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Would people please share their experience in regard to their dobermans and children. At what age did your dog's contact with children start? How did you introduce the puppy to the children? What precautions did you take? My puppy is a four month old male who has had minimal contact with children to this point. He seems to be going through a shy stage with adults, when new people come in the house he backs away and approaches slowly until he feels safe (normal at 4 months?) I expect it will be the same with the kids (ages 3 and 4) I have been reading various points of view from people who let it all happen apparently effortlessly and without incident to the training advice of Leerburg who has had plenty of letters of tragic outcomes and recommends that dogs remain created at ALL TIMES when children (or anyone else for that matter) are visiting. I have grandchildren coming for Christmas and would love to hear how people have handled this and what their experience has been in this area, good and bad. I certainly don't want anyone to get hurt but am I wrong in thinking if I'm always crating him with visitors he will become anxious should he not be in a crate when someone comes to the house? I would think a positive interaction, for a limited amount of time, that didn't include any more then a gentle pet, in his timing, would be a good thing.. right? Obviously I would supervise closely. Please let me know if you are of the "no contact ever" belief that Leerburg suggests as I find it an interesting concept and would love to know how things worked out. Thank you!
 

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I just had a baby, and my dogs have done wonderfully around him. I couldn't ask for them to be any better. That being said, we do not allow opportunities for accidents to happen. My baby is never on the floor when the dogs are in the same room. If the dogs come in, one of us is holding the baby.

It sounds like your dog needs a good bit of socialization. Have you done a puppy class? My dog, Sadie, was pretty shy/skittish when we first went to classes. We went through puppy class, all levels of obedience, and then CGC. It has made a WORLD of difference with her. She is fantastic with the baby and is not shy anymore around people. Start as early as you can, while your dog is still long. It makes a huge difference. Get him out as much as possible. Take him out in public - petsmart, parks with lots of people around, etc. For now, I would crate him when there is anything overwhelming going on at your home, and maybe allow him out for some one on one time with a visitor here and there when it won't be frightening for him.

I don't think "no contact ever" is solving the problem. It's avoidance. I don't think you're doing your dog any favors by going that route. I'd go the opposite, but very gradually.
 

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I do child care from my home and my dogs have all been socialized and grew up around the kids with no incidents. I, of course, don't have them together when I am not there to immediately supervise and other than that, there is a gate to the room of our child care space that the dogs are not allowed past. But the dogs greet the children and parents in the morning and come to visit when pick ups occur as well. Our vets have always commented on how well socialized our dogs are because they have so much interaction with people and children. Our dobie boy, Troop, has been no exception except that he wants to be near the children so much that he will sometimes slip through the gate when we're going in or out of the room. He just wants those kids loving on him! I would say that if you closely supervise, as well as educate the kids on what is and isn't acceptable, it shouldn't take long before they're all warmed up to each other. Best of luck!

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Troop was skittish with people other than the daycare families when we first brought him home, but he was never skittish with the kids. It's like he knew. But puppy classes were amazing for socialization outside of the family environment. He graduates tonight! :)
 

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Porsche was 6 years old when we had Nicho. She had been around older kids prior to this but never a baby. She adapted very quickly and became very protective of Nicho. Often when walking Nicho in his stroller when stopped to talk to people she would put herself between the stroller and the individual we were speaking to.

It doesn't matter what kind of dog you have when introducing them to children. Never leave any dog alone with a baby and don't rush it. Set the boundaries right away. And never neglect your dog during this period.

Porsche is now 9 and follows Nicho every where.
 

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I do child care from my home and my dogs have all been socialized and grew up around the kids with no incidents. I, of course, don't have them together when I am not there to immediately supervise and other than that, there is a gate to the room of our child care space that the dogs are not allowed past. But the dogs greet the children and parents in the morning and come to visit when pick ups occur as well. Our vets have always commented on how well socialized our dogs are because they have so much interaction with people and children. Our dobie boy, Troop, has been no exception except that he wants to be near the children so much that he will sometimes slip through the gate when we're going in or out of the room. He just wants those kids loving on him! I would say that if you closely supervise, as well as educate the kids on what is and isn't acceptable, it shouldn't take long before they're all warmed up to each other. Best of luck!

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Troop was skittish with people other than the daycare families when we first brought him home, but he was never skittish with the kids. It's like he knew. But puppy classes were amazing for socialization outside of the family environment. He graduates tonight! :)
I would be terrified to have my dogs around children I cared for in my home. Our child care provider has weims and they are never around the children. I trust my dogs, but things can happen in the blink of an eye. Be very careful. :(
 

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I have a 2 year old and in August I got my first doberman puppy, the best advice I can give is never let your puppy get away with anything you dont want it to do when hes bigger. I wasnt that strict on the jumping when he was tiny and so it caused a bit of a problem but obv ive dealt with that now. (btw My Zeus is now 6 month) also if your child is old enough to take part, get them to do so. Show the dog children can be good things, letting them play ball or give treats Under supervision and make sure you make the dog realise the child comes before the dog. Otherwise your gona have things like trying to snatch food/toys and physically pushing children.
I think a dobe can be brilliant with kids, Zeus is the most loving dog with his family you wouldnt believe!
 

