Walking trouble

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DunkinB's picture
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Joined: 2015-07-29

Hello,

We recently added a Doberman puppy to the family. He is almost 4 months old and his name is Dunkin. Since we first arrived at home with Dunkin, we have consistently taken him for 3-4 walks a day, short ones at first but they started to get longer. He did learn how to heel very quickly and was amazing to go for walks with... Just recently though, he has started nipping and biting my feet and legs and tugging and playing with his leash. If I try and remove the leash from his mouth, he tries to nip at my hands. Now I usually only make it a couple of block before I  turn around because I just can't regain any control over him. I will tell him to sit and then he just starts nipping at my hands. It's very frusturating because I know he's capable of walking nicely, but I just don't know where I went wrong. Does anyone have any experience with this?

jpdobie's picture
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Joined: 2012-06-26

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He seems a little young to be doing that many walks...depending on how long they are of course. Based on my experience with my now 3 year old doberman who was a terror as a puppy (and is now a wonderful dog) it could be 1 of 2 things: 1. He's tired and doesn't want to do that. Our Kevin would nip at us as if to say "I'm done with this now. Take me home." or 2. You've hit the doberteens where your sweet boy has now turned into a rebellious monster. When Kevin went through this it was awful and embarassing. He was in training classes at the same time and I would go home crying. He eventually matured and "remembered" everything he was taught. But it took a while and nothing I did worked to correct his strange change. Just his own maturity.

I would say reflect on the amount of exercise you're doing and if it's too much. Walks are forced exercise where he can't decide when he's done because you're controlling the length. Whereas he can opt to rest if you do something like play in the yard. I have a 3.5 month old now too and the only exercise she is getting is limited to the yard (since she isn't fully vaccinated) and completely on her terms so she can rest. And for when you are on walks, stay consistent and reward constantly for good behavior. Use exta special treats. And avoid frustration. If this is the doberteens and if he's anything like my male was you're in for a ride.

Laura's picture
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Joined: 2015-05-25

I agree with jpdobie.  Sounds like you have a case of a tired doberteen.  It's pretty normal that around the 4 month mark their hormones start to change and they do temporarily "forget" their training.  Zeus definitely nips at the leash and tries to get my attention when he's tired (he'll be 5 months next week).  With their large puppy size it's hard to remember that they are just babies!  Have you tried taking a small toy for him to carry on his walks?  I know that people on here have done that and when I used to voluntreer train at a shelter we did that.  When he starts wanting to tug on the leash try giving him his toy to carry and see if that helps.  Zeus often carries pine cones and rocks he finds for portions of our walks and is always so proud of his finds :-) Good luck.  And try not to get too frustrated (this coming from someone who had a whole post the other day merely around how frustrated I was walking my doberteen a week or so ago!). He'll be worth it nce he's past this phase! 

DunkinB's picture
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Joined: 2015-07-29

Thank you for the information. I have been distracting him with sticks while we walk and limiting him to 2 a day and just doing some out door play instead of so many walks. It seems to have helped... somedays. He is getting better though! Thanks. 

Laura's picture
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Joined: 2015-05-25

I feel your pain!  Zeus has forgotten how to heel nicely again and it is so frustrating!  But again, just have to be patient and remember they are babies!  Of course as I type this he just walked in the house COVERED in dirt.  *sigh*