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Alright, I've been debating on whether or not I wanted to post this but I want opinions of actual Doberman owners-get ready for a novel. I am having lots of trouble. Domino is almost 10 months old and still intact (absolutley no plans on breeding of course-just letting him fill out) He in no way shape or form has ever shown teeth or growled at my family-he's very loving and loyal, it's just other people is the problem. He wont let anyone in the house without nipping/biting them. He barks uncontrolably and if they move he goes with them, and his biggest problem is men. I had a Halloween party outside a few weeks ago and one of the guys came in to use the bathroom (I was with him) and Domino went crazy barking, pulled on his shirt and nipped his hand. Once the guy sat down Domino warmed up and actually licked him and leaned, once he was up again everything was forgotten. Now heres where I'm at a loss. I have taken him everywhere with me since I got him, we've been in 4 classes and are currently in 2 a week right now. I thought I was on it with the socialization with the classes and the park and petsmart trips, playing in the bark yard with kids....I seeked private training to have him evaluated and she made a good point I never ever thought about. 98% of people in his classes were all women, all the trainers have been women, and he has grown up with my mom and me, as well as my brother. But my brother doesnt feed him or really do anything with him. But he loves my brother doesnt bark at him or anything. So really he's only been around about 2 or 3 males in the house while he's grown up-could that be the culprit? If we're at the park and there are guys there he is fine. But he just has gotten so aggressive lately that he wont even let girls in the house, he even nipped/bit the trainer on Saturday. (she wanted him off leash to see exactly how he acts when unexpected people come over, low and behold he bit and cornered her). Another problem she said is our terrier's behavior has rubbed off on him because we got him at 6 months old and he never really had any socialization. When he barks and gets anxiety Domino starts acting up too. Regardless of that even when it's just me and Domino, I cant even walk out of the house without him being on high alert he barks at everyone and everything. Even on walks if someone walks out of their own house he barks and growls. Last week at puppy agility, the class after us started walking in and a man came into the ring to get chairs and walked by Domino and said hi and he started barking as well. When he does this I remove him from the situation and have him focus on me, I do that too when he is outside going potty. But the trainer even said on Thanksgiving (everyone comes here-they dont want to though because my grandpa has told them how "mean" my dog is) he has to go in my room in his crate the whole time-I am dreading it. I am at a loss I have spent 1000's of hours on training him and going to classes going to parks having men give him treats, and he still acts like this. The trainer also said that between 9-11 months they are stupid and act like 13 yr old boys- but I didnt think the Doberteens were supposed to be this extreme. I've read everywhere on here that Dobes are supposed to tell whats a threat and are absolutely not supposed to act like this. I know fixing isn't the "magic fix", he doesnt hump or lift his leg yet, but with work, age and snipping will this get better? I cant have anyone over and he is part of the family so I just cant put him away everytime someone comes over. Theres only a handful of my friends that come over a lot that he loves-thats it. He also has known them since day one. She has given me great tips like removing him and then bringing him back until he stops the growling and barking-which worked but it took about an hour to get both dogs comfortable with strangers moving around the house. I cant do that forever-I wanted him to be the friendliest dog and my biggest goal was to have him be a therapy dog and get his CGC. She thinks he is too intense to do therapy-but will try CGC (she teaches them and classes dont start till January) That just breaks my heart, I want to be able to walk into a school or a hospital and have him be silent but she says it might never happen. It's like he has a switch, sometimes when we are out he'll play bow and be so excited when people come up to him, then others times hes not so friendly. She also said he is missed his bite inhibition b/c hes still snappy when we give him treats so we are re working that. I am struggling so bad with this I thought I was doing everything I could to avoid behavior like this it seems like no one will ever be able to enther my house. Any experience with this, any positive thoughts? I know its long as hell but I try to give as many details so its easy to understand.
 

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joie de vivre
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He sounds scared and insecure, not aggressive. I don't think it has anything in the world to do with "missing bite inhibition". Scared dogs nip, bark, act out, etc.

This is just my personal opinion, but I'd stop forcing interaction with men. I would ease him into calming down around men by having him be around men without any direct interaction. Don't give them treats to give him or have them pay any attention to him at all. You need to work under his threshold, not force him beyond it or give him treats in spite of his anxiety. Let him sniff them, let him look at them, whatever. But ask them not to look at him or acknowledge him. When he's able to relax at that level, you take it a step further and have them drop treats without directly engaging him. Then you take it a step further and have him take the treats from their hands, etc. It can be quite a process to build up an insecure dog.

Maybe someone can recommend a better trainer for you. I'm at a loss that this trainer attributes that kind of nipping to missing bite inhibition. I would've laughed and asked for a refund if someone told me that in your situation.

