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Hi All. I'm brand new here and now sure where to post this, but I didn't want to put it in Obedience because I'm thinking it's more disobedience.

Anyway, we have an 18 month old dobie, male, red. He has been to (and passed) puppy kindergarden and basic obedience. We had him "audit" a CGC course when he was 6 months old, but he was very young and while he did well at learning the commands, we wanted to nail it down before officially testing him. (My point in saying all of this is that he was very well socialized from 10 weeks - when we got him - on out. He LOVES other dogs.)

He went to Doggie Day Care for the first time on Wednesday. No problems. They said nice things about him. Today we took him, and when I went to pick him up, they said he played rough. They asked if he could see their trainer several days before his next visit. They said he was mouthy with the other dogs and didn't respond well to their cues that they didn't want to play that way.

(I believe them. I'm not going to argue with what they saw. It makes me sad that my dog acted in a way like this. I felt it reflected on me as an owner.) They told me this was common in dobes and that they saw it in another branch of this dog camp where there were lots of dobes. (Honestly I couldn't tell if they were really concerned, they said he was rough, but then said he was snuggly and nice, and said other dobes did it, and then asked him to see a trainer. I got mixed signals. But I want to fix it, regardless.)

Here is my situation:

1. He normally plays with a 24 month old dobe, they play rough - always have, and never had a problem. He also plays with an 18 month old pitt, and they play rough together. They always both go home with little bumps on the neck from the mouthiness. So, when I see him playing at play dates, I assumed he was okay because no one was yelping. He doesn't often play with dogs that are littler/younger, solely because I don't know many around here. So I don't know how to "correct" something I'm not there for. Should I stop him when he is mouthy with the bigger dogs, even if the other dog is okay with it? Just to train him it's not okay no matter what? Would he understand that? When he was little he played with lots of pups until a larger dog attacked and bit him, so we stopped going to that particular dog park.

2. He sometimes mouths at my hands when he wants to play. I responded by saying "Ouch!" really high pitched to startle him, but it never worked. This is where I think the problem is coming from, because I haven't been able to break this behavior.

3. I've trained him to take food gently from my fingers. (Just in case that info helps.) I say "Gently!" and he takes it very nicely from me. He also only chews his own toys, and he doesn't take what's not his (shoes, etc.) because we focused on that as a puppy.

What can I do to stop him from playing too rough/mouthy with other dogs? He is a good, trainable dog, and I know this can be fixed with work. He is friendly and play-bows to everyone he meets. He is not aggressive, and they even told me he was "snuggly" but that they had trouble getting him out of play when he got riled up. I don't want to get kicked out of Doggie Day Care - he only goes when my husband is out of town and I'm at work 10 hours a day, and I hate to leave him in a crate. Normally I work from 7 AM -5 PM and my husband works from 6-10 PM so we always have him out and about with us. I want to fix this. I will take any and all suggestions. I know he's big, and he doesn't know his own size/strength sometimes, and he gets really riled up. I just don't want to be a slacker owner and have a dog who doesn't understand social cues.

Please help me be a better owner here. ANY help is vastly appreciated.
 

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u mad?
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I'm with sam&macksmom here, Dobies play ROUGH. It's just kind of what they do. My boy gets along GREAT with other dog but when he gets into it it can get pretty rough. This is the reason that, as sam&macksmom said, most dobes aren't great candidates for doggie daycares or dog parks.

You could try to find some friends with other big, playful dogs that could come over and play in the backyard. Or, depending on how the daycare is setup, you could look for another daycare that puts the dogs into groups based on play style/size/etc.





 

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sufferin succotash
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hahah- great pics patch! Sammy is almost 8. He turns into insta-gladiator as soon as another dog gives him a play bow. I don't think it's something they outgrow.
 

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Must agree that Dobermans play very rough.

We have had 3 Dobes, & 2 GSD.
Its hard for friends to bring a dog over for a playdate because our crew are so rough.
Not for the feint of heart.

That being said, our 87lb 'puppy' is 10 months old and he plays well with my girlfriend's adult black lab.

I don't know really what to say. Puppy daycare can be excellent, but not every dog fits their mold. My only thought would be to see if there are other Dobe owners in your area who might want to switch off babysitting/play dates.

