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Discussion Starter #1
So my Nikko is 3 months and 2 weeks old. He has a serious issue with nipping and biting I have 2 daughters a 7 and 2 year old. The issue is my 2 yo and and 3 month old dog are the same size and weight basically. He likes to push his weight on her she easily falls over. He will also jump up and once scratched her face. Once she's down he'll nip and bite. I don't really know how to handle this or correct it. Once he plays rough and I try to calm him down by holding him by the collar until he calms down but it never really works. I really need to get this under control before he becomes bigger. I am hoping that this is something that I can handle I would prefer not taking him to training classes cause I'm sure that cost a good amount of money. He's being crate trained and I would like for him to be out of the crate after bathroom breaks but he's overly hyper and always messing and biting on the girls.
 

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I guess it depends on what you think is a "good amount of money". I think our puppy and beginners OB courses are around $125 for 6-8 week courses. Dobes are naturally nippier puppies who also naturally play a bit rougher than most breeds and I think OB is worth every single penny, even more so if I had small children.

I don't have too much experience with puppies and small children but I think teaching the puppy "down" and "leave it" would be a nice start. I would also have your 2 year old train with the puppy so when she says "down" he downs (and he must be made to do it 100% of the time when told). Then progress to "down" "stays" so he can learn a bit of self control. Realize though that for a young puppy if they can stay for 10-30 sec. that's pretty good and it takes a lot of practice to progress the length of time for a stay.


Also, I would try to limit their time together for when the puppy is sleepy or not as energetic so the 2 year old doesn't start to become afraid of him.

Best of luck!
 

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This looks to be good instructions: ?HELP! My puppy is biting my toddler!? | The Parenting Passageway

Holding the collar won't work as tension will actually ramp him up, but you could leash him to you so you the only time he is around your child is when you are there. I would teach him the 'leave it" command right off.

Here are some videos that are very good to help you: Dog Training Demo | Videos | Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS

I have to ask if you are socializing this puppy? It's a MUST with doberman puppies as you don't want to raise a fearful dog who can easily become a fear biter. Training classes do more than just train you and your puppy. They socialize your puppy with strange dogs, strange people and to a strange place at first. Socialization in a must and not something you can put off till you can get around to it. It's a very important step with young puppies and is an ongoing process till your pup is at least two years old.

Next, are you playing with this puppy at all to burn his energy off? He needs to play with you so you can teach him biting is to be done mainly on stuffy toys, at least while he has needle sharp teeth. Also teaching bite inhibition, a quick shiek when he bites. He should stop and look up at you...act hurt for a bit. He does need something to chew because he either is or will be teething very soon. Also, when he starts biting you, stuff a stuffy toy in his mouth. When he hits around 5 months he will start shredding these toys and eating stuffing, tho, so keep your eyes on him. Kongs are good for them to chew on and you can smear a little peanut butter to make them more interesting at first.
 

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Yes, you can certainly do things at home, but in my opinion there is no substitution for an obedience class and proper socialization. Not things to skimp on unless you want an 80 fear biter or a thug with no manners who thinks he is king of the castle!
 

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Never leave your two year old and puppy alone together. Neither is mature enough to behave properly all the time. I like the idea of having the puppy on a leash when he is around your child--that way it is much easier to control him and distract him if necessary. Usually the first thing to do with a biting puppy is to shove a toy in his mouth (entice him with it) and show him what he SHOULD chew on, instead of saying "no" all the time. If he ignores your attempts to distract him and keeps nipping, all attention stops (positive or negative) and you should unemotionally put him in time out for a very short while so he can calm down. He will soon learn, if you are consistent (in real time--how long it feels to you may seem like forever :)) that the wrong kind of play leads to no fun.

Along with the discipline goes lots of fun (and at this age, training too should be part of the fun) and good exercise. How much attention is he getting? His exercise, at this point and until he is about 18 months old, should be free choice--no repetitive stuff like jogging or biking--and even walks should allow him plenty of time to stop and explore his environment when he wants to. Don't push him; let him explore and meet people, dogs, or new things at his own pace. Of course, as he gets more secure, pulling you all over the place will probably become a problem--and that's where you need to learn how to leash train him properly.


A good puppy class trains you as much as the dog. It will teach you how to deal with your current difficulties, and also what behavior he is exhibiting now might develop into a problem later on, along with the different techniques you can use to fix those behaviors early.

It also gives a puppy a chance to be around different kinds of dogs and people in an appropriate controlled environment--a must as you start to socialize him. He should be seeing (in a unpressured introductory fashion) as many different people, dogs (assuming he's had all his puppy shots) and other animals, and environments as possible so he can explore them and learn which things are harmless and what not to be afraid of. That way as a mature adult, he will have the background and judgement to make good decisions about when to alert you to possible dangers, and when to relax and go with the flow.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This is all really great feedback! I like the idea of leashing him to me too. It will also help with potty training. Right now he is in his crate most of the time and maybe not getting as much exercise. He goes out in the morning for about an hour to wonder use the restroom and eat breakfast. He's then crated while I am at work and then the same thing for dinner 1 hour to be out. We'll bring him in and play as long as he doesn't rough house too much. We'll give treats as we train sit stay and down. Then it's time for bed. I was considering starting him on a treadmill not for long though just a few minutes at a low pace to maybe burn off any excess energy.
 