This is just me, but when I have people over I make sure my dogs are accounted for, meaning I know where they are and what they're doing at all times. I would never host a party in the back yard and leave my Dobes loose in the house for guests to freely come and go to the bathroom. If my guests aren't people my dogs really know (my parents, my best-friend, boy friend, brother, etc.) then my dogs are either with me or put up. I can't imagine they'd ever hurt a guest I welcome into my home and introduce them to, but I'm not going to take chances with 2 Dobermans in the house and people they may not know very well going in and out without me being right there. That's setting up a potentially bad situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
She didnt attribute this behavior to missing his bite inhibition-she just happened to notice that he was bitey at times and couldnt tell the difference between a treat and a finger when he gets excited. She had my grandpa over and had him drop treats when he walked in, he went and sat down and made no eye contact-did everything that u had said above. I didnt force him to go up to him and take a treat-I had him sniff and become comfortable and I had my grandpa keep dropping food. He was on leash the whole time with the introduction to my grandpa-if he felt comfortable enough to eat food by his feet, he went and did it-but my grandpa never forcefully pet him or anything. I only have men give him treats when we are out and about and hes happy and tail waggy-I dont do it if he is scared. Also about the party, my mom was there inside the whole time with the dogs-they werent roaming free with no one in there-and I walked in w/ him he didnt go in by himself. Thanks for feedback.
 

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Alpha SheepDog
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Thanks for responding, no one really ever seems to answer my posts, I really hope I can get some feedback.
Im with BRW1982 on this one also.
There are alot of things going on with this pup, especially at this age, which has been going on for awhile.
First off, Rome wasnt built in a day and attempting to solve everything at once, will cause confusion and possibly make matters worse. I would prioritize the issues on paper, and start working on the easiests first, so it becomes a confidence builder.
I think the treats with men, might be possibling reinforcing what HE is thinking. Which is I hate men. Somewhere along the way, a male caused accidently or purposely, the hatred.
YOUR Brother is the key here, as he is the only male there, you really needs his assistance.
Sorry for such a broad answer, but right now i am really pressed for time, but maybe others can add solutions, or get you started in the right direction.
 

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DominosDamsel
Will this ever get better??

NO, not the way your progressing / without changing YOU 1st.

First of all, I tip my hat to you for spilling your guts / dobe story.
(I only needed to read 1/2 your story right now & I could SEE the FULL problem)
And I'm not trying to be a smart-ass here.
But YOU need to be tuned in & change your frame-of-current-mind.
Have a look here, Re. "grow some balls":..cause what your doing, is not working.
Obama, Grow Some Balls! - YouTube

If you and your dobe lived with me and I was a single male.
- there wouldn't be a party problem (with M or FM), for more than 2 seconds...from this dog.
- I could 100% supervise him at any family/friends gathering & everyone would want to take your loving dobe boy home...at the end of the night.

I will add more comments later, to your thread...he can be very easy to fix w/canine manners.
(the way I think)
But really should he, if your PUSSY-FOOTING around Domino.
- with your friends / and he is easily, on TOP (so he thinks) ??

***************************************************
Thanks for responding, no one really ever seems to answer my posts, I really hope I can get some feedback.
- won't be a problem here...from me...lol..since you asked / I will study this thread more tonight
 

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Discussion Starter #8
DominosDamsel
Will this ever get better??

NO, not the way your progressing / without changing YOU 1st.
**********************************************************************
First of all, I tip my hat to you for spilling your guts / dobe story.
(I only needed to read 1/2 your story right now & I could SEE the FULL problem)
And I'm not trying to be a smart-ass here.
But YOU need to be tuned in & change your frame-of-current-mind.
Have a look here, Re. "grow some balls":..cause what your doing, is not working.
Obama, Grow Some Balls! - YouTube

If you and your dobe lived with me and I was a single male.
- there wouldn't be a party problem (with M or FM), for more than 2 seconds...from this dog.
- I could 100% supervise him at any family/friends gathering & everyone would want to take your loving dobe boy home...at the end of the night.

I will add more comments later, to your thread...he can be very easy to fix w/canine manners.
(the way I think)
But really should he, if your PUSSY-FOOTING around him...with your friends / and he is easily, on TOP ??
I'm not quite sure I understand what you're trying to say. I've tried to be positive with his training when people enter the house, I know I'm not "the best trainer" in the world and I could use some tweaks but I've used positive reinforcement with this. ????
 

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I'm not quite sure I understand what you're trying to say. I've tried to be positive with his training when people enter the house, I know I'm not "the best trainer" in the world and I could use some tweaks but I've used positive reinforcement with this. ????
My talking point ^^^^^^

************************************************************

PER YOUR QUOTE - I've used positive reinforcement ...please explain in detail:
- maybe their lies 1/2 the problem

I have nothing to gain, my getting your panties-in-a-knot...only offering a different angle / solution.
It is usually a change of owner thinking, that will solve a dog problem / & maybe I can help some.
Your dogs situation, doesn't need the "best trainer in the world"...YOU have the TOOLS, already.
 

