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expat's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-11

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Hello,
Freddie and I live in the Dordogne in South West France. I joined your site because I found the advice and experiences  shared by other owners a great support when dealing with my boy. Got to be honest ...I wasn't expecting the challenge to be so intense! I have usually had German shepherds in the past, my last German Shepherd ,Bruno (sadly missed), was a huge alpha male but he did not prepare me for my first experience with a Dobie. Freddie is adorable, not a mean bone in his powerful body, but oh boy the energy level and criminal tendencies take my breath away. His separation anxiety, was I think, the toughest hurdle and we are still to some small degree working on that. From the day I brought him home he would totally freak if I was out of sight. Managed to deal with it with the "Wait Freddie" command when I left the room. I cannot cure him of his love of stealing and have spent many hours in the garden tricking him into giving up his current prize before it disappears. Easier in the house where I can corner him and he will "Drop It!" to command. So he understands the command but  no way is he going to obey unless he is cornered...far too much fun!! Most of the time it is best to distract him and appear unconcerned but sometimes he gets a valuable trophy and I have to get it back fast.
Freddie hates cats!! He moved in and the cats moved out. Still have not recovered my two adopted strays (breaks my heart) but my old boy, Tiger, has come home but only agrees to stay because Freddie is caged in the house when he is in. The cage is the lifeline as  the main line of defence against a marauding (dictionary definition describes it perfectly <<engaged in raiding for plunder, esp. roaming about and ravaging an area>>.)Dobie.  I had such wonderful expectations of my Dobie lying contently at my feet while I read or worked on the computer. NO WAY.... Freddie only lies contently in his cage. Look away when he is at liberty and he will find such lovely naughty things to do.  Before the cage my kitchen/dining room had to have everything not fixed down put in a high place even the chairs had to be put on the table. But he got taller by the hour and I resorted to buying him a cage. Oh what crying and temper tandrums I had to endure. Finally he came to really like it and chose it as his safe haven. He grew and the time came for big boy cage...repeat of temper tandrums! He preferred squeezing into little boy cage and missed it greatly for some time.   I put a big basket in the cage for him which did the trick.
I cannot imagine how anybody can have a Dobie without access to open countryside for hunting and running. Freddie runs solidly for two hours..and would do longer if I let him. He runs like the wind... I am awe struck by his stamina and speed. Usually he constantly keeps me in sight or runs back when out of sight to check up on me. But then his separation anxiety is completely suspended when he spots a deer, rabbit  etc or catches a scent. He leaves me stranded without my budding protector and his whistle training is only of use then to guide him back to me when he has given up the chase. He whimpers when I go to the bathroom upstairs then leaves me without compuction when on the chase. I am trying the unexpected turning of direction to cure this. I realised that he had become so sure that I would be where he expected me to be that I needed to turn the tables, to worry him into keeping a closer eye on me. Early days with this trick...will keep you posted.
Still struggling with loose leash training and will not give up until that leash is constantly loose and "Heel" is really "Heel" and not a luke warm version of it.. I am dizzy with turning at the moment, it didn't seem to work at all when he was younger but I find that at  8 months he is more responsive to it but still needs a lot of work.
Huge problem is car chasing I live in dread of him catching the sound of a moving vehicle while we are in open countryside. My yell of "WRONG!!" only stops him for an instant as he chases across the field in hot pursuit of the road where he can hear the vehicle. Luckily he  is too far away to catch it but he puts up a determined chase, crashing through any obstacle in his path with no thought to self preservation.
Conclusion with my mad Freddie is that his chase instinct is always going to be a huge challenge so any tips would be most gratefully received. Also consoling words about the age of wisdom would help me a lot. When does it all calm down???

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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Welcome from Baja.. So happy to meet you and Freddy.. I wish I could give some solid advise re: the strong prey drive some Dobes seem to have ( as well as separation anxiety) unfortunately, I do not.. can only welcome you here and be comforted in the fact that there are many  many forum members who are experiencing the same things you are with your "mad Freddy"

So stay tuned and Bon Chance

Kate and Sofia

jeshykai's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-02

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Welcome to the forum expat -- loved your introduction of your life with Freddie.  He seems like a very spirited young dog!  I have found that the thing my Steve loves more than anything is to run as well.  I can't take him out running enough.  The joy is clear as he stretches out his legs and hits his max speed.  No toy, no chew, no pets, get him beaming like a good solid run and game of chase does.

