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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So to start this off, it's about his destructiveness and overall disobedience when i'm not around. when i first got him at 10 weeks, there were little things here and there he would do, but after about 2-3 weeks of solid corrections, the habits virtually stopped. Especially when i was around to supervise him. He has a very clear understanding that he is only allowed to chew on his toys, and them only. he hardly ever chews on something he's not supposed to when roaming around the house (when i'm home).

Now he's just about 8 months old, but in the past week he has been VERY disobedient whenever i'm not looking/around to check on him. The biggest thing is his destructive habits inside of his crate. i always leave toys (kong, hard nylabone toys, and a treat toy) for him in his crate when i know i can't watch him. I have a blanket that wraps the plastic pan on the bottom which he never ever tries to rip up.

he did have a consistent problem with swiss cheesing corners of pillows in the crate so after giving him several chances (i would catch him in the act, give a strong "NO BITE", take the pillow away for the rest of the day. he quickly caught on and stopped doing this when i was around. but it became an issue again once i would leave the house to run errands or go to class, i would come home to a soggy pillow. this got extremely frustrating because i know he appreciates having them because he sleeps like an angel on them and i'm sure he understands its for his comfort when resting. but after several mishaps, he lost his privilege to pillows in the crate period. also, he has NEVER chewed on MY pillows before so i know he knows better.

up until the past few days, he has never ever had an issue chewing at his dog bed he had. i bought it for him after he had a strong understanding of not chewing his bed. he tried picking at it a couple times the first day but after immediate corrections he got the idea very quickly that this was for his comfort, not to destroy. never had an issue for 5 months since. then just a few days ago, when i left the house to run an errand for a couple hours, i come home to a shredded dog bed. as soon as i saw it, he knew he was in trouble. i held the bed up to him and said "BAD BOY, NO BITE" took it out, and took everything out of his crate so he had to stay on hard plastic (left the toys in there for him) for the rest of the day.

i have a comforter blanket that i always keep on the couch that he loves to nestle on, which ive never had an issue with him ever trying to rip apart. he simply just loves to snooze on it. i decided to make it his crate blanket to replace his dog bed since the mishap. hes been great on it for the last couple days until tonight. i just went to petsmart today as well and bought him 2 new big chew toys that quickly became his favorites to chew on all day. i was cooking dinner and left him in his crate for about half an hour. when i put him in the crate, first thing he did was start going at the chew toy, and i headed to the kitchen. i come back to let him out since i was finished, only to see a huge mess in the crate. it wasnt even from sucking on the corner, he literally tore a huge hole somewhere in the middle of the blanket. again, i told him "BAD BOY, NO BITE" and took everything out except his toys again.

i'm literally thinking about keeping him on hard plastic for like a week or something, so he understands that the soft cushy stuff he gets to lay on is for his comfort, not to destroy. so he understands that its a privilege to have the bed/blanket, that yes, if he cant take care of them he will have to sleep on plastic. this blanket is just a huge shocker to me though, because he's NEVER had an issue with it, even when i wasnt directly supervising him (when it was still for the couch).

ducati is very, very intelligent and that is something that i will never doubt, and its my belief that he gets the idea when i strip his crate of all its comfort. i feel its just him not being able to control his instincts when im not there to enforce it. and its baffling me as to why its all just happening now, over the past few days. please, let me know if you know more effective ways to correct this behavior because as much as i will go ahead and do what i need to, i want him to be comfortable in his crate.

what makes everything worse to me is that he knows better because its never an issue when im supervising him. even when i'm not directly supervising him and i let him run free around the house, he doesnt chew on my belongings for the most part. i always correct him if hes doing something hes not supposed to and he will knock it off. i want to eventually let him roam free in the house but this is just overwhelming me with frustration when hes progressively becoming worse, even in a controlled environment (crate).

as for exercise, i make him run and fetch for 20-30 minutes first thing every morning until he is dead tired, then walk him around the neighborhood for about 10-15 minutes, and then he gets to eat. he'll have a good nap for a few hours in the afternoon, then i wear him out again in the evening when he gets hyper. one thing im thinking is his insecurity, he was super whiney at first when left alone. he got better, but its been sporadic the last few months. sometimes hes fine, sometimes hes awful. i ignore it most of the time, and when he gets REALLY loud and annoying i will yell a sharp "QUIET" across the house and he will literally stop until i let him out, whether it be a minute or an hour. i've been working on his self confidence by letting him out in the backyard by himself every day for like 20 minutes or so, and when hes outside alone hes always enjoying himself. i swear its only when hes in his crate. hes attached to me at the hip most of the time, but even sometimes when he trots off to do his own thing in another room of the house (though i rarely allow it), hes again enjoying himself. its just confusing to me because his bad behavior is sporadic, sometimes hes an angel, and sometimes he doesnt care hes going to do as he pleases because im not there to correct him. please help!

