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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just need some new ideas really. I will make this brief!

Background:
  1. Picked up at 6 weeks old, I work from home and have lots of time to spend with him
  2. He's extremely smart, he knows a lot of commands (sit, paw, lie down, spin, speak, wait, stay, etc.
Here is the problem:
  1. He uses bell on door for "potty" outside, he does, but then goes again just to play outside (we go outside to play for about 1 hour a day anyway, why does he feel the need to keep going outside?)
  2. He will NOT leave my clothes, blankets, and random "dangerous" trash alone!! (plastic forks, plastic bags, cords, etc.) He has SO many toys of different textures and sizes, what is wrong with his toys?
  3. If he has an accident on the floor, I use a paper towel to clean it, he grabs it and runs off with pee on it! Am I REALLY not giving him enough attention??
My solutions so far:
  1. Started with a firm no and disengage if the behavior is unpleasant or unwanted. didn't work, and I was consistent.
  2. That didn't work right not firm NO or a disengage, so then I held him facing away from me holding him repeating words, "No biting" and "settle". It helps, but not a lot.
  3. I have resorted to an authoritative smack on the nose (not too hard) and it doesn't stop him from doing it again later....
ANY & ALL advice is definitely welcomed on how to proceed as he is young, I want him not to hate me, fear my hands, or become more aggressive or disobedient in the future! Please and thank you! I just found out I am 7 weeks pregnant, I need him to be ready to welcome a baby into his world, calmly and obediently. Please tell me if I'm overreacting, I won't be offended. LOL
 

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He is 10 weeks old and truly an infant. Being consistent for 4 weeks isn’t going to solve puppyhood. 6 weeks is awfully early to come home as the pups learn how to play and their place in the world from the siblings, so you may have to do more work than someone who got their pup AT 10 weeks. Do NOT hit him, that is the worst thing you can do. He needs to know that your hands mean good things.

You need to manage and mitigate the opportunities for him to get into trouble. If he grabs something he shouldn’t have, why is it within reach? Calmly go to him and retrieve the contraband, telling him “drop it” or “leave it” You may have to do that action a thousand times before he stops stealing things. If he can get to them, it is your fault. If he has something he should not have, trade it for something he does have.

If he is peeing in the house HE IS A BABY. You need to pay attention. If he wakes up, he goes out and doesn’t come back in until he has peed and pooped. If he eats, he goes out within 10 minutes of finishing. Same for drinking. If he has played in the house, he needs to go out once playtime ends. EVERY dog will exhibit some clue that he needs to go outside. He starts sniffing, he puts his head down, he runs or walks out of sight, he bounces around - there are a ton of little signs that vary by puppy. Housebreaking may take a long time depending on the dog.

Snice you gave me permission 🤣 yes, you are overreacting. If this age is a concern, wait until he is 5 months, 8 months, 13 months. He WILL become more challenging, that is a given. Dobermans are an incredibly challenging (but rewarding) breed. What your pup is doing now is par for all puppies.

You need to educate yourself on dog behaviour immediately. Some books I recommend are:
  • How to Speak Dog by Dr. Stanley Coren for a great education on body language.
  • When Pigs Fly
  • The Other End of the Leash
  • How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves
There is so much more and others will weigh in but hopefully this will get you started.

I will end with this: If you are having a baby in 7 months, you will be in the WORST time of puppyhood - adolescence.
Good luck
 

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STOP. HITTING. YOUR. DOG. FOR. YOUR. MISTAKES. Every one of these situations is completely avoidable if you actually set your dog up for success.

He's a BABY - you wouldn't slap an infant for doing things they don't know they aren't supposed to do, so don't hit a baby dog. Hell, don't hit a dog anyway, it's inappropriate and shows your lack of understanding how to train.

Why didn't you puppy proof your house? Just like with baby humans, you HAVE to remove dangerous objects from their reach. Set the individual up for success and these aren't issues.

Why isn't he leashed to you any time he isn't crated? He should be on a schedule to go out every half hour right now, plus every time he comes out of the crate, wakes up, eats, sleeps, before and after play. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
 

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The information in the posts above^^^ is excellent. So I'm only going to repeat a little of it. You are dealing with the equivalent of a toddler--so remove the things you don't want the puppy to play with. Don't try to disapline him for finding them. Anything new will be of interest to a puppy and since everything is new he's going to be trying to play with them.

About biting? You may think you are being consistent in trying to stop him from nipping, biting you, your clothes etc. I can stop puppies over 8 weeks from doing any biting in two weeks--you got that puppy too young and he didn't learn a bunch of stuff from his litter maters (one of the being information about biting). Puppies bite (grab at, nip and pinch other puppies to get them to play. Being consistent means that you give no attention to the puppy when he is doing this--because that's what he's basically after--attention. If he is biting--leave--walk to a door and shut it in the puppies face--don't have a conversation about it. Say nothing--just leave. You don't have to gone for long--puppies really don't have long memories--return to whatever you were doing--and don't try to react to the puppy by pushing him away--that's attention. Or turning him around--that's more attention. Slapping or holding his mouth shut--more attention and puppies often mistake things like that as responsive play.

