Abused, rescued Dobe - need advice

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dobe_in_nwa's picture
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Joined: 2016-01-09

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Hi, my husband and I recently rescued an 11-month old male, Loki.  He left the abusive home and stayed with my in-laws while we waited for our house.  So in the past two months he has been abused and lived in three different homes with three different schedules.  We have had him for a week.  

We initially tried to crate him, but he wouldn't poop before work so he ended up pooping in his crate and bend the crate.  I believe he has separation anxiety and barrier frustration.  We now have him outside while we are at work.  He seems to be a bit happier outside.  We take him for walks before work (he has now found his pooping spot), after work, and before bed with playing in the yard between his second and third walks.  He gets fed around 6am and 4pm.  After his first rough day in the crate we tried lavender essential oils, DAP collar, sound machine in the garage with him, blankets (he chewed up three blankets in two days and broke the bottom tray), no blankets.  

The past couple of nights he has been exceedingly hyper, despite multiple walks and playtime, and is whining.  He sleeps in the living room, but has access to our bedroom.  I am going to call the vet on Monday to schedule getting Loki fixed and plan on contacting an animal behaviorist.  Is there anything my husband and I can do to help him while we wait to contact specialists on Monday?

The one thing I would definitely change is leaving him outside while you are at work - not a good idea for so many reasons that I'm not even going to try and list them. 

You might want to try keeping him in an x-pen inside instead of a crate - one 4' high exercise pen will give him a 4' x 4' area - two put together is a really big area and you can overlap them to make it smaller. Some dogs just chew blankets and can't have them. It won't hurt him to not have one... while eating one could kill him. Big kongs with frozen peanut butter will keep him busy.

For the hyperness, I would  try exercising both his mind and his body. Throwing balls for him in the yard is good for his body, but obedience work is good for his mind. Do some of both and get him in a class. 

He is at a tough age... but it will get better if you keep at it. I always tell people that they don't start to get a brain till they are at least 18 months old. An 11 month old is truly just an oversized puppy.... and total idiots - haha.

Good luck and hang in there!!

dobe_in_nwa's picture
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I keep reading that Dobes don't like to be kept outside, but that's where he was kept during the day when he lived with my in-laws. He honestly seems happier in the yard. He has room to run around and other dogs in the neighborhood to talk to. Once we get our garage cleared out (we just moved into our house) we will look into an x-pen. For right now we have a 4x4 wooden dog house ordered and will keep it insulated. We also have an insulated dog coat ordered.  

I'm going to get a Kong as soon as possible. I think he would love that since he is food and toy motivated - best of both worlds!  

I have read a lot about the doberteens and am hoping these pass soon!  He was raised with an active husky. Would getting a second dog (in probably six or so months once he has adjusted) be a good idea? That way he could have a playmate to keep him company (thinking of his separation anxiety). 

Thanks for the advice :)

AresMyDobie's picture
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Joined: 2015-02-28

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Please reconsider getting him fixed till he's at least 18 months to two years of age they need the hormones for growth. Don't worry I have a year old boy and he's a loving handful. The whining is normal my boy does that too I just give him something better to do. He loves hide and find the treat. My boy will get cranky and turn into a turd when he's tired but he thinks he should stay up. He typically sleeps in his crate but I love him to be in bed with me. Lol they are hyper dogs but once you can get them involved in something it's easy to calm them. I will train with him, give him a busy buddy wobbler, kongs, anything to get that smart brain working :) lol hang in there it gets easier :)

dobe_in_nwa's picture
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Ares, we have decided to wait until the end of March (he will be 13 months) before getting him fixed.  Since he is over 6 months old he will have to wear a cone for 7-10 days and I don't trust him to stay in a cone all day without supervision we scheduled the surgery during my Spring Break.  Almost everyone in the neighborhood has dogs and I don't want to take the chance with there being an un-fixed female in heat that he finds.

Have you ever dealt with a doberman with separation anxiety?  I am terrified to kennel him after three accidents and almost demolishing the crate we have for him.  Like I said, he is staying outside during the day (insulated dog house and coat).  I wish we could leave him inside but my husband and I don't have time to go home on our lunch breaks, nor do we know anyone who could take him on a mid-day walk.  I take him on a walk after I get home from work and he goes on another before bed.  We are trying so hard to make this work and make him happy, but I still feel like we aren't doing *enough.*

We did have a success last night though!  Loki got up on bed with us when he wasn't supposed to but it didn't take too much effort on our part to get him off the bed.  He kept pacing around the bed trying to get up with us.  When he came back around my side I pet his head and praised him.  I told him to go lay down and he went into the living room and went to sleep!  

leslieak's picture
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Joined: 2013-06-18

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Unfortunately, time is probably going to be the biggest help and a consistent routine. One of my adopted dogs that we got at 1yr. had alot of anxiety when we got him. He also did not do well in the crate. We did crate train him eventually by keeping it open in the kitchen which we babygated him when we weren't home and gradually closing him in their for short periods of time. It took a long time and there are online resources for crate training adult dogs. Argo will tolerate it but it never became his "safe" place. He has free run now but we babygated him and crated him for the first year we had him. It is almost needs to be a gradual acceptance over time that you will always come back. I even gave him a bye bye cookie when leaving for work and still do. We did eventually get a second dog but often that doesnt help with separation anxiety. I think he was left outside alot by his prior owners so leaving him outside was one of his anxiety triggers. Three years later he still looks back at me everytime i let him out the back door to see if i am coming. It takes patience, consistency, and keeping him safe. He is so loving though so it is worth it!

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

the outside issue has several problems - other animals can jump in and become a problem, people can steal him, people can abuse him, throw poison in to him to eat, toxic fluids can be poured on him, and yes this happens I work in rottweiler rescue and it is amazing how many dogs are injured in all of the above ways and many many more.....as Fitz said way too many to list but those are the ones that jump into my head......

If he likes being outside can you put him in a safe place like an open basement door with a chainlink across the opening??? something that keeps him outta sight to others and protected.....it may take him a while to get used to being inside but it is safer for him. Do you have him microchipped in case he is stolen or gets out??? if not get that done now.....and don't forget to register the chip just getting it implanted is not enough you have to register it.....

One week is not enough time for a dog that has been moved around that much and abused on top of it to adjust, it might take years for him to finally adjust....you have to build his trust.....some of his frustration may be due to change in what is familiar - let him decompress with you, not sure if bringing in another stranger to "train" him will be the best option so soon - Fitz is great with advice so I would respect her opinion on how to manage him. Put yourself in the dog's place with all these new things and then throw another person in who is trying to tell you what to do - you may confuse the dog further with so many people telling him how and what to do.......giving him something that he likes to do mentally will help alot; find something that he does naturally that you could steer into something entertaining for him and reward him for good behavior.....stay calm and patient don't overwhelm him with visitors and noises or trips out in the car etc. let him observe the household and engage him when he wants to be involved, walk him and mentally stimulate him with work......

How was he abused that would be helpful for further advice