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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI, Im a fairly new doberman owner, all is going well and I am definately the pack leader, but I have a serious issue!! I know that they shouldn't be posturing protectiveness at this young age, but anyone who comes over, even if she's seen them before, she barks meanly and scares people...she just ran after son's friend as they were leaving and acted as if was going to bite like it bothered her that he was leaving.....also other day she nose bumped my brother in law in our house as he was walking away...I don't remember her being like this when we got her about a month ago...I am really upset because we don't play tug o war, nor do we chase...When I am around she less likely to do this, as she sees me as being able to control situation.. but why is she so insistent on protecting when no ones a threat??? She's not like this when we go to dog park with new people around (attention off subject perhaps?)

Anyway, I read at how other dobes are happy to meet new people..She's been socialized properly and continues to be..she's hard headed sometimes, and is food driven (sit, spin circles, lay...etc....in fact i have her laying with head turned away when prepare her food, then when put food down i have my hand out like stop, and i can fill her water dish, and take time with food in front on floor and she eyes me until i give command "ok" and wave arm to food....so she does listen)..but this barking and meaness to strangers in our house is so not acceptable...What about a shock or tone collar??? If I was the person visiting my house, I'd be deathly afraid if she did that to me because she actually goes for pant cuffs, and barks like she has to keep them away!!!! even if they are just standing there.....I have noticed that if the person keeps hands in pockets and let her come up naturally even tho don't like barking, she eventually does ok...ugh...

Can someone help please???? would so appreciate it....Our other dog was a German Shepherd from Germany and she was so dog and food agressive but not people, I actually thought she wouldn't protect us if she had to, but only twice in her life did she show me she would, and I liked the fact that she minded own business if didn't concern her....I also don't want' to bring up and raise a puppy who is fearful...besides this one huge issue, i think we are doing pretty good with her...

Thanks to all you doberman experts!!! for time and consideration..
 

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I think a shock collar would not help the issue. I wonder if, perhaps, this is a fear behavior rather than actual "aggression". I think she's the right age to be going through the second fear period?

If she goes nutso when people approach and come into the house, keep her on a leash. Give her a behavior instead of freaking out and barking; people come inside, she must sit. Then work on a "go say hi" style of greeting, which must be performed calmly, again without barking, and on a leash if necessary to keep calm. Let her know in this way that she doesn't need to worry about people you know and have let inside. DO NOT permit her to chase people.

If somebody is leaving, put her into a sit or a down, and release after they've gone. Allowing her to chase only reinforces the behavior for herself; sort of "Yeah, you better run!"

If you're comfortable giving it a shot, I would suggest actually playing tug of war with her. If you feel you're firmly in place as the "pack leader", than playing a game of that sort would be a confidence builder for your dog. It has nothing to do with your "status".
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Your so quick! thanks,...ya I thought it may be fear, and no we don't let her chase anyone, Its first time this happened otherwise it happens when she comes to person at door...ok so I will use her leash, could you perhaps go into what I should do exactly? won't she still run and bark at them? do i console her, or leave it command? and will she get over it?.....

so you think tug of war ok? I have read so many times where its the one game not to play with them....but YOUR the expert, not me...I so appreciate it!! (man are they always farty dogs? she is aweful sometimes, and whole house can be stinky from one of her gassy farty days!) lol

going off line for while, she getting fixed tomorrow so have to feed before ten..
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
oh, one more thing, her ears are cropped, but left ear as per owner he said is falling bc shes hitting adolescence.. she can hold both up when she at attention, but otherwiese the top flops down...will it do any good taping it now after its been left untaped for a month?
thanks again!
 

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Oh, I'm no expert, I just play one on the Internet.

Okay, here's the scenario. Your visitors are ready to leave. You shake hands, hug, wave goodbye, whatever it is that your NORMAL routine would be. You put your girl on a leash, and put her into a "sit" next to you. You can let her watch them, and reward her if she is watching and quiet, but she may not bark. If she does bark, get her attention again, and re-cue the sit. Reward her when she is quiet and calm. Just an example of one thing you can do. There's a book called Control Unleashed which contains the "look at that" game; you might also find it described on the Internet. It's a great book, though.

