Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 55 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I'm new to the world of Dobermans but have had dogs all my life.
Straight out of the gate I'm going to say this is the CRAZIEST DOG that I've EVER owned!
I've mainly owned Belgians and Shepherds, all full of energy, but this one is truly high strung.

The issue I'm having the most problem with right now is the biting.
He's not doing it much with me anymore at all, but my wife is his FAVORITE CHEW TOY!
Of course, this is causing a big situation between myself and the Mrs. :rolleyesww:
What I can't figure out is if this is a dominance and pecking order issue,
or if he's just trying to play.
IMHO, he is dominating her because he's even tried testing me some of which included
baring teeth and barking.
The difference is, I won't have it.
I think he might have a screw loose too though......
When I correct him from trying to do it with me,
he gets frustrated and starts biting the hell out of himself!
Never seen a dog do that one.:confused:

I think alot of the problem with my wife,may have been created by her though.
Right from the start, she wanted to be his savior more than making him mind.
She thought it was cute when he would bite a her hands, pant legs,ect.
Never correcting the behavior, and just like I told her, it's now a problem!
She can't even come into the room without him jumping all over her,
literaly being on top of her when she's trying to sit, and just tearing her up.
I really don't know what to do about it.
He's generally reasonably well behaved when it's just him and I,
but when she's around he doesn't really listen to me that well either.
Not sure how to fix the problem before it gets dangerous.
Any help would be great!

(I'm sure that getting him clipped could calm him down a bit, but I've also heard he may not get as big as a result. He was the runt of his brothers, so I'd like for him to have every fighting chance he can for size.)

A little info on him:
We've had him since he was 10 weeks old,
and he will be 4 moths next week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,142 Posts
I am going through the exact same thing. I have an 11 week old puppy and he doesn't bite my boyfriend anymore but I am his favorite thing to chew on. I actually just posted a thread about it and got lots of great suggestions.

Try to redirect his attention and give him something he is allowed to chew on. A lot of people also said to make sure he's getting plenty of excersise and mental stimulation. They can get bored easily if their not properly excersised. Have you done any training with him? You're wife and you need to use the same techniques or else he's going to realize he can get away with anything with her and trust me I learned that the hard way with my husky I had so I'm trying to make the same mistakes. My pup also gets really mouthy when he's tired. I'm sure this isn't the best advice but have patience I heard it gets better :) good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,972 Posts
Sounds like Whiskey the first few months I had him but I was expecting the behavior. I think it's now crucial for you to get that pup into a training class for your wife's sanity :) Other then that all I can do is agree with sam&macksmom... redirect redirect redirect. I always shoved a toy into those wicked doberjaws!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,796 Posts
My father let my dog get away with a lot because he "didn't want to break his spirit." I told him he needed to start correcting him. Needless to say my father didn't and now my older and bigger pup, according to him, needs serious training. :rolleyesww:
 

·
Always Grateful
Joined
·
6,952 Posts
At 4 months of age, you should be in a training class with your puppy every week and should spend at least 30 min/day on focused training. If you don't get this boy into a good training program for basic obedience you will have a monster on your hands when he is an adult. It sounds like he has never been asked to learn basic manners. Google "Nothing in Life is Free" (NILIF) and start on that program immediately. Dobermans are extremely intelligent and strong-willed. You can't live with this breed if you don't train him! The good news is that he will respond immediately to training and a new regimen (NILIF).

Does he stay crated up all day? If so, he needs a good amount of vigorous exercise as soon as he is released from the crate. It is really unfair to ask a 4 month old to be calm and mannerly if he is not allowed to blow off all the tremendous puppy energy in a healthy way (playing fetch, free play off leash, etc.).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,748 Posts
What everyone said, training, training, training. Once he get a few months on him he will be huge and it's no fun trying to control a 75 lbs puppy. They don't grow out of this puppy thing for a while, not like a lab. They will test you and you must be in control.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
He gets plenty of exercise each day.
Normally 30 HARD minutes morning AND night,
plus I'll play with him here and there throughout the day as my work is 80% home based.
I redirect constantly, and thats probably why he's done as well for me as he has.
As for my wife, she tries to use the same methods that I do (well...NOW anyways)
but they are just not working for her AT ALL!
I don't really have any inclination to be involved in a group puppy program just because
I've always done very well training any dog I've had on my own.
This one on the other hand seems to need some special guidance of some sort though.

I talked with a private trainer today who "seems" to know his stuff,
and he's willing to come to my home and work with us for $75 per hour.
I don't really want to have to do that, but he is confident that the biting issue
can be solved within 25min and completely resolved.
Not sure if I should do it or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Two words. Bitter Apple....

