Gauge - class, life and antics

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tans0077's picture
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I just wanted to start a thread to track the pup's project while he goes to learn some manners.  We had our first class on Tuesday night. 

Overwhelmed was the word of the evening, for sure. 

We got there and he pulled me down the stairs and was a wild man.  It took all my might to keep him from happy attacking everyone who came down with their dogs.  Trainer got him fitted for his collar and all was right with my world.  Jumping stopped, dragging stopped, laying down at various intervals of movement forward stopped.  Nice. It didn't get completely rid of the attention defecit doberman, but it was an improvement. 

We started with the "look" cue.  Rule #1, the word that will eventually be the be all and end all of commands.  He did really well and I gave lots of praise and treats and ear rubs.  He was still very interested in what the rest of the dogs were doing but everytime I said it, his head snapped back to me.  Good boy.

The next was the "sit" cue, but without the word sit.  That was a bit more difficult because as the class went on, he focused less.  He was overstimulated and had no idea what was going on.  He did pretty well with the cue though, the trainer had to step in once or twice to get his attention back and I tried to stay between him and the dog behind us, of whom I was thankful that he was being as loud as Gauge was. 

The last cue we learned was the walk, heel, sit.  We walked in a circle and were supposed to slow down and then turn and give the sit cue.  Yeah, he was on full overload by that point.  He did it twice and then stopped being interested in the treats even.  We went outside to spread out a bit and of course he takes a massive dump in the yard.  That smelled wonderful.  LOL   We went on the way while one of her assistants cleaned it up despite my practically begging to do so myself.  They were nice about it.  (apparently he started a trend because 3 others did it after him).  He wouldn't do the sit portion of the cue, so she said to keep him at least by my side when I stop.  His body was, but his head was looking everywhere.  Trainer was sitting on the fence and when we walked by her, he stopped.    That was it. He was done.  Again, she was great about it though. She put him next to her and pet him while he watched everyone else do their thing.  He was done. I was a bit irritated with him, but what are you gonna do? Pushing him will make him not want to do it at all.

Last night I was traveling for work so my husband put him through the works. Said that "look" and "sit" were perfect.  15 minutes of each as recommended.  Then he took him for a walk, and he got about 5 walk/stop/sit cues out of him, but the second there was another dog around, he wanted to put his attention there and wouldn't look at Adam.  He was on the prong, so he wasn't pulling, but A said he was trying to keep his attention and he didn't even want the treats.  So that's going to be our holy grail. 

Next Tuesday we have to show that they get the first set of cues, and we'll keep working on him.  I did a few minutes with the walk/heel/sit cue and he was fine until the neighbor came outside.  They never said a word to us, but he was all "what are they doing? should I be there? I don't want to sit!"

So, overall not bad.  We'll keep progress as we go. 

DJ's Dad's picture
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I love training classes, dont you? LOL  (seriously, I do)  Sounds like you're on the right track.  Keep in mind that his attention span is extremely short, so for the first week, and as young as he is, he sounds like he's right on target.  Keep your training sessions short, consistant, and **F U N**.  If it starts looking like 'work' to him, he'll lose interest much quicker.  Life is a game to a young doberman.  Everything is put on the earth for their enjoyment and for them to either chase, chew, or play with. (if he keeps thinking this way, your training will be fun for ALL of you, trust me)  When he gets to the point, like you said, where you know without a doubt that he is done....stop.  Make sure you end on a good note, on a command that you know he will do, even if he's bored and tired, no matter how simple it is or how many times he's already done it.  You might think (like I did with Ziva the first couple of weeks in basic obedience class) that there has never been a more rock-headed dog born, but I assure you, when you least expect it, the light bulb will turn on and he will start to listen, learn, and OBEY.  YAY--- that will be a major turning point for all training to follow. 

Dont give up, training is an every day event....every single day.  I still take every opportunity with Ziva while we go for just routine walks to throw in some commands that I know she knows and occasionally will toss out a new one---like "go around" when we come to a tree or a sign post and I dont want her to be on one side of it and me on the other with the leash wrapping around it....so she now knows that "go around" means to come around to whatever side I am on.  Oooohhh, this training is going to be so much fun for you and Guage. 

Oh---also, if he gets tired of his treats during training class....hold back his meal on training days.  A hungry dog will pay close attention when there is food involved....and keep his treats really really small, so he doesnt get overloaded.  I always cut Ziva's training treats to about the size of a pencil eraser.

Expecting to hear regular progress reports now, you hear?  LOL 

Lady Kate's picture
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Oh what a fun thread Tans.. I could see it all.. and I'm sorry if I laughed.. but it just reminded me so much of the Marley and Me scene...

