11 months old started to growl at my husband

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Princesse's picture
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Good morning everyone, so for about 4 to 5 times now within a few months Duke now 11 months old started to growl at my husband out of the blue when he's waking up from a dead sleep while he's sleeping on the couch with me. My husband gets up from his recliner that makes a noise and Duke growls at him but not everytime my husband gets up... so I grab the back of his neck like his mother would do and correct him but to no avail yet. He did it again last night so that pushed me to write this post. Any suggestions on how to correct the behavior? I would gladly appreciate all recommendations on how to proceed here with this bad behavior. Thanks in advance for your expertise.

glengate's picture
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The first thing that needs to happen is that Duke loses his privileges, specifically that of sleeping on the couch.  He's gotten a little too entitled. 

Has Duke gone to obedience classes?  I'd say he needs to, and I'd suggest that your husband be the one to take him so that he starts to learn the hierarchy a little better.  I imagine it might be a little difficult to find a good class right now but I'd really look into it.  I'd also have your husband be the one to feed him for the next while so that he learns it's your husband that controls resources.  Duke should have to do some simple obedience to earn that meal from your husband.  Like sit, down, etc. 

It wouldn't hurt to try to find a certified behaviourist to discuss this, too.

Agree with everything Glengate said. 

DobermanGuy's picture
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Good morning everyone, so for about 4 to 5 times now within a few months Duke now 11 months old started to growl at my husband out of the blue when he's waking up from a dead sleep while he's sleeping on the couch with me. My husband gets up from his recliner that makes a noise and Duke growls at him but not everytime my husband gets up... so I grab the back of his neck like his mother would do and correct him but to no avail yet. He did it again last night so that pushed me to write this post. Any suggestions on how to correct the behavior? I would gladly appreciate all recommendations on how to proceed here with this bad behavior. Thanks in advance for your expertise.

 

A different way to look at things here...

 

Last wife used to get angry and fuss a LOT if not taking her meds as directed by her doctors. 

If she started yelling at me for whatever reason and the Doberman we had at that time was around - That dog would instantly get in her spot by the womans side and get right on in there growling at me too. The more loud and angry that demon ass x-wife got - The louder and more angry the dog would get as well.

She fed and watered that dog, took it out for most every potty break it ever took (rain or shine), cleaned up every single mess it ever made, took it to the Vet whenever needed, brushed its teeth when needed... I could go on and on but suffice to say - That was her dog. They bonded pretty tight due to how much time they spent together.

It is a way different bond than what the dog forms when a guy (or kids) living in the same home only plays with it here and there and occasionally feeds it or tosses it a treat. Dobermans are smart. They know who takes 'care' of them and that person will usually go to the top of the list for who THEY choose to take care of / side with.

 

I never fussed at that dog for growling at me. She was doing what she was bred to do in the first place. (protecting her owner)

The woman was bat shit crazy but her dog was doing right.

Princesse's picture
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Thank you for your great analysis Glengate, I now can understand better Duke's behavior. I'll definitely take his couch privileges away. What other privileges should he lose? And I need to reset boundaries. My husband currently feeds him but I've been doing the training. My husband works long hours but he reinforces the commands every day. No he didn't take any classes as of yet but funny you asked, I called petsmart last week and they just restarted their obedience classes services and I was able to secure a spot in the advance training class... we are starting on Sunday. Thanks to all of your great input, that's one of the reason why I joined the forum world to be able to asks my questions and to receive honest and knowledgeable feedback.

Princesse's picture
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Good morning dobermanguy, oh it could also just mean that he's guarding me! Interesting he sure is my dog no doubt. Okay well I can also understand this behavior being as such...well in any event I still enrolled him into an advanced training class to reinforce his training that I provided since he was only 2 months old. It can't hurt from what I understand reading throughout the forum... it can only benefit him right? I know petsmart is not a personal trainer but what they wanted for a 10 week program was way out of my league money wise. $1500.00 I couldn't afford that at this moment for sure. Petsmart classes runs at $ 119 for a 6 weeks program...thanks again guys I once again benefited from your great inputs!

Princesse's picture
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Ps dobermanguy, sorry for the ex wife... but reading your post again I can understand even more that all the dogs are actually doing is protecting their owners...thanks

DobermanGuy's picture
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I called petsmart last week and they just restarted their obedience classes services and I was able to secure a spot in the advance training class... we are starting on Sunday.