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Would people please share their experience in regard to their dobermans and children. At what age did your dog's contact with children start? How did you introduce the puppy to the children? What precautions did you take? My puppy is a four month old male who has had minimal contact with children to this point. He seems to be going through a shy stage with adults, when new people come in the house he backs away and approaches slowly until he feels safe (normal at 4 months?) I expect it will be the same with the kids (ages 3 and 4)!
I wouldn't say ABNORMAL behavior, but I would say he needs more confident and positive interactions. My dogs have all run to greet strangers at least in the home at that age, even the one skittish Vizsla I had loved people at home. I would eb concerned enough to work on it ASAP and would not assume he'd grow out of it. Meaning I'd take a more active vs passive approach.

I would start a new rule that people ignore the puppy - no talking, no eye contact etc. I would control the interactions. I'd treat/reward for getting near people. NOT yet asking the puppy to interact.

I may set up an xpen or gate so he can hear the people but not interact at first, especially with the children. I have started from the day I got my puppies interacting with any children I can find. I don't have any myself so have to borrow when I can :)
 

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Would people please share their experience in regard to their dobermans and children. At what age did your dog's contact with children start? How did you introduce the puppy to the children? What precautions did you take? My puppy is a four month old male who has had minimal contact with children to this point. He seems to be going through a shy stage with adults, when new people come in the house he backs away and approaches slowly until he feels safe (normal at 4 months?) I expect it will be the same with the kids (ages 3 and 4) I have been reading various points of view from people who let it all happen apparently effortlessly and without incident to the training advice of Leerburg who has had plenty of letters of tragic outcomes and recommends that dogs remain created at ALL TIMES when children (or anyone else for that matter) are visiting. I have grandchildren coming for Christmas and would love to hear how people have handled this and what their experience has been in this area, good and bad. I certainly don't want anyone to get hurt but am I wrong in thinking if I'm always crating him with visitors he will become anxious should he not be in a crate when someone comes to the house? I would think a positive interaction, for a limited amount of time, that didn't include any more then a gentle pet, in his timing, would be a good thing.. right? Obviously I would supervise closely. Please let me know if you are of the "no contact ever" belief that Leerburg suggests as I find it an interesting concept and would love to know how things worked out. Thank you!

^^^^^^^^^^ Talking points in Bold:


Here is Leerburg website: Ed Frawley's Philosophy on Dog Training
He seems level headed and seems to have many good training "points-of-view".
(after I fast read, of his home page)

capecoddobie - I need more info please:
a) Leerburg who has had plenty of letters of tragic outcomes and recommends that dogs remain created at ALL TIMES when children (or anyone else for that matter) are visiting.
- is this Leerburg's belief...or those ideas from, inexperienced Dobe owners ??
b) Please let me know if you are of the "no contact ever" belief that Leerburg suggests as I find it an interesting concept and would love to know how things worked out.
- can you direct me to the point Leerburg, makes this claim ??

capecoddobie - I don't know where this training thinking is coming from / did someone take his training ideas...out of context - or is this (a&b) truly the Leerburg method ??

P.S. - "created at ALL TIMES" & "no contact ever" comments...is making me very uncomfortable
(a dog can never learn...in isolation)
- I hope I am reading it all wrong, before a good dobe is confined of life experience & learned lessons
 

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me and my sister grew up with our family doberman. And we always snuck off and played with her un supervised! And she NEVER GROWLED LIFTED A LIP! Or anything the only thing she ever was bark so loud. . To let mum and dad know we have gotten out. Look we were very sneaky poor mum and dad lol. She was the worlds greatest dog to us! She use to come looking for us to play! It might have been just jaffa. But she NEVER hurt anything or wanted too. We both trusted her with our lives! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Beaumont, I have seen your reply posts on these forums and I really appreciate your input.
This is my first dobie and I'm trying very hard to absorb everyone's input and make good training decisions.
In regard to Leerburg I certainly did not intend to indicate that he places his dogs in any kind of social isolation, in fact he strongly encourages socialization. His view of socialization is just a little different then a lot of people. I have a lot of respect for his knowledge and experience. If you wouldn't mind spending a little time looking at some of the questions and answers on his website I would be thrilled to hear your response to his training style.
 

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When we met Elka's dam (and sire) before we picked her out, her breeder told us how much the dog loved babies, especially smelling them (on the drive home, we joked about taking hits of baby.)

But you know, Elka is the same way. She found out that babies come in those rolly-push-things, and gets excited to smell on our walks. She's been gentle with our friend's baby from day 1, and can play "tug" with him on his strength level. As a puppy, I took her to my coworker's house to interact with her toddler. With older children, she's the same with regards to her strength of play, but she does need them to approach her properly (strangely, if kids run at her, she doesn't mind. She minds if they have a stick, try to pat the top of her head instead of her sides, etc.) We meet kids at the park, and once I walked her past the elementary school right as it was letting out (oops) and she was interested and awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
He just finished Puppy K and I take him out around people every chance I get. He was fine till about mid way through puppy class when i noticed him starting to pull back from people in public settings or when people first enter my house.. It doesn't last but a few minutes before he starts coming forward, but even then he's just really very shy about it for a while. Someone told me that at 4 months dogs go through a "fear stage" that is part of normal development and that he would probably outgrow it. I don't know if that's accurate. I continue to try to expose him to as many people as I can, unfortunately I don't have children in the house and we don't seem to go to a lot of places where children are present.
 

