Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first time on this site. I hope you all can help, you all seem friendly. So... I have a 5.5month old spayed female dobie. She was my sister in laws from 8wks to 4 mos old. She didn't have any training and she had 2 kids and a military husband, so the dog was the last thing on her mind. Over the last 6 wks, I have noticed her food aggression and found ways to deal with it. We make her wait for her food. We feed her separate from our other dog. We have timed feedings. I take her food away and make her wait to show her I am alpha. I have my 4yr old feed her, she is trained to stay until he says ok.
Tonight, he was walking around with goldfish and he dropped them by accident and she went right for them. When he went to get them from her and get her to back off, she bit him in the face. She did break the skin, but she did not mean to hurt him. She is never aggressive toward him. My 4yr old has a habit of teasing both dogs with his toys, sometimes food, and chasing them with toys. We have warned him countless times to stop teasing the dogs. So... before anyone says anything, I know that both my son and my dog are at fault. My husband told me, that my son was teasing her, and then the fish hit the floor and my son had a bite.
What do I do to make sure it doesn't happen in the future?? I am sure that my son knows the consequences of his teasing now. But how can I trust that my dobie will leave any dropped food alone, especially if my son goes to clean it up? Part of me wants to try to continue to train her, and part of me wants to get rid of her. Please Help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,599 Posts
Thank your husband for his service to our country!!

1. Get your dog into obedience training.

2. Set guidelines for your children to eat around your dogs, play and what is good play and what is teasing.

3. A female doberman that is alpha means you are in charge. It's a daily training!!

I'm sure others will give you some great advice. You're in the right place.

I didn't mean to miss this issue but it's not right to bite a child. That's where training will help you.
 

·
sufferin succotash
Joined
·
9,168 Posts
An internet forum cannot tell you if your dog will bite in the future. Only you can make the determination to work with a trainer on your dog's issues or re-home her. It might be difficult to re-home her if she has a bite history. You will need to disclose this to any person and/or rescue group.

It's a shame she was provided no guidance/training and was teased by your son.


Hope your son will be ok.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,264 Posts
I suggest getting a behaviorist right away to help you direct her in the right direction. As sam&macksmom said an internet forum can't exactly tell you how and what to do. The behaviorist will observe her and begin to change some things and help you change her unwanted behavior.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,030 Posts
1st get a behaviorist,might teach Drop it & Leave it those two commands come in very handy though out a dogs life anything it dropped you just give them one of those commands.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,944 Posts
I think the simple answer if you cannot trust her with your son. I would 100% supervise them together and never leave them alone alone together. You could use baby gates to seperate up your house so you can restrict access while your toddler has food/toys ect.

I really don't like how you said you take the food away to show you are 'Alfa'. Surely you are just reinforcing her fears that her food is going to be taken away from her? I would stop worried about all the dominance theory rubbish and get a behaviourist who uses positive methods to work on her issues. Think of her as having a confidence ot behavour problem, not as trying to dominate you.

I'm glad your son wasn't seriously hurt and wish you all the best for the future. I hope you stick around and update us in the future.
 

·
Super Moderator
Hairy Dog, RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
Joined
·
26,450 Posts
I don't think I'd panic quite yet--if I am reading this right, your dog is 5 1/2 months old and your son is 4? They're both just babies.

A young child and a puppy should never be left alone and should be watched by an adult's eagle eye. Your child should never eat around the dog, especially running around with food in hand. It's just too much to expect a young puppy not to try to snatch the food and your son would be likely to get hurt or knocked down.

Your dog should not have bitten your son either (of course). You would benefit by going with him to a trainer who could teach you how to set some basic rules and give you an idea what behaviors of his might prove to be a problem and need work to eradicate or control.

Some of your training approaches could use some modification. and you could work more on your guidelines--no teasing, no food around the dog, no taking food away from dog, better supervision of them both.....................

Your son made a mistake running around with the food; your dog made a mistake in trying to get the food from your son; you made a mistake in not supervising them more closely. It's all fixable with a little attention. Your son and your puppy are both young; you needn't freak out. But do find a behaviorist to help you work with your pup appropriately.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,009 Posts
Obviously, some structured training (like OB), will make your young dobe a worthly and loving and safe family member.

But your 4 year old son:
- teasing the dog (just WRONG) without the necessary parental corrections...child needs more rules & boundaries / don't be quick to fault the puppy
- now is the time, to get house rules, in order / will greatly help them both, growing up
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,246 Posts
Welcome from MIssouri and I am sorry that you had this problem. You are correct in that both need discipline and training. If you can find a Schutzhund trainer to help you that would be the best to teach you how to train the puppy and how to deal with her food aggression issues. Even if you are not interested in doing Schutzhund these trainers are used to working with the bigger breed dogs and will teach you how to handle things.

Based on your description of the events I think it is beyond giving advise here - as you need one on one help so you learn how to set the rules and guidelines - the child must stop teasing - this creates both drive and frustration and a bite is the result.

Thank you for sharing and for seeking help. I know Ivan Balabanov (sp) has a training center in Florida and if you PM me I have a someone in Daytona Beach who could help you or would know more who could.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
331 Posts
I have a 5-year old, a 4-year old, and an 8-month old baby, all boys. I have a 19-month old doberman. Also a boy. I watch all four of them like. a. hawk!

I, too, involve my boys in the feeding of our dog. But the dog is under my direct physical control (as in I'm holding his collar while he is on the stay command) until my son steps back and says "Okay." The boys love being involved, and I want them to learn the responsibility of caring for a pet. But feeding time is exciting and highly anticipated by the dog, and I think that for a long time, the whole thing will need to be supervised. We've had Dylan for more than a year now, and I'm still very much in the middle of it, even though my kids are more than capable.

