We survived week two and working on week three! We gave him interceptor yesterday and frontline today, I like to make sure I am home for the majority of the day for the first couple doses and give them separate so I can monitor for a reaction. So far so good....although I got the frontline about an inch below his shoulder blades...he was sitting and I misjudged, dang stretchy puppy skin! He's not interested in it at all so I am not worried about him licking it. Yesterday was our first nail trim, Dad helped hold him and and kept him distracted with treats, while I did his nails. Dremel on the lowest speed and a couple light swipes on each nail, we were done in less than 5 minutes. He was a champ and couldn't care less about it.
I don't think it would be fair to only highlight the "good things," especially for new puppy owners reading this. trust me it's not all flowers and rose petals. Raising a doberman puppy is hard work, even if you've done it many times in the past. Each one has things they do really well and things they are really bad about....and then there are the dogs that are buttheads about everything! Athena was that dog, she was our first doberman, got her out of the newspaper from a BYB at 6 weeks old. Oh and we lived in an apartment! Talk about doing everything wrong, we had no idea what we were doing or what we had gotten into and she took full advantage of that. She was very bitey, destroyed anything and everything, didn't listen, refused to walk and was a general terror. Many many times I found myself stressed, regretful and crying in the shower. Fortunately I found a great trainer, that helped us immensely and Athena became a very good dog. Sully was very soft, he responded well to a stern voice and in my eyes was damn near perfect, but he hated anything in or near his crate and would destroy it if given the opportunity...I cried when he shredded the first quilt I ever made, less then a month after completion, I made the mistake of folding it and setting it on the end table next to his crate. Rizzo is extremely high energy, always has been, she is a fantastic dog but goes from 0-60 in an instant. She was also the hardest dog to crate train, she would scream and howl and chew on her crate for what seemed like forever, I remember many times having to go outside to get away from her because it was so stressful.
Now we have Maui, he is so good at many things! He has crate trained like a dream, potty training is going very well and he is focused and very smart when it comes to training. BUT we have completely skipped over the sweet snuggly puppy stage and right into the velociraptor stage! He is a bitey little demon, especially when he is tired. He bites us and bites us hard. He also bites at Rizzo, he bites at her face, her ears, her neck and for the most part this just gets her going and she's ready to play, and it escalates quickly to run chase bitey face. He has made her yelp a few times but she never really corrects him, which is good and bad, obviously I don't want her to hurt him but I also don't want him bullying her, and I really want them to have productive play and not be crazy. We've tried all of the the tricks, they work for a moment and then he's right back at it. Redirection, great I'll take this toy, then drop it and bite you. Yelping doesn't work, just gets him going more. Yelping and walking away, he bites your feet as you're trying to flee from the little dobershark, come back out and he's right back at it. We try not to use physical correction, unless we have to when he bites down hard and won't let go, then it's just a neck scruff (to get him to let go) and into the crate or walk away for a time out. This all started on about day 3 and we're slowly trying to work through it. It's hard to not take this personally, to worry if he's being mean or aggressive and worry if you're doing the right thing. The truth is puppies bite, he's not being aggressive, he's just being a puppy and testing his limits. Maui is definitely worse about this when he is tired, so for now we are limiting free time and play time. Instead of waiting until he gets to that point and having to crate him because he is out of control biting, we are ending free time before he gets like that. This way, we're not constantly having a battle with him over biting and we're not forced to crate him when he's overstimulated and being naughty. We are choosing to end play on a good note and have him go into his crate in a positive manner. This seems to be helping a lot, he goes in calmly and either lays down for a nap, chew on his bone or more recently suckling the soft side if his crate pad. As far as the rough play with Rizzo, instead of physically separating them when it gets to crazy, we're trying to catch it just before or just at the start and redirect them both, with treats and the comand "enough," to us for some light OB work (sit, down, watch) and then try to redirect to something calmer like chewing a toy or bone. Hopefully, overtime they both will learn that when we say playtime is over, it's not a bad thing and they still get attention and yummy treats from us.
Raising a puppy is hard...ALWAYS harder than you remember but knowing the day will come when you will have a happy, well rounded companion makes it all worth it. Let's just hope I make it with my sanity in tact