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In DESPERATE need of advice for Doberteen behavior!

doberdemon

New Member
Hey y’all, this is my first post here, I’ve posted on Reddit and in Dobe FB groups and I just don’t know where else to go! My puppy has developed a very particular and bad habit I need help with.

I have a 9mo male (unfixed until ~18mos?) American/European Dobe named Enzo, and he’s absolutely INCREDIBLE. He’s my first Dobe, he’s difficult as all hell and wonderful all in one. We’re currently dealing with the normal teen things, not listening, interested in anything but Mom, being a butt, etc. We’re working on persevering with basic training and exhausting him daily till we make it through LOL. That’d be fine and dandy if he didn’t have this one habit- he likes to hump, but in a weird situation that I can’t figure out how to solve.
Basically, only in dog parks/public, only to strangers, he will attack/jump from behind and hump relentlessly until I’m forced to leave entirely and go home. He will fixate on 1-3 people (or dogs) and follow to hump them. Kids are his favorite. Even on leash he cannot be around kids bc he WILL knock them down and hump them. I remove him immediately every time, with stern “no”s. He will not listen to commands, time outs and prong corrections are failing. Treats and toys are of no interest to him currently while out of the house, and he’s got to be “in the mood” to train even at home with the highest value treats lol. Playing with dogs and exploring off leash is his FAVORITE thing in the world, the ONLY way I can completely tire and satisfy this butthead, so I really don’t want to just stop going all together (we have for now) but that’s all people tell me to do when I ask for help! Surely there’s something I can do? Anything? 😂😭

So far we’ve exhausted 2 basic obedience trainers, little turd won’t listen to them and they can’t offer me any more help or advice. Off-Leash Canine is one of the only other options for trainers I’ve heard about for the Nashville area but I’ve heard some pretty bad things about them and don’t want to rely solely on e-collars if possible. Idk where to turn y’all, this sucks!!! Will an e-collar help w this strange behavior, does anyone have any other suggestions as far as training methods to stop this, or know of better trainers in the Nashville TN area? I would be INSANELY grateful for any help I can get. 💛

Here’s the rude Baby in question (ear is a WIP)15D7D687-69DC-44A3-90C8-AEC5CB715F2D.jpeg
 

Oh Little Oji

Formerly Tad
Hot Topics Subscriber
$ Forum Donor $
Welcome!

Look at the handsome devil! He's like: My ears are saying maybe I will, maybe I won't. But you can't make me.

Well, I'm just taking a break from a painting project, but at the moment: Have you heard of NILF training?

He sounds like a handful, yes; but I'd say ratchet up the seriousness of his training. You don't have to yell or be overly harsh, but this boy would be in what I call "boot camp." I you handed him over to me to train, I would start with basic heeling work – and not heavy on treat bribing. I'm talking your human mouth is shut and you do about-face turns to start to teach the heel. That's my foundation.

I'd say no being on furniture, he obeys a command precisely for his food and even his water (but make sure he gets enough water daily).

etc etc

He can't handle dog parks right now, it seems. At least, you must be on him like a hawk on a mouse and don't let a humping start. See the signs and intervene. By the way, he might get his butt handed to him by humping the wrong dog.

No offense, but you want to not allow him to be rough with kids and certainly zero humping behavior on them. I'm sure you probably already realize this.
 

Ravenbird

$ Forum Donor $
He will fixate on 1-3 people (or dogs) and follow to hump them. Kids are his favorite. Even on leash he cannot be around kids bc he WILL knock them down and hump them. I remove him immediately every time, with stern “no”s. He will not listen to commands, time outs and prong corrections are failing.
My question is if he is fixating on a person/dog/child and following to hump them, what in the world are you doing on the other end of the leash? What are you "not" doing that he "will not listen to commands"? This behavior will easily get you sued if he hurts a child or pisses off an adult, or as Oji pointed out, picks the wrong dog and results in an out-of-control dog fight. He is doing this 100% because you haven't stopped him. If you can't snatch him into heel position with a prong (fitted correctly very snug under the ears) the instant he even LOOKS at a potential victim then you need to move to an e-collar. There is absolutely no excuse that he's gotten away with this multiple times.

Many of us here have had some pretty hard puppies with attitudes like Enzo, so don't feel alone! These dogs need a really firm hand to get them past their 2nd birthday. Don't feel bad, if he didn't have that attitude he'd still have the nice click & treat basic trainers instead of an e-collar. Use whatever it takes, but don't let him get away with it.

And just an aside, neutering won't change this, some of the worst humping dogs were neutered before puberty.

