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My partner's doberman is going on 8 years old and never lost her puppy energy... and look. She looks completely different from all the dobies we've encountered; not only is she on the smaller end for dobies, but her face makes people question her actual breed.

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(forgive the mess on the second photo- we were doing some nosework)

She is WIRED. She moves like a character with their movement set to 120% speed. She also will run fully into other dogs like she forgets that she has a body. Her legs tremble when we're outside with treats. We've met many puppies who 'act' more mature than her. This includes a little malinois girl.

While we're doing our best to teach her to relax (relaxation protocol, capturing calmness, impulse control) we're wondering if anyone has had a dobie like this? At this point, we're assuming most of it is the BYB's awful breeding in combination with some mistakes my partner made when he was raising her. I've looked through lots for forums and some mention thyroid issues- we don't think this is it, maybe it could be a health thing that we're just not aware of? ;)

She's quite the special dog
 

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Welcome. Do you know her pedigree? That could give you some clues as to where her energy comes from. Do you do any kind of activities with her, both mental and physical? As for her appearance I think a lot of what you're noticing in her face is her round eyes. Dobermans are supposed to have deep set almond shaped eyes.
 

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She's cute and looks like a firecracker! I like the attention she is paying in the 2nd pic. Nose work should hopefully expel some of that energy.
 
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Welcome. Do you know her pedigree? That could give you some clues as to where her energy comes from. Do you do any kind of activities with her, both mental and physical? As for her appearance I think a lot of what you're noticing in her face is her round eyes. Dobermans are supposed to have deep set almond shaped eyes.
Bijou does have huge eyes with the 100-yard stare haha. It's such a contrast to the big red boy that lives nearby. He's got such a noble look and she just looks...like a puppy.

No, not really. She came from a breeder in Czech Republic. The BYB claimed that her parents won awards in shows and only showed the trophies; he never saw parents and the guy basically dropped her in his lap. A huge red flag that he missed was that she was given out before 8wks and was returned due to incompatibility with the existing dog from that family.

Re: activity - Just a note first- We do have to be careful- she recently developed blisters on her paws between her toes and this is severely limiting how much activity we allow her. They're mending but it's been taking months and months. She has issues with calcification along her spine and hips... so the physical intensity is difficult to navigate right now. She probably needs more work and more structure.

That being said- She must heel and look at me when I walk with her. My partner is much more relaxed though. Playtime can be very structured- i.e, she has to perform some kind of impulse control-related task before she gets her toy- "Leave it" etc. Sometimes we let her live out her energy by letting her go full out with fetching- as long as she gives up one toy to get the next.

Food time; she has to demonstrate self-restraint to get her food. She gets very, very anxious around this time, cries and paces, but it's not her fault exactly. We had to emergency get baby sitters for her and my hound for 9 days. She came back with these behaviors that have been persistent for the past year. We've been mitigating this by creating a food 'place' that she must sit and be quiet and stay until she gets her food. She gets rewarded with her own kibble as we prepare the food and eventually her meal. We interrupt her sometimes and have her sit back for a bit and she has to keep her eyes on us before she's released to eat again.

She goes crazy for certain toys, so a lot of the mental stimulation there is impulse control. She's at a point where I can rile her up with a squeaking ball and have her perform specific tasks, direct her attention- and she must go to it as restrained as possible. I try to follow the principle of balancing the 'work' and the 'fun' so she can go awhile with it.

We also do search games indoors so she can put her nose to use ;) can be for toys or food.

This isn't everything but hopefully, it's good enough so if you do have critique or feedback, it's enough information!
 

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You might look into some of the impulse control classes and other similar classes taught by Sarah Stremming online through the Denise Fenzi academy - you can search by instructor here: Fenzi Dog Sports Academy - Classes by Instructor.

