Hand Feeding/Tethering

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brandykovach's picture
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Joined: 2013-10-23

I am bringing home our 8 week old baby girl, Ava, from the breeder this Sat.  I have read alot of material, and talked with several local trainers.  I have decided to use tethering and hand feeding as my training methods.  Everything I have read looks really positive.  She will be coming to work with me everyday.  We own our own business so this isn't a problem. I have a crate at work and at home.  So as far as potty traing goes, I am wondering if hand feeding is going to make it a little more difficult since she will not be getting her meals all at once from a bowl at the same times during the day.  Since she will be tethered, unless crated, I will always have an eye on her and am planning on taking her out every hour for 5 minutes to go potty.  If she doesn't, then bring her back in and try again in 10 minutes. I have 2 small boys so, potty training is not new to me.  My husband and I researched every possible breed for over a year before deciding that the Doberman was the best suited to our desires and family lifestyle.  I will be enrolling her in puppy classes within a couple weeks.  We have been very patient in waiting till the timing was right to get our first family dog.  The boys had to be old enough to follow the rules.  Then we had to make sure that our schedules could handle all the time, love and attention a new puppy needs.  After years of waiting and then waiting again for puppy to be born, we are finally leaving for the 4.5 hour trek to the breeders to pick up our new darling daughter tomorrow!  We let the breeder select our puppy.  She has the best knowledge of their little personalities, and I felt totally comfortable in her judgement matching a puppy to our family.  I totally feel like an expectant mother again, I have been going crazy housecleaning and shopping, and reading tons of literature to prepare my heart and my home for her arrival.  Love is spectacular thing, it's capacity to grow is never ending. I am already head over heels smitten with our little girl, and we haven't even formally met.  I am so excited to become a member of the prestigous Doberman owner club.  BTW, our breeder Charismatic Dobermans, has been with us every step of the way.  I went to visit the parents, before I made my selection and was very impressed by the sheer beauty and wonderful temperament of her dogs.  They have been quick to answer any question, have been diligent in sending photos, and have been a real pleasure to deal with in this process. 

So my question is...Does anyone have any experience with tethering or hand feeding?  Please share.

HarleyBear's picture
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Joined: 2011-08-17

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Hi Brandy!

Welcome to the forum.  I know you didn't ask this, but I am going to throw my 2 cents in anyway.  I would go back to your breeder and ask for ALL the health testing and titling they have done on their dogs.  I went on their web page and they don't list it all.  But that doesn't meant they haven't done it, just ask.  

You want to see testing on hips, vWD, thyroid, heart, liver, and eyes (to name a few).  And especially for the heart it isn't a test they do once and its done.  They go back and monitor with echos and halters. 

Anywoo, back to your question.  We didn't do tethering, but we did make Harley "work" for about 50% of his food when he was a puppy by using toys and games and such.  It wore his little puppy brain out...lol!  So he didn't have regular feeding.  It did make potty training slightly difficult, since we didn't know when things would come out.  But we used an oven timer and took him out constantly and very consistently.  When we weren't watching him he was in his crate.  

When you do get your puppy, please do post pictures.  I love seeing puppy pics!

MichelleE's picture
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Joined: 2013-05-31

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Congrats and yes please post plenty of pics.  We didn't tether. Either me or my husband was always home with Ares. We just kept him in the same room with us or in his crate. He just naturally followed me around so I didn't need to tether. Now I would hand feed him some food in training sessions before putting his bowl of food down. What I found worked best for potty training was taking him out as soon as he woke up, ate or drank anything. Usually he went about every 20 minutes while he was awake. Plenty of praising when he did go potty. In about 2 weeks he was 100% potty trained. Good luck! And enjoy the puppyhood it doesn't last long.