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Harls Barkley
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Discussion Starter #1
This is my first dobe pup, I have had German Shepards, labs, and Rotties before. His name is Harley, he is nine months old today, approx. 87 pounds
I wanted to sign up here because he is VERY AGGRESSIVE... but only towards me... He has been to obediance class, and to an obediance class for aggressive behaviour, but nothing seems to be working. He is only aggressive towards me, and I am his owner. I am 20 years old, I go to college full time and I live with my mom and dad, who he has also been aggressive towards but not to the same extent he has with me. I'm getting on here, because my mom is afraid he will really hurt me while she is at work and I am here with him, because that is when he is really bad, when no one else is home with me. I love Harley so much and I have had him since he was eight weeks old, someone please help me because I do not want to have to give him away. This has been going on since like two weeks after we got him, when he started to growl when I wanted him to move away or get up. He still does this now. He is not protective of food or toys at all. But he has a VERY high prey drive, for example... I cannot play with him at all, and what is the use if you cannot play with your dog, as you can see I am kind of getting frustrated. Like I cannot kick or throw a ball in our yard, because he ends up chasing and attacking me. He draws blood and bites my arms and grabs onto me wrapping around me, like kind of when they try to hump. And I am a smaller size person, I am 5'5 120, and he is much stronger and faster then I am. He is a great dog though, we have been working on his down stay now, and he is up to seven minutes, we are working each we up to 30 minutes, this is something we learned in training. We also have that "choke" collar that we use to walk him, and we give him a correction if he goes in front of us. I also go out of the door first. But he feels like he has authority over me, and Im getting so sad becuase I love him and I know he is not intentionally trying to hurt me. Am I doing something wrong? Like after he bites me, he goes in the crate but he cries because he wants to be with me and when I cry he comes and licks me. I just dont understand. I am also very soft speaking voice but when he is attacking me I do not have that voice. Im just really afraid of having to get rid of him or having him attack me and really really hurt me. We also use the correction collar in the house, and that seems to work, but it is really hard, its like he is bipolar or something because as soon as he gets outside he is a different dog! I mean he has been bad inside also but its mostly outside. And he gets plenty of exercise, he goes for at least three walks each day. But it is hard to try to correct him when he is up to my neck on me when he is standing... someone please help me, I love Harley... I feel like I have tried everything..I also cannot get on the floor with him, because as soon as I do he tries to "get me." Please help:(:confused: we do everything together to, I take him for walks, we hang all day, we go for car rides, we go all over the place. he is such a great dog, except for the attacking me. and its just me, because we have people here all the time, and neighboors, young kids, and he is great to them and has NEVER tried to hurt anyone, but if they have ran from him which we tell not to he does chase them. please help
 

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You can't kill the metal
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832 Posts
I would be teaching him to not jump up at you. He might just be playing rough. Is his tail wagging at all?

Signs of an angry dog is usually bearing their teeth, hair standing up and I believe their backs arched.

I wouldn't punish him by putting him in his crate. Especially if that's where he sleeps, his crate should be his comfort zone from what I understand.

Did he not graduate from obedience classes?
 

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Would it be possible to have a behaviorist evaluate him? It could be possible that he is just an intense, over stimulated dog and isn't actually acting aggressively towards you.

What has his breeder offered as advice?

Also, "going out the door first" is not something I would care about. As long as he sits before going out the door and goes on a release command and doesn't charge through it, I wouldn't worry about you walking out first. That mentality is kind of old-school.

To me, he just sounds like he is over stimulated. If he was jumping on me and biting me, I would calmly remove him from the situation by taking him inside or holding him by the collar until he settles down. Then maybe practice some down stays since he is doing well with them.

How long are the walks? I think three short-medium walks a day is definitely NOT enough for a young, maturing male Doberman. He needs some free-running time. If you have a fenced in backyard, I would try throwing the ball for him and if he starts focusing on you and biting you, end the play session. When he settles down inside, take him back outside to try to play with him again.

Is he food motivated? You could try giving him some extra mental stimulation by shaping things outside. That will help him stay more focused on you and he will become more comfortable with the outside world. I shape benches, rocks, or other big objects my dog can interact with. It has really helped her behavior outdoors.

In case you aren't familiar with shaping:Fun Training Techniques for You and Your Canine! - Whole Dog Journal Article

You can also set up obstacles in your yard for him to interact with through shaping. Like a hula-hoop or jumps.

Sorry this response is kind of all over the place.
 

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Where are you from? Some of the members on here may be able to recommend behaviorists/trainers, etc based on where you are located.

