Doggy Bootcamp/Training Question

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sarawinsor's picture
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Wondering if anyone has experience sending their dog away to be trained? We are considering keeping our foster dog, but as of right now it's too hard for us. He needs training, and we know we are not capable/don't have enough time to successfully train him to be the dog he should be. I know it's not ideal, but we don't really have other options. We work too much, a basic once a week obedience course isn't going to hack it, and we are considering keeping our foster Ken"Tuck"y (please see "new Foster Dobe, Help needed :) " recent thread for more info!) We live in NYC in a 1bedroom with a weim and a Doberman, without them being well trained and well behaved no one can have fun J Tuck and Jersey(Weim) are currently getting 4 walks a day, two of the walks during the day are either dog run or walks along the river, at least one weather permitting is a dog run one where they spend tons of time running, playing and swimming. My dog walker loves them and sometimes has them out for two hours at a day for each time, depends on the day.

 

We are looking into this training facility:

http://www.williamsdogtrainingcompany.com/

 

They said they set up the rooms they dogs are in to slightly mimic your house (to the best of their ability) they are not in kennels. We would send them for 2 weeks and then they drop them off/come to your house and train YOU (us J ) on how to continue their training and progress. Would love to hear if anyone has experience with this and or any suggestions, we live in the NYC area…

 

THANK YOU!

KevinK's picture
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my suggestion, is if you don't have time for training, how are you going to propperly care for the dog in the future?  Maybe it's in the dogs best interest to find a good forever home, with people that have more time available?  Training is an ongoing thing, that needs to be done often.  If the training is not kept up, you will be wasting your time and money.  For any kind of training to be to the point that I would call succesful, you need to do daily training.  This is somethign a doberman absolutely needs to be well behaved and happy.  This is a breed where walks, regardless of how long, are simply not enough.  Dobermans that dont' get the right amount of training and mental stimulation WILL become bored, and a bored doberman is something that you don't want in your apartment.

sarawinsor's picture
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We have time for ongoing training, short sessions each day, but not training from scratch. We are not dog trainers and doing it ourselves from the 'level' he is at right now (ie: no training whatsovever, can't even sit) would only result in a mediocre outcome at best. Our weimaraner has had basic training and we have continued it with her, my point is that two dogs in the apartment need to be on the same 'level' of training and we are not able to accomplish that from scratch with an 8 month old puppy who was dumped at a kill shelter in Kentucky when his owners "moved" who clearly has had not time/energy put into him. We recognize the need for consistency with training and know "it's the owner. not the dog, who needs to be trained". We also recognize due to our schedules we cannot acheive the same level of intensive training that could be acheived in a bootcamp setting in a shorter period of time. He isn't insane or unmanegeable, he is perfectly crate trained etc. he just is a puppy and needs a lot of intensive training. Also, truth be told? Most people aren't willing to put the time, energy and money into training a dog regardless of what they might say. All of the homes/opportunities for homes that have come forward thus far were painfully mediocre, some even bad. So while I am sure there are people on this board who could train him better, spend more time with him and be the better more perfect owner, we have not found this person. Additionally, I have never declared myself perfect or a 1 bedroom apartment perfect for two dogs, but he is alive because we took on the responsibility and are doing the best we can. We will never be the perfect doberman home, we do work full time and don't devote all day to our dogs, but we feel that he is loved, safe, well taken care off, well exercised and better off than he would be dead in Kentucky. 

Wolfgirl_121's picture
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I personally suggest not sending him to "doggy boot-camp"... I have heard horrer stories about these places and would never send my pupper to one. I honestly think a weekly obediance class would be a better idea... you said you could do the short training lessons every day, as long as you've got that and the hour-hour1/2 each week, he will do just fine. Dobes are extremely intelligent and pick up commands quickly.

sarawinsor's picture
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Ah thanks Wolf, totally hear you, I am sure there are terrible places. This place seems to get immaculate reviews across the board and has an entire facebook page of happy fans...so I feel pretty confident it's not a terrible place, but I definitely see your point. Also, he is definitely very smart, I know a weekly class would be excellent, they are just hard schedule-wise oftentimes, bad times or locations (and when you live in NYC without a car most cabs won't take two huge dogs!)

Lori's picture
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Not a fan of sending them off either - Mainly because it's training for YOU and your dog.  It takes both of you to make it work. 