*this is a novel, im so sorry. i just want to try to give as much info as i can from the start*
 

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You make it sound like you run a boot camp and I am sure that is not so. I think you are giving way too much credit for understanding life and I also believe part of his problem is separation anxiety. He needs more down time away from you to build his confidence in himself. It is really difficult to know what all is happening to make him act the way he does just reading your side and not being able to observe him too. I suggest you get a good behavorist to help you. Also gonna say dobes do much better with positive reinforcement than corrections. Make sure the behavorist believes in positive reinforcement.
 

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Ruby has a blanket she sucks on, she will carry it all over the house even out side. I don't fight it if it make her feel better and it doesn't hurt anything why not.

All the belonging in the house are mine. And all the stuff in the crate are hers. She learned this fast and if she get something she shouldn't have right into the crate she wants to take it. I just take it away and say no mine and hand her something she can have in the crate.

I have found that dobermans not only need exercise they need to exercise the mind too. I keep several different kinds of treats in jar around the house. Several times a day I will stop and do a exercise with Ruby. I try to keep it fun something as simple as dancing threw my legs.

A bored doberman is a distructive doberman.

Dawn

Dawn
 

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Nina still can not have blankets in her kennel. It's as if she can't help herself. She is 4, and I've just come to accept she is one of several dogs that can't have blankets in there with her. She rarely kennels anymore though, and is perfectly behaved otherwise. You can't just assume "they know better". The reason he may not do it while you're around is because he has your attention at the moment. Not because he knows he's not supposed to chew it.

Just take them out. It removes his temptation and your frustration. If you're worried about comfort then try some of the claimed "indestructable" dog beds.

It sounds like there's an underlying issue though. Whether it is separation anxiety or pure boredom. I'd start doing several short training sessions a day. If there's one thing about dobes, it's that they need mental stimulation just as much as they need physical stimulation. Do you have him in any training classes? Do you train consistently at home?
 

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At about your dog's age, Chase went from being fine with blankets, beds, and stuffies to trying to kill them and eat them with a vengeance. When he was a wee guy, his breeder sent a huge stuffy home with him that he loved and would suck on and cuddle with. Death to stuffy. The solution to the problem was simple: he no longer got those items. I remember pulling over on the side of the highway on the way to a dog show to remove the bed he was trying to eat!! I work full time and he is on hard plastic. It's not the most comfortable, but it's for his safety. His desire to chew seems to be waning now at 14 months, and I can actually crate him for a few hours with a bed now, so I might pick up a kuranda bed for his crate.

I don't think letting your dog go bare will teach him that he shouldn't chew if he wants to stay comfortable. I would just realize that at this point in time, your puppy cannot handle having a bed. He probably will grow out of it, but for his safety, leave him bed-less for the time being. Try not to let it frustrate you - it's probably a phase that too will pass (hopefully!).
 

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What obedience training has he had. Soiunds to me like you are expecting way too much way too soon and he is frustrated because he does not understand what is being asked.

You might feel he does but at 8 months he is still a baby. How much exercise does he get - not just run around in the back yard - but do you take him for walks, play with him or just give orders???? I can't stress this enough he is a baby still. Big in body but a baby none the less. He is also reaching the age when he will push boundaries.

Why not just take blankets away instead of continuing to make an issue and frustrate you both???
 

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I think he is in his crate too much. He is 8 months old now, why is he in the crate while you are cooking dinner? At 8 months old he should be at your feet, in your way while you are cooking. I get the feeling like you think he is doing this on purpose to annoy you, he is not. Some dogs tear blankets. My doberman, for example, is 2 1/2 and he can not have a stuffie toy. My aussies had the same stuffies for YEARS but Eli cannot have one for 5 minutes. I can see not giving him blankets because you are worried he will ingest something but to say you aren't going to so you can "teach him a lesson" really bothers me. It sounds angry and spiteful.

