Devil in Disguise - Partner wants to Re-home our Dobie

Magpie6963

Novitiate
Good Morning All,

I was hoping to reach out and inquire whether anyone else has experienced the same issues that we are having with our adopted 2 year old male Dobie. And the story begins...

My partner and I were itching for another family member to join our team! We had a 7 year old Bloodhound X Female and 10 year Tabby Female before we adopted our Dobie at the age of 1yr. He was left at a doggie daycare and from what we were told was kept in a crate when he was at home. We met him and instantly fell in love with him. We went up a week later and brought him home. We were 10 minutes down the road (3 hour drive ahead) when it all began......... He was terrible! But I knew that he would need some time to adjust and with hard work(training) and determination he would excel. That has not been the case. Over the past year and a half we have spent thousands of dollars on trainers, equipment, etc. My partner has told me that he has "given" up on our boy as he constantly is bad. CONSTANTLY. This has caused so much tension in our relationship, which then reflects back onto our boy. He is my dog- he is obsessed with me and only cares about me. He has bit my partner several times ( this is when he is being told to drop whatever he has and of course doesn't listen to him... he will show his teeth and try to nip ( we know that this is possession thing) we have dealt with it the correct way, my partner not grabbing whatever is in his mouth etc- but it doesn't matter..he will just automatically become aggressive towards him. I have always corrected him if he tries to be possessive of me towards my partner, our other dog or cat.
I've decided to list some details instead of explaining each scenario. For example, the following is a list of things that occur on a daily basis:
* Constantly looking to get my attention- getting into the garbage, jumping up to grab things off the counter, shoving his face in my face if I am not paying attention to him, if he is outside and I am not- he will bark and bark until I pay attention to him. If we are in the house and I am not paying attention to him and he has tried everything( damaging anything in sight) he will just whine and whine and whine.
* He will bully our Bloodhound x ( at the beginning we were letting them work it out, but he does not take no for an answer - so we are constantly intervening). Our bloodhound x spends her time in the bedroom with the cat when we are home because she doesn't want to be around the Dobie( He is crated trained).
* Taunts the cat ( just barks at her and nips at her) - we have spent several hours trying to correct this- all that is happening is our cat getting more stressed out. She has to live in our bedroom because of this.
* Does not listen to my partner at all. We have spent a lot of time just him working with the trainers with our Dobie and in the end our Dobie doesn't care about anything but me.

I feel helpless. When it is just me and my Dobie is he a golden boy. I put him in Agility and he loves it. When we travel in the truck together alone he is an angel. We go on a walk/run (without the Bloodhound x) he is amazing- so obedient and attentive.

I had also noticed when we first brought him home he would scratch like crazy ( I know that Dobie's have sensitive skin) so we changed his diet(raw diet), his bed is washed with scent free detergent etc ( everything we could do we have). Over a year and a half later he still does it- we think it's like a nervous tick. And he excessively licks when he is asked to lay down and stay in one place(sign of stress).

I am sorry if I am all over the place with this post, but I am feeling so hopeless. My partner has told me that he dreads coming home because of the boy. He has said that we need to find him another home where someone can devote all of their time to him.

I love my Dobie so much- even though he causes all of this- I don't know if I am just "dealing" with it all because I love him so much but I can't have the stress of him, my partner being stressed all of the time and our two other babies. It breaks my heart and makes me so sad to think of my life without him.

If anyone has any input/suggestions etc, it would be so greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time.

- Stressed Out Dobie Mama
 

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LifeofRubie

Active Member
Yikes... that is a tough place to be in. There are some folks on here who've trained very difficult dogs so hopefully they can give you some good direction. If worse comes to worse, make sure he goes to a rescue that can handle his challenges and will work hard to find the PERFECT home for him to thrive in, not to a shelter. Good Luck!
 

Gelcoater

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Well? That's quite a post to digest, and I haven't had much coffee yet this morning.

First thing that came to my mind (and may well in fact be because the particular dog weighs on my mind here lately) but the description sounds very much like my friends Rottweiler.

