Small children and biting problems

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fivemile's picture
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Joined: 2014-08-23

Hello everyone. I am new to the group but I need some help. I have a Male Doberman who will be one yr. old in two weeks. He still keeps mouthing, nipping and biting us. I have had Doberman practically all my life but I can't get this one to stop his biting. If I try to pick up his ball to throw it he will grab my hand before I can pick it up. Last night I went to correct him from his barking in the house and when I walked away he nipped my upper thigh leaving a bruise. He is a rescue but we got him at 4 months old so this gas been going on for a while. Is it still puppy in him? I have never been through this before. I've always had calm Dobes. 


Another question is.....we have a two year old that lives directly behind us. He is pretty active and high pitched screechy. Our Dobe was a little fearful of the kid but, one day the kid comes running to the fence yelling our dog's name. He grabbed on to the fence shaking it. Ever since that incident, our dog will bark and growl when he sees that kid. He goes nuts. I put him on the shock collar and he took the shocks rather than calm down. Now, whenever he sees any little kids he goes out of control. Does anyone have any ideas that can help me out? We thought about returning him to the rescue but, we love him and don't think he deserves that. We have been keeping him away from the kid. Today, we went out in the backyard with him. The kid was outside but out of view. But the kid could be heard. Our dog sat quietly by us. Eventually, he walked out into the yard. The kid came running across his yard and our dig saw him. He ran at the fence barking with his shock collar on. We calked his name and said NO. Then we told him to COME and he did. Are we doing the right thing by letting him have some exposure to this kid by taking "baby steps" to try to get him to adjust to this kid? PLEASE HELP with any suggestions or ideas you might have. We don't want any biting incidents. THANK YOU.

Hi , give him some time & really start a new regime of training & what you will put up with & more so what you want . Our dobe is not calm . When she was little she was mouthy & still would be if we hadn't had the chance to work everysingleday with her . The kid next door will be fine as long as the dog can't Get near the child . If it's reactive / sharp you just need to do what you are doing & train lots & hopefully you eill see a difference . My dog really really barks feriouciously at these wee kids on trikes that ho past our house ... It's so embarrassing but unless I catch her pre rage/ bark she is off ....  She will never reach them & is fine with kids everywhere else . So I just need to accept this . No teeth policy ...... Give him a good telling off & ignore him ... Do not let him put his teeth near you .... A grab at back of the neck ( not hurting ) can be enough to deter them & realise you are serious . Then at least they know ....... Good luck x they are challenging breeds x

fivemile's picture
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Joined: 2014-08-23

Thank you Mina. We started saying "NO BITE" now when he outs his teeth on us and it is working much better than just saying NO. We took him for a walk today to a school playground and there were some small children there playing and making house. He didn't react in any way. He just accepted them and went about his business. I take him to the pet store all the time and there are small children in there many times and he lets them let him and he even gave one little girl a kiss. I am hoping that by exposing him to the kid behind us, in small doses, he will adjust. Thank you so much for your advice. You have truly given me hope. We are training him in different ways now and more consistently. We are showing him we mean business. I think I was too soft hearted with him. I will try the grabbing the back if the neck also when he wants to bite. Thanks again so much from my heart.

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

I would not use the shock collar as he may decide that the pain he feels is caused by the child and that could escalate the anger towards the child....work with positive reinforcement, where you just reward and go crazy happy when he does the RIGHT thing and ignore the bad stuff.....

And he is a rescue and he is still young and from the others here on the forum I have learned that the age he is at right now may play alot the role in his rebellion type behavior....hang in there and work with the positive reinforcements and eventually he should be a great older dog.....exposure in small doses can't hurt as long as you are there to reward the good behavior and remove him from the scene if he shows any negative reaction to the child....

Hi . As you say you have had dobes & know how fickle they can be ! My friends breeds & trains them but has not met one with such energy as Mina !! So they are all different . Unless Mina has a really good bone or her dog pals are in the garden I keep her on the lead as I know she will charge the gate at what she doesn't like & occasionally that can be kids on bikes or worse high viz clothing & those wee plastic trikes ... IDE invite any kid in & I know she would be ok , but these 3 wee kids she has got into a habit to bark at . So I've really tried to put a stop to it by now not allowing it . They are as you know are guarding breeds & won't like everyone . With Mina ime sure it's fearful . Could you speak to the people & maybe explain you have concerns ? Maybe they will try get the wee tot not to screech your dogs name ? Don't despair , I've despaired a million times with Mina !!! In the end she has always come good .... Could you put hedging in front of fence ? Is it too big. ? Good luck xxxx

fivemile's picture
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Joined: 2014-08-23

Thank you for the advice. I bought a collar today that uses tone instead of the shock. It was recommended by a trainer. I will do as you said. When he just stands by us and sees the kid, I will give him treats. Good idea. I never let him outside alone if that kid is out there. I try to avoid that situation as much as possible but there are times when he has to do his business. Me and my husband will both take him out then. We are only trying to give him short periods with seeing that child so that maybe he will adjust to him. Keeping my fingers crossed. Like you said, eventually he will be a great older dog. Here's hoping that kid grows up fast and gets a deeper voice. :-)

fivemile's picture
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Joined: 2014-08-23

Hi Mina's mom. We did talk to the kid's parents because we are friends with them. At least we were. They know that their son scared our dog and they know what the problem is. They know our Kirby is afraid if their son because he scared him. I made some suggestions previous to him scaring him so that we could introduce them. I guess it was too much to ask to bring their son to the fence and give him a treat every now and then to introduce them. That would have avoided all of this. They didn't do it. They said they were going to out up a privacy screen to block the view if their yard. That never happened. We have a very large yard and the back us 130ft. Long. We have privacy fence on both sides of our yard but, the cost to do the back portion is a bit prohibitive at the time. It would cost $3,000. If this doesn't straighten out in time, we will probably put up the privacy screening. The problem us that Kirby doesn't even like hearing that kid. He doesn't like the little ones who are active and screeching. Thank you for giving me hope and encouragement. I would love to stay in touch with you.