Do you train him? Have you been to training class? I think you need to go to a class and learn to enjoy and appreciate him more. Get him out of that crate, confine him in a larger space in your home if you can. You need to adopt an "oh well" attitude and dogs do NOT do things to "get" us. He may not chew on stuff when you are there because it is simple a question of him feeling more secure when you are there. He may be uncomfortable in the crate and prefers to be with you when you are home. Just a few things for you to mull over in my post but seriously consider doing some dog book reading from the library here and taking your boy to class.
 

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Welcome to Dobermans - He is still a baby but you are expecting mature adult behavior from him - also, he is a dog and not a human - from your post, it seems like you expect him to have human reasoning ability..... he doesn't.

If he can't handle having a blanket or bed in his crate, then simply don't give him one till he is more mature. He may never be safe with a crate blanket/bed. Lots of Dobermans destroy bedding and I'd rather see them with none than risk an obstruction because he decides to eat one. My own Dobermans don't spend much time in crates and still tend to destroy bedding. I buy crate pads for them and know that their lifetime is limited. As soon as they start chewing holes in it, I toss it and buy a new one. New ones last for a while before they start chewing on them..... just a fact of life with this breed. Dobermans are strong chewers - they chew, some suck and chew and some just like to suck on something... like a blanket or even their own flank.
 

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It just doesn't sound like you are enjoying Ducati. He is a puppy and while I know they can drive you nuts at times, (remember we all have raised one, too)he is still a puppy and has a long way to go before figuring out what you want of him. Give him a break, he is not trying to get even with you...he doesn't have the capacity to think like that. You are really going to make him anxious and confuse him if you feel this way.

Just let him be a carefree puppy and enjoy his puppy attitude to life. He will grow up way too soon, tho boy's can always be sort of a puppy in the mind.:):):) He won't mentally mature till he is around three.

I think taking him to training classes would be a very good thing for both of you. I am still leaning toward a positive reinforcement behaviourist.

You might try here, but I know nothing of these people so do a good interview and only agree to one that works with positive reinforcement. I found one on the Victoria Stilwell site. She is only about 60 miles from you.

Daphne Robert-Hamilton
1.9 miles (408) 857-2468
Monroe, WA 98272 Website http://daphne.roberthamilton.positively.com/

http://positively.com/dog-training/find-a-trainer/

Hope we have helped you to understand some of why Ducati does what he does.:):):)
 

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Dogs also teethe a second time right around this age. Check to see if his molars way at the back are coming in now. It will make the urge to chew stronger, so the need for close supervision, and appropriate chew things (and continuing to puppy proof non-appropriate chew things in his living space) especially necessary.
 

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Gus is 8 months old and his chewing has increased like crazy it's really frustrating. My vet told me about the second teething. When I do have to crate him during the day I sometimes putting treats in the Kong or a little peanut butter. It keeps him pretty occupied I come home to a relatively non-messy crate. But yeah I would let him hang out with me when I'm cooking or anything I feel like leaving them in the crate when they can hear you or see you for would be rough for them...
 

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Puppies chew on things in crates because they're bored, not because they're trying to be disobedient. I'm not saying he should NEVER be bored.. dogs need to learn how to settle in crates for their own safety (and sometimes your sanity). Just take the bedding away, it WON'T hurt him. But it could possibly result in an emergency surgery for him if you don't. Obstruction surgeries are NO fun. Plenty of DT dobes sleep in crates with no bedding, although some people have found very thin beds or ones with no stuffing work well.