Unruly, wouldn't mind, wouldn't follow command, and would at times ignore people and everything.

He wasn't unruly, he ended up being completely deaf.
Have you checked the dogs hearing?

I know, I know, a long shot.
But that's all I got for now until the coffee kicks in.
 

GOD'S GRACE

Notable member
With all due respect, I would recommend a "Cesar" like person to assess your issues. My opinions from my comfortable seat here are useless, without personal observations....good luck!
 

Cscallan

Notable member
I can relate sooooo much right now. My dob is 7 months, and we are having similar issues, not to your extent but I fear she will get to that point. My husband is getting frustrated as well and threatening to Rehome. I’m not sure if you have tried this or if this is something offered in your area, it’s called board and train. This is something I’m currently looking into for a quick turn around. Typically it’s a two week program where he’ll be boarded, trained and then the dog is transitioned back into the home and the trainers work with you on everything new they learned.
 

Kaiser2016

Active Member
Sorry to hear of all the troubles you're having. Sounds to me like you've done so much to correct him and although he is great with you, he clearly has issues with your partner. They do pick favorites but it's not acceptable to become aggressive about it. If his previous owner was a male and was abusive, then maybe this has become a part of who he is now? Can that be changed with training? Hopefully more experienced owners will comment soon. Does he accept the company of other men?

With all your dog experience, I can only imagine how frustrating this must be. I agree with @Gelcoater to get his hearing tested. Maybe something medical could be going on?
 

Magpie6963

Novitiate
Well? That's quite a post to digest, and I haven't had much coffee yet this morning.

First thing that came to my mind (and may well in fact be because the particular dog weighs on my mind here lately) but the description sounds very much like my friends Rottweiler.

Unruly, wouldn't mind, wouldn't follow command, and would at times ignore people and everything.

He wasn't unruly, he ended up being completely deaf.
Have you checked the dogs hearing?

I know, I know, a long shot.
But that's all I got for now until the coffee kicks in.

He is definitely not deaf- as mentioned he is currently training in Agility- unless he can read lips (lol) and knows which obstacle I am telling him to go to :) . We also hike in the woods a lot and when he is out of sight and I call him after a bit he comes running to me.
 

CRDobe

Active Member
I'd be very careful about the board and train option!
You won't know exactly what methods they would use on your dog, despite what they may claim. I'm sure others with more experience with this will chime in.
 

Pudding

Jr Member
If anyone has any input/suggestions etc, it would be so greatly appreciated.
First, no one on this forum can see exactly how your partner behaves around your dog or exactly how the Dobe responds. We can't see the environment either, and there are potentially many other things to factor in. Due to all that, it's hard to offer up advice.

But one thing's for sure; you should keep the Dobe muzzled when at home. Buy a muzzle and put it on. Your other dog, your cat, and your partner will be much more at ease. Then you can work on everything else from there.
 

Cscallan

Notable member
I'd be very careful about the board and train option!
You won't know exactly what methods they would use on your dog, despite what they may claim. I'm sure others with more experience with this will chime in.
This is definitely something to keep in mind, for myself and possibly you if you decide to go this route. With that said being careful is the keyword here. I wouldn’t rule it out as an option. IMO it’s a great option with a reputable trainer and some one you can trust. I would ask a lot of questions and ask to be involved throughout that time period, including your partner as well. From a recent post I understand some people beg to differ, that it’s not ideal. I honestly don’t know at this point but believe it would be a great starting point for our dobe, a foundational obedience that we all can grow from.
 

Doberman Gang

Hot Topics Subscriber
From what I read above it sounds like you are saying you correct the dog when it shows teeth or nips at your partner. This is part of the problem. Your partner must play a role in training and correcting the dog. Also should spend some time alone playing with the dog as well.
It also sounds like you have worsened the problem if you have given in to his barking by giving him attention. If he is acting up in the house he should be put up in his kennel. If he is barking, you have to correct it, or invest in a bark collar or ecollar. Your dog needs to know and accept it place in your home.
As for your other dog and cat, you may have to accept that they will never get along and need time out with you alone. Crate and rotate, I have two males that can never be out together or they will fight it is just something that has to be dealt with.
Do agility is a great bonding for you and him but your partner should take some time doing something even if it is just playing ball or going fir a walk. You can get back control but you both need to take on the leadership role.
 

