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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1.5 year old male doberman named Max. I absolutely adore him but we are having major troubles with his behavior. It is typical behavior for his breed, I think, but it needs fixed or else I have to rehome him before he hurts my dogs again or our family.

We have a min pin that is about 9 years old and a boxer mix that is about 6 years old. Max constantly wants to play with them and when they don't want to play he harasses them by biting at their legs and back. He doesn't know how to respect their personal space. We are taking our min pin to the vets today because we think he may have broken it. I have to keep them separated as much as possible. My other two dogs' behavior has changed where they seem so unhappy.

The other thing that has been a real problem is when I am outside with Max he goes and runs full speed at me and turns right at the last minute almost causing him to run into my knees.

I know a lot of this is due to lack of stimulation, he has acres of land to run, but if he his bored the acreage doesn't matter. I'm able to bring him to work with me but he can't respect the space of the other office dog and it would cause conflict. I really want to bring him there because I run during lunch breaks and I think it would greatly benefit him.

Due to COVID I don't have the financial ability for professional training but have taught him basic commands as well as working on the e-collar. Any help is appreciated because I don't want him to hurt anyone because of my lack of knowledge.
 

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You should be stepping in with the other dogs. Correct, possibly with a leash.

You need to start working your dog's brain when home with him. I would look into Fenzi Dog Sports - it's online-only, and a FANTASTIC resource in times like this.
 

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Aside from the crazy running stuff—you say he can't get along with the office dog? Does it look like aggression, or is it just overdone play?

He's getting to be a mature boy and sometimes dobes develop male-male aggression.

If it's just heavy duty playing, I would teach him a long stay (start training it at home with no distractions and work your way up), provide him with a dog bed (or a crate) at the office and expect him to stay put. Or leash him to me so he can't interact with the other dog.

If it's aggression, then you likely cannot bring him to work unless you're crating him, and even then he might make more of a fuss than you want to deal with.
 

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Yup,work that dogs brain.
‘Yeah the Doberman dodge! We all know what that is.....do yourself a favor and freeze.
‘Dog will mis hitting you MOST OF THE TIME!!......LOL
‘Simple hide and seek game for 5 minutes will send him to a 2 hour nap.
At 1.5 years dog still has a lot of pup even though appears to be a large dog.
Be creative and get dog to seek what he loves.
Make sure it’s an easy win for your dog on the first go round.
‘They catch on real fast to using their noses via seeking and using their nose comes so natural.
Tons of stimulation then a good nap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Aside from the crazy running stuff—you say he can't get along with the office dog? Does it look like aggression, or is it just overdone play?

He's getting to be a mature boy and sometimes dobes develop male-male aggression.

If it's just heavy duty playing, I would teach him a long stay (start training it at home with no distractions and work your way up), provide him with a dog bed (or a crate) at the office and expect him to stay put. Or leash him to me so he can't interact with the other dog.

If it's aggression, they you likely cannot bring him to work unless you're crating him, and even then he might make more of a fuss than you want to deal with.
it’s not aggression at all. He loves the other dog but doesn’t know about personal space and won’t leave her alone, trying to play. And the other dog likes to be left alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yup,work that dogs brain.
‘Yeah the Doberman dodge! We all know what that is.....do yourself a favor and freeze.
‘Dog will mis hitting you MOST OF THE TIME!!......LOL
‘Simple hide and seek game for 5 minutes will send him to a 2 hour nap.
At 1.5 years dog still has a lot of pup even though appears to be a large dog.
Be creative and get dog to seek what he loves.
Make sure it’s an easy win for your dog on the first go round.
‘They catch on real fast to using their noses via seeking and using their nose comes so natural.
Tons of stimulation then a good nap.
Hide and seek is a great idea!
 

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This breed definitely needs more than just physical exercise - they need brain exercise as well. Lots of mind games are good. He is still pretty much a baby at a year and 1/2 even though he does not look it. I find that they don't even begin to grow a brain till 18 months, and you will probably start noticing a little bit of maturity by 2 years. Good luck with him - the training time is definitely worth it for the great dog he will most likely become in another year.
 

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Yup,work that dogs brain.
‘Yeah the Doberman dodge! We all know what that is.....do yourself a favor and freeze.
‘Dog will mis hitting you MOST OF THE TIME!!......LOL
That is a for sure….don't try to avoid the dog; let him avoid you. If you try to step aside, you'll likely move the same way he was planning on going and you WILL have a collision.

Something I do automatically, but which I think I've trained the dog to do without really realizing it, is to put my hand out, palm outward like a policeman's stop signal, right at about waist level as he is coming toward me. He slows down, stops or maybe swerves around me—or at least does something so that he doesn't pile into me.



And keep your knees bent for those times when you will have a collision anyway… 😁
 

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Hi Max

"Dive bombing" is what my sis and I always called it!

Several years back, we had a very big boy who, despite his size, remained quite fast and agile. As a young dog, the "strafing run" was common when out in the fields. Worse was off leash wilderness hiking on narrow trails. I learned early on to quickly get off the trails and let him pass at break neck speed. In the open I would use Mel's advice and trust his ability to avoid me. However, as a precaution I ALWAYS bent my knees and made my profile wider with my arms. Our current two (6 1/2 and 10 1/2 are beyond that stage. Good thing, at my age! LOL

Rough playing: IMO, no dog plays as rough and tumble as a Doberman. To the person unfamiliar with the breed, 2 Dobes in full play mode can look like they're in an all out fight: Teeth out. Snarling. Body slams. Spin moves. Boxing, etc. In my experience very few breeds are capable of dealing with a full sized Dobe, determined to play. Especially one with a puppy brain. (Yes... A 1 1/2 yo is still mentally very much an impulsive puppy).

