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I really didn't want to post this, but I feel it may be the only way to get an answer to the questions I have, and also to 'let off some steam'.

OK, so I've recently just adopted my first puppy (aged currently 5 months - I've had him for approx. 6 weeks), and I'm beginning to really dislike his company.

I had always wanted a dog, and waited for the right time to get one. In the years that I waited, I researched into all breeds of dogs and their characteristics, breeders worldwide, training methods, sports, the things I would need prior to getting my dog (the list goes on). Yet despite the years of planning and research I've ended up with a handsome, healthy, non-aggressive dog that irritates the hell out of me due to his stubborn attitude and dislike of doing anything I ask of him.

I had dreams and aspirations of a happy fun-filled existence for the both of us, where training my puppy for show, competing in a sport of some sort (flyball, agility), maybe even schutzhund was something we could enjoy together, but I'm starting to believe that the dreams and aspirations I had for the little guy, that was meant to be my best friend, may slowly be dying a sad death and it's heartbreaking.

We attend an obedience class every week (when I'm not working) and have seen a trainer both of which have helped some what, but not to the level that I would like (he does something the first time, when I ask and immediately). We can go over something 20 times (no exaggeration and he'll quite simply refuse to do what it is I ask of him or he'll do it in his own sweet time - it drives me insane to the point of sheer rage). I'm told Dobermanns are intelligent but I'm yet to see evidence of this in my boy.

I REALLY want to love him, but he's making it so hard for me to do so. Is it normal for him to be this way - it's just a stage he'll soon grow out of - and for me to feel like this, or are things only going to get worse and maybe I need to seriously think about the future for the both of us?
 

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It is somewhat an age thing and some sort of frustration of this is normal for a first time dobe owner. I do think this is going to get worse in the next few months and he could be like this until he's two or three. It can be a real struggle and takes a lot of commitment and a positive attitude if you are going to get through it. Figure out what he's really motivated by and use that to your advantage in your training. I hope you find something that works and improves your relationship. Remember he is still a young puppy and easily distracted so try to be patient. Don't expect him to be a very focused adult yet. Good luck.
 

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Your puppy is only 5 months old. Puppies that age have the attention span of a mosquito. It takes time, maturity and lots of work to mold a puppy into your dream dog.

Training them is not easy. If you have never trained a dog you have to realize that the obedience class is not about training your dog - it is about training YOU on how to train your dog.
 

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Take a deep breath, we have all be frustrated at some time with our puppies. Dobermans are not a breed that will do something 20 times over and over again. They will refuse, they see no point in doing something that many times when I have already done that. In fact I don't know if I would be willing to do something more than 5 times without shutting down. This breed demands thinking. I have done that so now lets move on, this is how a dobie thinks. Change things up, keep the pace active with lots of treats and even more postive reinforcement. Dobermans will shut down faster than any dog I have known if they think they have disappointed you. I am sorry that you feel this way about your puppy and maybe you will need to rethink your decision if this breed is for you. The doberman puppy demands are high and just when you think you have them figured out they change the rules on you. They enter the teenage years. This breed takes 2-3 years at the least to truly settle in. It takes alot of hard work however if you put in the time the rewards are too many to state. Remember your puppy is taking all of his cues from you. If you are frustrated he will not understand what you expect of him. If you do a search on DT there are many references for books and CD's to help with your puppy. Good luck.
 

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A 5 month old puppy can test anyones patience. I have one at the moment, and I'm not a first time owner or puppy raiser. They can be INFURIATING. They are teething, erratic, and simply chaotic.

I highly recommend a "schedule" for you both. Crate time, play time, training time, rinse and repeat.

Also, it's NOT forever, it really does get better.
 

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has he always been an independent pup.............

does he enjoy doing anything with you.........


is he a Velcro pup, or does he prefer to be by himself.........

is he overall a lazy, layed back dude all the time?

did the breeder pick this pup for you after hearing what you wanted in a dog?

what is his breeding?

do you know if there are any low thyroid issues in his family?
 