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Em's first intro to grandchildren was not good. She hid behind the couch and growled. I had only had her 4 days. The kids were so excited about her, it was hard to get them calmed down (3 & 5). But now I can't separate them when I go to their house. They pretend they are showing her and since nose work classes, they love to place "hides" for her. She is not accepting of any other children at this time. Our other dobie was fine as long as the visiting kids were close in size to mine. I hope I can work this fearfulness out of her.
 

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My Amy met children (1st time) when she was 9 weeks old, and it went awesome...she was so gentle.
She also has never backed up, in the presence of strangers.
But she takes her direction, from reading me...which makes me the family pack leader / without question.

Leeburg has a lot of great points, I just train pups with tons more freedom...and given the ability to make mistakes...that will be corrected with voice pitch & gentle touch & quick timing (100% of the time).
His ideas, differ from mine...but I like a lot of his clear advise.
- I don't teether with leash on my waste, don't use treats (just praise & toy games), pup can jump on the couch without my permission, no crate, no x-pen, no baby gates, outside potty all off-leash, etc.
- a new puppy will get hours of daily "eye focus" play time with me (fetch, tug, soft bite/muzzle control)
- my personal dog is socialized greatly (early on) to many changing situations / maybe I deflect the stress, as the dog learns to take its clues & direction, from me
- never been to a dog park, personally train my pup privately / don't see much learning in others puppy classes
- will allow any stranger to pet my dog, will let my dog play with a strangers dog, under my supervision
- will not allow others to give my dog a cheap/unhealthy treat - but a bite of a sandwich is OK

This video is a must see:
Leerburg | Establishing Pack Structure DVD
So if YOU (as family pack leader) could not take away an 8 week old pups bone without fear (like wife did in video), your 4 month old pup, needs more than marginal supervision.
- need to gain its full respect & be more assertive with it
 

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He just finished Puppy K and I take him out around people every chance I get. He was fine till about mid way through puppy class when i noticed him starting to pull back from people in public settings or when people first enter my house.. It doesn't last but a few minutes before he starts coming forward, but even then he's just really very shy about it for a while.
Some puppy classes spend a lot of time and effort on the "Don't jump on people!" thing... was your class like this? If yes: how was jumping corrected or discouraged?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
mmctag, my puppy k trainer was great and really didn't focus on jumping on people because it was a non-issue in the class. After the puppies had play time together, where jumping on people really didn't occur, the pups were on their six foot leads while instruction was happening. I don't recall any of the pups (only 5 in the class) jumping on their owners so it wasn't a point of focus.
 

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I don't have small children in the home but I took my dobe with me at Petco adoption events (I foster for a local rescue group) and let her get used to children. At first they freaked her out, especially the very young ones, but a bit at a time she got used to them. I also let other fosters' children take her for walks and play with her to get her used to small humans.
 

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We got Dylan when he was 7 months old. The breeder, at my request, had already socialized him to numerous situations, especially kids (we have two active preschool-aged boys, and I was pregnant with my third boy). He took him to Bass Pro and downtown Gatlinburg on a weekly basis. His trainer would go ahead of him passing out yummy treats. He very quickly learned that when he saw a kid, he would sit calmly and great things would happen. They were very careful about choosing which people he interacted with, and how, so that his early experiences with kids were all very positive. Now, I can have play dates with friends and their kids, and Dylan is always exemplary. That being said, I won't hesitate for a second to correct someone else's kid if they're not behaving appropriately with the dog. Dog bites are most often a parent's fault, because an unruly kid was not being supervised. Anyway, my boys (including the baby) all get along beautifully with Dylan and we've never had mishaps. If Dylan starts getting rough in play, or his front feet start to leave the ground, play time is over. If the boys start getting rough or out of hand, play time is over. Every one of them know what "time out" means, including the dog! He hears me say that and goes to lie down on his bed. I ALWAYS supervise the dog and the kids together. You CAN'T trust a child with a dog! I trust Dylan as far as you can trust any dog. But he's still a dog. And kids can be mean.

I would say just be sure that all of your dog's early interactions with kids are positive. That the dog is taught to sit politely before being allowed to interact with kids (seems to put them in a correct mind set), and early on, give the kids treats to give to the dog (teach doggie to take them gently) so that kids are always a fun, positive experience and no fear is created. Dobes love kids, and I believe (unless they're bred poorly) that they want to be gentle. They're a sensitive breed, and I know that Dylan is always very unhappy when one of the boys is crying. He's also very protective of them around strangers. I couldn't ask for a greater protector or best friend for my boys!
 
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