Another thing you can do is teach your dog "place" or "go to your bed", and have her "down" and "stay" on the bed when people come to the door and leave through the door. That way, she doesn't have to look at them, see them approaching, watch them retreating, etc. That might be a better one to start with, actually, set her up to be calmer. Rewards and patience, these are important things!

I've played tug with Elka since she was "old enough" to really get into it. It's very fun, she snarls and thrashes around, and I can really get her going; she sounds like she's ready to tear somebody's let off. "Drop" (drop it, but she responds to drop) is like the "off" button: toy out of mouth, no grabbing, a patient wait for the game to either start again or be officially over. It's not tug itself that makes problems, it's a lack of rules in the game. The dog must know drop it. The dog must not snap at the tug once it is solely in your hands. The dog must wait to be cued to take it. With those parameters, nobody gets hurt, everybody has fun, and with "all done", the toy gets put away for another time.

Talk to your vet, maybe? I know a lot of people do post for a very long time, so not all hope is lost! Maybe post some pictures on here as well. There are a lot of people with decades of ear and Doberman experience who can give you pointers on this! I was lucky; Elka's ears stood after only a few weeks.
 

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Please do not get into the I'm the pack leader dominance issue that kind of stuff is usually not the case it is very rare usually caused by humans. You puppy is a puppy a baby dog until they are about 3 years old they have fear periods you can google fear periods in puppies to learn more about them and about when they happen. Yes please do go back to posting ears ears may be posted until 18-24 months ears may go down when teething.
Please try to take your puppy to an obedience class you will learn how to train your puppy. It also would help when someone comes over to have them ignore the puppy have them drop a tiny treat near the puppy. This way the puppy will feel more comfortable around people,do not worry this will not interfere with your pup being a watch dog in the future. The more people your puppy can meet the more confident your puppy will be in the future.What food are you feeding sometimes if you change foods you have less gas from your dog. I feed Taste of the Wild the Fish one do not have gas problems.Of course anytime you change foods you do it slowly over a couple of weeks less chances of diarrhea no one wants that. Good Luck with your puppy.
 

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If I left Kyrah loose while opening the door she would still go crazy barking and growling. I did something simular to what GingerGunlock said. I tried when she was younger to just let people in but this was not working and felt it was reinforcing the behavior. So then I put her in her kennel which is in the dinning room when people came over. This way she could smell them and hear them moving around. I left her there until she was calm about someone being in the house. She rarely even barked while in her kennel. So probably less than 5 mins. During this time I was also teaching "spot" which is for her to lay on her dog pillow in the living room. My dogs when I say this are to go to their pillow and lay down. Yay! And they finally can do it when opening the door for strangers! So now it really depends on if the person has been there before or how many people are coming over as to whether I use the kennel or spot procedure. I also taught her "greet" which is that she is to sit by my side before approaching our guests when I first let her out. I take her and show her whos in the house. I ask them to ignore her and let her sniff them. She sits by my side and I tell her "greet" she goes up and sniffs them. She may stay for a pet or may just walk away and go about her business. It didnt happen over night. Part of it is still a work in progress. When she is in her "spot" she may still bark and growl but it is on her spot. I tell her enough and we are working on her stopping when I say but she may still give a few. When I do the "spot" thing I do not release her until she is calm not just stopped barking. If she is still too alert I will not let her up.
 

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Your so quick! thanks,...ya I thought it may be fear, and no we don't let her chase anyone, Its first time this happened otherwise it happens when she comes to person at door...ok so I will use her leash, could you perhaps go into what I should do exactly? won't she still run and bark at them? do i console her, or leave it command? and will she get over it?.....

so you think tug of war ok? I have read so many times where its the one game not to play with them....but YOUR the expert, not me...I so appreciate it!! (man are they always farty dogs? she is aweful sometimes, and whole house can be stinky from one of her gassy farty days!) lol

going off line for while, she getting fixed tomorrow so have to feed before ten..
Yep, sounds like fear, coupled with being over threshold, and a bit of prey drive at times (the chasing).

This is almost definitely NOT protective behavior, and you're right to intervene appropriately, and not encourage these behaviors.