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Keep in mind that what you're getting frustrated with isn't lack of intelligence, but lack of compliance. No one ever accused Dobes of being a biddable breed--think retriever for a great example of a type of dog that will obey any handler at any time without question. They were bred for this and it's what makes them great service dogs and hunting dogs. Dobes by definition are a one-person/family dog that were bred for personal protection, which means thinking and evaluating situations constantly. They will not obey simply because you said so and will tire of repetitive situations where they don't "get" the payout for the behaviour in question.

You need to learn how to make your idea his idea, and then let him do it. For example, my Dobe sits and waits when I open a door because he's been taught that that is how one gets released. Trying to bolt ahead makes the door close in his face (always) so it's not worth his while to try and push forward anymore. From an outsider perspective it seems that he's well trained and compliant to my wishes, but really, he wants out the door and has learned which behaviour makes the door stay open.

You need to be really consistent with your words and actions so that he understands the rules and learns to play by them. They're a really fun breed but no, they're not for everyone. They require a lot of thinking on your part, and they'll give you their soul if they respect you...but that doesn't mean that they won't test you either. I was just commenting today how when I'm not feeling well my Lab takes it as a cue to come and cuddle with me on the couch while my Dobe takes it as a cue that the leader is vulnerable and attempts to exploit the situation by counter surfing in the kitchen.

I agree it will get worse before it gets better (you're at one of the most trying ages right now. I find the other really annoying time around 9-14 months) and if you're truly thinking of rehoming as it's not a good fit, now would be a better time then later in my opinion. Puppies are easier to place in new homes than adults. If you choose to stick with it, please continue with obedience and a trainer, and know that when they do eventually get a brain at around 2 or 3 years, they really are a breed like no other.
 

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Remember your puppy is only 5 months old, and although you can certainly train with him, he is still a baby and his attention span will be short. I agree with others that it will get tougher before it gets easier, but if you stay consistent as he grows he will flow through those teenage years with ease.

Have you tried clicker training? I ask because your puppy sounds a lot like my boy. He has a "what's in it for me?" attitude and although he is very smart, he is not very biddable. Clicker training was the best thing I have ever done with him. It put the ball in his court and made him feel like he was in control, and he became SO MUCH more interested. I would recommend the book The Thinking Dog:Crossover to Clicker training
The Thinking Dog: Crossover to Clicker Training (Dogwise Training Manual): Gail Tamases Fisher: 9781929242627: Amazon.com: Books

I saw it suggested on here and ordered it, thought it was a very good manual for someone who has done other types of training. I have had Rowan outside and did a few short training sessions with my puppy inside, and Rowan would scream his head off, wanting to come in because he knew what we were doing. That is how much he loves it.

Be patient, be consistent, stay positive. Even though dobermans may not be as biddable as a golden, it is so rewarding when you do train their stubborn a$$es! ;)
 

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As everyone has said, puppies can be frustrating. That said, if you are frustrated to the point of not liking the puppy, perhaps it would be best for you and the puppy to return him to the breeder. Believe me.... you ain't seen nothing yet!

Trying to train your 5 month old puppy to be consistently obedient every time is like sending a 6 year old to college, it just isn't going to happen. He needs to be a puppy and he needs to be loved and lovingly shaped into the dog that you want him to be. Wait until he is 2 and you call him to you and he turns, flips you the bird and goes the other direction, or when he decides in agility that he can get to the dog walk faster if he jumps over the tunnel instead of going through it, or during the long sit in Open he decides that the grass is sweet, the sun is warm and his back itches, so he lays down rolls over and scratches his back, stands up, shakes and sits back down..... he knows better but he knows you can't correct him. ;)

They are a very intelligent breed and I am sure your puppy is just as intelligent as most. I bet he learns new things real quick, right? That is intelligence, but as they are intelligent enough to learn quickly they are also intelligent enough to think for themselves and all his life he will think for himself. Not only do you need to be smarter than the dog, you have to out think him as well.