You're doing great.

even at this late age ( and Sofia is probably around six or seven) we STILL have to train and remind and talk talk talk.. I talk to her when we walk. I tell her "cross the street" and point to where we're going.. I will tell her "on the sidewalk" and she seems to understand the hand signals and voice commands.. Using different collars and leashes has made a HUGE difference with her. When she gets  her halter on ( we call it her "bustier") she knows it's going to be an all out run on the bike.. When I have her collar and short leash, she seems to know it's a dignified 'stroll' with Mom. I do keep  her away from anything that looks like a weed as she loves to sniff and hope for a mouse, but there are fox tails in those weeds and those foxtails can get caught in noses and keep vets in business for the summer.. plus the divine smell of critters hanging out in the tall grass is irresistable for this girl with such a strong prey drive. training is an ongoing process and Paul is right.. keeping it fun and a game makes for a lot of enjoyment for everyone.

Consistancy is the name of the game.. Gauge will get it.. I promise! Thanks for the update

blue4's picture
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Sounds like great fun for the family!  He did great...really, you guys are doing such a good job.  Look forward to hearing more!!  Way to go Guage! 

Dabbles's picture
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It never ceases to amaze me about the training.  We are told to keep our training sessions short & sweet - 5-15 minutes each, a couple of times a day depending on the age of the dog.  Even with older dogs learning new things we're told the same thing.  (And it works well too!)

Then WHY do the trainers expect our dogs to pay attention for an hour while in class?????  I'll be honest - after the 1st session when Brinks & I went to puppy kindergarten, I'd work him for 10-15 minutes then take him out for a break.  Then we'd come back in & go at it refreshed.  (Since we were in the evening class our time always seemed to stretch from 1 hr to 1.5 hr or longer...)  We never fell behind - Dobes are really smart & pick things up quickly.

 - Gauge, I think you did wonderfully well!  (And you too Tans)  Congratulations!!

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Ahhh manners class! Cisco was sooooo bad at times it was embarrassing... The one thing going off of what Dabbles said, that I love about our trainer is- he gives them a play break at 1/2 way point. and he also stops for 2 potty breaks- short and sweet and back to work but it was always enough to refocus them until playbreak/end of class....

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@ Dabbles, I wondered the same thing!  Granted, we only spent 20 minutes on each cue, but it was 20 minutes back to back to back.  He was done like dinner after an hour. I'm glad I thought to bring water for him, because as soon as he was back in the car, I poured it into his portable bowl and he lapped it up like he'd never had a drink before.

I worked him again last night after I got home and took him over to my parents so he could show pupma and puppa what he learned.  We did stellar on the look and sit cues and ok on the walk/stop/sit.  He's like "Lady, we're WALKING here. Why do you keep wanting me to sit??"

We did have a setback at home though, in the getting to know the felines department.  While I was gone, he rooted out my fluffy cat twice and scared the crap out of him.  I had to go digging around last night and finally found him, relocated him to the upstairs with his brother and haven't seen him since. At least he's with his food and water.  He's shellshocked and won't come out. 

Other than that, we've been doing well with what we learned this past Tuesday.  Thanks for the comments!  I'll be sure to report each week!!

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It was nice reading, Tans, and I think Gauge is doing everything normally so don't feel flustered if he's being.. well.. a dog! in these classes.  I imagine you will find you will be more successful at home with his sessions as there are less distractions.  I would try and incorporate some home distractions later on in the training.. maybe have A working with him while you're cooking chicken, etc.  When Steve was young, and I was cooking, I'd work on many commands to keep him out of the kitchen and getting his share of snacks (not what I was making, granted!)  It worked well for sit, lay down, and stay.  It was a game for him to come in, be redirected out, and perform for his treats.

I make all my dogs sit and stay while a dog is on the same street.  We will pull up onto someone's driveway and go into a sit and then I ignore the dog passing and tell the dog I'm working with "to leave it".  It helps so that when a dog is nearby they don't ever feel the need to bark, pull on the leash, or be ill-mannered.  It's a good command to have for many things too.

Looking forward to hearing about next weeks adventure!

tans0077's picture
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I'm anxious to see what he does when we're back in class tomorrow, because he's done everything right during our sessions at home.  He's completely different around other dogs though. Not aggressive, but too preoccupied with what they're doing to focus on his own things.

I really hope it sticks, because outside of his cues, he's been an all out nightmare the past few days.  I actually thought last night that we may have made a mistake because he was being an all out bad dog.  Deep breathing has become a past time at my house this past weekend because he's been a complete terror.  Adam was at his wits' end with him this morning again. 

I know it's going to take a long time before he's calmed down, but it seems like every step forward results in 5 steps back.  Please don't think we're considering getting rid of him, because it's not even an option.  We knew that it would be work, but it's just so frustrating right now.   

Tomorrow is another class, and I think we get 3 more cues to work on. We're supposed to show the class what we learned last week before we move on.  Fingers crossed he does as well there as he did at home this past week when we worked on it. 

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from tans0077: We knew that it would be work, but it's just so frustrating right now. 

You just pretty much summed up in one sentence the first year of being a doberman-parent.  LOL

Trust me, it gets better.  Everything you put INTO your dog's training will show results later on.  That's when you'll say "I'm so glad we did all that training with him". 

Anxiously waiting to hear this week's class report.  Hope he gets an A+.

