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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I have a female doberman, almost a year old. Recently, the new neighbours have been complaining about her barking. They have young children and it is difficult for them to settle with her barking constantly. We leave the dog in her pen when we go out, because I feel that she can not be trusted in the yard without supervision - she has a tendency to find things and eat them if you don't keep an eye on her, and some of the fences aren't particularly tall. So for her safety and for the safety of our other dog, who is too small for the doberman, who wants to play with him all the time, we keep her (while we're out) in a reasonably large fenced in area within our yard. I have been thinking about enlarging the area to give her a bit more space, but I don't know if that will solve the problem.

I believe that she is barking mainly out of fear - when she hears the neighbours moving about in their yard (and she's never met them before), she gets scared and starts barking. Or she barks when she hears other dogs bark as well. She seems rather fearful when she sees people and dogs for the first time, a bit scary herself even when she growls and jumps around, but when she meets a dog or person, I have never seen her be anything but polite. With dogs, she just wags her tail and licks their faces - never growls, bites or barks when she's actually interacting with another dog. The same with people - she barks at them from a distance, but when she meets them she's always so friendly. I'm just wondering… Is there anything anyone could suggest to help her stop barking, or at least not so excessively? I've tried giving her bones and toys with treats, I walk her every day and take her to the dog park. I don't know if she's scared or bored, but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. :)
 

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Is she an outside dog? My guess is she is probably bored and I would bring her in the home when you are gone.

When you say you walk her daily- how long are the walks? Does she get a good game of fetch or something that will actually tire her out?
Does she get enough mental stimulation?

I know my boy is a year and a walk isn't enough, he needs training sessions, and a good game of ball each day.
 

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Will the neighbors consent to her meeting them? How close is her own to their yard? We had a similar problem (only opposite, Hilde belonged to our neighbor then) which was solved when Hilde became less nervous around us. Eventually, she would come over to us, say hi, and then calm down.

If you and the neighbor family spent a little time together, introducing your dobe (give them treats for the dog), you may have a dog that's more comfortable. It would probably help the kids be less nervous too.

You could also spend more time in the yard with your pup, just so you can correct behaviors you don't want and reward good behavior. You could go over and greet the kids at your fence so the dog knows they're okay.
 

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I would not leave her alone in the yard. Constant barking is upsetting to most neighbors. I would get her into a basic obedience class and teach her the leave it command. Work with her when you are out and yes, meeting the neighbor could be a good idea.

Maybe with time she will recognize the neighbor but some still bark when someone is running and near their area. You need to be home to supervise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't think we're able to keep her inside. There is no place that is really suitable for her and I have a feeling she would bark just as much but for different reasons.
She's outside during the day but inside during the night. As for exercise, she is a highly active dog and I do my best to keep her entertained when I'm at home- a bit of training, a half an hour walk, a game of fetch in the yard, a trip to the dog park - but she's never fully satisfied, I feel. And she doesn't really like training sessions. When she gets it, she's so quick to learn, but if she can't figure out what I want or doesn't want to do it, she gives up and just walks off.
The neighbours are perfectly happy to help, and they understand that we are trying to sort out the problem - we've enrolled in her next obedience class and are getting a trainer to do a private lesson. I think she really needs to work on her manners - she's great with people, always polite, and she loves other dogs, but she doesn't listen to me or respect me.
On another note, she can behave very, well, almost aggressively, when she sees other dogs across the street. Yet when she gets to meet them, she loves it and just wants to play! Do you think she is afraid, or maybe trying to protect me? The growling certainly doesn't happen at the dog park.
 

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you can't crate her somewhere inside? leaving her outside is most likely the cause of the barking - she's bored, she may be scared, and she's reacting as only a dog would.

seriously, find a way to keep her inside.
 

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She's young, inexperienced, has endless energy with very little outlet is what it sounds like.

She needs much more exercise, socialization, socialization, socialization and training. The more she experiences in the way of strange people, strange sounds and strange places, the more she has to draw on and know what's up instead of fearing the unknown. It sounds like her temperament is good because she is friendly when she actually meets strange people and dogs, but her temperament can change if she doesn't begin to experience more of the world.

Thirty minute walks are nothing to a puppy this age and dog parks are a bad idea as they're usually filled with idiots who can't read their own dog's behaviour. One attack is all it would take to ruin your dog and turn her into a dog fearful of other dogs...and that's a real mess because they act aggressive.

You really need to give this puppy much more of your time to exercise and train her using positive methods. I hope the trainer is a positive trainer because this little girl needs molding not forced into behaviors. If the trainer starts jerking her around or laying hands in her to force sits, etc., please, please find another trainer! One that "asks" for behaviours, not demands them. This is sooo important with a doberman.

She needs crate training and brought into the house away from all the visual and noise stimulation outside which worries her.


I always recommend this book. The Power of Positive Dog Trainkngt by Pat Miller. https://www.dogwise.com/ItemDetails.cfm?ID=DTB723
 

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Dobes stole my heart <3
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Dobes arent intended to be outside dogs, they want to be inside, with people, and maybe thats her problem, she wants the closeness of being with her people. I agree that letting her live inside is a good start to her problem.
 

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Lots of good advice has been given.

Leaving her out unattended is quite honestly a terrible idea. I have neighbours who do this, and I hate them and in turn their dogs. The barking is constant and exceptionally irritating. 1 someone could decide to poison your dog, 2 she could get loose, a bored dog is a dog motivated to amuse itself in some way shape or form. 3 you could end up subjected to noise complaints and subsequent fines.

As faln suggested crate her inside the house where she will likely feel more secure and comfortable. TV or radio on can create grey noise to keep her from reacting to everything.

Dobes are not outdoor dogs

A tired dog is a sleepy dog. Age appropriate exercise and mental stimulation before being left alone (in the house) can help reduce her anxiety at being left alone.
 

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" And she doesn't really like training sessions. When she gets it, she's so quick to learn, but if she can't figure out what I want or doesn't want to do it, she gives up and just walks off."

This is a problem and it isn't her, it's you.
You need to have her on a leash for training sessions and you need to make sure you are giving clear commands and directions. Also, you need to make training sessions short so she doesn't get bored and lose interest.

Not having her on a leash during training is setting her up for failure.
I really believe you and her NEED to be enrolled in obedience class so you can learn how to provide leadership and commands to her in a clear manner.

She needs these short training sessions at least once a day because her mind needs to be stimulated.

You have a dog that has pent up energy and is mentally bored.
 
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