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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone!

Zeus is doing well. :) As he continues to mature (and I am in no way, shape, or form saying that he is MATURE...but compared to his 3 month old self, he's come a long way!) we are learning more about the personality of our boy. And he's becoming a little calmer about things. He doesn't nip NEARLY as much as he used to. I have scars on my hand from our once little dobershark! He's not jumping up on people as much, which is something we've been working on seemingly since day one. His ears are standing. He's no longer eating his poop (thank god, that was a gross phase that I hope he doesn't go back to doing...) I don't even remember the last time he pottied in the house. All in all, we're a happy little dog family!

Yet...

Ha. So, we're continuing his obedience training in May. We went to a consultation with the same people in which we did his AKC STAR Puppy training, and the trainer noted behaviors in Zeus that she called "dominating behaviors". Things like pressing his body against us when we were sitting down. His paw on my foot. Sitting on our feet. She said those things were no good and he was "claiming" us. I know I've posted something about dominating behaviors before, but hearing her mention them with Zeus made me worry. From being here, I've learned that dobermans are kind of a different breed of dog. Zeus loves being with us, and when he's with us, he wants to be close. He'll put his head on my lap and I can't ignore those puppy eyes of him, so I give him lovin'. He'll lean against my leg when I'm sitting down. And sometimes, when I want to cuddle, I'll sit on the floor with him and he'll curl up in my lap. All 50+ pounds of him! Trainer said that was not a good thing to do. No dogs on lap. No going down on the floor because I'm telling him that we're even in the hierarchy of the house.

I thought I was bonding... Oops?

I'm not saying that she's wrong. She's a licensed trainer, I'm not. But upon talking with her, she did mention that they don't see a lot of dobermans, and currently Zeus is the only one enrolled. They're not a very common breed in my area. Other than Zeus and one dobie pup that I was extremely surprised to see living down the street from us, I've never seen one anywhere around here. So that got me thinking, if doberman behaviors really are a bit different than other breeds, should I really be concerned about him seeing himself as "above" me? He listens to commands (for the most part. He has lately become a bit hardheaded when it comes to coming back inside of the house when play or potty time is over when we don't have him leashed in the yard). He has to earn his food either through puzzle games or training. He's a Velcro dog (yup, we learned that term real quick!). So would it be more of a hindrance to him if I denied him the closeness that he loves? What do y'all think?
 

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well trained hooman
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Sounds normal to me. Radar does all of those things, plus more, but he definitely knows where he stands. He can still be a brat, but he knows that I'm the boss, and generally complies with commands/rules. As long as he knows house rules and isn't doing anything you don't mind him doing when he is full size, I wouldn't take what the trainer said to heart. Give him his lovins - as long as he is behaving. I think that trainer's philosophy is a bit outdated, personally. Not surprising though if she isn't familiar with dobermans.

I'm not an expert either, but those things are some of my favorite parts of having a doberman.
 

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Hairy Dog, RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
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Dominance theory is out of date. If she keeps pushing that at you as the main reason you shouldn't let him lean on you, I'd find another trainer.

That being said, if you are planning to go on into formal obedience or conformation showing, leaning on you while he's working is a big no-no.

And if you don't want him leaning on you or sitting on your feet when he is an adult....now is the time to nip that in the bud.

About the hard-headed stuff.....looking at his age, it's possible he's becoming a teenager.....but I think it more likely that when you call him in, he's just figuring that's the end of his play-time--why should he want to come in? I tend to go out and get my dog rather than calling him to me if I'm planning to do something "unpleasant".

If he's actually running away from you when you try to catch him, that's a different matter, though.
 

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Hey everyone!

Zeus is doing well. :) As he continues to mature (and I am in no way, shape, or form saying that he is MATURE...but compared to his 3 month old self, he's come a long way!) we are learning more about the personality of our boy. And he's becoming a little calmer about things. He doesn't nip NEARLY as much as he used to. I have scars on my hand from our once little dobershark! He's not jumping up on people as much, which is something we've been working on seemingly since day one. His ears are standing. He's no longer eating his poop (thank god, that was a gross phase that I hope he doesn't go back to doing...) I don't even remember the last time he pottied in the house. All in all, we're a happy little dog family!

