Out of Control Puppy

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Mystical Blonde's picture
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Joined: 2012-05-11

First let me say that I take complete responsibility for the fact that my Dobie pup is out of control. That being said, I really need some advice. Here's the history:

I got my pup when she was 8 weeks old. She is now 16 weeks old. At about 12 weeks, being concerned about exposure to parvo, etc., I had a trainer come over to my home and give us a couple of private lessons. That went well, and I continued to work with her with success for a few weeks. In the meantime, I got busy and then sick and was not consistent with her training after that. So now we have problems.

I had started her crate training (with success), but with my illness I had to start putting her out in the kennel in the backyard at night with my other older dog. Unfortunately, being out there like that, she is learning to just urinate when she needs to - whenever and wherever. I live out on a farm, and I take she and my older dog (both off-lead) out to the barn with me several times a day where they get to run around for quite awhile. She has been doing quite well with her recall, obedience, etc. even being off-lead. However, she jumps and bites a lot. I have tried redirecting her, ignoring her, grabbing her snout and saying "No Bite", etc. and nothing has an effect on her.

I know that I have allowed a lot of wrong things to occur, and as I said before I take full responsibility for that. What I need now is advice on where to go from here. I realize that she requires much more time than I really have to give her now (in consistent training, not in attention), so I have to make a decision. I either need to rehome her (for her own good, so she can get what she needs right now - not because she is bad), or I need to get some training into her. I am so confused - there are quite a few trainers in my area that are family dog trainers but do not specialize in dobermans. There is one trainer who does specialize in dobermans. Who should I contact? I hear so many things about different training methods and how good or bad each one is, my head is spinning and I don't know where to turn. I don't want to do the wrong thing. She is a very sweet pup and I really would like to keep her that way........and keep her forever.

I have even considered having her stay at the trainers for awhile so that she can get consistent training for a bit so then I can go work with her while she is there and continue when she comes home. Is that a good idea or not? Help!

Training has a lot more to do with training the handler than the dog - so I don't recommend sending her out for training & I have personally heard of some horror stories about puppies being sent out.

Find a trainer that you like - ask to observe a class (without your dog) and see if you like them. They don't need to be a Dobe specialist! Just willing to try different things with different dogs - admiting that not all dogs think alike. 

At 16 weeks she is just a wild puppy and will with time and patience outgrow that.  You might want to try reading a few good books on training and dog behavior.  My favorite puppy book is: How to raise a puppy you can live with - by Rutherford and Neil  My favorite behavior book is: The other end of the leash - can't find my copy and forget the exact authors name.  Both are available on Amazon.com

Enzo's Mom's picture
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Joined: 2012-05-21

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I too have a wild 16 week dobbie boy named Enzo. He is always trying to play, dominant and loves to be a stubborn pup particularly to my other female dog --all to be expected at this age.  He is also the most intelligent and loving dog I have ever owned (I have had three other dobes). We are taking him to puppy training and I have been socializing/training him at PetSmart and at a dog park that has a separate area for agility and divider between two areas.  He is becoming more at ease with other dogs and is doing great with his training.  We too waited until he was about 12 before taking him to public places per the vet and parvo in the area.  My trainer said it was a mistake as dobbie's need early socialization but feels he is doing pretty good at this point.   I would say be patient and find a good trainer for private in house if that works better for you. Puppy socialization training might be a good idea too. Good luck, hang in there, and I hope you feel better too. Cheers~

Lori's picture
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Joined: 2010-04-03

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You said she needs more work than you have time to give her.  So I question how getting a Trainer wuold help you?  Even with a trainer you will need to take time and spend with her training and reinforcing her training.  Are you going to have time for that?   If you're willing to make the time, then get a trainer and do it.  If you aren't, then re-home her so someone else can teach her while she's still young and easy to find a home for.

 

Mystical Blonde's picture
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Joined: 2012-05-11

Thank you for the replies so far. To Lori - the reason I thought about having her go and stay with a trainer for a bit was that I thought they could be more consistent with her day to day training than I can right now. Of course, I would go and spend time with she and the trainer having private lessons at least 2-4 times per week. I just thought that they could work with her on the days in between so she had total consistency, and it would give her a good foundation. Also, if I worked with a trainer who was working with her, I could make sure that I am doing the right things with her on a consistent basis - both while I am there, and when she comes home. Any thoughts anyone?

csikes's picture
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Joined: 2012-06-26

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Sounds like you are in a tough spot. Dobermans are like no other dog I have ever owned -- super smart, loyal and very stubborn. We rescued our 13mo doberman recently from a woman who was unable to focus on the dog as she needed as well. Ollie was still acting like a misbehaving puppy - jumping, biting, no obedience, etc.

We had her 1 week and then we got her (and ourselves) in training and learned we were compounding the problem by how we reacted to the behavior. She is now doing much better. *We do practice and reinforce our new skills everyday (30-60 mins).* At 16 weeks you are responsible for teaching your puppy how she should act and what behavior is acceptable. The older she gets the harder it will be change those behaviors.

After 4 weeks, my family is still adjusting to the amount of physical activity Ollie needs to be a happy well behaved girl -- which gets the family outside together so I'm not complaining. :)

In my opinion, sending your dog to stay with a trainer is a bad idea. Your puppy will learn to respect the trainer and not you; as well as you will not be learning how to handle your puppy/dog.

There is no shame is deciding you can't give the dog what she needs. It's a tough decision. Better to make the decision now while she is young. If you do decide to keep her you much commit to getting you both trained. It will make a world of difference -- it did for us. If you decide to re-home her, just make sure it's to a person/family that understands what they are in for or contact a doberman rescue in your area.

Good luck!  

 

my3dobeloves's picture
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Joined: 2012-06-24

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I am learning about the breed more and more and I believe its their nature to be stubborn and want to dominate other dogs. My pup Karma is now 20 weeks old and she is still pretty hard headed and bossy as can be. We have taken the time to train her pretty good and she knows her limits but she is just a ball of energy and she will do as she pleases at times.

Patience and a good heart to heart with yourself and your family will help decide what is best. If you decide to rehome her, dont feel bad. Its for the best, thats how we got our two older dobes...the owners could no longer care for them or put in the time to care for them.

if you rehome and decide on another dog down the road, I would suggest maybe rescuing or adopting an older dog or one that is out of the "puppy phasse". I dont doubt you can be a good doberparet, or else you wouldnt be on here asking for help. :)

Jake's picture
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Joined: 2012-08-29

I agree with my3dobeloves, I would not send my pup to a trainer this is something you have to do with your pup.  We recently got a dobe pup, and what a wake up call that was as it's been YEARS since I had a dobe.  Be patient, firm and lots of love for your pup.