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newdobe29's picture
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So today some guys that we know showed up to do some work on our air conditioners. Instea of knocking on the front door and waiting they knocked and then walked around back. Scout and I went outside to see who it was. I didn't have him on a leash because we live on about 3 acres of land and he comes great and always stays by me. We were in the front of the house when the guys came walking from around back and Scout started barking very loud at them. I'm glad he did this as that's part of the reason we bought him, but my is he was barking because he was scared. When they came toward him he ran away and kept barking. What do I need to start doing so he's not afraid of strangers and if he barks he stands his ground and doesn't run away. We've had several people out to visit and when they come in through the regular door scout greets them with a sniff and a lick. I'm fine that he's wary of strangers I just don't want him to be afraid because that's when I know you can have problems

blue4's picture
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Well, I'm still learning myself, but I'll share what I've learned from here.  Scout is still young.  Reesie was the same way, but as he's gotten even a little older, he's doing better.  Now he just stands his ground when he barks.  When he is alert to something, he tends to go toward it instead of away from it.  He did not do this even a couple of months ago.  I'm getting him to the park a lot to keep positive contact with people, but I think we need to work on stuff around the house, too.  He seems to be more "on guard" with people and things when we're here at home.  He's growled at almost everyone that's ever visited.  Ugh.  But he is getting better if we do a "meet and greet" where I'm bringing him out to the car instead of someone just coming up and knocking on the door. 

 I'm gonna check back for the advice some of the "veteran" dobie owners have to say.  I could always use some too!

newdobe29's picture
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Thanks Blue! Scout is great with everyone that comes over. Almost to the point we were wondering if he was going to be a good watch dog or just lick everyone that came over. Lol! Has Reesie always been very protective at your home or did that come later

DJ's Dad's picture
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As he gets older, he should also get more confident in himself.  Ziva was the same way when she was under 5 months old....now, if someone comes into my yard, she will bark and stand firm.  She has never been aggressive towards anyone, but she definitely lets people know that she is not afraid of them.  He'll grow up, he's still pretty young still.

blue4's picture
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Well, Reesie has always been, shall we say, DOMINANT!! :-)  Within days of being at home, we had issues with him and the growling, barking.  I started recently doing lots of training games.  "Right here" (said quickly, excited, repet. 2-3x's) is one of his favorites.  It keeps him out of a lot of trouble!  I started out clicker training him that everytime he was focused on my fingers (thumb touching index, middle) he got a treat.  That moved to me running with him following my fingers and me adding the words right here.  He LOVED the running aspect of the game and it kept him focused on being with me.  Now, when he gets ruffled up about something, I can do the "Out" command to tell him to stop and then do the right here game as a reward.  I think it helps them to have the training to gain confidence.  But as Ziva's dad said, I think some of it just comes with time.  Scout really seems like a great puppy, I'm sure with all the work you're doing, he'll come around just fine.  I think it's good to have the friendly puppy problem!   

newdobe29's picture
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Thanks Blue and Zivas Dad! I figured it was something he would grow into but wanted to make sure there wasn't something I should be doing in the meantime. I'm so amazed at their protective instincts so young. He is a great dog and so great with the kids. He really minds them both well most of the time. :)

DJ's Dad's picture
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newdobe--if I had to choose between my dog being slightly on the shy side, or slightly on the aggressive side, I would definitely choose the shy side.  There are lots of little kids in my neighborhood (ages 1 - young teens) and every time I walk Ziva, many of them run out to meet us and want to pet her.  I'm glad she allows that without being aggressive.  Lots of protection abilities are natural instinct, and he will learn to use them wisely as he gets older. 

newdobe29's picture
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Yes I agree! :)

laith's picture
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I am often torn when people say "Dobermans aren't suppose to be shy." What would you rather them be, aggressive toward you? I just feel if you teach them to be social, they try to react the best way you teach them. But a new person, especially a 3-4 foot child with a lot of expression is not always going to be a good situation for them. 

