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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I've found this forum very helpful in many ways but I just wanted to post my current issues and I'm wondering if I'm doing anything wrong or if the behaviour I'm facing is unique to to be expected from a Male doberman puppy of 12 weeks.

We got "Bronson" when he was 8 weeks old, so we've had him for a month, his potty training is pretty good to be fair to him, any accidents are really our fault in the repect that we didn't immediately take him outside after a drink, mealm waking up or the backdoor was closed, I can't fault him for his mistakes and he certainly isn't punished for them.

In the month we've had him with a treat as a reward he can sit, give his paw, laydown and stay well, with hand signals combined with voice commands, I use a clicker, my partner does not.

We make him do a trick or task to earn his food, and we are able to cover his food with our hand and he displays no food protectiveness.

No aggression or fear of other dogs, people or sounds, he's quite balanced in that repect and we've had a big effort to introduce him to as much as we can in his socialisation window.

The issues we have are his "Dobershark" , jumping on the bed and sofa, and his ignoring us moments (normally when there isn't a treat involved)

We've had contradicing methods with dealing with the Dobershark moments,
doberplanets suggested a 3 level response but I was advised (can't remember where) that being phyical with a doberman can cause aggression issues later on, yelping can suggest to him that he's hurt you and could make him think he's the alpha, so at the moment we just stand up and walk away for 30 seconds, this is ongoing but we normally received a few nips to the shoes and ankles as we leave.

When he jumps up on the sofa or bed a "No/Ah ah" command gets no response, so we normally have to phyically push him off the furniture which only results in him thinking this is now a rough game and he continues to jump up with the addition of Dobershark phase.

Half the time during the day if food or treats is not directly involved then he completely ignores any command. For example we want him to sit when we put his harness on to make it easier for us and to keep him calm, but he simply doesn't care, which then creates a stale mate. Sitting before he enters the house after a walk gets the same lack of obedience. (should we be uses treats for everything at this stage)

When he's having a good day he's amazing and we love him, but on a bad day we both think we've made a mistake, fail to see the light at the end of the tunnel and the frustration builds up in us to the point where a painful nip or bite from him results in us lashing out and slapping him across his butt. We don't want to punish him physically and thats our failing but we are really struggling at some points and would really like some advice.

Are we expecting too much from a 3 month old puppy or are WE the ones that aren't giving him what he needs.

He's exercised 3 times a day for 10-15 minutes which helps with his manic energy levels, we can tell when his attention span for training is over (5 minutes) because he just stops, and we can tell when he gets frustrated because he will pull his crate across the room and crew his bed.

Any thoughts or advice please.

Thanks
 

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Dear god please do NOT listen to doberman planet. Find a trainer, one who works with working breeds or canine police dogs.

He's def. a normal 12 week old and the spawn of satan, they are one in the same. And remember, he's a baby, baby, and sometimes having fun over rules listening. What I do is give them a harsh growling, "no" and grab them by the collar and put them in their crate. Ppl say to not use the crates as a time out but I always have and have never had an issue with my dogs loving their crate.
 

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I agree - Doberman Planet is not a great resource. The person who runs it does not have much experience with Dobermans at all, and simply got lucky by buying a great domain name.

You have a normal puppy. Dobermans are bred to use their mouths! Doberman puppies BITE. Very, very normal. This thread on biting is one of the best resources I would point to on how to discourage biting: Help! My puppy is biting me.. I would not physically intimidate your puppy or escalate your response. Simply walking away with a "time out" and the fun ending works very well. You simply need to be very consistent and realize that it will get better.

And yes, you are expecting too much when it comes to "following commands" - he's a baby! :) He doesn't actually understand any commands yet. You are in the very, very early phases of training. You need lots and lots and lots of repetition, WITH REWARDS, for him to actually understand what you want from him. The basics of dog training really come down to dogs doing what is rewarding for them. If you make certain behaviors rewarding by reinforcing them (through food), those behaviors get repeated.

The key at this age is to set him up for success, not failure. I would really encourage you to get into in person classes with good trainers. A good trainer will teach you much more than they train your dog and they are available to answer questions and help you see where you can improve technique or change something.

And please, stop watching that channel :) If you want some better training places, there are so many better options online. There are free videos on how to train on places like Kikopup, or great low-cost training classes places like Fenzi Academy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great responses, thank you both. I'll accept that he's a baby stop expecting the world from him and I wont pay anymore attention to Doberplanet. We signed up yesterday to Kobi & Friends training so hopefully now with a better understanding of him and some professional advise we can lower the frustration for him and us.

Thanks again!
 

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Neo Puppy, Lanah Chi-Cairn X 7 y/o, RIP Eva HADR Rescue Dobe, Sunking's Spock, Lillah Chi-Terrier X
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Welcome to DT, Cawse21 and Devil's Spawn....I mean Bronson! 😄
We have one of those little devils too, a 9.5 mo old male puppy, that we're still waiting for his brain to catch up with his body!
Lots of good advice on the forum....stay with us and how about some pics of you little boy? (That's the price of advice here) :)
 

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Hi cawse. Welcome from the Pacific NW.

Cute pup! Yeah... If you type in "puppy biting" in the Search Community feature at the top of the page, you will come up with dozens (actually 496. LOL) threads on the subject. It is probably the #1 topic among new Dobe puppy owners.

