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Discussion Starter #1
How do or have you stopped your Doberman from barking at every dog it meets outside. It is getting to the point where it is just embarrassing....

I don’t think it is really an aggressive thing, more a nervous thing. I had diesel at my parent’s house at the weekend, and socialised him with 3-cocker spaniels and one springer spaniel in addition to Bruno. Initially he was scared of the cooker spaniels… then played all afternoon…

A family friend who trains gun dogs has offered to take diesel to socialise him further and start some obedience training, good idea or not?

Thanks

NDJ
 

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Yes, socialization is critical in my opinion....My puppy kindergarden class requirements were I need to introduce my pooch to 100+ people and take to her to 50 diffferent places...But they need to be exposed to as many different circumstances you can....Socialization can be done in a puppy class. Obedience training is also a must....but I recommend that you participate in the training too as the handler.....About 70% of issue that dog's get are caused by us...Believe that. Learn the basics and practice it constantly.

We had a problem with barking too, once they start barking, its difficult to break that focus they have. Its important to have their attention while greeting a new person or dog (focusing on you), then allow them to meet, nicely....When they are focused on you, they won't care about barking at someone else. It takes some pracatice but they will learn. It sounds like a great idea, do the OB training....and socialize when ever possible....I have never stop doing socialization yet, and will probably keep doing it forever.
 

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Training is a good idea but you and Diesel would get more out of it if you were involved in the training. I started at about 8 weeks holding GKar's mouth closed and saying no barking. Except for a 2 bark hello at the dogs walking in front of the house he very seldom barks at home and I do not think he has ever barked while walking or in store even if we walk right past another dog. Try getting him out more but let him know that barking is not allowed. If it is nervousness the more confident he gets the less he will feel the need. Good luck
 

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I think that OB is great for them! But you should be the one doing it with Diesel though, even if you do it under guidance of an experienced person. Otherwise you will not learn to control and redirect the undesired behavior and even if this other gentleman gets him to stop, chances are he will pick it right back up in your hands afterwords.

Socialization is the key along with working to redirect his negative behavior. If he barks, get busy with him. Get his mind off the other dog, change directions, make him sit, walk fast and then stop, or turn right or left, down, etc.... whatever it takes to get his attention. It would be beneficial to teach him to "watch" you too, then when he gets distracted, you have some basic training that has taught him to go back to you on command. (eventually that should turn into him watching you at all times)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Diesel seems to be getting more single minded every day; he is off the doggy boot camp for a week and we will join him for the last day or two get trained ourselves. I have also booked him in to get dressed as he will not leave Bruno alone at the moment and it is driving us up the wall.

Fingers crossed that it will all make a difference…

NDJ
:sadcry:
 

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I am sure that Diesel will be just fine. the boot camp may be tougher on you than him. what do you mean by getting him dressed? Never heard that expression before.

Keep in mind that puppies go thru so many different phases - just like kids. they may be the bravest thing in the world one day and want to spend the next cuddled up in your lap. They will go from being the perfect little doberpup, to being more than a tad bratty.

The best thing to do is for everyone in the house to stay consistent. whether it is with using commands to corrections, to what is permissible during play time. having consistent rules and perameters for him will give him a sense of security, that will benefit the whole family in the long run.

But the training can be fun and with dobes it can (remember I said Can) be easy. Apollo doesn't get meals, treats, toys, or even to go out with out working for it. He has to sit and stay while His food is put down and we hold him there for anywhere to 10-45 seconds. if he goes for the food we start over. He has to sit quietly while we put the leash on for a walk (we are still working on that one:) ) or even to be patted when we come home from somewhere.

There are teaching moments all day long that ifyou all take advantage of (and of course, do the 10-20 minutes of work as recommeded by your OB teacher) you will find that in no time Diesel will be well trained and have good house manners as well. YOu all just have to be a bit patient, he is still a little tyke, and consistent and he will be just fine.