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Hang in there Tans!  I read Gauge's profile and you have some making up / catching up with him based upon your situation.  Just count your blessings that you don't have two siblings with tape on their ears like L&L.  LOL / LKC!!

I have my moments too as does my husband.  Each day is a new day though and in the end it is all worth it.

Thankfully we have this forum to commiserate, vent, share, seek advice, wisdom, empathy, etc.

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Hope it's going better...just like Z's Dad and L&L said - there are days when you wonder what you got yourself into...we're still in the middle of that too!  And so we also hope all this training indeed makes our furkids into wonderful dogs - Ziva is a great example!

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Last night was class #2.  G was berserk in the car on the way there.  He'd been in his crate for a bit earlier in the day and hadn't had his walk so he had energy to spare. 

We arrived and I put his prong collar on, clipped his leash and he jumped out of the car.  No hesitation heading for the door and he went right down the stairs.  Good, good. 

This week, we learned "wait" and "stay" and he did so great.  We had to show that the dogs retained last week's lessions, and without hesitation, he responded to "look!", sat when I raised my hand and he stopped when I stopped.  I was so happy, and he was jumping around like "I rule!". 

We went through the exercises for wait and stay and he did everything perfectly.  He didn't even really bark and he was with me for the whole time, took his treats and sat quietly by me until it was his turn. I was so proud of him I had to call his daddy on the way home and brag.  :)

A few things I've noticed with him vs. other dogs:

For one, he's always watching.  Even when he's laying at my feet, he's scanning the area.  If any one of the other dogs or parents moves toward us, he's up and he's between them and me. Not in a threatening way, but he'll sit up or he'll go walk toward them and sniff to discern whether they're a threat or not.  I noticed this the other day as well at home. One of our neighbors is uh, less than desirable is a nice way to put it.  Our neighborhood is pretty nice, but he's one of those people who you just know could be bad news.  His friends are even less desirable than he, and we don't associate with him at all.  G will look at the neighbor if he's outside, but he will all out bark and jump toward the yard if one of neighbor's particular friends is there.  It's funny because the first time he did it, he had only been with us for about 10 days.  I didn't think he'd take to us like that, that quickly.

Another thing I've noticed, and robin (his trainer) has commented as well, is that he's very gentle when he takes a treat.  He waits for it to be offered to him and then ever so gingerly he'll ease his head forward to get it.  Robin had him do a cue so she was giving him a treat, and he was so soft when he took it from her she didn't think he had gotten it out of her hand.  LOL.

Last, at the end of class, Robin gives each of the pets a cracker with a little bit of peanut butter on it.  Gauge won't take it.  He wouldn't take a Cheez-It last night either, which I find hysterical because he's all about what's on the counters at home. It was an event to put the groceries away on Sunday because he was racing me to sniff the bags before I could move them from the floor to the counter.  He doesn't get people food though.  Just some peanut butter in his Kong once in a while.  Other than that, it's dry dog food. 

So we're clicking along.  We're in all out Guerilla warfare over going to the bathroom outside in the morning.  It's a battle of the wits, because he's doing it on purpose now.  No matter how long we're out there for, he waits for me or Adam to get into the shower and he goes.  Never. Fails.  This morning I took him out, walked him around for 20 minutes and he stood an additional 10 in the middle of the potty field.  Nothing.  I get out of the shower, dry off, and there's a nice present laying in front of the living room. 

I'm going to buy some war paint and start hiding behind laundry baskets for ambushes soon.  This can not happen forever. 

Lady Kate's picture
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Great report.. love it!! You guys are doing so great..

I'm wondering if Gauge just prefers "a little privacy here thank you!"

Love that he's so gentle in taking his treats. Sofia is as well, and it's never ceases to be a source of great amazement to people when they ask if they can give her a 'cookie' and she is so ginger with them..

He's coming along so well, and you're doing an amazing job with him.

P.S. Has the cat come back yet?

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Kate, I'm not sure what it is.  He'll go every other time on the leash.  Just the first trip outside every morning, he refuses to do anything other than pee. He will pee and then stand there like "I'm done here, let's go back in."  Then without fail, bam. It's frustrating.

As for the cats, they are NOT happy.  I may have jinxed us, because one of those furbabies is notorious for marking when he doesn't like something.  To this point, he hasn't done it once and I said as much to Adam last night.  This morning, I woke up to a wet spot on the comforter.  :( 

They're biding their time upstairs and we're pretty much keeping the door closed right now so they can get out of the closet and roam around.  I'm trying to make time for them without the uuber-moose doberman barging in because they run whenever they hear his collar jingle. 

I don't know how to introduce them without a) Gauge getting all excited because all he wants to do is chase or b) piss them off even more.  I don't think they even come out when we're gone, because they'd have to walk past his cage to do so and none of the other litter boxes are seeing any action, but the one upstairs is full every day.  At least they know where to do their thing. Well, when they're not mad at us.

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Tans---I love Guage's report for this week's class!!!  He's starting to realize that doing the right thing at the right time pays off....aren't dobermans wonderful?