The Dobershark stage passes. When, really depends on the specific pup, plus how vigilant and consistent their "human" is with corrections. My son and his wife have 2 small children and their current pup (they've raised 3 Dobe puppies) had completely stopped trying to use the kids as chew toys at about 6 months.

John L.
Portland OR
 

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Are you saying that most adorable innocent puppy is a monster? Can't be.
Welcome to the forum. Great advice above and lots of empathy from me and the others that have been through the same.
Honestly, once you have been through it and they emerge the most wonderful pet and companion you have ever owned you
will have forgotten all this frustration and the dog you own will have been worth everything.
 

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FIRST AND FOREMOST. Stop watching Doberman Planet. The guy is an idiot (in respects to Dobermans).

You have a NORMAL DOBERSHARK. Lots of great advice given above.
 

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Welcome to DT from Colorado!

And now you are making me want a new dobe puppy. Looking at your pictures, anyway--what a cutie.
 

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He sounds like a totally normal Doberman puppy, and it seems like you are making good progress with his training. You have gotten good advice, so I'm not going to repeat it. Sounds like I might have to check out Doberman Planet just to get a good laugh!
 

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Hi and Welcome!

We had a Dobershark too! He is growing into a Dobera#%hole now and it's OUR fault. We are not new to dobies either (30+ yrs w/ dobies). This pup is not like any other we have had. The shark part eventually goes away and the "I'm going to test you on things" starts to happen.

The other day was my last straw with his bs and decided to treat him like a bratty child. I told him to "settle" and laydown, he wanted to go outside. Each time he got up and went to the door I calmly got up and put him back on his bed to settle. He's up, I'm up and he's back to the bed and over and over and over. He finally got it and then threw a temper tantrum on his bed, let out a big sigh and settled. This took 25 minutes and a lot of patience on my part.

I've been practicing this tactic more with him on everything as I now know his lack of obedience is OUR fault. He is learning and a baby/teen still. He is probably smarter than me and he is very headstrong!

Be calm and Patience Patience Patience is the key. And please don't discipline by hitting. That just creates a whole other issue and it's not fair to the dog. Start now because you don't want to realize this when yours weighs 86lbs! Don't make my mistake.

Good luck....

Dog Plant Dog breed Fence Carnivore
 

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I'm not the person to ask for advice. I don't mind them jumping on the bed or sofa. Sometimes it's a three dog night in my house.(No matter where it came from, the expression “three-dog-night” means a night so bitterly cold you'd need three dogs in bed with you to keep you warm.)
 

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Haha, Somer, the word 'settle' is a most familiar word at our house too, with an over the top 10 month old. He's learning. Slowly.
 

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What you were doing, Somerleigh, was a version of the "Sit on the Dog" exercise, though in the proper way (not as it is sometimes described using coercion to make the dog stay down by pulling down with a tight leash.)

It goes sorta like this (from an old thread arguing about a particular video showing the method done incorrectly):

I seem to be bucking the trend here--but my trainer, starting with my ten month-ish old dog in basic training who knew the basic commands, recommended that once a day, we put the dog in a down stay (she recommended during our dinnertime, because the dog may be hanging around anyway and lying down watching us eat is a sort of natural behavior). She said to go right to 30 minutes immediately. If he moved to get up, you put him back down, calmly with no fuss or correction. Immediately. The first day, I remember, had a lot of this for both my dogs.

Make sure you praise only when they are down and calm; if you want to treat from time to time, treat when they are down calmly. Praise right before you let them up, and then release them with a release word and no attention or praise (you don't want to reward them for getting up.)

Yeah, sure, I thought. But I tried her method and both of my dogs were doing 30 minute down stays within 3 or 4 days! (in relatively non-stimulating conditions, of course) They lay flat on the floor mostly and looked resigned to just hanging out, not staring eagerly for a release word every minute like a beginning obedience dog might.

I don't know what to make of it. It's hard for me to believe that it worked, and I don't know whether I would recommend that method for anyone else. But……still, for me, seeing was believing.

(This trainer worked with collies, mostly in herding, I think, but at one point one of her collies was a top ten obedience dog (or something like that)--I never saw her show her dogs, though she used them for demonstration in classes--and she seemed to have credentials)
Somehow the training process I used, though it involved a stay on the order of 30 minutes or so, doesn't seem to fit the method a lot of you folks are describing. I think many people are making gradations and individual adjustments to perhaps "soften" what is going on that are not getting mentioned on this forum somehow.

I don't think the method I used had any more coercion than working with a basic down-shorter stay--it simply involve patting the floor or giving a down signal to tell the dog his down was not finished if he bounced up--however many times he needed the reminder, and giving appropriately timed praise. They already knew what a down command was--just not that it could last a really long time. I used the leash simply to make sure the dog stayed close by, not as a means of pinning him to the floor.

Now that that bridge has been crossed (down means down--might as well accept it and relax), having a long reliable down is very useful. If I'm standing in line at the pet store, I can put them into a long relaxed down and not have to watch and remind them as they emit a constant "Can I get up now, mom? How 'bout now? Please? Now?" aura. They relax and can be ignored as I write a check, load the cart, chat to the cashier (well, Kip can, Capri is a somewhat different sort, but even she is OK.)

So all this flooding, learned helplessness, coercion? I don't think those words apply in this case. It just seems to me there is a training method somewhere in the middle of the disagreements going on here.

Opinions??
 
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