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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious about something. Maybe some of the more experienced Dobe owners can chime in here. With a six month old puppy, how exactly is the best way to introduce new people who come to visit in your home? Our pup is much bigger now and I'm finding quite a few of our friends are starting to get intimidated when they come into our home to visit us. Its not like it was before when she was smaller and chubbby and squishy and everyone thought she was just "cute and harmless." Now shes looking like a mini adult version of her self and peoples initial reactions are starting to change when they come over. Especially with friends who never got to see her when she was much smaller. We have a gate that blocks our front entry that she is able to see through but not get through so we usually do our greetings there (hugs etc) then we walk them into our home and one of us usually holds her collar so she doesn't just jump on them ( we are still working on that one) and we then give her her time to come around. I noticed though something I didn't know if this is unique to her or common with the breed in general. When we walk through the gate with our company and go into our family room she just stands there and stares, doesn't wag her tail, just stares, ( it is kind of scary for anyone who doesnt know her and know how sweet she really is so I do understand our friends fears a little) then she'll usually let out a low growl I really think she does this just for effect. but that's as far as it goes. She has a great temperament so I know in my heart she would never hurt anyone but her initial greeting is very intimidating with that initial stare down she gives. After a while she warms up to people, no problems there, she loves being petted and fed snacks and all that good stuff. Its just the initial greeting I am concerned with. I'm just wondering if we are doing the right thing by initially holding her collar for a few minutes when we all walk through the gate to our family room with our company or if we are better off just walking through without coddling her so much about it. What do you do to introduce new people into your home? Its kind of different then when we are out on walks and she encounters someone new, its not like that, this is her home so she tends to be a bit more reserved here with new people I am finding. Also, when we have company, doesn't matter who it is, she is a totally different dog in that she is so well behaved and reserved and most of all CALM. Its like she becomes a different dog and not just for a few minutes, its like that the entire time our company is here, not sure if she is in "work" mode or not but it kind of appears to be that way. It almost makes me look like a liar when I tell these same friends how she is aging me by the minute with her puppy antics. lol. No one believes me and I can't say I blame them, I almost think I'm making it up when I see how she acts around company. Its crazy. She is sooooooooooo well behaved and reserved that I almost want to think about moving a friend into our home just to keep up the momentum. lol. Its like she is a totally different, exceptionally behaved, never in a million years would ever jump on you kind of a puppy if you can believe that. The second our company leaves, its like she makes up for lost time, back to the zoomies, back to jumping, play biting, just being a crazy hyper puppy. This is not a one time occurrence. I noticed it happens every single time we have company. Is this how the breed is in general or do I have a bi polar puppy? lol. And what is the best way to introduce new people into your home around your dog? I don't want to creat an issue thats not there by babying her around new people visiting us yet at the same time I don't want her to scare our friends. I guess I'm just looking for a little guidance on what is the best way to these types of introductions.
 

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Hmmm I haven't had a huge problem with Odin, when he was little I took him to work and he saw over a dozen people a day. I took him about 2-3 times a week, and I also took him to the grocery store and stood in front and welcomed anybody that wanted to say hi.

When people come over they knock and he immediately barks and runs towards the door. I tell him good boy and before I open the door I put him in a down position and then I open the door to see who it is and let them in. He get up and greets them.

I think the friends that show fear is what might put her off, if you read my other post about Odin and his fear reaction towards people that show fear towards him with hats.

I walk by people with hats all the time, but if they don't show fear Odin is completely fine but right when they do its sets him off.

hmm do you have any funny video of her maybe? Show them that before they meet her in person. I will be working with Odin and his reaction to people that fear him by taking a squeaker with me for distraction to anyone that does show fear.

Maybe bring in friends that are not afraid of her and get her used to that before bringing in friends that are fearful of her.

just throwing out some ideas
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've tried that Shadow with friends that know her and love her. She acts standoffish each and every time for a few minutes. then shes her usual goofy self. It's the new people I worry about, people that don't know her, that didn't have the chance to meet her when she was young and now shes older and she just stares them down and scares the crap out of them. Literally, I know she means no harm by it, she's probably just "working" but to anyone not familiar with the breed it can be very scary and all my reassurances in the world does not help the situation. I guess I'll just have to hand out treats at the door for the introduction. I dont' want to stress her but at the same time I don't want to make anyone feel intimidated.
 

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Intimidated by a 6 month old puppy?