About the potty thing---I learned something about Ziva's potty habits that MIGHT help/might not.  When I let her outside first thing each morning, she goes out and will pee and like Guage, will come back to the door and look at me as if to say "all done"....so I let her in, but let her back outside within a few minutes, and THEN she goes to her poo spot and will do her business.  If I forget to let her out the second time, and get busy getting ready for work, I have a lump to pick up in front of the back door when I get back in there.  For some reason, she thinks that #1 and #2 require their own separate outings. I have never known her to pee and poop outside during the same time span.  She has NEVER had to poo on a walk, no matter how long we are gone, and will pee at the edge of our yard before we start walking so that she doesnt have to do it again till we get back.  Yes, she has some potty issues.  My dobie, Darmok was a notorius marker...she would squat and pee on everything when we were walking, and would even pretend-pee when she had nothing left. LOL 

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Great news about the class!  I'm so proud of you both!!

The potty issue - can't help much there.  My only experience is with a cat that would "miss" the litter box by about 2 inches when she was mad at us...  But there are some great ideas here.  Good luck!

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 I love that proud of my puppy feeling!  Great work!!

You are cracking me up with the warfare!  Good luck!

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Yeah, the warfare is quickly becoming a trench war.  He's no completely regressed for pooping anywhere but inside the house.  Period.  No questions.  He flat out refuses to go outdoors. If we catch him squatting and usher him out before he does it, he will hold it for however long we're outside and then do it when we get back inside. 

Wits. End.

On the rest of the training front though, we're not doing too badly. "Stay" is not his favorite command, as he's a shadow and firmly believes that he needs to be right beside you at all times.  I took him for a walk in the park yesterday and had 2 people tell me he was very well behaved.  Uh, thanks?  One guy said "he didn't lunge at me, so that's well mannered in my book!"  Fair enough, but we have a way to go, seeing as how on the back half of the walk he flat out refused to stay. 

So, small victories and steps backward.  Class tomorrow will focus on "come" and "down", which are his 2 biggest issues.  He will not come if something has his attention, and will now lay down to save his life unless you don't want him to, then he's dead tired. 

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A bit behind on the update this week because both work and home life has been crazy busy.  We had another class on Tuesday night, and there were only 3 of us there, which I loved because each of the dogs got a bit more personal attention. 

This week's cue was "down" from the sit position.  Gauge has "sit" down to a tee.  He's the master of sit.  I can signal and say "sss--" and he's doing it.  Blue ribbon. "Down" - however - is a whole other animal.

The issue with "down" is that when the previous owners would get G on the ground, it was to wrestle.  That's how they showed love and played with them. So, when he goes from sit to down, it's with paws flying, crawling forward, wanting to get the best position for game on. This has been one of the red flag problems since we got him.

So Robyn shows us how, and since we're struggling, she takes Gauge and tries to get him to do it.  Of course, he goes right down for her, kicks his haunches out, lays there while she walks around telling him to stay and sits when it's time to get back up. 

Of course.  Why wouldn't he bat at her and think that it's cage match time?

We worked on it a little more, and I think out of 10 attempts, he only did it 3 or 4 times.  So, we're going to have to work on that one quite a bit before next week.  One of the issues though, is that he's going to be boarded this weekend for 3 days and that's 3 days lost training.  So we have our work cut out for us.

He seems to be retaining things like "stay" and "wait" and is doing well with heeling when we come to a stop on a walk. 

This morning, however, we've been trying to use the "look" command as he's hell bent on rooting out the kitty who had made his way downstairs during the storms last night and hasn't been able to get back upstairs to safety.  We do not exist at this moment, his only focus is that cat and he's not going to lay down until he finds it. 

I need an animal whisperer at my house, I swear. The cats are still pissed after 6 weeks and have basically relegated themselves to the upstairs vs. run of the whole house like they had pre-dog.  The dog will not leave them alone, thus the constant barking from him and the constant growling and howling from them.  Noone with 4 paws is happy in our house right now. 

Which kind of makes me glad I'm at work today.  Maybe just a little.  :)

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Thanks for update...that last line makes me laugh!!

Hoping the best for you - espc. after the boarding.  I think we all get anxious about leaving our furkids.  I'm anxious about our upcoming vacation.  It will be the longest we've ever been away from Reesie, and I understand what you mean about retraining.  It will take 3 days after we come back just to get him to calm down, I'm sure!! 

Hoping the best for you!  And have a great trip!! 

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Oh tans.. you made me laugh so hard.. You are a wondeful story teller... and thank God for a sense of humor, as all this stuff must be beyond frustrating for you.

Wish I had some suggestions other than...Please keep telling us stories.. !!

