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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So Bumpy was an absolute nightmare at training this morning. First while I was buying the lunge line from the trainer, I turned my head for one second and he lifted his leg on the trainers car. Then at each cone that marks the perimeter where we train, as we passed he lifted and marked. Then, when learning to stand from a sit, he bucked like a bronco for about 30 seconds until I could finally give him a correction and stop him. Oh, did I mention he then barked at me..... The rest of the time he looked every which direction and at everything else other than me, like he was completely disinterested - the only dog not listening in the whole group. He did his sit, sit stay and down and down stay like a champ, but everything else was apparently extremely boring to him. He didn't even want to sit for the first half of class and my left hand is raw from the leash and doing corrections. I guess we are battling for who is boss? Will it get better?
 

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All i can say is "KEEP GOING" I know it looks like a lost cause at the moment but it does get better,if you have a particular problem put it to the trainers,they will give you a solution,and don't forget to practise the exercises daily,doing them at once a week is not enough.
 

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I second everything Brum says. Practice, practice , practice. Talk to trainer about specifics. They are usually always willing to help. He sounds like a spitfire. Your rewards will be immense. Keep it uo.:)
 

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I am sorry reading your post brought a smile to my face and a snicker. It was because your unpleasant morning was mine with one of my girls I had years ago. Yes it does get better, keep up the good work mum and all will fall in place in time.
 

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Persistence, persistence, persistence is the key. I remember alot of times in class that Nikita decided it was time to do something other than our training in class. Its alittle embarrassing at times, but thats what class is for. To work through this.
 

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Gee.....he reminds me of someone I know! At least my boy isn't the only one! Those Doberboys! Keep going. I start again in two weeks, and with this handful....it can't be soon enough!

Carol
 

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It's hard to take advice that says "Don't worry" at this point, I know, because I've been there, but I'll say it anyway, don't worry, at least not too much. I had a very similar experience with my first Doberman, also a male. Years later I had had enough experience to know that most of the problems I had with him were my fault, and I learned to do better with my next dogs.

By "better" I mean I learned not to be so upset if my dog did things "wrong", but rather to work thru them, they're normal for Dobermans, especially males. Dobermans *do* get bored easily. I have found that beginning classes have a lot of standing around while the instructor talks and do a lot of "stay" exercises, these are hard for a Doberman puppy. These days I don't try to make my Dobermans stand still next to me while listening to the instructor, I play games with him, bait him, all quietly of course, but things to keep him int erested so he isn't causing a fuss in class.

The barking at you sounds like he was frustrated, probably as frustrated with the whole experience as you were.

It seems that I always ended up with my Doberman puppy in a class full of other dogs who were perfect, and I had the only bad apple. But, there are no bad apples, only puppies with different types of personalities. Bumpy's behavior sounds a lot like how my first Doberman was in class.
 

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So Bumpy was an absolute nightmare at training this morning. First while I was buying the lunge line from the trainer, I turned my head for one second and he lifted his leg on the trainers car. Then at each cone that marks the perimeter where we train, as we passed he lifted and marked. Then, when learning to stand from a sit, he bucked like a bronco for about 30 seconds until I could finally give him a correction and stop him. Oh, did I mention he then barked at me..... The rest of the time he looked every which direction and at everything else other than me, like he was completely disinterested - the only dog not listening in the whole group. He did his sit, sit stay and down and down stay like a champ, but everything else was apparently extremely boring to him. He didn't even want to sit for the first half of class and my left hand is raw from the leash and doing corrections. I guess we are battling for who is boss? Will it get better?
Well, lanabana, it will get better if you perservere. But it never starts out easy. And generally Dobes are harder than some breeds--partly because they are smart and easily bored.

But I'll give you a big fat tip for the male marking routine. And I'll also tell you that some neutered males are every bit as bad as intact males when it comes to marking. Keep your dogs head at your leg--don't give him extra lead when you are walking areas frequented by other dogs. DO NOT let him sniff. As much as possible keep him away from upright objects (like the cones) that other dogs may have peed on. He WILL re-mark where other dogs have already marked. Work with him at home until you have a rock sold sit on command--then when you are in a situation like buying the lunge line (really? a lunge line?--what's it for?) have him sit--he can't lift his leg on anything if he's sitting. He's very unlikely to lift his leg if he's well exercised prior to the class also. And if he isn't allowed to sniff he is less likely to lift his leg. The more often he manages to mark when he's with you and on leash the more likely the behavior will continue. Stop it now.

Attention training will keep his attention on you--ask your trainer for help with that--then work him at home--and take him to parks and malls and any place else where there is stuff going on and work further on the attention training. Do it in short spells first.