cc
 

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I'm torn about sending a dog away for training. On one hand, training is a pretty personal thing and greatly developes the bond between owner and dog. I've been in classes where the instructor will take an unruly dog and in a matter of seconds, the dog will be heeling perfectly. The second the dog goes back to the owner, it's a nut again. Simply put, in those cases the owner needed more training than the pooch :) On the other hand, I can understand the frustration of training a pup. There have been more than a few days that I thought it would be so nice to send her away for a week or so and get her back and well mannered, social dog.
Chihiro has been one of the strangest dogs we've ever had. As far as potty training and obedience work, she's been a breeze - no dog should be this easy. But we've had more than our share of socialization issues - like that time she tried to eat the neighbor's kid or when she almost went through the screen door and scared the paper guy to death. But we've remained consistent ( I agree with CC completely that consistency is the key). Between our vigilance and her natural maturation, she is a different dog today than she was even last month. Daily walks (even in the wind and rain) with OB work sprinkled in the walks and using those many teaching moments throughout the day (Again, CC was right, there are so many opportunities throughout the day to teach your dog) have made all the difference. Now at 9 months, we walk with little or no incident - the front door can stay open and she doesn't sit at the screen barking at everyone who may approach and she no longer wants to eat the neighbor - all is good :)
Keep us updated on Diesel's progress. CC was right (again :) it will probably be harder on you than on him.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well we took Diesel to meet the trainer, but he wouldn't settle in the kennel at all, what a carry on. So diesel is not at boot camp, and no training so far.

The trainer now intends to come to us, and start the program, so it should be Thursday or Friday of this week...

Thanks for the advice, dressed = castration

It has been a trying weekend, spent it at our second home (a farm), and attempted to break diesels habit of screaming when left on his own, well he managed to scream 2.5-hours solid until I gave in... :sadcry:
 

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What has his training consisted of so far? What methods do you use: positive reinforcement, traditional obedience, etc? Have you had him in obedience classes? How much excercise does he get? How often is he left alone and where do you keep him when you're gone? I feel for you. I remember how frustrated I was when it seemed like we were making absolutely no progress with Chihiro, it's hard. You have this dog that you adore but all of these problems that seem just beyond fixing.

All of our hard work and time is paying off now but we still work together daily. And, it's taken a lot of time. We started noticing "aggression" problems with Chi when she was just a few months old and we've been working consistently since. One thing that has helped the most is tons and tons of excercise. That old saying that a tired Dobe is a happy Dobe is so very true - but I spend a cool 2 hours a day with her, walking, training, playing ball - just to wear her out. On the days that we don't get in the excercise/play time, she's a beast! Most days after I get the kiddo off to school, I will take her out to the field on a 100 foot (home made) long leash and throw the frisbee or ball for 30-45 minutes until she's tired and then I'll walk her a few miles. Some days we don't throw the ball that long, just long enough for her to run out her zoomies and then we jog - she's up to 5 miles now. We come in and she's wiped out for the rest of the day until late afternoon when we throw the ball either in the house or in the yard for a bit. I probably don't work obedience as much as I should but on days that we walk, not run, I will periodically run her through her paces: down, stay, recall, finish, drop on recall, etc. I almost always keep her at a heel when we walk, it just makes life so much easier for both of us, she's never really grasped the concept of loose lead walking, it's either heel or full force ahead. I also work her with the long leash (working up to off lead training) after she's chased the ball a bit on long distance recalls and recalling her when she's in mid dash for the ball. I keep everything as positive as I absolutely can and have really seen great progress. She's not nearly as apt to bark at dogs or approaching people because through all of these excercises she's really learned to keep her attention on me. Today I had both her and Petri with me (Petri is now heeling on my right, pretty cute to watch us all walk down the road together, big tough Dobe on the left and tiny little chihuahua on the right) when a Pit Bull charged us. She jumped and gave a warning bark but stayed at my side. Fortunately the Pit was nice and just really wanted to play, his owner was right behind him apologizing profusely and then commented on how impressed she was with Chi's reaction. But if it weren't for all that we've been doing in the past few months, she would have pulled that leash out of my hand so fast and probably started a fight with it.
As far as the crying in the crate, and I know you know this, every time you give in and let him out, you take about 10 steps back in his training.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Diesel spent the day with a dog trainer last week. His opinion is that diesel is a really intelligent, but spoiled by us (not in the sense of treats). He reckons the only way to stop diesel barking at every dog he meets is to get an E-collar (I am not keen on this idea). He thinks diesel barks out of fear not aggression, this disapproving looks become quite wearing….

Looking for so opinions on this one...

Thanks

NDJ
 

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I have tried the Aboistop collar which was successful for a week, but now he just ignores the noise/air/smell...
 

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The young Dobe does not need an electric collar at this point in his young life. I would strongly consider finding a different trainer.
It is hard to help over the Internet for specific training issues. If you go to the AKC website they can tell you where some training clubs in your area might be with qualified trainers. I don’t think it would be wise to give you dog to someone else to do the training. Sometimes training doesn’t “transfer” over. Sometimes dogs only obey individuals they see as leaders. If the owners are having issues with the dog, they need to be the ones learning how to teach the dog themselves. It enhances bonding between the dog and owner and is a fun journey for you to take together. A random person taking the dog might not be helpful at all. That and the fact I don’t trust most people that do that type of dog training. I have heard WAY too many abuse and horror stories. Dobermans sometimes get abused because of their perception as so called “tough dogs”.

