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Hi! I'm new to the forum and also new to dobermans (and dogs...) so I need a lot of help! My boyfriend and I recently purchased a new doberman pup last week. He's the cutest thing in the entire world and is now 9 weeks. I am just getting very frustrated with him!

Now this is my first dog so I'm sure I'm doing everything wrong! :( I have a few really big problems that I need some advice about. My pup refuses to walk on a leash. He will follow me most places if he isn't being a scaredy cat. I don't even need to put a leash on him and he will walk right next to me until he sees a bigger dog or if people come too close (when either of these happens he immediately stops walking and sits behind me and cries for me to pick him up). When we put the leash on him, he sits or lays down and will not move. Even if we keep pulling the leash, he will just let you drag him along. My boyfriend said to just drag him and he will eventually learn, but I think this is wrong! I instructed him after today we will no longer be dragging Dobby because one of his claws (nails...idk) broke and it was bleeding! I felt horrible which led me here because I need some help! My BF has had lots of dogs and he says they will eventually learn but that won't be happening anymore. I don't like how he disciplines the puppy either, but he says I'm not helping by just telling him no. He will give him a pat on the butt or nose, but afterwards he seems so sad and defeated and he does the same thing over again! So obviously his approach is not working. This is one issue but it is a big one because while Dobby is cute and little now he is growing rather quickly and will need to be on a leash to go outside for walks. How can I make him walk on the leash? He won't even take treats when we put it on (unless noone is holding it). The other issue is he is a real scaredy cat! He's scared of everything and cries even when I go to the bathroom and he can still see me! I know it's probably because I hold him like a baby (which everyone says not to b/c when he gets to be 70-80 lbs he'll still want me to, but he's soooo cute!). I'm just guessing it's because he's a puppy, but my BF says none of his other dogs have acted like this and I don't have anything to compare his behavior to. I actually think the potty training is okay. He's only peed on the floor a few times but usually he cries when he has to go and I let him out regularly so this is actually going well! My BF puts his nose in the pee and says no and pats his butt. I read this is not effective. True or False? I guess I'm also kind of worried about how he will come out. Should I start training him now? I haven't really sat down and taught him anything but I did try and socialize him with other dogs. My friend has a pit who is normally very good. I took him there and my pup growled at her dog! Then of course the pit got angry and went crazy. Not a good scene. He was actually not too scared, I think because I had him smothered in my bosom the whole time. I also took him to petco and they were having a puppy social lol. The whole time he sat under my chair and didn't move an inch.

That was so long! LOL I gues my question really is am I doing too much, or not enough? Do I go with my BF's training approach or take him to a class (which I will most likely do anyway)? How can I get him to walk on the leash? Is he too young for these things to be an issue? Am I just being too anxious for him to be older? *sigh* I'm just frustrated I guess. Any input is great thanks!
 

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Please, please stop hitting the dog. It doesn't help a thing, just confuses him and makes him fearful of you.

Have you looked into training classes in your area? Heres a resource you can use as a springboard for searching: Training Resources

Dragging him along on a leash won't do anything but confuse him, and as you found out, hurt him. I taught our pup how to walk on a leash (loose, with no pulling)with kikopup's methods. You can watch the video here: How to train your dog not to pull- Loose Leash Walking - YouTube You're going to have to work really hard to get him used to the leash again, because you've established with Dobby that the leash means pain and scary situations. Go slow, use lots and lots of encouragement and lots of high value treats. If all you can do is have him drag the leash- that's fine. Slowly work up to holding the leash, and then walking in the house.

