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I'm writing in because I'm starting to get a bit worried about whats going on with my Diavlo (12 wk male). He is not my 1st Dobie, but the last one I had was over 15 years ago.. and well.. I was his "sister" not his mommy lol.. I was also only 15, so it's pretty different this time around.

Diavlo just had his ears cropped a week ago, so I understand my boy is dealing with that. I think if I could just understand why he's doing these things then I'd feel better. I've been lucky enough to have 3 other wonderful dogs in my lifetime, so it's not that I'm brand new to "puppy behavior" but perhaps a little rusty lol.. Ok, so we brought him home 3 weeks ago and he's been an all around wonderful pup, and has completely stolen our hearts. However, he has been getting really rough with my 3 year old son biting him and tackling him, which is completely unacceptable. I understand it's "play biting" but thing is he was beginning to get the whole bite inhibition thing, and that my 3 y/o was "off limits" with any sort of biting. He would run around with him, get excited, even herd him some (which we loved) before yesterday, but very rarely even attempted to mouth lightly on him. Starting yesterday he began jumping up onto my sons tray and stealing his food. After that, every time Joe Joe was in the room with Diavlo he'd begin nipping and tackling him to the ground, so we gave him a stern "no! no bite Joe Joe!" and then redirected him to a toy. He kept at it and at, after 3 times or so we began giving him brief doggie time outs. As soon as we let him out, right back at it. Also, I wanted to mention that I spend all day with Diavlo, and for 4 hours in the morning it's one on one time as Joe Joe goes to nursery school. I've noticed lately he's been whining a lot, so I've tried to give him extra TLC considering he's still new to the house, just got cropped, and well.. he's my cutie pie and I want him to adjust well and feel cared for. Over the past few days though he's gotten progressively rougher with me and I have to stop playing with him due to the biting harder thing. In response to that he gets more riled up, more persistent and then starts barking at me.. and soon after is attacking my legs since I'm standing up trying to let him know playtime is over. Yes, I believe 100% this is just rougher play and in no way feel he's a threat to me, however I am concerned. I don't know why he's behaving this way or how to stop the behavior now. I feel I cannot even look away from him, or he gets mad at me! Even when I simply try to return a text message, he either starts barking or whining as if he doesn't like my attention being on the phone. Don't get me wrong, I feel great about him wanting my love and attention, and am more then happy to give it... but I have 3 children and home to keep up on, so it's just not feasible to literally give him ALL my time and attention.

The biggest fear I have though is with my 3 y/o, as Diavlo is growing in leaps and bounds. Already over 30lbs at 12 weeks, I know he will soon dwarf my 3 y/o so he needs to get this down ASAP! If anyone can give me some insight, advice, or tips as to why he may be doing this, what his continual barking at me is really about, and why he may suddenly be going for my 3 y/o when before 2 days ago he seemed to get thats the biggest "no no" in this house... Most importantly, any ideas on how to stop these new negative behaviors would be so VERY MUCH appreciated..

Oh a little bit more info on Diavlo. He is crate training quite well. He really only sleeps in there at night now though since he has pretty much got the potty training down. If I do have to leave him for a few mins, he stays in the crate until I can get back. We take him out on at least 2 good walks a day, and he rings bells on the door to tell us he needs a potty walk. Unfortunately we live on a military base so we don't have a backyard for him to run in. We do have a stake with a long lead, and my older sons love to take him out to play with them outside multiple times a day. Also, we purchased Diavlo from a great breeder where both of his parents were present. While his mom and dad looked intimidating enough, they were complete sweethearts and very well behaved too. Diavlo was neither the runt of the litter, nor the big cheese... He was friendly when we met him, but not over-friendly. He showed a lot of cautious curiosity, lets put it like that.. So middle of the road type pup. This aggressive thing he's doing now, is new.

