5 Month Male - Normal Behavior?

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DougTheDobie's picture
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Hi All,

First time posting here but have read a lot, thank you all for so much information.  We are 1st time dobie owners, our male is 5 mo. old (had him since 8 weeks), his name is Doug :) In advance, sorry if this post becomes a novel but I truly appreciate any feedback.

We've had quite a few dogs via rescue, foster etc.. Our big lab/shepherd mix who passed 2 years ago, had some definite "fear" based issues towards people, so I have a little bit of PTSD from that and, honestly, am looking for some assurance some of the things we have experienced with Doug is normal (more protection or "I'm only 5 months old" based) for this breed.

Overall, Doug is great.  I exercise him via 1-2 30 minute walks a day, playing in the yard, or 3 - 4 days a week he goes to doggy daycare, where he does very well, they always say how well he plays with the other dogs and they adore him.  He also does a lot of clicker based training, 1-2 sessions a week at the daycare with their trainers, and I do clicker training with him daily.  He's very smart and responsive.  FYI we also have a lab, a pomeranian and a cavalier that he loves, they're working on loving him back but everyone gets along just fine.

So, here's the scenarios of concern and also some positives:

*On walks, he does fine with passerby, unless (not all the time, just sometimes) they are coming out of their house or walking down their driveway and we happen to be in front.  Hair up, bark bark bark.  I am currently walking him with a clicker and treats, so I do my best to keep his attention beforehand and the "look at that" technique.  If I don't get to it in time, and he gets aggitated, its tough to bring him back under threshold so I basically have to pull him to keep moving.

*While in car, he will bark and groan (no teeth showing) if we are, say, at a stoplight and there is a pedestrian waiting for the light.

*Due to Covid, we've only had a few people over, one of which was my sister.  He did okay with her, especially since she brought her dog.  Laid next to her, didn't bark but just at first.  Toward the end of the visit, she bent down while he was laying on his mat and he got a little spooked and ran over to me.  This incident was probably what concerned me regarding "fear".  That said, he had been at daycare all day and possibly was overtired.

*He does have alot of friends that are people on the street, and he loves all of the workers at his daycares.

*We took him to an outdoor mall yesterday and he was completely aloof to all the people.  One lady asked to take a picture and he liked her, one gentleman came up very abruptly, arms out trying to pet him and Doug groaned a bit, a couple barks, hair up.  I called Doug over to me and made him sit, then he was okay. 

*Take him to Petsmart at least once a week to walk around and get a toy or something, no issues there, not phased at all by people walking by etc.

*Just like the man above at the outdoor mall, my neighbor (who also owns a dobie) tried to approach Doug in the same manner, bending down, arms out, almost like he was tripping toward Doug.  Doug backed up, barked etc..  Just prior, he had wanted to introduce his doberman to Doug, but the dobie was not super friendly and was growling.  Doug's reaction in this scenario I assume is perfectly normal, regardless of the breed/temperament.

*We were chatting next door in our neighbors yard and Doug was playing with their retriever.  The two ladies were out with us, and the gentleman was standing at the dutch door (top part open).  Doug licked his hand a few times and seemed fine, but also groaned at him a little bit later while the gentleman was talking.

So that's that, I guess my overall concern is I've never known a 5 month old puppy to bark at people.  I am trying to rest my mind at ease, and my wife and I will do everything we can, continuing training, socialization etc...  I think alot of it is in my head, and while I do all the right things to be the pack leader (make him wait at doors, wait for food etc..), I know that my anxiety is not helping the situation at all.  

Appreciate your feedback, sorry for the length ! 

I replied to your post in DT, but will say again that it is fairly normal behavior. You are doing a good job with him. Socializing is tough with Covid.  Most of the barking he is doing is more than likely a fear responce at this age, and you are his safety blanket. 

DougTheDobie's picture
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Joined: 2021-01-29

Thank you Fitzmar, very much ! 

DobermanGuy's picture
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Joined: 2017-12-11

So that's that, I guess my overall concern is I've never known a 5 month old puppy to bark at people.  I am trying to rest my mind at ease, and my wife and I will do everything we can, continuing training, socialization etc...  I think alot of it is in my head, and while I do all the right things to be the pack leader (make him wait at doors, wait for food etc..), I know that my anxiety is not helping the situation at all. 

 

Granted that many Dobermans nowadays are bred so poorly and so watered down that they barely act like a Doberman should but still...

Did you not read up any about the history of the breed before you brought him home? What they were bred to do / be for example.

