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guitar guy's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-27

let me say im tired..and im gonna speak blunt if u have a worth while suggestion then great if u think about saying things like alpha male and flick on nose keep it... bruno is 13 months old and is protective of my female roomate. she has walked the dog 4 2 months because of and injury and the dog become unruley.she lets him do anything and im the constant disaplanary.i cant show him the attention he needs so he looks to her.he growled yesterday at me while in her room and bit me in the face today while in her room today.i need change !!!does she leave do i get rid of him? help im pissed im big and im the alpha male!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!      p.s. i also want to add that when bruno was just a year old when i was walking him we were attack by another doberman pretty bad, bruno still has scars, i believe it has affected him in his manner.  [this is the roommate talking] thanks for your input.

glengate's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-22

Yes, it does sound like you need change.  It sounds like you need to be more in charge of your own dog rather than the roommate because it doesn't seem that he sees you as the leader.  Just saying that you are it doesn't make you it.  Or ... I guess the other question is - what happened to lead to the bite exactly?  I doubt it is just because you were in her room.  There must be a little more to it than that.

Have you taken him to obedience classes?  I would definitely suggest that you get yourself and him enrolled in a good class pronto so that you learn how to get him under control.  He didn't get unruly by himself.  And I don't think it's fair to blame the roommate who apparently was helping you by walking him. 

guitar guy's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-27

yes well i spend all day with the dog i just dont walk him because of and injury like i stated.he seems to be protective of her? her room? which hes not allowed in. my rules .when i tell him get off her bed he growls and yesterday i reached down to pet him and he bit me. and no, no training but looking today or shes moving out or the dobie is.

AlphaAdmin's picture
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Joined: 2010-01-18

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It's hard to keep a Doberman sane without real exercise. Is there no yard for him to run in?

Knowing the problem is difficult without more information, or without being there to see how your home works. But remember, the alpha isn't the biggest or strongest pack member - it's the sharpest one, the one everyone wants in charge. So if you let yourself get frustrating (which we all have) that sort of blows it.

Room-mate situations can be complex for dogs, so it's difficult to make any specific suggestions. But if the room mate isn't caring for Bruno, just letting him do as he pleases, that makes it all the more difficult. If he's having these dominance issues, he certainly shouldn't be allowed on any furniture (because it's up high).

Here are a couple things that will help in most situations: An easy way to establish your role is to walk straight toward the dog and stand close to him, not letting him walk away from you or around. (without touching him) Hold him there until his attitude changes. The change will be indicated by a folding back of the ears or better by him sitting. As soon as he does, you walk away.

I'd start by doing that throughout the day. Of course, never step over him - make him move. Make him sit for his food, and don't walk away from his food when he walks toward it. If he lays in a dominant spot - a doorway or other path, walk through and make him move.

After some of these calm assertions of dominance you can start dealing with these over-protective growling problems. If he's on the bed or furniture, and won't get off, calmly hold your ground and stand over him. Just wait. If I were to guess I'd say Bruno is dealing with anxiety, and aggressive anxiety dominance is only skin deep. Just wait until he gets off the bed or furniture, then you take a seat were he was - and maybe call him over to be petter - as long as his attitude is one of a happy calm dog. (never reward anxiety with affection)


Remember, dominance and alpha isn't equal to big and strong. Farrah, our 5-pound Chichuahua, in dominant over all three of the Dobermans. She's not mean either. But if she's in a doorway, none of the Dobermans will come through it until she moves. Here's Farrah and Logan playing.

KevinK's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-15

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I think you answered a little of your own question.  It seems that through a lack of propper training, your dog has assumed the alpha role.  If it's 'your rules' she doesn't go in the room, then she shouldn't be in the room, period.  And the dog sleeping on the bed, that's the leaders sleeping spot.  That's why she gets aggressive when you try to discipline her.  You need to re-establish your role as alpha... simply saying "i'm boss" does not make you the boss.  In your dogs eyes, HE is the boss.  Until you teach him otherwise, things will not change for the better.

 

It's actually quite easy to let your dog become the alpha member, many people that own dogs don't follow any type of training procedures... just buy a dog, walk it, put out food.  Then wonder why the dog is acting a certain way.  With such an intelligent breed of dog, it's easy for them to understand their place in the pack, and they will not be upset about being at the bottom.  But right now, he's at the top, and will challenge you if you try to take the top spot back.  Stick with it, give it time, and don't give up.

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

You have been given some good pointers. One more I would give you is that until you reassert your Alpha position, don't get your face too close. There are two reasons to get your face close to her, affection and aggression. Since she is attempting to take the dominant position, she will see it as aggression.

Stay with her. It will take a concerted effort on your part, but in the end you will be rewarded with a loving intelligent companion. You must be consistant. This also means that the roommate must also be consistant.

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

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Ahhh.. consistency.. That has been the answer for Sofia.. Mike runs her in the morning and afternoon.. they go looking for wild cats out on the golf course ( picture to follow as soon as I get the cat to stay still long enough) I cannot run as fast as they do, and it's become a contest of wills.. we walk with Mom, we run with Dad.Different leash, different body language, different commands..

She is finally getting it, but only through consistent and repeated training.

It's summer here, and seeing as how Bajamar is a golf resort, many vacationers and weekenders are enjoying the Baja. That means kids, and bikes and noise and lots of disruption. Sofia hates bikes. Don't know if she has baggage from years past or just plain hates them.. So the other day I sat outside with her with a bag of chicken bits.. As the kids careened by, I just sat with her and did the "leave it" command.. Soon she was intent on the chicken bits and totally ignored what usually made her psychotic! Yesterday we sat on the sofa for several hours... no chicken.. more kids and lots of "leave it" she did. But it takes CONSTANT vigilance, watching her body language and stopping her before the 'prey instinct" takes hold.. yesterday afternoon, she was fine with the kids, fine with the bikes and we have lots of chicken left over. I will not decide that she's learned, just because it appeared so yesterday.. will keep up with the training. Sigh.. it's going to be a long summer.

xsmith95's picture
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Joined: 2009-03-30

I feel your pain.  I adopted a full grown dobie almost 2 years ago.  When we first got him, he would growl at the kids, snapped at everyone and even bit me in the face.  I thought I was going to have to put him to sleep.  Instead of doing that, I came back strong at him.  He got no affection for a long time and I made him listen to my every command.  Now you would never know how bad he was when we got him.  He is the sweetest most loving dog ever.  The kids can lay on him and love all over him and it doesn't phase him.  I say just stick with being the training and all the great suggestions from above and it truly will work.  Doberman's are very smart dogs and catch on fast.  Don't give up on him yet!

xsmith, I appreciate that you went through such great lenghts to keep him. Most people would have given up and I'm sure it wasn't an easy path to follow. What a great story, you should share more on how you made this turnaround with him. What things did you do to help him through his fears?

guitar guy's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-27

thanks to all ive had a trainer come out and work with us things are better he has his moments but thats ok...

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

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Glad to  hear you haven't given up on him. They are amazing dogs who demand amazing owners.. stick with it!! Proud of you!