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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone.

Our female is showing weird behavior.

She is sooo sweet, great natured and has been to obedience school. She follows the rules quite well and we dont have any issues with her other than this.

She lives with my wife and I, I work from home and she is crated when I leave the house for something. She is not allowed on the couch unless she is invited for a cuddle. She sleeps in her crate and is quite happy to do so.

She is very vocal and is always grumbling and talking.

There are two growling issues, when she has something of value and she is afraid we will take it away (such as a bone). All though we can put our hand in her food bowl while she eats, but if we touch HER or learn over her she thinks we are going to take her away from the food. That's when the growling happens.

The other time is what seems like for no reason at all. We might sit down beside her and look at her in a weird way and she starts to growl and might show her teeth. It seems like we are invading her space sometimes (this does not happen that often though) Is she testing us?

We are very tough with her and I do believe she knows we are the boss and is a bit scared of us (in a good way :) )

When the growling does happen, I have been confronting her and most times pinning her on the ground if she shows her teeth. I kneel on her and her neck until she submits which happens right away.

This stops it for now, but ins't stopping it for next time.

What are we doing wrong?

Thanks so much everyone!!!
 

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sufferin succotash
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First, stop this. In my book this is animal abuse. Find a behaviorist to have her evaluated. I'd also have her thyroid checked by your vet.



When the growling does happen, I have been confronting her and most times pinning her on the ground if she shows her teeth. I kneel on her and her neck until she submits which happens right away.

This stops it for now, but ins't stopping it for next time.
 

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I am a dog trainer and I can say that not every behaviorist is good. I am constantly given referrals by people that saw no results from the behaviorist. Find someone that is confident dealing with aggression in a non-aggressive way. The vets in my area all recommend me over the behaviorist.
 

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Do Not Pin her to the ground this method is so outdated you are ruin any trust she may have towards you.Force is not a good way to train a pup/dog look up clicker training you get better results with honey than vinegar works on dogs too.When a pup/dog growls they are giving you a warning if you keep getting after her she may start biting with no warning.That is way worse a death sentence for the pup/dog.You need to talk to a behaviorist,also you can google NILF training that helps sounds like you are standing over her most dogs do not like some one to stand over them ,they usually do not like to be hugged that you have to gradually incorporate into the dog s life if it is something you must do.You can start giving the pup a high value treat just walk by her bowl throw a little piece of hot dog or chicken in her bowl then she will never know if she is going to get something good or not.Do not stare at a pup/dog it is bad manners in the dog world.Your best bet is find a Behaviorist ask your vet.ask at a Kennel Club if you have one where you live Good Luck with your puppy.
 

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I agree with all... If you did that to me, better believe, I would be growling at you too. Definitely find a good behaviorist that can help you, and show you how to better handle situations that may come up.
 

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We are very tough with her and I do believe she knows we are the boss and is a bit scared of us (in a good way :) )

When the growling does happen, I have been confronting her and most times pinning her on the ground if she shows her teeth. I kneel on her and her neck until she submits which happens right away.

This stops it for now, but ins't stopping it for next time.

What are we doing wrong?

Thanks so much everyone!!!
You just told us what you are doing wrong. Please, what you are doing is only going to make matters worse and ruin the dog and your relationship with it. Don't pin her down!

Dogs do tend to get possessive over bones. Maybe you shouldn't be giving her one at this point. Get a trainer and/or behaviorist asap to get things on the right track.
 

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Living la Vida Loca!
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What you are doing is obviously not working. Coco has never growled at me. She will often sigh, mumble and groan when I make her do something she does not like with verbal redirection but never growls. You do not need to physically redirect your girl so she knows you are the "boss". Fear is very different than respect. Please find someone to work with you on more appropriate methods.
 

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Have you tried making her sit or lay down before you give her the food? I do that with my 10mth male dobie. I tell him 'down' and then 'wait'. He knows that he has to stay like that until I say 'eat' before he can have the food. And I can leave the room without him touching it. Trust me when I say it didn't happen over night. He was very very stubborn and I was very very patient.