She also has some good info for potty training: Dog Training: House training a puppy or rescue dog - YouTube Understand that correcting a puppy when you find an accident is far too late- just clean it up and stay entirely neutral. If you catch them in the act, a sharp AHTT! and then hustle them outside, and throw a party! "What a GOOD puppy!!!" Also in the same vein for house training, keeping puppy leashed to you at all times helps tremendously- a well watched puppy is a puppy that can do no wrong. Heres a link to some of our info on house training and crate training as well: http://www.dobermantalk.com/dt-educational-archive/8771-housebreaking-crate-training.html

You first have to teach your puppy what you DO want from him, before you correct him for doing something 'wrong'.. Remember, you're developing a life long bond of trust and love here, not 'breaking' a dog in. He's still very young and is still trying to adapt to your house and being away from his momma- give him time and he will warm up and become more social. I would spend this new adjustment period just loving on him and hand feeding him, then get him to a training class so you and your boyfriend can learn some good methods of achieving the behaviors you want for your little fella!
 

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My biggest concern is that you are already socializing him with other dogs at 9 weeks old. I doubt he is done with his puppy shots. Usually takes up to 15 - 18 weeks old. You need to be very careful that he doesn't catch anything from smelling, licking, sniffing other dogs. You have to remember, puppies are not born with up to date immunizations in their blood system already. They are still very prone to diseases that older dogs are immune to!

Also, it's natural for puppies to be scared of everything. They are brand new! They are constantly discovering everything in this world. That's a part of socializing. Once they are used to other humans, children, other dogs...they won't be so scared any more. As for the part with your friend's pitt, I would not recommend doing that again until your pup is MUCH older. You can break your pup's confidence if another larger dog attacks or jumps on him.

As for the leash, it doesn't sound like your pup is leash broken. There is a difference between being leash broken and walking on a leash. Make sure he's comfortable with the leash first before you can even try to walk him. Let him run around the house with the leash on without anyone holding onto the other end. Make sure to reward constantly so that he understands that the leash is a good thing.

As for the cuddle time, it's fine only for a while. I babied mine the first week we got him, but the novelty wore off and it was time to come back to reality and get serious. Remember, he's a doberman. He needs to build confidence and learn to not always find mommy when he's scared. A scared adult doberman becomes a problematic one.

Just be patient with him, let him enjoy being a puppy. Once he is up to date with his shots, take him to puppy training. In the meantime, someone else on this forum posted this free video link that I found to be very helpful:

Free Video List

Good luck to you!
 

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i had the same problem with the leashing of my dobe pup who is 9 weeks as well.

every morning Cooper and me walk down to the mail box off leash of course..then on our third walk to the mailbox and back i attached the leash to his collar but let him drag it there and back....today was the first day i was able to hold the leash and have him walk beside me....patience patience patience...Cooper has taken me to the edge and back several times - i think he is testing me....now i need to rid him of his nipping and biting...good luck!
 

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You have gotten some great advice! I dont have much to add to this other than the potty training. My girl Bella would not make any sounds when she had to go out and this resulted in alot of accidents. We hung a bell by the door and taught her to ring it when she had to go out.

She also hated the leash at first and we simply let her investigate it, sniff, lick and play with it at first. not as a chew toy mind you, just get used to its presence. Then we clipped it on her and let her run around with it on. Once she got used to it we would take her for small walks up and down the side walk, maybe 3 houses away and back. We increased her distance the more she got used to it and she also liked to follow her big sister so it was a little easier.

Above all else, PRAISE for good behaviour, dont over punish for bad .,.. REDIRECT!! If the pup is doing something you dont want him to do, then show him in a kind way what he is allowed to do. It works! Never let him out or have toys unsupervised, as some tend to eat stuff they shouldnt and that can result in very expensive life threatening situations such as obstructions.
 
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tater_tot - your doing a lot of things right, BF approach is doing a lot of things very wrong.
(he is NOT building loving bond, dog smarts & confidence - which should always be the goal, and actions with new puppy should reflect these KSF)

I don't put a leash on in the first month of puppy ownership / then she just gets to drag it for a week...before we try and walk with it on...and I have no resistance from her.
All because all the off-leash early stuff is conditioning her to love and respect my voice and expectations of her...which builds the loving BOND first.
Then when I tell her to do as I ask, every thing in our past is most fun-fun and trusting...so she is more then willing to try new things...b/c we are working together in the win-win experience...as a team.