ETA: Oh, and welcome to the forum - but sorry to hear it's under unpleasant circumstances...
 

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Wow, it sounds like your having a tough time. I agree with seeing a behaviourist, it would also help the other DT members if you could tell them what breeder you got your pup from. Certain bloodlines can be linked to genetic problems.

Has your dog been to the vets? What did they say about his behaviour?

For your safety and others, remove all of his toys and treats, feed him in a separate room, and if you can condition him to a muzzle, muzzle him on your walks.

He is a young dog, hopefully its something that can be turned around quickly, good luck!
 

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Welcome from Missouri and glad you joined us. Wish you have found someone to help you sooner but have you contacted the breeder and does the breeder work and train their own dogs? If not then the most likely will not be able to help so the next step if you are in NY is to contact John Soares - You can find his contact info through Cara Dobermans and Ray Carlisle. They might be close enough that they could help you.

Look for a DVG or Schutzhund USA club in your area. A good Schutzhund trainer can help you I would be cautious as way too many behaviorist today just want to put a good dog down that has made a wrong turn. This is serious and you are headed for serious trouble so please contact Ray or John they are awesome and can help you.

To add: Look up Nothing in life is free - NLIF training techniques they will help you carry on once you get help from above.
 

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Paralibrarian
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Welcome! If you're smack in the middle of Central New York, like I am, there's a Schutzhund club in Binghamton, and one in Albany. I think there's also one in Syracuse (it seems like there's a lot of dog train-y stuff in Syracuse, but that's like, 3 hours from me).

A board certified behaviorist is a great idea, to determine whether this is true aggression or not. A lot of trainers advertise behavioral stuff, but make sure to seek out one that's actually certified. NILIF is also a great way to mitigate some things an establish ground rules: Nothing in Life is Free
 

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Hi and welcome! I am sorry to hear about the time you are having with your Doberman.

First off let me start with a few things, as young as you are, how did you own all these other breeds? Or do you mean they were your parents dogs and you lived with them? There is a huge difference.. Also, relating a Doberman to these breeds is not going to help you, as all breeds, and dogs, are different. I agree about the walks not being enough. This is a dog that needs a JOB; esp with the age and gender. He needs to be kept busy. To me, it does not sounds like the classes you have taken really did anything. I would also recommend finding a trainer or behaviorist who can help you. Him biting you and drawing blood is not ok, and I think your family has ever right to be concerned. Please look into some of the things listed above.

I am also curious if you have talked to the breeder, or what his lines are.
 

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Owned by Dobes since 1975
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Hello and Welcome to Doberman Talk!!

is he neutered yet?

You definitely need to have yourselves and the dog evaluated. :)

find out why he is the leader in your pack before he seriously hurts someone.

he does sound like a handful. I hope you guys can figure something out soon.

Hugz to you and yours.
 

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I would deffinately impliment NILF as others have mentioned. Where have you been doing the obedience class? Where in CNY are you located? I'm in Syracuse and may be able to point you in the right direction, feel free to PM me.
 

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Are you close to Marion, New York?

I would recommend Debbie Zappia she is very good with difficult dogs. I have trained with her and I really like her methods. Welcome To The ProFormance K-9 and Olgameister Kennel Website

I think you need help a.s.a.p. either Debbie or like someone else posted Joan Soares. Both have experience in the breed and difficult dogs.
 

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Have you tried training with a clicker or praise or food from what I was reading sounds like your pup has been trained force-ably with a choker,using the old methods. Noticed you also said " But he feels like he has authority over me " How about using a different method of training sometimes using chokers on young dogs will back fire and make them aggressive towards you. Do you know anything about his back ground parents have you talked to the breeder.Kindness can go a long ways with a pup but since this has been going on for some time a behaviorist is your best bet.Good Luck hope you can find a way to keep your puppy.
 

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Harls Barkley
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I would be teaching him to not jump up at you. He might just be playing rough. Is his tail wagging at all?

Signs of an angry dog is usually bearing their teeth, hair standing up and I believe their backs arched.

I wouldn't punish him by putting him in his crate. Especially if that's where he sleeps, his crate should be his comfort zone from what I understand.

Did he not graduate from obedience classes?
I have been teaching him not to jump on me... he does not do it usually it is just all of a sudden something like snaps in him and he just goes crazy.... Usually he is like getting down like he is going to play and then he gets out of control. The crate thing, yes I understand its for comfort, but I put him in there because if I dont I cannot control him....
He DID graduate from the two obedience classes, he was a perfect ANGEL there and no one believed me that he was doing this to me at home!
 

