Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This might take some explaining, so I shall start from the beginning:

We already had our 2 year old black Labrador, Pippa when Kira, our now 8 month old brown and rust Dobermann came to live with us back in July 2013. Kira seemed to fit in well, a bit apprehensive of Pippa at first but gradually they came to love each other, although, Kira does not give Pippa a minutes peace as expected.

I admit to "mollycoddling" Kira when she first came to live with us as she was my "baby" (my first puppy). She went everywhere with me (mostly so that she didn't destroy anything or have any unknown accidents). When we first left her in the house on her own, we bought a metal pen that we put both Kira and Pippa in which I suppose it confined her but there were still accidents and beds were torn up and destroyed. As we felt this wasn't fair on Pippa we bought a crate for Kira (which she hated and wouldn't go near, no matter how many times you treated her and followed all the tricks to try and get her to like it). We continued to crate Kira when we went to work or left the house...a few times she managed to escape but our Lab was getting some peace and quiet, even if she was confined to the living room with Kira.

Just before Christmas, we uprooted to another part of town, a semi detached house with a larger garden. It was agreed that we would keep Kira and Pippa in the kitchen as the whole house had just be re-carpetted and the kitchen had easy to wipe linoleum for any accidents that she might have. Within a week of us moving in, our new "neighbours" had already complained TWICE about our pup barking and howling. We never had any complaints in the old house and we had neighbours either side of us. We agreed to take Kira out of her crate, as this was clearly very distressing to her, to allow her to roam the kitchen with Pippa (as she likes to be touching someone when sleeping). We recorded our dogs when we were out several times over the festive period. Despite our "neighbours" complaints of our dogs barking constantly and the whole street complaining...Kira does bark and howl, but it is definitely not constant and other neighbours said that they hadn't heard our dogs.

We both agreed after much research that Kira was suffering from separation anxiety...not severe, as it only starts when we leave the house, she is perfectly fine on the lead up to us leaving. We contacted our vets who suggested an andaptil plug in...we are now almost all out of the plug in and if I had to say anything, I would say that it has actually made her worse...there are still complaints of howling, urination on the kitchen floor even after 10 min absences and she has now started scratching at our kitchen door to escape. We have also bought calming drops which we have been giving her 3 times a day...no effect.

To prevent complaints from our "neighbours", Kira and Pippa have started going to my mothers house when we are out during the day. They behave as good as gold at my mums, not a peep she says. However, she does follow my mum round the house, no matter where she goes. A thing she does with me or my partner at home as well. Sometimes, she even cries when one of us leaves the room, even if the other is still present.

Having also done more research, I understand that Kira see's us as her "followers" and herself as the pack leader...a very hard thing for a dog to do in a human environment I understand. Trying to follow the steps I have researched online, I have been trying to teach her that I am infact in charge...leaving the room first, entering the room first, making her wait for her dinner till I have had mine, sitting on a higher postion that her, not letting her on our bed, shutting doors behind me so that she cannot follow me. Unfortunately, this often takes a gentle push to stop Kira racing through...dinner was a NIGHTMARE!!! It took Kira a good 45 mins to calm down and not be in an excitable state.

Does anyone have any tips on how to help her separation anxiety? As this is affecting our day to day lives and I LOVE my doggies!!! About as protective over them and any complaints about them as I would be of my very own child. Also, anything more we can be doing for the alpha postion?

We are also considering a muzzle but understand that this is not a good option for when leaving the dog alone....is this right?

Any help, shared experience or tips would be GREATLY appreciated!!

Thanks :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,803 Posts
First off, hello :)

Secondly, Dobermans are Velcro dogs, so they are more prone to SA. That being said, having structure, active lifestyle, and training, can allow a dog to be more content when you're not home.

As for alpha/dominance, most members here do not believe in that stuff. Some of the things you mentioned (sitting before meal, you walking out the door first) is not alpha, it's structure and safety. A structured life helps a dog settle in, allows them to have a routine.

Some questions:
How often does she get exercise?
How much training does she get daily?
What is her routine like?