And yes, Dobermans are one of the fartier breeds, IME. :)

Good luck on her spay, make sure they send some oral pain meds home with her!

oh, one more thing, her ears are cropped, but left ear as per owner he said is falling bc shes hitting adolescence.. she can hold both up when she at attention, but otherwiese the top flops down...will it do any good taping it now after its been left untaped for a month?
thanks again!
Yes, post/tape all thru teething.

Please do not get into the I'm the pack leader dominance issue that kind of stuff is usually not the case it is very rare usually caused by humans. You puppy is a puppy a baby dog until they are about 3 years old they have fear periods you can google fear periods in puppies to learn more about them and about when they happen. Yes please do go back to posting ears ears may be posted until 18-24 months ears may go down when teething.
Please try to take your puppy to an obedience class you will learn how to train your puppy. It also would help when someone comes over to have them ignore the puppy have them drop a tiny treat near the puppy. This way the puppy will feel more comfortable around people,do not worry this will not interfere with your pup being a watch dog in the future. The more people your puppy can meet the more confident your puppy will be in the future.What food are you feeding sometimes if you change foods you have less gas from your dog. I feed Taste of the Wild the Fish one do not have gas problems.Of course anytime you change foods you do it slowly over a couple of weeks less chances of diarrhea no one wants that. Good Luck with your puppy.
Yes, good point about the whole "pack leader" thing.

Many times, when someone starts with this kind of language, it's sort of an indication they haven't updated their dog knowledge in a long time, or else have been listening to folks who have not.

We've learned a whole lot about reading dog language, and training effectively and in a fair manner, since those debunked wolf-study days.

Stick around and check out the reading list here--there are also some good videos if you prefer.

One book that I think is priceless (but only runs about ten bucks) is Turid Rugaas' On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals

Very easy quick read, for busy people, yet packed with good information, including great photo/visuals.

That, and McDevitt's Control Unleashed, and Pat Miller's The Power of Positive Dog Training will get you well on your way, and will have any good trainer/behaviorist grinning ear-to-ear at how smart you and your Doberman are, and what a headstart you have on knowledgeable training.
 

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Hey there! I'd definitely agree with what GingerGunlock says about doing the 'wait' or 'place' command; making them stay in one place while a guest enters/leaves the house. I could also say you could give your guests some treats to give her, just to reinforce that guests coming to the house are a good thing (I would suggest that the guests not even look at her when they come in, instead they completely ignore the dog and drop the treats on the floor, as this is much less threatening)

I personally would say a shock collar would also be a definate no-no, as you dont want to reinforce to your dog that guests are a bad thing, and she gets shocks while a guest is about!

Your dog is the same age as mine, would love so see some pics :)

I also bought a very low stair gate to put in my hallway so that if one of the dogs did break from their place, they KNOW that they're not allowed to step over that gate. I mainly have this as I live on a main road, and if they ran out the front door they could get his by a car, but it also helps for the dogs giving people (including me!) space as they come through the front door.
 

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The shock collar used in this instance can escalate the issue if she thinks the correction comes from the gues it could cause her to go on a bite which is not what you want to accomplish. Put her on leash and teach here the behavior you want.

Have her sit calmly and watch them leave. Then praise her for sitting nicely. It is not as much about being the pack leader as it is about being clear to her on what is expected. She is a baby and is learning. You are the teacher not the police. Be quick to praise and slow to correct.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks - you guys are all great!!! I feed "Orajandi" (not sure of spelling, it's like 80 dollars for bag and is made around here and yes I have the salmon one..no bad ingredients...Her coat is 4times as shiny as was when first got her in which previous owner fed Science diet rice lamb..yuk!) plus a add organic yogurt to her food...

You all make it sound so easy...wen have company, she only initially acts (only w men) and noses out right for them like she's gonna attack (of coarse i know she wont) but she does suprisingly know leave it, and she does listen to me....I speak of the pack leader stuff because I don't want her to know who's boss, but maybe I worry too much...

Yes, there's a obedience class starting in couple weeks right up the road, and already have spot there...She sure loves the dog park and other dobes and rotweillers!Rough rough play! but when a 8 wk old puppy came in the other day (God knows why they brought a puppy) these 2 roughiens were so calm and sweet...

