My first post and first Doberman

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JemBean1108's picture
Joined: 2015-02-18

These are my first dobermans. I had one for a very short time when I was a kid and I have wanted another one ever since. Jem was born on 11.08.14 and Diesel was born 11.03.14. I am in love. I have had dogs my whole life. Mostly mixes and mutts but none like these. They really are one of a kind. Anywho, I was wondering some tips of recall and possibly off leash training. At the dog park they basically ignore me. Jem is super social and Diesel likes to play with our pack but gets nervous around others. Sometimes he will sit and cry and I will call him to come to me but he doesn't.

astewtru's picture
Joined: 2014-11-01

first, don't work on recall at the dog park. There are too many distractions and you are setting them up to fail. Calling a dogs name, 3, 4, 5 times is teaching them to ignore it. If they don't come the first time (knowing that they have heard you) I quietly walk over and get them by the collar.I wouldn't even take them to one unless you are absolutely sure on recall.

Work in the house, your yard. You need to be the absolute best prize to make it worth coming to you. I look like an absolute nut when I'm in training with the pup. Jumping and clapping, dancing around and used high quality rewards like chicken or wieners for recall work.

check on youtube for recall games. There are some good suggestions. I also learned a lot on a site called online trainer.

DJ's Dad's picture
Joined: 2010-10-04

Pet Profiles

astewtru is 100% correct.  Too many distractions at the dog park to 'work on' recall. 

Every time you call your dog and he is having just WAY too much fun to pay any attention to you, then you just keep calling him and chasing him're taking steps backwards in his training with a good recall.  My suggestion would be to get yourself a long line. You can buy long training lines at a pet store, but I just got myself a cheap 50 ft clothesline rope at the dollar store, attached a heavy duty snap, and tied a loop in the other end for a handle.  Works ecactly the same way for a fraction of the cost.   Attach your long line to his collar (25 feet minimum, go as long as you want to for maximum length) and have some really YUMMY treats hidden in your pocket.  Start out at your home, in the yard or somewhere where there are no other dogs.  You'll want to work your two individually for this, not together.   Let your dog wander around, sniffing, whatever, and when he or she is totally unaware that you even exist, call him.....ONE TIME.  If he looks in your direction, that's a good sign.  If he comes to you, that's wonderful.  Big treat payoff and lots of pats and lovin' and telling him what an excellent puppy he is if he actually comes!!!  However, if he does NOT pay any attention to you and does not come, dont call again, just grab your rope and tug him back towards you.  Very small treat this time, just to let him know that you have something he wants.  Start walking around with him again and give him lots of line.  You stop walking while he's wandering about, call his name with a "COME" attached, and same as before...if he doesnt respond within a couple of seconds, dont give him a choice, reel him in, but have a pleasant tone to your voice and absolutely do NOT make him think he is in trouble whatsoever.  Just keep doing this exercise and when he turns and comes to you on the first call without having to drag him back to you...bombard him with food, praise, pets, etc.  Then end your session.  Always end on a successful attempt.  Always. Come back later and do the very same thing.  Each time you do this exercise, expect him to come to you, and be ready with the treats (or toy, whatever motivates him the most) Slowly build up to more than one success before ending your training session, but if he messes up, try it again maybe with a shorter length of rope until he gets it right before stopping. 

Keep working at it, it does improve.  If you dont have 100% recall and you take him to the park again, he will stil ignore you most likely.  It takes a lot of time and effort to mold these dogs into the best doberman they can be sometimes.....but it's SO worth it in the long run.

astewtru's picture
Joined: 2014-11-01

also, do some research on littermate syndrome, since you have two puppies very close together....can be issues.

Jembean, I want to address Diesel. From what it sounds like the puppy is stressing big time with other dogs at the dog park. I'm not a fan of dog parks because of all the uncertainties that I cannot control. With puppies it is best to be in control of everything they encounter. Puppies will imprint on something negative and will cause problems later on with their behaviors that could be hell to fix if at all. 

Dogs don't need to "play" with the other dogs. You really want them to see you as the best thing in the world. For this reason I find dog parks counter productive. Dog parks are like squirrels, real stiff competition.

Keep Diesel away from the dog park until his foundation is solid and his confidence has evolved. Keep in mind he may never be "a dog park dog". That's not a bad thing. I have one of each.   

Another thing, if you bring Jem to the dog park and she does fine there, don't use her obedience commands unless you are absolutely sure she will obey. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure. In a situation like this, I wouldn't use any commands for this reason, the dog will learn that "come" is "come, come, come" and not "come".

You have to be very careful how/what you teach your puppy now. Every mistake you make now will show up later.




Wolf pack's picture
Joined: 2015-02-04

How I love this forum!  This is excellent advice and the ideas are super!  "Come" is something I've been struggling with as well.  In the house, no problem, but outside, ha!  well, I am the least interesting thing!  Thanks!