Laith doesn't run away, nor does he hide behind me. But he does pull very hard and quickly to keep at least a foot or so distance from children on leash. Off leash, he will bark at a stranger and keep his ground/approach them (in the house/footage around the door. 

If he is scared of something, what has worked best for me is gentle exposure. Everyday expose more and more. It took him months to be beside a vacuum. haha Same with adults (still having trouble with children - one hit him in the face and he hasn't quite gotten over it). The only thing we haven't gotten over is trash bags. Our fault though for playing with him when he was very young chasing him after it. Didn't think it would cause a memory- but it did! 

I think the breed is just cautious more than the average. Laith hears everything. And will inspect it until he deems it safe. Some dog owners comment he is scared, but I know he is mostly just aware. 

blue4's picture
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I don't know if Reesie ever really acts shy.  Aloof, definately.  My "neighbor" wants to love on Reesie so bad, and he just doesn't "love".  He's busy, doesn't have time to sit and pet.  Now, does he "love" with us?  Sure, but not all the time.  Mostly when he's tired.  I have never seen him just be super friendly to anyone but the 4 of us.  He'll sit around the children at the park and they'll touch him and sometimes he'll lick a face, but mostly, he just ignores them.  Sometimes I wish he were friendlier, but I think he takes his job as guardian very seriously.  This same neighbor came over to visit when we weren't home and she said Reesie growled and barked - so much that she had no idea a "puppy" would act like that.  At first this bothered me.  But then I thought, well, we weren't home, so what's he supposed to do?  Guard!  I guess even in dobies, it depends on the dog to how "lovie dovie" they are.   I assume somebody elses' is aloof like this?

Lady Kate's picture
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Interesting subject. Our Sofia is aloof, and sometimes she's downright snooty.

Chris, she does the same thing as Reesie.. Guarding, but not interested in getting in the sandbox and playing with them.

 But just the other day we were at a pet friendly outdoor restaurant and she went nuts over a little baby boxer girl .She did a play bow, jumped around almost spinning in the air.. Both girls were leashed, but that didn't stop them from bonding as if they were life long pals.. Have never seen Sofia react like that toward another dog. It was love at first sniff.

With people, she seems to have her favorites.( so do I) She is always polite, and will greet most everyone when they come to the house with a snuffle and a kiss, then goes to her own corner and just wants to be in the same room with all of us.

I haven't found anything Sofia is actually afraid of.. oh oh .. wait.. there was a snail one evening.. just doing it's snail thing across our patio.. Sofia took one look and asked to go in.. jumped up on the sofa and stayed there til the snail slimed himself away.. odd huh. The wind makes her nervous and she will duck behind me with her ears flat to try to keep out of it.

laith's picture
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Aloof is a good way to put it. If someone approaches Laith he will give them about a second and go about his own business. His eyes are so funny, they will watch the persons hands and movement like a hawk. 

In the dog park with people we see daily he still won't let them "pet" him, just a quick hello or throw the toy please. 

He is protective/on guard like you guys said. He will bark/growl if someone is coming into the apartment. The minute the person steps in the door he stops and stares. It trips visitors out. Then he follows them. 

Haha Lady Kate. I think its loud, sudden noises that get to him. He will take off running like it is the end of the world. Then come to investigate. 

He loves bugs. And frogs. Loves frogs too much I'd say. 

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Fancy found a little boxer girl to play with too.  We've started next round of classes and there's a brindle and while 6 month old boxer named Lucy.  She and Fancy can't help but play. Yeaaaah, a dog almost her size to play with!! (By the way, Fancy had to show 'em how it's done with the training....hehe).  So far, Fancy hasn't met anyone that she doesn't want to be friends with, unless we're out walking about dusk.  There's a few shady characters around the neighborhood that she instinctively is weary of. She greets every one at the door nicely.  She still gives a big girl WOOF if she hears or sees something she's unsure of usually at night at home, and will stand guard for a moment or two until she feels all is well.  I've never once heard her growl, even at the Littles.  I guess I got lucky and got Miss Mellow.

blue4's picture
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Kate, that is TOO funny - a snail!!!!

