Questions, successes and updates......

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

So, going into week 3, and we are all still sane!  No, this isn't as easy as I thought, but if anyone is hard headed enough to make this work, it's me.  I'm just going to post what a typical day looks like for us, and feel free to make any suggestions or pointers to help!! 

Mornings:  Kaiser does well sleeping through the night, from about 10pm to 7:30am.  He waits in his crate in my room, with Cali, my golden, (not in the crate) until the kids are off to school.  Then I take him out to potty, he eats and waits in his crate for 1 hour while I get the 3 year old ready for kindergarten (preschool in the US).  Then we walk 1km to kindergarten, he goes in with us, I give out treats to the little kids to give him.  This has been super successful so far because he is very calm and well mannered, as we do not reward a wild boy.  Then we walk the 1km back home, sometimes we stop or take a longer way.  Once home, we play for a bit, then he eats more in his crate and naps for about an hour.  I feed him in his kongs inside the crate, but I make him wait for the food and he must not fixate.

Midday, we walk back to kindergarten, pick up the 3 year old amongst all the other adults and kids and bikes and cars, etc.  Sometimes he is startled when a tractor or something goes by, but I just give a little tug and a "good boy" when he responds.  He is doing really well on the leash, and is confident when he is with me.

We feed him several times a day in the kongs and he naps for about an hour afterwards in his crate.  He goes in there sometimes alone just to nap, but mostly it's after his food.  We also play some brain games, like hiding treats under a towel or go through the commands he knows. In the afternoons when the kids come home, we play with him. Some days I have to pick up at school, and he goes along.  We don't have car lanes, and I have to walk up there with all kids around etc.  My oldest takes him out and spends the most time with him as he will be the one who does the agility and schutzhund with him.

Questions:

When he jumps on my younger ones (not so much a problem with my 3 year old as he seems to know she is fragile), it can turn into a game pushing him down and saying "off."  Obviously this is undesireable, but how do I not make it a game for him?  How strong should I be when correcting?  My six year old likes for Kaiser to chase him, but I wonder if that is setting off prey drive or is it okay at this age (11 weeks tomorrow)? 

We went to our first puppy class on Sunday.  It wasn't great.  He was very hesistant at first, and the lady was so discouraging, saying, "oh he is scared, and that is very bad, you don't want a scared dog, because they bite. And Dobermanns are so difficult, what you say to a normal dog once, you have to say to a Dobermann 1000 times." etc.  Now that I HAVE the dog, this is not the time to be negative!  Then after about 15 minutes, he started playing with the other puppies, he was happy, playing, barking, sometimes in charge, sometimes not.  I think he was just evaluating the situation, like a Dobermann should!  It is the first Dobermann I've owned, but I've read everything I could get my hands on, so I am not stupid.  Anyway, we are going to another dog club on Saturday, much bigger, does regional and country wide competition, so hopefully they won't be judgemental.  They have loads of stuff to do, and kids are welcome to come and train their dogs on special days.  They also offer one on one training, so if we need it, it's there.

Normally, I am not so put off by negativity, but man, since we got this little fellow, my kids have gone through a terrible stomach virus, then strep throat, and my husband has been out of town the whole time.  I am worn out, and I am not nearly as confident in German as in my native English language, even though I speak quite well, so her coments really got me down. It's just that Germans like to point out every negative thing first, and I could do with a bit of positivity!

Anyhow, I think we are doing well, though it is hard.  I realize he is not like my golden, all happy and sweet and cuddly.  He can be sweet when he is not chewing, biting or romping everywhere.  Oh, another question:  should we not be sitting on the floor with him?  We don't want him on the couch, but when my kids sit on the floor, he tends to overwhelm them and sometimes is biting.  I try to get his energy out first by doing other things, but he is still a puppy and has LOTS of energy! And I see he really wants to be good.  He is trying, and when we are out and about, he is really, really good.  It's at home that he tends to be wild and unruly.

Thanks for reading this far.  Appreciate any advice or help anyone wants to offer!!  You all are great!

astewtru's picture
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Joined: 2014-11-01

Well it sounds like you are doing lots of things right!!! I'll only comment on the things I have experience with...when ours started to get really jumpy, I grabbed her front paws and gave them a quick hard squeeze....not enough to cause injury but enough to get a little Yelp. Only did that twice and she stopped jumping up in front of us. When she got a little older she thought it was fun to run up and jump on us from behind. For that I would do a sudden quick stop with my arse stuck back and a sharp No! Just as she was about to jump. That one took a little longer. As for chasing and prey drive, I read, perhaps in here, that it's a good thing to get them to chase you rather than vice versa, gets them more interested in you as the reward. Just watch out for the back jumping! It feels a bit like being tackled by a line backer once they get bigger! Now, as for negative comments, you will need to develop a thick skin as people are uneducated and ignorant to the breed, even a lot of so called trainers. The best thing you can do is have a well socialized, well behaved doberman to set the positive example. I had a lady at the dog park (she was there with her yappy little menace and 4 kids) say to me with a look of disgust "why on earth did you get a doberman?" I have her the same look and said " why on earth did you have 4 children???" I try to educate people on their temperament and personality traits but sometimes it's just easier to smile and walk my vicious killer dog away.

 

 

astewtru's picture
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Joined: 2014-11-01

Oh, we weren't going to let Harlow on the couch or beds either.....BAHAHAHAHAA, ya right! They NEED to be with their people and truly I want to snuggle with her on the couch too. Now she has her own spot at the end that she curls up in when we are all in watching tv. She sleeps in her crate at night but always cuddles with me before bed and in the morning for a little. I wouldn't have it any other way!