Some dogs will never be able to be completely trusted with soft things in their crate. It's just life with a doberman. Ziggy stopped trying to destroy things about the time he was 16 months old. Now he is 2 and I can leave him in a room with a futon topped with comforter, feather bed, and pillows. Not only will he NOT touch the bedding.. he won't even get on the futon. :) Your boy is just too young right now to always be calm. Try to enjoy his puppyhood. Ducati will be much happier and you will have a much lower blood pressure if you simply remove the things that tempt him (this goes for both inside the crate and out) and focus on positive reinforcement rather than "strong corrections." :)

ETA: Honestly.. I don't know if I know ANY 8-month old puppy who could resist tearing up a pillow in a crate!!! :lol: Pillows are GOLDMINES! All that stuffing! So much more fun than a Nylabone or Kong! :lol:
 

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My girl Saga will be 4 in July and she cannot have a blanket or crate pad, at all. She will either destroy them or will use them to cover an accident. ( Which she never has when there isn't something in the crate that she can use to hide it.) After many attempts, I just gave up. It won't hurt her to not have a blanket in her crate. She isn't destructive in any other situation though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanks everybody for responding so quickly and honestly. i realize now that after reading back on this, i was doing a whole lot of venting... but i want to let you guys know that i LOVE ducati and that we play together VERY much! he hangs out with me all day unless i'm not home and i try to make it to the park at least twice a week to let him just run and be free.

as far as training goes, he hasn't gone through formal training but he knows obedience commands like sit, down, stay, leave it, out, back up, move, look at me, come, chill. he knows some tricks like shake, high five, roll, jump. he caught on to all of them very fast, in a matter of a 5 minutes usually. i say all of em literally all throughout the day without even noticing. whenever we play with toys or he is about to eat, i train him a lot on these things and he loves to listen. when i dont have a toy or food/treats, he mostly listens but occasionally his attention span is just too short to focus. i try to work on his focus a lot especially during play when he is full of energy and again when he is dog tired. i guess after i saw he understood commands i started getting complacent about literally having "training sessions" with treats just going over the basics. i think spending 5-10 minutes a day on pure focus training with treats will help a lot, so im going to start doing that.

also, i checked on his teeth and it seems he has like 2-3 teeth that are halfway grown in on each side of his bottom jaw. i had no idea there was a second teething stage and i guess that can help explain his renewed chewing habit.

as to his crating, if i am around he only gets crated if i cant give him my full attention and i have something important that needs to get done at the time and he keeps moving around when i tell him to stay and play with his toys in a particular spot where i can keep an eye on him. its usually not an issue but i always make sure to enforce my commands, so if i can't do it, i crate. he's actually not allowed in the kitchen so whenever i am doing something in there, he has a spot on the dining room rug where he lays down and just chews away on a toy. last night, he kept getting up and running off to another room when i gave him the "stay" command so i put him in his crate for about 30 minutes so i could finish cooking. i don't see why thats so bad?

i do believe though that his seperation anxiety is still not alleviated so im going to do more research on effective training methods to work on it again. and i would say that most of the crate destruction is to sooth himself. he hasnt had a problem with the thin blanket i wrap the pan with so i'm just going to leave him with that and hope he doesnt rip it apart. he doesn't sleep so well on the plastic though i've noticed. he's always shifting to get comfortable and wimpers here and there and doesnt fall into a deep sleep very well.

again, thanks everyone i appreciate the help.
 

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There is a crate bed that you tie down to the bottom of the crate tightly got one for Buddy still have the bed he is now 4 years old.You are putting human thoughts and emotions on your puppy he is a puppy/dog not a human they do not think like the way you are describing. Please take you puppy to obedience classes where you go usually an hour a week they teach you how to train your puppy/dog.You have homework each week you just work about 15 minutes a day with your puppy/dog.Doberman males are not adults with their minds until about 2-3 years old. Good Luck training it is a life time process used everyday.
 

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Chase will have those 'moments' where he can be fine with a couch for a few weeks and suddenly decide to destroy one side of it. To me, this says: Mum, i need a change in my training and exercise, im bored.

Yes he gets at least 2 hours of exercise and and 30mins of training/obedience a day, but they must vary or he begins to make up games of his own...involving my rug, bed, pillows, grass, plants, garbage, and many more objects.

Even though you do do training and obedience with your pup, maybe its time to switch it up. Instead of doing it in the back yard, go to a park. Ask for a sit on a hill, lay on a bench, weave through some trees. On your walks, go down a street you have not been down. Break them up into 30mins walks, mix some training into it.

This will mentally and physically calm him down, by the time you get home, he will happily chill on his pillow or quietly follow you around the house.

As a side note: Chase cannot have anything 'stuffy' in his crate (pillows, duvets) he likes to make a nest out of the fabrics, so i bought thick blankets with no filling and layer it up in his crate. He has done nothing to the blankets.
 
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