Help! I have a out of control dobie!!!!!

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jen3493's picture
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Joined: 2010-06-21

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Ok, call me crazy but it seems like ever Lucian my almost 4 month old dobie got his ears cropped he has been out of control.  He has become very bitty (if thats even a word) and does not listen to me at all.  I have tried to speak stern to him and I constantly say no but nothing seems to work.  When he use to bite I would squirt him with a squirt bottle but now he will just look at me and give me the "oh is that all you got" look.  He is starting to play extremely rough with my 3 year old son when he use to be very sweet to him.  I don't know if it's because he has more testosterone because his testicles are dropping but my vet told me I would have to wait until he is 6 months old to have him neutered. I have bought training dvds and nothing seems to be working.  I take him running in the am for 30-45 minutes and in the pm so I don't think it is an excess amount of energy.  I really need some help with this.  I just want him to be a happy, healthy and great dobie I know he can be.  Any advice would be great!

KevinK's picture
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When he does something he's not supposed to, how exactly do you handle it?  With a bit more details I bet we could give some better advice.

jen3493's picture
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Well for instance when he tries to get into the trash I will first time him Lucian Down and he will just look at me and proceed with what he was doing before.  I will move closer to him and say Lucian No get out of there and then he will get down and run a muck all over the house run past me bite me and then run under the bed.  It works either way when I tell him to do or not do something he either runs around the house or he will just bite me and then run.  When I tell him come he will run or lower his head then come charging towards me.  He is 30 pounds now and I know I have to get this situation under control before he gets too big for me to control. 

KevinK's picture
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I would give a few suggestions, first being you have to back up your commands.  If you tell him no, and he ignores you, you can't just keep telling him no.  All that does is teach your dog there's no consequences, and it doesn't have to listen the first time.  That's hard at first, and will take some getting used to.  But it needs to be done if you want a dog that listens.

I've told a few people this already, but at this stage, when lots of stuff is still new and exciting to your pup, you have to be more fun than anything else that the pup likes to do.  In theory, that's simple.... If you're more fun that what he's doing, he'll drop what he's doing and come to you.  If you're not, why should he come?  That's the logic.  So you need to find something your pup really loves, and use it as a reward for listening.  When he doesn't listen, back up the command, and follow through.  Your dog can sense your frustration, so it's very important to stay calm at all times, even when you're ready to choke him lol.  

glengate's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-22

It kind of sounds like the person who says sit ... sit ... SIT ... SIT ... SIT... SIT... SIT and the dog is thinking I've got at least 4 more sits before she does something about it.  It just doesn't sound like you do anything other than tell him to do something, he blows you off and then nothing happens.  The dog has to first understand the command through your instruction and then you must never give a command that you are not willing and able to follow up on and correct the dog for not responding. 

He sounds like he needs a structured obedience class and that you need the training there too to learn how to train him appropriately.  Until you can get into a class, I'd tether him to you with a leash so that he is right there with you, he can not take off and you can make sure he does what he is told.  But you do have to be fair with the commands, and take the time to teach them to him so he understands what is expected. 

AlphaAdmin's picture
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Joined: 2010-01-18

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glengate's is right: A training class would help this situation immensely - as they do most puppy situations. And the tether idea is good too, although I'd start that idea today if you like it, since he's close to a fine sled-dog weight. 

A similar idea is to keep a lead on him. That way you can step on it to stop a rampage, pull him out from under the bed, or stop the worst sin of all: running from you.

When you give him verbal correction, try touching him along with it. Dogs don't have a naturally profound reaction to our fancy vocabulary. They react best to general sounds, especially when they are accompanied by a touch. I've seen this 1000 times - someone struggling with a dog, repeating words - words and more words, while the dog gleefully goes about being a puppy.

The "touch" should be a sharp poke or pinch, similar to the way mother dogs correct puppies. It's not a "hit" or a "Push". Dogs don't understand hitting and pushing means PLAY!!! 

jen3493's picture
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Well in the area that I live in there are a few doberman obedience classes and then there are just regular classes.  Is it better to take Lucian to a class that is geared more towards his breed or does that even matter? Please let me know!! Thanks for all the help!

AlphaAdmin's picture
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No, breed doesn't matter. A dog is a dog. A Doberman is just a consentrated dog.

Training classes are good because you have someone to watch you and point out things you might not be doing correctly. That's where I got my first tast of actual dog training.

glengate's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-22

Dog training classes are almost more about training you so a general class is just fine.  FWIW, I train with a GSD breeder.  In Shelby's class on Monday nights, it's Shelby and 4 shepherds.  In Kizzy's class on Wednesday nights, it's Kizzy and 5 other shepherds.  I've actually got some diversity in Moxie's new class - it's Moxie, one shepherd and one rottie. 

That said, call around to the dog clubs in your area and find out if any of them are running classes or who they recommend for training.  They'd probably be better than a PetSmart-type class. 

You definitely want to get on this sooner rather than later.  He's only going to get bigger and smarter and you want to get a handle on him now.