New 7 month old dobie ... bored

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whiskeygirl's picture
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Sorry if this post is ridiculous,  its my first one and I'm fairly  new at forums In General.  My  boyfriend and I  just got a 7  month old dobie   last  Tuesday from a home that decided they couldn't keep her.  She  was  on a farm before  and I suspect was outside a lot and just did as she pleased.  We're now introducing her to a much more structured  life and  she seems fairly content  but she just isn't  interested  in learning  or  doing anything beyond going for a walk or two a day.   while we  HAVE  been focusing on house breaking her the past week  because  a  seven month old bladder is way too much pee to  constantly be cleaning up  I've also tried  too teach her to fetch and just to come  to me in general and she just isn't interested.   When I say come  she will if she feels like it  but otherwise  ignores me  no matter what tone if voice I use.   when I try and teach her fetch she will not bring a toy or ball back,  she just goes and gets it ( most of the time)  and less down to chew on it and destroy it lol.    Is this  normal behavior?   I'm worried that if she's bored  her behavior might get destructive beyond  just demolishing toys ( she picked up a shoe last night  and started towards her crate with it).   Any suggestions on how to get her interested?   Also,  though she constantly seems bored  if I stop paying attention to her she just  sits by me and whines and groans  ands I don't know what she wants!

DJ's Dad's picture
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Bored? Probably...and maybe a little confused. If she had free run on the farm she came from, she probably isnt used to doing anything other than what she wants to, when she wants to, and IF she wants to.  You can change all that for the better.  If you're saying "come" or whatever word or phrase you use to try to get her to come to you, you may as well be saying 'banana', because dogs arent fluent in human language until AFTER they know what those words mean.  If she is food motivated, or toy motivated, or whatever you find that really gets and holds her interest...it could be an old shoe, who knows...use that item to tease her, bait her, reward her with. 

A simple command such as 'come' should start inside the house, where she doesnt have room to run very far.  A long hallway works great, in fact.  Have someone hold her collar at one end of the hallway while you quickly go to the far end, show her the reward or treat, call her to come while she sees the reward, and have the other person let go of the collar.  Pretty much guaranteed that she will come to you.  When she does, make a big deal of it: pet her, give her the toy or food reward, tell her YES, Good girl! Repeat 5 or 6 times, then let it go for a half hour or more, but be sure to do it all over again later.  A few times each day in short sessions. Dont lengthen the distance between you and the dog until she KNOWS that the word 'come' means to come to you, and she gets a payoff for doing so.  Baby steps.  Keep doing this, slowly lengthening the distance until you can be in another room altogether from her for the exercise. 

Going outside for this is going to present her with many many distractions....sounds, smells, etc, so you can do the same exercise with her for 'come' using a long leash (I always just used a rope clothesline with a snap tied onto one end and a loop handle in the other end...maybe 25 ft or more long)  If you have to reel her in to you after calling her, do it.  Let her know what the word means and what you expect her to do instead of giving her the opportunity to ignore you, walk away and just blow you off totally.  She wants to learn, believe me. But, like a child, with no structure or limitations, she will take that proverbial mile if you give her an inch.  Work with her for a couple of weeks and see if that doesnt make a world of difference.

Other commands are basically the same thing.  Let the dog know what is expected when they hear the word, then practice practice practice...slow, baby steps, adding a little distance and duration as they progress.  And always ALWAYS end with a good job done.  If your dog messes up and just flat out wont do what she is supposed to do, dont end the session on that.  Do something that she does do well---even if it's just a 'sit' on command.  Then, tell her 'well done' and end the session for awhile.  Your dog needs to feel good about learning new things...that's what makes them want to come back again and learn more.  A dog that has a training session ended on a sour note remembers that and isnt always ready to jump back into things again.  And that is frustrating for the dog and human both.  Make your training sessions fun and your dog wont even realize it's being trained. LOL

Training is the main key to a well mannered obedient doberman.

whiskeygirl's picture
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Thanks for the reply I'll definitely try starting smaller!  Any tricks on how to always have dog treats on hand without having her constantly  bugging you for one?   Lol.

DJ's Dad's picture
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Deep pockets.  Or an inexpensive (or sometimes free) cloth tie-on carpenter's nail pouch.  Or you can buy treat pouches that clip onto your belt or velcro onto a belt loop.  Best way to wear them is behind you....out of sight to the dog.  My DJ will be 3 in November, and we have been taking training classes since she was about 5 months old.  I still use treats (just not as often with her now) and she knows when I have treats.  High value treats work well for new commands...I pan fry small cheap cuts of beef or pork and cut into tiny bites for this.  But, DJ is so food-motivated, she would honestly work for a cardboard picture of food. LOL

You have to train yourself to ignore the dog's begging, also.  Hard to do, believe me.

