First time Dobe owner and need advice on a couple of things

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Midgt55's picture
Joined: 2012-05-01

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Hi all,

I have a Doberman puppy (Anubis), aquired at 8 weeks and he will be 9 weeks old tomorrow.  I took time off of work (1x week) and have a couple of concerns... but first here is a bit of back story...

During the day he will happily stay in his pen (like a crate but without a roof or floor, and adjustable sizes), but as long as he is in the same room as me (if not lots of crying and whining). However if I pen him outside in his kennel, he will happily go in and fall asleep (with minimal fussing - a couple of minutes max).

As far as night time goes though, he cries and cries (and whines and barks and chews the pen and lunges against it...) I will put him in him pen (in the bathroom) and he will cry. He has a bed, a couple of toys and 1x bully stick. In his bedding I have a little puppy heated pad for warmth & will also have a heater on just to add a little heat to the room. When he cries I ignore him, no verbal or physical response. If he gets too frantic I will poke my head in just to check and make sure he isn't injured or something.  He doesn't seem to have much in the way of bladder control though, so I need to take him out every 2.5hours or so. By the 3 hour mark he will usually have peed. So after I have taken him out for a toilet break the crying will start all over again. I have tried using a radio for some noise - no luck.

He and our current family dog (Baylee - border collie x lab x ??) are getting on really well. At first Baylee wasn't too fond of him, but now the play and chase and rough house... Baylee at night time will sleep in the lounge room (which is where Anubis will be eventually, when he is toilet trained).

As Anubis becomes more confident, he is starting chase the cat (Nettika) more and more, but we are in the process of curbing that.

1x I have the issue that my little boy cries at night and have run out of ideas.

2x As mentioned I took some time of work to help settle him in. I am now concerned that I am creating some sort of separation issues when I go back to work as he doesn't like to be left alone.

3x When I go back to work, I don't know whether to leave him penned in his kennel, or inside - either way, it could be for upto 6hours so there will be a toilet mess when I get back...


Sorry for the essay, I guess I am just a new paranoid mum!!!

michelle bacon's picture
Joined: 2011-12-30

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Congrats on the new baby, love the name!!

I'm not an expert, but I have a couple of ideas for you.  I hope it helps.

1.  Dobies are notoriously attached to their humans, hence the term "velcro".  Anubis is just a wee little baby, and he wants to be with his new Mommy and Daddy, that could be why he gets upset when he can't see you.  It took our Niko a little bit to realize that we were always going to come home and love on him.  Taking on a doberman puppy is like taking on a newborn baby; complete with all the time and attention a human baby requires.

2.  At nighttime Anubis may have too much room for him to get a "den" connection.  With some dogs, more room=more stress.  Could you possibly get him a crate, put towels in for padding (or anything you don't mind him eating!) and maybe a shirt that you have worn recently.  Maybe having your scent close by will help ease his fears.  We put Niko's crate in our room so that he can still see us, and that seemed to help quite a bit.

What really helped with Niko was to have a schedule.  We also didn't let him drink or eat 2-3 hours before bed.  And we would play really hard for at least a half hour before bed to wear him out.  We would play with toys, do some training, anything to keep him busy...and awake.  Someone on this site has said before that a happy puppy is a tired puppy, and I think that is so true!!

3.  Our little guys have itsy bitsy bladders, and do have to go out quite often.  Good thing is that it does get better.  Bad thing is that he may have accidents without warning, as he may not even know he has to go until he's already went. 

4.  I don't want to come across mean, that is not my intention at all.  I am concerned about you leaving Anubis while you are at work.  He is still a baby and really shouldn't be left alone for that long at his age.  I know you have to work, I do to.  My husband works day shift and sometimes I have to also. 

What I did for about 2 months was rely on my brother, Ronan, to puppy-sit for me on those days.  Even now with Niko at 16 weeks-old, when I leave my neighbor will come by and check on him for me. (she runs a daycare out of her home, so it's a big help)  Is there a family member or friend that could either sit with Anubis or come by a couple times to let Anubis go potty and have a little bit of play time?  In the long run it would be better for him than leaving him alone at this age.  Dobies really need us so much, and you may be asking for personality problems later on if you start out leaving him alone for that long. 

Now it's my turn to apologize for the essay!!  I hope that something I wrote can help you out.  If not, I'm sure some of the more seasoned owners will pipe in with some amazing insight for you. 

Welcome to the Forum, very glad to have you here!!


michelle bacon's picture
Joined: 2011-12-30

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okay, just saw your pics, he is gorgeous!!  Definately gonna be a little devil, you can see it in his eyes!  I really like the pic with his jacket!!

Midgt55's picture
Joined: 2012-05-01

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Hi Michelle,

I know isn't he just sooooo cute!!! He can be such a little terror (I believe one of the terms used here is 'den shark').

Thanks for your answer - I know leaving him alone for that long isn't the best idea (and I wouldn't have to if we weren't staff members down at work - apparantly having a human baby also equals time off)...

Orignally my brother was going to be home to do the intrim potty breaks and such - but he is house sitting with his girl friend at the moment... hmmm I'll see what else I can organise.