Yet...

Ha. So, we're continuing his obedience training in May. We went to a consultation with the same people in which we did his AKC STAR Puppy training, and the trainer noted behaviors in Zeus that she called "dominating behaviors". Things like pressing his body against us when we were sitting down. His paw on my foot. Sitting on our feet. She said those things were no good and he was "claiming" us. I know I've posted something about dominating behaviors before, but hearing her mention them with Zeus made me worry. From being here, I've learned that dobermans are kind of a different breed of dog. Zeus loves being with us, and when he's with us, he wants to be close. He'll put his head on my lap and I can't ignore those puppy eyes of him, so I give him lovin'. He'll lean against my leg when I'm sitting down. And sometimes, when I want to cuddle, I'll sit on the floor with him and he'll curl up in my lap. All 50+ pounds of him! Trainer said that was not a good thing to do. No dogs on lap. No going down on the floor because I'm telling him that we're even in the hierarchy of the house.

I thought I was bonding... Oops?

I'm not saying that she's wrong. She's a licensed trainer, I'm not. But upon talking with her, she did mention that they don't see a lot of dobermans, and currently Zeus is the only one enrolled. They're not a very common breed in my area. Other than Zeus and one dobie pup that I was extremely surprised to see living down the street from us, I've never seen one anywhere around here. So that got me thinking, if doberman behaviors really are a bit different than other breeds, should I really be concerned about him seeing himself as "above" me? He listens to commands (for the most part. He has lately become a bit hardheaded when it comes to coming back inside of the house when play or potty time is over when we don't have him leashed in the yard). He has to earn his food either through puzzle games or training. He's a Velcro dog (yup, we learned that term real quick!). So would it be more of a hindrance to him if I denied him the closeness that he loves? What do y'all think?
When a doberman pup dominates yourself or others, you will know it.
- our 3rd girl, was the only one to try it / with extreme prey drive
- stand on my chest in bed, pounding feet into Dad & staring down on me
- try to pound her toenails, into the tops of my sock feet
- ya know, the stuff the hurts some / in a stubborn manner
- Kelly will also hard paw a stranger's leg, to assert dominance / so I instruct them, to ignore her, for 2 minutes

Our 2nd puppy was a LOVER, from the 9 hour car ride home.
- she would lay on our lap, for 2 hours straight...in the lazy-boy chair / watching a movie, or son playing video games
- later as a certified Therapy dog, she really liked one of the 89 y/o seniors
- and sat lightly on her feet / so she couldn't run off & leave the room
- old lady, thought Amy was adorable ... for showing her Love, so clearly
- she was in heaven, with a family member touching her or getting touched
- her exact spot in the master bed, was with her back leaning in against Dad...and she wouldn't move

Your trainer must of got her certificate, from a 25 cent...bubble gum machine / it don't matter between
dog or master:
- who goes out the door first
- who enters the house first
- who goes up & down, the steps...in the lead
Leaning in and sitting on your feet, is a form of Doberman affection & playing at their level on the living room floor, can lead to faster training & much fun...bringing eye levels together, helps pup attention span.
- I taught our 2nd girl, to Fetch frisbee, balls & stuffies...on the carpet @ 10 weeks old...she had a blast, and didn't even know she was being in-formally trained

^^ Zeus sounds like a great puppy !!
 

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Personally, I'd find a different trainer now. Anyone who is worried about your PUPPY "dominating" you by leaning, sitting on your feet, or putting a paw on you isn't at all someone I'd want to work with. He's not only a normal pup, but a VERY normal Doberman. And "dominance" is incredibly misunderstood, especially if she's using it that way. In dogs, dominance is very fluid, and really only means which dog controls a valued resource at any one time. What she's telling you isn't terribly helpful, and at worst, sets you up to see your dog as having an adversarial relationship with you, which is so outside the realm of what 99% of dogs are doing. Dogs are really trying to understand what works best to get them what is rewarding to them - whether that's food, access to things they like, affection, etc.

