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cammie001's picture
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We have been planning for our new baby to come home for a while! We went to pick her up Saturday and she did great on the ride home, she slept the entire way. Now that she is home, she is great except for one problem, she hasnt learned that she needs to play with people differently from how she played with her siblings. She bites EVERYTHING!!!! We knew chewing would be a big problem but it's not really chewing as much as biting. She doesnt lick at all just bite. After the 2 days that we have had her my arms are covered in bite marks and it REALLY hurts. Does anybody have advise as to how to teach her to play with people? When she does bite i tell her NO BITE! and give her one of her many toys to play with and when she bites on the correct item i praise her, but that isnt working.

laith's picture
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It will in time. It takes awhile to learn, especially if she is young. Just be consistent. Make sure that everyone is giving the "NO BITE" command, not just you. Rewarding plenty of toys for her to chew on is key. 

Possibility start working on sit, down, etc... to get her attention off biting. Sometimes Laith would get so focused on something, I would just have to tell him to sit and he would re-direct his attention to me/his toys. 

Invest in good toys for her losing her teeth. Orka has good products as well as KONG. Nylbone Puppy toys were a good investment for us too. 

How does she like to play? Catch, tug, chew, etc? 

Sorry about the puppy bites. I think we all get a fair share of it in that stage. haha

cammie001's picture
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well her playing consist of bites lol but she likes too tug  and chew mostly. We have pretty much all of those toys for her and they work but she doesnt seem to listen. We have really been working on come cause she doesnt really want to come on command. Mostly that and trying to get her to learn her name. She is 6 weeks old today so i know it will get better in time but i worry that i am going to make mistakes with training her now and she will have bad habits later. I really wouldnt mind the bites if she would lick too but she doesnt really give kisses yet its all bites. I'm getting my boyfriend to stop on the way home from work today and pick up a stick of butter cause i saw on animal planet that if you freeze a stick of butter and then rub it on your hands and arms it will teach the puppy to lick instead of bite, We are praying that will work!!!

Luke_Sian's picture
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Hi Cammie,

Firstly welcome to the forum. 

Secondly, I agree with Laith. Harley is 13weeks, we've had him since 8 weeks and yes biting is something that takes time for them to learn. One of the first things we did was teach Harley the 'gentle' command. And as Laith mentioned sometimes Harley too gets a bit too focused and all it takes is a 'come' 'sit' 'look at me' and I throw his toy, I always make him wait before I release him to 'go get it'. This usually works.

I'm findind consistency is something that really works. The doberman breed is a dog that just want to please and if you tell them everytime they do something good, than they continue to do it. When ever Harley came up to me or the kids and sat or dropped he would get treated or praised instantly. Now all of that consistency has paid off. When ever he wants a pat or anything for that matter he sits or drops and waits.

Maybe you could try something similar. When ever Athena is quiet and calm, praise her. You could also try teaching her the 'gentle' command. We started with treats and moved on to toys and then, for lack of a better term, human body parts ;p

There are alot of great videos on you tube to help get you started. Or you could invest in a personal trainer. But be picky. There are some good ones and some bad ones out there. And lastly, Always remember your puppy is NEVER too young to learn. She is only limited to what she can learn by what you teach her. Think of it this way, If you put the hard yards in now, it will pay off big time in the future.

Hope I've helped :) Looking forward to seeing Athena grow :)

Oh and post some pics, we loooooove pics here :)

Sian and Harley

Luke_Sian's picture
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Oh also, a tip my trainer told me is, Don't play tug of war games with your pup. She said this will encourage the pup to not release something and trust me, when you running round the a freezing cold back yard chasing your pup with your bra locked in his jaw and he thinks it's a game you will wish you hadn't lol. Another great command to work on his 'give' Harley learn't this one pretty early (after the bra and undie escapades :/) but when he got it, I was glad. now if you picks something up I don't want him to all it takes is a simple 'give' and he brings it over and drops it in my hands. Also playing tug of war creates an energy of competion between you and your pup. And as the pack leader, you don't want this with an 80pound dobie. But with all that said this is just IMO I'm sure some others with have great advice also :)

There are some great training tips on the site too. :)

cammie001's picture
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I will def put up some pics of her. all the ones i have are on my other computer which im having trouble getting the internet to work on but check back later and i will have some!


We have her signed up for a training class at Petsmart that starts in the middle of June though. She is doing really well with potty training and i praise her everytime she goes out side, the only bad thing is EVERY time i praise her i get a little bite. I'm going to keep working with her though! Also what kind of treats did you use to train with? I tried to find good PUPPY training treats but most of the ones for training said for adults i couldnt find any that said they were for training and puppies.