This is actually going to be my dog, so if I can get my brother or someone to help out and check on him, I am kinda worried that he will bond to them - any ideas to make sure that he will bond with me predominately? With our family dog, she has decided that although she loves us all, she really really loves my brothers girl friend and I don't want that to happen with Anubis.

For sleeping I have a box (laying on its side for easy access) which is just long enough for him to stretch out in which has a cushiony mat with extra blankets for squishy-ness. He has just enough room to stand outside of the box... is that too much room do you think?

So the teeny tiny bladder is normal? At what age can I expect it to last longer? He does seem to be able to last longer during the day, so is it just him stressing at night?

As far as when I am at work (assuming I can get someone to come and check on him) should I leave him penned inside or out?

Thanks for your help!! :)

talisin's picture
Joined: 2011-02-25

Puppy bladders are very small maybe the size of a peanut maybe a bit larger so it's easy to figure out why they can't hold it very long - their bladder fills up FAST and any exercise is going to fill it and cause them to have muscle contractions that may cause them to suddenly stop and pee. They have no warning they just know it's now or else. And I would not allow my puppy to have to relieve himself for hours at a time without someone there to clean it up, it kinda teaches the opposite of what you want in the end - for the puppy to go outside and not inside but if most of his time he is relieving himself inside and not out it will make for a long potty training period cause you will have to convince him that even though he is allowed to do it inside for 6 hours the rest of time he has to do it outside - that's way to confusing for a little guy.

I would never leave my dog outside unsupervised with or without a kennel, and a young dog/puppy is prone to predators from the air, hawks will take on anything that they think they can lift off with or kill. We actually had a hawk fly down our street straight towards me and my chihuahua and had my husband not run over and grabbed Pepe the hawk would have reached down and grabbed him. Injury is another issue while outside, I was just at the vet's office and saw a whippet who had to have his front leg amputated because at 12 years old his family left him alone in the yard to run errands something they had done numerous times but this time they came back and he was injured beyond repair. At 12 he had to learn to live without a front leg. Outside should be left to when you can watch him.

I think the thing to remember here with your little one is that if you would not allow a toddler/child to do it or have it done to them or you wouldn't allow a child to be left outside for an hour or so alone, or with toys that might harm them - then you do not allow your puppy to do those things. This is where seeing your puppy as a toddler will keep you in line and keep your puppy safe. Would you expect a baby to hold it's bladder for hours??? No. a puppy's bladder is even smaller than a human baby's.

I would recommend putting a crate in the bedroom where your puppy can hear you and see you to ease the nighttime issues. A dog that CRAVES human companionship will not be happy until they are in the same room or can see their person. Sounds like typical puppy behavior to me.

If you don't have anyone to come in right now to check on your puppy what about puppy daycare?? there are alot of those around nowadays. If you are close with your vet and close TO your vet you might persuade one of the techs to swing by your home on their lunch hour and play for a few minutes and potty run the puppy, you could offer a small fee for that service, and if there is an issue at least you have a knowledgeable person to take charge.

I don't think with a doberman you will have to worry about bonding with another person, if all their needs are being met by you and not this other person then you should have no trouble in my opinion. And just because a dog LOVES to see their favorite visitor come over doesn't mean that they would want to go live with them.

I don't have a doberman but I have had dogs all my life and feel I can offer some ideas. I currently have the chihuahua (13) and a big old rottweiler(8) and neither of them is ever outside alone and they go potty every 4 hours when I am home and even as adults I will not leave them for more than 6 hours at 5 hours I am closing whatever I am doing to head home and I worry until I get home that they are ok. I would be horrified to leave my puppy alone for 6 hours.

I hope you get this worked out for the sake of your little puppy.

Dozer's picture
Joined: 2012-01-19

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Hi paranoid mum!! Don't fret...I was (still am) in the same position, and Dozer is my 2nd dobe. We brought our little man home at 8 weeks old. He did fine in his crate for a while, about every 3hrs he would have to go out. I would take him out, and put him right back in his crate, a little fuss but not much. Then as he got older and I knew he could hold it longer than what he was, he was still crying every 1.5 to 2 hrs. So we decided to put his crate in our bedroom...BINGO!! that did the trick! Little Dozer went from 2 hrs to 8hrs immediately!

I was thrilled to have my sleep back again.

As far as leaving him while you are at work, I would not leave him unsupervised as others have also recommended. Too much to get into, or worse, hurt. It would break my heart if I let something happen to Dozer. I don't even like for him to have squeeky stuffed animals in his crate while I am at work. All I can think if is "what if he tears it open and chokes on the squeeker??" I would NEVER forgive myself!

Don't worry, everything does work out, and this forum is the best place to easy your mind!

Joined: 2012-05-10

Pet Profiles

Congratulations! on you new baby.

I agree crate training is the best bed time option and in your room will ensure the bond you share and help with seperation issues. I also agree it is to long of a day for a little dobie to be left in an enviroment with little stimulation, human contact and excersize in a crate.

Your dobie will enjoy the benifits of dog walkers or sitters or daycare arrangments. It will promote excersize, socialization and stimulation. I don't believe you will loose the contection, providing you put enough enery into evening & weekend bonding. geting use to other people and dogs is a good.

My new dobie is not well socialized. He was not introduced to dogs outside of his breed. Which is normal I've been told for the fact he is intact.

I recomend looking at Kijiji for dog services in your area, or family.