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JLuC Dante's picture
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Here is a little backstory:

Dante is 11 weeks old and hardly afraid of anything except the vacuum cleaner. This morning was a bit dull for Dante. I was busy filling out an application and he was behaving himself until my brother came into the front room. Then he got all excited and started playing with all his toys. After I finished the app, I sat down to play gentle-play with him. When it was time for my brother to leave for work, we both watched him go. As soon as he shut the door, I turned back to Dante and he lunged for my face, biting my nose. My immediate reaction was to get away so I threw my hands up and I think I either punched or smacked Dante in the chest and he tumbled on to his back.

Dante doesn't really get excited when someone leaves or is walking around. He usually watches witg curiosity. I'm the only one he follows from room to room.  What he did this morning was spontaneous and nothing led up to it. 

I hope I didnt do anything to hurt him physically or mentally. He wasnt limping or doing anything out of the norm except wanting to lay in my lap like he was trying to make up for it. But I still feel really bad for what happened. 

Will this effect how he feels about me getting my face too close to him?

Is there anything I can do to keep him from trying to nip at my face besides not getting close? He loves to lick but I'm afraid eventually it will escalate to nipping too. 

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

wow glad both of you are ok.....that's horrible.....to me it does sound like over excitement but regardless any nip to the face or lunging should not be tolerated......I don't think it will affect him negatively that you knocked him a bit protecting yourself.....I would not put my face in his or allow licking for a period of time.....the trust between you both is broken right now, be sure to watch him for signs that this is a new pattern and deal with it immediately before it becomes habitual....there are alot of people here who have dealt with similar things they will give you a bit of training exercises and stuff to build up your trust with each other again or they will be blunt about this being a bad thing, so be ready for all answers :))

JLuC Dante's picture
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Thanks Talisin. 

I cant wait to read some advice. I would really like to play close with him again.

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

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Yikes... how scary... When you say..'play close."  what exactly do you mean.??

. NO DOG likes you in their face... it's an aggressive and threatening move toward them.. however.. Tal is right.. under NO circumstances is he allowed to bite. Although you enjoy him licking you.. remember.. it's not really a kiss.. it's a dominance thing..He's claiming you..

I too will be following this thread in order to get some info.. the fact that he did bite means there is no trust as of now.. I think you might have to start from square one.

Kim
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Joined: 2012-02-05

Maybe it's just me, but I would carry on like nothing happened. He reacted, you reacted, he got knocked on his bum, and may never do it again. He is at the very least, aware there will be consequences - which isn't all bad. It's not like you intended to knock him over.

It also means you need to stop feeling bad!  He's ok. And...he'll pick up on you feeling bad.

I agree that they really don't like your face in theirs - my Dobes all grumbled when I even hugged them. So, you can take that into account from here on out.

But before you get too worried, why don't you just play it cool, and see how everything goes?

 

JLuC Dante's picture
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I mean I play at arms length. When he is doing his alligator thing(rolling around on his back and chewing on things flailing his legs), I want to be close to a toy to distract him if he tries to chew on my foot or clothes. I dont let him play in my lap anymore now that he is bigger. I still sat Indian-style on the floor with him and his head comes up to my chin. 

Lately(about a week or so before the incident) I have been leaving him while he does it so he doesnt get out of control and get me.  

Since he lunged at me, i have been standing on my knees and feet to play which is mostly tug and fetch now. 

I should probably try to keep a toy on me while he's doing that instead of having to reach for a toy. 

 

So far ge hasnt tried to lunge at me again. 

 

And seeing how he acted today when my brother was in the room, I now think it was excitement. He watches my brother and wags his tail. 

Kim
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Joined: 2012-02-05

Yep, I'd watch that "leaning over going to pick up a toy" thing while he's playing. He's still little, but I did that once.

I threw a frisbee for my 105 pound male Dobe while we walked. He never brought it back, so I always went over, picked it up and threw it again. The last time I did that, he dived for it at the same time, and he was coming up off his front end with it as I leaned over.

The top of his skull hit me in the cheekbone and he slammed me in the cheek with the top of his head. I laid on the ground for 20 minutes before I could get up - most likely with a fractured cheek at the least, broken at worst. I didn't go to the dr., but by the time I got in the house, I had two black eyes.

I never leaned over and picked up a toy when he was coming at it again.

Lady Kate's picture
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So glad to hear things seem back to normal with Dante.... 11 weeks is still just a pup.. amazing how strong they get so quickly.  Thanks so much for writing and listening.. but even more so watching his body language as even at this young age, he's displaying his instincts...

Smooches to the Pooches

JLuC Dante's picture
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Kim, thats sounds like it hurt. I try to never go for a toy unless he is totally distracted by something else.  

This being my first time owning a dog(I've grown up with plenty if dogs of all sizes), I've learbed a lot that I never knew before. I thought I was completely ready for a dog but I'm learning everyday that its a challenge. I'm taking it one day and one new experience at a time.  

Thank you all for your input. :)

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

hahahahah from what I have learned here, you chose the most difficult, interesting, intriguing, frustrating and delightful breed to start with......they will test everything you know and don't know about dogs!!! not for the first time dog "owner"......and everything I have ever read said not to get a doberman as your first dog.....apparently there is a learning curve for this breed - for the humans not the dog hahahahaa

so kudos for you if you manage to keep your sanity while raising this intelligent breed :))

it'll be a fun ride, fasten your seat belts please hahahahaaha

Konkie's picture
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He's only very young isn't he? Leica went through a bit of a phase doing this to my other half. Whereas I think I am the boss my oh is more like a litter mate. She would do it if you weren't paying enough attention, actually broke the skin on my oh cheek once. I think she did it a total of 3 or 4 times and that she was just trying to assert her authority. Needless to say when she did it she was told off and put in time out. She's 21 weeks now and haven't had any of this behaviour since about week 12. Good luck!