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I agree with brw completely. He definitely sounds like he has some fear issues and sometimes socialization just isn't enough.

How familiar are you with dog body language and calming signals? If you aren't really comfortable identifying them, I would definitely suggest reading some books on the subject. Learning his individual calming signals will allow you to control the situation and keep him under his threshold so he doesn't get reactive towards men. Having him take treats from a person when he is clearly uncomfortable solves nothing. I used to think that was a good idea too and now I'm learning otherwise.

I would suggest contacting a trainer and discussing some options to work with him on these issues. I would not use a trainer that suggests correcting for this behavior as that can teach him to not give warning signs.

I'm currently working with a confident fear aggressive Dane with clicker training and BAT. I gate her when visitors come over in an area where she can smell, hear, and see them, but cannot interact with them until she is calm and can follow a simple set of commands. This has made a world of a difference for a dog that came to me labeled as "excessively territorial" in the house (meaning she actually tried to bite a couple of people in the face). I've never had an issue with her using this method.
 

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You mention niping and biting, which suggests to me multiple incidents.

Really, this is the type of situation in which you need a professional, yesterday. You absolutely cannot put him in the position where he can continue practicing this behavior. I really urge you to get a consult with a certified veterinary behaviorist right away. He could be fearful. He could have temperament issues. There are any number of things which might be happening here and you need a professional to intervene before things escalate to actual bites. There are options for dealing with this but it's not something you should do on your own.

Find a veterinary behaviorist here: Find a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist ACVB
 

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Sea Hag
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I don't think anyone on the internet can help you-this does need a one on one observation to see what's actually going on.

The only thing I'm going to say is a lot of the times dogs who have problems with men have female owners who have problems with men-what you feel goes right down the leash to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I did state that I had gotten a trainer to observe his behavior and help that teaches CGC classes at the place where I go, and she will continue to help. I only came on here just see what other people thought about this and absolutely am not trying to fix this by myself. I will check out the vetrinary behaviorist list-thank you. And I have absolutly no problem with men I dont think that is why the way he is. In our household he pretty much has only been around women his whole life and probably finds mens deep voices and their body stature and just in general how different they are from women fearful. Also she said our other dog is 50% why the way he is as well because he barks more than Domino. We went to the groomer today to get his ears cleaned out and his nails trimmed (yes I have someone else trim his nails every now and then, I dont mind paying for it and I think it's good to have other people touch him when I'm not there) and her son came in to get him he was all nubby wags and bouncy no barking or growling, he was great. It's just mostly in my house and something we are obviously going to keep seeking help on.
 

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Is he crate trained? You say you feel horrible about having to put him in his crate when people are over. How much more horrible would you feel if he bit someone and had to be put down? I am not trying to be mean, I'm being realistic. At this point for his safety as well as the safety of your guests, use a crate! Make it fun, give him a treat filled toy, peanut butter filled kong, antler, something to keep him occupied. I am also not saying just give up and crate him forever, but realize that an occasion like Thanksgiving is going to be too much for him at this point.

I also really think you need someone who is there in person working with him and you to solve the issue. Good luck.
 

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Alpha SheepDog
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In our household he pretty much has only been around women his whole life and probably finds mens deep voices and their body stature and just in general how different they are from women fearful..
im not trying to stir the pot but I call a spade, a spade.
You say his only been around women but earlier you mention your brother being there.
I am not sure of the men you are company with.
I am very tall, and have a deep voice enuf to command a parade square. My normal voice does not incite fear with my pup and most of the time I prolly talk to him like a woman, simply because his my baby.
Now when he ticks me off, his warning is a deep louder voice (not screaming) and followed thru with other measures if the stern warning is not adhere too. So the deep voice is not a reason for all men.
I know a lady with this similar issue and its her fear of what the dog can do. This resonates thru your dog and you get the results your getting.
The dog needs positive measures that you are the leader not him. Period...
This dog needs time outs, crating and baby steps.
If you try handling this physically, you will have a battle of wills.

I am and others are trying to help, so this doesn't escalate very soon because your dog will be put down or first warning depending on attack.
 

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im not trying to stir the pot but I call a spade, a spade.
You say his only been around women but earlier you mention your brother being there.
I am not sure of the men you are company with.
I am very tall, and have a deep voice enuf to command a parade square. My normal voice does not incite fear with my pup and most of the time I prolly talk to him like a woman, simply because his my baby.
Now when he ticks me off, his warning is a deep louder voice (not screaming) and followed thru with other measures if the stern warning is not adhere too. So the deep voice is not a reason for all men.
I know a lady with this similar issue and its her fear of what the dog can do. This resonates thru your dog and you get the results your getting.
The dog needs positive measures that you are the leader not him. Period...
This dog needs time outs, crating and baby steps.
If you try handling this physically, you will have a battle of wills.