Make good behavior worth a lot more to him than bad behavior neccessitating corrections--high value treats help to keep his attention on you.

Persistence pays--work him at home--that's important--two or three five minute sessions a day are worth more than the hour you spend in class. Ideally and it never works out this way--I'd be a lot happier with two half hour classes a week. An hour will generally bore a dog stiff and make them hate the whole idea. I used a lot of class time to proof sits and downs and to teach a dog to free bait (since they were always in conformation)--it might drive your trainer crazy but try to stay inconspicuous while you do this. But anything is better than a bored Doberman in a class.
 

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My puppies were always the wild ones in class, (all males btw). It was embarrassing. But, I stuck it out and it did get better. Don't forget to do your homework. You must work them at home on a daily basis (2 short sessions a day are preferable).

Are you using a leather leash? They are so much easier on your hands than nylon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you everyone for your advice and for making me feel that it is not hopeless :) I was glad to hear that other people experienced this. Dobebug, the lunge line is to teach him to stay while being a long distance from me. I guess it kind of mimics having him off leash, making him feel free, but still having control of him. I haven't practiced this yet, the trainer told me I needed gloves so that I didn't injure my hands if he tried to take off. I am going to try that exercise in my backyard later today before I try it in a public space. And I will definately keep him closer to me now so that he can't mark everything. He is just so damn strong, it is hard to keep him by my side. I do use a leather leash, and it still caused a huge blister on my hand. I know a lot of it is me, he is testing me to see how much he HAS to listen to and how much he can get away with. Did I mention he does not act this way with my boyfriend? Oh, and I forgot the part where the last 30 minutes he started on the Doberman moans and whines (which previous to this I had always been so thankful that he was a quiet Doberman) - I guess I have to eat my words on that one. He must have just gotten bored.

I will just keep at it and practice, practice, practice.

What is attention training? And how can I keep him interested in the hour training? Can I bring treats to reward him for his good behavior or is that going to throw off the other dogs?

I think he felt my frustration as well.
 

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So the trainer hasn't told people in the class they can bring treats? This may be a training philosophy issue, in that I am a supporter of bringing treats. When I got my first Doberman, in 1977, it was strictly forbidden to train with treats. Frankly, treats would have helped a lot with my dog, he was very food motivated, he was not very praise motivated. From his point of view obedience classes were boredom punctuated by unpleasantness. He wasn't given any motivation to act correctly, so he didn't. But I didn't understand any of that then.

Yes, treats should help with his attention, in fact I wouldn't know how to teach it without treats. Your trainer may be of what I think of as the old school and not do attention training and not use treats. I remember getting a web long line too back in my first obedience classes. These days I don't see them used much. If your dog has just started classes, it's too soon, IMO, to be trying to make him stay from a long distance. Get him reliable with staying when you are nor more than 6 feet away first. The owner leaving can make the dog feel anxious and insecure, that's why proofing the stay at the shorter distances first helps. Also, if the dog breaks, you're close enough to get him back into position quickly, whereas at 15 fee or more away, you're not.
 

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here's my input - if you have a PUPPY in a BEGINNERS class and you have to correct that much - your dog has no idea what is expected of him.

Personally, when LEARNING new things if my dog needs to be corrected that often (in LEARNING) then i am teaching wrong. My dog doesn't want to learn not WHAT to do, he wants to learn what TO do - and thats my goal. i dont want to personally teach my dog in corrections - i will correct once he KNOWS a behavior, but i dont want to correct him while he is still learning and unsure.

sounds like you may have shut your dog down - he got repeated corrections so the best option when you dont know what to do that is SAFE and wont get you corrected, is to do nothing.

personally i would never be in a class like that - your trainer didnt even tell you to bring treats? so what exactly are you rewarding him with for good behavior? or is this purely a correction based class?

i use a variety of things for my dogs foundation - clicker training, luring, shaping - corrections are introduced later once he knows and understands a behavior. i cannot imagine takingmy dog to a brand new class, asking him to learn new things, and not rewarding him with something other than a correction when he is wrong???

no offense, but i wouldnt want to work for you either. dont you like to be paid when you do something right?
 

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Personally, I don't think it was so much testing you as not really knowing what you want yet.

I didn't get how long you've been attending this class?

I attend one class, in particular, where I feel so sorry for the participants. I attend another class as well that is much better, but the first one is more local and it has what I need - other dogs and people for distraction, a roomy place to work, etc. It's a bit of a hard-ass class where the instructor is too hard on the dogs and on the people, IMO, and we don't use treats. But it's also a class that is trying to train the general public and they know they only have 10 weeks to try to get it in their heads, whereas my other class is with an obedience trial judge and we bring dogs along more slowly. The goal is different - the club is trying to create well behaved dogs in public in 10 weeks, the obedience judge is trying to bring dogs along for obedience trials ... eventually.

