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Our 11 week old pup has started nipping, it is not cute we are not his chew toys. However his antics are not funny as he is really getting to aggressive. We were told to cry to act like it hurts to bring out compassion in him. That worked for only a couple days. We do not think he means this but he also is growling now, just learned his bark yesterday too! It is cute but should he be growling at his owners? Our last dobbie never behaved like this. I was told to show him who is dominant so we are trying. Any suggestions? I want to spank him but not sure if that is the right thing if I want him calmer. Breeder said to wait until 2 years to neuter him, but no way he has to much testosterone already! I do not want a biter! In all other aspects he is training well, listens(most of the time) and at 12 weeks tomorrow where should he be with respect, training etc. Anyone?
 

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Welcome,

Is this your first doberman? This is very typical doberman puppy behavior. Make sure you have lots of chew toys, bully sticks, frozen wash cloths, toys....

I would suggest finding a reputable trainer (many people train, few do it well) who has worked SUCCESSFULLY with dobermans in the past. Dobermans aren't Malinois or German Shepherds and need different training.

I have never seen the crying out loud or turning away approach work with a puppy ever. Normally screaming just ramps them up more. I'd suggest anytime he tries to bite something stick it further into his mouth so that it becomes uncomfortable and he releases. if he bites your hand stick your hand in the mouth further until he doesn't like it, your arm, your foot.... and then hand him something he can chew on. If that doesn't help you might also want to invest in a squirt bottle and squirt him in the face with water. Right now he is getting your attention from biting you so it's self gratification. You want it to be a negative experience instead.

At 11weeks old it's HIGHLY doubtful you're seeing aggression and I hate the use of that word when talking about puppies. They don't even know what aggression is. My puppy barks at me when I'm making her food. It's not aggression, she's trying to tell me something, in her case it's hurry up. My dogs bark at me when they want to play. It's not aggression it's the only way they know how to communicate. When he barks at your what is he trying to tell you? Does he need to potty? Does he want to play?

It sounds like he's bored, you need to be doing things to wear him out like taking him for short walks, training obedience with him, no work.... at his age he probably needs to be trained 3x a day for no more than 5min. each time. Lastly, trying playing with him. Tug, fetch... for about 5min. a few times a day. Dobermans are a VERY smart VERY active breed. If they don't get exercise and stimulation they become harder to live with, more annoying and more destructive too.

Lastly, keep treats on you at all times. Your puppy is learning and training constantly. If he does something good, like he looks like he wanted to bite and didn't, tell him good boy and give him a treat.... If you aren't washing treats that were left in your pocket, at this age, then you're likely doing it wrong.

Good luck.
 

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Hairy Dog, RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
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Hi! Welcome to DT from Colorado! Sounds like you have a true dobe puppy (but we need pictures to be sure :wink2: We love pictures.)

Dobe puppies are jokingly (well, sorta jokingly) referred to as dobersharks by those who love and care for them.

With a typical dobe puppy, squealing when they nip at you only tends to amp them up. The best way to deal with it is simply to take all attention away from him—he wants to play with you, but he has no clue how to go about that, so he does what puppies do to elicit play—they bite and nip at each other. It is not aggression. If he finds that biting simply means he will be alone, he will (eventually, never quickly enough for his targets :( ) find another way to get your attention to play.

Tell him "no bite" firmly (no need for yelling or swatting at him) and hand him a toy (always try to have a toy within reach) to help direct his biting impulse to something other than your hands. If he keeps at it (he's likely to), put him in a crate or puppy-safe room for a short time—only a couple of minutes, or he is likely to forget why he is there—and ignore him. Do this every single time he overdoes the nipping. You may even go back to release him and find he is asleep, because, just like a human toddler who needs a nap, many puppies tend to lose it when they are exhausted and wound-up and don't know how to calm themselves. They get wilder and wilder before they finally collapse.


