Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 8 month old male who is becoming more and more aggressive with the barking when told no or when we do not pay attention to him all the time. He has started nipping at my husband. This is really creating a problem because I will just ignore him and seems to settle down, but with my husband is more vocal with yelling at the dog and kicking at him when he comes over and jumps up on him and does not listen when he tells him to get down. I told him that is just making it worse, but he is not listening to me.
We both work full time and I do spend about 40 minutes every night in the yard playing with him non stop. I also play with him in the house, but after a while I need to stop and take care of things, like dinner, etc...., that is when the dog becomes more aggressive, when you are not paying attention.
Does anyone have any suggestions? and yes he is still intact.
 

· Super Moderator
Hairy Dog RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
Joined
·
31,689 Posts
He's doing this to get your attention. You're going to have to spend more time with him--dobes are not easy to keep in a household if they don't have enough interaction time with their owners--they are needy.

Intactness doesn't really have anything to do with his behavior. Dobes are smart--he's nipping and barking because that works for him. Even though the attention he is getting with this method is negative, in his mind at least you're interacting with him.

So, what do you do?

1. Stop yelling and kicking at him.

2. He needs you to spend more time with him--but that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be outdoor exercise.

Try games which exercise his mind. MMcCown, a member here, makes a few suggestions in this informative post:

"I highly recommend brain games.

These are some of our favorites and we still play them regularly, even at 14 months.

1. Muffin Tin Game: Using a regular muffin tin and several tennis balls or similar sized balls, put a few high-value treats in the muffin tin and place the ball on top. When starting out, just put the treats in the tin without covering them. As the dog begins to understand, ”hide” the treats by putting a ball on top. When he gets the hang of it, place balls on empty spaces or switch up which spots have treats and which don’t. Here’s a video if my description is lacking: Dog Enrichment Made Easy: The Muffin Tin Game

2. Treasure Hunt: Put your dog in a down stay somewhere out of sight. Using some extra odiferous treats, walk around and place them in semi-visible places around the house. Then, release him and say “find it” and walk around with him to help him get started. If he is superfast, consider hiding the treats in more challenging spots or adding more spots for him to find.

3. Hide and Seek. Start out the same as in number 2, then go somewhere out of sight and call your dog. If you are just starting out, keep some of those smelly treats on you to help him find you. Hide in somewhat easy places, like behind a door (not IN the closet, but in the space behind an open door), or around a wall, just out of sight. Be sure not to hide so well you distress the dog. Keep your voice high and happy when you call him and encourage him as he searches.

4. The Mother Lode. Take an empty cardboard box (be sure to remove any packing tape or labels he could eat and ALL the packaging materials unless it is plain brown packing paper) and put in a few squeaky toys, a stuffed toy, a few hand towels, a handful of his regular kibble, and a few really high-value treats like freeze-dried beef chunks, cheese cubes, or chicken breast. Then fold the flaps together to keep the top closed. Give a few gentle shakes to let your dog know there are amazing goodies inside. Put the box on the ground and encourage him to “get it!” and watch him tear up the box. If he gets stuck, help him by encouraging words and maybe opening one of the flaps.

5. Snuffle Mat. This is a fabric mat that has lots of fabric ”fingers” creating a sort of shaggy rug.Youcan make one or buy one. Then take half his kibble and scatter it in the mat, making sure to evenly distribute it into the fingers. Encourage him to explore the mat and enjoy searching for his dinner. If he is slow to start add a couple of freeze-dried treats or something else he enjoys.

We also recently started a nose work class which tires him out every Monday evening. We also take CD prep classes on Wednesday (a recent start) and obedience class on Thursday. The good news is that I have a well-worked dog. The bad news, I am exhausted 😁

Hope this helps!"

3. So fix that part--give him the attention he craves. BUT--he also needs an off switch so he's not pestering you all the time. Teach him how to settle, as a specific exercise, with a specific command. "Settle" or even teach him how to "Go to your bed"


From Meadowcat, another member here:

"The "Sit on the Dog" exercise that ECIN shared is a good one, too. I might give a tiny bit more leash, but it's essentially just sitting there, ignoring the dog, and the dog learning to simply relax on their own. Some dogs don't know how to do that and they need to be taught/encouraged. This is a great exercise to do, especially when so many of us are home right now. You can do this at home while you're working on a laptop, on your phone, etc. Just put your dog on the leash, make sure they have enough leash to lay down comfortably but not wander too far, and then just...ignore them. Give it a good 20-30 minutes. Don't interact with them. This is great for teaching them to simply settle down on their own and rest. It's not a "stay" it's just a "settle down."