She sounds like a dog that actually has a fair amount of drive (your description of "firecracker" and her desire to work for her food and toys), but a lack of impulse control and a bit of reactivity and some other behavior issues that you maybe aren't describing. Sarah Stremming has some really good work on calming behaviors, impulse control, etc...my agility trainer has worked with her and uses a lot of her techniques for our dogs in sports, and it is very helpful in bringing arousal levels down.

I see that you're already doing the relaxation protocol, and that can be great.

Nosework can be a great way for dogs to use up some energy and brainpower, so if you can incorporate more of that into her life, I've seen it do wonders for dogs. Structured scentwork is great, but so is simply having more things like "sniffing walks" - if you can find places to walk (ideally off-leash without other dogs, where she can really run and sniff and do what she wants to do and really "decompress"), but if you can't do off-leash walks, if you can find places she can walk on a long-line, letting her choose what to investigate and smell, how long to check things out...they are walks without "obedience". You obviously need to have basic measures that she can't drag you around, but my dogs get so much benefit from these types of walks, even if just through a local park, where they are allowed to really stop and sniff and do "dog things."
 

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Nothing much to add to MC's post above, but I do want to say welcome to DT, from Colorado!
 

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I agree with Meadowcat about the sniffing walks. Sugar is not reliable off leash yet (his brain is still growing slowly lol) but everyday at the pond he is allowed to sniff everything (and there are a lot of animal smells there!) at his leisure. I often put him on a long line there and he sniffs to his hearts content. He always has a nap after his daily trip to the pond.
 

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You might look into some of the impulse control classes and other similar classes taught by Sarah Stremming online through the Denise Fenzi academy - you can search by instructor here: Fenzi Dog Sports Academy - Classes by Instructor.

She sounds like a dog that actually has a fair amount of drive (your description of "firecracker" and her desire to work for her food and toys), but a lack of impulse control and a bit of reactivity and some other behavior issues that you maybe aren't describing. Sarah Stremming has some really good work on calming behaviors, impulse control, etc...my agility trainer has worked with her and uses a lot of her techniques for our dogs in sports, and it is very helpful in bringing arousal levels down.

I see that you're already doing the relaxation protocol, and that can be great.

Nosework can be a great way for dogs to use up some energy and brainpower, so if you can incorporate more of that into her life, I've seen it do wonders for dogs. Structured scentwork is great, but so is simply having more things like "sniffing walks" - if you can find places to walk (ideally off-leash without other dogs, where she can really run and sniff and do what she wants to do and really "decompress"), but if you can't do off-leash walks, if you can find places she can walk on a long-line, letting her choose what to investigate and smell, how long to check things out...they are walks without "obedience". You obviously need to have basic measures that she can't drag you around, but my dogs get so much benefit from these types of walks, even if just through a local park, where they are allowed to really stop and sniff and do "dog things."
Hey there,
Thanks for the long response! I appreciate it! I have been peeking at the courses you've linked- I'll probably sign up soon since a lot of these can be useful for my rescued Ibizan hound.

That's a good idea- the sniffing part. We're a little reluctant to do that since we're living in a dense German city with a lot of off-leash dogs. The closest small park is on foot 5 minutes away but there are way too many dogs for us to have her off of a 2m line. There's a bigger area about 15 minutes by foot away but our problem is that she gets so RILED up when we begin to head that direction. We're talking throwing tantrums because we're not there fast enough, throwing herself against her collar (no matter what type) till she's coughing. We're testing alternative routes and also considering somehow utilizing transport (no car). We're definitely going to hire a trainer when we can... if we can just help her through reactivity, which to an extent we are (She is considerably better with me; my partner gives her a lot more freedom, so she tends to grab the reins when she can) and get through her impatience with this one area, that would be great.
 

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We're testing alternative routes.
A story to tell on me--the light is reflecting off my computer screen a bit and I read that as "We're testing alternative tortures"

I'm not quite sure how I got that, but I thought it was very cute....

It sounds like you're on the right track. Like LDi said (or implied?); it helps if everyone who is around the dog is on the same page when it comes to dog handling.
 
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