KevinK's picture
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Agree with Lori.  It's harder to train the human than the dog...  And I don't believe that you can train a human to be a good trainer in one session, or a few, or even a bunch of sessions.  And if the humans don't have the understanding, than it's a waste of time.  So it's just not something I recommend.  Every dog I have ever seen in real life that has been sent away for training, the results are less than satisfactory.  

sarawinsor's picture
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Kevin-

So when you say that even in a bunch of sessions it's not possible to become a good trainer what do you suggest? As of right now, like I mentioned, his choices are a home with someone out of the house 7 hours a day minimum (with no walks/crated), a man who has a criminal record, a family who flaked on us after wasting hours of our time or us trying to do the best we can. I'm just confused, if doggy bootcamp is no good, multiple sessions with a trainer isn't good, what do you reccomend? We all can't be incredible dog trainers and don't specialize in it, I doubt most dog owners have even the most basic understanding of dog training (save this board since by default visiting a message board and interacting shows a level of care for dogs which far transcends what the average dog owner is engaging in) so what would best your best suggestion if we did want to keep him?

KevinK's picture
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If I was in your situation, I would place him with a reputable rescue that has the time, resources, and ability to work on any behavior issues, and screen homes in a way to make sure that they are going to a suitable home, with owners that will be able to address, understand, and handle any issues specific to this dog. Rehoming a dog is not something I would ever suggest being done by someone other than a qualified rescue, and good breeders & rescues put in their contract that in the event of a rehome, you are not to do it yourself.  Many rescues have waiting lists with people waiting for dogs to come in, and these are good, loving homes with people that know what they're doing.  Good rescues don't deal with crack heads and people who work 11 hours a day.

 I don't mean this is a bash, but if you don't have the time to train your dog, then you don't have the time to maintain that training.  When I brought Dakota home, I woke up 2 hours early every day, and stayed up 2 hours late everynight.  I went from 8 hours of sleep, to 4-5 a night for probably the first 6 months.   This was what was needed for me to be able to succesfully train our dog, and it's a sacrifice I was willing to make for her wellbeing.  Dobermans are a significant commitment, and most of that commitment is time.

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@sarawinsor--if you are willing to put ANY amount of training time into your own lives and that of your doberman, you're going to be better off than with no training at all.  If you really want to keep this dog, then I agree with you--manners are essential to get along with your Weim, and in a small apartment.  It can be done, just depends on how much you are willing to put into it.  Personally, I would never send an untrained dog off to Boot Camp.  He might come back trained somewhat, but not trained to you.  And no matter how many online praises you read on their website, unless you talk to several people that have actually USED them for training their dog, you're only reading what they want you to read.  (I'm a skeptical person by nature.  LOL)

Training is something you and your dog should do together.  It helps to form a bond with each other, plus you end up knowing your dog better than you ever have before.  Once a week training classes---even your basic classes that just teach sit, lie down, and stay, are a good place to start if he has no training whatsoever.  One hour per week is spent in class.  The rest of the week, up until your next one hour class, is spent by YOU and your DOG working together, even if it's just several 5 to 10 minute intervals per day.  Nobody says you have to end up being Cesar Milan....but taking a training class with your dog will benefit the dog and human both.  Sometimes I think the human comes away from those classes learning more than the dog does.

sarawinsor's picture
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Kevin-

I respect your opinion but disagree with you. Any dog is a commitment, Dobermans are no different than weimaraners (which we have a rescue weimaraner) or any other intelligent, active and high energy/needs breed. Regardless of your feelings towards the breed, loving one/having one, you can't honestly argue that any similar breed doesn't need similar things. "If you don't have time to train your dog you don't have time to maintain training" - We are happy to hire a private trainer to come consult if this is a better option than bootcamp, we were interested in researching options and getting opinions. Just because I am not a qualified dog trainer and can't do it without help doesn't make me an unfit owner, and just because I can't dedicate the amount of time you did doesn't make me any less of an owner in my opinion either. 

Additionally, he is also a part of a foster network, they technically "own" him. When I asked about listing him with a Doberman rescue they said it would have to be a cross post and they are still "responsible" for him. So unfortunately that's not an option. The rescue we looked into also has TONS of dogs currently for adoption (around the same age etc) so doesn't seem like tons of highly qualified homes chomping at the bit. That said, we were going to ask them to crosspost, but since we were considering keeping him, we haven't done that yet.