At this point in your pups life, training sessions need to be frequent, short and fun with a huge payoff. We are talking 1 minute training sessions in the kitchen with his favorite treat. Little things like sit before you set his food bowl down. Down before you give him his bone. He is a puppy, let him be a puppy. He can learn but no need to drill him, teach him the commands but allow him to make mistakes and to be what he is, a puppy. He needs exercise and lots of play time, a ton of patience, understanding and above all love.

It doesn't sound like you have much of a bond with this pup, and you should work on that. Make everything fun, play with him and in the midst of tossing the ball (or whatever you do), have him do something (sit, down, shake hands, whatever). Make sure that he earns everything - his meals, his treats, his toys, his ball.... by having him do something first and then rewarding with his meal, treat, etc. But only have him do it once, not 20 times.

Back up a half a mile and start all over again. Go slow, be patient and when you just can't take it anymore, give the dog a bone and put him in his crate, until you get a grip. Frustration and anger will get you absolutely nowhere.

These guys are incredibly intelligent and that intelligence is what makes them a challenge. They are also high energy, high drive dogs and again they need a lot of exercise and some sort of job.

See if you can get into a nose work class, basic obedience class and maybe a trick training class. Training class 3X a week is a good thing as is a long walk and an off leash romp every day.

Do let us know how things go with your pup. Good luck to you.
 

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I agree with everything others have told you. The one thing I would add is that I think you need to work on the bond between you two.

From your post, you got your Dobie at the same age that I got mine. The first couple of weeks was mostly her and I getting to know each other. She left the only home she knew to travel with a stranger 300 miles away to her new home.

I mainly concentrated on setting boundaries and potty training. We also were on a schedule of sorts so that she could look forward to the routine. We had lots of play time together and only 2 to 5 minutes of training multiple times a day. That was her limit on focusing.

My girl was and is a super hyped puppy that takes lots of mental as well as physical exercise in order to tire her out. She had the attention span of a gnat. Constantly looking and sniffing at ever little single thing. A leaf blowing by would send her off.

She is also stubborn at times. We are now into our Doberteens and I tell you there are some days I don't think I'll ever survive. But all I have to do is look into those gorgeous eyes and her sweet face and I melt. She is my heart dog.

Training wise and attention span is a million times better now that she is older.

It will get better. Try to clear your frustration from your mind as a dog can definitely pick up on our emotions. Create a solid bond with your dog and you will have the Doberman of your dreams.

Good luck to you and your baby.:)
 

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Uh puppies!

You have got some great advise here, and it's all so very true. My rescuce girl is 8 months old now, when I got her she had no training at all. She is eager to learn, but has moments where her head is in cloud 9. Puppies have short attention spans and you need to work in short, but many intervals in this time of training. Break it up in to fun times so you can also have fun and bonding times together. Don't get frustrated at your puppy or how long it takes, you will both get there. To hear you say you dislike your dobe is disturbing to me. I think you are expecting more from him then what he can do as a puppy. Give him time and work with him, things will get better as he and you both learn in traning, playing and bonding to each other. Many, many of us have been and are were you are now. It does getter better!
 

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Remember your puppy is only 5 months old, and although you can certainly train with him, he is still a baby and his attention span will be short. I agree with others that it will get tougher before it gets easier, but if you stay consistent as he grows he will flow through those teenage years with ease.

Have you tried clicker training? I ask because your puppy sounds a lot like my boy. He has a "what's in it for me?" attitude and although he is very smart, he is not very biddable. Clicker training was the best thing I have ever done with him. It put the ball in his court and made him feel like he was in control, and he became SO MUCH more interested. I would recommend the book The Thinking Dog:Crossover to Clicker training
The Thinking Dog: Crossover to Clicker Training (Dogwise Training Manual): Gail Tamases Fisher: 9781929242627: Amazon.com: Books

I saw it suggested on here and ordered it, thought it was a very good manual for someone who has done other types of training. I have had Rowan outside and did a few short training sessions with my puppy inside, and Rowan would scream his head off, wanting to come in because he knew what we were doing. That is how much he loves it.