My boys have only been allowed to play one on one. And... Only under my strict supervision. And... Only with tried and true playmates. Dobermans, as a breed, are incredibly powerful, agile and determined. Their jaw strength is almost beyond belief. I have seen rough play escalate to aggression in a heart beat. If you are not right there to nip it in the bud, you could have a real mess. As a result, unrestricted, leash free play at a dog park is considered a risky proposition by many experienced Doberman owners.

One final caveat: If your Dobe is rough with your min pin, they should be kept separate, in my opinion. A quick admonishment, like a snap or quick slash by your Dobe, meant simply as an admonishment or warning, and probably harmless to a larger dog, could maim or even kill a very small dog. This happens... I have seen it. People just generally just don't talk about it.

In any case, this is simply my opinion based o, several multiple dog households where a Dobes are involved.

John Lichtwardt
Portland OR
 

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I agree with others that he isn't getting enough mental stimulation. I would be doing more training - something like trick training, "find it" games, nosework type activities, even simply taking him on "scent walks" will be much more engaging for him. Additionally, keep in mind that the more he's allowed to simply run and run and run, the more he'll build up endurance for that. Basically, you just end up creating a fit dog that needs more and more and more. I did that accidentally with my first dog and biking her. We started with a mile or two. She wasn't tired. Then it was three or four. Not tired. Suddenly I had a dog that wanted 6 or 7 miles of biking a day...all I did was create a "marathoner"...it didn't address any kind of mental needs at all, or tire her out. Just made her incredibly physically fit. People do the same thing when they play fetch over and over and over (plus, that is really, really hard on their bodies). That's why I hate when people say "a tired dog is a good dog." Nope...you actually want to meet their mental needs. He's bored.

There are lots of simple games. You can do things in little spurts of 5-10 minutes. Go to youtube and find Kikopup's channel for teaching different behaviors and tricks. She has free videos and they are easy to follow. Just pick one to start and work on that one first. Keep sessions really short and fun, with high value rewards so he's engaged. When you get it down, move to another. Teach scent games to use up those active brain cells. You can find lots of videos there, and here's a good link: https://suzanneclothier.com/pdfs/Scent Games.pdf

When it comes to play with other dogs, it's up to you to set rules and reign him in. You have to intervene in play BEFORE things escalate. You are the one who controls play time. If you let him play with his housemates, then I would have a short play time, and then give everyone a break before they get annoyed and he's too over the top. That's if they can even play together...they might not be able to. And that's OKAY. He can play with you, but you need to set the rules there, too....he can learn other ways to play that aren't charging at you. There's a great book about playing together and learning relationship with your dog through play: Dog Sports Skills, Book 3: Play! (Volume 3): Fenzi, Denise, Jones P.h.D., Deborah: 9780988781849: Amazon.com: Books Playing together can be so much fun...we play tug, we play hide and seek, we wrestle, we play "I'm gonna get you..." But you have to work on the "rules" of those games.

I wouldn't personally let him play with the other dog at work. I think work should probably be a time for relaxing and quiet. Crate time or x-pen, a nice frozen Kong, learning how to be calm...he may be a dog that needs to learn relaxation/an off-switch. I don't see a reason they need to play.
 

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One of my trainers once yelled this during a group training class. Always stuck with me.
Working dog needs a job!
Give him a job!
Or he will make his own job!

Yeah...Meadow cat mention sniffing walk. I think we all decided to call this a “sniffery”. It really does make them tired to work their noses.
“Sniffery”just taking your dog out on a longer lead and just letting them leisurely roam and sniff around as you walk along together.

Yup,good canine citizenship when at work.
Some people are dog stupid yet will hold you accountable In a heartbeat,
Hoss has had experiences with being in the office and this is my opportunity to practice with him LONG LONG down stays.
There will be a time when you want your dog to be on best behavior so your workplace is a great place to practice.
Little dogs can do all that jumping around but this is. A large powerful breed as you know....and I tell ya there is nothing like those proud moments when your dog obeys your every command! Awesome moments.
Hoss was about 2.5 years when he was routinely successful at the office And would lay around My feet.
Toughest part is getting humans to leave your dog alone and tend to their business Versus waking them up!! LOL
 

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It doesn't seem like your dog's problems have to do with aggression specifically, but neutering was mentioned, and I want to say something about the dobie alpha.
Sounds like you may be lucky to have found an alpha male. Good that he isn't mean or rather, your other dogs don't challenge him. It should be said that male dobies -- some of them have this extremely strong, wolf-like alpha personality that can only be "treated" by giving him the full respect he deserves. It's been sad for us to "favor" our young alpha over our older (and stronger and gentler) boy, but every thought in his mind is a rigid attempt to be the his best dog, and he makes no compromises (especially around other dogs.) He must be first, regardless of how we feel. He is the perfect running companion. He does not do dog parks or social events, like the others. A loose dog attacked our older boy out on a run, and I had to intervene. This is unacceptable for a doberman! The alpha had two GSDs run up on us while running, and he instantly sent them cowering. I felt bad for them -- sweet pups just wanted to sniff us -- but this is the doberman alpha! We didn't train him this way -- he just is. Accepting it and re structuring our (4 dobies) power hierarchy was crucial to the happiness of the whole family.

So I'd say give him a good few jobs (running, frisbee, guardian) and he will devote himself to you! And sadly, you may consider openly favoring him over the others, as nature would.
 
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