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

hmmmmm, if you are friends with these people more or less is it possible, I know that's a stretch since they wouldn't even do the treat thing through the fence, but is it possible for them to walk the block with you with Kirby on leash so that the kid can interact a bit and Kirby can see that the kid is a normal person just has an annoying voice?? I know that's a real long shot but worth asking.....I know my dogs were and are, freaky about someone outside "their" fence but once outside the fence with that person they are a totally different dog, and then after interaction outside the fence their reactive behavior as THAT person goes by the fence is less and sometimes reaches zero for some......

trying to think how this could turn positive, I too have a 175 feet of yard on the back to fence and it is costly right now we have to put up a new fence all the way around!!! that's two sides 175 feet and two sides 100 feet and then down both sides of the driveway and the guy wants $17,000 and that's on sale....and that's not even privacy fencing....but our black bear has destroyed our fence and our rottie if he knew he could, would push the fence over and we can't have that with his fence behavior......so sympathies on the fence issue......keeping a dog and the neighbors happy is not cheap :))

fivemile's picture
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Joined: 2014-08-23

Hi! That vinyl privacy fencing is so expensive. Like I said, we have it down two sides if our yard and that was a huge expense and my husband installed it by himself. I like the idea of walking him with that kid. They also have a German Shepard who gets along with Kirby great. He us just a few months older than Kirby. I am just concerned because a couple if weeks ago, we took Kirby for a walk and had to pass their house. The kid was out on the front lawn. He wasn't being loud and he ran only half way down the front lawn to see Kirby. That was all it took. I was so glad my husband had a good hold on the leash because Kirby went nuts. I tried to push him over a bit and he almost bit my arm. Not intentionally but because he was so upset. I seriously doubt if she would go for a walk because she is more like a "princess" type person. I've only seen the husband walk their dog a couple times. They don't even take the time to play with him in the yard. I feed him doggie cookies when I am outside. Now he started standing up on the fence and he taught Kirby a bad habit. I don't know why they even have that dog. She says she hates him. Soooooo, anymore ideas? I'm open to any you may have.

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

well crap, hahahaah that wouldn't work then.....but the treats through the fence from the kid to kirby might begin to soften the anxiety......that's all I got, but you said they really didn't want to do that.....the kid apparently is a loose cannon since your dog really does see a little hellion in that kid....I would trust my dog to assess people, so watch that kid as he grows up he will be alot of trouble and if you continue to live next door you could be facing alot more anxiety and alot more abusive type behavior toward your dog from that child - children can be very mean to dogs that they know are afraid of them, so never let Kirby out unsupervised with that kid outside......just a heads up for the future......

right now I will put my thinking cap on and see if I can come up with anything you haven't already tried or wanted to try......

fivemile's picture
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Joined: 2014-08-23

Hi. Kirby was outside with us today with his new training collar on. This one has tone as well as shock. That kid was out in his front yard squealing and Kirby started to growl, then he ran toward the back fence. All I had to do was say "Kirby...NO" and then toned him and he came right back to us. BUT...That was with the little runt being out of site. We will never let Kirby outside unsupervised if that kid is out there. He is so spoiled. Two years old and the dad bought him a REAL drill to play with because he didn't want a toy drill. I was shocked to see that. He will probably be a nasty kid when he grows up but I will be watching him. I won't tolerate ANY harassment from him to Kirby when he is at an age where he can understand things. Keep thinking my friend. I know I am. Hugs to you.

talisin's picture
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oh my lord, a real drill, we can only hope the kid drills something in the house that makes the dad take that away quickly.....yes I see a spoiled brat that will do things and cover it up in your future....haven't thought of anything yet hahahaa but still thinking.....of course moving is out of the question??? hahahaa

fivemile's picture
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Joined: 2014-08-23

Moving actually has been a thought but in reality, it's only a dream. Of course, them moving might be nice. Can you believe it? A 2 yr. old with a real drill. Maybe he will decide to customize his dad's older Camaro car. Hee hee. I think I have my hands full with that kid. I felt to bad for their dog today. They come home from work, let the dog out and then ignore him. He is Kirby's buddy so, I put Kirby in the house and went out and gave him some Milk Bones and talked to him for a while. I couldn't play with him through the fence but at least I gave him some attention. I wish they would have done that with Kirby when we got him. I wanted their dog to know me and know I wouldn't hurt him. At least I had a peaceful end of the day. They kept the kid out in the front yard today. Happy happy. I feel like I am having some success with that new collar just by using the tone. It stops Kirby from digging holes. He doesn't bark because he doesn't know the difference from the two collars. Please tell me I will survive all Of this. I have never had a Doberman I have had to put so much work into. Have a great evening.

talisin's picture
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hahahahaha yes you will survive and when Kirby reaches adulthood you will say it was all worth it.....that's what I hear hahahahaha......my step sister only had dobermans always reds and always females two at a time....she loved them and they were the sweetest most loving dogs, and ALOT of my friends had dobermans too and they were all very loving and precious.....hang in there.....

fivemile's picture
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Joined: 2014-08-23

We lost our two Dobermans last December. A week and a half apart of each other passing. Just before Christmas. They were both rescues and they were with us for 11 years. My heart is still broken. We had a Black and Rust female and a red male. Sorry, but it's still very hard for me to talk about it. I miss them so very much. There's not a day that I don't think about them, miss them and love them. Memories are running out of my eyes right now and down my cheeks.