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Harls Barkley
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Would it be possible to have a behaviorist evaluate him? It could be possible that he is just an intense, over stimulated dog and isn't actually acting aggressively towards you.

What has his breeder offered as advice?

Also, "going out the door first" is not something I would care about. As long as he sits before going out the door and goes on a release command and doesn't charge through it, I wouldn't worry about you walking out first. That mentality is kind of old-school.

To me, he just sounds like he is over stimulated. If he was jumping on me and biting me, I would calmly remove him from the situation by taking him inside or holding him by the collar until he settles down. Then maybe practice some down stays since he is doing well with them.

How long are the walks? I think three short-medium walks a day is definitely NOT enough for a young, maturing male Doberman. He needs some free-running time. If you have a fenced in backyard, I would try throwing the ball for him and if he starts focusing on you and biting you, end the play session. When he settles down inside, take him back outside to try to play with him again.

Is he food motivated? You could try giving him some extra mental stimulation by shaping things outside. That will help him stay more focused on you and he will become more comfortable with the outside world. I shape benches, rocks, or other big objects my dog can interact with. It has really helped her behavior outdoors.

In case you aren't familiar with shaping:Fun Training Techniques for You and Your Canine! - Whole Dog Journal Article

You can also set up obstacles in your yard for him to interact with through shaping. Like a hula-hoop or jumps.

Sorry this response is kind of all over the place.



he is just very stubborn. He knows how to do everything I ask but he never does it the first time I ask, so I always have to correct him. He goes for three approx 40 minute walks a day, some more some less. I would love to be able to do so much more stuff with him, but once I pick up my pace its like he thinks I am asking him to bite me..... he gets up on me like he is going to hump me and bites at my arms.. Yes he is VERY food motivated. We give him good boneless skinless chicken breast all the time for downstays.

I have tried to do throwing the ball outside, yes my large is pretty good size, lots of space for him to run around and its not fenced in but he is trained through the shock collar where he can go. I throw the ball he gets it once then he wont give it back and doesnt want to do it anymore then he wants to chase me. he also tries to attack me every time i scoop up his poop, i just dont understand. or when I wear gloves, he goes nuts!
 

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Harls Barkley
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Where are you from? Some of the members on here may be able to recommend behaviorists/trainers, etc based on where you are located.

ETA: Oh, and welcome to the forum - but sorry to hear it's under unpleasant circumstances...


I am from CNY, in the middle of Syracuse and Utica
 

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Harls Barkley
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Wow, it sounds like your having a tough time. I agree with seeing a behaviourist, it would also help the other DT members if you could tell them what breeder you got your pup from. Certain bloodlines can be linked to genetic problems.

Has your dog been to the vets? What did they say about his behaviour?

For your safety and others, remove all of his toys and treats, feed him in a separate room, and if you can condition him to a muzzle, muzzle him on your walks.

He is a young dog, hopefully its something that can be turned around quickly, good luck!



Yes he goes to the vet every month. he has all his shots and we get his nails cut every month and get him weighed. he has had his behavior evaluated and they said he was not an aggressive dog. he loves people he loves going to the vet everyone loves him and says he is the most well behaved dog, its just around me!
 

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Harls Barkley
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Hello and Welcome to Doberman Talk!!

is he neutered yet?

You definitely need to have yourselves and the dog evaluated. :)

find out why he is the leader in your pack before he seriously hurts someone.

he does sound like a handful. I hope you guys can figure something out soon.

Hugz to you and yours.

yes he has been neutered, he was at a little over 6 months. he is now 9 months
 

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Harls Barkley
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Have you tried training with a clicker or praise or food from what I was reading sounds like your pup has been trained force-ably with a choker,using the old methods. Noticed you also said " But he feels like he has authority over me " How about using a different method of training sometimes using chokers on young dogs will back fire and make them aggressive towards you. Do you know anything about his back ground parents have you talked to the breeder.Kindness can go a long ways with a pup but since this has been going on for some time a behaviorist is your best bet.Good Luck hope you can find a way to keep your puppy.



Yes I do the "yes" praise and with food, we do not use the choker a lot, just usually need it when he jumps when ppl come over, or when he is trying to get me.
 

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Harls Barkley
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
He has European blood lines. If anyone around Syracuse NY could help me at all could you send me an email [email protected] it would be greatly appreciated... I dont really know how everything on this site works so that would be much easier. he was trained by mitch stalher (spelling) in syracuse ny at a aspca.
 
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