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Rachel_13's picture
Joined: 2010-01-27

Ovechkin, Ovechkin my wonderful yet weird pup.

He was born on November 21, 2008. We got him from a reputable breeder. They've been breeding for about thirty years. The only thing that was iffy about them was that they let us take him home when he was four and a half weeks. They said it was ok to do because all of the pups were mostly eating on their own and barely took any milk from their mother anymore. Here is a link to their website:


So my husband and I and two step-kids brought him home. My step-daughter is 13 now and my step-son is 9. They can both be very skittish. He (the puppy) slept in a pen from the very first night. Of course, he whined and cried. I thought it would be best to let him cry himself to sleep, but my husband has a bit of insomnia and can’t sleep well as it is, and my step-kids kept whining about how he was keeping them up. So I would get up with him and stay with him until he fell back asleep. I knew that would have repercussions.

We potty trained him pretty quickly and now he never has accidents and always barks to let us know he has to go outside. We have a big, fenced in backyard and a 2200 square foot house. We moved it a few months before we got the puppy. My husband has wanted a Doberman since he was a little boy and we waited until we had the house and the yard so it could be done properly.

We had his ears cropped the February after we got him.

The kids were very playful with him and we tried to enforce the rule that he was not to gnaw or bite on anybody or anything inappropriate as a puppy. This was a very tough task.

The following April we hired a dog trainer (or a dog behaviorists as she called herself as she taught Cesar Milan’s methods.) She taught us how to walk him properly and all in all she taught us some great things.

He gets at least one 30 minute walk everyday.

During that first winter, my husband worked the day shift. I work from home. I have to work upstairs which is carpeted and we decided that we could not have the puppy upstairs until he was completely potty trained. He stayed in his crate with his toys while I worked and I went to give him attention and do whatever was needed on my breaks and my lunch. If he cried, it didn’t matter because I was the only one home. For the most part, I would let him cry and would not succumb to his whimpers. I knew that it was better to ignore that behavior.

When springtime came and the weather got warmer, my husband started working the night shift which meant he slept during the day. Keeping Ovechkin in his crate while I worked upstairs was not an option because he would cry. Luckily, it was warm and sunny enough for him to spend time outside during the day. At first he whined and cried outside but I let him do this. Eventually, he became comfortable being outside with his toys in his big backyard. However, he did start chewing on the deck. And he ripped apart and dug up a tree my husband planted. We attempted to work around this. We gave him more appropriate stuff to chew on (toys, bones etc.) and tried to block the places he would chew. He continued to chew but not as much.

We also attempted to give him an entire room for himself. It’s an open room, as our entire downstairs is one big space with no doors to separate the rooms. We blocked off the area where his crate was and let him have his food and water in there and his toys and bones. He would still cry but not as much. His pen was still in there but sometimes he chose to sleep on the floor as he was getting bigger. One day when I didn’t walk him because I was coming down with a cold and was exhausted, he started chewing holes in the walls. He went back to sleeping in his crate for awhile. About a month later, we tried letting him have the room again, but he chewed on the walls again. So it was back in his crate.

My step-kids have no control over him and are very skittish and excitable children. Ovechkin thinks my 9-year-old step-son is a puppy and tries to play and jump on him and nip at him. We can’t leave the dog alone with him. But he still loves that dog. My 13-year-old step daughter loves the dog too but gets frustrated with him. Neither of them have real control of him.

I started taking him to the dog park in the summer of 2009. He has absolutely no aggression towards any dogs and LOVES playing with them. He has an abundance of energy.

We neutered him on December 21, 2009.

He is a big dog with a lot of energy and physical power and can be overwhelming at times. I am able to calm him down with calm energy on my part.

For the most part when he is in his pen, he cries and whines and sometimes barks until he settles down. I have to put him in there at night when he sleeps or if I’m unable to watch him properly during the day while the kids are around and he’s being hyper. His pen is big enough for his bed and he has room to lay down on the floor.

This is all of his history that I can think of for now. Whew.

rgreen4's picture
Joined: 2008-10-26

The chewing aspect now that he is grown is a manifestation that he lonely for his people. Dobies are large, active and intelligent creatures and when bored come up with innovative ideas on how to occupy their time, any many of these ways can be destructive. If your work upstairs involves being on the computer, you might try having him in with you, but a good pad on which he can lay. They don't have to be right up against you, but if they are in the same room with you they are calm and quiet.

Putting them in their crate will keep them quiet when they are satisfied to sleep, but when they want to be active they can be noisy. They aren't called velcro dogs for nothing. But they are loving creatures.

As he tends to over power your step-son, when he starts getting too rough, call him down and use the two finger tap on the nose. It's the way mama disciplines puppies, a tap on the nose with a paw. I agree, he was separated too early from mama. Puppies get more than milk from mama, they get the early discipline and socialization. But, that is past. It is no surprise that he treats your step-son as another puppie because in the dog world he is. You are the Alpha and are in charge of taking care of all the puppies, your step-daugher, your step-son and Ovechkin. You just have to keep peace between the three. If Ovechkin acts up, you have to let him know that it is not acceptable. Your step-daughter can help out here as she should be big enough to command attention from Ovechkin, but a 9 year old is not.

Interesting name by the way - Ovechkin.