Welcome to the forum, we do try to help people when they ask for advice. I'm kind of a crotchety old biddy with my words some days. Don't let me scare you off! :D
 

Firestar Dobe

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I agree with all of the above answers. I also think this may be more of a "I want to be dominate" issue. You need to be very firm and correct any unwanted behavior asap. You need to be the alpha, and constant training is a must. Reward the good behavior, but use firm correction quickly for the bad. Hang in there, you got this!
 

doberdemon

New Member
Welcome!

Look at the handsome devil! He's like: My ears are saying maybe I will, maybe I won't. But you can't make me.

Well, I'm just taking a break from a painting project, but at the moment: Have you heard of NILF training?

He sounds like a handful, yes; but I'd say ratchet up the seriousness of his training. You don't have to yell or be overly harsh, but this boy would be in what I call "boot camp." I you handed him over to me to train, I would start with basic heeling work – and not heavy on treat bribing. I'm talking your human mouth is shut and you do about-face turns to start to teach the heel. That's my foundation.

I'd say no being on furniture, he obeys a command precisely for his food and even his water (but make sure he gets enough water daily).

etc etc

He can't handle dog parks right now, it seems. At least, you must be on him like a hawk on a mouse and don't let a humping start. See the signs and intervene. By the way, he might get his butt handed to him by humping the wrong dog.

No offense, but you want to not allow him to be rough with kids and certainly zero humping behavior on them. I'm sure you probably already realize this.
I have indeed heard of NILIF, and I try my best to do it but have yet to get my family on board so he’s gotten away with more than he should. Not an excuse, I know I need to get a handle on them and him, and I will do better to do so now that he’s really acting out! I’d love to learn more of the way you mention teaching heeling and your training method. We’re reaching out to a dog trainer this weekend as I truly don’t know how to make him listen to me sometimes 😭 I do always make him do something for food, water, treats and toys but as of right now it doesn’t help his overall listening if what he wants is Crimes and attention, still figuring out what to do in those cases!

And I agree, he can’t be at parks right now because I won’t allow this to continue and be reinforced! It just sucks since he does play well and enjoy other dogs, so I’d love to find a solution to this behavior! The last couple times we were on leash at the park I was able to keep him from mounting dogs, but when people walked too close to me he’d still try. I’ve yet to properly learn to “correct” with a prong so clearly I need to look into that now too! Also yes, dont want him to be attacked or have another dog be harassed by him, neither are good. I do not allow him near kids under any circumstance, I know he can hurt them and that will not be an option, don’t worry!

Thank you for your reply, hopefully with this new trainer and all the advice I’m getting, we’ll get him under control! ☺️
 

doberdemon

New Member
My question is if he is fixating on a person/dog/child and following to hump them, what in the world are you doing on the other end of the leash? What are you "not" doing that he "will not listen to commands"? This behavior will easily get you sued if he hurts a child or pisses off an adult, or as Oji pointed out, picks the wrong dog and results in an out-of-control dog fight. He is doing this 100% because you haven't stopped him. If you can't snatch him into heel position with a prong (fitted correctly very snug under the ears) the instant he even LOOKS at a potential victim then you need to move to an e-collar. There is absolutely no excuse that he's gotten away with this multiple times.

Many of us here have had some pretty hard puppies with attitudes like Enzo, so don't feel alone! These dogs need a really firm hand to get them past their 2nd birthday. Don't feel bad, if he didn't have that attitude he'd still have the nice click & treat basic trainers instead of an e-collar. Use whatever it takes, but don't let him get away with it.

And just an aside, neutering won't change this, some of the worst humping dogs were neutered before puberty.

Welcome to the forum, we do try to help people when they ask for advice. I'm kind of a crotchety old biddy with my words some days. Don't let me scare you off! :D
I have clearly not been doing the right things at all, haha. 😬 Starting from the top, so when this began, he was off leash and it was originally just an occasional excited dog humping issue. I was with him to supervise, when he engaged I would immediately remove, leash and bring him for a timeout outside the fenced area. I’d wait as long as it took for him to stop crying and focus on me to sit before we’d go back in. I thought we could try time outs as a training tool but apparently he’s tougher than that! I’m not sure what I’m NOT doing, hence why I’m here tbh! We have a prong but I have not learned to use it correctly (was given to me by a trainer and poorly explained to me so I haven’t used it much yet) and will be learning to do so this weekend as I agree to use any tools necessary to stop this! And no, he absolutely will not go into even a sit or look at me if I remove him and try to redirect with toys or treats and tbh I’m extremely inexperienced and ignorant as to HOW to make him listen when people tell me to “not allow” something, so I have just been avoiding going lately since he can’t continue doing this and I didn’t know how to fix it! You’re totally right, there’s no excuse so I’m here and talking with a new more experienced trainer this weekend to solve it NOW. He’s not allowed around children at all, hasn’t been in a minute, so no worries there! The trainer I’ve found has experience w Dobes and does use e-collars, so if after I learn how to use a prong, that will be within our tools to work with soon! Want to learn how to use things correctly so they’re effective :)