So just leave and when you come back the puppy if the puppy returns to trying to bite--put him in his crate--leave him for two or three minutes--often, like toddlers, puppies don't have good off switches (or any off switches) and they get so ramped up what they really need is a nap--frequently crating a puppy for a few minutes turns out to have a calming effect and you'll fiind a sound asleep puppy when you return.

Do that every time. Make sure anyone in the house does the same thing every time. Repetition is the secret and in all training you get better results by effectively stopping what you don't want happening making it impossible to happen (a puppy on the other side of a door from you with not be biting--or a puppy in a crate won't be biting.

It gets better but raising puppies is always a work in progress and Doberman puppies take a lot of effort because they are a lot smarter than many other breeds.

Good luck and persistence when training works best.

dobebug
 

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Ditto to all the above. I got my girl at 8 weeks. If she wasn't tethered to me, she was in her crate. Outside on a leash for frequent potty trips, then off leash for some play. These things made potty training a breeze, and if she did have an accident it was totally my fault for taking my eyes off her.
In my opinion crate training is a must. My girl is 8 yrs, still goes happily in her crate if we are travelling. She's never destroyed a thing.
Puppyhood can be tough, need to have buckets of patience and a sense of humor.
same thing goes for Doberteens (ugh).
 

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I would leash him and go out with him when it is potty time. And keep those times focused solely on potty--no playing. Are you using a crate? I would definitely teach him to be comfortable in one. It will save your sanity when you have a baby in the house--you won't, OF COURSE, be keeping him in it for prolonged periods of the day, but there will be times when you have to care for the baby and the big lug will be focused on "helping". Or at least on getting in the way.

You're likely in for a rough ride trying to handle a young dobe and a new baby at the same time. You won't want to hear this, but you might want to give some thought into whether you're going to be up to a pregnancy (morning sickness and your sheer bulk and likely awkwardness as you get near to term) and a young dobe puppy in the house. If you're in serious doubt, placing him into another home while he's still an appealing puppy would be easier on him.

Get him into obedience classes (with you) as soon as he is old enough. Dobes ARE smart, as you've found out, but they don't turn into perfect dogs overnight, and their impulse control will be lacking for quite a long time. Even though he knows all kinds of "tricks" with you, the experiences of being around strange dogs, people and places will be invaluable to his training. And a good trainer can give you tips too--truly most of training a dog is training the owner to know how to handle various problems that crop up in a way that is both effective and appropriate for a dog as he develops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for your responses, I will take these into consideration. I really wish people wouldn't see a light smack as severe or like aggressive abuse, but I can't control the perceptions of others (plus I asked for unfiltered responses lol). I definitely see my overreaction, I tell my husband (as I have trained different breeds before) that this breed is so new to me, I never know how to proceed. Things in his path are abundant. No one's home is perfect. I do think that obedience class may be something I will consider if I can't correct behaviors later on down the line. I just found out I am expecting and I guess when you spend 24 hours a day with a puppy, it feels like you've been with them for much longer than a few weeks. I will however not put the puppy in his crate as punishment that is his safe space, where he sleeps at night every night, he is most definitely crate trained. He would become confused as to why he's being put in a good place for a bad thing. I have been in dog shows, training various breeds for years, this is one that honestly...threw me. They're very headstrong and intuitive to little actions and responses. He has a strict schedule as well which is why I'm assuming it's him growing and learning that he's straying from it now.

6am-9am: wake up, potty, train, eat, play(45 minutes) (in that order)
9:30am-11:15am: nap, potty, play (30 minutes)
1pm: lunch, potty, play (45minutes), nap
3:15: potty, play (45 minutes)
end of day: chores, training, dinner, and play (1.5 hours).

Thank you all for your responses and input, I appreciate you taking the time to do so. I will definitely keep all recommendations in mind for the future. (y)
 

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Putting a dog into a crate is not punishment if the dog is crate-trained properly. Many dogs view their crates as a safe place to be--it is their den. But perhaps you can fix a place for him in a puppy-proofed room--or at least use baby gates to keep him safe while you tend to the baby. There are times when you will likely need that. Some people even resort to putting their baby in a playpen when they need to pay attention to the dog.

And both of them will need attention--usually at the same time, of course. It's natural that you give attention to the baby first--and the dog will likely miss out.

But no matter how you handle it, your dog and a young child should NEVER be left alone in a room together. No matter how well they are both trained, a crawling baby, toddler or even preschooler can treat a dog very poorly and sometimes a dog will react to protect himself--it is dangerous for both of them to be without adult supervision.
 

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I am going to weigh in again and provide some point-by-point responses. I do hope you take it to heart.

1. I really wish people wouldn't see a light smack as severe or like aggressive abuse, but I can't control the perceptions of others (plus I asked for unfiltered responses lol). I definitely see my overreaction, I tell my husband (as I have trained different breeds before) that this breed is so new to me, I never know how to proceed.
A smack is a smack and to a puppy brain any negative contact is severe and will stick with them the next time the “hands” come in.

