a lot. As she approaches Hoss he will back away each time.
Even if she is not smoking but the smell is on her he will back away is disgust With his head hung low.....LOL
Neighbor thinks Hoss is afraid of her......but I know its the cigarette smell. To embarrassed to tell her that inFormation.
When Hoss was real young he bumped into a cigarette when I allowed someone to pet him. It was a quick bump but he has remembered that experience from a long time ago. New thought the stupid human would put the cigarette down so low when petting my pup.
That was the beginning of me becoming very selective on who touches my dog.
Watch out for humans....we are bad to the bone !!!! LOL
I know what you mean when we are out in town Stassi doesn’t pay much attention to 90% of people but every once in a while. Like this Saturday at Home Depot in the afternoon it was pretty busy. And she was really relaxed my wife was doing her thing shopping. Stassi was in a down actually laying on her side with 3-4 strangers within 10ft. of her. She then noticed this one guy walking towards us. I saw her head and ears perk up. When he got within 6-8 ft. She jumped up and I yanked on her leash and corrected her. But she did get out a big bark. Scared the guy don’t blame him.

Needless to say me and the dog started making our slow journey back to the truck. We probably walked within 3-4ft. of 40 people and she didn’t even look at them. So I don’t know if the guy was staring her down walking towards her or what. It doesn’t matter she doesn’t need to be doing that. But it’s something you are going to probably go through if you are gonna taking a working breed dog out in public.
 

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[/QUOTE]
Hey guys,

I have a 5 month old doberman. He is great with my family and I’ve started taking him to dog parks as well to socialize. I bring him to places that allow dogs such as Lowes, but I’m hearing that he’s becoming too friendly. I want him to be vocal when it comes to knocks on the door. Will he become more protective as he grows? Am I socializing him too much. I don’t want a dog that shows aggression, but I also don’t want a dog that will allow everyone to walk up to us every time we’re out either. Will he gain a more protective nature as he grows? View attachment 138824
Having a too friendly dog is a much better problem than a fearful or aggressive dog. My female Dobe was well socialized but she has always been suspicious and intolerant of strangers and takes a long time to warm to people. She is ok to take out for walks, which we do all the time, but anyone who approaches will know long before they get close that she is not interested in getting petted. I would not take her to Lowes and will only take to Petsmart if I have to. All of my dogs have always sounded the alarm around the house when someone is at the door or around the house. They have all barked and would make anyone think twice about coming inside. The difference was that those dogs would immediately be ok with people once I was ok. My current Dobe will bark at family members and friends she knows well. They ignore her and soon she will ignore them. There are only a handful of people she is happy to see. My other Dobes were a lot friendlier and I liked it that way.
 

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I know what you mean when we are out in town Stassi doesn’t pay much attention to 90% of people but every once in a while. Like this Saturday at Home Depot in the afternoon it was pretty busy. And she was really relaxed my wife was doing her thing shopping. Stassi was in a down actually laying on her side with 3-4 strangers within 10ft. of her. She then noticed this one guy walking towards us. I saw her head and ears perk up. When he got within 6-8 ft. She jumped up and I yanked on her leash and corrected her. But she did get out a big bark. Scared the guy don’t blame him.

Needless to say me and the dog started making our slow journey back to the truck. We probably walked within 3-4ft. of 40 people and she didn’t even look at them. So I don’t know if the guy was staring her down walking towards her or what. It doesn’t matter she doesn’t need to be doing that. But it’s something you are going to probably go through if you are gonna taking a working breed dog out in public.
Yep, that’s the thing about public places anything can happen.
And people do stare down our dogs.
Some humans have a big fear of dogs so In turn the human watch our dogs by staring.

‘My boy Hoss would react to men with dark thick facial hair. Jump up with a woof.....
For some reason it bothered Hoss but he grew out of that reactivity.

Like you had him on a lead and provided guidance.
 
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