Tell your friends to sack up!~ :D

Best advice I can give if you're worried about anything is 1) don't worry, or don't let your dog know your worried. Never let em see you sweat. You are the commander in chief, act like it.

2) Instruct your guests to ignore the dog on their initial entry. Pretend the dog is not even there. After everyone is settled, then let the dog calmly approach the people on her terms.

No eye contact, no petting, no anything. Just answer the door and let them come in like your little girl isn't even there. Sometimes silence is the best tool to use for training. Not that you have to be quiet or your friends have to be quiet, but as a leader, you don't answer to your dog.

You teach your dog to be calm when the door opens and friends enter. You do that by ignoring her and showing her absolutely no attention of any kind until she calms down. If all your dog is doing is staring, be thankful!
 

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Intimidated by a 6 month old puppy?

Tell your friends to sack up!~ :D

Best advice I can give if you're worried about anything is 1) don't worry, or don't let your dog know your worried. Never let em see you sweat. You are the commander in chief, act like it.

2) Instruct your guests to ignore the dog on their initial entry. Pretend the dog is not even there. After everyone is settled, then let the dog calmly approach the people on her terms.

No eye contact, no petting, no anything. Just answer the door and let them come in like your little girl isn't even there. Sometimes silence is the best tool to use for training. Not that you have to be quiet or your friends have to be quiet, but as a leader, you don't answer to your dog.

You teach your dog to be calm when the door opens and friends enter. You do that by ignoring her and showing her absolutely no attention of any kind until she calms down. If all your dog is doing is staring, be thankful!
I agree
 
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Re. OP Quote: We have a gate that blocks our front entry that she is able to see through but not get through so we usually do our greetings there (hugs etc) then we walk them into our home and one of us usually holds her collar so she doesn't just jump on them ( we are still working on that one) and we then give her her time to come around. I noticed though something I didn't know if this is unique to her or common with the breed in general. When we walk through the gate with our company and go into our family room she just stands there and stares, doesn't wag her tail, just stares, ( it is kind of scary for anyone who doesnt know her and know how sweet she really is so I do understand our friends fears a little) then she'll usually let out a low growl I really think she does this just for effect. but that's as far as it goes. She has a great temperament so I know in my heart she would never hurt anyone but her initial greeting is very intimidating with that initial stare down she gives. After a while she warms up to people, no problems there, she loves being petted and fed snacks and all that good stuff. Its just the initial greeting I am concerned with. I'm just wondering if we are doing the right thing by initially holding her collar for a few minutes when we all walk through the gate to our family room with our company or if we are better off just walking through without coddling her so much about it. What do you do to introduce new people into your home?....Is this how the breed is in general or do I have a bi polar puppy?
******************

Could the physical gate barrier be causing some problem & stress / your pup without total freedoms granted, in the house, has an ownership disposition to his/her room(s) domain?
Like our infant child (decades ago)...no baby gates in our house.
Same when we got our new puppy...supervision kept them safe, and dobe was free to explore the entire home (from day1)...and call it her own.

We never had a problem, I suggest the dobe sit behind you when you open the door.
Encourage new visitors to share a petting and their nice voice of love, as soon as they step foot in the door.
If people were asked to ignore my dog and not look at her, this in itself would put my dog in a "don't know if I can trust you mode"..."are you a nice person, or not"?
If people come in happy to greet my dog, she reads this as mom &/or dad have accepted these people as their friends...so the dog does not have to go into defensive mode.
Once inside, friends and family can sit on the leather couch or loveseat, shared by the dog normally...and I tell them, they have to pay attention to her.
Our dog loves to be the focus or center-of-attention, when introduced to new people...and her nub waggle, works overtime...always made into a happy time, for all.
People that walk into our house, enter the dogs entire family home / they don't have to tippy-toe through the dobes blocked off room, as the den or square footage, it considers its own.

TheStig said it best:
"Best advice I can give if you're worried about anything is 1) don't worry, or don't let your dog know your worried. Never let em see you sweat. You are the commander in chief, act like it".
 