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This is all really great feedback! I like the idea of leashing him to me too. It will also help with potty training. Right now he is in his crate most of the time and maybe not getting as much exercise. He goes out in the morning for about an hour to wonder use the restroom and eat breakfast. He's then crated while I am at work and then the same thing for dinner 1 hour to be out. We'll bring him in and play as long as he doesn't rough house too much. We'll give treats as we train sit stay and down. Then it's time for bed. I was considering starting him on a treadmill not for long though just a few minutes at a low pace to maybe burn off any excess energy.

You crate him. Put him in the back yard to wander, put him back in his crate. Yet you're wondering why he's a bundle of energy?

The treadmill is a poor idea. This puppy needs walks, training and attention, people playing with him teaching him appropriate behaviours.
Puppy classes and obedience training. Isolating him isn't going to help things.
 

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This is all really great feedback! I like the idea of leashing him to me too. It will also help with potty training. Right now he is in his crate most of the time and maybe not getting as much exercise. He goes out in the morning for about an hour to wonder use the restroom and eat breakfast. He's then crated while I am at work and then the same thing for dinner 1 hour to be out. We'll bring him in and play as long as he doesn't rough house too much. We'll give treats as we train sit stay and down. Then it's time for bed. I was considering starting him on a treadmill not for long though just a few minutes at a low pace to maybe burn off any excess energy.
Being three months old this is a prime time for his socialization skills to be built. Even if you are not able to manage taking him through several obedience classes, spending the money for at least a group puppy kindergarten will be invaluable. You as a owner will learn a lot too, it will help strengthen the bond between you and puppy, puppy gets supervised play time with other puppies for a small portion of class, and best of all puppy is exhausted and happy after each class. Then small sessions at home to supplement on top of that. Since he's in his crate for the greater part of the day, when he's out engage with him (play with toys, do a short session of training etc) having him use a treadmill at this age is not the best option (it has very little engagement with you, puppies this age don't need forced exercise, and until growth plates close closer to 15 months there should be no running on hard surfaces). If you can walk him around the neighborhood so he can see different sights and sounds, meet neighbors etc that would be the best (at this age I remember my boy was going through a fright period and sometimes would plant himself in one spot because he heard something new etc and we sat there and waited till he was ready to walk again) in addition to off leash romps in the yard to burn his energy.
 

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Puppies need not only physical exercise, but mental as well. They take time to raise properly into good family pets, and reliable K9 members of society. No magic tricks here! Just work, work and more work. Is it worth it at the end of the day? Oh yes it is! Is it a job and a half raising a puppy with toddlers? Oh yes it is! Been there done that! If you don't really have the time to devote to raising what amounts to another child, it may be best to think about placing your pup in a home who does have the time. Raising a good dog is an investment, of time, energy and money. Just like raising good kids<smile>
 

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Puppies take a lot of time, money and energy. I imagine with a 2 year old and a 7yr. old you don't have much of any of that. I don't mean to sound harsh but perhaps rescuing and older dog, around 5 might be a better solution. One that's trained, still has some energy, yet doesn't require a lot of up keep, like a puppy might? I know puppies are cute and everyone dreams of their children growing up with one but sometimes the situations aren't right to bring one in.

Puppies, esp. Dobermans need a lot of socialization and introductions to new experiences at early ages so the don't develop fear reactions to everything they see. They also need a lot of human interactions and obedience. Dobes are NOT dogs that you can just put outside to wonder and entertain themselves, they need their humans. They are known to be velcro dogs for that reason. It seems like you're trying your best but honestly you've picked up a 3rd child that will require a lot of work for a very long time. I do wish you the best of luck. I give you props! I can hardly take care of myself and the dogs, I can't imagine having 2 young children as well, you must Never get to sit down lol.
 

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Okay maybe I should clear this up a bit more.. I couldn't help but to laugh at a couple of the responses made. This isn't my first dog and not my first large breed at that either. I did all my research prior to getting him. He was a lot more nippier when we first got him and with work he has calmed down quite a bit. But with that he still does like to bite way more than I like (goal is no biting obviously) As far as him being kenneled while I'm at work I'm not sure what else you would expect me to do. I let him out during the morning for an hour while I get myself and the girls ready then he gets put up. After work he goes straight outside to use the restroom and to get fed again. This gives me the time to get settled in at home. After that we go outside and play for a while then he's brought in to play and to work on our training. He's crated while we're at work and while we sleep so maybe 16-17 hours a day (8 hours morning and night).

