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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One would think after raising 2 other Dobes and 2 GSD I would know what I'm doing. Well I'm stuck and would like the advice and wisdom of those on the board.

Currently have Claire, GSD, perfect
Chaos, senior red Dobe with attitude and 3 legs
Zack, 10 month old adopted Dobe.

My problem occurs in putting everyone outside to play.
We have a farm property and we go out together, offleash, supervised, for several hours a day.
Its getting out the door thats the problem.

Chaos wants to bite everyone.
Zack jumps up & down with all 4 feet in the air, plus he nips/bites my butt in his excitement.
Claire stands quietly at the door until Chaos bites her or Zack bodyslams her.

I hold Chaos back with one hand and hold the door open with the other and send Clair & Zack out. Only Two hands.
If I send Chaos out first, she turns around and snarls and bites whomever gets out first.

Once outside, everyone runs around and plays quite well. All dogs come when called. The puppy is a good dog and has learned a lot in the 8 weeks he has been with us.

I understand this madness is my fault and my responsibility.
I am the leader and need to correct this before someone gets hurt.

So does Chaos get a muzzle?
Do I put Zack on a leash?
Seperate doors?
I've tried getting them all to sit, its tricky, but I can and will continue to try.


Ok, I'm ready for advice please.
 

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Have you tried working with them individually on "Wait"? If not, start now. On leash is best, but off will do. Put two of the dogs away, (crate, behind a baby gate, etc.). Take one dog to the door, have them sit, and tell them "wait". Open the door a bit, and if they break the "wait", close the door, have them "wait" again. Repeat as needed, until the dog sits calmly, with the door completely open, waiting for you to give them your release command ("free", "okay" or whatever you use). Do this with EACH dog in a one-on-one situation.

After they are good at "wait" by themselves, start working two dogs together. Since you have three dogs, you can mix them up, so they are not always with the same partner. When they are good at that, try all three. The key to remember is that if even one of them moves, and breaks "wait", the door is shut, and they have to wait all over again.
 

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Mine will sit and wait until I call them by name...if it's not your name, you better stay sitting. Door gets closed fast if wrong dog gets up, or anyone anticipates their turn.

This does not help with the one turning to bite whoever follows out the door, so maybe put that dog on a leash and go out last with that one.
 

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I also use "no teeth" for Ilka. She has a habit of mouthing Lucky, and sometimes me. If the teeth come out, it's back to sitting and waiting.
 
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Mine are all great at sitting to go out, but once they are out, Miss Flirt can be a mischiefmaker with her Doberman SCREAMING in the other dogs' faces and it's not a pretty site. She is having fun (or just over stimulated) but no one else is. I always have high value treats and try to catch her BEFORE she starts screaming. I do a lot of recall, leave it, etc. the first 5-7 minutes I let them off leash (if we are the river, etc.)

I think they key is catching it before they get into that zone (I can't think must scream bite body slam), etc. And lots of consistency. I got lazy, ignored it for a while, we had a lot of dog boarders that ramped Flirt's energy up and I'm fighting the battle again. Take my advice and don't get lazy :) She's 5, she should know better and yet here I am working on it again.
 
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In addition to the "wait" exercise, I would work on general self-control exercises with all of them. One of the best starting points for that is the "It's Yer Choice" exercise. You can find it on Youtube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you everyone for the advice.

Its quite embarrassing that my dogs won't sit quietly (unless I have a treat) yet my horses are perfect gentlemen.

Ellen, you are absolutely right. My goal is 'stay sitting until I tell you to go ahead.' I'm glad someone's dogs are behaved.:)

I'm going to have to work with them one at a time. One in the bathroom, another in the laundry room. Yes, I have a crate but its downstairs and dusty. My own personal feeling is that using a crate while I am at home makes me a lazy mother.

I am open to any other ideas.

I will follow up in 2 weeks to let you all know if we have success or more gray hair.

Also, the pup is mouthy. When he gets wound up he nips/mouths/bites at my arms, and again my behind! I wrap my hand around his muzzle and tell him "stop". Any other thoughts while I have you ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Colleen, thanks for not making me feel like a total failure.