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I agree about ignoring the puppy.
My next door Asian neighbor says to me, nice dog but never says hello to him. Nubis just sits there and stares at him, because what's up with that, he ain't saying hello to me. So I have to say to Nubis say hello to the neighbor and his tag will then wag. Neighbor still never greets him, so I continue my business and get Nubis to follow. Now my other neighbors are Hungarian and mostly speak in their native tongue but will say hello in English and a bunch of other foreign stuff but Nubis gets the greeting and his tail wags and bows down to them because of their disposition and tone.
If Nubis growled at my family or friends , I would take offence to it and I would be expressing that to Nubis as their would be no need for this behavior after I have introduced said ppl and said it was "Okay".
My okay is approval and reassurance to Nubis in strange situations, so he feels safe.
Now a utility type person do not get the big hello but Nubis is told its okay and he has learned the difference and treats them as if their a stranger on the walk.
As TheStig stated you are the commander in Chief, fear nothing and have a course of action in place if he acts up.
Nubis will be on best behavior till the novelty wears off. Then he will try his antics like he does with us and the same reprimands/corrections apply, so he knows he can't get away with it, nor are they playmates.
Ppl often let their dogs get away with stuff when there is company and then normally pay for it, after they leave because the pup can't understand why they can't get away it.
So yes, allow to this happen and you will have a bipolar dog.
 
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Another tidbit
Dobes have an uncanny sense of sensing fear, be it from friend or foe. Prolly one of the reasons they are such good protective dogs. Now don't observe these traits properly and a person can create their own problems.
Another example.
years ago when I had my two dobes at the sane time, my brother dropped by with an acquaintance. Now he didn't get the big hello bcuz he was not my friend.
Now, I have my own senses , if I don't like someone right from the get go, most of the time I am correct in receiving that vibe. I didn't like this guy but was social. Now my Lady Dobe just sat beside me, the whole time and watched his every move.because she sensed my vibe. Now she was a special dog bcuz I could give her a disapproval stare and she would stop her bad behavior and come lick my hand non stop.LOL.
Now when Nubis was really small (he ain't no more hahaha 55lbs of him). Every friend that came in our house were handed off treats and instructed to make Nubis work for them. This way it creates a happy environment and we are not the only ones making him, sit, down,stay, paw etc.
Since then every person greeted openly at the door, his nubby tail wags and he can't wait to meet them or see them again.
 

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Especially with friends who never got to see her when she was much smaller. We have a gate that blocks our front entry that she is able to see through but not get through so we usually do our greetings there (hugs etc) then we walk them into our home and one of us usually holds her collar so she doesn't just jump on them ( we are still working on that one) and we then give her her time to come around. I noticed though something I didn't know if this is unique to her or common with the breed in general. When we walk through the gate with our company and go into our family room she just stands there and stares, doesn't wag her tail, just stares, ( it is kind of scary for anyone who doesnt know her and know how sweet she really is so I do understand our friends fears a little) then she'll usually let out a low growl I really think she does this just for effect. but that's as far as it goes. She has a great temperament so I know in my heart she would never hurt anyone but her initial greeting is very intimidating with that initial stare down she gives.
I don't think dogs growl JUSt to growl. I think it means something. It probably doens't mean I WILL EAT YOU KNOW, but to me it says I'm uncomfortable. Doing this as a young puppy would make me really want to work on it ASAP.

If it were me, she'd be crated before people come over. Then I'd give her 10-15 minutes to relax in the crate. Then I'd take her out on a leash and control all interactions. I would NOT have her intreact. I'd have her hang out. Treats from YOU for just hanging out. I would ask my company to ignore her (NO eye contact, no talking, etc.) IF she growls, I'd get further/farther? away from the person. I would proceed to having people gently toss her a treat. Then work up to letting them interact.

This would be slightly worrisome for me, but NOT freak me out. There are clear signs though she's uncomfortable.
 

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Intimidated by a 6 month old puppy?

Tell your friends to sack up!~ :D

Best advice I can give if you're worried about anything is 1) don't worry, or don't let your dog know your worried. Never let em see you sweat. You are the commander in chief, act like it.

2) Instruct your guests to ignore the dog on their initial entry. Pretend the dog is not even there. After everyone is settled, then let the dog calmly approach the people on her terms.

No eye contact, no petting, no anything. Just answer the door and let them come in like your little girl isn't even there. Sometimes silence is the best tool to use for training. Not that you have to be quiet or your friends have to be quiet, but as a leader, you don't answer to your dog.

You teach your dog to be calm when the door opens and friends enter. You do that by ignoring her and showing her absolutely no attention of any kind until she calms down. If all your dog is doing is staring, be thankful!
This is fantastic advice. It also means that you'll probably need to do some hardcore no jump training. I never let Whiskey put his paws on me from day one so I got lucky. He's jumped up twice in the time I've had him and the second time we had a come to Jesus moment as it was my husband's very frail mother.