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Funny thing about the 'down' command....once they get it, it's locked it.  That was the one I had the most trouble teaching Ziva to do, because she just flat out didnt WANT to lie down for any reason. LOL

Sorry, can't advise you about the cat situation.  I used to have a cat, a couple of dobermans ago, and the dog was fine with the cat as long as it just sat in a corner and didn't move, but as soon as the cat started to walk across the floor----or rather, jump from sofa to table to chair to chair so she could get where she was going without having to touch the floor with her feet---the dobie was totally in prey-drive mode, ears perked to the max, neck arched, looking down at the cat like it was a T-bone steak.  I ended up letting my daughter take the cat home with her...she had 2 other cats and NO dogs.  Haven't had a cat in the house since then.  I hope everything works out with yours.

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I hope so, because he came home from boarding yesterday and everything seems to have fallen out of his head!  He was clearly mad at me though, because he spent much of yesterday giving me the "you wanna tell me what THAT was all about?" look.  The staff said he did fine this weekend though, and they had him up front behind the desk with him for about an hour on Saturday. 

The kicker? They never used his prong collar once.  "He was the perfect walker!!" 

I'm sorry, are you talking about the same dog who drags me for miles if he isn't wearing said collar?

Anyway, we're back to class tonight.  He does not have "down" down in any way, shape or form but we also lost out on 4 days of training and he wasn't having it last night.  So we'll soldier on.

He's at home with his daddy today, for whom Gauge just about threw a parade when he walked in the door this morning.  Pfft.

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The parade, the soldiering.  

And march 2, 3, 4...

jeshykai's picture
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Suggestion on the cats -- you can get an herbal formula called "rescue remedy" and put a few drops in their water.  It should help with their stress level. 

Keep up the hard work on Gauge.. it'll come in waves when they're good and bad.. then it's just reassess and train some more.

I promise you will have days when you look at him and go, "My goodness you're a damn good dog".

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Jeskykai, we had tried something like a rescue remedy (in that it wasn't named "Rescue Remedy") and it made my orange tabby MEAN.  Like, claw at his own brother with whom he's lived for the past 9 years mean.  I need to seek out the actual Rescue Remedy and see if that would help.  We took him right off of the other stuff and he returned to normal.  The funny thing is that cat 2 is so chill, we thought it may just put him into a permanent coma.  LOL

Class #4 last night, and he did pretty ok considering he was boarded for 4 days, during which we didn't have any training time.  We learned the "drop the leash and stay" maneuver, which consists of walking and then dropping the leash and telling him to stay in one motion, then me walking away from and back to him before reward.  He did it a few times and then wasn't having it anymore.  We got home and showed Adam though, and Gauge did it perfectly 5 times in a row.  We'll work more on it tonight. 

Of course, ongoing is the pooping issue.  All jokes aside, it's getting to the point where he is purposefully not going anywhere but in the house.  We watch. We take him out every 15 minutes or so after he's eaten.  He will sniff around the house and we'll take his cue, and when he gets outside, he'll hold it and wait until he's been back inside for 5 minutes and then go.  Without fail.  Every morning. Every afternoon. Every evening. 

We've tried putting him in his cage right after he eats and then ushering him right outside 20 minutes later.  Nothing.  We watch the cues.  He paces when he has to pee, he sniffs in a circle when he has to poop.  When we see him sniff, we usher him toward the door "come on buddy!  let's go! good dog!" and the second we get out there, he sits down.  We can walk him around for 20 minutes or an hour. He'll hold it until we get back inside.   We'll catch him about to squat, usher him toward the door and nothing.  He'll hold it until we get back inside. 

We're not playing the everytime he goes to the door we run outside game because he picked up on that really quickly, and he'll just go out and stand in the yard and contemplate life.  Frustrating. 

He knows he's doing wrong too, because as soon as he does it, he'll come to you with his head bowed and he won't look up.  So he KNOWS he's wrong.  He also KNOWS where is right because he gets a parade on the off chance he does do it. 

Sorry for the vent, Adam and I are just getting to the limit on this.  I get that he'll need time, but he's been with us for close to 2 months now. The rest of the program is sailing along, but I'm getting tired of my living room, bathroom, kitchen and office floors being used as a restroom.

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Restrict his access in the house.  Leash him to a place in the living room where he can't roam around and sniff and find a place to poop in the house, especially at night when all you two want to do is sit down and relax.  He should be sititng down and relaxing too with a nice bone!

To me, it sounds like it has become a game for him.  And I know you aren't even remotely trying to go there.  But I'd say he goes out to do his business, give him 20-30 minutes, if he doesn't produce a poop he comes in and is tied to his tie down or put in his crate.  I prefer the tie down because then the dog is still with us and being social.  He will not want to poop in his area.  Just make sure it's enough room to lay down comfortably and reach toys but not enough to get far enough away from where he's hanging out to poop.

He may not like pooping in front of you guys.  You can try to start putting him in the yard and watching from a window to see what he does.  Some dogs are funny about that.  Miles, the chihuahua, will hold his bathroom all day and night if I didn't get him out of bed and out the door.  He HATES going outside.  And if I'm out there?  Too embarrassing to squat in front of mom..

If what you are doing isn't work, try something else.  You'll eventually find the cue to get him to poop outside.  What does your trainer say?