Thanks all for your time, She doesn't have many bad habits, but ones she does I get very upset that I have done something to ruin her..she is extremely hard headed...for instance you bring a treat out and she'll do the rhumba...anything..and first time you ask, however, ask her to sit when she wants to go outside and she acts as if i am speaking jiberish...stinker..(but NO isn't in her vocab, she seems to be a repeat offender of word no...plus sneaky,,i thought my daughter was when she was young,...you can see the look in her eyes when i leave room then she slinks off, and sure enough she helps herself to peice of pizza on counter,,,,,,only wished it were hot! maybe then she'd learn..lol)

She's getting fixed tomorrow (today wasn't open), and I have school in am, then I will post some pictures, esp of her floppy ear (which she can hold it up when she wants)....its funny how soo stinkin smart they are, I thought our 6000$ shepherd was smart, oh boy...not even close!

Thanks again!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
TO KYRAH'S mom....Ya, it seems like jj is less anxious when she does the sniffing (although her nose comes at them like a missle) and if the person doesn't offer the hand for sniffing..) I just want to be one of those people who has a well behaved dobie, and to represent the breed in the positive light it should be....
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
For rest of the posts, thanks for the suggested books!...I am very quick to praise (even as I sooooo mad sometimes at her submissive urine, or her badness, sneakiness, ) but its so hard not getting upset! (let me clarify, I , me, get internally upset, as I know outwardly isn't good...)

OH, many of you are writing on what to do when company leaves, (probably bc original post I had said that she did the nip at pant leg of the boy who was leaving) .. but its more the barking when someone comes in and that fast nose to their legs, like she has to ward them off...i don't like that at all...maybe I will get in touch with a trainer who can come visit my house...I promise to post pictures asap..I have an essay due by Wed. so when my son can help me i will post some recent cutie ones...

Thankssss!!!!
 

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Yes, there's a obedience class starting in couple weeks right up the road, and already have spot there...She sure loves the dog park and other dobes and rotweillers!Rough rough play! but when a 8 wk old puppy came in the other day (God knows why they brought a puppy) these 2 roughiens were so calm and sweet...

!!!
have you let the instructor know of her current issues? Obedience classes are fantastic but I beileve she needs one on one training with a good trainer who can desensitize her to people and lower her fear levels. And if she's aggressing at people, I'd stop the dog park ASAP. Bad combination.
 

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For rest of the posts, thanks for the suggested books!...I am very quick to praise (even as I sooooo mad sometimes at her submissive urine, or her badness, sneakiness, ) but its so hard not getting upset! (let me clarify, I , me, get internally upset, as I know outwardly isn't good...)

OH, many of you are writing on what to do when company leaves, (probably bc original post I had said that she did the nip at pant leg of the boy who was leaving) .. but its more the barking when someone comes in and that fast nose to their legs, like she has to ward them off...i don't like that at all...maybe I will get in touch with a trainer who can come visit my house...I promise to post pictures asap..I have an essay due by Wed. so when my son can help me i will post some recent cutie ones...

Thankssss!!!!
I meant it for both when company arrives and departs. Heck, for when the mailman walks past or the pizza guy is there. It's important to practice when nobody's at the door, as well as reinforcing the behavior when somebody is there.

A trainer is a good idea! Again, I really recommend positive methods, so I would recommend that you try to find out what the trainer's methods and philosophy are, just to make sure you're comfortable with the setup, and feel that it's best for you and your dog.
 

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+1 for GingerGunlock training regiment, on his posts.
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Your dobe is not taking clues from you (with men in the house) - as much as you think your the leader & in total control.
Therefore, your dobe needs more "mental stimulation" and "trust/respect building" to increase his confidence level.
- and eliminate the fear factor

Train on the living room floor, for example (small enough to control games) - not outside, to prevent wandering & lose of focus.
- ball fetch
- soft bite/muzzle control, rotating ball in dogs mouth with human hand
- rotate play time to tug-of-war game
(flip-flop games around, to keep fun and constant eye contact)

Shock collars are not a magic bullet, in the hands of the untrained or those with poor timing.
Go back to solid fundamentals of dog training...problem is easily fixable, with fun games & more structure.
 

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You might be able to get a trainer recommendation if you give us a general idea of where you are located.
 
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