I don't think many people train their dogs 4 hours per day, and while I recognize that's a wonderful thing you were able to do, I doubt he would find a home as "good" as yours even through Doberman rescue. He doesn't have "behavior issues", actually non whatsovever. He is just a puppy with no prior training. I guess i'm just disappointed that my husband and I are willing to devote time (albeit not as much as you) and resources that we work very hard for to training him (possibly hire a private trainer to come into our house if people felt bootcamp was a bad option etc) and have a dog walker taking him on long private walks, to the dog run etc, and you feel that we don't constitute a qualified home.

That said, we will of course make our own choice and determine what is best for us and the dog. Our home will never be yours or never be perfect, but we think we're pretty devoted dog owners (to our 4.5 year old rescue dog who we have devoted countless hours of our mornings/nights/weekends/life to and now to Tuck who we believe has a pretty sweet deal right now) I recognize you are trying to help and feel the best interest of the dog is to be in a home like yours, but the vast majority of homes aren't like yours and everyone does the best they can. Finally, I feel that it isn't constructive to just say we aren't the right home, since I don't feel that is the case at all based on the fact that we are doing research, collecting information and willing to put time and energy behind making him a wonderful "successful" dog. Dog trainer suggestions or anything else would of course be welcomed.

sarawinsor's picture
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Thanks, DJ, I really appreciate your insight and response. I totally understand where you are coming from with the downside of the doggy bootcamp idea and definitely agree with the basic principal that is underlying there. I am also a skeptic, so totally agree with you again there too :) just wanted to mention I had done a lot of research on the place and it seemed very legit compared to some others where you couldn't find open Yelp reviews etc. Not that those reviews mean it's 100% a great place,  but it made me more comfortable than the myriad others I researched. I think it seems like a private trainer and a class (social setting) combination might be the ideal. There is a woman who lives in my neighborhood who works for a german shepard rescue and is a trainer, she has a rescue dog herself and a reputable small company. I have consulted her as well since she does 5 week packages, once per week and an initial consult. It seems that is something that could be a good idea to pursue, as well as incorporating our dog walker into these training sessions so he could be consistent with them as well. Thanks again DJ, we are doing our best to determine what is in the best interest of Tuck. He loves my husband so much, they're literally best friends (think my weim is more of a momma's girls ;) ) my husband is having a very hard time with the idea of giving him up (6'5" guy cuddling with a doberman puppy on the floor and calling him "my best buddy" is pretty amusing I have to say...) :)

DJ's Dad's picture
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Sounds like the lady with the German Shepherd Rescue who is a trainer would be an excellent place to start.  That would give you some  professional tips and techniques on how to deal with Tuck, and being that she is close by, you could probably phone her with any questions that might come up between classes. 

Really, it doesnt always require hours and hours each day of training just to get your dog to behave nicely....in fact, I personally believe that a dog learns more if you keep each session as short as 10 minutes at a time, especially a young dog--they get bored easily because their attention span is truly short. 

DJ had the attention span of a gnat when she first started puppy classes.  One hour class, and 20 minutes into it, she was mentally DONE with it.  All she wanted to do for the remaining time was PLAY.  Now, at 8 months old, she stays focused for pretty much the entire hour, but our instructor takes several short breaks during that hour, so DJ still thinks she's only being forced to learn somethng new for 10 - 15 minutes at a time.  :)

sarawinsor's picture
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Thank you again "Dj's Dad" since calling you DJ in hindsight was a little silly! Tuck is about 8 months old, and we definitely have the time each morning and night to do short training sessions with him and if we taught our dog walker as well he could do it two more times a day, totalling about 40-55 minutes of direct training per day on non "training days" with a professional. Also, unrelated but how much does DJ weigh at 8 months?? I kind of think Tuck might be a little older but there's really no way to know, he's about 75lbs now, I am always so curious how big he might get?? Thanks again for your support, it's extremely encouraging and means a lot to me! 

DJ's Dad's picture
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Deej is long legged and slim bulit---she weighs about 62 pounds right now.  At 8 months old, I know she still has a little more height to go (maybe another half inch or so) and she hopefully will fill out more between her 1st and 2nd birthday, but she's not going to be one of those muscular heavyweights ever.  My last dobe, Ziva, was 95lbs.