If a person wants a dog that behaves like a Pom - The easiest way to get there is to buy a Pom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DougTheDobie's picture
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Joined: 2021-01-29

Well DobermanGuy, I suppose I should thank you for the feedback ? I've seen your name a lot, and it seemed to correspond with good feedback and positive notions.

Yes, we have had dogs of all breeds for 15 years.  I've researched Dobermans for the past few, and have always wanted one.  Given their rarity here, it is not common to come accross one.  Doug is our first doberman; we don't have years of experience with the breed.  

Thankfully, I received a lot of positive feedback on the other forum.  It appears Doberman people, not all, but some, can be like the Porsche forum guys and can sometimes feel very big and tall behind a keyboard.  Oh, you only have a GT3? Very sad, especially in these times.

All that said, I appreciate what you said.  However, if you ever had a Pom, it must have been a heck of a lot nicer than mine ! :)

 

AlphaAdmin's picture
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Pet Profiles

DougTheDobie, I think you're doing fine. Doug sounds like a normal Doberman puppy. Dobermans are terriers, and they like to growl and bark. And he is just a baby, so he will be apprehensive of people that don't know how to properly approach a dog. 

I don't think you have anything to worry about.

DougTheDobie's picture
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Thank you AlphaAdmin :)

DobermanGuy's picture
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Thankfully, I received a lot of positive feedback on the other forum.  It appears Doberman people, not all, but some, can be like the Porsche forum guys and can sometimes feel very big and tall behind a keyboard.  Oh, you only have a GT3? Very sad, especially in these times.

 

Yes. Excellent observation on your part sir.

That sort of attitude runs rampant at the DobermanTalk forum. Despise that site...

DobermanChat was a tiny, tiny bit better but not by much. They got a little better yet when their founder sold the site. 

Actually had a bitch lecture me one time on DT about raising littermates and clicked her profile to see that - That same bitch was raising a pair of littermates??? The 'OK for ME but not for thee' type of idiot... 

This was well stated and spot on advice in my opinion:

DougTheDobie, I think you're doing fine. Doug sounds like a normal Doberman puppy. Dobermans are terriers, and they like to growl and bark. And he is just a baby, so he will be apprehensive of people that don't know how to properly approach a dog. 

I don't think you have anything to worry about.

 

Would personally be wondering what was wrong if I ever had a Doberman that did NOT bark or growl any around strangers.

 

Was stopped at a red light the other day on the way home from work and a panhandler started approaching the driver side window of my truck. The one Dobergirl that sits behind me saw this guy getting closer and poked her head up between the front seats to get a better look and as soon as he got a little 'too close' for her comfort she let out a single but very loud and aggressive sounding bark (pretty much right in my darn ear).

Panhandler immediately changed course and went in a different direction. :)

 

Once I was sure my eardrum was not bleeding I turned around and looked at the other Doberman that did NOT bark at the guy and asked her what her problem was and if she neeeded to have her eyes checked out... 

DougTheDobie's picture
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Thank you for the feedback DobermanGuy.  Yours and everyone elses has set my mind at ease quite a bit.  I was 100% expecting a Doberman, just was not so sure about Doug exhibiting his Doberman-ness at such a young age.  Alot of the things I laid out seemed to correspond to a fear period, he seems to be much more aloof, even in the car, but if he feels like someone or something is approaching too closely, he certainly still alerts.

Thanks again, have a good evening.

DobermanGuy's picture
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I was 100% expecting a Doberman, just was not so sure about Doug exhibiting his Doberman-ness at such a young age.  Alot of the things I laid out seemed to correspond to a fear period

 

I think alot of it is in my head, and while I do all the right things to be the pack leader... 

 

That pack leader stuff matters big time with respect to your Doberman and the stuff they may be inclined to 'fear'. 

My girls were pretty freaked out the first few thunderstorms they experienced but got over it pretty quickly after a few times of me standing out there with them and remaining calm...

Same thing with sounds. If they see you constantly have no reaction to particular sounds / noises - They will learn to have no reaction as well.

 

 

 

 

 

DOGMAN45's picture
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Joined: 2013-09-06

My Dobe and sweet yellow lab both sound off in the car when they see a pedestrian or another dog.  Most of the time they are both laying in the back of my suv and only pop up when I'm at a stop light or stopped for other reasons.  I think this is normal behavior.  When out walking they are good with people and dogs.  Give it some time.  Sometimes your pup might be sensing your anxiety when you encounter others during a walk.  You see a dog or pedestrian and tense up a little in anticipation of a problem.  You might be unconsciously sending signals that Doug is picking up.