Also a note, it is never safe to leave a muzzle (or even a collar) on a dog without anyone being present in the room with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,449 Posts
I wouldn't waste your time on the alpha schmalpha stuff. It's jibber jabber to me and not meaningfully. Rules and consistency will help. My dogs walk through a door before me, lay on me, sit on me, but behave just fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi, thanks for your post! Kira gets walked at least once a day. When we have time, we take her out into the woods, let her run about and explore for hours...nothing seems to tire her out. Not even chasing ball up and down hills, a game out Lab loves. I do at least half an hour training with her every day, even if it's just a sit and stay command. And as we work different shift patterns Kira's routine isn't set in stone, but she gets fed at all the same points in the day
 

·
AmLex
Joined
·
334 Posts
I wouldn't waste your time on the alpha schmalpha stuff. It's jibber jabber to me and not meaningfully. Rules and consistency will help. My dogs walk through a door before me, lay on me, sit on me, but behave just fine.
I agree, Lexi walks through doors before me, sits on me, sleeps on my bed. But if I tell her to do something she does it...no question. What makes you think she sees you has her pack followers anyway? With regards to SA our neighbours complained about Lexi howling, so we took her out of her crate to see if that changed and whaddya know...it worked : ) I presume you are from the UK as you use words like 'semi detached house' and 'garden'! Lol! I am from the midlands :)


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Also, anything more we can be doing for the alpha postion?
I wouldn't get caught up in the Alpha training stuff. Consistency and routine are critical as well as a good diet and lots of stimulation - both mental and physical. She isn't a wolf, and neither are you...so one of you trying to communicate like one may leave the other quite bewildered.

It may take extra effort on your part to get her out more and find "jobs" for her, but it can have a profound impact on calming her nerves. A tired dog is a happy dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, I am from the uk, Scotland lol. She barely listens to us. Dives at her food. The only thing she does well is walks off her lead. She no longer is in her crate, was wondering though, because the kitchen isn't a place we spend huge amounts of time, would the bedroom or the living room be better for her? A sense of home and our smell would be there?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,161 Posts
I think (like someone else posted above) she needs a job. Dobermans are a working dog breed and do not do well in settings where their minds and bodies don't get a workout. A daily walk where she sees the same thing over and over daily is probably not enough. Are there any opportunities for obedience/ agility training in your area? Can you provide some mental stimulation toys like treat balls while you are away? She is just plain bored, I think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The obedience class she went to didn't really welcome her as she snapped at a small happy dog that kept pestering her. We've gave her kongs when we've been out but she tends to demolish them in 5 or ignore them to howl
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Any time I hear a trainer talk about "alpha" in the dominant context I can't help but to wonder if it is a Freudian complex that should be dealt with in a manner not involving dogs. More often than not it it's a cutesy way of describing bullying a dog into doing what you want.

For SA issues the best thing I've found comes from teaching down stay. Look up training methods for teaching that positively. Along with learning a command that makes a lot of situations more manageable, it also teaches them that just because you go out of sight for a moment doesn't mean you have abandoned them to die a lonely miserable death in the pit of dispare.

Other thing that I had to do with a malamute (thanks to the other thread for bringing that memory up), was I would leave for a couple minutes at a time, then gradually extend that time until I could be gone for the day without him blowing a gasket.

Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,030 Posts
Please stop with the alpha stuff it causes many more problems than it helps, 30 minutes of training is too long just for sit & stay. Along with obedience get a trick book teach her some tricks she can put the toys up,all kinds of tricks, walk her with a back pack on she can carry her own water and poop bags.Teach fetch, use a Flirt pole ( a Buggy whip with a toy on the end of the whip part she can chase the toy.)Black Kongs are tougher than the red ones. If she dose not fight with the lab over food or toys you can fill the Kongs up with food or treats peanut butter cheese freeze it give it to her before leaving. I have never had a dog with separation anxiety I tell mine to (watch the house before I leave) I do not make a big fuss leaving or coming home I actually ignore them for a few minutes both ways. The more you fuss coming or going the worse they become of course I have had dogs over 40 years have it pretty down pat by now. Welcome to DT and Good Luck
 