He's learned nipping and barking to get your attention, so it might be tough for him to learn to relax and quit bugging you. Since you seem to have established a better way to interact with him, you probably should be the one to work on teaching him to settle and then let your SO use the technique too, once your dog has an idea what the command settle means.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much Kristen, I will start with some inside stimulation. I do hide treats and tell him to "find it" which he loves to do. I also take him to Lowes or Home Depot on days when it is not so nice to play. I did notice he gets a lot of mental stimulation with all the noise and smells, he is tired when we get back from our trip, I also make a stop to get him some ice cream.
Thanks you for your advice.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
He's doing this to get your attention. You're going to have to spend more time with him--dobes are not easy to keep in a household if they don't have enough interaction time with their owners--they are needy.

Intactness doesn't really have anything to do with his behavior. Dobes are smart--he's nipping and barking because that works for him. Even though the attention he is getting with this method is negative, in his mind, at least you're interacting with him.

So, what do you do?

1. Stop yelling and kicking at him.

2. He needs you to spend more time with him--but that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be outdoor exercise.

Try games which exercise his mind. MMcCown, a member here, makes a few suggestions in this informative post:

"I highly recommend brain games.

These are some of our favorites and we still play them regularly, even at 14 months.

1. Muffin Tin Game: Using a regular muffin tin and several tennis balls or similar sized balls, put a few high-value treats in the muffin tin and place the ball on top. When starting out, just put the treats in the tin without covering them. As the dog begins to understand, ”hide” the treats by putting a ball on top. When he gets the hang of it, place balls on empty spaces or switch up which spots have treats and which don’t. Here’s a video if my description is lacking: Dog Enrichment Made Easy: The Muffin Tin Game

2. Treasure Hunt: Put your dog in a down stay somewhere out of sight. Using some extra odiferous treats, walk around and place them in semi-visible places around the house. Then, release him and say “find it” and walk around with him to help him get started. If he is superfast, consider hiding the treats in more challenging spots or adding more spots for him to find.

3. Hide and Seek. Start out the same as in number 2, then go somewhere out of sight and call your dog. If you are just starting out, keep some of those smelly treats on you to help him find you. Hide in somewhat easy places, like behind a door (not IN the closet, but in the space behind an open door), or around a wall, just out of sight. Be sure not to hide so well you distress the dog. Keep your voice high and happy when you call him and encourage him as he searches.

4. The Mother Lode. Take an empty cardboard box (be sure to remove any packing tape or labels he could eat and ALL the packaging materials unless it is plain brown packing paper) and put in a few squeaky toys, a stuffed toy, a few hand towels, a handful of his regular kibble, and a few really high-value treats like freeze-dried beef chunks, cheese cubes, or chicken breast. Then fold the flaps together to keep the top closed. Give a few gentle shakes to let your dog know there are amazing goodies inside. Put the box on the ground and encourage him to “get it!” and watch him tear up the box. If he gets stuck, help him by encouraging words and maybe opening one of the flaps.

5. Snuffle Mat. This is a fabric mat that has lots of fabric ”fingers” creating a sort of shaggy rug.Youcan make one or buy one. Then take half his kibble and scatter it in the mat, making sure to evenly distribute it into the fingers. Encourage him to explore the mat and enjoy searching for his dinner. If he is slow to start add a couple of freeze-dried treats or something else he enjoys.

We also recently started a nose work class which tires him out every Monday evening. We also take CD prep classes on Wednesday (a recent start) and obedience class on Thursday. The good news is that I have a well-worked dog. The bad news, I am exhausted 😁

Hope this helps!"

3. So fix that part--give him the attention he craves. BUT--he also needs an off switch so he's not pestering you all the time. Teach him how to settle, as a specific exercise, with a specific command. "Settle" or even teach him how to "Go to your bed"


From Meadowcat, another member here:

"The "Sit on the Dog" exercise that ECIN shared is a good one, too. I might give a tiny bit more leash, but it's essentially just sitting there, ignoring the dog, and the dog learning to simply relax on their own. Some dogs don't know how to do that and they need to be taught/encouraged. This is a great exercise to do, especially when so many of us are home right now. You can do this at home while you're working on a laptop, on your phone, etc. Just put your dog on the leash, make sure they have enough leash to lay down comfortably but not wander too far, and then just...ignore them. Give it a good 20-30 minutes. Don't interact with them. This is great for teaching them to simply settle down on their own and rest. It's not a "stay" it's just a "settle down."

