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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello guys I am new here, I have an 8 week old Doberman puppy and I have had him for less than 1 week. I love him when he is playing/doing tricks with me but I find that he often shuts down on me.... and this makes me sooo frustrated! I am a new owner and I feel like I am failing him!
Also, both I and Boris (the pup) have a love/hate relationship with the crate. He is definitely not afraid of it (he enters and goes out by himself), but sometimes he doesn't settle. He plays with kongs and puzzles outside of it but when he is in there he doesn't, and I don't know what to do about it.
He also bites a lot, but it doesn't bother me too much, when I disengage he often stops so I am hoping it gets better (he is with me for less than a week).
But I keep doubting myself with the choices I make and if I doing it right or if he likes me or not.
I have read a lot about it these couple of days but I still feel frustrated, so any advice is welcome!!
 

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Something to remember: he's an infant. He's a tiny baby. He is still settling in! Plus, babies get TIRED. I wouldn't second guess yourself at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Something to remember: he's an infant. He's a tiny baby. He is still settling in! Plus, babies get TIRED. I wouldn't second guess yourself at this point.
falnfenix, thanks so much, I always TRY to remember that but sometimes it gets very difficult. I am trying to be patient and positive though.
 

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I will add that my boy is almost a year and it is still an uphill battle with many things. It took us until he was 8 months old for him to stop screaming constantly when crated. Now he just gives a plaintive ”woooooooooo” until he falls asleep.

Regarding the biting, that is a baby Dobershark thing and he will grow out of it. Just be sure to provide him appropriate toys to redirect those little dental razorblades from your skin.

Don’t attempt to train anything right now. Just shape the behaviors you want. That means lots of praise and cuddles when he does something right and gentle correction when he does something wrong.

As @falnfenix wrote, he is a baby. A tiny baby that doesn’t speak your language, is new to your home, away from his mother and littermates, and just trying to figure it all out. Trust me, it gets harder from here. If 8 weeks is causing issue, you may want to consider returning him to the breeder. Adolescence brings a whole host of issues in a much bigger package than you have now.

If you are in it for the long haul, love him whether you are having fun with him or not. Good luck!
 

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What do you mean by "shuts down?" You might simply be asking too much, or trying for too long of a training session. He's very much a baby right now, with a baby brain :) I wouldn't really frame much as "training" at this age, but simply exploring the world, making things positive, starting to capture positive behaviors and rewarding them. It's pretty early to do much more than a couple of minutes at a time of what I would really call "training" - he simply doesn't have the mental capacity for that yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I will add that my boy is almost a year and it is still an uphill battle with many things. It took us until he was 8 months old for him to stop screaming constantly when crated. Now he just gives a plaintive ”woooooooooo” until he falls asleep.

Regarding the biting, that is a baby Dobershark thing and he will grow out of it. Just be sure to provide him appropriate toys to redirect those little dental razorblades from your skin.

Don’t attempt to train anything right now. Just shape the behaviors you want. That means lots of praise and cuddles when he does something right and gentle correction when he does something wrong.

As @falnfenix wrote, he is a baby. A tiny baby that doesn’t speak your language, is new to your home, away from his mother and littermates, and just trying to figure it all out. Trust me, it gets harder from here. If 8 weeks is causing issue, you may want to consider returning him to the breeder. Adolescence brings a whole host of issues in a much bigger package than you have now.

If you are in it for the long haul, love him whether you are having fun with him or not. Good luck!
Hi @MMcCown!
Thank you so much for the crate heads up, it makes me feel a lot better! I soo agree that our problem is communication, I know he wants something and I do not know what it is.

And about the training, I am definitely not doing much. Just some basics during mealtimes, having him wait for 'ok', and turning, and sitting.

I am in this for the long run, people have warned me and my husband that in the next few months it will get worse.
I just wanna do the best for him, and sometimes I feel I don't know what I am doing. But I love him a bunch would not consider returning him.

Thanks so much for your infos! I will try my best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What do you mean by "shuts down?" You might simply be asking too much, or trying for too long of a training session. He's very much a baby right now, with a baby brain :) I wouldn't really frame much as "training" at this age, but simply exploring the world, making things positive, starting to capture positive behaviors and rewarding them. It's pretty early to do much more than a couple of minutes at a time of what I would really call "training" - he simply doesn't have the mental capacity for that yet.
sometimes in the middle of a playing session, he just stops playing or loses focus. I think he is just tired... but then when put him in the cradle he may or may not settle.
Yeah, I do think I used the word 'training' wrong, we are doing just that.
It's just my first time owning a dog (I had a family dog before), so I am stressing if I am doing something wrong that will completely ruin the dog.
 

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You've definitely jumped in the deep end to start out with a Doberman! Try not to stress too much...you've got this!

I would suggest trying to find a good puppy class. I like a class that breaks things up - my great puppy trainer does tiny little "training" sessions by starting to introduce basic concepts, has very, very short times of play with the other puppies (as in, about 5 minutes) and uses those to start to introduce recall out of play, and also has down time for the puppies to just learn to be around other dogs. She also works on puppies learning to be handled - have paws and ears touched, that kind of thing. Great stuff for "life skills." Getting started in a puppy class is also a good way to get connected with a good trainer. Someone who is experienced and supportive can be a good resource for you. My trainers have been so valuable for me - my dogs love going to classes, and I can also always say hey, I have this question...what do you think? Any ideas?

A good breeder can be a resource, too, and there are lots of helpful folks here on the forum with many years of experience!

If you like online classes, the Fenzi Academy has great classes that are pretty inexpensive. There are a whole bunch of "on demand" classes for dog owners...I know there's even a quick study one on "happy crating!" Fenzi Dog Sports Academy - Pet Dog Training Online - Video Presentations

You might also watch some youtube videos from Kikopup - she's a great trainer, and easy to understand: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF26FD559887E7EA4
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You've definitely jumped in the deep end to start out with a Doberman! Try not to stress too much...you've got this!

I would suggest trying to find a good puppy class. I like a class that breaks things up - my great puppy trainer does tiny little "training" sessions by starting to introduce basic concepts, has very, very short times of play with the other puppies (as in, about 5 minutes) and uses those to start to introduce recall out of play, and also has down time for the puppies to just learn to be around other dogs. She also works on puppies learning to be handled - have paws and ears touched, that kind of thing. Great stuff for "life skills." Getting started in a puppy class is also a good way to get connected with a good trainer. Someone who is experienced and supportive can be a good resource for you. My trainers have been so valuable for me - my dogs love going to classes, and I can also always say hey, I have this question...what do you think? Any ideas?

A good breeder can be a resource, too, and there are lots of helpful folks here on the forum with many years of experience!

If you like online classes, the Fenzi Academy has great classes that are pretty inexpensive. There are a whole bunch of "on demand" classes for dog owners...I know there's even a quick study one on "happy crating!" Fenzi Dog Sports Academy - Pet Dog Training Online - Video Presentations

You might also watch some youtube videos from Kikopup - she's a great trainer, and easy to understand: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF26FD559887E7EA4
Thanks! I am trying hahaha. what I can say is that it was not a rash decision to get a Doberman, we researched for some time then we took 2 months to try to learn as best as we could to 'be prepared'.

I have watched tons of youtube videos, especially the McCann Dogs, and the dobermanplanet, which were essential. We have been working on these 'life skills' here by ourselves since we are waiting for the vaccination period. But we are looking to enroll in a puppy class.

But thanks so much for the encouragement!
 

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