And that's the huge difference between me and the other people in the local class. They are training for 10 weeks (maybe) and I'm training for life. So, no matter what class you're in, you need to develop that attitude. For me, even in my local class, it's not about keeping up or doing exactly what I'm told but doing what is right for my dogs in the long haul. I know what they need because I've been training for a long time, and that's where it gets really hard on the novices that don't know when to stand up for themselves and who are trying really hard to keep up.

For instance, I started novice classes with Shelby in April at my local class. We just completed week 7 of 10 weeks. The instructor expected the dogs to be sitting on command and when we stop a long time ago, and she has people popping their dogs if they don't comply. Now, I'm not averse to popping *if* the dog understands the command but I haven't really pushed it with Shelby and I know she doesn't know it. Besides that, I'm still cupping her into the position I want because I know that Dobermans love to do the rockback sit and I want her to be firm on learning a tuck sit right up beside me. The instructor saw me doing that and remarked that Shelby was being really defiant that night. I right out said no, she's not. She doesn't understand the command yet and I have a method to my madness because like I said, I'm training for life, not for 10 weeks.

Anyway, it seems like this is a new class for you and as others have said, it seems much too early for lunge line work. Stays should be solid within leash length before you go off to a distance. It makes me wonder if it's more about the sale of lunge lines than about doing what's right for the dogs.

However, it is a lesson to you to pay more attention to what Bumpy is doing and when he gets to cones and cars, there is the place for your "leave it" command again.

Attention training involves getting the dog focused on your face, watching you. It's so easy to do. Use your treats, hold it up to your eyes and ask the dog to "watch me" or just "watch". When he makes eye contact, treat him. Do this quickly, and then gradually lengthen the time that he makes eye contact with you. When he becomes distracted, you should be able to say "watch me" and bring his attention back to your face. Games like "touch" are also fun for the dog and bring attention back to you. Essentially, you ask the dog to "touch" and put out your hand. Most will touch/sniff and you reward. When he gets consistent at doing that, you move your hand to different places and ask him to "touch". We use this later when we need dogs to move position like when they do the dreaded rockback sit and they are further behind than you like. You put out your hand, say "touch" and they come forward to where the hand is and you say "sit" to get them into a better spot. Later you can ask them to "touch" walls or fences or whatever.

Toys can also be used to build interest and make obedience fun. For eg. throwing a loved toy backwards between your legs so the dog has to run through to get it. Helps to build speed on recalls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I do think the trainer may be old school as was mentioned. He is in his 60's and has been training dogs for years, probably in the same manner for years as well. He has us give them praise when they have done what we have asked them to do. I think Bumpy got frustrated and bored, and quite honestly I am always petting and praising him in normal every day life, so this may have been where everything went awry. This was is third week in the class. Now I feel bad....ugggh. Last night we worked outside together and he did everything I asked of him. I am going to start with treat rewards right away since he is very food motivated. This is how I trained him to sit and down originally. Thank you for all the great ideas and advice. I love the attention training and touch ideas....we are going to implement that right away. I think half the problem was that I didn't have his attention and focus on me and giving him treats for this should help greatly.

I got this trainer throught he AKC website and then the Hollywood Dog Club. I am just going to move at a pace that works for Bumpy and makes him feel comfortable. I know it is me and not him that is not doing this correctly. I am still learning what works with him.

Thank you thank you thank you again. I will probably ask for more soon.
 

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OH YES! Keep going. Rudi and I just completed Intermediate Obedience. (He probably didn't need it, It just gave me a few more interesting things to do with him, like quarter turns etc..., I think Rudi had a lot of training before he was found as a stray) Anyway, we had a young lab puppy in our group (6-7 months old) OOOOOH BOY! was he a crazy boy. I can honestly say, by the end of our 6 week class he has definitely turned a corner. He probably will benefit from going thru a second round......but, I could see a big difference in him. Keep at it and good luck! The important thing is getting that correction in ASAP! I'm not a big one on prong collars, but it seemed to work well with the Lab.
 

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Lanabana, just keep at it and move at yours and Bumpy's pace. Try to master only a few things at one time. *******'s instructor would introduce something every week but we would also continue to work on the things we already learned. This way the dog's never seemed to get bored. I have truly learned that patience is a virtue through owning a doberman puppy!! And I agree with others, find something that motivates him. Be that food, toys, or praise, something that keeps it interesting for him.....Good luck and keep with it!!!! :)
 
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