Thank you soooooo much in advance for any help or advice any one has to give.. Heck I'd appreciate it if you're going through the same thing right now too and you can just identify with my situation. Basically just looking for support from my fellow Dobie lovers out there.. Especially if you also just happen to be a professional dog behaviorist too lol, or just have lots of experience with this magnificient breed :nicejob:

Jamie (Diavlo's mommy)
 

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All Doberman puppies bite at this age. Many breeders don't place puppies in houses with young children for this reason. ALL Doberman puppies bite and bite anyone within reach. Your young child is right there at his level and he probably is around him a lot.

Your puppy isn't being aggressive, he will probably grow out of biting after he gets his adult teeth in.

I have no two legged children so I can't help you there, but this is VERY common in the breed with puppies.

You can try to do a search on here for similar threads and see what what recommended, but at the end of the day you are responsible for protecting both your kid and your puppy.

Have you talked with your breeder about this?
 

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You can try and channel that energy to training. How often does he go out for walks? Have you started some light socialization? Set up some obstacle with tunnels, cones, crunchy paper, boxes, cans, to get him used to textures and sounds? Have you set up a puppy class? Draining him physically and mentally should cut down on his rambunctious actions a bit. Good luck!
 

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I Agree with working k9's ... its a puppy teething thing.

But Kudo's to you for trying to take on a 3 y/o and a puppy! ( Hopefully you can balance it and it doesn't back fire because I sure as hell couldn't do it)

I have a 1 yr old and 2 dobers and a lab all over 3 yrs and I have days where I could pull my hair out one by one lol

I think that it is important not to blame the puppy as he is teething (think of your son when he was!) But make sure your child is safe, because if a bite occurs the blame lies with you and no one else.

Good Luck!
 

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My boy is 16 weeks and bites but he's also teething and it's not as bad as it was at that age. He needs more mental stimulation and excersise. You need to tire him out and remember he's a puppy. It's what they do. I will say Diesel is getting much better. He only bites when he's tired or bored and the random biting for the most has stopped so it does end. You just need to really work him and lots of excersise. Diesel was a nightmare with the biting when we first got him. I got him lots of toys that we can freeze he loves it for his teeth.
 

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I agree with the above suggestions...
Its a phase, no way around it, just tips on how to keep them busy!
Busy with play, training and keep the mouth busy as well!
Frozen kongs, frozen towels, anything to put in his mouth...
 

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Unfortunately, a teething dobe puppy is pretty much what everyone has said. And the suggestions about exercise for a tired body and training and interactive play to exercise his mind, along with lots of chewing toys (especially chilled ones) are great ones.

I think I would also focus on consistency. Pick two, three, four behaviors that are absolutely forbidden--say, stealing food from your boys plate, jumping on your boy,or actually knocking over your child--you can pick the behaviors you find the most worrisome. Then immediately give the same response every single time he commits one of those forbidden behaviors--I personally would pick him up with a stern NO, and calmly put him in time out and then give him NO attention or interaction with you or your child until you are ready to let him out. He should only stay in a moment or two--if he pitches a fit ignore him until he is quiet (even if only for a few seconds) and then let him out.

For lesser misbehavior try to handle like you have been--substitute another toy for your skin, turn your back on him, things like that.

You must give him lots of playtime and exercise, but try to set the rule that the playing is on your terms, not his. Try not to let his objectionable behavior prompt you to play or give him attention so that he thinks he can control you by misbehaving. The tireder he is, the easier it will be for him to comply with your demands.

Teach your child what behavior is OK for him to do--no chasing games where your child encourages the dog to chase him, no teasing games with a toy which would encourage the puppy to jump up and snatch a toy, no eating around the puppy in such a way that would encourage him to try to steal food off his plate, no hitting, getting in the puppy's face, draping himself on top of the puppy, no pulling ears--all that kind of stuff.

I know your boy is only three, but he can start to learn proper treatment of pets, and the better he does at that the safer he will be around this puppy who is still learning the rules.

Puppies are tough--but they do grow up in just a few months. Hang in there!
 

