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Howdy: 4 month old Ava is doing very well in general with her training. She's still pretty nippy, but the bite force has diminished. Sit, down, off, come,etc, is coming along nicely. However, she has developed a recent habit of charging me and biting my pant legs ( sometimes right through the fabric...yikes), usually after a walk, once we are back in our yard. I treat our walks as a training session, and I wonder if after going around the block with me correcting her and training her, if she needs to 'blow off some steam'...but hey, it hurts, and she seems a bit out of control. I've tried 'off!' 'sit!' 'settle!' ' no!' and on the odd occasion when she's really given me a bite, I hold her down and massage her head and ears...which calms her for a few seconds, but she leaps up and back at it. I've also tried putting a stick or toy in her jaws to re-direct, which works about a 3rd of the time. Looking for insight and suggestions, as it could go toward generally stopping her from leaping and biting which occurs sometimes too, when we least expect it.
 

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ahhhhhhhh
went through this.... so annoying....

My guess is over-excitement. In my case it was the precursor to the ZOOMIES.
After each walk, where we were practicing obedience, he would get into a frenzy !

What worked for me was redirecting this excitement by playing with his favorite toy. Tug and fetch in the yard after each walks did the trick to blow off the steam.

They just have a lot of energy and obedience does the trick for mental exercise, but not always for physical. A one hour walk for my guy wasnt enough physical exercise so we did a combination of 1hr walk in the morning, then 1hr off leash hike late afternoon. We started that arounfd 5-6mo.

Good luck !
 

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I'd say take a ball with you on your walks, and when you get back to the yard, toss it for her to take out her excess energy on that. I'd worry that the massages after a bite are reinforcing her negative behavior, even if it's prefaced with holding her still.
 

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Do you let her have an all out rip and tear play period? That is usually helpful in getting them to desist in bad overactive behaviors. All work and no play is not a good combination for man or canine. I train twenty minutes and play a half hour. Works for mine.
 

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Thanks all for the insight...I am still affected by the reading I did that suggests that tug is not always the way to go with dobies. Ava is pretty good at 'dropping it' even in the throes of excitement, so I probably need to stop worrying about it. I agree that rewarding for bad behaviour is not the way to go...would holding her down without reward work? If so, if she jumps and bites again, do I just keep holding her down? I am cautious about using force of course...don't want her to be afraid of me. I strongly believe that because we got her too early, her bite impulse was not properly sorted via her mom and siblings. I'm prepared to go for the tug game, as it could be a lot of fun for both of us, but again...concerned about encouraging aggressive behaviour. She has some difficulty understanding the difference between our limbs and a toy at this point. On a side note, I chatted with a mastiff owner at a dog park yesterday ( his dog was really well behaved, Ava loved jumping all over him and his mouth was soft, etc.) and he said he had actually stepped on the leash after a walk when his girl was excited so as not to let her leap and bite. Kept her at a distance until she got worn out...would this work for a doberpup?
 
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I'm a bit confussed so help me understand!! You state that on a walk your working OB? When you correct behavior in OB what Method do you use? Why aren't you using the same corrective method you use in OB training when she mouths you? VON.
 
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To be honest, "holding her down" seems very similar in theory to alpha rolls, and that's not a technique I'd ever want to use with my dog. I'm not a fan of tug either, but it really depends on the temperament of the dog. With some dogs, it seems to encourage dominant behaviors that you are trying to get rid of. I'm more of a "fetch" and "drop it" sort of person. I prefer not to encourage a battle of wills with a young puppy, and "drop it" will come in very handy as your little puppy starts finding more and more things to get into. :)
 

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I'm a bit confussed so help me understand!! You state that on a walk your working OB? When you correct behavior in OB what Method do you use? Why aren't you using the same corrective method you use in OB training when she mouths you? VON.
The local puppy training I have been attending with Ava is treat based. I can use treats to have her follow me, to sit, to lie down, to come, to follow me, to heel, etc. I can use the treats to get her attention sometimes and then correct her. I just can't see myself rewarding her with treats if she's been biting me. In talking with dog owners at dog parks (something that we have only recently been able to attend, due to her not being properly vaccinated until now) they advise that the treat based training is not the way they would go...I'M confused, as we have been getting really good results generally with this method and lots of people rave about this approach, as it only rewards success. But what do you do with mistakes?
 

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Say "no" or "ah ah" or something else to distract from the bad behavior, redirect to what you want the puppy to do, and then reward for the positive. I have never heard of anyone only rewarding and never at doing a verbal correction.
 