So again while we are home we try not to kennel him unless he's just being too aggressive then we'll kennel him until he calms down.

I'm confused do you not crate your dog while you're at work or while you sleep? The comments 'oh poor dog' are uncalled for. (bigfootlives) This dog is very well taken care of and loved!

When I posted on here it was to get advise on how to properly handle a dog that bites.. and they're not hard bites I know he's playing around.

I have the time and funds to take care of him. I only stated that the training classes offered around here are at like Petsmart and they teach him basic training that I already know; sit, down, stay, lay which we've worked on and he knows. So I didn't really feel like $200.00 for the classes were really worth it. I didn't think about the socializing part of it; although we have dog friends that he plays with a couple time a week. We're working on fine tuning his commands now and getting him to stay longer periods of time.

For those who have provided me some info to use to help I really appreciate it!!
I am looking into training classes though to see what is offered in my area.
 

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Training classes are not meant strictly to teach your dog commands. A HUGE part of them is socialization. As has been previously mentioned, you do NOT want a fearful dog. As a dog trainer myself I cannot stress this enough.
Your puppy is far too young to be left in a crate for that long. He is a dobe puppy and needs tons of mental and physical exercise. Can you (or friend/family member) come home during your lunch break, hire a dog walker, or even take him to a doggy day care?
You have been given a lot of good advice to implement with him. His behavior is natural for a puppy of his age. He needs strict supervision when he is out and consistent training.
 

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Training classes are not meant strictly to teach your dog commands. A HUGE part of them is socialization. As has been previously mentioned, you do NOT want a fearful dog. As a dog trainer myself I cannot stress this enough.
Your puppy is far too young to be left in a crate for that long. He is a dobe puppy and needs tons of mental and physical exercise. Can you (or friend/family member) come home during your lunch break, hire a dog walker, or even take him to a doggy day care?
You have been given a lot of good advice to implement with him. His behavior is natural for a puppy of his age. He needs strict supervision when he is out and consistent training.
I work 7 minutes away and go home everyday to let him out.
 

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Oh my. No wonder you are having problems. Get somebody to come in during the day and let him out to run and play, or, take him to doggie daycare. He is not getting anywhere near the exercise, socialization and mental stimulation he needs.

Set up play dates for him with other dogs/pups about his same size. Get him into a puppy class, which will help him immensely, and you will also meet other people with pups and can perhaps arrange play dates.

Take him for walks, not just play in the yard. Nice long walks will not only help burn energy and provide stimulation, it is healthy for you as well.

No, no, no to the treadmill. Growth plates don't close until about 18 months of age and any repetitive exercise can seriously damage him.

This is a high energy, active breed and if you don't meet their exercise, stimulation needs they will often become destructive and exhibit other bad behavior.
 

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I'm glad you are looking into classes, it looks like you are in NC? Maybe others in that area can offer some suggestions on training centers other than pet smart. Socialization is a big part of obedience classes (especially kindergarten), they will get playtime just like when you have playtimes with your group of friends, but it also teaches a puppy to "focus". They will learn not everytime I see another dog is playtime and will teach them to do the commands you work on in home with more distractions around. One of the ladies who has a dog in our intermediate obedience class broke down in tears this past weekend. Her dog just would not listen to even basic sits and stays (and this pup 8 months old knows these) all the dog wanted to do is play. She and a few others in this particular class always let heir dogs play in a fenced area behind the training center after and before every class and in intermediate obidence there is no playtime. So this particular dog on this day thought it should be playtime and lost all focus on her owner.

With regards to crates. It is not a bad thing at all. One of mine sleeps in his crate every night and even puts himself to bed in the crate at night. I only work 4 days a week so the days I'm off we are out and about exploring. Days I work 8 hours I wake early take them on a 30 min walk, have a dog walker come midday and take on another 30 min walk, then when I get home another 30 min walk, obedience homework and playing in the yard. My two stay in a penned off area in my house with dog beds that has a dog door to the backyard so they are able to play while I am gone. Do you have anyone that can come let the puppy out to potty and play a bit during your workday to let him run around? Sorry if some of this stuff is already stuff you do, writing things out you can't always get the full picture of what's going on...
 

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---Right now he is in his crate most of the time and maybe not getting as much exercise. He goes out in the morning for about an hour to wonder use the restroom and eat breakfast. He's then crated while I am at work and then the same thing for dinner 1 hour to be out. We'll bring him in and play as long as he doesn't rough house too much. We'll give treats as we train sit stay and down. Then it's time for bed. I was considering starting him on a treadmill not for long though just a few minutes at a low pace to maybe burn off any excess energy.
Your puppy is probably bored out of his ever-lovin' mind! He needs both mental stimulation and physical activity. Don't put him on a treadmill, but instead interact with him. Teach him basic obedience and play with him, for starters. Take him out into the world, so that he learns that it's not a scary place. Keeping him crated 20+ hours a day, not training him, and not socializing him can make even the most stable dog stir-crazy.
 
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