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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So there's a behaviour which has cropped up that, if possible, I'd like to get rid of...but I want to be sure which approach is best.

To be clear, first of all, Jack gets plenty of exercise. Lately I'm home more in the day...I just had a few weeks off...anyway, not sure if that part is relevant but he has taken to what I would call getting somewhat pushy, or mouthy, at times.

He comes up and barks at me, to get my attention...he's getting impatient cuz I'm sitting at my desk. He wants me to do something with him, which is fine, but I want him to understand that we will do that thing later...when I'm not busy. On my time, as it's always been. But he seems kinda bratty about it...like I'm writing right now, well earlier...and he comes up and barks at me, to get my attention. (often very close to me) It's like he's saying 'take me outside now' or something...and when I tell him to settle down or tell me NO cuz he's barking in my face (which I really don't like) and he seems to object to the NO, like woof! (F that!), often creeping closer to do so.

So...I've generally, over the past couple weeks told him to lay down, which he did very begrudgingly...or I've tried to ignore it...but every time I go to ignore it hoping to extinguish it by not acknowledging whatsoever, I generally lose my patience after about five barks and do the latter.

Anyway, I dont speak dog but from a humanizing point of view, it smacks of defiance or something. So i just want him to settle down...like, this is NOT going to work for you, Jack. You cannot bark at me until I do something with you...I've never rewarded him for this before. By the way, Jack is also a very quiet dog. So him barking at anything five times in a row in really noisy for him. Oh yeah, and he whines more lately too.

How best to extinguish this sort of behaviour?
 

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Alpha SheepDog
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How old is he?
What is plenty of exercise?
I know you said you have been spending more time at home. Prior to this did you spend or have his attention during your off time?
I might not have a solution but someone else seeing the answers might chime in.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A year and a half. Still unneutered for now.

Exercise is between 1.5 and 2 hours a day. That's walks, and and includes 30-40 minutes off leash running, while we play fetch or whatever the case may be. This is what really tires him out.

Not sure I understood your last question. Prior to this, I went to work, but came home every day at lunch for his 30-40 minutes worth of real running exercise. Since I've been home he's just a little impatient it seems; even though he gets roughly the same out of me every day. Maybe he's just not fully used to seeing me around so much (which wont be the case anymore as of next week); I just wish he understood that even if he has to wait an extra half hour for something, he's still going to get outside.
 

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Well he is not going to understand the reasoning for you being off. reason I asked that if you always spent time with him doing stuff, he might be expecting more time together.
I'm somewhat guilty of keeping Nubis busy and he is just gogogo and even though I know I've exercised him physically and mentally, he just doesn't know how to settle without getting overtired and then misbehaving which he knows, he will get a bisquit and off for a nap in his crate. I have to figure how to redirect it, so he can just rest.
 
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I think he is bored. Are you doing training exercises? That, in addition to 3 hours of exercising should get him more ready to settle down.
When you were working and would come home during your lunch hour, you would make the most of your lunch hour with him. But now that you are home, are you slacking off on the amount of time you spend really engaged with him? Being in the same room with him is not the same. My dog also gets impatient when I am on the computer too long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
That may very well be, Audrey. I mean, he's still getting an hour and a half, and no doubt he's a little bored cuz he's not used to seeing me around so much....but that still leaves the question, what is the best way to handle this?

Sure, exercise is always the answer, but I dont want to reward his barking with 'ok, Jack, lets go outside' cuz then I'd end up with a dog down the road who thinks having a bratty fit will get him what he wants...

SO...should I really just ignore those barks, for as long as he wants to do them, and wait until he settles down? Or when he does it should I tell him to lay down? I dont really dont know, and I think the reason I havent seen as much progress on this is the last couple weeks is that I've probably been a little inconsistent and done a bit of both of those strategies.
 