And thank you for the encouragement, people said Dobes were hard but my GOD I could never have fathomed how challenging he would be! He’s incredible, but has his moments. He’s insanely sweet, very attentive in the home, and does listen to all his basic commands, we just haven’t been able to successfully move that outside our yard and it’s not COMPLETELY foolproof home either. But I will persevere, learn and we’ll get through it! 😂

Tbh I appreciate your approach in replies, it’s honest, blunt and you understand this can become dangerous were he to be allowed to continue this. I agree with you entirely, so I’m here and learning how to get this under control the right ways! Thank you again, I’m grateful for your advice and reply!!! 💛
 

jazzies mum

Hot Topics Subscriber
First of all, Welcome to DCF and Enzo has a really sweet face in the pic. They can be so angelic when they want to!

I have a Dobe mix girl who thinks she is all Dobe! A real handfull when she was a youngster. From what others have said males can be even more hard headed! I had issues with getting attention and obedience in that first year and it was a sharp learning curve for me. One thing I found helped above all others was to find what REALLY rocked her boat. Playing some exciting games, and being more interesting than anything else. Not so easy but once you have found that you will have your dogs undivided attention if he thinks there is a chance you will play HIS FAVOURITE GAME! It was chuckit for us and a walk while carrying the ball made it really easy to regain attention. Also I think correct use of the e collar at this stage would help a lot as you can give him a "tap" at the precise moment he is thinking about going humping! Timing is most important.

The other thing you mentioned is a lot of off leash free running and this is something that I also did, and it actually makes things more difficult in the early stages. They learn they can choose to listen to you............or not! Don't despair. With patience, and a cool calm head you will win and then you will have such a wonderful companion you can take anywhere, anytime!
 

Ravenbird

$ Forum Donor $
@doberdemon your replies show that you are truly committed to making things right and I'm so glad to see that. You can do it. Everyone here is on board with you. Some Dobes are tougher than others, some will absolutely put you through the wringer, but if you can tough it out and stay on top and find some sources of trainers that understand what your dealing with, you will have the best dog ever. I think everyone who has replied so far has been in your shoes and now they wouldn't trade their dog for anything. I'm one that was totally blindsided by how much dog I got. She's taught me more than words can say & she's only 18 months old. Keep posting and let us know how training comes along and keep adding questions.
 

LifeofRubie

Active Member
Don't give him the opportunity to hump anything. Being off leash is 'his favorite thing,' perhaps, but he hasn't earned the right.

Also, if the prong correction isn't working then either your prong is fitted incorrectly and/or you're not timing your correction right.

Use the smallest prong you can, probably the 2.25mm since he's still young, and it should be up high on his neck. This is a challenge with Dobes because they're fur is smooth and they have swan necks. I think I saw @Rits posted a great pictures of correct prong wearing on her girls a few days ago.

Do not use a retractable leash (you didn't say you did but just want to make sure!). For our normal walks, we have 5ft leather leashes. For crowded areas, my Dobe is an a traffic leash (12" or shorter). Something short where he is by your side.

A prong correction is a quick snap with a firm NO. If he's fixated on something, don't just keep yelling NO and snapping, turn around and walk in the opposite direction and get him under control.

Very high overview and there are a lot of great resources out there on correct and effective training with a prong. If you aren't quite sure what you're doing, do some research first.

ALSO you NEED to get your WHOLE family on board with what is and is not allowed. Once he get's bigger, many 'cute' bad puppy behaviors will NOT be cute anymore and much more difficult to break.
 

strykerdobe

Hot Topics Subscriber
Your Dobe is still in puppy mode and will be for awhile.

A trainer long long time ago said to us. Once your train a Doberman you can train any dog!

Yes on everyone in the family must be on board and consistent with training (using the same words), feeding and anything else.

Train in a place with no distractions! Treats and Treat rewards! Always end on when they do something correctly. Some use a clicker in training. When they do something correctly you click it and treat within a second or two. We use the word YES instead of the clicker (because I would always forget to bring it :facepalm:) then treat.