Kim
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To add to DJ's Dad's great post -

Are you using a crate for housebreaking your girl? I would think being 7 months old, she would get it really fast. Crate at night, and crate if you can't keep an eye on her when she's out during the day. And then lots and lots of praise when she goes outside. I wouldn't necessarily give her a treat, 'cause then she'll be more concerned with getting a treat than piddling.  LOL

She should pick it up really fast - even as pups, they are such fast learners, and really want to please. They are also, as a rule, very clean dogs.

As for the fetch thing - hahahahaha!!!  Good luck!  While there are some posters here who have managed to teach their Dobies to fetch, none of mine ever did. Retrievers they aren't. All of mine - three purebreds and two partbreds - did exactly what your girl does. Search and destroy.

At some point, you might want to enroll in an obedience class. It'll give you a lot of support (you'll learn more than your dog ever does!), and it's a great way to socialize your girl with other dogs.

 

Just saying, DJ's Dad - "Work for a cardboard picture of food"......TOO funny!!

Sandee's picture
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Hi and congratulations for acquiring a Doberman and rescuing her before she ended up in the shelter or worse.  But she needs time, time, time.  She is still trying to get use to you and figure out the system right now.  DJs dad and Kim are totally right and have great ways of explaining training. A  beginners Manners class would be great right now also. And crate training is excellent. 

And as Kim and DJ's Dad stated,

I also have never been able to get mine to fetch and my Ember would work for anything probably even cardboard!

Also, don't let her demand your attention.  It's not good for a Dobie to get their way whenever they want.  Especially since your going to be coming up on teenage years soon.  Critical time.

This site is great for support and info.  And you should research about the Doberman breed to get a better prospective on her.      Have fun and patience....

InSaNe's picture
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DJ's dad wrote:
Have someone hold her collar at one end of the hallway while you quickly go to the far end, show her the reward or treat, call her to come while she sees the reward, and have the other person let go of the collar. Pretty much guaranteed that she will come to you. When she does, make a big deal of it: pet her, give her the toy or food reward, tell her YES, Good girl!

 

How do you correct her if she comes but keeps jumping up at you out of excitement (even when standing tall) when you praise her? I don't want to praise her jumping obviously, do I just say 'NO' / 'DOWN' then continue praising after she sits?

DJ's Dad's picture
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You're 100% correct in thinking that praising her come while she is jumping is actually praising her jumping.  Wait till she is calm before the reward comes.

If you suspect that she is going to jump, be prepared to correct her jumping up immediately, by one or more methods:  you can turn your back on her before she gets to you.  You could leave a short piece of rope or leash on her collar (not long enough to drag the floor, but long enough for you to get a good hold on) and hold her down, telling her 'off' ('down' usually means lie down, so you might not want to use that command to mean dont jump) or 'no jump', or sometimes, it takes raising your knee up quickly into a dog's chest area ---not enough to hurt them, but strong enough to get your point across. Sometimes all it takes is stepping back a couple of steps before the dog makes contact so that it's front feet fall right back down on the floor, instead of on you. She wont understand that she isnt supposed to jump up unless you're absolutely consistant with this....it cant be ok to jump up sometimes and not ok at other times...unless you actually train her with a command or hand signal to jump up when you want her to.  I have never really found that to work, though, with mine.  She is supposed to stand with all feet on the floor at all times when meeting/greeting me or anyone else.

Anticipating what behaviors you want to correct can play out in your favor, by correcting as soon as it happens...not after, but actually WHILE it is happening.  Does that make sense?  I tell mine 'NO JUMP' or "4 on the floor", and still need to anticipate DJ's jumping when she gets really really excited.

You may need to try all these things out to see which works best then stick to it and she will eventually get the idea that jumping up on you is not a good thing.

whiskeygirl's picture
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wow thanks for all the great tips  guys!  I  started teaching her to come in the house it is definitely getting better, still needs much improvement  but  her attention is getting a bit more focused  even with  outside distractions.    Thank you  SO  much DJs  dad!  We were already crate training her  and that is going really well, she really likes her crate. We've been  rewarding her piddles  with treats because our praise  doesn't seem to do much for her  but are weaning them down slowly.    she's  now peeing  outside 95%  of the time  which is amazing,  when she does pee  it's usually  because she's overly excited  and hopefully that well stop  as she gets to know us better.    We're definitely  going to do  obedience classes,  just waiting  until her shots  are up to date  because her first owners didn't do them.  I am SO  excited to  watch  her  learn  she's  such a smart girl ( hopefully  we'll have some luck with fetch,  I'll print out some cardboard hamburgers  just in case it helps lol)

 

Kim
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Sounds like you're making good progress!!

I forgot to say....welcome to the forum!  :-)

(And we'd love to see some photos of your girl!)

Konkie's picture
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To stop jumping for my pup we ignore her until she sits, stand, arms folded not even making eye contact. Now the first thing she does is sits with her tail wagging waiting to be petted when someone enters the house or room she is in :)