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Proud Doby Mommy
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found this forum out of a desperate search for help/answers/anything!
We got our doby Diezel back in early March when he was about a month or so old. When he was little we had close to no problems with whining, except for the typical whining when we would put him in his crate for bed. But I wrote it off as a "puppy" behavior and ignored it.
He is now about 5 months old and his whining has SIGNIFICANTLY increased. We are talking it is rare for him to ever not be whining. The worst part is, nothing can make him stop. He will be contently playing with a toy, then start doing his anxious whine when he realizes he is not the center of attention. When we put him in his crate, the only time he is ever quiet is when he is asleep. The minute he hears anybody speak or make the slightest sound, he whines. Diezel has been going in his crate since he was little - it's nothing new to him, so I just find it odd that he has such a fit whenever he is in it.
We have tried being firm with him, ignoring him, using a spray bottle of water...nothing works. You can scold him all you want, he will resume his whining the second things go silent again. It is kind of like an anxious, discontented whining. He also, as I mentioned before, hates when he is not the center of everyone's attention (which is why he has been spending more time in his crate). He has even pooped on the floor (he's completely house broken) just to get our attention when we had company over.
Basically, I am at the point where I'm so fed up and desperate for a fix that I am on the hairy edge of converting him to just an outdoors dog (yes, I know Dobermans are sensitive to cold, but we live in Florida).
He gets plenty of exercise (daily walks, tons of toys and bones, plays with our friend's dog every day). He is fed the recommended amounts, always has water, and has been checked out by the vet numerous times and is in perfect health. My husband has spoiled this dog rotten, but is at work all day with me being left at home with him (which I think may contribute to his whining some, but the thing is he still whines even when he is out of his crate and my husband is home). Sorry, but I don't have time to play with/babysit a dog all day, nor do I like feeling as though a dog "owns" me. It's an animal. He is there for companionship, friendship, and to love on, not to be a burden.
If there are any other tricks to getting him to be quiet, I would greatly appreciate it. The whining is beyond irritating - he has a WONDERFUL home and all of the whining comes across as him just being ungrateful and always wanting something more. Very, very irritating! I have contemplated getting him a shock collar, but am trying to save it for a last resort (along with just putting him outside and being done with it).
Sorry if this seems more like a rant than a question, but I really am on my last straw with Diezel at this point. He would be the perfect dog if the whining could just go away!
 

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Have you taken him to the vet to rule out any medical issues? Once you make sure there are no medical issues, I'd exercise and play with him. Teach him to fetch and return a ball, teach him tricks like to crawl, shake hands, roll over, catch, "watch." I suspect he is bored and wants to play. I bet lots of exercise, stimulation and time with you will help. I think you are 100% correct not to use a shock collar, especially on a young puppy. I believe your boy is no different than my three in that they need exercise and to be challenged. None of my puppies were quiet until they turned two or so. They always want to play, be beside me and into absolutely everything.

In fact if he was to just lay around and be quiet, I'd then think there's something wrong with him.

Raising a Doberman puppy is a lot of work. He is still like a baby. Please be patient with him. He could turn into one of the best companions and friends you could ever wish for. Totally dedicated to you.

Dobermans are known as velcro dogs because they want to be with their humans as much as possible. Right now I'm at my desk with a 10 month old female on my left with her head on my leg; my two year old female is on my right and my four year old male is at my feet.

Would love to see photos of your boy.
 

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Sounds like you are asking a two part question: 1) fix his whining when he's in the crate, 2) fix his whining when he's out of the crate.

I only have one suggestion for #1. Make going into his crate a fun game and a part of your daily training sessions. Treat him often when he goes in there, and again when he's nice and quiet in there. We only put Duke in his crate when it's nap or bedtime, or when we leave the house. He's learned that if he goes into the crate even on his own accord, he will be treated.

Remember to always treat when good behavior is executed, they'll learn to do it more often for something tasty.

I think trying to repremand him while he's already in a place where he doesn't want to be will only make him feel worse.
 

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sufferin succotash
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Provided medical issues are ruled out, it's time to give this youngster a job. Get him enrolled in an obedience class where he can work his mind.

If you feel the dog is just too much for you, perhaps contact the breeder and have them assist you with rehoming him.