Biting, nipping and pulling on clothing is such a common trait for dobe puppies, we actually have a thread that talks specifically about how to deal with bitey puppies :grin2:

"Help, my Puppy is Biting Me!"

https://www.dobermantalk.com/puppy-corner/295202-help-my-puppy-biting-me.html
 

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I also wanted to add that 11 weeks you are NOT seeing hormones. Hormones are good and healthy and as your breeder stated he should NOT be neutered before two years old or preferably ever. My dog became a wild teenager at 1 years old and I just kept working with him. AT 2.5 those adult hormones started kicking in and he calmed down and became that well behaved, well socialized temperament dog that I knew. Everyone thinks he's the best dog, if they only knew lol. If you neuter a young puppy you're going to see bad health issues when he's older.
 

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Doberman puppies are very mouthy. They lick, nip and even bite, sometimes drawing blood. It is simply one of the ways they interacted with their siblings. No more siblings? You are the substitute.

Some folks (member dobebug comes to mind) refuse to be mouthed. She probably will chime in with some very good ways to mitigate this behavior. Personally, I simply tolerate it, knowing that "This too will pass". Boning up on temporary distraction techniques and a hefty supply of neopsoren and bandaids works for me.

As GR said, this is not aggression and is very common behavior for an 11 week old Dobe puppy.

The thread Melbrod posted is a full of good info. dobebug, who I just mentioned has a very informative post within.

Also: Welcome mom and Zeus from the Pacific NW!

John Lichtwardt
Portland OR

Edit to add: Also what Gretchen Red said about neutering ^^^. I have had both neutered and intact males over the year and have never seen a correlation between that and aggression. For example: The most aggressive male I have ever owned was castrated at about 2 yo. My current boy, McCoy is intact and has a very calm demeanor and is totally non-reactive to humans and other dogs.
 

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Nipping, biting....boom game over .....say nothing and just walk away.
Dobermans work for reward.
No reward ....they will find another way to get what they want most.
So first identify what will your pup work for the most. You may not know the answer yet, so figure that part out.
Is it food, attention, a certain toy?
Then start thinking in terms like this......
Negative behavior- NOTHING.......no words, no threats, just walk away and do something else that does not include your pup.
Positive behavior- reward with favorite things... a pet, a snack, your attention, whatever is of high value to your dog.
I did that squealing when my pup would bite me ...my husband thought I was crazy and it never did work. LOL
Stay in touch because we love pups and all the stories that go along with raising them into good canine citizens.
 

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Our 11 week old pup has started nipping, it is not cute we are not his chew toys. However his antics are not funny as he is really getting to aggressive. We were told to cry to act like it hurts to bring out compassion in him. That worked for only a couple days. We do not think he means this but he also is growling now, just learned his bark yesterday too! It is cute but should he be growling at his owners? Our last dobbie never behaved like this. I was told to show him who is dominant so we are trying. Any suggestions? I want to spank him but not sure if that is the right thing if I want him calmer. Breeder said to wait until 2 years to neuter him, but no way he has to much testosterone already! I do not want a biter! In all other aspects he is training well, listens(most of the time) and at 12 weeks tomorrow where should he be with respect, training etc. Anyone?
You might want to go and look at the sticky "Help, my puppy is biting me".

There is an ongoing thread through the collection of posts from people who were giving some good advice about how to stop puppy biting.

I'm one of the posters in that sticky and I'm one of the posters on nearly every question about biting, puppies and what to do about it.

So once again. Puppy biting is all about two basic things. Attention and play.

And both at the same time. When a puppy wants another puppy to play--they signal that--they give the other puppy a nudge with their nose, they nip at them. The invitation gets a response most of the time--and the puppies play. Doberman puppies play rough--it often looks a lot like a battle to the death. And unfortunately because puppies haven't learned yet, how to get a person to play with them they try the same thing. And with already strong jaws and with some weight (even at 12 weeks) plus those needle like teeth, you, the recipient of the invitation is likely get to wear a lot holes and scratches--and those usually hurt.