He's learned nipping and barking to get your attention, so it might be tough for him to learn to relax and quit bugging you. Since you seem to established a better way to interact with him, you probably should be the one to work on teaching him to settle and then let your SO use the technique too, once your dog has an idea what the command settle means.
 

· Super Moderator
Hairy Dog RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
Joined
·
31,689 Posts
Oh, and don't wait until he is barking and nipping to give him his attention. Give him attention when he is not asking for it; if he barks and nips, leave the room. Every.Single.Time. You don't even have to say or do anything else--just get up and leave. That way he will learn that that obnoxious behavior does not get him what he wants.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
30-50 min might be enough for some pups this age (seems pretty good for my 7 month old). But my older dog would just bark in my face when younger. Honestly I just didn’t understand him well at all. I did a DNA test for him and found out he was a cross of border collie and golden retriever. OMG. We started roller blading (but his bones were developed - I got him when he was about 1.5 years old). My doberman pup nips at the back of my jacket when we come inside - she wants to keep playing. It is hard some nights because I have other things to do. I give her a new toy and she destroys it (this gets expensive).

I play a sort of whack a mole game with her inside or in the garage that she likes enough it requires no treats and satisfies some of that extra energy. She likes it a lot. I just throw about 3-5 mini kong balls across the room to bounce off the wall in different directions. This gets her scampering to decide which one she’ll pick up. Sometimes one, then drops for another. She’ll return one to me or I cross the room to pick up the ones she couldn’t pick up and do it again, other direction. The scampering is good play. She could play this forever but I gradually put one ball back in a dish at a time, then direct her to one of her toys.

She does fetch one ball in the backyard (regular size, for a treat maybe once every few returns, but we started with every return). She also likes searching for a ball she couldn’t see me throw (like dropped or thrown from both of us standing on the deck). Sometimes she gets distracted and returns without a ball. She wants a treat. I tell her go look for the ball, and she will run down and give it another shot. Really much better focus than my older dog, who I thought couldn’t be beat for intelligence lol.

Melbod explained that muffin tin game to me (above) when I was looking for more mental stimulation games for her. She LOVES this. It’s also good for general training and impulse control. She has to lay down opposite the side of a small rug from me while I put treats and balls in the tin. One treat for laying down. If she pops up I just don’t continue with finishing loading these tins (what she really wants) but remind her to lay down (doesn’t need a second treat but probably I did that initially). When I’m ready I set the pan down in the center of the rug. She could play this all day probably.

After all this she plays with toys then likes some time in my lap.

This takes time and sometimes it is frustrating. I tried to condense all these activities fast together a few times this week because I had extra evening events. We missed lap - snuggle time. This screwed her up and I think she acted out with her first separation anxiety things. GAH!!! So once I had it figured out I found out she requires this routine. She needs one distemper booster. Then I will have her go to daycare just one time a week. I would like her to become a little more flexible but she doesn’t tolerate willy nilly every day.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
One thing that really helps is using most of the daily kibble for training/engagement games. Ditch the bowl! Make the food dynamic and lure him to teach new tricks, review old tricks, etc. Eye contact, heel, touch, middle, spin, circle, walk backwards, etc etc. all kinds of movements. There's tons of youtube videos that explain how to give food dynamically and build food drive and engagement. I use at least 50-75% of the daily kibble and make my dobie work for it. Some days it's 100% of his food. The only reason it's not 100% everyday is because he needs over 6 cups of food, which is a lot. We're talking 10-15 min sessions, 3-4x a day. I encourage you to set a timer for every 2 hours and spend 5mins each time working the dog for his kibble. And when he is being quiet and calm somewhere, drop small handfuls of kibble to him. He will soon be conditioned to lay down quietly and look at you when he wants something. Whenever I'm cooking in the kitchen, my dog will often lay down in his crate or on a mat and look at me. I go and reward him with bits of food intermittently which reinforces that calm behavior. Also, when I take him in public, engagement is very important so we walk off to a quieter area and do a lot of attention games and basic obedience for kibble+some treats.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top