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His access is restricted to where we can see him when we're sitting in the living room, meaning the office and spare bedroom are blocked off and the doors to upstairs, the bathroom and the downstairs exit are closed.  I don't think pooping in front of us is much of an issue, because there are times he'll squat right in front of us. 

The trainer basically echoed the sentiments here, that he's a rescue. He's going to try and test us.  We need to be patient with him. Rinse. Repeat.  Just now, he squatted and peed right in front of me.  I'm pretty sure that he wanted to stay outside longer but it was getting dark and he was getting eaten by mosquitos. 

Today alone he's eaten a pair of flip flops - to this point he's only brought them to me, peed in the house, crapped in here twice, completely disobeyed when I told him to stop counter surfing, resulting in my dinner landing on the floor and chewed the basket that held his toys like it's the first time he's seen it and figured it was ok. 

We're in a rough spot right now, and for once I'm not worried about the training. He's getting that.  It's everything else that he's being hell on wheels about.  Again. I knew he wasn't going to be easy, but I really thought we were settling in and we're back at square one with basic crap. 

Deep breathing.  It probably doesn't help that I'm staring down a barrel of my husband being gone to work the next 5 out of 7 days, so it'll be just me putting up with Doberman temper.  He likes to push me more than he does my husband. It's very apparent.

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A few pics from the weekend.  We were at my parents' house most of the day yesterday, and puppy grandma couldn't bear to have him on a leash 500 ft. from the pool so puppy grandpa made him a longer lead so he could come sit on the deck. 

Then he got to run around the yard like a crazy man with puppy grandpa, resulting in one very tired goggie last night, which mom loved because she's been a single pup parent since friday, and will continue to be until daddy gets home this friday.  7 straight shifts for him = more puppy loving at home for me. 

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Maybe the secret to having him be a good boy more often is to totally wear his butt out, then!  LOL

Oh, I remember those days of dobertude......it really does get better.  But it will try every ounce of your patience until it starts to happen.

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Such a happy/sleepy puppers! Thanks for sharing!

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ZD - absolutely!! Some days I don't think there are enough hours for him to be wiped out though.

So, things at Casa de Brown have been a little out of alignment since last week.  When Adam goes to work, he usually works 24 hours on/48 hours off.  Well, the beauty of his work situation is that if he needs time off, he can "trade" with another shift. He'll work a day for someone in exchange for them picking up his scheduled day so he can be where he needs to, be it for an appointment, vacation, etc.  So Saturday was his regularly scheduled day and then Sunday he had booked a trade.  While at work Sunday, he calls and says he's been offered the front 12 hours of overtime on Monday, and since he was already there, he was going to take it.  Fine by me!  So he was planning to come home Monday night, but had to be back Tuesday for a trade, today for his regular shift and tomorrow for a trade.  Well, he was offered the back 12 hours on Monday, so he hasn't been home since he left on Saturday and he won't be home until Friday morning.  I'm fine with this, it doesn't happen often and it's the life of a firefighting wife.  I was raised in the profession so I'm used to it. 

The dog, however, is pretty sure his dad's never coming home.  Which has made Monday, Tuesday and this morning an exercise in frustration as he runs from window to window to window waiting, only to go back into his crate for a few hours so mom can go to work. 

Well, last night at training he was going to show momma JUST how unhappy he is with this situation. 

We arrive and he bolts up the driveway and around to the back of the house.  It's then that I actually feel lucky that once he gets in somewhere, he can't figure out how to get out again, because he stood on the closed side of the fence to wait for me.  I grab him again and correct him, open the door where he about drags me down the stairs.  Will not sit at the bottom. Is up in everyone else's business and knocking things off of the chairs, etc.  I'm about to put a death grip on him for the rest of class when Robin splits us up and we (attempt to) make a run through everything we've learned to this point.  Gauge is first.  He doesn't care though, as he's in his "let's play" stance and ignoring anything I say. 

I get him to sit.  Then I tell him to stand.  Nope.  We're not using treats as much now, but I finally relent and he stands, nipping at my hand the entire time. Gets the treat, gets up and tries to walk away.  I sit him again.  Stand.  Tell him "down". Get the "are you kidding me, lady?" look and he bats at me, play growls and gets up.  "Down".  No.  "Gauge, Down."  HELL NO LADY.  Robin says skip it, she knows it's his issue because that's how his other owners played (thanksabunch on that one) with him but I'll need to work him hard on it without treats for next week.  We move on to stay.  He does, until I drop the leash and walk 5 paces ahead of him.  Nope, back to sit. STAY.  Cocked head.  I turn to walk, he lays down.  GOOD STAY.  He darts over to me.  I put him back and we try this 5 more times before he flat out ignores me. 

GRRRRRRR.

The last cue was the recall, or "come".  Nope.  Not even gonna bore you with the number of attempts it took me, or that he only did it once out of a dozen times for Robin, and she had the puppy crack treats in her pouch. 