Oh--and my name is Paul. 

sarawinsor's picture
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Thanks, Paul!! Aw I'm sure she is adorable, I saw that she won a contest (congrats!) so she must be stunning, but I couldn't find the pic! Thanks for the info, think Tuck might end up close to 85-90lbs is our guess? He's definitely on the "thicker" side of build, leggy and tall but VERY muscular...right now in perfect shape (we are trying to keep him in the same way as our weim, lean, ensuring you can feel his ribs easily and he doesn't get overweight, NO people food!!!) I should probably start a new thread on food suggestions, right now he is on california natural chicken (know it's not the best food but our weim has been on it successfully for years and he is doing very well on it as well) + fish oil...What do you feed DJ? :) Sorry for the battery of questions, I'm a huge question asker, think it's the best way to learn...

DJ's Dad's picture
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My dogs (DJ being the doberman plus 5 little rat terriers and terrier mixes...all rescues, by the way) all eat Canidae All Life Stages.  The only 'people food' they get is a spoonful of cottage cheese added to their morning ration of kibble, because 1) they LIKE it, and 2) it's a good source of calcium, and also a probiotic.  They all do well on the Canidae, coats are shiny and soft, and they are not overweight, except for our little sr blind rat terrier...he's not very physical these days due to his age (he's 14) and his handicap, and he's slightly chunky....but that's ok, he's a happy guy.

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I'm only going off of what you said, I wasn't saying your not a good home, and I wasn't saying you're not a responsible owner.  I was simply responding to your comment, that you don't have the time to do the training.  And what I said stands correct, if you don't have time to do the training, you don't have time to MAINTAIN that training.  That's all.  I didn't train 4 hours a day, ever, maybe 4 hours in a week lol.  My training sessions are usually 5-10 minutes max with my 2 year old, and with a puppy, I would go 2-3 minutes at a time.  But that extra time in the morning and night was what was needed to keep my dog happy and taken care of.   These dogs need a large amount of activity and mental stimulation, and yes, I would say they need more than most breeds in that regard.  A dobe is happy when he is working, training, getting mental exercise, that type of stuff.  When they don't get it enough, they become destructive, unruly, can become aggressive, etc.  They are more than eager to please, but without the right direction, they will get into trouble.  Dobermans ARE a more demanding breed than most, and they require a bigger time commitment than most to be happy, as they are one of the only breeds that is designed to be with their people.  They are not outside dogs, and people are their pack.  But breeds are different...   There's quite a few differences when it comes to dobes, and like I said, the biggest is the time commitment because they need more time with their people than most breeds to be happy.  Especially as your dog gets older, they need alot of time.  I do scent detection, odor recognition, bitework, and regular play and training.  If I didn't do these things enough, my dog would be out of control, and many dobermans have the same needs, especially if they are drivey.  So that's where I'm coming from.

You didn't mention the possibility of having a private trainer come, and I think that would be a great idea.  But understand that my response was based on the info above, stating that you ddidn't have the time, so that's what I based it off of.  But believe me, if you choose to stick it out, and hire a trainer, I would be more than happy to give any help and advice that I can along the way.  I would definitely recommend after finding a trainer, to start looking into other activities to do with your dog that will challenge him both physically and mentally.  As the training goes on, you will find that walks alone, no matter how long, are not going to be enough.  And like I said, if you have any questions about sports or activities you can do with your dog, don't hesitate to ask.

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It's my understanding that the reason the owner goes to "class" with their dog instead of just having them trained is so the dog can learn to "read" their owners body language and vice versa, sending the dog away for training teaches the dog to read another person and when you get the dog back he is at a disadvantage cause he has to learn your body language is different from the other trainer.  I agree with everyone that training is done in spurts and it's pretty easy to keep up with that type of schedule. For instance when you go to the kitchen for a drink take 5 minutes and work your dog with treats. There is no need to have both dogs on the same "level" that I can think of, in fact a well trained dog can be a great example, I told my chihuahua to twirl for a treat and Ben the rottie was waiting for his turn to do something and literally watched Pepe twirl and saw he got a treat so next time I told pepe to twirl Ben twirled, so if your other dog is trained then this pup might actually learn by example too. But when you are sitting at night and take a few minutes to watch TV or just chill get some treats and work the basics with your dog, it only takes a couple of minutes per skill and mix them up so the dog doesn't learn the routine/order of the commands. Training is fun and easy especially with a smart breed like the doberman, so I don't understand not having time - you only have to have a few minutes here and there every day, reinforcement is key. And YOU don't have to be a trainer to train your dog. The basics are usually described on one sheet of paper per skill and they are handed out at class but I am sure you can find the same sheets online. Teaching those yourself creates a trust that cannot be gotten by sending the dog out for training. Your dog looks to you for direction and only you, that's how you then work the harder skills with your dog, develop a bond on the smaller things and you will have a great relationship with your dog. And maintaining is doing the basic training work regularly, it's just that your dog responds faster to the commands so not having the time to do the beginning training does kinda indicate you can't maintain it cause it takes the same amount of effort and time which you have already said you don't have. Sending the dog out for training does not lessen the time and effort you have to put into the dog when he is returned, just cause he might know the commands doesn't mean he will do them or do them faster, you will have to invest time and energy into using those commands and knowing how to use them and when your dog is not understanding and when your dog is just ignoring you - these are the things that YOU learn in class with your dog, you personally will not be trained when your dog comes home from his training - so how are you going to maintain him??

