New puppy - a few questions

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hawki's picture
Joined: 2013-01-04

Pet Profiles

Hi Everyone.

I just posted in "Tell us about your dogs". We have a new black male, Apollo. He is a little over 9 weeks old and he is doing great (well, you know what I mean). It has been 20 years since we have raised a Doberman puppy so we are a little rusty and would like some input on a couple of things. We are a famly of 5 (older kids 16,20,21) so there is a lot of help and a concerted effort on my part to make sure everyone is doing the same thing, same commands etc.

I have read everything I can find in the puppy section but wondered if someone more experienced could answer a couple of issues for us when they have the time.

Housebreaking - Going well. Crate training and doing eveything described in this website. However it is cold here (Oregon) and I find he is not overly excited about going out. I pretty much am carrying him to the potty location in the back yard and putting him down with a lead so that I can keep him focused. He pulls against the lead and tries to get back to the warmth. We win and he goes outside and then wants to dash back. During this struggle he is pulling on the lead and I don't want to make this a negative experience but he has to go outside. Also, I can't carry him forever - he will outgrow that!  So does anyone see anything that needs to be corrected or improved about this?

Biting - we are pulling on the scruff of his neck and saying no, also when he is really on the relentless attack we are putting our hands against his lips and teeth so that it becomes uncomfortable when he bites down, sometimes he will give a little cry. we are about 40% bite, 60% licks right now. Comments??

Crate training - sleeps in our bedroom, move him to main traffic area during the day for naps and times we can't watch him EVERY SECOND, when he whines we talk to him until he goes to sleep. We try not to take him out unless quiet. Comments??

Food - The breeder was giving him 1 cup morning and night. We didn't feel it enough so we added a cup at noon. 3 cups a day. He inhales it all.He weighs about 16 lbs already and looks great! Is it possible to overfeed? Does this sound about right for a little over 9 weeks? 

He takes naps on me while laying on the couch, I know someday he might be too big but is all our favorite to hold him and let him sleep on us - we fight over who gets to do it! OK??

Thanks for any help or advice anyone can offer. We are tired but we have missed having a Doberman all these years and we love it.

HarleyBear's picture
Joined: 2011-08-16

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I am glad you are giving him more food, two cups a day doesn't see enough to me for a growing doberman puppy.  Also, they should have a mid-day meal.  You don't want your growing puppy to go too long without food.

Crate training seems like it is going well for you.  Try to make it a positive place for him.  You can use a frozen peanut butter kong as his crate only treat.  In time, he will start to see his crate like his bedroom.  Ellie, my cav, gets a real sense of security in her crate, which is important.  

Biting: I personally didn't do anything you described.  We used time-outs.  What I would add to what you are doing is make sure he has a toy to redirect to.  Show him what is okay to bite, toys not fingers.

Housebreaking: Harley was the same way.  I would have to carry him and I had the same fears you do about carrying him forever.  Are you bringing treats with you to reward for pottying outside?  That will help reinforce the behavior.  Also, I know this sounds girly but I had sweaters on Harley when it was cold outside (still do).  His coat is thin now, but it was even thinner when he was a puppy.  

Funny story, when Harley was a puppy I had this orange sweater on him and someone asked me if he was chihuahua.  No.  Quite the opposite, it's a doberman.  

Kim's picture
Joined: 2012-02-05

I have the same thought as HarleyBear about going out - lots of treats as rewards, and maybe a coat to keep him warm. Yeah, he'll outgrow it, but he may well be a Dobie that's more comfy outside with a coat. I'm not sure he'll always need one - when he gets more confident and runs around (like a lunatic - lol! ) he'll stay plenty warm without one. But right now he's just a pup-pup, and not too sure of things.

Khalessi's picture
Joined: 2012-12-11

Pet Profiles

I have a new puppy too shes 4 months now and we've had her for just over a month and we've been doing similar things to what you've been doing with the biting and now shes down to about 20% biting and 80% licking and teething majorly though so good thing is to keep toys handy and redirect as well as correct.  Shes also eating between 3-4 cups of food a day between three feedings and its based mostly on activity level so more excerise is 4 cups.  Also she hated going out to do her potty we got her a jacket and shes fine now and will go out without the jacket now on occassion though it is still often a dash back inside once shes gotten the treat but she is 99% housebroken.  We did do the carrying her outside to her spot for a couple of weeks because we had accidents on the way out the door but now she can hold it and walks out to the spot herself, which is great because shes over 30 pounds now

chris b.'s picture
Joined: 2011-01-20

Welcome Hawking to you and young new addition. Sounds like you're headed in the right direction with Apollo. My puppies are now 8 yrs old, so been a loooong time. With the biting we did both, grab throw muzzle and redirect with a toy. My vet (who is a bit of a kook) said to pull the puppies lip between her teeth so she bites herself. The other thing she did with Tory (my girl dog) was to bite her lip. Yup, the vet bit her! That's where the kook part comes in. The only other comment is about Appolo sleeping on you. Alpha always sleeps on top. I had a hard time with Tory convincing her that I was the alpha bitch, but she did finally come around. Notice I didn't mention Tony, big goofy male, who could ask for anything more. Good luck with Apollo. And we could use a puppy fix, so if you have time more pictures please.

Atticus's picture
Joined: 2012-05-18

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Oh, I remember that bite thing so well.  Glad Atticus is past that puppy stuff now.  It sounds like you're handling that the same way we did though.  

I guess it's a good thing that Atticus never has wolfed down all his food.  I've always just filled the bowl (large) bowl up to the top in the mornings.  I've never measured it.  Roman and Atticus both eat the same food now that Atticus is on adult food, but even when he was a puppy, I would just fill his bowl up and add more if it was empty.  He's always just eaten till he's had enough.  I'd say no more than a cup at a time.  Roman does the same thing.  Atticus is 20 months old now and is 83 pounds at the last visit to the vet a couple of weeks ago.  

Roman is our Rottie and he's only 87 pounds.  He's not a large rottie, but he always panics if the bowl is empty!  So I always "have" to have at least a bit of food in the bowl.  He was a rescue so maybe he had to fight for his food at one time.  Not sure why he's like that, but he has no problem with Atticus sharing the food with him and/or us petting him, putting our hands in his food or even if Atticus starts taking food at same time.  "But don't LET that bowl get empty!"  lol  

mmm1198's picture
Joined: 2013-01-06

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Hi Everyone

i'm also a new dobie owner,(well the one I had 30 yrs ago,someone stole him from a friend's hm)I have a few questions maybe someone could Help!!! His name is Gumba he just turned 6 months.He does not eat without me standing next to him holding the bowl and that doesn't always work(sometimes hand feed him)his weight is about 53 lbs. and 23-4 in in height.I believe he doesn't exersize enough,but boy does he sleep.I thought he was a good size but the trainer at Petsmart told me he looked like he was going to be a smaller dobie.??Please understand I don' t care as long as he is healthy and happy,but just was wondering if this kid at Petsmart knows what he's talking about.Going back to the original problem of not eating(I've had him on three different food types,he's on Blue Wilderness-chicken-salmon mixed)still it is very difficult to have him eat.

Thanks Mike