Any time I'm not in the room. And I mean any time I'm not in the room, Dylan (the dog) is either with me, or in his kennel. I have a clip on the kennel latch that my boys can't yet manipulate, so that they can't let him out on their own. My middle child showed a tendency last year to try to jump on Dylan's bed with him when he saw him sleeping. He has been taught otherwise. It was a tough lesson, but he's got it. And he still gets constant warnings (and I get, "I know, Mom!" every time. Too bad.). Anytime I see him walking anywhere near Dylan when he's sleeping, I whistle or call Dylan's name to wake him up before Jason can. Jason LOVES Dylan, and always wants to play with him. They're attached at the hip. But one time, because he's a child and children do stupid things, he pulled Dylan's ear. Hard. I was ten inches away. Dylan cried out, but didn't retaliate. Since that day, Jason is not allowed to hug Dylan, not allowed to touch his head or face at all, and can only pet him along his back. Heartbreaking. He used to love to give him gentle hugs. But he broke the rules, and it was a hanging offense. Over time, as he grows out of that I'm-gonna-do-this-just-to-see-what-happens phase, his restrictions with Dylan will be loosened. But he's not there yet. He bit his baby brother's finger, HARD, the other day. Children do the strangest things. They simply can't be trusted at this age.

Jason is still allowed to play with Dylan and toss his toys with him, but there are rules, and there is constant training involved, for both child and dog. Obviously, a three-foot tall person shouldn't hold a high value toy over his head for very long before throwing it. It's little things like this that have to be constantly monitored when you have dogs and kids together, especially when either or both are young.

I truly believe that every child should grow up with a dog. There is no greater, more loving, more understanding being in a child's life than his or her special dog. I grew up with dogs, and I felt my childhood was enriched by them. But there is a lot of extra work and vigilance that goes into having children and dogs together. And neither one of them is going to have to do the work, or be vigilant. YOU are! You're the parent. You're the responsible one. If accidents happen, it's neither the fault of the dog, nor the fault of the child.

I'm really sorry this has happened to your family. It could have been much worse, and I'm glad it wasn't. As mentioned, your dog is still a puppy, and as such, has a tremendous amount to learn. Your child is still young, and also has a tremendous amount to learn. Consider this mishap a lesson to you. Get the dog what she needs in terms of training and specialists. Work with the child on how to act appropriately around the dog. Set up boundaries, both physical and not. Gates, crates, whatever it takes, the dog needs a spot where she can get away from the kid, and the kid needs time and space to eat his goldfish crackers without fear of dropping them. Have supervised play times between the two of them. It gives you an opportunity to teach your son how to play appropriately, and gives you an opportunity to throw in little training sessions here and there for the dog. "Drop it", "Leave it" and "Wait" are invaluable. Teach them and reinforce them constantly, until it's second nature for you to say it, and second nature for the dog to obey. I had to teach Dylan to "wait" at the top (or bottom) of the stairs until all the humans have completed their ascent or descent. He knocked Jason down the stairs twice in his exuberance, bounding down (or up) the stairs in great leaps. Now, it doesn't have to be said. When the family goes up or down, he sits and waits until we say "okay". If he jumps the gun, he has a full week of back to square one, issuing the command, and reinforcing it, every single time. We haven't had to do that in quite some time.

It's not easy to raise dogs and kids together. You have to be on your toes, you have to have unbreakable rules, you have to constantly train and remind, you have to be vigilant. But I believe that a dog truly completes a family, and that when you make it work smoothly, there is nothing more rewarding for all involved.

Stay on this site. There is a lot of valuable info to be found. Don't take things too personally. People will say it like it is. But it's because they care, about dobermans and their people. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks

Thank you so much for all of your help. I am trying to get in touch with a behaviorist. I knew she needed training when I picked her up from my sister in law. She is very food motivated, so it is very easy to train her to do what I want for basic commands.
I appreciate all of your suggestions, we plan on keeping her, b/c we know we were all at fault here. We have an older golden/lab x that my son has had in his life since he was 2, so she is 2 and has put up with him chasing her and having those toys taken away b/c of not listening. Luckily, she has never tried to bite him for anything and is not as motivated by food. My son seems to be the most hard headed little boy I have ever met. He loves his dogs, and we have re-inforced that these dogs are bigger and stronger then him and they will retaliate if they feel threatened. Unfortunately, I think he already has the male issues of hearing what he wants to, and ignoring his mother, to where he feels it is ok to do what he wants with the dogs. Hopefully, she has scared him into knowing that mom and dad are right, and he needs to straighten up before he gets hurt again or its worse.
We have set up more boundaries for him and the dog. She has her time to eat, and will be in her kennel when we eat. In addition, we are going to break our habit of eating at the tv and instead eat at our dining room table. He will also have to ask for snacks and knows he can only have them at the table from now on. He also knows that he is not allowed to go into the sunroom because that is their space and their kennel is in there. And if my son is not with me when the dog is out, then the dog will be kenneled.
I have never owned a doberman before and I knew it would be work to have one. My 1st dog Trixie who is a mix, was just so easy and was so understanding of my son. She doesn't fight for dominance or really care what my son does to her and I guess we got spoiled by that. I really appreciate all of your help.
Toni, Kenny, Timothy, Trixie, and Lilly
 

·
Super Moderator
Hairy Dog, RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
Joined
·
26,450 Posts
Sounds like a really good start. The problems you described with your puppy-son interactions don't sound THAT out of line, so hopefully it won't take Herculean efforts to fix them. Good luck; keep plugging away; keep coming back here to get help and support, and to post pictures :) and to brag about successes :) :) ! LOL

Welcome to DT.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top