In the first month, our baby is held often in the house (or just playing together, on the livingroom floor), we first make her feel that the humans make her safe & happy and therefore must be the wise leaders / when she matures, us humans feel that she makes us feel safe and has even protected my wife once naturally...when our dobe was called to serve a family member, in danger from a larger dog attack.

Puppies should have mental stimulating games with toys daily:
- besides training the normal sit/stay/down easy stuff...engage in teaching fetch / tug-of-war / soft bite muzzle control.

In the first month I had pup Amy.
My training starts 5 minutes after the pup comes home, @ 8 weeks old / and I invest all the love, time & energy...in the next 4-5 months.
- ALL ABOUT BUILDING CONFIDENCE & TRUST.
I took her into many store's I could get away with entering...I carried her on my shoulder to meet and greet strangers...in the city's downtown.
Then we would go to the park, and hangout in the playground (sometimes)...meeting more parents with their children.
Then we would visit the one captive deer..a 100 yards away / Amy once kissed it (on the nose) through the chain link fence (years later), it kissed back.
- she seen 100's of adults and children, early on...before she turned 3 months old
I have never gone to a dog park, with Amy...as an adult dog, she is more than capable of handling other bad mannered dogs.
(even with dogs 2x her size)
When she was little pup, she can't protect herself...so she isn't introduced to strangers dogs / until her confidence and size will handle...the situation.
I setup my puppies, always in the win-win / 99% of her early socialization...is with the human race.
 

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My biggest concern is that you are already socializing him with other dogs at 9 weeks old. I doubt he is done with his puppy shots. Usually takes up to 15 - 18 weeks old. You need to be very careful that he doesn't catch anything from smelling, licking, sniffing other dogs. You have to remember, puppies are not born with up to date immunizations in their blood system already. They are still very prone to diseases that older dogs are immune to!
!
Actually I'd continue to get him out BUT safely and with a trainer to help you work on the issues.

"The primary and most important time for puppy socialization is the first three months of life… For this reason, the AVSAB believes that it should be the standard of care for puppies to receive such socialization before they are fully vaccinated… While puppies’ immune systems are still developing during these early months… appropriate care makes the risk of infection relatively small compared to the chance of death from a behavior problem.” - The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior *

* Read the entire Position Statement here

Socialization
 

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You and your BF need to agree and meet on common ground with training method. Sounds like he got his training method from the 50's. Which i have found to be a big problem with a lot of men if its how they were raised they don't know any better. I had the same problem with my bf and he is doing a lot better now.
 

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Rubbing the nose in the mess and hitting don't do a thing. It's ******* tribal training that is passed on from generation to generation. It doesn't work.

Walking on leash: get a cheapy nylon leash at Petsmart, cut it off to a short length, long enough to drag the floor. Have the pup wear a collar and drag the leash around the house. Occassionally, you grab the end of the leash and get pup used to you holding the leash. All this indoors or in safety of your yard. Then slowly start outside.

Shouldn't be exposing pup to too much outside and dogs until fully immunized.

Who gets the dog if y'all break up? Renting?
 

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Actually I'd continue to get him out BUT safely and with a trainer to help you work on the issues.

"The primary and most important time for puppy socialization is the first three months of life… For this reason, the AVSAB believes that it should be the standard of care for puppies to receive such socialization before they are fully vaccinated… While puppies’ immune systems are still developing during these early months… appropriate care makes the risk of infection relatively small compared to the chance of death from a behavior problem.” - The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior *

* Read the entire Position Statement here

Socialization
I couldn't agree more! Obviously you have to use some common sense-don't be taking a small puppy to an animal shelter or some place like that. But missing out on socialization during the primary period is something that CAN'T be compensated for later, it will affect the dog the rest of its life.

BTW-doberman puppies *should* be bold and curious. It's really not normal and to be expected for a dobe puppy to go around being afraid of anything and everything.

I think this puppy needs to get into a good puppy kindergarten class ASAP, so the novice owner can learn how to communicate with their puppy, what training techniques work, etc.
 

