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xerxes's picture
Joined: 2011-01-08

Pet Profiles

My 10 mth puppy has an issue with wanting to wrestle with every dog. He grabs its collar/neck skin and wrestles them to the ground. I know its a dominance thing and how they play, but I have had people smack him before I can pull him away. He has gotten a LOT better but when there is a dog he wants to go at it with, he does and he won't listen to me at all for me to get him off. He isn't viscious whatsoever, but people have that "dobermans are dangerous" mindset and it looks terrible. Even if he is being played with the same way, he gets yelled at by others. I have tried shock collars (which helped a bit, now he ignores them), I've tried making him where a muzzle, which only scares people.....sigh.....I am fine with him playing with the big boys who do it back but he goes after little guys too. We haven't been letting him do it with any dog, no matter what, to try and get him to stop, but it seems like no use. Like I said, its got better, but anyone have any advice???? There are several other dobeys that come to the parks we play at and none of them play like him. He is neutured so I don't imagine that it. And when another dog tells him off or barks, he takes it as a challenge and goes harder.

jeshykai's picture
Joined: 2010-09-02

Pet Profiles

I'm glad there was no injury with the use of the shock collar... you should never, in m opinion, have a bark or shock collar on a dog that is in a group of dogs.  If they react to the collar (I have seen dogs panic to such a high degree from these) the other dogs might feel inclined to attack.  It doesn't sound like you use it anymore, but if you do, I would stop.

Playing rough is his inclination.  My doberman's older brother had the same issue.  My friends only allowed him to play with dogs he and they knew (family dogs) and when he went to escalate play he was leashed up and put in a "time out".  Eventually he clued in that when they gave the warning, "MAYNARD!" to knock it off.  However this is in a backyard where it's easy to catch him right away to give such reprimands.

I think if you are going to a dog park environment it just might not be the right place for your boy.  Dog parks have varying levels of play and energy depending on the dogs, but more often every dog that is in there is at a heightened awareness.  They are so keyed up that each of them have little quirks that you might not notice right away.  His is the desire to run in and dominate, or play hard, with every other dog.  Since the other owners feel that it is rough enough that they must step in and break it up... I think it would be only fair that you don't bring your boy here until he is a little older and a little more settled down.  I don't think that you are in a position in that environment to train him out of it.  Take a few steps back, find a few dogs you can do one-on-one play with, and start working with him at that level.  When he can break from play and come to you without hesitation then you might be able to go back to the dog park.

You can't expect every dog to get along with every other dog, doberman or not.  It's not something you should be upset or disappointed about, it's just a reality.  Your boy is big and pushy and he wants to bully other dogs.  He just isn't a good candidate for strange dog interactions, at least not at this point.

Lori's picture
Joined: 2010-04-03

Pet Profiles

if you dog is a male be prepared to stop taking him to Dog parks...They are known to be male agressive, it's just a fact. Doesn't make him a bad dog or mean you didn't socialize him it's just what he is.  Rocky very much has a dominent play.....With larger submissive dogs this usually isn't an issue but with another agressive dog it could be.  Think of it as your warning sign and keep him around dogs you know before it gets out of hand.


I saw the rough play sign in Rocky a few months ago, probably about that 8-9 month mark.  He is now a year and I'm just more careful about who I just let him off leash to meet now.  Shock collars aren't going to stop his natural instinct....it will just make him frustrated.  Some dogs are just going to be more dominent than others....just a fact of life.    But remember that.....