 

Inquire about the trainers credentials before you give them any money. Most likely that 'trainer' is a kid with no real experience training crap. You go in there with a non-food motivated dog and they are screwed and clueless. Heck, A better idea would be to sit in on a class (without your dog present) and see if you think the 'trainer' is worth a crap or not... Should not cost you anything to 'supervise' a class or two to see if you even want to enroll in it. 

Real trainers are not likely to be found working at a petsmart...

Dropped into a local Petco once with my pair while a 'training' class was going on. Tried to keep our distance so as to not distract the class but was close enough to see what a joke it was. Girl was trying to get this one dog to sit and heard her say the command several times and was getting zero SIT from the dog she was working with. I would have made the dog sit after it blew off the command that second time. No way I would have kept repeating it over and over and just waited patiently for it to 'possibly' happen.

 

 

 

Princesse's picture
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Hi dobermanguy, yes I was afraid of that all along that's why I haven't gone yet and did all of Duke's training on my own so far. The trainer is a woman and is about 40 45 years old...she sounded knowledgeable but again like you said I 've haven't seen her in action.That's a real good idea! I'm going to do that and go check her out Tomorrow. The better training programs wants way to much money for me at the moment sadly. Well maybe I should keep looking ...2 members suggested that it would be best for him with the certain behavior he was portraying to take a class. I would also want to reinforce his obeddience training and change a bit the routine so he's not bored with what my sessions have been so far if that makes sense... and fortify loose leash walking. Which she mentions in the description of this advance training class. He's doing well on his walks with the help of the prong collar but like yesterday when we went to the vet and got excited he started pulling again and he definitely pulled the tech around... but on the other hand after his examination the vet said to me that he was well behaved! That he sat through the whole examination time and he let her do the exam without any problems. Jezzzz I can't afford a big name personal trainer and I might just be waisting my time and money with petsmart. Decision decision since I'm supposed to start sunday. Thank you for your input and help dobermanguy! Oh how much should I be willing to spend for a trainer that would help me with what mentioned above? If you have an idea, I would appreciate it. Thanks again.

DobermanGuy's picture
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Leerburg.com has online resources, DVD's, etc. Also many free videos and resources available there.

Give it a look for yourself... :)

Seriously, Give Leerburg a look see. There is stuff to be learned there that you will not find at Petsmart.

and fortify loose leash walking. Which she mentions in the description of this advance training class.

My girls were trailing their loose leashes today at work when the UPS guy stepped inside to deliver a package. He was not paying attention to his surroundings and got one step inside when he noticed the girls (they noticed him too! LOL!)

I wanted to sign for the package but dude did not stick around. :)

What I mean by them trailing their loose leads:

Picture is cropped and you cant see it but that blue line on the floor leads to one door of the shop which is wide open and sunlight is shining through the opening...

Having dogs loosely trail long leads while working towards developing their listening skills in ANY environment is the greatest thing since sliced bread. 

Learned about that and much, much more at Leerburgs website. :)

Jezzzz I can't afford a big name personal trainer and I might just be wasting my time and money with petsmart.

The best trainers do not just train the dog. They are training you as well. If the lady from Petsmart has zero (or limited) experience training Dobermans she will be limited in her ability to help you learn how to handle your dog. 

 

 

glengate's picture
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You never know what you might get at the PetSmart classes.  You might luck into a good trainer, you might not.  Keep in mind that they generally train low level obedience, the very basics.  Which isn't a bad thing.  It's just that things like resource guarding may be over their head. 

I would be careful about generalizing that your dog is "protecting" you.  I mean, from what?  Your husband isn't a danger (right?), the squeaking chair is not a danger.  Unless your dog is a complete moron, he knows that.  It's more likely you're dealing with resource guarding ("his" couch, "his" mom, "his" space) so he needs to learn that these things are NOT his.  The resources are YOURS and he's lucky to be sharing them, and until he can realize that, he needs to NOT be sharing them.  He has to earn his privileges - look up Nothing In Life Is Free program for dogs.

I know you're saying that cost is an issue but sometimes you have to look ahead and imagine the worst.  What would the cost be if he accelerates this behaviour and actually bites someone?  The time and money you spend now may be way less than that possible cost. 

Another way to look for classes is to search for dog clubs in your area.  If you're near a big city, try searching that city name plus words like "kennel club" or "obedience club".  Dog clubs often offer training classes, and the people teaching them are usually people who compete in various dog sports like obedience, agility, etc.  They generally use fairly positive methods. 

^^^^^ excellent advice from Glengate! 

