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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dog I believe is fear aggressive towards humans, namely myself and my father, not my mother.

He often growls and snaps when he feels as though he is cornered ( could be lying down on the floor and we go to rub his stomach with hands and he feels he is in danger.

He has bitten me twice now, both in response to corrections I have given him.

Once when I caught him counter surfing and grabbed his collar to pull him off and move him to the garage ( punishment area, timeout area)
He growled and snapped a few times causing me to bleed on my arm. Then ran and lay down next to my mother , who he does not show this aggression to.

Again today when I caught him digging in the garden, when I went outside he ran from me around the garden, and eventually I caught him, grabbed him by the collar, he was resistant and seemed to be choking a bit, so I let off the collar and then regrabbed it and led him inside, got him inside and to the garage when he growled and lunged and bit my arm / hand.

He is now in a time out in the garage.

He has basic obedience.
Not neutered
2 years old
Never shown dog aggression, infant normally runs when other dogs do.


Any help is appreciated.

I am thinking of starting NILIF. But with 3 people in the house to look after him I am unsure as to who should do what, if not all of it by all people?
 

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The situation seems to be escalating....which could become very dangerous for you, your family, and your dog. Do you have any children? Are you planning on having him neutered? Soon? I would find a behaviorist today. There are people on here that live or have lived in the UK....maybe one of them know of one. I would start a new thread asking about behaviorist in the UK. This is very serious.....I would hate for this situation to get to the point were you have to put him down. Please get help today before it gets too late.
 

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This is very serious behavior. I would find a behaviorist ASAP. I would do NILIF for safety but it may not be a fix for such a serious condition. I would stop correcting him and if you need to, put a long line on him so you can get him without chasing, etc.
 

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I agree with finding a professional to help guide you in the right direction. Dobermans are very intelligent and can also be sensitive so going the more positive route for training usually works best for this breed. Knowing that they let us down is usually punishment enough for them because they read us so well they know when we are unhappy with them. Thank you for taking the time to look into getting this behavior fixed rather than giving up right away and giving him away or having him put down.
 

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I agree with finding a behaviorist asap.

In the meantime, stop correcting him, grabbing him by the collar, and putting him in "timeout". If he is counter surfing, keep food off the counters! Don't leave him unattended outside for long periods of time and give him the opportunity to be bored enough to start digging. Don't set the dog up to fail.

He sounds like he needs some physical and mental exercise. Can you work on basic obedience with him? It will help create a bond between you and him.

It sounds as if he is fearful of you. Have you ever been overly physical with him?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Rotten, I have done before, Moreso my father, however that happened a long time back and does not occur at all now.

Probably a few times at most

Should he be neutered?
 

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Rotten, I have done before, Moreso my father, however that happened a long time back and does not occur at all now.

Probably a few times at most

Should he be neutered?
Thanks for being honest.

Neutering is not a cure all, especially not for aggression caused by environmental factors. If he is fearful of you, neutering won't make him less fearful of you. It will, however, prevent unwanted pregnancies if he were to ever get out ;)
 

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Like rotten said, it sounds like he needs more exercise. Physically and mentally, when they get bored they can dig, counter surf, chew on things that the shouldn't etc. I agree with rotten again on the fact that nuetering will not fix his fear but prevent accidental litter.
 

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Corrections are likely only going to escalate his behavior.

You need a professional behaviorist to assess him, one that does NOT use corrective techniques. Hopefully someone in the UK can advise on who to go to.
 

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The way you are correcting him is making him worse it sounds like find a trainer that knows about working dogs and one that does not use punishment like yank & crank of olden times.Hope you can find a good trainer to help you and your young boy.
 

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I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. My only suggestion regarding finding a reputable behaviourist is to contact your vet. They should be able to point you in the right direction.
 

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Hi, I am so sorry you are going through this, I agree with the guys on here in saying you need to speak with a behaviourist or dog trainer, but one who uses positive techniques not negative ones. If I am to be honest it sounds as if a lot of this trouble could be of your own making. Your dog is obviously fear reactive, (mine is too but not quite as bad as your boy). Please do not be offended by what I say, I am merely trying to think this through for you. From what I have read it sounds as if you are trying to be the disciplinarian either because mum isnt around when Dobe is doing something naughty or because as a man you think it is your place. This is where you are going wrong. Your boy is obviously attached to mum, which means he values her view of him if you like more highly than yours. (same with my boy) How does he react if mum tells him off? Does he become all contrite, is he not bothered? Is he with her more than he is you? Are you like my son and is your dad like my husband, not really having much to do with Dobe but expecting him to behave for you. Why the heck should he. Who are you to him? Whilst he may have done basic obediance, sit, down, come etc, if you think about it who has he bonded with, your mum. I would bet 10p it is she who feeds him, she who cuddles him, tells him it is okay when he is afraid. Now whilst you may think you do things with him, walking for instance, (my son walks my dogs, but fact is they have often returned home ahead of him because they would rather be with me) you need to be more. In my opinion your Dobe sees you as something of a bully. You need to stop grabbing his collar, how would you like it if some big ape did this to you, you wouldn't well neither does he and seeing as he cannot express himself in words he growls and as you have said snaps and bites through fear. As for the timeouts, I think you need forget Supernanny and Victoria Stillwell for the time being and try and think how your dog sees what you are doing. Locking him away in a place he cannot get to his velcro mum is pure hell for a Dobe. Now whilst a child might be able to sit and reason why he has been put on the steps in the hall or in the corner for a timeout I have found dogs cannot actually reason in the way we humans are suppposed to. Yes you can tell a dog to go to his bed and you can put him there but timeouts as they stand within the context you are using them are meaningless to a dog. Dogs are not capable of linear or lateral thinking. They think in the moment, the here and now. They forget within minutes and they do not take to being shut away in the way say a human might. This of course is just my opinion and others may not agree.
I commend you in coming on this forum to seek help and would highly recommend you follow the advice of seeking a trainer or behaviorists help, in the meantime, what you put in to the dog is what you get out, if you are aggressive (shouting, grabbing collar, dragging him around) the dog will likely react aggressively in return. Your dog is fear reactive so you need to calm things down, go for positive re-enforcement, stimulation and above all help him to see you not as someone to fear but someone he can love and trust.
 
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