E-Collars are good BUT MUST BE TAUGHT AND USED CORRECTLY!

Prong collars must be fitted properly fitted and snug and not sliding down their neck. I also use thin choker or the dominant dog collar as a back up to the prong, just in case the prong comes apart.

1616421844135.png




 
Last edited:

doberdemon

New Member
First of all, Welcome to DCF and Enzo has a really sweet face in the pic. They can be so angelic when they want to!

I have a Dobe mix girl who thinks she is all Dobe! A real handfull when she was a youngster. From what others have said males can be even more hard headed! I had issues with getting attention and obedience in that first year and it was a sharp learning curve for me. One thing I found helped above all others was to find what REALLY rocked her boat. Playing some exciting games, and being more interesting than anything else. Not so easy but once you have found that you will have your dogs undivided attention if he thinks there is a chance you will play HIS FAVOURITE GAME! It was chuckit for us and a walk while carrying the ball made it really easy to regain attention. Also I think correct use of the e collar at this stage would help a lot as you can give him a "tap" at the precise moment he is thinking about going humping! Timing is most important.

The other thing you mentioned is a lot of off leash free running and this is something that I also did, and it actually makes things more difficult in the early stages. They learn they can choose to listen to you............or not! Don't despair. With patience, and a cool calm head you will win and then you will have such a wonderful companion you can take anywhere, anytime!
Haha doesn’t he? Thank you! I can’t take him ANYWHERE without constantly being stopped or hollered at by people complimenting how pretty he is, not to brag, but I think he’s pretty dang cute! 😂 It’s very sweet (I think he knows and enjoys it too much though!!)

Thank you for sharing it’s not just me, they can be hard to keep the attention of if you’re not a good trainer 😂😭 We haven’t found the thing he loves above all else yet, unfortunately, but I’ll continue to try and discover it! I know it’ll be a huge advantage to have something he’s crazy for :)

I very much appreciate the reassurance!! 💛
 

doberdemon

New Member
@doberdemon your replies show that you are truly committed to making things right and I'm so glad to see that. You can do it. Everyone here is on board with you. Some Dobes are tougher than others, some will absolutely put you through the wringer, but if you can tough it out and stay on top and find some sources of trainers that understand what your dealing with, you will have the best dog ever. I think everyone who has replied so far has been in your shoes and now they wouldn't trade their dog for anything. I'm one that was totally blindsided by how much dog I got. She's taught me more than words can say & she's only 18 months old. Keep posting and let us know how training comes along and keep adding questions.
100%, doing right by him is my #1 priority, and doing it correctly too! Thank you so much for the encouragement, it’s much needed when I feel so frustrated with training 😂😭 Trust me, as much as he is stressful sometimes, I already don’t want to imagine not having him, he’s the love of my life truly!!!
 

doberdemon

New Member
Your Dobe is still in puppy mode and will be for awhile.

A trainer long long time ago said to us. Once your train a Doberman you can train any dog!

Yes on everyone in the family must be on board and consistent with training (using the same words), feeding and anything else.

Train in a place with no distractions! Treats and Treat rewards! Always end on when they do something correctly. Some use a clicker in training. When they do something correctly you click it and treat within a second or two. We use the word YES instead of the clicker (because I would always forget to bring it :facepalm:) then treat.

E-Collars are good BUT MUST BE TAUGHT AND USED CORRECTLY!

Prong collars must be fitted properly fitted and snug and not sliding down their neck. I also use thin choker or the dominant dog collar as a back up to the prong, just in case the prong comes apart.

View attachment 117151




Unfortunately we’re learning that! 😩
Tbh the biggest struggle for me I think will not be training him, but my family to get on board and stop undoing my work LOL! Currently I’ve discovered that we’ve used treats so much that they’re no longer valuable to him. Parents like to constantly just give him high value treats for no reason (which I’ve now put a stop to) so even those won’t sway him! I’m working on reversing this now and other positive reinforcement methods to get us back on track :) He’s taught both by marker and clicker training thankfully, cause I forget my clicker too LOL!

Also thank you SO much for the links, if I am to use any tools in future with him I want to make sure I’m 100% using them correctly, I know Dobes are sensitive and the last thing I want is to cause damage and distress! I appreciate your comment and advice!! ☺️
 

doberdemon

New Member
Don't give him the opportunity to hump anything. Being off leash is 'his favorite thing,' perhaps, but he hasn't earned the right.

Also, if the prong correction isn't working then either your prong is fitted incorrectly and/or you're not timing your correction right.