We get the handout for the week and I usher him safely back to the car, give him some water and he rides like a crazy man running from side to side, back and forth on the seat the entire way home.  I know it's because he's been pent up all day but he was giving me an ulcer.

At home, we've been attempting to let him run without leash sometimes in the backyard.  He does pretty well and stays near us, mainly because he has big time separation anxiety so we've always got to be in his sights.  So we get home and I open the door and tell him "RUN" so he can get some of his exercise as it's now close to 8:30, we haven't eaten, I'm starving and it's getting dark, so a walk is basically not happening. 

But he doesn't run.  He sits.  Patiently.  I tell him "go pee" and he does, then he runs to the door because he knows it's dinner time.  He eats, throws up and eats again.  Then, having recharged his energy, starts terrorizing the place.  Laundry waiting to be put away:  less 1 paif of husband's underwear.  Cats? Rooted out from under the chairs, loss of 1 more life and chased all the way upstairs.  I try to get him to go back outside to run, he walks out 3 paces and sits.  I run.  He watches.  I come back.  He's like "what are you doing?".  We go back in after 15 minutes of his sitting there, digging a hole near the tree, sitting, digging, repeat.

He was obnoxious for the rest of the night, and was PISSED when we went back upstairs to go to bed.  Of course, he fell right asleep when I turned the light off, but the protest was of epic proportions.

This morning he was in no better mood, and the window to window to door to window cycle began immediately after he ate breakfast.  It broke my heart to tell him daddy's not coming home for 2 more days. 

So we soldier on.  He's going to go through puppy boot camp with his cues though, as we didn't come this far for him to not graduate!!

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Perservere!!!!  It WILL pay off in the long run----although it might be a mighty LONG run.  I know you are totally frustrated, but your stories are SO wonderful.

I think a "G and Me" movie might be in the making to take over where "Marley and Me" left off.  LOL

Couple of things I picked up on, though, and maybe they don't really have any bearing on the situation, but I'm thinking "yes they do".  1) He is a rescue, therefore the separation anxiety is totally warranted. 2) He loves your husband, and he's been gone and not home yet, so Guage is feeling those 'separation anxiety' feelings, but not sure why, because you're right there with him.  He's confused, no doubt.  Plus, 3 ) he is still a young doberdude testing his limits.  Throw all that info into a blender, and you've got your current situation, I'd bet money on it.

Don't give up.  "What doesn't kill us, only makes us stronger", you know....so a year from now, you should be one of the strongest dobermoms ever! 

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oh you poor dear! That boy is in the running w. my little monster! It will get better! Cisco is basically a complete gentleman now 90% of the time- I am hoping camp gets him closer to 100%!

Keep on Keepin on girl- it will all fall into place!

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Oh Gauge you little naughty boy!!!  He's got the "deaf" syndrome, you know, kinda like the one that human teenagers get......      all I can say is good luck, and you have the patience of a saint! 

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Tonya... I am so so so sorry.. but I got way tickled at your story, spit tea out my nose, almost ruined my key board and can't wait for another adventure.

Your sense of humor is amazing and if nothing else "G and Me" will be a best seller! ( great idea Paul)

I must say the kid has the devil in his eyes.. he's full of mischief and I hope you can get through this "terrible two" stage he's going through without losing your poor mind ( or what's left of it)

Can you hire a long distance runner, maybe a marathoner to run him til he drops ( on soft grass though remember his growth plates.. aaaaagggh.. that  means he's still growing.. getting bigger and stronger and wiser to the barricades

Poor baby.. I only have two words for you

Xan-Ax

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Oh I'm perservering.  I'll be the Queen of Perservereville by the time we're done.  I know his rescueness has a lot to do with the separation anxiety, and I've said as much to Adam, who agrees. He's sympathetic and is being good when it comes to listening to me moan and groan this week, but he's also 20 miles away, has interaction with physically in front of him human beings and hasn't had to pick up any poop since Friday night.  Like I said, the separation anxiety is both good and bad. Bad because I feel so awful when we do crate him and leave. When we come home and we take him out of the cage, we always tell him "Momma/Daddy always come back!". Not that he gets it, but it makes us feel better.  We kind of use the anxiety to our advantage though in situations like letting him run in the yard.  He's only allowed to go so far, and if he starts to stray, all we have to do is call his name and start to move the other way.  He's back in front of us in no time. 

I really think he and Cisco would be uber-trouble if they were together!! 

Yeah, he's full into puppy teenage-dom, so he's got that down pat. Between the defiance and the plain out not listening, it feels like I'm dealing with a kid, and from someone who chose to not have any, he's doing a full on well job of making sure I still get the experience!!  LOL

Kate.  I think it's humor that gets me through most of life, so why should this be any different?  Adam is actually a marathoner, and we've been leery of him running with G up to this point because we weren't sure that he'd be up for it. 

I think he's more than up for it. 

Thanks for indulging my stories.  They are true as experienced, even though I wish I could put those creative writing skills to use for embellishment.  This boy just doesn't need it most days though.  At all. 