 

Thank you very much for the welcome! I am so very proud to own my first Doberman! We have waited SO long for her!

cammie001's picture
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lol i def dont want that to happen! im teaching her "leave it" which is the same thing my room mate in college taught her dog to "leave it" and it worked great!

i hope she learns fast :)

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There's actually no reason not to play tug with your dog...  Like everything else, if you establish rules with it, it could be one of the best games.  I'd be weary of a trainer's experience that recommends against tug, as most dogs love this game.  If you do it right, it actually is the exact opposite of what your trainer is saying.  Playing tug and other games establishes rules, patience, and it will actually help teach your dog many commands.  Also, what's wrong with creating competition?  Many knowledgeable dog trainers will ALWAYS let their dog win at tug.  I have never once won a round of tug, with any dog, and I can assure you it has not created any problems.  With Dakota, I use tug as a reward, and we play often, it's one of her favorite games.  If you have a dog that won't let things go, and runs off with items, it's a training issue, not an issue from playing tug.  Winning a round of tug is one of the most exciting and fun ways to reward a dog, especially one with a high prey dtive.

In terms of biting, it's going to take more than 2 days lol.  Doberman teeth pretty early, and the biting will last a while, and most dobermans love to chew.  Just keep doing what you're doing, and re-directing to a toy that is acceptable to chew.

cammie001's picture
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Thanks for the advise :) We are going to keep working with her and try the butter trick tonight. I just want her to start licking too. I tried to put pictures up but im having some trouble. Maybe i will be able to upload them later

Happydance's picture
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Welcome to the forum Cammie!  First of all, the biting thing is something that EVERY puppy does.  It'll take time and alot of firm "NO BITE"S to get the point across.  Secondly, I noticed that your pup is only 6 weeks old.  I don't know your circumstances, but your pup was taken away from mom and the siblings a bit early.  Mom and littermates do alot of the boundry setting at this age.  They let them know on no uncertain terms when play (biting) gets too rough. You are going to have to play that roll now.  I agree with substituting a toy in place of your arm or hand.  It redirectes their energy.  My girl is 10 months old now, and when she plays with the "littles" (my 2 other dogs, both under 12 lbs.), she knows she has to be "nice"--another word they should learn--- when she gets excited she grabs a stuffed animal toy to shake or munch on a bit.  I have to admit that I have the good fortune to be home all day to monitor the play since the day I got her so she just knows now.  I have found that dog of war was a mistake with the littles, and they grab and run.  I didn't do it with Fancy but she and the littles play tug endlessly.  I taught Fancy "drop it", so if I try to play tug with her, she'll just drop it.I did this because if I want to take something potentially dangerous out of her mouth, there is no arguement.

Welcome to the wonderful world of dobermans, they are no less than awsome creatures!

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@Cammie001 - I don't trust pre packaged treats and as I feed Harley an all raw diet i't easy enough for me to cut up some chicken or hot dog for him. But lately I've been using cooked steak. I try and change it up every now and then so he doesn't get bored.

But I do know a number of dober parents on this forum just use the dry food they feed everyday. 

Your doing well so far. Stick to it and you'll be great :)

@KevinK - I can see your point. And I somewhat agree. In the past I never had a problem with playing tug with my dogs.....till my Border Collie developed a habit of stealing my kids toys/shoes/clothes and running away with them, when recalled he would come running but the minute we grab the item out of his mouth he thought it was a game of tug and there were many tears shed of destroyed toys.

Well I learnt my lesson and so far it is working great. Harley loves playing tug with the other dogs and I try and make sure he gets the opportunity regulary and so far when I put my hand out he drops it straight away. But like I said strictly IMO. 

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Welcome Cammie.  I can remember the first few MONTHS with Freyja.  My hands and arms always had bite marks on them.  We kept the rawhide people in business (yeah I know, some don't like rawhide).  It will take what seems like an eternity to get the biting to stop.  As with all training consistancy is the key.  It will happen over time.

In my experience Dobermans are not big "lickers".  Now Pit Bulls, they are lickers.  Dobies will give you a "kiss" from time to time, but won't slobber all over you.

Start working with your puppy now, but 5 minutes at a time is plenty.  Her attention span will grow as she gets older, but now 5 minutes a day, 3 times a day for actual training is plenty.  Of course play can go on as long as y'all want to play.

I agree with KevinK, tug is a great game.  I've read this no-tug stuff and just don't buy it, it was never a problem.  Freyja was a tugaholic.  But I also taught her two things along with it.  "Drop", which meant to let go and let me have it, and "done" which meant that we were finished playing.  I have never, not one time, had an issue ending a tug game.  Sometimes Freyja wins, sometimes I win, but we have fun playing together.