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I think Melbrod covered it all and very well at that. Be sure to take in what she said, especially about not rewarding demanding behaviors like whining or barking at you. A perfect book for you is The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller. Amazon has it. With those four hours you could really do some great shaping, training and interactions with your puppy.
 

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What everyone else said, but I would add that letting the 2 older boys play with him while he is chained is a really bad idea. Chaining in general is a really bad idea, but to let children play with him (read agitate) is not good for this puppy. I hope you are at least supervising them at all times when they do this. It would be better to take him out on a long line and play fetch or something like that than to have him chained. With the long line, he can drag it while playing and you can step on it if he starts to take off.
 

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Dog/pups do not think like this you are giving human emotions to your pup "I feel I cannot even look away from him, or he gets mad at me! Even when I simply try to return a text message, he either starts barking or whining as if he doesn't like my attention being on the phone. "
Your pup is treating everyone like litter mates need to put the pup in a time out (crate or behind a gate ) for a minute or two you may have to do this dozens of times until it sinks in to the pups brain he cannot be rough. I also agree tying a pup or dog is a bad idea. Puppy classes are great too.Good Luck
 

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Get another pup...possible option

Dog/pups do not think like this you are giving human emotions to your pup "I feel I cannot even look away from him, or he gets mad at me! Even when I simply try to return a text message, he either starts barking or whining as if he doesn't like my attention being on the phone. "
Your pup is treating everyone like litter mates need to put the pup in a time out (crate or behind a gate ) for a minute or two you may have to do this dozens of times until it sinks in to the pups brain he cannot be rough. I also agree tying a pup or dog is a bad idea. Puppy classes are great too.Good Luck
You are absolutely right...the pup is simply reacting to family members as littermates and often will target the youngest child. We know from experience with Tilly. Three weeks later, and exhausting attempts at every training method, we brought a Great Pyrenees pup into the household who needed a home. (pups were at vet when we took in rescue kitties) Tilly and Collette were young and only three weeks apart in age. Our problems with puppy biting were immediately solved! Tilly was an aggressive player but soon realized as the Great Pyrenees got older and larger that she needed to respect boundaries. It helped that every family member was consistent with daily correction and training with bad behaviors. The Great Pyrenees never once bit us in puppy play and has always been pretty gentle toward Tilly despite her behaviors. Some GP owners have not been so lucky with puppy biting. As they grew up together, they developed a bond and mutual respect. It was the best decision for our family to have two pups. The Great Pyrenees listens to us very well considering the typical breed characteristics...they have adopted some of each others behaviors at times and have us laughing...they are such opposites, yet alike in many ways. We have been really happy with both dogs...they have enriched our lives in more ways than I can count. Both breeds are not the easiest but I would not have it any other way. Because we are talking Dobermans here, I will also add that we will have Dobermans for the rest of our lives. After countless hours of research for over a year on nearly every possible large to extra large breed dog, we chose the Doberman as our first dog. We got it right. Tilly is perfect for us. I swear this dog is half-human. Like all Dobermans, she has personality plus and is always cuddled up next to a family member. Both dogs work together very well in guarding our home. They always seem to be in perfect sync together. Due to a recent spike in home robberies in our area, this is definately a plus!
 

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Please don't get a second puppy....that would just multiply the probems by tenfold.
Active puppies and young children don't often mix well as you are finding out and having no fenced yard is hard on the puppy as he can't run and burn energy as he needs to. Can you find some fenced area close to you where you can take him to play and run and get tired?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I really want to thank everyone for all these great tips! I've never signed up for any of these membership type sites before, but I am so glad I did.. It feels great to know there are sooo many people out there who absolutely love this breed, and are so willing to help fellow Dobie lovers out whenever they hit some bumps along the way!

