barking and nipping because I stopped playing

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Heidi2's picture
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Joined: 2019-08-31

I seriously feel so discouraged.   We started obedience training around 4 months old with Heidi and she did well.  She loved the trainer and responded well to him.  However, around 5 months (still in training), she started what I "think" was a demand type barking and it was annoying and upsetting because it would seem to come out of nowhere.   I worked with corrections and redirecting and it passed.  I thought it was GONE.   Now, here we are, she is almost 9 months old and ending estrus.   It seems this behavior has suddenly resurfaced.  She is obnoxious.  We play in the fenced yard and when I start to walk away to go into the house, she starts this incessant barking.  I continue to ignore her and walk away and she nips at me.    I realize she isn't getting her off-leash runs on the trail because she is in heat and maybe isn't getting as much exercise as usual, but we are truly taking time to play inside as well as outside.  Most of this behavior is just when we're outside.  I'm at wits end.  I try to grab her collar, but she is bouncing around so fast and barking.  Once, I accidentally grabbed her lip and felt bad.  A couple of times I couldn't get her collar and grabbed the fur of her neck and she immediately dropped into a down position and laid there calmly and let me pet her and calm her down.   PLEASE tell me this is just part of her being in heat.   There are so, so many conflicting opinions out there.  I don't want to make this sweet dog mean.   She is definitely nipping, but this is NOT a behavior I can live with.  

 

She is still such a baby - keep training her, and get lots of exercise when it is safe to do so again. This too shall pass! Raising a Doberman is not an easy task, but the end result is well worth it. 

Heidi2's picture
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Joined: 2019-08-31

Oh, thank you for the encouragement.  I was going to wait until she is over her cycle and call the trainer, but now feel that maybe I might not need to do this.

Both the trainer and the vet have said she has a good temperament.  She DOES - except for this behavior that has basically resurfaced.  She is a wonderful dog - great with guests, kids, etc.   I am learning to understand why my husband loved the breed and wanted another.  Actually, our vet said he, too, has always loved the breed and just doesn't see them anymore.   

So, I am hoping that with us CONSTANTLY correcting her for her rudeness when she plays fetch that it will sink in.  She seems to always want to chew on the ball and at the same time push it against us....sometimes resulting in little pinches of our skin.  Not fun.  Even though she is good around kids, we'd never be able to let her play with them since she is still too pushy.

Again, thanks.  My trainer told me I need to 'calm down'.  He was always joking that I needed to go take a long bath or drink some wine.  I have only ever owned a sheltie, dachshund and golden retriever (all rescues).  I guess I just want to make sure she turns out to be a polite representation of this breed.   She is definitely not a soft mouth dog!!!

 

 

 

Kim
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All of mine as pups were NUTS!  I thought they'd never calm down.  But truly, every single one of them grew up to be lovely, friendly, well-behaved dogs. It took about a year to see them start to quiet down, and by two they were all grown up.

Just keep being consistent, keep asking, and the day will come where it will all sink in, and she will be too!

Heidi2's picture
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Thanks, Kim for the reassurance.   We had company today and she behaved like a sweetheart.  The one woman is frail from cancer and it was as though she knew it.  She showered her with kisses and never attempted to jump on her.  She is wonderful in every other aspect but her pushiness when she plays outside.   I thought she only did it with me and I caught my husband hiding her fetch ball.   He said, nope, she's not listening, so we aren't playing this anymore today.  LOL.  I think I am just too concerned because I want to be a good, responsible owner and train her right.  We will just keep correcting and hopefully soon it will kick in.  I will just keep reminding myself of what you are telling me.  When she is calm, I can see this is a dog I will love to have around.  I can also see why everyone who has ever owned one never wants any other breed.  It's just getting past the stuff that takes a LOT of hard work and dedication.  

 

CRDobe's picture
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Joined: 2014-11-06

Pet Profiles

My girl was pretty much a breeze to raise and train. UNTIL she hit the doberteens around  8-9 months. She turned into such a jerk! Nippy, barking, and sassing back at me. My mantra was "it's normal, it will pass". Keep training, be patient, stick to the rules you've established and try and stay calm (ie grit your teeth!)

It will pass and the dog you knew will return!

Heidi2's picture
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Joined: 2019-08-31

Oh, it is so comforting to think this, too, will pass.  She seems to have calmed down a bit since her heat cycle.  Not too sure how things will be after her spaying.  She is such a great pup in all other ways - no food guarding, accepts the senior cat (wants to play and the cat does NOT), sits and obeys commands most of the time....but...I've just learned to hate to play with her.  Sometimes she doesn't nip & bark just when I quit playing - It seems to just pop up!    We'll do our best.  

 

DobermanGuy's picture
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Joined: 2017-12-11

but...I've just learned to hate to play with her.  Sometimes she doesn't nip & bark just when I quit playing - It seems to just pop up!    We'll do our best. 

 

Dobermans tend to be mouthy. It's normal. The corrections you give her when she squeezes too hard will eventally help her learn to have a soft mouth and not squeeze so hard as to 'stop the game'.

Raising a Doberman in a single dog home is more difficult in that the owner has to teach the dog this bite inhibition. In a multi dog home they learn from the other dogs that are there.

Dobies like to 'play' rough. Nothing wrong with that most of the time.

Was a little worried what my rescue mutt would think once the Dobermans finally got around to chewing on her. Fortunately for her they grew up chewing on each other and have learned to not chew very hard. (or else the game ends) Rescue mutt tolerates the chewing fairly well but the body slamming throws her for a loop every time! LOL! :)

Had them all out front recently for a potty break and one of the Dobermans launched herself at new girl hitting her broadside at close to full speed (full speed for her fat butt anyway). New girl was knocked off her feet and planted into the middle of my hedge before she could blink. Dobergirl stood there waiting for her to extricate herself from the hedge so she could be chewed on... I just laughed and wondered how the new girl could NOT see that coming!

More recently saw one of the Dobergirls running at new girl to bodyslam her and right before the impact new girl bounced pretty much straight up in the air from a standstill. Dobie sailed pretty much right under her and skidded out in the grass. By the time she got turned around to come in for the chewing new girl was ready for her. That time - She saw it coming!  

If you try a bit you can likely find different ways to 'play' with her that stimulate her brain without the need for her mouth to be on you. Could be fetch, could be running...

 

 

Heidi2's picture
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Joined: 2019-08-31

Love the picture!  LOL.