Miss Fancy...will you come teach my Reesie some mann'rs?  This country boy could use some "lessuns" ...

Lady Kate's picture
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Honestly.. I think our Dobermans are just like anyone else.. Individuals with their own personalities, quirks, fears and loves.. Where one loves to rip and snort and defend the castle from Dragons, the other prefers to loll ( most Southern girls know how to loll) on tuffets and be worshipped from afar..

Some are adept at games and tricks, fetching and nose work. others have people to do that for them.

I even heard of a Doberman singing.. hey.. wait.. that's Reesie.. Sofia would never think of singing... the loudest noise she ever makes ( aside from Danger Stranger of course) is a deep almost obscene moan when I rub her ears.

Puppies outgrow a lot of their destructive tendencies.. (  either that or we just run out of sofas) but I still maintain that each one of our wonderful Doberkids is a personality all to his or her own.. The uniqueness of the breed is what brought you to them and vice versa..

So whether Dragon Slayer or Diva, DobeZilla or a Sweet Shy Guy.. They are ours to love and to cherish.

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My parents always say that Zelda's EXACTLY like I am; excitable, clumsy, kinda slow sometimes, lazy.... The list goes on and on XDD OH! We also beg for food LOLOL. Me from my friend and Zelda from my parents XDDDD

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Oh, and Zelda's completely afraid of pools of water that aren't rain puddles. She fell into the pool at my friend's place and would only go towards the edge if I were in the water with food.

insanekrish's picture
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Hey guys!

I recently adopted a Doberman from the blue cross. He was probabally 4months old when i first brought him.someone had abandoned him before or he ran outta their house , i dunno. the blue cross guys found them on the road near the station. In the begenning , Shadow(my dog) was scared. Only after a week or so he started getting along with me a littile bit. Even now he is not fully socalized with the family members.

When any stranger comes , he doesnt bark or do anything. He jus t sits in his place n watches or sometimes , when he hears the gate's sound , he goes and has a look of who it is. He doesnt bark at all. He only barks during playtime (i.e. when i dont give him the ball or anything).

 

I need some advice on how to train this guy. I want him to bark at strangers. He is now 5months old. But when he sees a stray dog , he stands his ground for a sec and then starts chasing it. During which , his hair on his back stands up.

 

I need some help on teaching Shadow to bark at strangers. How do i teach him?

Lady Kate's picture
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Insanekrish~ First of all welcome to the forum.. this is an amazing place just chock-a-block full of suggestions, advice and all the help you need.

Second.. bless you for rescuing Shadow.. you are indeed a hero to him

Rescues are almost a breed unto themselves.. We just don't' know their history, their potential health problems and most of all, we have no way of knowing what they've been through before we got them. It took at least six months before Sofia started to feel comfortable with her home here and rescued US!!

Give him time, first to adjust to his new surroundings and feel an ownership.. Right now he might not even think he has the right to protect it. Dobermans are protective by nature and he will soon become  instinctive and the first time you hear that deep throated ROAR that can shatter kitchen windows, you'll wonder why you ever encourage it..

I would hope you will take him to some kind of training classes.. not only will it help the two of you bond, it will help him to socialize, not to mention the training he craves..

Good luck and please post some pictures of shadow ...

I am hoping someone else will chime in with their thoughts..

blue4's picture
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Welcome Insanekrish!

maybe if you post your question as a new thread you will get more answers...I think people love to meet new members and have so much to offer. 

I don't have much advice for you.  I agree with what Lady Kate said.  Taking a training class would maybe give you some bonding and it could help you set goals for yourself with your training.  I can't say enough about getting some sort of training started.  It has been a miracle for us with regards to behavior.  I think Kate describes it well when she says dobes CRAVE training - you will see for yourself when you start!

