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We've noticed that when someone comes to the door, Lucan barks and does a very pathetic little growl (I think he scares himself when he does this!). I didn't expect this at 9 weeks. He is so calm and laid back the rest of the time. He's very gentle even when playing, we've taught him that nibbling at hands is not acceptable. So far we've ignored this behaviour, we're certainly not looking for a watch dog. Should we be discouraging it?:confused2
 

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I don't know if I would discourage it or not (Don't know how you could.), but introduce him to the newcomers so he knows everything it cool. Have as many friends as possible come over at diffrent times and have them all offer him a treat when he's calm. Does he approach the door, or the company?
 

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We brought Lexie home at 7 weeks old and two hours later a friend came over to see her and she barked and growled at him. I think the key is socialization. I want Lex to bark and let us know when people are in the house, but she is not mean. However, I also could picture her defending us if she thought someone was doing us harm. I think the nature of a Doberman is to BE a watchdog. They can't help it. That is what they were bred for.
 

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Mine didn't learn to bark until he was 6 months old...but he has more than made up for it since then. He does bark at the door when someone knocks. He stops when I open the door and welcome them in.
 

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Petey does this too, and also while in the car....then when introduced to the person he then licks them to death...I think it is natural.
 

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Because I've lived alone for the better part of my life, I have never discouraged my Dobies from barking at strangers on our property. I have 100 acres of land and live pretty nearly in the middle of it so I don't want anyone approaching with my knowledge. Conversely, they never bark at familiar people and quickly learn who to trust. As your pup matures, he will learn to interpret your signals and will respond accordingly.
 

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We've noticed that when someone comes to the door, Lucan barks and does a very pathetic little growl (I think he scares himself when he does this!). I didn't expect this at 9 weeks. He is so calm and laid back the rest of the time. He's very gentle even when playing, we've taught him that nibbling at hands is not acceptable. So far we've ignored this behaviour, we're certainly not looking for a watch dog. Should we be discouraging it?:confused2

Well if your not looking for a watch dog, the doberman might have been the wrong choice..lol.
I think it is so ingrained in their being. When I take the neighbours Lab. and Jasmine out for a run the Lab will always be running along like everything is good in the world. Jasmine is pretty easy going to but if she hears a noise off in the distance, she has to stop put her nose up in the air and flick her ear. It's too funny. I would say that Lucan is pretty much acting like a normal puppy and I wouldnt worry to much about it. Invite lot's of people over and really get him socialized. Have everyone knock, and take him to greet people at the door, he will soon get use to the everyday noises of your household. It's all new for him!!
 

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At 9 weeks that kind of behavior means he is unsure of what he should do, or what the situation really is, not that he is being aggressive or protective. By definition he can only be protective when you're actually in danger, anyway.

I wouldn't try to discourage it because it would just confuse him further.
 

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Skyler did the same thing when she was a young puppy. Now, my rat terrier barks more than she does if someone's at the door. Skyler will bark, but only a couple of times. Then as soon as we open the door her butt is shaking, and she can't wait for the person to pet her. Now, if she sees someone walk by, or if a dog or a cat walks by our house she will bark a deeper bark, and she will do it longer than when someone comes to the door. I don't think you should discourage it. Dobermans are going to bark. You just have to expect that and not let it get out of hand. I like for my dogs to bark to alert me. I don't think it's aggressive behavior that your puppy is doing especially is he's a laid back pup.
 
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