Don't be afraid of making mistakes training your puppy.  I guarantee you that if you train your dog you WILL make mistakes.  But you know, the alternative is not to train your dog, which is much, much worse than making a few mistakes.  You and your puppy will become a team together.  It will be a long, long process, but it is well worth it.  Freyja and I have been together for 2 1/2 years now and are really just now getting to where we really get each other.  I really think she knows I will be there for her no matter what, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that she will be there for me.  Without all the work we've put in together Freyja and I wouldn't be where we are today, and if you and your puppy will put in the time together to become a true team then you will be richly rewarded, regardless of any mistakes you may make.

Remember, it takes time. and you'll have to go through a few difficult stages. But trust me, it's worth it. 

blue4's picture
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Welcome!  Glad you are here asking questions...lots of great folks with a lot of experience.

Hope it goes will for you - the time passes so quickly,as with everything else.  Get some great snuggles and pics.  And the sooner you get started on training the better!  I like what Freyja's Dad said - 5 minutes is plenty.  Otherwise they can't handle it.  KevinK advised me to look at kikopup on youtube when I first joined.  She's really good.  Take a look at it and see what you think.  She's got a video for biting.

Post us a pic or two! 

KevinK's picture
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I use tug as a GREAT way to have a fun training session.  Not only is Dakota having a blast while we play, but we also work on sit, stay, lay down, go get it, wait, drop it, etc.  So, not only are we playing a favorite game, and at the same time working on commands, the other thing to keep in mind that since this is such a fun game for us, it is also teaching great patience, and working around distraction. 

Think of it this way, if tug is an absolute favorite game, with the tug rope being one of the favorite toys, and you can teach a solid drop it command, in comparison, everything else she picks up is lame and boring!  If you can teach the dog to sit and wait, and not grab the rope until you give a release command, same thing.  See how easy it is to get your dog away from those things like flowers, bees, squirrels, etc.  They are all boring compared to the tug rope.  You can take the most favorite game, and make it higher value by only bringing the toy out at certain times, like as a reward, or during training, or certain parts of the day. 

These examples are all for us, but, the concept is the same.  By finding your dogs FAVORITE thing to do, and using it to your advantage, you are turning the cards in your favor, big time, maybe without even realizing it.

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Since you got your pup younger than 6 weeks you are going to have a hard time with the biting for a long time, definately more than 2 days. Puppies should not leave their mother and littermates until they are 8 weeks old.  During that extra time they learn boundaries from their littermates and mom.  Additionally, you are going to have to work extra hard on proper socialization.

We got Athena just shy of 7 weeks and she was a horrible biter, I still have scars from her.  When she would bite I would try and redirect but toys were boring.  I tried a firm no, tap on the nose, sticking my arm in her mouth and nothing helped for a long time.  In fact  she would snap at me when I would correct her.  She would bite anything and everything.  It was very frustrating but it did get better over time, about the time she was completely done teething.  We got Sully at 8 weeks and I can count on one hand the times he has put his teeth on me, it is very rare and usually very light, however, he also has Athena to play with and she def. has some bite marks from him.

Be consistent and don't give up!

KevinK's picture
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the profile says the dog is 13 weeks old? Did I miss something about the 6 weeks?

Control_Freak's picture
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It said 6 weeks old today in the original post...maybe it got edited?

cammie001's picture
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I'll have to look. She turned 6 weeks yesterday.

Thank ya'll for all of the advise!!! I will def be using it!!! I had heard that puppies shouldn't be taken before 8 weeks but the breeder said we had to pick her up at 6 weeks because they were bigger than usual. The mother usually has 11 pups and this litter there were only 4 so Athena is pretty big. We just got back from the vet and she is healthy and well. the vet told me if she gets too rough to bite her back on the ear. Pretty much the same thing a few of ya'll were saying. I will def try to start working on training! I work with her a litle bit but i figured I should give her a few days to get used to me first. I wish we would have waited till she was 8 weeks but it was REALLY hard to find a breeder in Louisiana and the one we found wasnt too far. Hopefully everything will work out for the best! Thanks again for the advise and welcoming me :)

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So you got her at 5 weeks and change?  Oh boy...  This is the time that a dog would generally start learning bite inhibition from mommy and her siblings.  It's also a crucial socialization period.  You're going to want to socialize your dog as much as possible once all the shots are done, and I would spend a huge amount of time doing this.  It's pretty likely that dogs taken that young will grow up to be dog aggressive, because they will lack the social skills to understand how to act around other dogs.  Since they also don't learn any bite inhibition whatsoever, this can be a big problem.  So socialization & bite inhibition is going to have to be your # 1 priority.  Make sure every experience is positive, don't EVER yell at your dog or even slightly raise your voice right now.  EVERYTHING positive.

