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7 month old temperment?

Cferg

New Member
I have a 7 month old Doberman female. 2/3 of her meals are still hand fed through training. Since I got her at 10 was. We are still banging the reps out on (sit,down,stay,recall and heel!) oh the power of the heel. The heel has become her ingrained response to me wanting her attention back. It’s awesome. I don’t want to be the typical asshat that just thinks their dog is protective. But she is reactive to people only at or near my home, truck, vacation home, or at work with me at my shop. Here are some scenarios.

1. At Lowe’s or Home Depot or pet smart. When I let her out of the truck if some one is near she gets reactive but comes right back to a sit heal no problem. As we make our way into the store she pays little attention to anyone. And in the store she will go into a down when asked even with people around. Even lay on her side. Now if some one comes within a few feet she might want to get up to a sit. And not be super comfortable. But tolerates them. When we are out in the parking lot near the truck I’m getting looks from people like “ you’re are gonna take that dog inside the store?”

2. When at are vacation house someone can be walking by the house she will react; low growl and would bark if I didn’t correct her. But I can be on a walk with her and pass the same person up the street and she doesn’t react at all. Notices the person yes but no reaction.

3. And as for my work and house it’s the same response to people as it is at my vacation house. If someone comes over she barks but stops when asked too and will recall to a heel. She will take 5-10 mins to tolerate them and will start to react anytime they move during that time.

So I’m just looking for some insight into what might be going on in her mind. A67878C8-AE7F-461E-B346-01C324C43673.jpeg142081A3-79CC-4F73-AF30-B168985481EF.jpeg
 

AnnV

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Hi- I'm no expert, but what you describe seems quite normal for a 7 month old Dobe. I like what you mention about her coming into heel position. Mine did much of the same things during that age, reacting some, but not anymore, he's two now and knows I'm in charge of situations. Sometimes I am positively surprised when he shows that he is protecting me. Such as now we have a house guest for one month, he barks at this person sometimes, as the person enters the house and then comes to stand right by my side.
 
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jazzies mum

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From what you say you have good control even when she is reactive and that is quite an achievement with a youngster reaching the Doberteens. :) The protective instinct can be moderated and controlled but it is a part of having a Doberman and what they were bred for.

I'm not an expert either but am sure that as you continue with training you will show her when she is required to do her job and when she can safely leave it to you. The less reaction you have when she explodes the better as she will be taking her cue from you. I found keeping cool and calm and giving firm but quiet correction worked best but you seem to have a good training method so I'm sure that time and exposure will help solve these problems. Sounds like a normal confident Doberman pup to me and she looks good!
 

Cferg

New Member
Thanks for your input everyone. Stassi is my first Doberman. I had a Queensland heeler for 15 years before her. And she was like a golden retriever temperment wise but also bomb proof.

But a little more about my Doberman Stassi. I’m fortunate enough to work for myself. So she gets to go to work with me everyday. I have a large metal building on a 7 acre yard where I work. So while I’m working in the shop she spends most her day laying at the front roll up door. Watching the 50 yard entrance from the road to the shop. She lets me know when someone’s there. That’s for sure.

To go along with that. Between going to work and feeding through training. For being a 7 month old pup. She is pretty wore out. When we get home she barely has any desire to go for a walk around the block. Most days she would be just as content to lay around the house the rest of the night.
I am actually taken aback by it. With all the stories on here about people with crazy wild “doberteens”.
 

Ravenbird

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I think you have a perfect dog & perfect scenario to raise one. She's tired at night because she's been out all day, even if snoozing, she's alert to things. It's a natural upbringing for this type of dog. Mine was just like this at 7 months, took a lot of work & correcting to stay neutral to strangers when it was not her business to bark or growl. Now at 1 1/2 years, she's so much better, but still has her moments. Keep doing what you're doing, Stassi sounds like a wonderful companion for you & guardian for your shop.
 

LifeofRubie

Active Member
I would TRIPLE check that your Home Depot and/or Lowes ACTUALLY allow dogs. EVEN if none of the associates say anything to you and EVEN if you see other dogs inside, check all the stickers on all the entrance doors to make sure there isn't one that prohibits dogs. Don't ask me how I know :facepalm:

I do want to say... if she indicates at all that she isn't trusting of people in a certain situation where she can come into contact with them (like out shopping or in a work place), I would be very, VERY cautious. She may think she's protecting you (she seems to have that instinct) but it could turn into a bite incident and a potentially (very expensive) insurance claim in 0.0005 seconds. I would also triple check your homeowners or business insurance to see if a dog bite or dog incident is covered.

