Help! 5 Month puppy starting to growl+bite

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MayasMUM's picture
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Joined: 2020-04-10

I have a 5 month old dobergirl who is been THE SWEETEST, CUDDLIEST, girl ever. We train her every day. Exercise her 1-2 hours a day. Make her work for EVERYTHING. Make her work for her meals with different tricks EVERY meal (sit, down, heel, play dead, high five, etc) she will only eat I until we release her to, and leave her to her thing. She does great. We go in through every door first, she sits and waits every time until we release her to come inside. She's very loyal, and obeys every command. She goes to bed when we tell her too, she does not sleep with us in the bed, she sleeps in her crate every night no problem. Occasionally we allow her to sleep on the couch. BUT now that she's getting older, she is getting SO stubborn, I guess doberteens REALLY are a thing. She knows she can not bite on the furniture. But she still tries to do so. She will lay down and bit the furniture at the corner. When I say NO with a firm calm and stern voice. She'll try to nip at me, I say no again, try and grab her face gently and say NO. Nothing, still try's to bite, with grumbles. It's not a nasty growl but a "let me do what I want" kind of growl lol. I keep a cool head every time, and at the third "NO" I send her to her crate for a "time out" I do not physically make her go, she just knows to do so when I send her for time outs. I will leave her in there from 30 seconds to 1 minute. When she comes out, goes at the furniture AGAIN, and then this grumbling and biting process happens again and back to the crate. Don't know what to do. Are we doing the right thing? Should we implement something else for discipline? Today, was the first time the growing prolonged and it was ON the couch, I went to touch her face, and she tried to bite my hand with grumbling. She doesn't do it hard at all, but still! She should not be doing this. Furthermore!! Lately, when she gets TOOOO excited (when she's on her long line playing fetch on the field) she'll charge at me and jump bringing back the ball, and sometimes she'll nip SO HARD she bruises. How do I tackle this issue? I understand she is a puppy and has a whole lot of energy, but I need to figure out a way to teach her that that's not okay. I love was my girl, but she's getting stronger by the day and these behaviors are not acceptable. Any tips? 

CRDobe's picture
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Joined: 2014-11-06

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Sounds like you are handling it ok, but yes, the doberteens are the WORST. One day at a time. During that time my girl became a complete sassy jerk, "forgot" all our training. I got so tired of gritting my teeth and staying calm! Redirecting with a toy helped somewhat. So did a ton of patience. But she did grow out of it and became the dog I always hoped she would be.

Hang in there!

MayasMUM's picture
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Joined: 2020-04-10

Thanks CRDobe! Appreciate your feedback :)

DobermanGuy's picture
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Joined: 2017-12-11

What does a momma dog do if a puppy nips her too hard while playing?

Heck, for that matter what happens when a pair of littermates are playing and one gets out of line with the other?

Answer: There is a very swift correction involved that usually involves a bit of pain for the one that got out of line. That is how they LEARN bite inhibition.

DobieBruno's picture
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Joined: 2020-12-23

Remember though that correction from the mother or littermates is the ONLY tool at their disposal to deal with problem behaviours. In comparison we as humans are able to understand and read the causes of their behaviours and address them, rather than simply punishing the bad behaviour.

So maybe consider searching for the WHY is the problem behaviour manifesting, e.g. over tiredness, over stimulation, anxiety, etc. then taking appropriate steps to break down how to deal with it.

I'd definitely take away couch privlages for awhile.  Also make sure she has good stuff to chew on - at 5 months, she could be teething big time. 

I have used a scruff shake at this age as I'm not one to only believe in using only positive reinforcement - but you do need to know what you are doing for it to be effective and not make things worse. 

Doberteens can really try your patience - this too shall pass.  If you need a trainer or behaviorist to help you, ask your vet for a reference. There are some real wackos claiming to be one or the other out there!