I'm in no way trying to freak you out, just trying to make sure you understand what you're dealing with here.  This may be quite the challenge, and if you need help, I would look into a good trainer with doberman experience for some 1 on 1 lessons.

cammie001's picture
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Thank you very much for telling me this!! I will be working on this!! I will have to try to find ways to socialize her! we have her signed up for training at petsmart that will help with socializing but i will look into a trainer for one on one work. I'm not sure if i will be able to find one because Central Louisiana doesnt have a lot of things like that. I will start looking into it now though

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I am not trying to go against you vet, but please don't bite your dog on the ear.  All you are going to teach your dog is you are going to cause them pain.  Instead I would squeal really loud whenever she bites you then walk away and stop playing, or redirect her with a toy.  I also, agree with Kevin everything needs to be positive especially since she was taken so early.  Like I said before I got my female a little early and she was a lot of work for us and our male has been quite easy in comparision.

Also, I would disagree that 11 puppies is an average size litter...more like 6-8.  Plus if she normally has 11 puppies and now only has 4, yes the puppies will be a little bigger but in comparision it is still less dog.  Sounds to me like she just wanted to get rid of the puppies and get her money asap...IMO

cammie001's picture
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Finding this out upsets me... I was really hoping that we had a good breeder and I thought I had done plenty of research but i guess not. Hopefully I will be able to find a trainer around our area to do one on one work with our puppy.

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Dealing with a puppy like this will probably be out of the scope of what the people at petsmart can do, unfortunately... Typically pups are very nippy, but it's different when they leave early, because they were not really taught these things that they would learn over the next couple weeks.  So, you may have to do alot more focusing on these 2 areas.  I think the petsmart will be great for socializing, but I don't think it will be the best for learning how to handle your dog.  Even if you have to go to one of the group classes, see if you can find someone with doberman, or at a minumin working breed experience.

I would definitely NOT bite your dog when it nips you either.  As soon as your dog has it's shots, I would start to try to set up monitored play dates.  If you have any friends or family with dogs, it would be a great idea to get your pup around them as much as possible, but make sure again, to keep everything positive.  You are really going to want to build up those social skills, and start introducing as many new things as possible.  Go for walks to different places, try everything you can think of that would be a good experience for your pup.  Be around people, animals, sounds, sights, smells, everything. 

The breeder definitely sounded like he was just trying ot get his money, and this is a very common practice by shady breeders.  Think of it this way, the longer this "breeder" keeps the dogs, the less profit they get, because it's more money spent, and more time spent.  So, the idea is to make up an excuse, get rid of the puppy, and make more profit. 

Do you know anything about health testing that was done, etc?  Those are going to be important things to think about as well.  I would absolutely recommend getting on a regular vet schedule, with a vet that has doberman experience for routine checkups.

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and don't beat yourself up over it, many, many, many people didn't know better about who they got their pup from.  Just consider it a learning experience, and remember that your pup will still most likely turn out to be amazing!  There may be some extra work involved on your part, but as long as the dog grows up to be healthy, he will still be great!!

cammie001's picture
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Thank you! I will be doing the best I can and praying it all works out!

cisco9510's picture
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Cisco was a very mouthy, bitey pup- I agree w/ the not biting her thing. We just did the squeel or a loud ouch and redirected his mouth- When that didn't help 100% I got really frustrated- I started private classes w/ him early- about 11 weeks. I am blessed to have a wonderful trainer close by- we kept working at it and it took alot of time- He is 9 months old now and he is still mouthy but he doesn't bite anymore... I think when it finally started clicking is when he got to go to puppy classes and got to play with dogs his own age and also when I started really asserting myself as pack leader- My trainer told me if you aren't selling it and believing that you are the alpha (even from a young age) the pups aren't buying it or believing it. Just keep up the postitive reinforcement- get her plenty of chewy toys and always have one on ya to stick in her mouth when she gets too crazy with it~

Good Luck

cammie001's picture
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I have made sure not to go anywhere or do anything without havin a chew toy! lol

Thanks for the advise :)

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I've had plenty of battle scars from Skye. We got her @ 8weeks, still a bit too early btw, and to get her to stop biting... we grabbed her around the top of her muzzle and squeezed GENTLY and gave her a firm-but-not-mean "no bite". It worked. Tug is a great game if you use it as a training opportunity... Kev and Freyja's Dad pretty much summed it up.