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Niz likes to talk back as well, but it's more of grumbles than barks, and when I tell him 'enough', I expect it to end. I find it endearing to a point--I don't want a dog that is 100% obedient and won't ever talk back or give me crap. I like personality. I know Jack is getting a lot of exercise, but what about mental stimulation? I can exercise Niz to no end, and he'll still be ready for more, but if he's pooped out from thinking, he's generally less of a jerk. Halfway through our agility class, I can see his thinking sponge start to go kaput because the constant paying attention to me, figuring out what I want, making the right decisions, while looking at the course just drains him. Also, I'm generally home with Niz all day, but he needs at least an hour of just pure cuddling and attention from me, and when SO comes home at night, Niz needs another hour or so from him as well.
 

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Maybe when you are working from home or trying to do something alone you can put him in his crate with a bone or kong? or does he just have a bed area? Maybe confine him to his own little space while you are doing your own thing.

I think when he is barking at you to play with him you should tell him leave it and put him in his crate, bed or place for a lay down. If he keeps getting up, I would put him back and say nothing. I guess just going back to basics and let him know that its not acceptable... I know if I ignored my dogs barking it would definitely continue until she was satisfied. With her, I would definitely tell her leave it and go play with something else.

I am not sure, these are just suggestions as I haven't really had that problem and my dog has a crate so I know its a place I can always put her when I need some time.

If you are home a lot more often now, he is definitely noticing it.... And even though you are home he should still have some chill out time on his own wether it be hanging on his bed, in another room or whatever.. Just some time separate from you. I know dogs really thrive on schedules and predictability, so maybe incorporate a new schedule with him now that yours has changed.

Even when I am home from work for a few days, on days off, etc... Scarlet always goes for at least an hour quiet time on her own to relax.
 

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Kyrah overall is a quiet dog. She became more pushy and somewhat more vocal around 2yrs. She also does more moaning. The whining I cant stand! She does that very little b/c I will shut a door in her face quickly if that starts. Then she is stuck out there laying on the floor waiting for me to come out. There are times I will let her have her way and play with her when she wants or snuggle when she wants. Then there are times I wont. I tell her go lay down and I mean it. If your dog doesnt know that command teach it.

If you dont practice down stays I would. IMO they are good for teaching them something like that. I have noticed when I really practice on a regular basis my dogs doing a down stay on their spots (dog pillows) in the living room. The more I do it the quicker they relax. The less I do it the longer they take. I try to practice a few times a week.
 

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My two cents. I live with a demand barker. I WAS NOT CONSISTENT in the beginning. I tried to ignore, got frustated, changed my methods and 8.5 years later she is HORRID about demand barking. Whatever method you choose, just be consistent.
 
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If this was me, I would be doing this: Wheres my sanity: Sit on the Dog, aka: The long down.

The other side of this is that you need to be very clear about initiating play/outside/whatever on YOUR terms. I wait for a sleeping of quietly-playing-by-herself dog who is not paying me one whit of attention, and leap up with "Hey! I've got an idea! Let's go PLAY!!!" This way, it is the dog who is being most un-pest-like who has good stuff happen... and, it is MY decision when this happens so there's no point in nagging.
 

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LOL...so Jack is talking to you, when he is not the center of attention all-the-time.
Sounds like you have a young child, in your house...all normal...and I never discouraged this interaction much.
- in fact, I would be disappointed, if it didn't happen / bc it is a show of real love

It's not more exercise he needs, Jack is already getting more than enough, with you.
He needs increased mental stimulation, squeezed into his daily house routine.
Luckly, this is fairly easy, when a dobe exibits the "brats" from being the smart "bum"...and getting under your nerves.