Don't feel you are not being responsible because your dog is big and playful. Thats just a Dobie. You sound like a very diligent and loving owner to me.
 

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Dobes stole my heart <3
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both my girls are rough! Bella has several small marks on her where Nexus has gotten a bit of skin and left a mark. They roll, body slam, snarl and grab each other all the time. I try to discourage this behaviour in the house because it hurts when they slam into a table or the couch, not to mention it could damage my furniture! I have never seen dobes that play too gently, except for my Mysti. She did not tolerate Nexus's high energy but she was never rough with her. She politely, and sometimes not so politely told Nexus enough is enough but she never bit down on her or did more than push her away. She would snap, but not come in contact with Nexus.
It is just a dobe thing, Im sure other breeds play just as rough, but its a fact with our breed.
 
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First off you are a very responsible dog owner.
Our Dobes do play rough. At times if it is getting too rough we will re-direct them to toys or by telling them PLAY NICE or just calling them to us and put them in a down or a sit for a a little bit and treat them.
How many dogs do they have at that daycare and workers per dogs? If they do have enough workers watching the dogs they can nip it in the butt when it starts. Do they seperate dogs by size?
 

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If no one is getting hurt when he plays with his doggie friends, and they are all enjoying it, I personally wouldn't try to correct his play behavior (sounds hard, anyway). I would, however, work on being able to call him out of play. Make sure when you call him, you reward heavily and instantly send him back to play, so he learns that when you call him play isn't necessarily over.

Doggie daycare and dog parks aren't necessarily a good fit for a Doberman. However, there are some daycares out there that have different areas for dogs with different play styles. The good daycares in this area will have a play area for dogs with an exuberant, rougher play style, and only those types of dogs are grouped together so they all enjoy the play. Perhaps a different day care will work for him?

If not, I'd look into hiring a dog walker who can come and take him out for an hour out of his crate on those days you work a long day.
 

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I agree that Dobies play rough. One day I had my friend bring over with her Boxer and she though Roxy was biting and was freaking out. When Roxy was a wee puppy I brough him to a doggie day care a few times one day I went to pick him up and was told they had to put her in time out(crate) due to playing rough. I was so embrassed, needless to say we never went back. Most people don't understand and know the breed.
 

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When I first brought Huckleberry home (18 months) to my almost 4 year old girl.....i could not believe how rough and loud they played. I was certain somebody was going to get hurt or at the very least feelings hurt. We had a couple hurt feeling but nobody got hurt.
 

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After Blueberry passed away 2 years ago....I got another puppy later that same year. She has grown up with Huckleberry and they have been rough from the start. She is more rough than he is....still nobody gets hurt....sometimes hurt feelings. With that said.....I NEVER leave them alone together....one or both are always crated.
 

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Leala plays very rough as well. She spends her days on the farm with a golden retriever and a Bernese and they all play rough together. That being said she plays with my dad's min pin 'Turbo' and they are hilarious together. But he will tell her off when he has had enough, or jump on someone's lap to escape her.
 

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Toby grew up with his adoptive mum (Boxer) and my 2 Terriers. From day one Toby's idea of play was rough housing, he would jump on everyone and mouth them, chasing the Terriers tails, grabbing my old girls neck and tugging on it like she was a rag doll.

He is now 18 nearly 19 months old and he hasnt altered in the slightest. He now plays with my friends 4 dogs, his favourite is her Pit Bull girl whom he adores but boy does he give her some stick. Honestly you would think they were killing each other. Screams and yips come from the Pit whilst Toby makes a strange moaning sound as if he is a siren being wound up. There are teeth flashing left, right and centre and lots of scruff of neck grabbing (by Toby) is seen each and every time they get together. He also does this with my friends Boxer girl (though not so much as she is not keen so we make sure Toby leaves her when she has obviously had enough. He loves to play hard with my friends male Boxer, however he has a dodgy heart so we call Toby away to calm things down however, this does not stop them both doing zoomy laps for the first few minutes alongside the Pit. Toby also tries his best to get the Shar Pei my friend owns to play rough with him, but he is simply not interested so after the first couple of attempts Toby is usually content with run pasts at break neck speed and that is that.