When your boy was a young puppy, did you take him places, if so, where and how often? Socialization does make a difference, it also makes a difference what type of socialization and what you let the dog act like and do during those times. How you handle the situations. Dogs look to for guidance. We must be leaders and know how to lead. If a dog sees an object that bothers him, like a bag blowing in the wind, we as owners should encourage that dog to check it out, which builds confidence in the dog when they discover it isn’t anything to worry about. Watch how you react to your dog, do you get tense when other dogs come near? If so, you could be sending the wrong messages to your puppy. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, you think the dog is going to bark, your body language and feelings anticipate that, and it happens. Dogs tend to pick up on what we are feeling very quickly whether or not we are aware of that or not. There is a saying that our energy flows down the leash to the dog. That is why some dogs will perform wonderful at home and at the training club but once they get in a competitive setting where it is for real, they notice their owner is stressed and something isn’t right so they don’t do well either. Avoid mixed messages when you can. Actions and body language speaks louder to dogs than our English words.

It seems like your dog is shy from your post and is acting reactively. Young Doberman males should be confident and outgoing. Diesel definitely could use some more socialization, although it could be his breeding (hopefully not, this is also where the importance of a quality reputable breeders comes into play since they socialize their puppies from birth). Some dogs need more socialization that others too, Dobermans as a whole need tons and tons of it from puppyhood all the way through adulthood.

I think playing with the Cockers that you knew was a good step. You should socialize him yourself to the “real world”. Do not allow Diesel to scream until you “give in”. Your will has to be stronger than his or you cannot help him. He cannot always have his way. Leave the house if you have to, turn the TV up, or put on headphones. When puppies are crying in their crates, if you go to them they will learn that crying gets them attention and out of the crate. They got what they wanted and they remember how they did it. If you only go get them when they are being quiet they will be rewarded for being quiet, not for crying. It does make a difference. The dog has to learn to do what you want to get the reward. You cannot give in.

Dobermans do not well when trained for convenience. What I mean by that is you need to follow through on your commands and say what you mean and make them do what you say, no matter how long it takes. If you ask Diesel to sit and he doesn’t sit, don’t leave or repeat the command over and over until he walks away. Sit means sit, sit the first time, and every time. Dogs thrive on consistency. It confuses the dog when you say sit and don’t really mean it every single time. When you say something, mean it and make sure the dog does what you say before being rewarded. Sit doesn’t mean sit when you feel like it. Dobes pick up on “real” meanings very fast. That is why some dogs only obey one or two people in the family.
They need concrete rules they need an owner that will be very persistent to enforce those rules, regardless of it is convenient or not to follow through and make sure the dog is obeying.

The dogs are always being trained, even if it isn’t what we want and we don’t think we are training them. We are their life and they spend a lot of time trying to understand us. We have work, family, social lives, and school among other things that distract us, they don’t. Smart dogs like Dobermans learn very quickly how to manipulate to get what they want. Your behavior and what you allow can either turn the dog into a spoiled monster or help the dog turn into the companion you have always dreamed of.

You can help the dog build his confidence by exposing him to new situations. Maybe you can visit the hunting dog trainer and help him socialize your dog, that way Diesel can encounter new situations with you by his side. Do not leave him there though. Exercise is very important; you should give him an hour of your time per day broken up into increments. Fetch is a good activity to wear him out. A tired dog is a good dog. I think you will find the extra exercise goes a long way to help problem behaviors.


Does the dog follow your commands? Have you tried a nothing in life is for free type plan? Here is an example http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm ,
http://www.samoyedrescue.com/nilif.htm, http://www.k9station.com/NILIF.htm, http://www.idahohumanesociety.com/caretrain/notfree.html

We do a modified approach around here. It does wonders for you in the eyes of a male Doberman. Most male Dobermans are quite pushy and have no problem assuming a leadership role if you let them. That is what I love about the males, among of things, their confidence. But this can become a problem if you don’t present yourself and everyone in your family as clear leaders. You mentioned the trainer thought you spoiling him, I think if you start to do the NILIF program you will see things improve.

Did he meet other dogs? If so, in what setting? I don’t allow dogs to meet random dogs, not at dog parks and not while we are working or on outings. They have lots of socialization but only meet dogs in settings like at people’s homes. We travel often and they are allowed to play with friends and family members dogs and always get along really well. Proper socialization is the key; you should screen the dogs your dog is interacting with. Not all dogs play nice and some dogs don’t want to play at all. Some dogs don’t like other dogs in their face and I don’t blame them.