I taught our AMY the "fetch/come" command when she was a 9 weeks old pup...and it was a life saver.
Every toy was appropiately named".
- yellow ball, red ball, bone-bone, white bone, black bone, bunny, edward bear, moose, snake, brown bear, squigley, gader,squirel, freesbie, etc.
- I trained her to fetch toys by name, if the wrong toy came back...I told her Dad didn't want that one, sent her back to the toy box for another
- now when she gets bored (11 years later) I sent her to the toy box for a specific toy or tell her the toys name, after she picks it up
(the words I use are "Dad wants a toy")
- then she comes back to me on the lap top or TV chair, and I make a big and quick fuss and tell her Dad wants it
50% of the time:
- she will bait me with the toy, and I make a big deal of it, and give her a butt pat
- other time, she just jumps up on the leather couch, and has fun with her prize
Tantrum avoided easily, and the dobe was engaged mentally and happily (needs met)...the toy box trick, is a life saver.
- still use on my 11 year old girl, just not as often as needed on a younger attention seeking dog

I have been using this method for over a decade.
And when my wife and I walk past the couch or her love seat, she always gets a pat or belly rub, plus kind words.
- just the extra touching, makes her very content...so she bugs us less bc she had her fix, that we started
- this practice and sign of added affection, has also made her humanly smart...in the process
 

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Sounds like your dog is trying to challenge you, and I think you are letting him get away with improper behavior. You should be correcting his barking, do you use a crate? What about a prong collar?

I know some people don't like the use of punishment, but its worked for me. Key is to be CONSISTENT... never let him get away with anything.

2-3 hours a day of exercise is plenty, its also important for mental stimulation. Play games with him, tricks, new tricks.
 

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I work from home sitting at my desk all day, so I know what you're going through. I have a crate next to my desk for Axel with a bed and space heater by it. He has a couple toys if he gets bored. If he starts protest-barking, I take him outside to potty, just to make sure that's not the problem, then right back inside. He might stop by the water bowl on his way back to the kennel. If he's still protesting, I use the "quiet" command. I teach him that one like I do any other commands.

Apparently I'm talented at teaching dogs to be calm because I used to have a calm Weimaraner! If I can teach a Weim to be calm, I can teach any dog to be calm!! LOL
 

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I know exactly what you are talking about. Our red boy will come up to me, stare at me and start barking. He is being bossy. I will tell him quiet then have him sit or do a down for about a minute, then I will start to pet him and take him outside.
 

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Sounds like your dog is trying to challenge you, and I think you are letting him get away with improper behavior. You should be correcting his barking, do you use a crate? What about a prong collar?

I know some people don't like the use of punishment, but its worked for me. Key is to be CONSISTENT... never let him get away with anything.

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In what way do you think the dog is challenging the owner? I personally don't think most dogs are out for world domination :) I do believe they often 'do what works.' Hey I barked last time and mom threw the ball. Let me bark again and see if it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I know Jack is getting a lot of exercise, but what about mental stimulation?
You know, you may be right. I think I have been slacking with the mental stimulation. I always keep up a little bit, keeping the basics strong, but I think I could be doing it more overall. Thanks.

Even when I am home from work for a few days, on days off, etc... Scarlet always goes for at least an hour quiet time on her own to relax.
Don't get me wrong, he's not so bad. He does relax for a while, but if I need another half hour or so to finish what I'm doing, I'd like for him to understand that...and wait it out.
If this was me, I would be doing this: Wheres my sanity: Sit on the Dog, aka: The long down.
...
I wait for a sleeping of quietly-playing-by-herself dog who is not paying me one whit of attention, and leap up with "Hey! I've got an idea! Let's go PLAY!!!" This way, it is the dog who is being most un-pest-like who has good stuff happen...
Yeah, totally...that’s what I aim for. I only reward a relaxed dog...but I’m still getting this in recent week.

LOL...so Jack is talking to you, when he is not the center of attention all-the-time.
Sounds like you have a young child, in your house...all normal...and I never discouraged this interaction much.
- in fact, I would be disappointed, if it didn't happen / bc it is a show of real love

It's not more exercise he needs, Jack is already getting more than enough, with you.
He needs increased mental stimulation, squeezed into his daily house routine.
Luckly, this is fairly easy, when a dobe exibits the "brats" from being the smart "bum"...and getting under your nerves.