·
AmLex
Joined
·
334 Posts
If your pup won't do anything you say, have you tried NILF? My girl doesn't get anything without earning it first. Even just a treat, she has to sit, shake a paw and high 5. Try teaching leave it aswell. Do this by having a treat in your hand, when the pup goes to eat it close you hand and say leave it. When the pup no longer looks like they are going to eat your hand say 'take it' and let them have it. Repeat until pup knows they don't get the treat until you say 'take it good boy/girl' once the pup knows that you can then start to put it on the floor, say leave it, if pup goes for it put your hand over it and say leave it. It took me about 10 mins to teach Lexi this. It helped with teaching her to sit nicely before she could have a dinner. She is very good now with food inhibition and of course some day it could save her life.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Kira doesn't seem to have a long enough attention span to bother with any type of training. She gets distracted easily or bored very quickly. My main worry for her is her SA as her crying is very upsetting to hear and I'm losing patience with constant complaints
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
If your pup won't do anything you say, have you tried NILF? My girl doesn't get anything without earning it first. Even just a treat, she has to sit, shake a paw and high 5. Try teaching leave it aswell. Do this by having a treat in your hand, when the pup goes to eat it close you hand and say leave it. When the pup no longer looks like they are going to eat your hand say 'take it' and let them have it. Repeat until pup knows they don't get the treat until you say 'take it good boy/girl' once the pup knows that you can then start to put it on the floor, say leave it, if pup goes for it put your hand over it and say leave it. It took me about 10 mins to teach Lexi this. It helped with teaching her to sit nicely before she could have a dinner. She is very good now with food inhibition and of course some day it could save her life.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
What does NILF stand for? Also one variation of teaching leave it that I prefer is to use two treats. The first treat is placed on the floor. As the dog first goes up to sniff it you say leave it and immediately give the other treat. Then you gradually let the dog move its head away from the treat to get the second treat. Eventually this evolves into leave it meaning divert all that attention you were giving that first treat and focus it on me. If you want you can tie a fishing line to the treat and pull away if the leave it command didn't immediately divert the dogs attention, but I've never needed to do that. And yes leave it is one if the safety related commands that drives me nuts when people don't teach.

Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Kira doesn't seem to have a long enough attention span to bother with any type of training. She gets distracted easily or bored very quickly. My main worry for her is her SA as her crying is very upsetting to hear and I'm losing patience with constant complaints
Not sure if this is the case, but since you mentioned alpha, disinterest in training is a common side effect of negative reinforcement. Training should feel like play time not time to figure out what to do to not get corrected. If she gets SA, then she is people driven enough to lure her into basics like sit and mark it with good sit and pet her and, if it seems to help, a treat as well.

Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
AmLex
Joined
·
334 Posts
What does NILF stand for? Also one variation of teaching leave it that I prefer is to use two treats. The first treat is placed on the floor. As the dog first goes up to sniff it you say leave it and immediately give the other treat. Then you gradually let the dog move its head away from the treat to get the second treat. Eventually this evolves into leave it meaning divert all that attention you were giving that first treat and focus it on me. If you want you can tie a fishing line to the treat and pull away if the leave it command didn't immediately divert the dogs attention, but I've never needed to do that. And yes leave it is one if the safety related commands that drives me nuts when people don't teach.

Sent from Petguide.com Free App
NILF is nothing in life is free. Google it and it explains all about it. I should have mentioned I do treat Lexi once I have given the leave it command...once she has left it, I treat her. I should have specified that. My bad. Although my trainer said once the dog has got to grips with leave it you shouldn't treat every single time as if you are out and asking them to leave something you may not have a treat to hand.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,453 Posts
She is a lovely girl, personally I think that she is lacking of proper interaction between you both, the fact that she doesn't listen to you, makes me think that you don't "talk" enough with her and make things interesting for her, even just walking / running when outside is not enough, whilst outside you need to interact with her, play and teach and maybe whilst she is not listening to you she shouldn't be let of the leash?

And when in the house make her part of everything you do, ok if she follows you around but talk to her at the same time. One of the things I do when walking around the house and Keon is following me (as always) is give direction (left, right, foward, back, circle, around) or naming places (bedroom, bathroom, etc) also have him pick up a toy of my choice (after having to find it) and then make him wlak around with it, then I will say drop it or give and choose another toy. I try to always keep him stimulated whilst being awake and I think that helps to calm him down and also makes him want to pay more attention to me.
 

·
AmLex
Joined
·
334 Posts
She is a lovely girl, personally I think that she is lacking of proper interaction between you both, the fact that she doesn't listen to you, makes me think that you don't "talk" enough with her and make things interesting for her, even just walking / running when outside is not enough, whilst outside you need to interact with her, play and teach and maybe whilst she is not listening to you she shouldn't be let of the leash?

And when in the house make her part of everything you do, ok if she follows you around but talk to her at the same time. One of the things I do when walking around the house and Keon is following me (as always) is give direction (left, right, foward, back, circle, around) or naming places (bedroom, bathroom, etc) also have him pick up a toy of my choice (after having to find it) and then make him wlak around with it, then I will say drop it or give and choose another toy. I try to always keep him stimulated whilst being awake and I think that helps to calm him down and also makes him want to pay more attention to me.
Lexi follows me everywhere and I have full blown conversations with her all the time. I'm glad this is good for her rather than me just being slightly insane! I also use the 'fetch your toy' thing with her...she'll run off to find it and come back looking ever so pleased with herself. She's a good girl for 8 months old :D


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top