Be patient, be consistent, stay positive. Even though dobermans may not be as biddable as a golden, it is so rewarding when you do train their stubborn a$$es! ;)

This. I thought of clicker training as I read your post (I wish I'd used clicker training right from the beginning! I feel I could have avoided a lot of frustration that way.) The recommended book is a fantastic one, very clear.

And, as others have said, 5 months is a baby. Don't forget to have some fun with him too! He's learning from you all the time, whether you're in training class or not, so you need to think about how to set him up to succeed, which will be very rewarding for both of you.
 

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I too agree with what others have said.

And sorry to add...I have a two year old who will look at me during class and just laugh. He can do it, he gets it, he's just done with the current goings.

I have to become a complete hysterical idiot when we are learning things to keep him going forward the entire class. Key is excited and wild with every little thing.
If I could bring myself to post the video of us doing an agility workshop I would. He was fed up, I was frustrated and embarrassed. So I turned into a looney toon and bam! That dog was so freaking excited to do something, anything that would make me act like a fool.
Stand with a stranger and watch me walk to the end of the tunnel? Sure! *spin* twirl * hop* Watch mom get on all fours and crawl inside the end of the tunnel singing and calling? *spin* whine* And ZOOM through the tunnel and watch mom jump up and down clapping. He could hardly wait to get back in line to do it all over again.

If you get frustrated take a step back and take a break. It sounds like he may need one too. Then go back brand new and don't just give a reward- give and amazing, awesome, entertaining reward. At least it helps with me with my special one ;).



Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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Doberman pups at that age are verry lets say i do what i want i dont need my mommy/daddy anymore pffff im grown up now.
The best thing to do is buy yourself a 10m leash and have fun with your puppy (I still do that with my 2 year old and even with my old lady with her 8 years) get yourself a ball or a Tug everytime he does what he is soposed to jump up and down in a verry high voice and thell him how good he is, if he doesnt concentrate ehhhh than just walk away he will come after you, if he does play with him. That way he finds his Toy that you ONLY use when YOU play with him not by himself totaly amazing and that every singel time you play with him and its great when you dont have treats in your pocket anymore :p

and most important Take your Time and dont ask to much of your pup in so an early stage do much more binding work with him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
has he always been an independent pup.............

does he enjoy doing anything with you.........


is he a Velcro pup, or does he prefer to be by himself.........

is he overall a lazy, layed back dude all the time?

did the breeder pick this pup for you after hearing what you wanted in a dog?

what is his breeding?

do you know if there are any low thyroid issues in his family?
Yes, he's always been an independent dog. This may have been down to training/socialization prior to me getting the dog (ie. whilst he was in the hands of the breeder) in that there wasn't any (despite assurance that there would be).

In terms of doing things with me he enjoys, we road run together, have general play times, and enjoys affection, that's pretty much it.

He definitely likes human company, but his inability to listen makes any interaction or time to chill out difficult. When welcomed into the family space he rarely settles, meaning 'time out' on his own for doing something he shouldn't despite repeated attempts to get him to stop. However, he's very calm on his own in the kitchen in ear shot of me.

The recommended a different dog to the one I chose, but didn't look as healthy as my dog.

He comes from good lines, where there are no concerning health problems on the side of sire or dam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Have you tried clicker training? I ask because your puppy sounds a lot like my boy. He has a "what's in it for me?" attitude and although he is very smart, he is not very biddable.
That's EXACTLY his attitude. When it's meal time or something he wants you could get him to follow you over hot coals, without that you're screwed. I wanted him to sit and wait at meal times, so we'd go over the same routine which worked. I got bored one day and thought I'd change it up by getting him to sit and wait without saying anything or touching him and he got it within a day and has been doing it ever since. Try and get him to sit and wait when you're trying to get something done and you'll have a hard time doing so because there's nothing in it for him.