If I were in your shoes, I'd look around and see if there are other trainers that might be a better fit. Just my two cents, of course, but I just don't find that terribly helpful or productive.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies and helpful words of advice! I knew I wasn't crazy. I was a little sad when I was told not to let him sit on my lap anymore, because his bony butt loves doing so when given the chance! I'll probably look into another trainer. She also recommended he be neutered now, and when we told her that our vet recommended waiting until he was a year and a half or two years, she wasn't in agreement. I know everyone has different opinions on neutering and when to do so, but we're sticking with what our vet said. Because....vet. I've also read some articles on the pros and cons of neutering, and we already had our mind set to wait until he was older.

Thanks again!
 

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I concur with everyone else - this trainer seems unwilling to update their knowledge. Find someone else.
 

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But upon talking with her, she did mention that they don't see a lot of dobermans, and currently Zeus is the only one enrolled.

I heard the same thing :wink2: Matter of fact - the trainer wanted to work with one on one - She said she had never worked with one - She was a good trainer - But had Not a clue about Dobermans - In the way they act or are . One class - Mr.B shook paws - hands with another in the class - She had a smart remark that somebody thought that was cute to teach - but was not the right thing to do - Yes that P.O.ed Me - lol I use a lot of positive response to when he do's good - When we did our group OB class - I added one more lesion - Just for her ! I knew he would pass the test on the last class - So when were done with our play OB training test here at home - we would walk a short distance - I would then have him sit - stay - then hold my hand up high and say - give me a high 5 - which he did - lol Day of test - When we were done - She said you guys passed and can sit down = show off time ! We walked about 5 steps - stopped - sit stay then high 5 - he nailed it ! The others in the class gave him a good applause - I was so proud of him - then the trainer looks at us and gave us a grin - she knew ! then asked the class - Who wants to follow that act - lol

Gamer - can you take this picture in and show your trainer - I need to know If I doing things wrong here :wink2::grin2:

btw - he likes reading DT every morning - picture is of Radar - his bubby in MN - :grin2::grin2:

 

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Every time I hear about yet another trainer who tells a student that their Doberman (who is leaning on them, or sitting on their feet gazing lovingly into their face, etc) that their dog is attempting to "dominate" them it makes me wish that the word DOMINATE had never been invented and that aggressive was not a term to apply to a puppy who was play bowing at their owner or, or, or...well, you guys have all seen the bizarre and ridiculous stuff that is being called domination or aggression in a Dobe puppy.

Drive me crazy.
 

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I love my Velcro-Dobe in my lap, but I set simple ground rules. She used to have separation anxiety and would literally put all 70lbs in my lap and whine if I didn't allow her to. So I trained her to wait patiently until I sit on the floor and get settled (I'm Japanese so I eat cross-legged at the coffee table). She has to wait until I'm seated and comfy, then I tell her, "Okay!" She knows she can come lay next to me and put her head and paws on my lap. But she has to keep her head down. If she bumps her head up and knocks my soup bowl or tries to sniff my face, I give her a quick, "Down!" and she'll put her head back in my lap. Only then do I pet her and rub her tummy. :)

It's so great in the winter when she keeps me warm! I am a petite gal though so I don't want her fully in my lap. I have computer work to do and dinner to eat, so she's allowed to be half on top of me, haha. This also solved the problem of her trying to eat off my plate, which she only did after I adopted her.
 

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Yeah, going to echo everyone else here, trainer doesn't seem like a good match.

Our trainer is the Obedience trainer at the local Kennel Club, and he's taking a massive liking to Ace, and has pointed out a lot of things to me.

Generalization - Dog's can't do this. Ace will sit perfectly when I am standing in front of him, but when I sit down and ask the command, nothing. Our trainer wants us to work on commanding the dog from all angles. Sitting, Standing, Walking, etc. Heck in class, he had everyone sit on the floor and command their dog.

Closeness - My trainer loves the fact Ace is velcro-y. He says this will help immensely with Obedience training, an etc. He compliments Ace every time he shows me loving or sits on my feet, and etc.
 
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