I taught our AMY the "fetch/come" command when she was a 9 weeks old pup...and it was a life saver.
Every toy was appropiately named".
- yellow ball, red ball, bone-bone, white bone, black bone, bunny, edward bear, moose, snake, brown bear, squigley, gader,squirel, freesbie, etc.
- I trained her to fetch toys by name, if the wrong toy came back...I told her Dad didn't want that one, sent her back to the toy box for another
- now when she gets bored (11 years later) I sent her to the toy box for a specific toy or tell her the toys name, after she picks it up
(the words I use are "Dad wants a toy")
- then she comes back to me on the lap top or TV chair, and I make a big and quick fuss and tell her Dad wants it
50% of the time:
- she will bait me with the toy, and I make a big deal of it, and give her a butt pat
- other time, she just jumps up on the leather couch, and has fun with her prize
Tantrum avoided easily, and the dobe was engaged mentally and happily (needs met)...the toy box trick, is a life saver.
- still use on my 11 year old girl, just not as often as needed on a younger attention seeking dog

I have been using this method for over a decade.
And when my wife and I walk past the couch or her love seat, she always gets a pat or belly rub, plus kind words.
- just the extra touching, makes her very content...so she bugs us less bc she had her fix, that we started
- this practice and sign of added affection, has also made her humanly smart...in the process
Well that's great news, and great advice. I've begun doing just that...naming every toy for a retrieval...not quite there yet. We're almost at ball, stick, tugger, and bone. But I'll aim for what you achieved! Thanks again.
Sounds like your dog is trying to challenge you, and I think you are letting him get away with improper behavior. You should be correcting his barking, do you use a crate? What about a prong collar?

I know some people don't like the use of punishment, but its worked for me. Key is to be CONSISTENT... never let him get away with anything.

2-3 hours a day of exercise is plenty, its also important for mental stimulation. Play games with him, tricks, new tricks.
I really don't let him get away with inappropriate behaviour, ever. Maybe I deal with it wrong at times, but I definitely don't get away with it.

For those that understood that I exercise him for 3 hours, I just want to clarify...he gets 1.5 - 2 hours daily. That 30-40 minutes of running is part of that.

I'm definitely looking to get going on a new set of tricks to train Jack; any suggestions?
 

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I'm definitely looking to get going on a new set of tricks to train Jack; any suggestions?
There is a book called 101 tricks. Also we just did a formal OB class...that could be a challenge. I really like pivoting from front to heel. I would like to work on the walking down (drop; not sure what you call it). We are about to take a Rally class. Get him to help carry things. Kyrah insists on carrying a piece of clothing now when I do laundry. When I pick up that horrid paper they throw in my yard every Thurs she insists on carrying it up to the house for me. Be sure to video b/c I and probably some others would love to see his new tricks! Oh, fetching the remote is one of my favorites!
 

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I knew a co-worker that had a black lab, that started to get the news paper (rolled in a plastic bag)...that the delivery person would toss on the corner of the driveway...out in the country.
First time the lab fetched the paper, without his owners input, the dog got a biscuit.
The next day, the dog came home with 6 full papers...he had walked 1.5 miles down a sideroad, collecting each and every newspaper he could find.
Not to encourage this again, the dog had a good talking to and never got 6 treated that day...nothing.
So the dog went back to one paper a day, and 1 treat was rewarded.
 

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Does Jack have any puzzle toys he can play with alone while you are working? You might try something like a Kong Wobbler or Buster Cube, or you can stuff and freeze a Kong. It sounds like he's seeing whether the change in routine means that he can get more of your time to himself. If it were me, I would try to give him something to occupy himself with if you are doing something and need him to leave you alone. Depending on his personality, you may be able to do a time out in his crate if he's barking and being annoying.
 
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