Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone. I have a 9 month old boy named Luca and have been socializing him at the dog park for the last 5-6 months. We do both on leash hands free training as well as hourly fun time walks at the off leash areas in town. Now here is the issue. Since his first introduction at the dog park he has been slowly becoming more comfortable and confident off leash and socializes with most dogs well, sniffing and moving on, running with some and playing with others BUT with some dogs when he begins to play it turns to the point where he "chests them" and then brings them to the ground with playful actions, and usually grabbing the neck. Most of the dogs when this happens either a) become submissive and yelp eventually or b) Dont yelp but continue to get taken down by him with him on top. This is usually with him biting on the neck but never growling, barking, breaking skin etc. The dogs are usually his size or puppies slightly younger than him. Some dogs he can play with for 30 minutes with this never happening, some dogs he just walks by and they simply acknowledge each other and then move on but then sometimes this happens. At home we never play with him aggressively or anything of that nature and have found that redirecting his wrongs to rights have worked but this one is spontaneous and cant always be anticipated. What to do?

Today I was talking with a fellow Doberman owner and she had similar issues and used a vibrating collar to break her dogs focus when this behaviour occurred. Comments and suggestions??

*He has never growled or acted "aggressive" in any other typical fashion to any dog and to my understanding it looks like playing too hard??
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,377 Posts
He sounds like a bully. Sorry I don't have any advice other than male dobermans don't usually make good dog park candidates. If he starts to pick on or bully another dog I hope you remove him from the situation right away it could escalate to a fight if he tries it with the wrong dog or really cause issues with the dog being bullied becoming fearful and/or reactive.
 

·
Eat Poo and Die
Joined
·
2,193 Posts
That's just how Niz plays as well. Some dogs are up for that kind of play and like it, some dogs play back just as rough and will escalate, and some dogs don't appreciate it at all. As an owner, it's my responsibility to make sure that Niz isn't bullying a dog that doesn't want to play or is being too rough for the other dog, or pulling him out before it escalates into a fight. He learns that when he's a jerk, he gets a short time out, and the time out calms him down and is a correction in that he gets to have a boring minute when he'd rather go playing. Over time, he's become must more attuned to other dogs reactions and he'll adjust his playing style or move on rather than having to go through boring time outs.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,030 Posts
Go to the top of the page read up on male on male aggression in the search area dog parks are not a good place for male Doberman s dose not matter if they are fixed or not fixed.
Leerburg.com also has good information on dog parks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
609 Posts
My dog does the same thing. Through the course of Fostering GSD he will play this way with one, then the next he will be soft. The ones he plays very aggressively with enjoy it and return the same. The ones who don't like it will let him no they do not wish to play ruff, he will respect that. Now keep in mind my dog is not aggressive he just plays rough. A truly aggressive dog should not be allowed around other dogs off lead. Being it is a young dog, I would say the dog is just a rough player.


I would stop going to a dog park before I started giving corrections to a dog for playing around. But thats me.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,377 Posts
It sounds like from the original post - Luca is picking on younger more submissive dogs more than just playing rough. I would strongly suggest you remove him from a situation in which he is repeatedly taking down younger smaller dogs. Play even rough play should be pretty equal between the dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,587 Posts
Kyrah tried to play like that when she was young. I didnt allow it and thankfully after a good bit of time, patients & consisitency. She stopped doing that and plays nicely with the very few dogs she plays with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,803 Posts
Chase will get too intense with play time, and most dogs don't like it, which is why I don't take him to the dog park often, most of his canine social activities are through play dates, with dogs I know that enjoy the ruff n tumble
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
Without seeing it directly I have a hard time saying he's bullying or he just never learned to play appropriately.

Dobermans play rough. They mouth around the neck. That IS their play style. What they're doing is natural to them. HOWEVER, it is not always natural to other dogs and there are dogs who certainly don't like that. It sounds to me that he just never learned how to play politely with other dogs.

For me, I watch the other dog's body language to decide whether it's playing or bullying. If the other dog has its hackles up or has its tail between its legs (even while playing) or looks like it's trying to get away, CALL YOUR DOG OFF. If he doesn't respond to you, physically remove him from the game. If he has his mouth around the other dog (like I said, some dogs play by mouthing...Dobes do this), obviously don't pull your dog off, you'll take a chunk of the other dog with you.