The reason you were told to cry wasn't to bring out his compasson (if someone thinks that's what it was for they are very mistaken. It's half of a lesson taught to puppies by other puppies. If one puppy plays too rough or bites to hard--the bitee--yelps and leaves--he won't play. The biter gets no attention--he gets left alone--no playmate.

I won't play with a puppy as if I were also a puppy. So that means I don't tolerate any biting at all--no mouthing--in fact puppy's are not allowed to even lick me (mostly because in very young puppies the licking often accelerates quickly to biting).

And as puppies get older, they add to the nudging and nipping gets enhansed. They play bow at you as if you were another dog. They bark, they growl and what do they want--they want ATTENTION from you--they want you to play them, to go out with them to take them out to pee or out for a walk.

And you have responded with attention by behaving in ways that don't accomplish what you want but do accomplish what your puppy wants--he got your attention.

If when I come back he wants to try the game where he bites me and I react, he gets a time out in his crate--a lot of the time he falls asleep when that happens because what he really needed was a time out and a nap. But he's young and didn't know how to calm himself down--so he got some help from me. And we didn't discuss it--I picked him up or walked him over to the crate--put him inside and left. I then go away and go back a few minutes later, if he's asleep that's it. If he's still awake I'll take him out for a walk or for a little outside trained on some beginning obedience of if he's one of my show prospects for a little learning to stand and stay in a show stack.

And after that if he's lucky enough to have another dog in the house I'll take them into the yard to play with each other--if not they can come and help me rake leaves or pull weeds.

So your puppy recently graduated to growling? And what did you do? To show him who was dominant (I'd still like to see that word eliminated from all stuff about dogs, training, etc) Puppies don't know diddly about the kind of dominance most people are talking about when the pass out that advice. Forget about it--almost anything and everything you could do to "show your dominance" would give the puppy attention. That's basically what he wants.s

When one of my puppies puts his mouth on me. All our interaction stops--I don't say anything to the puppy--I walk to the nearest door and through it and shut it in the puppies face. No attention. I don't leave for long--at most maybe 30 seconds--my goal is to let the puppy unwind a little so he's not even trying to bite me.

What you are seeing at his present age is not an overabundance of testosterone. It is that he's a puppy and he's doing what puppies do, it's how they learn about the world they live in, about other dogs, about people.

And, pay close attention here, every puppy, just like every person, is an individual, unique, and different. This puppy doesn't act like the other puppy because he's not that other puppy. Presently he's doing things you evidently don't like and it's your job to teach something else to do.

Don't spank him--that's useless--would he even know what he was being spanked for? Very unlikely.

And if you read the sticky on biting--you'll also figure out that some owners simply live it out--puppy biting does generally increase until all the puppy teeth are in and and starts to decrease after the first permanent teeth begin to erupt.

Because I hate being mouthed, nipped or bit and am totally intolerant of it, the puppies that come to me (since I don't breed Dobermans)figure out my not mouthing, nipping, biting rule in about a week. And then it's no longer an issue.

I also don't play games with puppies that put my hands within reach of their mouths. I don't tease them by taking their toys and not letting them have or with treats that I might show them and then delay giving to them.

And as a footnote--since what the biting is basically all about is a pretty hard wired piece of puppy behavior I make it an entirely off limit behavior--I am not a dog and you will not play with me as if I was a dog.

But to fade the behavior you have to be absolutely consistent about how you deal with it.

And just for the record many years ago on some dogs list or form (maybe even this one) there was a woman who complained that while she had succeeded in getting her puppy to stop biting her hands grabbing her clothes that the puppy had found a new way of torturing her--every time she turned her back, she said, the puppy would bite her on the butt.

Several of us asked the same question--"Did you laugh when she did it?" The answer was yes and our answer was don't laugh--find that door and shut it in her face. It is, really, all about attention...

Good luck.

dobebug
 
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