I'll be interested to see what I come home to today.  Yesterday he managed to pull the entire king sized flannel sheet into his crate through the little bars.  I'll bet that took some time!

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And our first pair of shoes fall victim to an overzealous chewer:

"What's the problem, mom?  I totally heard you tell daddy the other day that you weren't sure if you loved these as much as you thought.  I'm just helping you go completely toward not liking them so you can go get a new pair!!"

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ugh Cisco Jr?????? Gauge you silly boy! Cisco just chewed my favorite leopard shoes this week and looked at me the same way! not the shoes! never the shoes!!!!!

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Dear Gauge and Cisco... How divinely asute of you to take care of those oh so 2010 shoes.. Sometimes our people just get too busy to read all the fashion news. If it weren't for the two of you, who knows what they'd be wearing. Good Lord on a Run Way.. they might be wearing UGS..  ( Hssssss)

And Gauge, I love the way your right ear is tilted over your head.. looks like one of those French berrets that are so ultra in right now.. ( see the latest WWD )

Fashionistas both of you.. Your Mother's should be proud

Air Kisses and Nose Bumps

S

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hahahahahha!! I just saw that. Stylin' headwear, Ms. Diva.  Stylin' indeed!

Someone please tell my 75lb. dober-child he's not a lap dog...

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Such a wonderful picture.. I love it! He's awesome!

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Oh my, what a wonderful picture that is!  Kinda sorta almost makes all his antics worth it doesn't it?  I know, of course it does.  However, I do see a "what's my next mischief move" look in his eye---

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The puppy crack treats!!!!  I laughed!  But I'm so sorry you guys are having such a rough "spot".  I think you'll get extra blessings for all you're doing for that baby.

Love the pics!! 

I really love to read your posts, even though you are obviously having so much trouble...is that bad??

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Wendy - that's his standard look!! Yeah, it does make the antics dissipate a little when he's so freaking cute.  Like tonight, I was singing to him (yes, I made up a song for him) and I was sitting on the edge of the couch.  He walked over and cocked his head and then moved in and put his chin on my shoulder for a hug.  His sweetness just about sent me into a tears (been a rough day).  It's like they know. 

Then he went and chewed up a pair of his dad's underwear so the world was reset.  LOL

Suuuure Blue. Go ahead and laugh at our expense...kidding!!  It's totally fine. Like I said before, if I didn't have a sense of humor sometimes I'd just as well curl up and die. 

I just keep telling myself that it's a phase.  A phase that I'm not sure if we'll all surive, but a phase none the less.  He's been with us for 2 months now, and some days I feel like we take great strides and some days I feel like we're back at the bottom of the mountain.  AJ likes to tell me "we'll get there.  We may be bruised and scraped, but we'll get there, and I can't wait for you to see what he's going to be like when he's a mature boy, all grown up and into himself."

We didn't have class tonight and next week's the final.  AJ and I are leaving Thursday for a 5 day camping trip, and puppy boy isn't to the point where he can just go to a campsite and chill or hang out on the boat all day.  Plus, we're going for the NASCAR race at the speedway on Sunday (shutup LOL) and it's a looooooong day to keep him locked in the camper for 12-14 hours and trust him to not tear the place up.  So, he's off to the ritz and we'll work the training hard Monday and hope for the best on Tuesday before class.  I know he's got the basics down, it'll just be whether or not he chooses to perform for Robin.

Oh! And I almost forgot!  The Dober Dude is officially 1 year old today.  Unfortunately his dad's at work and I didn't get home until late, but he and I are celebrating by chilling on the couch and watching "Family Guy".  He thinks it's cool.  :)

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HEEYYY!!! Happy Birthday Guage/! And I sing to Sofia too.. ( I thought everyone sang to their Dobes)

Remind me to tell you the story of the Diva and Steven Tyler one day when I'm not so sleepy

Sweet dreams every one..

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Great picture of you both!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GAUGE

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Happy Birthday Gauge!!!!
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY GAUGE!!!!!  Now be a good boy at the Ritz and forget about silly car races.  You have an adventure in your head every moment.        ---Have a great time on your trip--

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Hi hi hi...

Just popping in real quick as I'm short on time these days. Weekend was fabulous, but we missed our pup. AJ picked G up from the boarding place yesterday afternoon and G was over the moon to see his daddy...then came home and spent the rest of the night acting out and outright howling in his cage when it was time for bed.  Oy.

His last class is tonight and I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was scared he's not going to pass.  We worked him hard after he came home yesterday and he still won't do "down", nor will he do the recall ("come") without running past us at full speed instead of sitting. 

Fingers crossed. I know he gets it because he'll do it when he wants, but I need him to do it tonight or else he's gonna be wearing a dunce cap on the way home!  LOL

I'll try and update but I'm short on time all over this week:  3 days at work and then off on Friday to prep for our annual pig roast with friends and family.  G is going to stay with a friend on Saturday night as 120 people + 1 rowdy dog whom we're not sure is great with kids will be a bit much to handle for the day.