A good spray in the mouth whenever his mouth touches something it is not supposed to, will help cure that fast!
I actually have some of that.
Never thought of using it as a biting repelant though. lol!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone.
From what I can see, I've been doing all of them, minus the group training and Bitter Apple.
I checked into that NILIF as well.
Haha, that one kinda made me laugh because I just thought that was a basic
approach that most people have always used on dogs.
That being said, I'm not too sure what to do.
Having that dog trainer come into my home for $75
an hour and tell me the same thing would really irritate me. ;)
I'm now starting to think that she just needs to spend more time with him and work with him.
Even the dog trainers methods won't work unless she implements them consistently, right? :)
 

·
Alpha SheepDog
Joined
·
1,366 Posts
First off OP.
My general rule of thumb, do not allow behaviors that will not be accepted when he is over 80 lbs. Ie: what your wife allowed when younger.
Does he know Stay? Do you own a crate? Does he have a favorite toy or game.
You've allowed the biting, now if you want it corrected, you have to be constant in corrections and reprimands to send the message, that the honeymoon is over.
When all other methods have failed, time outs (short), will often work, but back to the favorite activity again, and an infraction is served with an time out again.
Your letting them know, you really want to play but by your rules.
He doesn't have anything loose, he is frustrated and confused bcuz it was allowed before.
 

·
_______
Joined
·
5,102 Posts
I would not use bitter apple on myself in an attempt to curb biting. It gets in the air & then in your mouth and if used too much on too many things they can become desensitized to it IMO.

If you've a petco or petsmart around they have puppy basics classes where the pups play w/each other and instructor gives tips on how to deal w/some of these behaviors.

Hard to mess them up w/a class like that in the early stages & in our case it wears the boy out nicely w/puppies the same age.

We've been using "YES!" then a treat w/desired behaviors for the time being, that works well once they figure out they want to be doing things that get a Yes! and a treat jackpot. Also timing is everything.

If you use the treat/yes approach be sure to measure out daily rations ahead so not to overfeed & cause other problems.

Hope that helps.
I would not use a 75$ per hour trainer especially at this age until I exhausted all other possibilities getting hooked up in decent classes. Save the $75 per for bigger probs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
First off OP.
My general rule of thumb, do not allow behaviors that will not be accepted when he is over 80 lbs. Ie: what your wife allowed when younger.
Does he know Stay? Do you own a crate? Does he have a favorite toy or game.
You've allowed the biting, now if you want it corrected, you have to be constant in corrections and reprimands to send the message, that the honeymoon is over.
When all other methods have failed, time outs (short), will often work, but back to the favorite activity again, and an infraction is served with an time out again.
Your letting them know, you really want to play but by your rules.
He doesn't have anything loose, he is frustrated and confused bcuz it was allowed before.
Yes, I have a crate,
and he knows stay, sit, and to lay down.
He does all of this very well in a variety of environments as long as you have treats for him.
If you don't, he will only do them for a short period, but once he realizes that he'sot getting a treat, he basically tells you to piss off. :mad:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I would not use bitter apple on myself in an attempt to curb biting. It gets in the air & then in your mouth and if used too much on too many things they can become desensitized to it IMO.

If you've a petco or petsmart around they have puppy basics classes where the pups play w/each other and instructor gives tips on how to deal w/some of these behaviors.

Hard to mess them up w/a class like that in the early stages & in our case it wears the boy out nicely w/puppies the same age.

We've been using "YES!" then a treat w/desired behaviors for the time being, that works well once they figure out they want to be doing things that get a Yes! and a treat jackpot. Also timing is everything.

If you use the treat/yes approach be sure to measure out daily rations ahead so not to overfeed & cause other problems.

Hope that helps.
I would not use a 75$ per hour trainer especially at this age until I exhausted all other possibilities getting hooked up in decent classes. Save the $75 per for bigger probs.
I haven't tried the Bitter Apple in that manner yet,
but I know it has helped keep him from completely trashing my patio furniture.
I'm curious to how he would react to it.
He HATES getting squirted with even water, that's how I'm currently keeping him out of my kitchen.
Don't know what it is about that, because he does fine in the bath tub.

Personally, I really, really like group classes. It allows for socialization and for your dog to work under distraction. To each their own. You have to find what works for your situation :)
If his behavior doesn't improve soon toward her, I might have to give in.
Or better yet, maybe SHE should be the one taking him to the classes
being that SHE allowed the bad behavior in the beginning, and SHE is having the problem!! :D
Somehow I don't think she'll see it that way though.:rolleyesww:

I'm taking him to get his last booster shot and rabies shot tomorrow,
so after that he will be all ready to socialize finally.
I do think that just that alone will make an impact on him, especially if she comes with me when I'm taking him places. We'll see.

My vet told me not to worry about much and that he should out grow
it in a couple months or so.
Not sure if I agree with that one though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
675 Posts
Find a good obedience puppy class and have your wife train him threre should only be one trainer but you should be there also to see the training. The classes by me are 8 weeks long and consist of one hour a week. You then work with the puppy daily generally twice a day minutes would be what the trainer suggests once again you wife should do this. Obedience is an ongoing daily issue down, sit, stay. I've found out saying the word enough is as low a tone as your wife can will help. Something about the difference between a Man and Womans voice

Your puppy needs to learn to respect and listen to your wife and an obedience class is a wonderful way to accomplish this your wife may even like it so much she'll want to go to the next level up. A lot of my friends started this way an wound up competing in AKC sanctioned events for obedience.
 
1 - 20 of 55 Posts
Top