The exercise requirements for dobermans from what I have learned here is very high and much higher than most other breeds, and being people dogs - not dogs that you can leave for hours on end without the dog becoming destructive/bored is not a good thing. These dogs need LOTS of exercise physically and mentally and have to be with their people.

I personally don't understand why you can't read up on how to train the basics and do it yourself, it's a bit of time and effort yes, but not hours not even 30 minutes due to attention span. Are you busy from the time you get home until the time you go to bed?? Do you not have two or three spurts of 15 minutes that you could devote to training?? Can you run with your dog? do agility? These are not apartment dogs unless you have the time to spend working off tons of bent up energy......are you fostering this dog?? if so could you not switch with another foster in the program for a dog that doesn't require the work a doberman requires?? I know in rottie rescue some fosters do switch out if they have abilities that fit better with a different dog. I know your husband is falling in love with this dog but that doesn't mean it's best for the dog.

If you had said that you were willing to devote the time to train the dog yourself and work the exercise that is needed I would not be saying these things but you indicate you want someone else to train the dog and that the dog will be left for hours at a time alone (without people) since they are not dog dogs when you are away your dog is alone. It's the insistance that someone else train the dog that bothers me, it is fun to train your dog and it's so important that it's you not someone else. If you can't do the simple things your dog needs like the basics then switch out for a different foster dog. That's speaking from a rescue point of view.....don't mean to sound negative but it just doesn't sound like a good match, I commend you on saving his life for certain, no doubt there, but he is more work than you want to invest, sending him off to come home fit and ready to be a good dog is unrealistic, no one can take the work out of a young energetic dog in an apartment but you, the trainer might be able to train him the commands but you still have to deal with keeping that up AND doing all the exercise that a doberman requires, coming home trained to be respond to commands doesn't mean he will need any less physical exercise and if you can exercise then you can teach the basics before and after your exercise routine just tack on another 15 minutes to the start and end of physically wearing out your dog

Sorry for the long post but I don't think it's fair to the dog to WANT to do the right thing but not have the time to DO the right thing for the dog.

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I 've only known one person who sent their dog to a boot camp and they had a good experience. It was for hunting/retrieval and their dog stayed in the training for two weeks, the latter of which my friend participated in so he and his wife could learn to maintain the training.

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Sara,

May I please say first and foremost "Thank you for Rescueing".

In reading your post I find it touching that even with your limited space you would even consider another larger breed dog.  I live in the country in Missouri, so I have no experience with "Dog Walkers" I do understand that it is quite a lucrative business in New York where there is little to no open area, and most of the living areas are smaller in comparison to other parts of the country.

I give you kudos for coming here with your question.  I also am not a trainer, but I love my Shelbi and have spent alot of time with her to teach her all of the basics.  We did send her to a trainer, but it was for what I call "public appearances".  Since I am not an experienced trainer the lady I chose trains military, police, search and rescue, and service dogs, she specializes in Beaucherones(?SP).  She also travels to military and police locations all over the country and trains their handlers, she is available for me to call anytime I have a concern.  There was a large chemical explosion here several years ago and 20-25 fireman lost their lives, her dogs came in and found the two survivors and then proceeded to find the remains of the fallen.  It was an extremely large explosion and quite a horrifying situation.  She is also a close friend to my husband.