Princesse's picture
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Good morning and thank you to everyone for all the great feedback. I will surely explore all of these great mentioned options to satisfy my need to correct Duke's behavior. I really appreciate all the help!

DobermanGuy's picture
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It's just that things like resource guarding may be over their head.

 

Will be lots of things that are way over their heads at PetSmart.

You know any professionals that have ever sought employment there? LOL!

 

Leerburg on the other hand is made up entirely of professionals with many years of real world experience...

Princesse's picture
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Good morning dobermanguy, yes I understand that perfectly. I did take a look at Leerburg and I will order a couple of DVD thank you for sharing that great information with me. And I'm also inquiring about kennel club and obedience clubs in my area. Thank you Glengate. I called one close to me yesterday and I'm waiting for a call back. I will keep you updated on Duke's progress. Oh btw Duke is not happy with losing his couch privileges! I believe tough love is going to pay off here...

Princesse's picture
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Hi guys so I didnt have any luck with the clubs near me and the per smart all it is really is just a canine goog citizen class that they call advance classes. I took your advice dobermanguy and looked at a session a bit from afar and she seems knowledgeable in what she does but is that what I need?a CGC? Or it's okay and good to have such a Diploma? If its good for dobermans to have I dont mind spending the $100. Advice please! But in the mean time I dont want him to become so friendly that he forgets his job it's to guard me and the house Rv etc...I'm going to order a couple of dvd tomorrow morning from Leerburg , i'm still making my selection...oh and is it better to get the dvd or access online? I'm not sure which works better? Any advice on that also dobermanguy? Thank you a million guys for all you great expertise and help. I want to do the right thing for my boy! BTW Duke hasn't growled for quit a few nights now...showing progress.

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I'm going to order a couple of dvd tomorrow morning from Leerburg , i'm still making my selection...oh and is it better to get the dvd or access online? I'm not sure which works better? Any advice on that also dobermanguy?

 

If you already have particular titles of their dvds picked out I would suggest checking ebay or similar for that title 'used'.

Does not cost near as much for the same exact lessons.

Princesse's picture
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Awww that's absolutely a lovely picture of your girls Dobermanguy! Awesome. Love their collars BTW!
Thank you that sounds like a great idea. And you have plenty of them... that's great, I appreciate all the help.

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Awww that's absolutely a lovely picture of your girls Dobermanguy! Awesome. Love their collars BTW!
Thank you that sounds like a great idea. And you have plenty of them... that's great, I appreciate all the help.

I checked before my previous post and ebay had a bunch of used Leerburg DVD titles for sale at a good bit less than new from Leerburg directly.

If you (or anyone else) saves some money that is a good thing. :)

Hard to find on their website but they DO have a message board similar to this one as well...

https://leerburg.com/webboard/forum.php?loc=footer

I need to stop by and post some pictures of my current Doberchunks so they can have a smile (or two)! LOL! :)

 

Dystopia was 76 lbs at her 6 month checkup today. Had her bloodwork done and her heart listened to while there. She had a good checkup, very happy!

Asked if I could weigh her sister too cause she was there and Vet lady said 'You break it - You buy it'. LOL! Patience clocked in at 98.4 lbs. Had her heart listened to as well. 

 

 

 

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Good morning dobermanguy, that's great news! 2 healthy girls:)
Wow she's a big girl! They both look in great shape. Excellent.

Yes I also looked up Ebay, after you mentioned it, they do have a lot of the Leerburg dvd on there. I'm ordering this afternoon:) I'm all about saving a buck as well! Thank you for the great tip on that.
okay I'll check them out too, great.

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Good morning dobermanguy, that's great news! 2 healthy girls:)
Wow she's a big girl! They both look in great shape. Excellent.

 

Healthy yes, but great shape?

LOL! :)

Uhhhh, No.

 

They both NEED a lot more running, jumping and wide open area 'play' time. 

And they need to be getting it every day...

 

 

 

 

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Good morning Dobermanguy,
Well from the pictures I saw they both looked in good shape...but dad knows best. Is it because she's 98 pounds? Duke is 95 pounds and in great shape and he's 30 1/2 inches at the wither. And not done growing... I hope he settles here soon though! Anyway I read on here not to look at the weight but at the size of the dog or something like that.
Absolutely I agree with you, they need all of that exercise everyday. And I have the luxury of being able to provide it for my boy, thank God. Otherwise the Zoomies would be terrible around here lol. It seems like you work every day and that makes things more difficult for someone for sure...
Have a great labor day!