When people come in Whiskey can look pretty intimidating. I just ignore him and go about my business greeting guests. I think not only will your dog react more positively but your guests will as well if you don't let people see that you're nervous or worried about your pup's behavior.
 

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I've found my dogs take a bit of a cue from my behavior. If I am introducing them and worrying that there may be a problem--maybe because of their behavior, maybe because of the guest's fear--and I stiffen up a bit, they seem to be more wary in their greetings too.


Another tiny difference that seems to make a difference to me.

"Don't worry; he's friendly. Look how happy he is!"
vs
"It's OK; just ignore him and he'll be fine with you in a bit."

For some reason, the "don't worry; he's friendly" type statement makes me worry more than the other. I guess I think if the owner is going out of their way to reassure me, maybe there is a reason they're making such a fuss.
 

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This is fantastic advice. It also means that you'll probably need to do some hardcore no jump training. I never let Whiskey put his paws on me from day one so I got lucky. He's jumped up twice in the time I've had him and the second time we had a come to Jesus moment as it was my husband's very frail mother.

When people come in Whiskey can look pretty intimidating. I just ignore him and go about my business greeting guests. I think not only will your dog react more positively but your guests will as well if you don't let people see that you're nervous or worried about your pup's behavior.
I am either fortunate or my roommate and of the like are just tards. I for the life of me, can't get it through her thick skull that when she walks in the door, to just shut her pie hole and move forward without delay. No, she insists on telling the dogs to get back, stop jumping, no, leave me alone, back up, get away from me, etc., etc. And she wonders why she gets bum rushed when she comes home.

Of course the dogs will be excited, especially a young puppy. I walk in and they do their usual greet, which is come to the door to see who's there. I hang my keys on the key hook, walk forward to take my shoes off, etc., and then let them out. I don't have any issues. My retarded not so better half...depicts the definition of insanity to a T. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

The only time I get 'jumped on' per say is when he needs to go out or is hungry, and it's not really being jumped on, he will put his paw on my leg if Im sitting, and if he just wants to be held and petted, he'll do the same but come all the way up and lay in my lap sort of. Thats when he gets his ear rubs and I can kiss his head without fear of a busted lip or knocked out teeth.

:D

Oh, and what do her parents do when they come over...let the dogs jump up and give them all kinds of attention. Pisses me off with a capital Piss. Our little girl puts her paws on you, but she is tiny and gentle, she honestly just wants to be pet, she loves the attention and is a super adhesive velcro dog. Our other male doesn't jump at all and Stig probably has no idea why he jumps or wants to lick your face and ears at mach 7.

It is so hard to be consistent with training, as laid back as I even am about it, when those types of derailments are hindering my process and project of molding a respectable dog.

I am getting closer to getting those nuisances out of my life. I might even throw myself a party when it finally happens.

Now, my neighbors weimaraner...that dog was a ferocious jumper. Good god it took an act of congress and several acts of jesus and the floppy eared donkey to get that dog down.

Like you said with jumping, what if the person is old and frail. They don't think about those things (her and her parents). They think it's cute and give them a ton of affection.

On a side note of a little revenge. A few years back we went to visit her parents in PA/MD and brought our dogs for the week. I told her mom, specifically to not feed our dogs any people food or anything other than what we brought, our little girl has a sensitive tummy. What does she do...well, after our little girl squatted and took a big fat nasty runny dump on her living room floor, she tried to blame it on us. The roommate asked if she fed her anything and before she could come up with a story, she blurted out some leftovers from last night. Idiots...they walk among us and even look like us sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
thanks for the advice everyone. She did great last night with my sons friends coming over. I think we are going to try to have our guests ignor her initially and see how that goes. Adara I think my use of the word "growl" was probably not the right word, its not like a normal growl like when she is playing, nor is it the kind of I'm gonna eat you growl, its a strange low kind of growl almost like a sigh if that makes any sense. I don't take it as viscious at all but clearly she is initally uncomfortable but she does warm up fast. I've gotten some great advice here on this thread and I really appreciate all of your advice. Whiskey the jumping is something we constantly are working on and we too once had a come to Jesus moment with my Mom. Thank God I was there to catch her or it could have turned out terribly. The jumping is horrible and we are all pretty consistant about telling her no and walking away whenever she does it, it just hasn't clicked yet in her mind. I'm confident it will one day soon. Thanks again everyone.
 

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I don't think dogs growl JUSt to growl. I think it means something. It probably doens't mean I WILL EAT YOU KNOW, but to me it says I'm uncomfortable. Doing this as a young puppy would make me really want to work on it ASAP.