Good luck... and please don't bite your dog... I've seen dogs bite back.

cammie001's picture
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Okay so I dont think i am going to bite her lol i dont want to get my face torn up along with my arms, hands, legs , and feet. My face is the only thing without marks. i will probably try everyones advise and see what works best :)

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Cammie - you and your pup will be great. Just keep up training and don't loose your patience. Looking back I swear it seems Laith just woke up one day and decided to stop having accidents inside, stop biting and howling constantly in the crate. 

Like Kevin said just do the best training and reinforcement you can now. Many puppies of all breeds go home too early from their mom/sibilings. It is just important to keep him up to date! 

I wouldn't recommend biting back. But I am not going to lie. Laith's 'dad' bit him back once (very softly - not even a fourth of the degree Laith had bit him right before). Laith had torn his shirt and cut the skin. Those puppy teeth are sharp. BUT Laith has NEVER bitten him since. Laith opens his mouth and sticks out his tongue to him now. ha-ha!

BUT AT THE SAME TIME. I never did such a thing. And he doesn't bite me either. He will wrap his mouth around my arm and nibble when we are playing. :)

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Hey Cammie.. Welcome to the forum.. You've got a lot on your plate with this little girl and from what it sounds like, not a lot of support from either your breeder or your vet.. The Gentle Doberman Forum  has helped to raise a lot of puppies.. We are here for you no matter what..

Yes, she is too young to be taken from her mother and her litter mates.

Yes.. your vet has given you odd advice re: biting back..

Yes, your breeder sounds like a 'greeder'.

And YES!! Thank goodness YOU have Athena now and are such a good mom. Keep asking as many questions as you can think of.. that baby has a few strikes against  her and only you can give her the good head start she needs.

Blessings.

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THANK YOU SO MUCH! that does make me feel a little better. It's funny how i have only had her for 3 days and i LOVE her so much!!!! I really just want to be the best mom i can for her! Thank you for the welcome! everyone on here is SO nice and helpful! I actually found this site when i was researching on how to train her before we got her (which i did none stop since we decided to get a Dobie) & I am so happy i found it!!! I can promise i know i will ask many more questions!

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Vets and breeders can only tell you so much. They don't live with you guys. Just take it for what it's worth! My vet and breeder have gotten my temper a little high in the past but I try to maintain good relationships regardless and keep in touch. 

Yes, you get attached very quickly. Everytime someone asks me to go somewhere, I say "Can I take my dobie with me?"! :)

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lol i already do that too haha my friend wanted me to go walk with her i asked if Athena could come until i remembered i cant take her anywhere yet, till she gets her shots. I CANT WAIT TILL SHE CAN GO PLACES!! I want to take her every where! the biting got a lot worse last night. i had one of my friends over and she wouldnt stop biting! this morning she drew blood. I cant even sit on the floor to play with her because she attacks me!

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Sounds like Cisco at first! Believe me it will get better- Just be patient and train, train and train somemore! Try everything you can- She will get it! They are smart, hard-headed pups! But now is the most crucial time because this 10 lbs of wiggly cuteness will before you know it be a 70lb nightmare if you dont stop the behavior now! It took weeks w/ Cisco (maybe even months)... They will test you and test you- Assert yourself now. Soak up everything you can from here- get books, get a trainer... It will all fall into place!

laith's picture
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Do you have a lot for her to chew on? A tasty porkhide or something? 

cammie001's picture
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i have Probably 7 or more toys/bones for her to chew on. No matter what i try to distract her with she much rather bite me.

zdano65's picture
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I have had the same problems. my little guy was a nipper big time. We spent tons of money on toys and bones etc. The best thing we have found to work is to give him a big bowl of ice cubes and empty plastic bottles. This has helped alot.

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Welcome and congrats on your knew pup..  There is lots of good advice on this site.. You did need to be extremely positive but firm with your new pup.. Kaiser was such a bad nipper took a long time before he slowed down but it wasn't until like 16 weeks uggg. I to got him too early.   I thought he would never stop, my hands were a mess.  He is 14 months now and such a good boy. You have to be consistent after you figure out what works.  Dobermans learn very quick. I wouldn't bite back that just doesn't sound like a good idea.  There were days when I was like this is not fun! Shark Teeth...

But socialization with an older stable dog and obedience school, chewies and a huge dose of love and She will turn out great I bet..

Kaiser is the biggest snuggler, an will lick you forever now : ).. 

Be patient it won't happen overnight.

Mary