For me, light mouthing is ok. Grabbing and holding on is not ok (even though he's probably still just playing). As a puppy we taught our dog that 'easy' means lighten up (with whatever we're doing...walking...taking food...playing). So with her, if she grabs on (she rarely does this anymore as we've worked with her since a puppy), we tell her easy and ideally she'll let go. If she doesn't let go with the 'easy', then we say 'NO' loudly, which she understands as 'stop what you're doing'. If your dog doesn't have commands like this...the first step is more obedience training! Anyhow...a NO is pretty straightforward and even if your dog doesn't understand it, the sharpness of your tone should convey your message. That's when you grab your dog. Like I said, if he's still hanging on, wait until he lets go because his mouthing may not hurt the other dog but you pulling him off while he's still holding on, definitely will.

Also, if your dog gets on top of the other dog, even if they're playing, don't let him stay on top for long. If the other dog doesn't get right up again, CALL YOUR DOG OFF. Or pull him off...in this case it's a lot less likely for there to be mouthing going on so pulling directly off should be ok. Of course, I would always call your dog first and if he doesn't come I would do a sharp 'NO' and then pull your dog off.

If your dog is playing with another dog you should keep a close eye on them at all times. Innocent play can easily turn into a dog-fight if one of the dog does something the other doesn't like or they've just played too long. Like children, sometimes dogs don't understand it's naptime (not literally)! If it looks like one of the dogs is no longer enjoying him/herself, it's time to end the game. Sometimes neither dog knows how to stop, other times one dog is still totally into the game and the other one is tired and ready to quit. That's another time when a game turns into a fight.

Once you've removed your dog from the situation, if you don't have voice-control over your dog, grab onto his leash and put him into a sit or a down (whichever he's more comfortable with). Let him cool down, catch his breath. Sometimes the other dog will run over to investigate. If that happens, get the other owner to call their dog away. You can just explain that your dog is too excited and you want him to calm down a little or whatever you want to say. Dobermans ARE high-energy dogs and strong...they're often not aware of their own strength and some dogs can't match that.

I don't like the idea of doing 'corrections' with other dogs like you mentioned above. My fear with that is that your dog will associate play with other dogs with negative things. That's not something I even want to go near with my dog. I want play to be positive, positive, positive!

Just like being a parent...sometimes you need to teach your kid to share or that it's not OK to push someone. You need to do that with your dog too, teach them how to play properly especially if that learning experience didn't happen as a puppy. If nothing else, the most important thing is to watch for the other dog's body language. Hackles, tail-between-legs, spending too much time on the ground...time to quit.

It's not easy training an adult male doberman how to play so I wish you luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
My Male has done this since he was about 2 years old. He plays really rough and some dogs don't reciprocate. He has always been a bit of a bully, and as a result, in his younger years we stayed away from small dog parks. I prefer to take him to larger areas where we can keep walking and exploring without spending too much time around one dog (as he usually will take a few min of playing before this behavior rears its ugly head.) also I keep an eye on the dogs he is interacting with. If there is a large pack chasing one dog, I call him to me and keep him out of that mess (Prey drive seems to make his "dark side" come out) or if there is a dog pile on an upside down dog, I dont let him near that, either. If a young women with 5 children and a hyper active, submissive lab comes to the park, then we leave. So I guess the bottom line is, I keep a look out for super excitable, submissive, or otherwise unbalanced dogs and steer clear of them.

Also, Jean Donaldson outlined different play styles and how to work with bullying behavior, in one of her books. I think it was Fight. Essentially it goes over how to teach your dog to self interrupt when he gets to rough. I have worked on it with my male for years. It does help, but then again there is always that one dog who gets him going so much that I become obsolete and have to walk up and remove him from the situation.
Out of curiosity, do you have a dog daycare in your area that is run by a very good professional dog trainer? if so, that might be a safer place to work on addressing this since dog parks can be hit or miss as to who is there and how they will respond. I have had people kick, punch, and choke my dog, in addition to calling the police just because he is a doberman (and all these times have been when he was actually playing appropriately and not being a bully). with Crazy people out there, like this, I would hate to know what they would have done if a dog fight broke out.

Good luck and I guess my beat advice would be, if you want to go to the park, make sure that you have a super solid recall and actively manage who he interacts with at all times. As far as a vibro collar, I dont know anything about those. I do know when my boy was a pup we worked with a trainer that suggested a shock collar for this behavior. He was my first dog (as an adult) so I trusted this highly recommended trainer. Lets just say that the collar made things 1000 times worse and did so much damage to his ability to play properly and my relationship with him that it probably took years longer to fix the issue then it should have.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top