If it were me, she'd be crated before people come over. Then I'd give her 10-15 minutes to relax in the crate. Then I'd take her out on a leash and control all interactions. I would NOT have her intreact. I'd have her hang out. Treats from YOU for just hanging out. I would ask my company to ignore her (NO eye contact, no talking, etc.) IF she growls, I'd get further/farther? away from the person. I would proceed to having people gently toss her a treat. Then work up to letting them interact.

This would be slightly worrisome for me, but NOT freak me out. There are clear signs though she's uncomfortable.
Kyrah was reactive to people entering the house and this is about the route I took with her. Now she does a down stay on her dog pillow until I release her. I invited my guests in and she stays. When I release her I ask that the people ignore her. She is not allowed to rush anyone. She is to come sit by my side and I tell her greet then she is allowed to sniff who's in the house. In the begining it was a bit of her really sniffing them and I had some great people who followed the rules. Now her greeting is a very quick sniff and then on about her business. She isnt overly friendly to people in the house or anywhere really nor does she care is she gets a pet from them. I guess you can say she just doesnt care about other people just where her family is. That alone I think makes people weary of her.

thanks for the advice everyone. She did great last night with my sons friends coming over. I think we are going to try to have our guests ignor her initially and see how that goes. Adara I think my use of the word "growl" was probably not the right word, its not like a normal growl like when she is playing, nor is it the kind of I'm gonna eat you growl, its a strange low kind of growl almost like a sigh if that makes any sense. I don't take it as viscious at all but clearly she is initally uncomfortable but she does warm up fast. I've gotten some great advice here on this thread and I really appreciate all of your advice. Whiskey the jumping is something we constantly are working on and we too once had a come to Jesus moment with my Mom. Thank God I was there to catch her or it could have turned out terribly. The jumping is horrible and we are all pretty consistant about telling her no and walking away whenever she does it, it just hasn't clicked yet in her mind. I'm confident it will one day soon. Thanks again everyone.
Glad it went well the other night. I would keep a close eye and work on anything quickly. For Kyrah anyway the people ignoring her and not making that eye contact was the best thing ever.
 

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thanks for the advice everyone. She did great last night with my sons friends coming over. I think we are going to try to have our guests ignor her initially and see how that goes. Adara I think my use of the word "growl" was probably not the right word, its not like a normal growl like when she is playing, nor is it the kind of I'm gonna eat you growl, its a strange low kind of growl almost like a sigh if that makes any sense. I don't take it as viscious at all but clearly she is initally uncomfortable but she does warm up fast. I've gotten some great advice here on this thread and I really appreciate all of your advice. Whiskey the jumping is something we constantly are working on and we too once had a come to Jesus moment with my Mom. Thank God I was there to catch her or it could have turned out terribly. The jumping is horrible and we are all pretty consistant about telling her no and walking away whenever she does it, it just hasn't clicked yet in her mind. I'm confident it will one day soon. Thanks again everyone.
For the jumping, make her walk away, not you.

Try a non verbal approach. As soon as her front paws come into contact with you or if you see it in mid action, grab them and push them downwards. I use a snap of the fingers as my 'clicker'.

Grab the paws, push them down, snap your fingers and point the direction you want the dog to go. If you get a blank look like the dog is going duuurr, take a step forward and invade her space, touch her head with your thigh, for example.

If your puppy doesn't respond yet to non verbal commands, do everything except the snap and point, but instead move directly to invade her space with a touch and make her adjust herself or leave. If she is standing and sits, then walk away immediately. If she is already sitting, on the move forward and touch part, do it as a walk by and make sure you brush against her and put her off balance just slightly.

Same with the greeting at the door, ignoring jumping has always worked for me, because I have found that any type of verbal command is not always recognized by the dog and just adds fuel to the fire.

You can always change techniques if one isn't working for you. Always make sure everything is always moving forward, especially with non verbal corrections. My boy gets ill at me when I correct him for something. If I make him back up or leave a room, he'll let me know his displeasure with a few barks with his head hanging low. I'll get up and move abruptly towards him and give him a snap and point my finger either at him or to his sleepy time spot on the couch. He will then usually go to that spot or lie down where he is and give a little grumble growl. Sort of like an aggravated sigh.

You are right though, eventually they will get it, just gotta find out what works, technique wise. Not allowing the same action more than a few times before changing your strategy or upping the intensity is important also.
 
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