6 month old biting at family

17 replies [Last post]
twimom1707's picture
Offline
Joined: 2012-11-06

King was 6 months old on 12/24/12. At around 5 months he started growling and lunging and biting at my 16 yr old son when he would go in the backyard to play with him. He would circle him and jump and snap and bite (hard). Now he has started to do this with all of us. Everytime we go outside he lunges and bites, even growls at us. Today he did this to my 11 yr old daughter who was in tears because he really hurt her. I had to run outside with a stick while she was screaming for help. I'm very concerned about this behavior. He will also nip visitors. Any advice on how to correct his would be appreciated.

DJ's Dad's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010-10-04

Pet Profiles

Before attempting to give any advice, I have a question.  Does your doberman stay outside most, or all of the time?

twimom1707's picture
Offline
Joined: 2012-11-06

No King is usually in the house.  He's only out to use the bathroom and to play.

DJ's Dad's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010-10-04

Pet Profiles

Good.  Then he desperately needs some obedience training, and right away.  If your 16 yr old son has been in the habit of rough housing with him, now is the time to stop.  You might also have him checked by a vet to make sure that there isnt some underlying physical problem going on that is just making him aggitated and taking out his pain or uneasiness on humans.  The dog needs help to overcome this behavior, and it will take your entire family all on the same page so to speak, to be consistant with his training.  Seek some professional help with a dog trainer, behaviorist and a vet.

HarleyBear's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-08-17

Pet Profiles

I second that!

KevinK's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010-07-15

Pet Profiles

What training have you tried so far?  Has he been to any classes yet?

talisin's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-02-25

I posted to the other post :)) another question I had was whether the kids are loud and run through the house to get him to chase them?? do they annoy him or get him excited in the house with their own behavior??

If you feel like answering my other post you can answer it in this one so we only have one of these going at a time, :))

Echo's Dad's picture
Offline
Joined: 2013-01-10

Pet Profiles

Came across the below info in an article:

Biting in dogs is one of the most serious of discipline behavior problems. In small or very young dogs, biting may be a simple form of playfulness, but if a dog is much older, biting may be much more serious and may need to be handled by a professional training course or individual. There are simple techniques you can use train your dog to stop biting and also help your dog deal with the stress that is bringing on this aggressive behavior.

1.) Find out why your dog is biting. This is the first step in many behavior modification techniques, and it is fairly important. Mentally scan the times you remember your dog biting. Was it in the home or on a walk? Was it a family member or guest? Was the dog exhibiting other signs of aggression or stress? The best way to prevent biting is to minimize the stresses that cause this behavior and remove the dog before biting appears.

2.) When a dog exhibits other aggressive behavior, immediately remove the dog from the stressful setting. Say a guest is coming to visit. Upon entering your home, your dog begins barking aggressively, and the hairs on the dogs neck begin to stand out. Immediately remove your dog from the room to a designated crate or time-out area until it has calmed down (this will make leashing your dog prior to your training session a must). When the dog has calmed down, the dog should be allowed to return.

3.) Reward your dog for not exhibiting aggressive behavior. When your dog has learned not to bark or become aggressive in the prior scenario from repeated training, you or your guest should reward the dog with a small treat or toy as well as ample praise.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1872150

Hope that gives you some ideas on where to start.  Another thought is to have everyone carry a toy when they are going to play with the puppy, if the dog starts to bite say "NO" in a very authoritative manner and put the toy in the puppies mouth.  If the puppy starts biting the toy instead, treat and praise.

Kar-jinx's picture
Offline
Joined: 2012-04-15

Pet Profiles

  He may be challenging for dominance at this point in his life if there is no clear alpha in the house.  Consistent rules are a must from everyone.  All humans must be alpha and do not allow any wrestling or tug of war with him for now. This means everyone including your house guests and the children's friends. Don't allow anyone to talk to him in excited tones that may wind him up.  it could be he's a roughian at play that doesn't know his strength.

For the time, you might have everyone keep a zip lock bag with treats in their pocket to distract him with treats until you get him diagnosed by a vet and a dog expert.  But ask him to use his manners by a sit / stay / lay down/ shake a paw / or other commands he knows to earn his treat.  

I am so sorry your children are fearful of him.  You have to get help before King takes over.  Keep us posted.

tess's picture
Offline
Joined: 2012-01-28

Pet Profiles

Please listen to all of the above advice.  If you dont, there will only be one outcome and for King's sake fix this problem. There is nothing better in this world than a well trained Doberman and for what its worth, its not that difficult. Their are usaually at the top of their class and they learn easily. They love to please. Also has King been neutered?  If not then its time to consider this too.  Keep us posted.

 

Tess

twimom1707's picture
Offline
Joined: 2012-11-06

I have taken King to Puppy obedience classes and advanced puppy obedience.  He did very well.  Was very friendly to all dogs (big and very small).  King is already 75 lbs at 6 months.  That's why I need to get this under control.  I'm thinking private training with someone who is good with this breed.  When this occurs, he does not show his teeth, no hair standing up.  I dont know if he is looking to play in a rough way or he is trying to dominate.

twimom1707's picture
Offline
Joined: 2012-11-06

Also...this type of barking, biting at us only really happens outside.  I don't know what it is about us going out to the yard.  When he is inside, "mouthy".  He will grab with his mouth at my clothes but not in a viscious way. He is also very lovable.  I do play tug of war with him alot.  Should I stop?  And thank you all for responding.