Shelbi was in that training for 6 weeks when she was 8 months old and I still have to refresh a few things, but I can go into the local feed store and put her at one end in a down stay, and walk all around the store when I return she is still there.  The people that work the feed store have me do it when I am there for their entertainment, they even have other customers stop to watch.  I guess it is something you do not see everyday, but even that exercise is continued training.

I am also not as "Dog" educated as some, but have a great relationship with Shelbi and she even knows my facial expressions.

My point is I did not train for hours upon hours upon hours a day.  I truly believe that before you bring this woman to your home you should ask her for reference see if those reference have sent her clients.  How someone trains to me is more important that what someone trains, especially with your living and working arrangement.  I believe that with her assistance (references okayed) and your consistancy you will have a very well adjusted and great companion for your husband.  I also think that it is great that your "Dog Walker" is professional enough to educate themselves as to how you want your dog handled. 

Dobes are a handful and much, much, much different mentally than other breeds.  I know you are comparing to the wiem, but as you will learn they may have similar body structure and energy, but mentally you are entering an entirely new ballgame.

I truly wish you the best and do hope that you will stay in contact with us on your progress, oh and BTW you are not fooling anyone you have already made "Tuck" part of your family, or he made himself a part.  Go ahead and dig in and I am sure your new family will do just fine.

Sincerely,

Jeri & Shelbi

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I am also not an experienced trainer... I had almost no training experience before I got my Skye. I have trained her exclusively except for a 4 week puppy class to teach the basics, but it was more for me than for her and it has helped me to help her become a good canine citizen. You don't have to be an expert to train your dog the right way. Sometimes all it takes is a little help. :)

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Tal-

We are fostering, there is no "switching" it was us or the gas chamber for Tuck, he was next in line to die and no one would foster him. It's a not so wonderful foster organization we have learned (IMHO) and we haven't gotten any help or support, we are doing the best we can. The dogs are home for a couple hours a day alone, they have a dog walker twice a day for an hour or more and are walked two other times by us. I recognize in an ideal world a doberman would never be left alone, but that's not reality. 

 

Shelbi-

Thank you so much for all of your kind words and helpful information, your dog sounds wonderful :) 

 

I think unfortunately I have gotten the feeling from these posts that people think we don't have enough time, aren't the right home and aren't dedicated enough (save Paul and Shelbi). I think at this point we are going to ask the foster network to find him a new foster (unfortunately there are absolutely no qualified adopters at this point despite everything I have tried) since we really can't take him any further in terms of training etc without getting  professional help and investing a significant amount of money (which we already have in dogwalking, toys, care etc). We also don't want to become too attached to him. I thank you all for your input, but do wish to let you know it was some of what I found here that is pushing me to make this decision. My best hope for Tuck is he finds the type of home some of you have insinuated that we aren't; offering tons of training, time, and everything perfect in life.

I know it's easy to judge from an outside perspective, but sitting in my position having our rescue dog (who suffered from seperation anxiety, chewed through our couches and did many other things while we stood by her and problem solved and never gave up on her) I never felt we were unqualified or wouldn't give the time he needed. I do caution everyone there is a fine line between helpful and honest and making people feel inadequate and overwhelmed. I hope that our decision based on a lot of what I have read here sets the stage for a wonderful life for Tuck, far beyond what we could offer, but truthfully I am not sure. The decision isn't finalized, but I just want to let those who offered their advice and or help know where we stand.

Again, Paul and Shelbi, you were both very helpful, honest and uplifting, I appreciate your words, time and kindness more than you can imagine. 

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Sara,

I would hate to think that you would detour yourself from "Tuck", based on a few negative comments.  Think about the time you have invested to date and weigh that against any improvement that you have seen since he arrived.  This will give you a place to determine what you can do alone, then factor in a little professional assistance, and imagine where you can be.  I know that I do not know you, but from reading your posts I believe that you have the drive and determination to accomplish your goal.

I apologize if you have felt pre-judged or in any was condescended too, but again "Kudos" to you for not just tossing "Tuck" away as his previous owner did and making every effort to try to adjust your life and schedule to accomodate him.

Jeri & Shelbi

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Please don't give up on this boy... If you feel strongly that you can't give him the time and effort, rather than giving him back to the foster network... adopt him from them and give hime up to a breed rescue. Even though there may be a long wait for him to be adopted, he's got better chances there than with the network.

