Doberman Puppy and Kids

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JPrzybylo's picture
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I'm deeply saddened to report that my 5 month old Doberman puppy bit a little boy yesterday. The boy was calmly trying to give him a treat and as he turned to walk away our dog lunged forward and bit the boys forearm. I had him on a leash and was able to minimize the bite but I'm so confused and very depressed. I've tried everything to socialize him with children. We have a daughter who gets along fairly well with him but his nipped her too in attempt to grab her dress. I'm going to contact the breeder today but I'm clinging to straws hoping we don't have to get rid of him.

I'm very sorry to hear this. I would definitely call your breeder ASAP. She is a really good breeder,  and will take him back if need be.  Hopefully she will have some good suggestions for you. It is possible that he is just too much dog for your family - it does happen. This is not an easy breed to raise - even for experienced Doberman families, and one with a lot of prey drive can be tough to have around children as they often act in a manner that mimics prey animals. 

Because you do have a good breeder, I'm not going to make suggestions other than that you should contact her immediately. 

JPrzybylo's picture
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He is extremely smart. He completed Puppy Class a couple weeks ago and is enrolled in Obedience 1 right now. He really stood out. My daughter was able to walk him around the ring and deliver commands successfully. I am currently working with a trainer and can hopefully work this out. I cannot decide whether his issue with kids is aggression or puppy behavior. He does very well with adults. I am currently working with the breeder and trying to figure this out. He is a handful. I was thinking it was more or less because he is only 5 months old. I heard that the first year with a Doberman puppy is rough. We had a puppy years ago but you easily forget how much work they are. Does anyone think an issue like this is workable, or is it too late?

faustacaso's picture
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At five months, I think it's puppy behavior rather than aggression.  Yes the first year with a Doberman puppy can be a rough one.  He needs lots of exercise and a firm hand from you, letting him know that biting is forbidden.  I think this issue is workable.  It's good you are working with a trainer.