At What Age Does A Dobie Pup Start To Mature?

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TheAristocrat's picture
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I'm curious to know when my Dobie will start to mature more. He is very goody right now at 14 weeks, and I anticipate that to be the case for over a year. That's not so much a problem. He is responding very well with training, learning many navigational, orders and trick commands. He is still biting though, the biting of hands and feet is the big issue. I'm not sure when they stop teething, but I'm wondering if this is perhaps something that may transcend teething. Also, toilet training. I have owned several GSDs, and I have had all of them toilet trained within two weeks! I wasn't expecting such a battle with my Dobie. I do not own a crate, as others have recommended, and never have I used such a thing. So, those are the two issues right now. I had him almost to the point where he would signal to go outside by crying at the door, but that stoped within two days. I thought perhaps carrying treats outside with me to reward him when he goes outside. But I'm quickly running out of ideas. Once the door is clothed he doesn't give a fiddle where he goes. I can't always catch him, as there is often very little, if any, warning. Is this something that will improve as he gets older? When do Dobies start to mature in temperament, emotionally and intellectually? As I have already stated earlier, he is 14 weeks old. I know that is very young, but from a source I read a few weeks back, he may be due to cease teething around the end of November. Is this a fairly accurate estimate? If not then what is? Will his biting of hands and feet improve once his teething stops? And Where should he be in another two/three months regarding toilet training? Any advice one could impart to help a weary fellow out?

As always, your time is much appreciated.
Regards :)

Aristotocrat, Welcome if I hadn't welcomed you yet.

Lets tackle house breaking first. Get a crate. not one he will grow into, get one that has enough room to stand, turn around and lay down in. By the time he's fullgrown, you will go through 3 maybe 4 crates. If you can't watch him around the house, put him in his crate. It's also good to have him "crate trained" if you ever want or have to take him somewhere.

First off, never take you eyes off of him yet. He's still a baby and has little if any control over his bodily functions yet and he will chew on ANYTHING!

Lets say he's been in his crate overnight, you take him from the crate to outside. Don't mess around, straight outside. When he does do his thing, praise him, treat reward him and right back in the house. When he is being supervised around the house, bring him out every 10 to 15 minutes. Get an egg timer. You don't realize how fast 10 to 15 minutes goes by. When he does go outside, bring right back inside. If you want to play with him outside, bring him in first then go back out and play. You'll be getting up and down alot. Don't wait for him to let you know when he has to go, he don't know yet. When he's gotta go, he's going. If he does make an error, just clean it up and clean it up well. He has a nose and can smell really good even at his age. There's alot of products for this and they work but I've always use vinegar. It's cheap, works and you can get it anywhere. Never punish for a misstake, he will have no clue why your fussing at him. Just consider it your fault. Don't feed or water him too late. Let's say you go to bed at ten PM and wake up at six AM, don't feed him past six PM, don't water pass eight PM. Bring him out just before you go to bed and he should make it through the night. The trick is to try to never let him eliminate inside. Over time you can go from 10 to 15 minutes to 15 to 20 minutes as he gets older. By the time he has his adult teeth in (around 5 to 6 months), he should be good to go if you did your job.

Biting is how a puppy plays and explorse his world. When he chases you feet and bites at them when you walk around, he's chasing prey. The best thing you can do is redirect his mouthing to a toy that he CAN chew on. Play with him using that toy. When you play tug with him, be gentle, he's only a baby and you can jank him puppy teeth out. Not a good thing. So just redirect his biting to a chew. I like the pork chew bones better than rawhide but either will work.

Nows the time to start teaching him his commands, sit, down, stay, heal. I say "teach" because that is exactly what you should do. He needs to know what the command means before you can expect him to do it.

Hope this helps.

TheAristocrat's picture
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He now recognises 13 keywords. I have chew bones, and also redirect him to his toys, but to be honest, it simply isn't very effective at all. He'll keep coming back for the hands and feet. Though he is not so bad with me, but that still isn't satisfactory.

When will his bladder start being more under his control?

Hickory67's picture
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Gideon's biting lessened considerably when his adult teeth started coming in at 4 months. Now he just playfully "mouths" me, but doesn't bite down. Still occasionally goes after shoes, but I've been consistent with redirecting so he drops them with one warning usually - he's just testing the waters.

He still forgets his house training occasionally, but is pretty good most of the time. There again, consistency and a crate paid off. He sleeps outside the crate a lot now - but we always, always put him out as soon as he wakes. We live in a split foyer and cannot see the back door from the living room, so I trained Gideon to bark when he needs to go out. If the dog knows the "speak" command, it's easy to do.

Hope that helps.

TheAristocrat's picture
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I'll try work on the speak command, or install a bell by the door. When the door is open he goes outside without fail. It's getting him to alert me that he needs to go outside when the door is closed that has been an issue. Today though he cried three times to go outside. I've been using treats after he goes outside to try and reinforce this, so we'll see how it goes.

I am relieved to hear about the biting. It has lessened considerably since we got him, but when he does go for hands and feet, he can do some significant tissue damage with a fairly conservative bite force. I've never seen anything like it before. I experienced that unique Doberman 'scissor bite' today. I was playing with him with his bear and he rolled over onto my feet, turned his head and went for my arm, scissored me along my forearm. I'm very thankful that he was applying himself gently! lol.

Is it me or do Dobermans mature slower than GSDs? At the same time though, Onyx has an astonishing growth rate. Far outstripping my GSDs, sometimes I swear I can see him growing right in front of me.

I appreciate your replies. I would love to try the crate, I did use a similar thing for a cross-bred German Sherpherd/Labradour, it did work. But Onyx has his bedtime routine and his specific spot, he got used to this after one night. I promise you I am not exaggerating, he picks some of these habbits up first time. At a specific time he will cry to go upstairs (installed a baby gate to stop him zomming up and down stairs, likes to ski down on his front legs!) and toddle off to his bed. I can't break this. Added to that I didn't have the money for one at the time.