I do feel strongly that you've got the gumption to do this. You've already been able to turn around one dog that had issues, I feel that you can train a still impressionable pup. I realize that you've already sunk a lot of money into Tuck, but hiring a trainer or finding the time to take him to classes will be worth evry pennie. Yes, I understand that you don't have a lot of time to sink into a dobe either, and you may not have the ideal situation for one, but you are doing what you can and you are making a difference in this dogs life. Thank you for rescuing and I'm sure that whatever you decide to do will be the right thing for you and for Tuck.  

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Sara, if you mean my comments, your first post says these things:

We are considering keeping our foster dog, but as of right now it's too hard for us

we know we are not capable/don't have enough time to successfully train him

we don't really have other options

We work too much

 

I think you are incorrectly percieving things in this thread to be negative.  Some of us look to the best interests of the animals, not sugurcoating things for the owners, and while I was telling you how it is, I don't think that my post was rude or anything, maybe just not what you wanted to hear.  But let me ask you this, if a potential adopter called you, and said the above things, would you be comfortable giving them the dog?  If they tell you they work too much, don't have the time for training, etc? 

I don't know if you saw my above post, but I specifically said I wasn't saying anything about you as a person, and I also offered any help and advice I can give if you do decide to keep your pooch.  So please don't perceive my posts as negative.

 

 

 

 

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Kevin-

I didn't cite your posts as the reason we are choosing to possibly not adopt Tuck. But in response, I do feel what I said below was misconstrued.

 

 

Sara, if you mean my comments, your first post says these things:

We are considering keeping our foster dog, but as of right now it's too hard for us 

It's really hard to have a foster dog. Really hard. We work full time, we have another dog. This doesn't make us bad people or not capable of having the dog. It just makes it hard(er).

we know we are not capable/don't have enough time to successfully train him 

We aren't dog trainers. We don't know HOW to train him. We don't have the time dedicated to train him from scratch. I don't think that makes us, again, unfit owners. We were looking into doggy bootcamp (a gigantic financial comittment) to get him to where we COULD train him, have time, and generally get some help. 

we don't really have other options

We both work, we can't stay home all day and train the dog.

We work too much

We both work, we can't stay home all day and train the dog.

I think you are incorrectly percieving things in this thread to be negative.  Some of us look to the best interests of the animals, not sugurcoating things for the owners, and while I was telling you how it is, I don't think that my post was rude or anything, maybe just not what you wanted to hear.  But let me ask you this, if a potential adopter called you, and said the above things, would you be comfortable giving them the dog?  If they tell you they work too much, don't have the time for training, etc? 

 

I do believe you are all looking out for the best interest of the dog. I just think people get really caught up in the obsession for the doberman breed, and forget there is a dog who didn't stand a chance to live and two people doing the best they can on the other end of the screen. I'm glad you're all so passionate about Dobermans, that's why I came here to seek advice. But they are dogs, not the rarest most different breed of dog in the world. I understand they need tons of exercise, training and mental stimulation, that was what we were attempting to give him.

To answer your question if an adopter called and said they were going to seek professional help training the dog, would spend weekends at the dog run, on long walks on the Hudson River, eating brunches and dinners outside on city streets with both dogs laying nearby, taking the dogs shopping, living in a completely pet friendly neighborhood with three dog runs near by, had another dog as a companion and would buy him tons of toys that they researched were good for dobermans and generally love him to death (all aforementioned things we do/have done) I would be thrilled. So far adopters are citing 7 hours a day alone in a crate without dog walking, and other undesirable realities for him. 

We work a lot. A lot of people do. Like I said, we will never be perfect.

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Sara, how long have you had Tuck with you?  If you've already mentioned it, I apologize, but I didnt see it. 

Rescue dogs come with issues.  Doesnt matter if it's a doberman or a chihuauha....they come with varying degrees of issues.  You dont know what all he has been through, but sometimes, it's simply because they have been passed around and dont have that secure feeling yet.  Passing him on to yet another foster home might just possibly keep him feeling insecure for even longer. 

I'm certainly not trying to influence you one way or another in this case....you know what's best for your family and your Weim, and maybe you feel that keeping Tuck isnt the best thing for you, your dog, or for Tuck either.  If that's the case, then I wish you luck in finding another placement for him asap.  If, however, you want to give him a chance to be a better boy and learn some manners and mellow out as he gets a little older, then by all means, do what you need to do....even if it means sending him to a boot camp. 

Please keep us informed about your decision.  We really DO care.