I am and others are trying to help, so this doesn't escalate very soon because your dog will be put down or first warning depending on attack.
Maybe it isn't deep voices setting him off, but the body language of the men he has met? After reading The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell (OP, you might want to look into this book), I have a better understanding that even the most subtle body language can be threatening to a dog. IME, most people, even if they are "dog people" don't know how to approach or act around a dog. The younger men I've been around are pretty much clueless around dogs and because they are bigger they are much more imposing.

Like has already been mentioned, it's best for the OP to continue working with her trainer. In the meantime, I would limit his interactions with men so that you aren't setting him up for failure. If you think he might react, don't put him in that situation.

ETA: I just read more in depth the methods your trainer was using and I must say I actually disagree with them. So, I would be looking for another trainer.
 

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I would stop using the food for reasons already stated. I agree that the other dog acting up is probably half of the issue. Dogs are pack animals, if one of mine barks the others are either up and alert, or bark and go to see whats happening.

I would agree on looking into the posted link for some outside help. Not all trainers know how to deal with all behaviors, so don't feel like you're going to hurt someones feelings "shopping around." Other than taking him away from whatever is making him upset are you correcting him at all or just walking away from it? I am not advise you throw him into a situation and leave him there if he is trying to bite someone, but do you do anything other than lead him away?

ETA: I'm happy you posted this to try to get some outside advise, I am sure most people would not want to post anything about their dogs bad behaviors on a public forum as big as this.
 

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DominosDamsel
Will this ever get better??

NO, not the way your progressing / without changing YOU 1st.

First of all, I tip my hat to you for spilling your guts / dobe story.
(I only needed to read 1/2 your story right now & I could SEE the FULL problem)
And I'm not trying to be a smart-ass here.
But YOU need to be tuned in & change your frame-of-current-mind.
Have a look here, Re. "grow some balls":..cause what your doing, is not working.
Obama, Grow Some Balls! - YouTube

If you and your dobe lived with me and I was a single male.
- there wouldn't be a party problem (with M or FM), for more than 2 seconds...from this dog.
- I could 100% supervise him at any family/friends gathering & everyone would want to take your loving dobe boy home...at the end of the night.

I will add more comments later, to your thread...he can be very easy to fix w/canine manners.
(the way I think)
But really should he, if your PUSSY-FOOTING around Domino.
- with your friends / and he is easily, on TOP (so he thinks) ??

***************************************************
- won't be a problem here...from me...lol..since you asked / I will study this thread more tonight
Once again, this guy is the greatest. ^

Put simply, like he said, and not to be rude in any way...stop being a candy ass.

You pay the mortgage on your house right? Then you are the boss.

Dog is acting up, put your foot in his ass. And no not literally, but you have to be in control. Your dog wants to bark and growl and nip...bark, growl and nip his little monkey butt.

You can't feel bad if/when you have to yell at your dog. Some people are calm and use positive reinforcement, and then again some of those folks who use that method just have good dogs, so it works. If your dog is a knucklehead, you have to rule with an iron fist until the behavior changes. I rarely have to do little more than use my outside voice with a stern tone to get a reaction.

Don't just tell him no, if he won't listen give him a touch correction and make him leave the area. Once he leaves the area of offense, do not leave or break eye contact until he calms down and submits, either by sitting down or laying down, then immediately walk away. That is your basic correction. The only stipulation with that is you have to catch the offense immediately or don't bother.
 

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I did state that I had gotten a trainer to observe his behavior and help that teaches CGC classes at the place where I go, and she will continue to help. I only came on here just see what other people thought about this and absolutely am not trying to fix this by myself. I will check out the vetrinary behaviorist list-thank you. And I have absolutly no problem with men I dont think that is why the way he is. In our household he pretty much has only been around women his whole life and probably finds mens deep voices and their body stature and just in general how different they are from women fearful. Also she said our other dog is 50% why the way he is as well because he barks more than Domino. We went to the groomer today to get his ears cleaned out and his nails trimmed (yes I have someone else trim his nails every now and then, I dont mind paying for it and I think it's good to have other people touch him when I'm not there) and her son came in to get him he was all nubby wags and bouncy no barking or growling, he was great. It's just mostly in my house and something we are obviously going to keep seeking help on.
I'm really glad you are seeking help for this. To be honest, many, many trainers are not equipped to deal with this type of behavior. I hope you at least give a call to some of the veterinary behaviorists. They may very well have a list of experienced trainers to recommend to you. Most regular "pet dog trainers" don't have the type of training to work with these kinds of issues.
 
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