Oh Little Oji

Formerly Tad
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Welcome. Sorry it's such a tough situation that has us meeting. I know what it's like to have a Dobe cause tension and conflict between partners/spouses.

Wow. You have, frankly, an out of control Dobe despite all the training. Am I understanding correctly, though, that he acts pretty darn good when your partner is not around?

The problematic behaviors you list are things that are just not to be tolerated.

If your Doberman acts possessive of you and is not respecting your partner, I think you may need to establish your role as alpha better. If you take control of the situation and are dominant over your Dobe, he shouldn't take on the dominant role himself.

The fact that he will get in your face and demand attention is telling. Don't allow that. Don't allow him to bark at the door for attention. If he gets in your face and demands attention, immediately give him a command to correctly follow. If he complies, you can give him some calm attention. Then maybe have him do another command for you, and repeat. If he barks at the back door, I have always found it effective to sternly go to them and issue a correction. This seems to send the message that the thing they are barking for is not desirable at the moment. Which brings me to my next thought...

...Has he been trained with positive-only training by any chance? Dogs need a balance of positive and negative – tailored to the individual dog's mental makeup.

The trainers you have employed: Have they worked with you to transfer that training and authority to you? Is your partner working with your Dobe? Every member of the family must establish themselves as above the dog in the pack order, or there will be problems. Your partner working with your Doberman – doing some obedience exercises with him and having your Dobe obey a command like sit and stay before your partner sets down his food and releases him to eat – will help.

One key technique I think is also important is having your Dobe wait at major doorways for permission to pass through. The humans pass through first, then your Dobe receives permission to pass through.

You may be picking up what I'm laying down by now. Yes, love your Doberman and enjoy them, but they really must be put in their place via smart and strategic training.

Wish you the best with this, and please continue to ask questions. :)
 

Kaiser2016

Active Member
Do agility is a great bonding for you and him but your partner should take some time doing something even if it is just playing ball or going fir a walk. You can get back control but you both need to take on the leadership role.
I agree with all of this. What resonates with me personally is the agility training helping to build the bond. I very recently started doing this without my hb because he didn't want any more Doberman time. Fair enough. He's home all day with Kaiser. Yet this was a way for me to get more involved with Kaiser's development as the largely uninvolved owner. My hb shows up for training half the time but he wants to know what was taught during the other times. It does help to have a vested interest in the outcome of the dogs life and well-being. Of course that means we must be happy too. I don't place Kaiser ahead of us. Yet the little boy is busy making sure the mailman isn't out to kill his owner with the delivery of too many bills, and he fiercely defends my garage when I arrive home, just in case I'm the bad guy showing up.
 

WiglWerm

Hot Topics Subscriber
Hmmm...sounds like a bored dobie with excess energy to burn...How much exercise does he get daily? Do you have a flirt pole? I purchased a Bike Tow Leash to take mine for runs...These two things will WEAR OUT your dobie QUICKLY. A tired dobie is a good dobie.
 

MischasMomma

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Hmmm...sounds like a bored dobie with excess energy to burn...How much exercise does he get daily? Do you have a flirt pole? I purchased a Bike Tow Leash to take mine for runs...These two things will WEAR OUT your dobie QUICKLY. A tired dobie is a good dobie.

But keep in mind there can be a fine line of wearing him out, and building endurance... I think it was @Drogon that mentioned that before when "wearing Drogon out"?
 

Max Hawk

Hot Topics Subscriber
With all due respect, I would recommend a "Cesar" like person to assess your issues. My opinions from my comfortable seat here are useless, without personal observations....good luck!
With all due respect, I would recommend a "Cesar" like person to assess your issues. My opinions from my comfortable seat here are useless, without personal observations....good luck!
Well said. ;)
 

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