I'm not a trainer however I feel she may be anticipating you grabbing her so it has provoked her to growl?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone,

Just wanted to make it clear that we do not hurt her at all, when we do hold her down we are not hurting her at all or putting much pressure on her, its just so she doesn't move and submits.

Appreciate all your comments, we will definitely stop using the physical treatments.

When she growls now should we ignore it and let her growl (except for the bone or possessions, I will not allow her to growl for that, i will just claim her bone by taking it away)

Any suggestions on how to deal with this other than being physical with her?

Thanks everyone
 

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You need to have someone work with you and the dog one on one.

There are all kinds of "games" you can initiate to help with resource guarding issues to help the dog get diffused to the point of not needing to growl. Off the top of my head I can think of the game where you give the dog a high value treat before you take a high value item away....the dog learns you are just trading treats not depriving him/her of its possession so learns not to react.

I would not just suggest you reach in and grab a bone from a snarling dog without having you work with a trainer in person. Have you ever read up on NILIF work with dogs? It is a subtle way for having the dog work for its rewards without a punitive based system. Way better to have good relationship with your dog based on trust. I would not be pinning this dog or any dog down for a growl.

Over the internet there is not enough information to go on without seeing the dog in person. At your dog's young age you really should get some help. Dobermans are dogs that really appreciate a fair correction; they are easily crushed and lose trust by heavy handed methods. On the flip side, no one here wants to give advise and find out you've been bitten due to a misunderstanding of what is going on.
 

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sufferin succotash
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My rescue came to me with resource guarding and food aggression issues. What worked for me was clicker training, NILF and being consistent with his training. I made sure never to set him up for failure so high value items were not given.

Rehabing him didn't happen overnight. It takes patience and consistency. You need to work on rebuilding the trust between you two. I would work with a trainer to help you address the issues.

Some books you might want to read:
The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller
Karen Pryor's Clicker Training



When she growls now should we ignore it and let her growl (except for the bone or possessions, I will not allow her to growl for that, i will just claim her bone by taking it away)

Any suggestions on how to deal with this other than being physical with her?

Thanks everyone
 

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Eat Poo and Die
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Just wanted to make it clear that we do not hurt her at all, when we do hold her down we are not hurting her at all or putting much pressure on her, its just so she doesn't move and submits.
It's very hard to physically hurt a dog with an alpha roll. Physically, Dobes tend to be pretty hard dogs, but mentally and emotionally you're wrecking your relationship with your dog every time you force her to submit like that. Your dog already doesn't trust you, and you're just making her trust you less. http://www.newenglandpetpartners.org/Alpha This Alpha That.pdf
 

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Please don't kneel on your dogs neck. First, I have used an "old school" trainer in the past, and done a few alpha rolls in my time. Not proud of it, but it is what it is. Kneeling on the dogs neck? Never even close to that level of physical altercation. More like a puppy roll and stare. This was a LONG time ago, before I knew better and it was common. Even then, to kneel on her neck? Um, NO.

You are creating a dog who believes she may in fact need to fight for her life. At 10 months old you can "choke" that out of her, at 3 you will have set yourself up for a very very dangerous dog. Unless you are a VERY expierenced, skilled handler of VERY hard dogs you will be in WAY over your head.
 

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Thanks everyone,

Just wanted to make it clear that we do not hurt her at all, when we do hold her down we are not hurting her at all or putting much pressure on her, its just so she doesn't move and submits.

Appreciate all your comments, we will definitely stop using the physical treatments.

When she growls now should we ignore it and let her growl (except for the bone or possessions, I will not allow her to growl for that, i will just claim her bone by taking it away)

Any suggestions on how to deal with this other than being physical with her?

Thanks everyone
Right now, make it easy for her. Do not give her anything she migiht growl over until you see a good behaviorist. Same with the other times she is growling. Once you have the right tools, then work on fixing the behavior. First thing is safety.
 
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