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Hi, I just got a new puppy 3 weeks ago, my first large breed dog (former Yorkie owner.. I know, don't laugh!! ^_^) Anywho, the lady I bought him from says he's a mixed breed, and vet says he's mostly Dob... I'm posting a pic so I can get your feedback.

My main concern is this is my first time having not only a large breed dog, but a doberman.. I know they are intelligent and require certain special things.. My question is: What are those things???

A little about my Tuffy (I know.. but it's cute!) He is SUPER hyper active. He's about 3 1/2-4 months old, (the lady didn't know his age, vet told me when I got him he was no more than 3 months so I guess now he's just under 4) I got him potty trained (except when he's playing really hard or excited he has accidents: is that normal?) He chews EVERYTHING!!!! He ate 2 holes in my wall while I slept (then I started crating him at night) but he chews anything he can put in his mouth... Including ripping the hair off of things (my head when I'm on the floor with him, his toy lion that I threw away, my carpet-though I may have broken him from that, just not sure how I did it...) He is very hard-headed and yet he is soooo much fun and so cute and a fast learner (it took me 2 days to teach him sit, stay, come, go eat not all on the same 2 days though). I'm attributing all this to him being a puppy and his learning to his breed. But he is also a barker.. really really loud... (Yappy Yorkies are completely different than his barks..)

SOO... That's pretty much it.. if you have any tips or suggestions I would love them!! Especially tips on when to train for certain behaviors.. I want to train him "heel" because walks are a big big headache for Mommy.. but I think he might be too young for that.. And when/if I have to do special training for him to be a "guard dog".. I also want to stop the chewing and reduce the barking.. I don't want any kind of violence (besides a sharp "No") and no shock collars, I don't want him unnecessarily aggressive because of those things... Also it's just me and him and I work full time, so we play a lot at night and weekends, I make him run for at least 10-15 minutes straight 2-3 times a night to make sure he's getting exercise... (I use a laser light, he LOVES to chase it.. Does that wear off? because I don't know what I would do without it...)


Ok, so now I think that's all his info..

Oh, I was told to put lactaid in his food a couple times a week to help fatten him up and build calcium.. Is that really ok? He hasn't had any digestive problems from it...

OH, and do all dobermans get the hiccups a lot? And when he's trying to sit still (like a good boy) his right front leg shakes, I don't know if it's because he's so excited or if there's a problem, when I take him to get his final shots and neuter I'm going to ask the vet but that's not for another 2 weeks, so if you have any suggestions on that, I will gladly accept those too...


I really don't mean to sound so clueless, but I want to make sure I raise him to the full, amazing capabilities that Doberman's have, and I want him to be a Doberman a person can look at and say, Wow, those are actually really amazing dogs, they aren't bad!! (but I still want a protector...) :thanx:



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You "bought" a mutt? :confused:
Essentially I got him for free and just paid 50 for all his stuff; cage, bag of food, bowls, blanket, raw hide because she only cared about the money she spent on him, I think he was given to her.. but yes I didn't buy him for the Doberman factor.. I didn't even know what he was mixed with until the vet said Doberman..
 

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Who told you to give Lactaid?

Calcium supplements for puppies are not a good idea.

You have about a gazillion questions there, so be patient.
 

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I am a little confused as to how he came to be with you. You "bought" him indicating that he was bred by a breeder, but then say that the lady said he was a mix and didnt know how old he was which makes me think he was a foundling?

In either case, now you have him he will be a big responsibility. You can raise him to be a big, beautiful animal that does the breed proud, but it will take a LOT of work on your part.

Read up on crate training. Sounds like you started, but any time he cannot be watched by you and have your attention, he needs to be in a crate, in an x-pen or tethered to you on a leash. That way, he won't get the opportunity to get stuff he shouldn't.

Feed a good quality food. The pic looks like he is either a little is a little eaten up or maybe brindle leg markings?

Take him to the vet for a good puppy wellness exam. Then he can get started on vaccines and check if he needs wormed or started on heartworm preventative.

Read up or better yet, get enrolled in a puppy class to start learning manners and to socialize him. All puppies need to be heavily socialized at a young age.

That is about it for now. Remember, raising a puppy is VERY hard work and you will have some sleepless nights, but in the end can be a rewarding experience and the start to a long and great relationship.

ETA: You answered my question about how he came to be.
 

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Who told you to give Lactaid?

Calcium supplements for puppies are not a good idea.

You have about a gazillion questions there, so be patient.
Ok. So that is stopping NOW.. A friend that rehabilitates abused/stray dogs and I also read on a website to start puppies on bone building minerals to protect them when they are older... BUT I won't do Lactaid anymore.. I do have puppy vitamins.. should I stop those? They are made specifically for puppies.. I also read that puppies need more nutrients because they are so active and a lot of times their food doesn't give them enough...
 

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I will echo the suggestion to get into a good puppy class, pronto... this can go a long way towards curing cluelessness on the part of owners and pups.