Your job is to set her up for success!

I believe there was even a member here once who took their dog to work everyday and their dog was suspicious of people entering the work place. At some point, a customer made a move the dog didn't like and it resulted in a minor bite.

We have a DO NOT PET vest for our Dobe (5.5 years old) when we go out and about because I know she doesn't enjoy attention from strangers. Even with the vest, people come in hot and ask to pet her. I always say no. Sometimes that's enough, but occasionally they will insist because Dogs just LOVE them. I still say NO. We also have a Lab who actually enjoys all the attention he can get so he's a good buffer or distraction for people who just need to pet a dog; I stand off to the side with my Dobe close to my leg. She doesn't mind people standing around and talking or given attention to our Lab but attention from them to her? Nope.

Sorry if I come off as a Debbie Downer! As you stated, though, her tolerance vs your previous dogs is very different. You need to be able to read her warning signs and change a situation immediately if something doesn't feel right.

Also, welcome! She is a cutie and will no doubt be a great dog for you for a long time!
 

Firestar Dobe

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If she is reactive around your home, your truck, your work place, etc., that tells me she is being a Dobe! She is young, but seems to listen well to your corrections. Dobes are bred for protection. My Sinisters are much more likely to be proactive (sounds better than reactive, lol!) around our property and vehicles, since both are very well trained, a simple command reins them in. They both are very aloof but alert when I take them on a walk or to a business. Keep training and as she matures she will be better able to judge a situation as well as what you expect of her. :thumbsup:
 

Ravenbird

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If she is reactive around your home, your truck, your work place, etc., that tells me she is being a Dobe! She is young, but seems to listen well to your corrections. Dobes are bred for protection. My Sinisters are much more likely to be proactive (sounds better than reactive, lol!) around our property and vehicles, since both are very well trained, a simple command reins them in. They both are very aloof but alert when I take them on a walk or to a business. Keep training and as she matures she will be better able to judge a situation as well as what you expect of her
Yes, this. As @LifeofRubie expressed, a dog (or puppy) not in control even for a few seconds, can turn into a nightmare quickly, but what @Firestar Dobe says is also true. My definition of "reactive" is the dog expressing itself without looking to its owner/handler and checking in to see what kind of emotion the "boss" is having. We went through a LOT of this during Ashas first year. It was always corrected, as she doesn't get to decide who needs to be barked at inside a dog-friendly store. Ever. Being the self-assured little thing that she is, she told me time & again who needed to be barked at & I had to tell her in no uncertain terms, nope. She has finally pretty much let it go, but has never stopped with alertness and always watching. Unfortunately, she still gets triggered by staring and I was talking to someone (my bad, not hawk-eye on our surroundings, remember it only takes a second!) with her sitting at my side and - sure enough - some kid about 12 years old is walking straight at her staring at her. This was about 45 degrees behind me so I didn't notice, but the princess did and the kid was about 20 feet from us and she exploded into a nasty loud bark. She stood up and forward as she barked, but didn't hit the end of the leash and I immediately downed her adding NO. She complied and I told the kid that staring at any dogs is never a good idea, and he just kinda walked off in a huff. So, YES, obedience to the nth degree. At home it's a different story, I let her bark & explode if someone drives up, then I leash her up and make her sit or down or stay at my side until they leave or if it's company she stays down until I release her. She is fine with any stranger who ignores her.
 

Cferg

New Member
Thank you for the continued discussion on this topic. It’s funny @Ravenbird that you mentioned your dog looking to you for guidance. My dog this morning in the Starbucks parking lot we were doing some training before work. There was a guy 5ft. away getting out of his truck. She let out one little gruff and looked at me and then looked back at him. So I will continue to guide her and let her know what’s exceptable and not. This took place as I was waiting for the guy to park so I could put Stassi back in the truck.

It didn’t bother the guy. “His dad used to have a dobie” he told me. That’s one thing I’ve learned if someone you encounter has had an experience with a Doberman they are gonna tell you about it. I don’t mind it except for the people that tell you they have one also just “smaller”, of course they are talking about their minpin. An older couple has a pair near me she was telling me all about them. And when I finally saw them they looked more like black and brown chihuahuas with docked tails.
 

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