2. Things in his path are abundant. No one's home is perfect.
That is true, no home is perfect but it does appear you jumped in before planning and thinking through what a puppy, and a very young puppy needs.

3. I do think that obedience class may be something I will consider if I can't correct behaviors later on down the line.
You need obedience class EVEN if you miraculously cure “puppyhood”. It is less about obedience and more about exposure and socialization (which doesn’t always mean face-to-face interactions)

4. I just found out I am expecting and I guess when you spend 24 hours a day with a puppy, it feels like you've been with them for much longer than a few weeks.
I am not expecting and spend almost every moment of every day with my dog, by myself, without a break or a partner to share the burden. If it is a trial BEFORE the baby arrives, you are better off giving the puppy to a reputable rescue. I do not advocate for returning to the breeder because a reputable breeder would not have sold you a puppy based on what I am inferring from your posts.

5. I will however not put the puppy in his crate as punishment that is his safe space, where he sleeps at night every night, he is most definitely crate trained. He would become confused as to why he's being put in a good place for a bad thing.
Crates are a safe space, you are right. BUT when used properly are the perfect safe space for a time out when the puppy is overstimulated or needs to learn how to settle (a valuable skill every pup needs)

6. I have been in dog shows, training various breeds for years, this is one that honestly...threw me. They're very headstrong and intuitive to little actions and responses.
Ha! I had Boxers for 25 years and several with obedience titles not to mention experience with Standard Poodles, Malamutes, Irish Wolfhounds, Scotties and Westies and Dobermans put them all to shame. My boy has broken several of my toes, tore my meniscus, and given me bloody noses because of his size and exuberance but I have never hit him. Dobies are a sensitive breed and are not for the faint of heart, short of patience, or those who cannot devote an inordinate amount of time to them in their first 2 years.

7. He has a strict schedule as well which is why I'm assuming it's him growing and learning that he's straying from it now.
He is an INFANT! A schedule is good and I applaud you for it, but he has the brain capacity of a baby hopped up on sugar. 45 minutes of playing is too much for a 10 week old pup. Short bursts of activity, then a pee/poop break, then a nap and repeat. Puppies can’t tell time. A routine is good but flexibility, consistency, and patience are HUGE.

I am going to leave off here because I can just see this situation getting worse.
Again, good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am going to weigh in again and provide some point-by-point responses. I do hope you take it to heart.

1. I really wish people wouldn't see a light smack as severe or like aggressive abuse, but I can't control the perceptions of others (plus I asked for unfiltered responses lol). I definitely see my overreaction, I tell my husband (as I have trained different breeds before) that this breed is so new to me, I never know how to proceed.
A smack is a smack and to a puppy brain any negative contact is severe and will stick with them the next time the “hands” come in.

2. Things in his path are abundant. No one's home is perfect.
That is true, no home is perfect but it does appear you jumped in before planning and thinking through what a puppy, and a very young puppy needs.

3. I do think that obedience class may be something I will consider if I can't correct behaviors later on down the line.
You need obedience class EVEN if you miraculously cure “puppyhood”. It is less about obedience and more about exposure and socialization (which doesn’t always mean face-to-face interactions)

4. I just found out I am expecting and I guess when you spend 24 hours a day with a puppy, it feels like you've been with them for much longer than a few weeks.
I am not expecting and spend almost every moment of every day with my dog, by myself, without a break or a partner to share the burden. If it is a trial BEFORE the baby arrives, you are better off giving the puppy to a reputable rescue. I do not advocate for returning to the breeder because a reputable breeder would not have sold you a puppy based on what I am inferring from your posts.

5. I will however not put the puppy in his crate as punishment that is his safe space, where he sleeps at night every night, he is most definitely crate trained. He would become confused as to why he's being put in a good place for a bad thing.
Crates are a safe space, you are right. BUT when used properly are the perfect safe space for a time out when the puppy is overstimulated or needs to learn how to settle (a valuable skill every pup needs)

6. I have been in dog shows, training various breeds for years, this is one that honestly...threw me. They're very headstrong and intuitive to little actions and responses.
Ha! I had Boxers for 25 years and several with obedience titles not too mention experience with Standard Poodles, Malamutes, Irish Wolfhounds, Scotties and Westies and Dobermans put them all to shame. My boy has broken several of my toes, tore my meniscus, and given me bloody noses because of his size and exuberance but I have never hit him. Dobies are a sensitive breed and are not for the faint of heart, short of patience, or those who cannot devote an inordinate amount of time to them in their first 2 years.

7. He has a strict schedule as well which is why I'm assuming it's him growing and learning that he's straying from it now.
He is an INFANT! A schedule is good and I applaud you for it, but he has the brain capacity of a baby hopped up on sugar. 45 minutes of playing is too much for a 10 week old pup. Short bursts of activity, then a pee/poop break, then a nap and repeat. Puppies can’t tell time. A routine is good but flexibility, consistency, and patience are HUGE.

I am going to leave off here because I can just see this situation getting worse.
Again, good luck.
Thank you for your response, I'll consider your information as helpful advice for the future :)
 
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