Stop with the laser light! Laser-chasing can cause all sorts of OCD and other neurotic behaviors in dogs. One plays with a puppy for exercise.

Your puppy is not even four months old yet, and you are planning on having him castrated in two weeks? You might want to do some reading on that. There is ample evidence that de-sexing puppies is not the best for their development and long term health... I would let him grow up!

Lactaid is an enzyme product which digests milk sugar... it has nothing to do with calcium. Were you advised to give him milk to drink, and that's why the Lactaid? If so, I would stop the milk... as has been said, too much calcium can be harmful to puppies.

Expecting your pup to become a guard dog is not particularly realistic. Dogs have varying degrees of protective instinct, and if you encourage this without knowing what you are doing you run the risk of making him become inappropriately aggressive, and a liability. You want your pup to grow up well socialized with everybody, thinking everybody is his friend... he should be out meeting as many people as possible right now, and having a fun and happy experience with all of them.

Puppy class... now!
 

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I rescued a GSD puppy that was starved almost to death. A good deworming (after a fecal check showed parasites) and high quality food have worked wonders with her. This is a good place to compare dog foods. Dog Food Reviews and Ratings | Dog Food Advisor
 
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Read up on crate training. Sounds like you started, but any time he cannot be watched by you and have your attention, he needs to be in a crate, in an x-pen or tethered to you on a leash. That way, he won't get the opportunity to get stuff he shouldn't.

Feed a good quality food. The pic looks like he is either a little is a little eaten up or maybe brindle leg markings?

Take him to the vet for a good puppy wellness exam. Then he can get started on vaccines and check if he needs wormed or started on heartworm preventative.

Read up or better yet, get enrolled in a puppy class to start learning manners and to socialize him. All puppies need to be heavily socialized at a young age.
I definitely got the crate training part after the first 2 nights!! 1 mistake I won't make again! ^_^ But he still barks when I put him in, which I assume is normal because he is just telling me he isn't happy with my decision, but now, finally, it's gotten to where he only barks for a minute or two.. Unless he's cussing me out (which he does every couple days) :D

As far as the good food, what do you suggest? I have him on Purina puppy chow, the vet said that's good, but I think it's not quite the best quality, however I don't know where to start..

I have had his check-up. He has 2 of 3 sets of shots, this next exam coming up will be his last distemper, rabies, test for worms, neuter AND heartworm prescription.. He won't be a happy puppy that day..


As far as the puppy classes go.. I am nervous about that because I don't want him getting treats for a good job (because I tried it and he "outsmarts" me-or thinks he does-and short-cuts his way to try and get the treat by making me think he did the work..) He's a little stinker.. So I train him with praise only and he does amazingly.. But I also don't want him associating someone else giving him commands when he's older so if a stranger comes up and commands him something.. I don't want him to get dog-napped or hood-winked.. (If I make sense..)

But socializing I do, because I don't want him to be fearful.. just protective...

Sorry, so long, I like to elaborate..
 

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I will echo the suggestion to get into a good puppy class, pronto... this can go a long way towards curing cluelessness on the part of owners and pups.

Stop with the laser light! Laser-chasing can cause all sorts of OCD and other neurotic behaviors in dogs. One plays with a puppy for exercise.

Your puppy is not even four months old yet, and you are planning on having him castrated in two weeks? You might want to do some reading on that. There is ample evidence that de-sexing puppies is not the best for their development and long term health... I would let him grow up!

Lactaid is an enzyme product which digests milk sugar... it has nothing to do with calcium. Were you advised to give him milk to drink, and that's why the Lactaid? If so, I would stop the milk... as has been said, too much calcium can be harmful to puppies.

Expecting your pup to become a guard dog is not particularly realistic. Dogs have varying degrees of protective instinct, and if you encourage this without knowing what you are doing you run the risk of making him become inappropriately aggressive, and a liability. You want your pup to grow up well socialized with everybody, thinking everybody is his friend... he should be out meeting as many people as possible right now, and having a fun and happy experience with all of them.

Puppy class... now!
They said milk, then I read that lactaid was best because the lactose is hard on a dog's digestive system..

I don't want him to be a guard dog right now, I just want to know when to start certain training, I stated before, but probably was typing while you posted, that I don't want him aggressive so I am not teaching him anything that would make him aggressive to me or someone else, not just for the liability but for him, he deserves to have fun, he's a puppy.. I ask a lot of these questions to plan ahead, because I don't like to do things spur of the moment.. I don't think that's fair to him..

Just wondering what about the laser light would cause him to be neurotic? It's not that I don't play with him, it's just by the time I get home, feed him, walk him, do a little training, it's late and I don't live in the best neighborhood to let him run around outside, so since he's still small I let him do it inside and the only way to keep him running is with the light.. otherwise he gets distracted...

And as far as the neuter, the vet told me to do it!! I thought I should listen to what the vet says... :confused:
 

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Stop with the laser light! Laser-chasing can cause all sorts of OCD and other neurotic behaviors in dogs. One plays with a puppy for exercise.