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Rubbing the nose in the mess and hitting don't do a thing. It's ******* tribal training that is passed on from generation to generation. It doesn't work.....
What a way with words!



There's a whole lot of really good advice here, nothing for me to add. And since I'm naturally wordy, that's saying a lot.

Except--you've got your head on straight. Don't worry about being a novice here; just read, and listen, and learn--to the right folks like the ones in the recommendations given here. If your boyfriend's advice conflicts with what the experts say.......well, they are the ones called experts! He is repeating methods that were used in the past, but they're a bit out-dated and other better ways to train have been developed.

Stick up for yourself...and your puppy.....
and you're welcome to come back here for as much advice as you want (post pictures!)
 

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I think this puppy needs to get into a good puppy kindergarten class ASAP, so the novice owner can learn how to communicate with their puppy, what training techniques work, etc.
Agree 100%. Find a good puppy class with a trainer who is experienced and uses positive methods. Not only will your pup get socialization, but you will learn a lot. Here is a good place to start looking for trainers: Search for Professionals
 

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I second MeadowCat's suggestion of a good puppy class, and also the others who have told you to socialize your pup. I got Ilka as a stray when she was about 4 months old, and I seriously doubt she had ANY socialization or training. If she had had proper socialization at the critical time, she would probably be an easier dog to handle. After having her for two years, I am still careful about how I let her interact with other dogs, although she is much better with people than she was.
 
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Excuse me... but we're to be rewarded for responses with puppy pictures. Where is my cookie?!

In all seriousness, OP.. theres a TON of good advice in here. Take it and run with it, that pup will be a great dog for your family.
 

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SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE! Especially with a doberman! Just be safe about it, no strange dogs, and no unsafe places like where stray dogs hang out. Find dogs you know are safe and always ask if they are friendly with puppies, not just dogs. Remember, people, places and things. Include taking the baby out at night and in different weather. Above all, make sure your baby does not get overwhelmed. Socialization should alwys be a safe and gradual process but always well started prior to 4 months of age.

You need a trainer. :)
 

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Am I the only person who thinks a Doberman is not the right fit for this first time puppy owner?
^^^^ half +1...you clearly make a good point ladyballplayer.
YEAH - BF not fit for any dog maybe / GF seems different, at least she is not dragging it, while due claws ripping off...in severe pain (dog abuse).

While I earlier thought about this, BF may not make a nice father either - to new infant children / I think OP can do better...just a gut feel !!
- dump the SOB, before you have real kids with him / dobe and future offspring, may be in for a real nightmare...without big household changes !!

tater_tot - are YOU hiding under a rock now, or something, or are your studing all this great advice...before you reply ??
I don't see you adding and engaging in your original thread #1 / while we get upset here, hopefully just not pissing in the wind together...on deaf ears...shared advise comes from our hearts & is in your best interests to analyze & use.
 

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Am I the only person who thinks a Doberman is not the right fit for this first time puppy owner?
I don't think that's productive when the pup is already home, and the owner has come here for help. They obviously want to learn and make improvements, so the more helpful we are the better chance the pup has at a great life. I give people a ton of credit for actually asking for help.
 

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i would never expect a 9 week old puppy to walk correctly on a leash........... this takes time and training a little bit each day... to expect this kind of obedience at this 9 week old age is not something you can expect in reality.. .. .. his little brain didn't even develope yet and your hitting on him.. he is an infant.. not a dog.....try and step back and think baby... little sweet infant baby.All babys need their childhood.. . and try and to realize that you as his momma need patience and understanding..because it is up to you to get this dog to grow into a beautiful creature that everyone will admire and you will be proud to own for years to come..protecting you in every way he knows how.. right now it is your turn to gently teach him.. forgive him and cherish him with hugs and love.. your quality time spent will pay off, trust me. seek out help like you are doing.. get training videos.. read .. ask .. relax... and enjoy.. a few minutes a day of training is all you need each day.. and gently No's when he is doing something really wrong.. will eventually have a great impact on him.. he will tune in to you and actually try and please you.. but losing your patience and being harsh has no place in the making of a great family member..
 
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