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To be honest, "holding her down" seems very similar in theory to alpha rolls, and that's not a technique I'd ever want to use with my dog. I'm not a fan of tug either, but it really depends on the temperament of the dog. With some dogs, it seems to encourage dominant behaviors that you are trying to get rid of. I'm more of a "fetch" and "drop it" sort of person. I prefer not to encourage a battle of wills with a young puppy, and "drop it" will come in very handy as your little puppy starts finding more and more things to get into. :)
Gosh, I thought the whole 'alpha' and pack leader thing was the way to go...I have been trying to set myself up as alpha from day one. I am not rough with her physically, but try to use body language and verbal assertiveness to reinforce this. Maybe I am misunderstanding your post, but don't we want to be the alpha in a household with a dog as smart and willful as a Doberman? 'Drop it' works well with our girl, but the fetch thing...hmmm...only when she is interested...about half the time.
 

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Say "no" or "ah ah" or something else to distract from the bad behavior, redirect to what you want the puppy to do, and then reward for the positive. I have never heard of anyone only rewarding and never at doing a verbal correction.
I do use the verbal correction for sure. Sorry if my posts are not clear. 'off!' was my favourite, but it seems she's ignoring that these days. 'no' and ' ah ah!' are also used, with the use of the 'puppy yelp' as well. It's hard to be consistent when she seems to ignore the one that was previously working...argh!
 

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There's a big difference between being the lead person in the house so your dog doesn't take charge and forcing your dog to submit. Alpha rolls are forced submission and can bring about aggression in some dogs. You want a dog that respects you, not fears you, since one of the biggest reasons behind dog bites is fear aggression. (I've had far too much heartache recently dealing with an older dog with fear aggression, and it's not something you want to be responsible for.)

Even the trainers I've spoken with who strongly favor correction based training (choke collars, prong collars, shock collars, etc) over positive rewards are all against the alpha roll technique. Here's a short article that sites a recent scientific study linking alpha rolls to aggressive behaviors.
 
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Treat training works well for some dogs until correction is needed and if the redirection technique doesn't work you have problems. Regardless of the Method used owners change their energy level when things turn negative. If you become frustrated or angry the dog sences it and that energy force is perceived as weakness. Maintain a strong confident attitude when the pup challenges and work to redirect also use verbal commands whether you use parts of OB lessone (sit stay etc.) or "no bite". I don't like the alpha dominate positioning BS with a pup, it's not recommended by me. My preference in training working breeds is based on leash correction, it's to the point and the dog understands exactly wants wanted. Correcting negative behavior needs to be exact and quick and Dobermanns respond very well to the command/ correct method. You do want to be consistant with your method so you might want to rethink your choice in Methods and trainers. I always say it's not what Method you like, it's all about what Method your dog needs. VON.
 

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Howdy: 4 month old Ava is doing very well in general with her training. She's still pretty nippy, but the bite force has diminished. Sit, down, off, come,etc, is coming along nicely. However, she has developed a recent habit of charging me and biting my pant legs ( sometimes right through the fabric...yikes), usually after a walk, once we are back in our yard. I treat our walks as a training session, and I wonder if after going around the block with me correcting her and training her, if she needs to 'blow off some steam'...but hey, it hurts, and she seems a bit out of control. I've tried 'off!' 'sit!' 'settle!' ' no!' and on the odd occasion when she's really given me a bite, I hold her down and massage her head and ears...which calms her for a few seconds, but she leaps up and back at it. I've also tried putting a stick or toy in her jaws to re-direct, which works about a 3rd of the time. Looking for insight and suggestions, as it could go toward generally stopping her from leaping and biting which occurs sometimes too, when we least expect it.

She thinks you are playing with her....you are her play thing......and when you don't give a firm "NO" correction when, she does that but rubs her ears and head you are actually giving her praise for doing that...she needs negative reinforcement not positive for something like this.....
Biting of any human parts is a no no, unless you want that behaviour ?? Give her a firm correction and that is it, no attention, or nothing...she will get the idea after a few snubs, that this is NOT a game....
Don't make a big deal out of it, just correct, and show no attention, then when she does something you want her to do, THEN praise and go overly exuberant. She is probably teething too, so give her something positive to "bite" on and make THAT fun for her....like a ball or something...
 

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Treat training works well for some dogs until correction is needed and if the redirection technique doesn't work you have problems. Regardless of the Method used owners change their energy level when things turn negative. If you become frustrated or angry the dog sences it and that energy force is perceived as weakness. Maintain a strong confident attitude when the pup challenges and work to redirect also use verbal commands whether you use parts of OB lessone (sit stay etc.) or "no bite". I don't like the alpha dominate positioning BS with a pup, it's not recommended by me. My preference in training working breeds is based on leash correction, it's to the point and the dog understands exactly wants wanted. Correcting negative behavior needs to be exact and quick and Dobermanns respond very well to the command/ correct method. You do want to be consistant with your method so you might want to rethink your choice in Methods and trainers. I always say it's not what Method you like, it's all about what Method your dog needs. VON.
I was starting to think that Ava needs a different training method. Thanks for reinforcing. There are certainly other trainers available here and I have some names to investigate. I was just very impressed with her progress with these trainers, but then this charging thing happened. It left me thinking that all is well when she succeeds, but what do I do when I can't reward...it's not like these pups don't ever throw you a curve...I need a good correct method...something they don't offer at this stage at this training facility.
 
