Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Rocky is 9 weeks old. Ever since we got him we knew his personality was going to be on the dominant side. We saw him express dominance over all his siblings in his litter, and noticed how exceptionally bold and fearless he was for a puppy.

Today, I gave him a small bone to play with. After about half an hour, playtime was over, and I tried to take the bone away. Rocky looked me straight in the eyes and growled, with the bone in his mouth. I tried to pull the bone out, and he let out the most chilling growl noises I have ever heard. I then shaked him by the scruff of the neck until he yelped and spit the bone out. The second the bone was out of his mouth, he snapped at me. 5 seconds later he began to behave like his normal happy self. I am so freaked out right now

Did I handle the situation correctly? What am I supposed to do in the future? This is only a 9 week old pup, im terrified how he will behave when fully grown... Is what I am going through normal??
:help_up_2
 

·
I Art Therefore I Am
Joined
·
3,813 Posts
Even the most sweet natured dogs sometimes exhibit food aggression over high valued treats like bones or bully sticks. Don't worry that you have a monster.

My dog did this as a puppy too. I practiced trading her one high value treat for another.. I made her realize that if she traded, she would get something equally good in return.

I would let her chew on, say, a bully stick and then I would bring her a small piece of raw chopped meat and say "trade".. when she did, I praised her immensely and then I gave her back the bully stick to let her know that I wasn't taking it away forever.


I think some people avoid letting their dogs even have things that bring out a darker side of them.


I hope more people chime in on this for you.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,664 Posts
Even the most sweet natured dogs sometimes exhibit food aggression over high valued treats like bones or bully sticks. Don't worry that you have a monster.

My dog did this as a puppy too. I practiced trading her one high value treat for another.. I made her realize that if she traded, she would get something equally good in return.

I would let her chew on, say, a bully stick and then I would bring her a small piece of raw chopped meat and say "trade".. when she did, I praised her immensely and then I gave her back the bully stick to let her know that I wasn't taking it away forever.


I think some people avoid letting their dogs even have things that bring out a darker side of them.


I hope more people chime in on this for you.
This it what my trainer would have you do.....try for the positive rather then make it negative. We never had issues like this with Petey, but I can tell you I tried the scruff shaking thing with him on several occasions when he was being a over the top brat and it didn't work....he would then bark at us more crazily. The only thing that worked were time outs, and we still have to do them sometimes.

I was a bit freaked out by some of Petey's early behavior too, and it was just him being a puppy and me not knowing that Dobies are very very different from any dog I've ever owned. I am now much more comfortable with being his boss, and he is starting to favor me over everyone else in the house...I'm loving it!!!

No worry....lots of time to raise your boy up right! Do get him in obedience class ASAP. It will give you much more confidence, and you will have a trainer to consult about any issues you have with Rocky.

Carol & Petey ox
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,929 Posts
Sometimes our dobe growled at us when she was a puppy. One example is sometimes she would fall asleep in my or my husband's lap, and if we picked her up to move her to her crate or something she growled. Her obedience trainer told us to keep a squirt bottle with water in it close by. When she growled we would squirt her in the face, and it worked after about five times. But every dog is different. If you know your pup if dominant, you should start teaching him to sit. When he learns to sit. Have him sit before EVERYTHING, such as before he gets his food, before receiving affection, before going outside, and before coming back in. It's called NILIF, meaning Nothing In Life Is Free. You make them earn EVERYTHING they get. We have used it with our girl, and still do, and her dominance issues have almost completely disappeared. We do pet her now without making her sit. Also in the mornings she knows that our rat terrier goes out first to go potty, and she has to sit and wait for her to come in before she can even put one paw outside. Just be patient and also fair, and over time it will pay off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
I agree with the NILIF philosophy as well. There is a puppy in the obedience class we take Lucan to that also exhibits the same type of dominant behaviour. The trainer suggested NEVER letting this puppy on a bed, couch or anything that puts him on an equal level with humans. In a pack, dominant animals having the higher areas to sleep and are elevated all the time in comparison to the rest of the pack. Also, don't be afraid of being very firm (especially with a Dobe puppy!). They will soon take full advantage if they think you're a wimp about disciplining them!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,330 Posts
All really great advice. Dogs do what works for them. If puppy sees that you back off when he growls, then he has learned that growling works. If, on the otherhand, you tell him 'No' in a calm voice and then teach him to 'trade' or 'drop it' in favor of an even more special treat, then he will learn that good things happen when he obeys you.

NILF is really effective, especially when everyone in the family uses it. There is nothing wrong with making a dog work for everything. Besides sitting for treats, etc, Java has to sit a distance away from her eating area and can only approach the bowl when I have placed it down and given her the 'ok' (sit/wait/ok). This was one of the first things I taught her after she learned to sit. She is one dog who definitely 'works for food'. When I let her in from the outdoors, she can't just bolt in (with dry or muddy paws), she has to stand nicely, I open the door and tell her to come in.

All of this comes in good time, it requires practice and patience and lots of over-the-top praise. You'll find as your puppy gets older, that he really does want to please you.
 

·
Mighty One
Joined
·
1,734 Posts
Be patient, firm, and fair... Your puppy must learn that the humans are over them in the pack (that includes children). All the other suggestions are good to do. My doberman/lab cross, Magnum, rest his soul, came to live with me and my two chocolate labradors (Bear and Thor) when he was 10 weeks old. He had gone home with his littermate and they were both dominant puppies. My guess is that Magnum, tried to boss the 2-year old child in the house and was given several swats to curb his nipping. He only tried it twice on me. The first time I was just moving him into my lap and he didn't want to be there and nipped at me. I scolded him with just my voice and he ran to a corner and was quite frightened. The second time he did it to me, I was up on the bed with Bear and Thor and little Magnum had picked a place to lay down too close to the edge of the bed. When I went to move him over he snapped at me again, but before I could do anything, Thor, pinned him down on his backside, balled him out politely (no bitting), and let him go. That was it, Magnum never snapped at another human (including children) again. Magnum was a very bright dog and he never required much correction after that. I swear he could read my mind at times; he just knew. He turned out to be an excellent pack leader too (under me of course). The Dragonman learned from the best.

Your puppy is in a critical learning period right now where socialization and setting the rules are very key but also in the "fear period" from 8 to 11 weeks. So, don't wait for the confrontation with the bone. Work on dominance over the puppy by making them sit and give rewards (as others have explained). Put them in positive situations to learn to follow your directions. Do what Thor did, only not when you have a confrontation, turn them over and hold them on their backs. Do not let them go under any circumstances until they stop squirming and then praise the heck out of it. You should be able to get them to flip over and let you rub their belly. Leave it and take are are very good commands to learn.

Good luck, Tracy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,646 Posts
Thor, pinned him down on his backside, balled him out politely (no bitting), and let him go.
Thor sounds like a fair disiplinarian (sp?). Nothing better to teach a puppy some manners than another dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,472 Posts
I would certainly get your puppy into training as soon as possible. One thing that we have always done with our dogs from an early age is to show them that we come to their bowls at any time and it should be permitted. We do NOT take the food away from them however I will put my hand in their bowls grab some food and allow them to eat from my hand. I do not want my dogs to be food agressive and this has worked for mine. Titus is 2 1/2 and I will still do it from time to time. Titus is a dominant dog however he is NOT dominant over me or my husband. Jada is still young but we still do this with her. We also dont just give them treats. They must earn them. They are rewarded by doing whatever command is requested. If they dont sit, lay or stay for example they dont get the treat until the command is completed. Their not just dogs they are part of the family and every member of the family must abide by the house rules. :)
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top