Regarding clicker training, we tried it briefly, but we've been told to try so many different techniques, it's hard to stick to just one when you're trying to find that key that fits the lock to that stubborn brain of his.
 

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When welcomed into the family space he rarely settles, meaning 'time out' on his own for doing something he shouldn't despite repeated attempts to get him to stop.
leash him, and sit on the leash with a DOWN command, followed by STAY (possibly with a foot on the leash so he HAS to lie down). every time he gets up, make him lie back down and stay there. do this in smallish chunks of time (we were told a half hour at first), then work your way up. eventually, you shouldn't need to step on the leash to keep him down. this was incredibly useful in transforming our puppy from omgcrazycan'tsettle to a dog that knew how to settle when it was necessary.

seriously consider obedience training, and stick with the methods shown you in the class. changing things up all the time isn't helping you, either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
As everyone has said, puppies can be frustrating. That said, if you are frustrated to the point of not liking the puppy, perhaps it would be best for you and the puppy to return him to the breeder. Believe me.... you ain't seen nothing yet!...

...It doesn't sound like you have much of a bond with this pup, and you should work on that. Make everything fun, play with him and in the midst of tossing the ball (or whatever you do), have him do something (sit, down, shake hands, whatever). Make sure that he earns everything - his meals, his treats, his toys, his ball.... by having him do something first and then rewarding with his meal, treat, etc. But only have him do it once, not 20 times...

...These guys are incredibly intelligent and that intelligence is what makes them a challenge. They are also high energy, high drive dogs and again they need a lot of exercise and some sort of job.

See if you can get into a nose work class, basic obedience class and maybe a trick training class. Training class 3X a week is a good thing as is a long walk and an off leash romp every day.

Do let us know how things go with your pup. Good luck to you.
Returning him to the breeder or good home is a hard decision to make. It's something I REALLY don't want to do if there's a chance I may get the dog of my dreams at the end of all of the hard work but I'm finding it hard to cope (my emotions have never been so high - if this was a marriage I would have divorced the first week. This is a harder decision to make) and will not be able to do this for two years without some sort of breakdown.

Yes, people keep telling me he's a puppy I have to let him be a puppy, but there's a fine line between letting him be a puppy and letting him do what he wants to the point he sees himself as the dominant force in the household. Where is that line?

At home, there is no bond. Then that all seems to change once we're in public. He's fun, calm, happy and loving. EVERYBODY adores him, even with children he's so gentle (little do they know that it's all an act). We get home and the bond we built up over those few hours quickly disappears and he's back to his unruly self.

I will look into more classes for him. It'd be good for the both of us to work at something we both enjoy.
 

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I don't think Domino is stubborn. He's a 5 month old puppy that is receiving mixed cues, and has learned how to self-reward for the things he wants, instead of trying to keep up with your ever-changing methods.
When you get frustrated with him, or remove him from yourself and the family, all he understands is that his humans are unhappy and cranky. You have to turn this around, like, YESTERDAY if you want to do right by your boy and teach him that people are the benevolent source of all good things, which is the foundation of training.
The best book I read on the subject is The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller.
I think you have to start from the beginning and change your pups perception of you, and the way you're looking at your pup.
Good luck.

ETA: I just read about how he is in public. This is exactly my point. Those lovely strangers just LOVE him and think he's perfect. He is responding to this very rewarding interaction with strangers, and being the very goodest, bestest boy he can be in order to continue receiving his reward! Translate that into the home, and you will see his true colours there too.
 

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you received some great advice! A 6 week relationship is not that long for a pup. You both sound alert and full of good energy, just give his little brain time to make the connections. Get your fustration under control and you will be closer to creating your masterpeice!
 
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