Post some pics for us!  And remember to start a new thread with your question!

insanekrish's picture
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hey!

thanx guys! :)

sorry , i realized that Shadow isn't a pure dobie.He is more of a Dobie though , like 80% i guess. :(

its been like 2months since he is been with me. i'm jus waiting for him to get ferocious. He barks while playing though , but if any stranger comes home , he goes to the gate has a look n then comes back. he doesnt bark.

he play-bites alot!

insanekrish's picture
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i guess Shadow  is a cross... i'm not so sure about that.

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This is a little late, but I had a thought on addressing Scout's shyness. When we were doing Schutzhund, the trainer would build the dog's confidence by approaching in a semi-crouched position (like a bad guy) and cower away when the dog barked.  He would do this again and again and the dog would become more and more confident. The dog would be on leash (of course) and start from a sit position - eventually the dog would instinctively put himself between the handler and the "bad guy."  The trainer would then approach in a calm, normal manner and praise.  Hope that helps.

von Cosack Dobermann (not verified)
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He acted like a good watch dog, he barked!!! He is to young to show much more than that, if your looking for a dog that will stop people in their tracks then start planning on a PP training program. Some Dobermanns as they mature might have the character needed to be a deterient that also means business but a lot of those drives has been bred out of the American bred Dobermanns. I know this because I've been training PP since 1965 and have evaluated Dobermanns all through those years and there was a steady decline in the character needed to work. I find that very upsetting but the breeders who bred these dogs never temperament test their breeding stock to see if theres cowardest or character in them. I'm NOT refering to an akc wac test thats a joke and at best is a fun game, no test!!

Consider evaluating him for PP work when hes about 15 to 18 months old, in the mean time get his OB very good on lead and off lead. The better his OB and the tighter his bond is to his family the better his PP work will be. If hes not suited for that type of work don't be surprised, however he can be a good watch dog (alarm) and their size alone can be a detertient. train the boy up!  Von

  

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from von Cosack Dobermann: I'm NOT refering to an akc wac test thats a joke and at best is a fun game, no test!!

Really?  I've heard several members on this site say quite the opposite.  I am considering taking this test with my dog next summer, and would like to know why you think it's just a game.  Just curious.  I know nothing about this test except what I have read.

rmk
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i agree with kate....i think each dog, like humans, are individuals with their own personality...major is just a big goof and sasha is very reserved....they are in the same house and treated the same way and are as opposite as they come....major doesnt meet a stranger.....anyone who comes in the house is a new play buddy (we are trying to teach door and greeting manners) but i feel as though i'm failing....and barking??? ive been holding hubby off from getting a bark collar! he runs outside and starts barking....his head is up and he makes the circle around the yard-barking and looking at the sky...haha...it wouldnt be so bad except most times he continues and is barking at nothing....sasha seems like she wants to hide if we have very many ppl in the house....i know we will have to really socialize her....she hasnt been out yet due to not having last set of shots....will have them this week so we can start going out

von Cosack Dobermann (not verified)
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What I don't like about this Test is that I've seen dogs fail it because they back off and access the situation. Thats viewed by some judges as cowardest, thats NOT cowardest thats intelligence. Don't forget the dog is not supposed to be trained or preped in any way for this exercise. A dog thats surprised by a "boogieman" whose stumblin around with an overcoat on wide and loose with hat on and flailing arms should access this situation. Should the dog attack??? hahahaha!!! Some might, you better be carefull with that dog if the parties you have or attend have people drinking!!! First off that boogieman is a distraction that is NOT presented as a Threat!!! So theres no reason for the dog to respond in a protective mode if anything the dog is startled and could stand and bark or step off. If the dog runs then he fails? He should be brought right back put the boogieman at a futher distance and give the dog a chance to focus on a target with some distance between them. As far as I know they don't do that, they should because NO training exercise should end on a negative. Theres lots of holes in this exercise, I don't think its something you need to avoid but I don't give it any creedance. To say its a test of temperament & character is a stretch, check out a simple ZTP test (google it)from Europe. Its a test of temperaments and shows a dogs character. Then compare it to a wae.  Both are very simple but judge which one has real meaning and which is poorly conceived. Von