Yes, stop all tug with him and absolutely NO rough housing until this is under control  

The dog is most likely getting confusing and mixed messages when it is okay to play and who with and how hard. He is an over sized puppy that needs direction and training. If he has been through classes what have you done to continue with him at home? Remember you are the boss and their is NO REASON whatsoever to allow him to do this. 

 

If it were me he would be leashed at all times in and out of the house so you have quick access to corrections. He needs to be shown what is expected of him in a fair manner. You need to have time to train and set up each situation on leash, teach him what you expect than be prepared for quite sometime to enforce it. This is very simple to correct but everyone in the house  needs to be on the same page

Happydance's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010-11-14

Pet Profiles

I agree with Rn...I NEVER, or let anyone in my household roughhouse with Fancy when she was young.  'NO BITE" was strictly enforced.  I didn't play tug with her.  We went through puppy and obedience classes, and did very very well.  Now, we have the best time playing tug and roughhousing because she knows the acceptable limits.  She'll get mouthy in play which is natural, but NEVER gets rough.  Now is the time to enforce the limits!

twimom1707's picture
Offline
Joined: 2012-11-06

Thank you so much for your advice.  I will try that.  I will keep everyone posted on King's progress.  Feel free to keep sending ideas...especially if anyone has gone through this.  My husband described this type of behavior as "he plays with us like he is playing with another dog". Definately will try the leash outside too and stop all rough play with him.  Thanks so much all of you.

talisin's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-02-25

I always teach that only toys are to be played with, humans and other animals are off limits, only when my dog is way into adulthood do I ever attempt to play with anything "with" them like a rope and as was suggested by several here on the forum I limit playing tug with me to ONE toy and that toy gets put up when I am not in charge of it; so when it comes out Ben knows that it is time to really play but when I decide it's over I put it up and that's that.....he is never allowed to keep the toy we just played hard with.....hard play is at my discretion only....my husband got to where he would pull the toy out and play tug with Ben then when they both got tired just let him have it and I took it away from both of them until my husband got the message that it was to be put up unless a huma was playing with it with Ben.....as a youngster your dog needs to learn the rules first.......I'm an artist and it was put to me this way - you must first learn to color within the lines before you can fully understand WHY you should color outside the lines; to break the rules you must first LEARN the rules; your dog hasn't learned all the rules yet so he should not be allowed to do other things, if that makes sense......he needs to know he is being given a treat with the human play and that only happens when human play is the exception and not the rule......

So start him over with his commands until he learns and is no longer confused as was mentioned and make sure everyone adheres to these rules, sometimes it's harder to get the humans to adhere than the animals.....my husbands a good case in point....

seeingRED's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-05-18

Totally agree with EVERYTHING that has been said!  As per some personal exoperience I have never let a puppy or an adult mouth me! I do NOT play tug of war nor challenge for dominance!  Have never been able to understand the term "pack leader".  I am NOT part of the pack! I feed, house, love and train my dogs BUT I am not a dog and demand to be respected as such! Personally do not subscibe to "acting like the mother would", etc. I am not their mother or a sibling! I do have to say I find it amusing as to what people think is cute when a puppy and then becomes obnoxious and dangerous when reaching adulthood.  I am not a passive, positive trainer. It has to date worked for me as I have mentioned in a previous post, do live with multiple males!  But then the only breed I have had or do have is Dobermans and am familiar with their requirements! It is time to put your "foot down" to all the foolishness that King has expressed.  At 75 lbs, weight wise  he is  adult regardless of the puppy mentality! and can oviously inflict the pain associated!  ANY mouthing should never be tolerated!  In all to many instances owners expect far more from their pets than children. Yet we send our children to school to learn but many times forget to do the same with pets.  As with children the learning experience is never ending!  Each day with a dog entail another training experience even if unbeknownst to the owner!  Children must be taught respect to the animal and basic ground rules need to be set forth!  and enforced at all times!  On the occassion that I have had a young dog express over exuberance  I have merely grabbed their muzzle, shook it lightly with a VERY firm NOOOOOO!!!!! If for any reason I get any resistance to grabbing the muzzle, then there are far more reprocussions.   When owning a dog on the BSL, we as owners, handlers have a responsibity that far exceeds other breeds.  It is mandatory that we understand, train and prevent even the smallest mishap when it comes to our breed!  There can never be any tolerance for poor training the ramifications are as such that everyone will suffer!

brunosmom's picture
Offline
Joined: 2012-07-29

Pet Profiles

Totally agree with everything that has been said! In our house, teeth are NEVER allowed on a human, ever. Under any circumstances. And this goes for our small dogs as well. Bruno will roughhouse but uses his paws only (and those buggers inflict enough damage as it is!)

I am starting this training with Ladybug too. One thing that's important is knowing how dogs think and play. If a pup bites at you playfully, and you withdraw your hand quickly, they take it as an invitation to play. If a pup bites and you say "NO BITE" and immediately turn your back on the dog, then there's no gratification from the bite.

Whatever you choose to train this out, just be very, very consistent. I really think you can fix this and probably quickly. He needs to know that all the humans in the house are in charge, not just you, so make sure everyone is on board with exactly how you're going to handle it, and that you ALL stay consistent. 

Good luck, please let us know how it goes!