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See Sara, this makes more sense, but it's not what you initially said.  You didn't say those things, or my answer would have been different...  Again, I'm not saying that you are unfit owners in the least, but I can only respond off of what you initially posted.  Had you said all of this, my answer would have been different.

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Sara,

So sorry to hear that the fostering is not a supportive situation for you, that's terrible. Fostering should always give you support and help when needed and a good foster network will also have trainers that the group can call upon. Sorry that is not the case for you. And as I said before - thank you for saving him. Are you taking him to adoption events yet? or do they want you to get some training for him first? or are you on your own?

And today I was thinking about your post as I was telling Ben to "get up on the porch" he knows what that means, not because he was trained by a professional but because I taught him. He was out in the yard eating mushrooms and I walked up to him and pointed to the house and said "get up on the porch" and followed him and every time he hesitated I said "go on" while pointing and when he got up on the porch I told him "good boy" kinda firm but he knew that was what I wanted and after a couple of times of pointing to the porch and walking with him till he made it, now all I have to do is point and say "get up on the porch" and he goes right up on the porch regardless of whether I follow. I use this example to show how easy it is to convey a thought/wish etc. to your dog. It's no different than teaching a child. You have to use the wording you will use for that command and the body language and when your dogs starts to get it then you let them know that is what you wanted. Training shouldn't be hard and it should be at a pace that allows the dog to "get it" and praise is the reward along with a treat in the beginning. I wanted Ben to sit across the kitchen to wait for his food so I called him to me and told him to sit and stay, I called him to the place where I wanted him to sit, I told him to stay and began walking away and he got up to follow me, I stopped turned and went back to where I started and put him back in a sit/stay and we did this till he finally figured out he wasn't supposed to move. Then when he wouldn't sit where I wanted I had to tell him to "back up" cause he was supposed to have his back touching the cabinets, so now I can go to his bowl and he looks at me and I just point, no words, just point at the cooktop and he runs to the cooktop turns and sits if he's too far forward I use my hand and flick it back and he knows to back up till his back touches the cabinet then I raise my hand palm facing him and he knows that's good, stop and wait, then I wander around the kitchen and then I say OK and he races to his bowl - it's kind of a game now he watches me cause he never knows when I am going to say OK - again I taught him this cause it was just what I wanted him to do; I don't have professional training I just know what I want my dog to do and I ask him to do it and then reward him when he does. All you need to do is ease up on yourself that training has to be like a military class taught by someone with great knowledge it only takes a devoted owner and a bit of time. I trained Ben to back up by blocking him when he wanted to pass me or get in my way, he is huge after all, so I would block him and say "back up" at the same time I would push gently with my crutch back and to avoid my crutch he would back up automatically (that's what I wanted) so I would say "good boy, that's it" and keep that up and he finally learned to back up and does it instantly now when I say it, if he gets to the front door first I can tell him to back up as I am coming up on the porch and he will back up away from the door without even looking at me even though I am way behind him.  To train my chihuahua to roll over I held a tiny treat in my hand and put my hand down on the couch and he laid down to see it better so I gave him a taste then he laid down again closer so I moved my hand slowly up and over he started to turn he got halfway and I gave him another taste, and kept saying "that's it, come on come on you got it come on" and by the tone of my voice he was excited that he was doing something right he wasn't sure what but he knew he should do what he did before and after about 5 minutes he made the complete roll over and he got the whole treat, I did it again this time it took him about 4 minutes to get it then it took him 2 minutes then it took a few seconds then he got it and he would do it instantly. So it's the positive tone in your voice that they are doing it right and encouragement to continue whatever action they are doing, until they do what you want then reward. To train "sit" don't push on the butt just hold the treat up and if they don't automatically sit then hold the treat a bit further past their head than you had it initially and by moving the treat so they have to tilt their head further back they automatically sit on their butt and then you say "good boy" and reward that move with a treat. It's pretty simple do teach the basics. Get some simple instructions printed out and work through them in your mind first then work with the dog. You don't need a professional do teach these even in an excited youngster when the youngster looks at you give a treat until he understands to look at you then start getting him to do stuff, but he has to look at you first. So get his attention with a treat.

Kevin might not approve of my methods, :)) but it works for me and keeps me from stressing out about the training issue, especially since I work from crutches and can't walk with my dog etc. I have to be inventive....

I hope that you make the right decision for him whatever that is......you saved his life, for that there are not enough thanks.....let us know what you decide to do.