Your puppy is not even four months old yet, and you are planning on having him castrated in two weeks? You might want to do some reading on that. There is ample evidence that de-sexing puppies is not the best for their development and long term health... I would let him grow up!
Ditto.

My husband has to remove his watch because our GSD was played with using a lazer light. If a reflection hits the TV, good bye TV.

IMO, have your boy neutered around six months or so.
 

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And as far as the neuter, the vet told me to do it!! I thought I should listen to what the vet says... :confused:
Yes, you are supposed to listen to your vet. Then, you educate yourself and make the best medical decisions for your pup that you are able. The puppy is YOURS, not your vet's. The vet works for you... he doesn't tell you what to do.
 

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Hi, welcome to the forum.

I'm assuming you bought this pup off Craigslist, or something similar, correct?

Just trying to clear up some of the confusion folks reading are getting, with how he came to be with you.

I see lots of folks "rehoming" puppies this way.

He's cute, and he does look like he could have some Doberman relatives possibly :p

I'm totally not saying this to be harsh, but you did say you wanted advice and suggestions--so...you seem to have a lot of misconceptions about large working breeds, and about training in general.

Get this book, please: The Power of Positive Dog Training, by Pat Miller

Once you get thru that one, there are several more that we can suggest, that will answer your questions in more depth than posts on a forum. That book is fun, easy-to-read, packed with info, and will explain how and why you want to train with positive methods, esp. with such a young puppy.

Another great one, with lots of pics to help you see what she's describing is Turid Rugaas' On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals.

That one's only about ten bucks (or your local library may have one or both of these) and will really help you assess your pup's body language and what it all means, as you work with him.

For now, forget notions of a "guard dog," okay? He's a baby ,and those are some awful big expectations to fill, and mostly folks who aren't really experienced with that aspect end up reinforcing/rewarding fear-aggressive behaviors, such as inappropriate startling, growling, barking, and even biting randomly and without due cause.

The more social and confident you teach this pup to be, the MORE likely he will be to have the skills to assess a REAL threat in future, should the need arise.

It's a whole other discussion as to whether he'd have the drives and instincts to protect, and know how to stand up to pressure, but please wait a bit to even discuss crossing that bridge--he needs guidance now in how to be confident and safe, a good puppy citizen.
 

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Oh, and forgot, ixnay on the calcium supplements/milk, and on puppy vitamins, which could totally throw off the mineral balances in feeding a GOOD food.

If the mineral balances are off, you can wind up with mild to severe orthopedic/bone/joint issues. Don't mess around with it.

Just buy a quality kibble--at least four star, see how your pup likes it and does on it--you may have to try a couple brands, so don't buy huge bags 'til you see how it goes.

Double ixnay on the laser pointer thing, as already said. Use the exercises in the Miller book to mentally engage and tire out your pup, and walk him and play in the backyard, all much healthier for him than lasers.
 
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As far as the puppy classes go.. I am nervous about that because I don't want him getting treats for a good job (because I tried it and he "outsmarts" me-or thinks he does-and short-cuts his way to try and get the treat by making me think he did the work..) He's a little stinker...
OP, could you clarify what you mean by this? Specifically the "short cuts his way by making me think he did the work" part?
 

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One thing no one has told you yet is be careful doing forced exercise "make him run 15-20 minutes" I believe that is what you wrote the reason you need to be careful is the growth plates in his legs need to close that usually happens around 18 month old. Forced exercise can cause the dog to have arthritis at a young age also other joint problems.
You seem to have a misconception on training you need to find a puppy kindergarten class
you and the puppy go together you are taught how to train the pup. This also is the only way you should go to any obedience class you go together and learn together. It is never a good idea to have anyone train your pup or dog when you are not there to watch.There are many ways to train a dog some old,some newer, some very harsh old ways. clicker training newer way.If anything makes you uncomfortable follow you instinct and do not do it.You can get some obedience books and a couple of trick books inter mingle the training so neither of you get bored. Nothing is law NILF is good to teach patience but its not law use it but do not go over board with it. Some one On DT some time back was using NILF training for every little thing NILF can be googled. Example: I use it to teach a pup not to jump out of the car unless I tell him /her its OK its a safety measure or run out the door safety measure for the dog. Just work with the pup about 10-15 minutes in the am & pm as they get older you can add a little more time. Puppies get bored easy they have short attention spans. Good Luck Welcome to DT from Oklahoma Good Luck with your pup.
 

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Welcome! You're getting some great advice here, so I won't add much other than:

I dunno what else he could be mixed with, other than "cute!"

Also, I'll take a moment to echo getting him into puppy classes, and look into dog daycares (if you aren't home all day) as soon as possible. Daycare was a GREAT choice for my Jaina (she goes to two different ones for variety). Not only has it helped her (in just a few weeks of it) become MUCH more confident in public, she's also learned in just a few sessions how to interact with other dogs :) Actually, I dropped her off this morning - she was so excited because some of her dogfriends were already there that she practically ran into the play area :)

(That, and it means I can have a shorter lunch today, and go home to play with her a bit earlier :p )
 
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