 

rmk, if theres a quality PP trainer near you an evaluation of your dogs will let you know exactly were their at. Its just a test as to their personal defense, if thats past then the test extends to their ability to fight and protect you. It takes about 15 minutes and most Pro PP trainers evaluate for free! Then you know for sure what they'd do. If you have no interest in PP training then hire the guy to come to yor house and evaluate on their personal turf. Thats a great way to know what they'll do and WHY they do it. Then you'll gain a ton of knowledge about your dogs. 

Von you crack me up!

 

The WAE is a good test to take your dog though - pass or fail, you will learn something about your dog. It is an increasing stress test that builds up to the end.  No "test" can really determine what your dog will do in a real life situation - but it can give you an idea. The WAE is on neutral ground, and most dogs are going to be more protective at home. 

When a dog has never been exposed to an aggressive stranger, they often will not react aggressively - after all, they have been taught to be accepting AND (this is important) in the WAE, the aggressor stops!  

I personally am just as interested in seeing what a dog does at the other non-aggressive stations because it tells me more about their overall temperament. At the aggressvie stranger - I don't judge a dog harshly for not passing IF they didn't try to run away in fear. Many Dobes will stay alert and watch the stranger - they just don't go out front and they don't bark. They are often visibly upset and just don't know what to do.  Give those dogs a session with a pp trainer to learn that they are allowed react aggressively in kind and they will do so. I know this because I've done it.

 

I'm the WAE Chair for the local Doberman club in SE PA/NJ area and have watched a ton of dogs go through this test along with taking my 3 though it. I highly recommend going to a WAE - even just to watch - it is very interesting.

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Thank you both for your opinions.  I value both sides of the coin.

rmk
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VON-i live in podunk and there aren't any trainers close to me....not within a reasonable driving distance....we did sent major to a "trainer" here that specializes in training labs to retrieve and he said he did obedience as well and was sure major would benefit.....he kept him for 6 weeks and to be honest i couldnt tell a difference,...he didnt have control of him when we would go see him.....mandy said cisco acted differently when she picked him up...that's what i was expecting but didnt get....ive made more progress with him since he's been home and ive been using techniques i've found on this forum....i would love to have someone come here and help me "hands on".....i want what everyone else wants.... well behaved, balanced dogs that isnt a threat but will "back u up" if need be :)...so any advice is welcome! thanks

von Cosack Dobermann (not verified)
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Tell me what Methods & techniques you've tried to utilize. Have you done any basic OB such as

heel, sit, stay, down & come??? These are the beginning position for most all beginning OB classes.

How do you teach sit and how do you reward? Von

rmk
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the trainer did teach him sit and he's pretty good with this one....stay is ummmm....so-so...he will stay for just a bit and then he's off....i take him back to starting point and say sit again and stay again....come is another story....i just went to the store to get a pinch collar and intended on getting a long lead....forgot that....figured i could use that to teach come....the leash i have for him is shorter so that wont work.....i do use treats occasionally but most times alot of yeah's and good boys....i know the training issues are a lack on my part of knowing completely and to be quiet honest taking the time to do it everyday....thats not going to work and i know it....the door manners are a struggle....when someone knocks/rings bell i make him sit (which takes a bit cause he's soooo excited) and then tell him to stay once they enter its a whole nother story....he's all over the place...i tell them to not acknowledge him or make eye contact with him but i have to say thats hard when you have 80+ lbs on u....we've only had him get it right one time and im not sure what caused it except that was his first time meeting that guy...everyone else that comes in are regulars and he's like yeah-poppas here! or one of the regular kids passing thru....he's only 7 months old and it takes time and diligence and we will get there....i can see improvements though just some days its frustrating....i also would like to know games to play with him....i hope to set up some agility things for sasha b/c shes fast and loves to jump but major is just "duh dump duh dump" ....one of the many things i love about him :)