I was pretty sure that this was all normal puppy type behavior, but my over-protective nature had me worrying a bit. You all gave me really great tips, and a whole lot of support, which is exactly what I was looking for :) So thanks a bunch to each one of you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
What everyone else said, but I would add that letting the 2 older boys play with him while he is chained is a really bad idea. Chaining in general is a really bad idea, but to let children play with him (read agitate) is not good for this puppy. I hope you are at least supervising them at all times when they do this. It would be better to take him out on a long line and play fetch or something like that than to have him chained. With the long line, he can drag it while playing and you can step on it if he starts to take off.
I think you may have misunderstood me.. My pup is definitely not chained up, I would never put him on a chain. He is on a 40 foot line, it's the best we could do given that we don't have a backyard for him to run around in. We have a motto in the Marine Corps, which is "adapt and overcome" so this is what we are trying to do here with the line. I wish we had some kind of fenced in area that he could really just run freely, but until he gets old enough to safely go to a dog park, we'll have to do the best we can with what we have. My older sons are 12 and 9, and the oldest in particular is a very responsible boy. Of course I still supervise them, responsible or not they are still children, but it would be quite impossible for me to stand out there with them every second. I can see them very clearly from the window though, and I am a super watchful mom over both my 2-legged and four legged children :) I would never send my children out for hours at a time with Diavlo, these play periods are brief 15 minutes at most, multiple times throughout the afternoon.
Thank you for your comment, I just wanted to clear that misunderstanding up..
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Dog/pups do not think like this you are giving human emotions to your pup "I feel I cannot even look away from him, or he gets mad at me! Even when I simply try to return a text message, he either starts barking or whining as if he doesn't like my attention being on the phone. "
Your pup is treating everyone like litter mates need to put the pup in a time out (crate or behind a gate ) for a minute or two you may have to do this dozens of times until it sinks in to the pups brain he cannot be rough. I also agree tying a pup or dog is a bad idea. Puppy classes are great too.Good Luck
You so got me on that one! Thing is I swear these Dobies are half human sometimes! Lol, but you are totally right, projecting my human feelings onto Diavlo is not going to help me understand him any better, or change the behavior. Puppy training is definitely in our future as well.. Thanks so much for pointing that out, because it's something I definitely need to be aware of :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Unfortunately, a teething dobe puppy is pretty much what everyone has said. And the suggestions about exercise for a tired body and training and interactive play to exercise his mind, along with lots of chewing toys (especially chilled ones) are great ones.

I think I would also focus on consistency. Pick two, three, four behaviors that are absolutely forbidden--say, stealing food from your boys plate, jumping on your boy,or actually knocking over your child--you can pick the behaviors you find the most worrisome. Then immediately give the same response every single time he commits one of those forbidden behaviors--I personally would pick him up with a stern NO, and calmly put him in time out and then give him NO attention or interaction with you or your child until you are ready to let him out. He should only stay in a moment or two--if he pitches a fit ignore him until he is quiet (even if only for a few seconds) and then let him out.

For lesser misbehavior try to handle like you have been--substitute another toy for your skin, turn your back on him, things like that.

You must give him lots of playtime and exercise, but try to set the rule that the playing is on your terms, not his. Try not to let his objectionable behavior prompt you to play or give him attention so that he thinks he can control you by misbehaving. The tireder he is, the easier it will be for him to comply with your demands.

Teach your child what behavior is OK for him to do--no chasing games where your child encourages the dog to chase him, no teasing games with a toy which would encourage the puppy to jump up and snatch a toy, no eating around the puppy in such a way that would encourage him to try to steal food off his plate, no hitting, getting in the puppy's face, draping himself on top of the puppy, no pulling ears--all that kind of stuff.

I know your boy is only three, but he can start to learn proper treatment of pets, and the better he does at that the safer he will be around this puppy who is still learning the rules.

Puppies are tough--but they do grow up in just a few months. Hang in there!
What a great post.. Thank you so much for taking the time to give me all these great tips and advice.. I really do appreciate it Melbrod, and will concentrate on my top three concerns as you suggested.. Too much & too soon will likely only confuse or frustrate us both at this point.. I agree with you as well about it not being too soon for my 3 y/o to be learning how he should be treating Diavlo as well.. It's all a work in progress, and I've got to remember that. Thanks again for all your insight :)
 
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