We crate (your "cage") when we aren't home or can't watch him, or I have a special room where he goes to stay out of mischief.  When I'm relaxing at home but don't want to chase him around the house, just want to encourage him to lay down and be content with his chews, I have a place where I leash him up so he doesn't bounce off the walls.  Maybe you can upgrade Freddie to something like this so you can start to build the trust to have him be calmer in the house.  

Handsome boy, btw!

expat's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-11

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Thank you for your welcome. I  read this site as a lifeline of solidarity and your comments are very reassuring. Thank you Lady Kate just knowing that others are maybe having or have had the same experiences is a great comfort. Jeshykai...so true, Freddie lives to run. I do not really have a safe room where he can be alone but I do have a strong chain attached to a stair post in my living room and he loathes it. After your suggestion I will try it again though. As you may have guessed I am from the UK hence different words.

Got to say that some of the stories I have read from owners here have made me laugh until I almost cried. Got to own a young Dobie to get it!

nupe's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-02

Welcome to Forum expat....from Buddy and me in NYC!

 

DJ&#039;s Dad's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-04

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Glad to have you and Freddie here with us.  Yes, the joys of a young doberman are too numerous to list. 

bbroyles's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-09

What a joy to have you checking in here!  Welcome and post all the photos you want as it helps us stay in tune with the visual of your marauding Dobe!

Dabbles's picture
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Joined: 2009-02-20

Welcome! 

Doberkids do grow fast don't they?  I never noticed the quickness of it (because my office is in my house) until Brinks would do something like taking things off the bookcase on progressively higher shelves! 

Love the photos of Freddie- especially the black & white one.  Classic!

Dabbles's picture
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Joined: 2009-02-20

Hit the "save" button too soon - sorry!

Calm down?  When I pleaded with everyone on this site to tell me when the madness would end ((when Brinks was a puppy) I got answers phrased differently, but all saying the same thing...  Males will mature later than females, usually around 2 to 2-1/2 years.  Females 18 months to 2 years.

MiLady came to us at about 16 months and was very sweet natured & fairly calm [except for treat time or time for walkies :-)] even with all she'd been through.  Brinks however, at 2 years 1 month has yet to "settle".  My husband says he's much calmer than he was 6 months ago but...  the teenage dobertude is still very much a part of his personality! 

As far as sleeping at your feet -  Brinks, at 95 pounds, would much rather be a lap warmer than a foot warmer.  For some reason he seems to believe that making my feet fall asleep is much more fun than keeping them warm!  :-)


I've enjoyed your posts about Freddie's antics. Keep 'em coming - I'm sure there are many more stories to come.

Lori's picture
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Joined: 2010-04-03

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Welcome!  about the only thing I can suggest with the prey drive chasing issue would be an extremely long leash - like 100+ ft if you can find it and an open field.   Teach him first from a close distance and then from further and further away to come when called.  It will take some work but he can learn it.  If he's chasing cars you need to do something before he gets himself hurt. 

 

sounds like he definitely enjoys a good run though..haha

expat's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-11

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Hello everyone. I forgot to come back to this page because I got caught up in another post I made 'running away and leaving me'. Anyone interested in reports on Mad Freddie can catch up with him there. It was only lately that I caught on to the 'watching' facility whereby my email tells me when a post is made on a watched page! Dabbles...2 1/2 years??? Well I had better buckle down for a bumpy ride. I didn't think much of the photo of Freddie until my daughter treated it to a makeover now I love it. Thank you for the welcomes, I love reading all of the posts on this site, it has become quite addictive learning about your girls & boys. Tonight after Freddie had pushed all my buttons and I became quite cross I realised that he is one big con merchant...he has understood completely the commands I have tried so patiently to teach him, he has been pretending to be stupid cos it is so much more fun. In future when off the lead training sessions are in progress he gives me his 'she wants me to lie down so I think I will sit oh and just to really confuse her I will lie down when she says come to heel...heehee' I have got his number. Dobies are not just smart they are super smart!