Basically what I am saying is, from what I have seen of my boy he is just like the Dobes everyone else on this forum seems to have. He is not a cutey fuzzy little Pomeranian whose idea of play is to running up and down doing a little dance and maybe retrieving a ball (though Toby loves to do this) but rather he is a lean, race about land shark who loves to run fast and play hard. I have taught Toby the word 'enough' and when said he usually stops what he is doing. Sometimes however, he is just too far gone, when this happens I have to engage him in some way and get him to come to my side and sit, I then lay my hand on his shoulder and say, 'calm, calm down' I will continue to hold my hand on his shoulder and repeat the command for calm until he has proven to me he is in control once more.
In my humble opinion your boy is not going to stop being rough, he is a Dobe, just as my friends dogs are what they are. Some dogs will play with a Dobe on equal terms, some won't, some can't. I strongly believe any dog care should place dogs of equal size and play style together as you do not say with what breed he is accused of getting rough with no one can say for sure except the day care if this is what they are doing.

If it were me, I would work on a calm down signal/command and make sure any dog care who has my dog is watching for the signals that it is getting a bit rough and know what to say or do to calm the situation before it gets a bit too rowdy.

Hope it all works out and remember we love pics, so please post some of your boy as soon as you are able.
 

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Kiss plays rough, too. She goes to doggie day care. They have her in with same size dogs. However, she has been put in with puppys and it was the pupys that wore her out. When we were going to the dog park it was the Boxers that ran her into the ground. I thought she had energy. There was a Boxer girl there that had Kiss flopped on the ground with her tongue out and the Boxer kept on goin. Her owner said they had already been there an hour. That dog was going stronge. Kiss has actually learned to play with smaller dogs by being at doggie day care.:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Thanks!

Thanks for all the feedback. You made me feel so much better as an owner!!!

Calling him out of play is the hardest part, and I will start focusing on training that with LOTS of goodies. If he gets riled up, and I ask him to go down, he usually calms down in about 30 seconds, so I think that is the key.

I'm pretty sure they separate them by size - they have video cams you can watch during the day and most of the time he is playing with labs, huskies, etc. On Friday (the day of the incident) I saw him playing with a small terrier, which I thought was weird, because he is a giant in comparison. Maybe this is where the issue came up, maybe they didn't have him in the right group at first.

Continued advice is always welcome! In the meantime, I'm going to try to figure out how to add photos... the first time it didn't work!
 

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Interestingly (to me anyway) Magnum and Malia (and Sadie, Mom's H57) play rough, and sometimes it sounds like the end of the world. The video I have posted in the "Let's see those teeth" thread is Magnum just getting started to almost getting close to getting worked up...
Interesting part....Malia was an only dobergirl when she came home with me. Come h3ll or high water she would not get rough with play. Magnum came along, and at first she would get pissy with him and "get him good" to end the session. Now, she really enjoys the rough play. She will play according to the playmate. Rough play, check. Gentle play, got that covered.
Some daycare/boarding places will sort dogs by "style". They will closely supervise and mix and match 'til they get a group that is "like minded". If you need to do daycare/board again, ask how they work it.
 

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Thanks for all the feedback. You made me feel so much better as an owner!!!

Calling him out of play is the hardest part, and I will start focusing on training that with LOTS of goodies. If he gets riled up, and I ask him to go down, he usually calms down in about 30 seconds, so I think that is the key.

I'm pretty sure they separate them by size - they have video cams you can watch during the day and most of the time he is playing with labs, huskies, etc. On Friday (the day of the incident) I saw him playing with a small terrier, which I thought was weird, because he is a giant in comparison. Maybe this is where the issue came up, maybe they didn't have him in the right group at first.

Continued advice is always welcome! In the meantime, I'm going to try to figure out how to add photos... the first time it didn't work!
Size isn't necessarily a very good indicator of play style.
 

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Wish you were closer. I have two girls who would give him a run for his money.

They bite and chew and race and rough house continuously. Then drink out of the same bowl together and flop down on top of each other madly in love.
 
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