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She is still a lil pup and has a few stages to go through. Remember that your attitude and energy level must be consistent, not a military concept simply a no fooling around approach. There are many temperaments to evaluate in Dobermann pups so adjusting to the right method isn't easy for owners who don't know how to evaluate and only have limited experience with one or two methods. Maybe check out other trainers and find someone to evaluate your pup and ask tons of questions about their methods. Don't be shy or embarrassed about being a novice, a quality trainer always enjoys someone who is open minded and willing to learn. VON.
 
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Just run far from anyone who advocates alpha rolls, striking the dog (especially in the face), or prolonged choking of the dog with a choke chain (even to the point of unconsciousness to make a point). Sadly enough, there are trainers who think all of those methods are perfectly acceptable since they get immediate results... immediate yes, but they bring on a whole list of other negative behaviors.
 

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There is NOTHING wrong with playing tug...it is a fantastic way to burn energy and great fun for your dog. Have rules, you control the game, you decide when to stop and start it. You can use the tug as rewards during OB training too. When Petey was that age, I kept one in my pocket during hikes, it was the reward that worked for recalls, treats did not. We also used one in some of our OB classes. Petey lives for his tugs, it is his single favorite game, and he doesn't have an aggressive bone in his body unless I'm threatened by someone.


I also want to add...at her age there is no reason to do any other type of training other then positive. You want to build a strong bond with her, have her believe you are the best thing on earth. She will do anything you ask once you get that bond. It takes longer but in the end.... it is amazing the bond and respect you will have with your dog. Petey is my first positive trained dog...he is simply the best companion I've ever had. Our bond is awesome.


 

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Please remember every one has ideas on how to train dogs some old some new you have to pick what you are comfortable with have you google NILF dog training. I think it is great no heavy corrections,helps teach the dog you are boss in a nice way.I use some of it everyday with mine remember you train everyday just around the house not formal training but just everyday stuff.Then you can do the formal training twice a day for about 15 minutes am & pm.Then start throwing in some tricks to make training fun if you work on heel all of the time you will have a bored dog.Training is suppose to be fun for both of you during your walks do you just train,train on your walks or do you let her be a dog too with the sniffing,all the things dogs do on a walk.As for the biting just keep re-directing the AT-AT noise you make makes for a great way to let her know you are not happy better than No-No-No all of the time.You can go to the Library get some dog training books trick books and just use what you learn that you like. Also puppy class where you take the dog with you for an hour once a week and you get homework are a great way to train your dog.Good Luck Forgot to ask how far are you walking if not far she just may be getting warmed up and you are not walking far enough to get her a little bit tired yes its almost impossible to tire a Dobe pup out fetch is a great way to help tire them out too.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Please remember every one has ideas on how to train dogs some old some new you have to pick what you are comfortable with have you google NILF dog training. I think it is great no heavy corrections,helps teach the dog you are boss in a nice way.I use some of it everyday with mine remember you train everyday just around the house not formal training but just everyday stuff.Then you can do the formal training twice a day for about 15 minutes am & pm.Then start throwing in some tricks to make training fun if you work on heel all of the time you will have a bored dog.Training is suppose to be fun for both of you during your walks do you just train,train on your walks or do you let her be a dog too with the sniffing,all the things dogs do on a walk.As for the biting just keep re-directing the AT-AT noise you make makes for a great way to let her know you are not happy better than No-No-No all of the time.You can go to the Library get some dog training books trick books and just use what you learn that you like. Also puppy class where you take the dog with you for an hour once a week and you get homework are a great way to train your dog.Good Luck Forgot to ask how far are you walking if not far she just may be getting warmed up and you are not walking far enough to get her a little bit tired yes its almost impossible to tire a Dobe pup out fetch is a great way to help tire them out too.
Thanks for the input! To answer your walk question: the thing that prompted me to post this query is that we used to go a great big block without many hitches other than the stopping and sitting when she heard a noise or saw another dog. I could usually prompt her to get going again quite easily. It seems that when I started to incorporate the training we've learned at puppy preschool into the walk process ( I take her to a group puppy class for an hour every week), she started to charge and bite...it seemed to me that the new structure of the walk was the thing that triggered her charging and biting. It might just be her increased size and energy though. I don't want to blame it all on the training as most of it has been really helpful.
 
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