Doberman Pinscher Club of America: Living With a Dobe

To find a training club: Training Resources
 

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I missed that too. Lets hope that was a typo on the OP's part.....
Me too. I also want to mention that pitching the dog outside will probably magnify the whining/separation anxiety issues..and then will create an entirely new set of problems that could get OP in trouble with neighbors/HOA. Dobermans do not need any bad press :(
 

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Da Boss
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Please, please, please do not just put your dog outside. If you cannot handle him, it's best to contact a rescue and have them find a loving home for your boy. Sounds to me like he needs some more exercise. I don't mean just walks either, as others have said dobes must be able to work their minds too. Doggy day care could be an option as well. A tired dog is a happy dog!
 

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joie de vivre
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Could be a few things and it's hard to say without seeing it. I would guess bringing him home to young has something to do with his behavior. That can cause problems. Also, if he came from a breeder who sends their pups home too young he's probably not from very good breeding and his parents' temperaments may be a little nervous/anxious creating nervous/anxious pups.

So, he might be anxious and under stimulated. It's a great time to get him in training as mentioned above. These guys require a lot of mental stimulation and although you think he's getting enough exercise they need a LOT of exercise when young. You may want to increase his activity time and along with formal training that may help settle him some.

Might just be a vocal whiner. Tali whines quite a bit but it doesn't always mean anything. Tali always has something to say. She moans, groans, chatters, squeals, etc. She will even whine and chatter to her toys as she plays. She's just a talker.

I understand the need for a crate and that you can't and don't want to dedicate all your time to him but how much time is he spending in his crate on a day-to-day basis?
 

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Sashagirl
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I am by no means the Dobe expert, as some on this forum are, but I did have similar issues with my Jack Russell when he was younger. My Jack Russell, better known as the "neurotic ungrateful as*h***" as my fiance says, was constantly whinning with this type of neurotic behavior. I used to say that it was due to my fiance being so annoyed and impatient with him, but I actually truely believe he just required a ton of exercise then what I was providing. At first I didn’t believe the trainer when he mentioned this due to the fact that I am in the Army and I was actually running him up to 3-5 miles a day. I eventually broke down and bought a mountain bike which enabled me to take him on 8-10 mile rides. I am not saying you need to run your boy to death, this is just what my Jack needed. You may be surprised at what some dogs actually need. You could also buy one of those huge Kongs and and give him his whole bowl of food in it, I found that this kept Max occupied for a little, while making him work for his food. Like I said I am not the expert, I learn about my girl every day still and from this site! I just wanted to provide you a few more some suggestions, since I do remember how frustrating my boy Max was. Just remember try not to find yourself getting frustrated with him and attempt to build a better bond with him while your husband is at work. Max is now 6 years old and lazy!
 

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Eat Poo and Die
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My boy loves being the center of attention as well, and it's just what he's used to when we take him out. So when he is out and about and isn't the center of attention, he's pretty displeased about it. And he's a dog that will let you know if he is even slightly unhappy (ranges from whines, sighs, grumbles, grunts, barks, and dirty looks). I've accepted that that's the dog he is, and it's partly my fault because I always let him be the center of attention and he has always loved it. He's a flashy dog in everything he does, and so it's just something that I live with and accept. If he does get really annoying, I tell him to be quiet. Mark with a marker cue (click, yes, whatever), attach a term like quiet, and reward him when he is being quiet. Dogs do what gets them what they wanted in the first place, really. Unless he's just a vocal dog like mine is (it's like having kids that complain).
 

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Super Moderator
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Whining *can* sometimes be a sign of excessive anxiety. If you think that might be the case, I'd recommend consulting with a board certified behaviorist: Find a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist ACVB

If you truly did take him home at only one month of age, that could be a significant contributing factor to his issues.
 

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Proud Doby Mommy
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
eta I just realized you mentioned bringing him home around 4 weeks of age. That should have been a big red flag right there.
He did end up coming from a sketchy place, but we were new to the area and really didn't do our homework on the "breeder" like we should have. We aren't 100% sure of his age, although his papers say he was born in late January/early February (I can't recall).
 

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Proud Doby Mommy
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you to everyone for the knowledge - I will definitely try to be a bit more patient and work with him. It's just too much some days though! We are currently living with some friends while the construction of our house is being completed, so Diezel has been in his crate a little more than he usually is. I'm hoping to be able to keep him occupied more with Kongs, being outside, etc. once we are in our own home. Thanks again for all of the help - it is greatly appreciated!
Here's a pic of our handsome boy
 
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