Do you let him "go say hi" to other dogs? If so, this is not a good idea. I used to let my male meet and greet other dogs if we were out and about and saw one. Or in obedience classes before class or before shows outside of the ring. It was building expectation in the dog. He expected to meet the other dogs whenever he saw them and was expecting to play with them. So every time he saw another dog away from home he would get very excited and possibly start barking/whining and doing a happy uncontrollable crazy dance with fast break play bows. Now that was embarrassing.

He was anticipating getting to play/meet the other dog(s). It was my fault. For some dogs this isn’t a problem, for this particular dog it was. I had to change my way of thinking; he does NOT need to meet every single dog he comes across. He doesn't need to meet any of them really. There is really no point for dogs to meet and greet each other anyway for short periods of time. It serves no purpose. This is one of my favorite articles that explain that thought in detail: http://www.flyingdogpress.com/sayhi.html

When I changed that way of thinking and stopped letting him meet and greet dogs during shows, class times, or when we were out and about, the behavior eventually went away. He knew it wasn’t a possible “playtime” every time he saw another dog. It made a world of difference. I suggest visiting a dog club in your area and having them help you learn to how properly use a correctly sized and fitted prong collar. The major pet chains do not usually know how to properly fit and use such a collar. I used a prong to walk him and had a huge pocket or treat bag full of treats. Not just any treats, special high value treats that he rarely ever gets. You could use baked liver, baked chicken, or hot dogs. Something very smelly that he REALLY loves.

Whenever we would walk past another dog or person (he wanted to meet everything) I would make him focus on me, using the treat. At first I had to wave the treat in front of his nose, talk to him and feed the treats to him in rapid succession. I would tell him what a good boy he was. Communication is important of what you want. You have to let the dog know what is the proper response. It is more effective and better to give treats, feasible commands, and praise, than to say no and jerk the leash. I would keep the leash tightly in my hand, (not too tight with a little bit of slack), enough to not let him be able to lunge toward the other dog/person or get very close to them. We would keep on walking by while I was feeding him and talking to him, it was not a moment to sit and wait for what happens. Sometimes he would be required to sit or look at me in the eye when we had been doing the treat thing for a while. Eventually when he saw another dog or person he would start looking towards me for a treat or command and would be rewarded for that behavior. He needed me to help him learn what to do and he enjoyed the extra treats, extra walks, and extra time spent with him. It was a positive experience. We took walks in different places all the time so he could check out new environments and build his confidence at the same time.

This behavior modification approach did two things, one it helped this dog learn that other dogs meant something great, yummy treats. Dogs = delicious treats from owner.

Two, it helped train him to focus on me during distractions.

Treats and the prong collar are no longer needed after a period of time; you will know when that time is. But don’t be in a rush, this behavior didn’t happen on one session and will most likely take heaps of patience and training sessions to re-do. But it will be very worth it to have a dog who heels nicely beside your side at Petsmart, on dog show grounds, training classes, and during walks. That same dog that used to be reactive towards dogs now couldn’t care less when other dogs are around. I can talk to a person with a dog and he will keep to himself. We can walk crowded shows with dogs and people all around us and he will stay by my side keeping his nose in his own business. He only meets and greets people when given permission, which isn’t often. He is currently training as a therapy dog so it is good he keeps to himself and only interacts with those individuals who want attention from him. He wasn’t allowed to meet and greet random dogs for most of his life and he still loves all types of animals and people and gets along with them just fine.

Have you taken any obedience classes? If so, how long were they, how many did you take, and did he pass?
Once again go to the AKC website and check out training clubs in your area if you are not already in a good club. http://www.akc.org/events/obedience/training_clubs/. Go without your dog and see if you can find a trainer that is able to work with your young male and the issues or see if they know someone who can help. Finding a good dog club can help your dog with his confident issues and can help build his confidence back up to where it should be.
It is hard to diagnose problems over the Internet, and is much easier if you are face to face and can see the interaction between owner and dog and dog and other dogs. Body language and behavior are very important when dealing with dog problems. He is a young dog and I am sure he will be able to come around with some help. Good luck and update us on Diesel and his progress.
 

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Wow, that was super-informative, and from a no BS, but positive point of view. Great Post, Im gonna go check out those websites too!
 

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Thank you. The just wants to say hi (http://www.flyingdogpress.com/sayhi.html) is one of my favorite articles. It is a well written and informative article. Really puts things in perspective from a human stand point as well as from a dog's viewpoint of how non beneficial dogs "just saying hi" to other dogs can be.
 

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That is a really great article that needs to be posted up in every PetSmart and Dog Park in America. A different view than most people take on the subject, but I totally agree.
 
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