The "Baby" is on his 4th home, and I want him to have stability and structure here. He is a good dog (as ALL dogs are) but a Doberman puppy alas, and I want him to learn to be a gentleman. The girls were ok before his arrival but its mayhem now at play time.

Zack is also food motivated, will sit for cherrios, so I don't mind rewarding with treats to get some assemblance of order.

I have always felt that praise & affection were reward enough, but clearly THATS not working.
 

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[QUOTE from Adara]----Mine are all great at sitting to go out, but once they are out, Miss Flirt [Capri!]can be a mischiefmaker with her Doberman SCREAMING[Capri!] in the other dogs' faces and it's not a pretty site. She is having fun (or just over stimulated[Capri!]) but no one else is [Kip].
I always have high value treats and try to catch her BEFORE she starts screaming. I do a lot of recall, leave it, etc. the first 5-7 minutes I let them off leash (if we are the river, etc.)

I think they key is catching it before they get into that zone (I can't think must scream bite body slam), etc. And lots of consistency......[End QUOTE]

Flirt and Capri must be related.

When we head out on our walks, Kip gets off the leash right away--Capri has to stay on hers until she seems calmer (a few 100 feet). During that leash time, I do several recalls and sits to help her calm herself and be more structured with her actions before I let her loose. I then do a few more recalls almost right away to remind her she is "obedient." Ha! All this with high value treats.

When I let her go, she still gets loud, obnoxious and picks at Kip, but it is much less intense and she has an off switch. I've been told (thanks, RFR) that an active command for her to concentrate on (like the recall) may work better than a static one (sit, down) because the activity helps her to blow off some of that excess energy/over-stimulation whereas the sit or down is more frustrating--I have noticed that she calms while she is doing a down too, but she tends to get up just as excited as when I downed her. (RFR, if I got it wrong, please correct me!)
 

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No worries, if this is your only problem there is a lot of hope you can easily get this under control. Have you heard of Nothing in Life is For Free? Look it up in google if not. I think that would help a lot, at least a modified version, in your case. In particular with Chaos and Zack. Bad behavior doesn't get to go outside. Only good calm behavior does. For instance, before a dog can go out a door, they must sit or down. Then wait to be released. It becomes a habit. Like asking please, just basic manners mixed in with some boundary/obedience training.

We have one that sometimes gets overstimulated when outside for play time. Many times we take that one out first and play a lot of fetch to run off steam before free play time. It helps and takes the edge off in the beginning. We can usually tell beforehand when this is going to be a problem by watching cues, so we are able to stop it before it even starts. Since you say they are good when outside that may or may not help...but maybe if you let Chaos out first after he has had a good long run he might not feel like acting out.

As someone else has said, making them wait before going out doors is very important in this case. Part of Nothing in Life is For Free.
We have one (our youngest) who can sometimes get wild and out of hand around doors (bolting, circles, jumping on furniture, body slamming and punching people/animals, etc.) if we don't keep up with enforcing the rules of only rewarding good manners and behavior. Every single door, in particular the back door - the dogs wait until called by name to be released out of the door. It might sound like a lot of work but it becomes second nature and it gets easier later and really isn't a big deal.

The plus side to this is that people (in particular the young and old or those carrying food trays to the house from outdoor grilling) aren't knocked over just because they are coming or going out a door and your dog doesn't take off into traffic running out into the road since they saw an open door and bolted. I would keep pull tabs on them while working on this if needed, or at least on the one who won't listen as well. You can use hand signals (such as you would for stay) to help them understand, if they are wearing a leash you can use your foot to gently step on the leash to help make sure they cannot just bolt since it is an open door. Reward everyone standing at the door when they are calm. You can also stick a baby gate on the backdoor to help them not bolt and get rewarded by going somewhere when you open the backdoor while they are in learning mode.

In training mode I would send Claire out first, while the other two are behind baby gates. Then deal with training the other two, they could be feeding off of each other energy/cues/behaviors. I would work with each one individually, then together as the two. Then bring in Claire last once you have already done those steps. No one gets to go outside when they are riled up and biting/nipping. Only good behavior gets outside time. They will get it with consistency. Good luck!
 
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