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Kbsacc's picture
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Joined: 2014-09-14

I have just brought our new 8 week old doberman female puppy home today.

I have 3 small boys and so far they are all very respectful of her and are growing very very fond of her.

My husband and I noticed separately at different times throughout the day that she had growled at my husband or myself. Both times while we were playing. I did some research and found that this was somewhat normal because she is used to being in a pack with her siblings and she was trying to establish dominance. 

The advice I read, was to tell her "No" in a firm voice and gently but effectively pinch the nape of her neck. 

When I took her out to potty before bed tonight, she went perfectly on the grass and when I praised her she growled at me. So I tried the technique above and she growled again and snapped at me. 

Since I 3 small children I absolutely cannot take any chances that she will do that to any of them or other guests in my home. 

Pleade advise... 

Thank you so much!

Hi , this is a wee baby you have ... They are little horrors doberman puppies , but at 8 weeks no way should they be growling especially not snapping !! I don't doubt you , but are you sure she not just scared ? You confident around the puppy. ? 

Kim
Kim's picture
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Joined: 2012-02-05

Welcome to the forum - this is a great place to learn about raising your girl!

I agree - she's just a baby. It's too young to correct her, IMO. When she's playing, I'm sure she can growl - they do when they play!  It's not a "serious" growl - it's what she'd use playing with her sibs.

She could be defensive if she thinks she's going to get hurt. Was she properly socialized around people when she was with her momma? Is she scared? Keep in mind - this is her first day away from her family, and I'm sure she's very confused, probably more than a little bit scared, and quite possibly overwhelmed. A new home with three small children may be way too much all at once for her - I'm sure all your kids are excited to play with her. I would make sure she has lots of time outs in her crate so she can sleep - she may also be exhausted. They sleep a lot as puppers.

To expect much of anything from her on the first day (first week, even) is unrealistic, and even more so if she was not well socialized at the breeder's.

I think I'd try a little something yummy at the same time with the praise, so she recognizes she's done something wonderful, and doesn't have to be defensive. And reward before she growls. If she growls, I would completely ignore it and act like nothing happened. No attention for it.

Something seems a little off if you're praising her and she doesn't recognize that as a wonderful thing. Everything she experiences right now should be as fun as you can make it for her. She needs to know she's safe in her new home.

MommaL's picture
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Joined: 2014-06-15

Another good idea is to read all the threads on this site about raising puppies!  There are so many good people on this forum and lots of GOOD advice on previous threads. I found them invaluable with our new dobie, they are truly different in amazing ways from other dogs.  Best of luck with your baby precious!

Kbsacc's picture
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Joined: 2014-09-14

Thank you for your responses. 

I returned her to the breeder this afternoon. I was heartbroken. My son and I have been crying off and on all day. It was such a hard decision, but I just wasn't 100% certain that she wouldn't snap at the children and there's no way I could have taken that risk. 

When I spoke to the breeder she said that my Doberman was very spirited since birth and I could probably train her to act kindly. With my 3 small children I couldn't risk it. 

We fell in love with her and wish it would have worked out differently. Maybe in the future we'll try again for a less aggressive pup.

I really appreciate all of the input on this matter. Thank you all so much. 

 

Konkie's picture
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Joined: 2014-05-06

Pet Profiles

Dobermanns are well known for being mouthy, pushy pups. At this time in your family's life it sounds like a dobe is not for you and you have done the right thing. Best of luck for the future!

Kim
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Joined: 2012-02-05

I agree with Konkie - I think your situation isn't optimal for a Dobe pup, and it's a lot on your plate to have three young children AND a lively sensitive 8 week old pup.

It's not fair to the pup, and really difficult for you.

Maybe when your kids get a bit older, an older laid back dog, perhaps even another breed that's known for being extremely tolerant and loving to kids, would be more appropriate. (Think Labrador Retriever, or along those lines.)

Thank you for having the courage to take her back, and give her the chance of having a home that's able to give her the best opportunity to be a wonderful dog.

MommaL's picture
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Joined: 2014-06-15

Thank you for making the right choice in a timely fashion.  Kim's comment is spot on.  Many blessings to you and your family.