Use the smallest prong you can, probably the 2.25mm since he's still young, and it should be up high on his neck. This is a challenge with Dobes because they're fur is smooth and they have swan necks. I think I saw @Rits posted a great pictures of correct prong wearing on her girls a few days ago.

Do not use a retractable leash (you didn't say you did but just want to make sure!). For our normal walks, we have 5ft leather leashes. For crowded areas, my Dobe is an a traffic leash (12" or shorter). Something short where he is by your side.

A prong correction is a quick snap with a firm NO. If he's fixated on something, don't just keep yelling NO and snapping, turn around and walk in the opposite direction and get him under control.

Very high overview and there are a lot of great resources out there on correct and effective training with a prong. If you aren't quite sure what you're doing, do some research first.

ALSO you NEED to get your WHOLE family on board with what is and is not allowed. Once he get's bigger, many 'cute' bad puppy behaviors will NOT be cute anymore and much more difficult to break.
Don’t worry, he’s not had an opportunity in a while thankfully! I don’t want him reinforcing this obnoxious behavior while I figure out how to prevent it! And yes, he definitely has lost any privilege of being trusted off leash! We’re working with a long lead to give him freedom while also perfecting his training so one day I can allow him to enjoy the off leash life when it’s possible!

Thank you for the additional advice on prongs, indeed my issue has been the constant sliding back (not fitted correctly) and bad timing on my part so I’ve been looking up plenty of resources to make sure I’ve got it down before continuing to use it!

I am indeed working on the family, tbh they’re harder to train than the puppy! 😫 Luckily worst case scenario I’ll be with them for only a couple more months, but all the same they shouldn’t be undoing my work I agree! They’re already learning the hard way they hate the behaviors he’s learned as a result, so hopefully that’ll be a motivator lol!

Thank you for the response and advice, it’s much needed and appreciated!!
 

strykerdobe

Hot Topics Subscriber
Unfortunately we’re learning that! 😩
Tbh the biggest struggle for me I think will not be training him, but my family to get on board and stop undoing my work LOL! Currently I’ve discovered that we’ve used treats so much that they’re no longer valuable to him. Parents like to constantly just give him high value treats for no reason (which I’ve now put a stop to) so even those won’t sway him! I’m working on reversing this now and other positive reinforcement methods to get us back on track :) He’s taught both by marker and clicker training thankfully, cause I forget my clicker too LOL!

Also thank you SO much for the links, if I am to use any tools in future with him I want to make sure I’m 100% using them correctly, I know Dobes are sensitive and the last thing I want is to cause damage and distress! I appreciate your comment and advice!! ☺️

You can always switch from treats to a ball as a reward. I would get one with a rope on it. Similar to these on Schutzhund sites. They can take more abuse!

 

Two Dobes

Hot Topics Subscriber
Hey, just found this thread, and wondering how Enzo is doing? Not sure if he ended up on another page or thread? Still don't know how to navigate here :p :thumbsdown: If Dobermdemon is still around, would love to hear your progress!
 

doberdemon

New Member
Hey, just found this thread, and wondering how Enzo is doing? Not sure if he ended up on another page or thread? Still don't know how to navigate here :p :thumbsdown: If Dobermdemon is still around, would love to hear your progress!
Still here! Enzo is…improving yet still challenging. We cut down the humping behavior immensely by training calm, and making sure he’s underthreshold and not overstimulated! He’s come so far with that and we never have slip ups as it’s well managed! ☺️ He does however still have a selective hearing problem, and has regressed in training/listening due to low motivation/drive, and it’s an ongoing process. May or may not get a trainer on board for it soon, I’m at my wits end with the not listening and not willing to even engage in training! 😂😭 I was and am still not comfortable using aversive tools as he’s sensitive as most Dobes are, and I’m not properly trained to use them anyway, so that method is off the table for now. He’s a huge WIP but we’re getting through it!
 

Ravenbird

$ Forum Donor $
He does however still have a selective hearing problem, and has regressed in training/listening due to low motivation/drive, and it’s an ongoing process.
My pet name for the e-collar is the "hearing aids".

I was and am still not comfortable using aversive tools as he’s sensitive as most Dobes are, and I’m not properly trained to use them anyway, so that method is off the table for now.
These tools don't make you dog weaker or afraid of you or to piss themselves or anything you may have heard. They simply make the dog understand that you mean what you say and you are to be respected. My dog is hard as nails but also very sensitive. She can handle it and never holds a grudge. It's more like, "OH, alrighty then! I thought it wasn't a big deal what I was doing." Mine will be 2 years old in a couple of months, I use it less and less as time goes by, but always on when I know she will be tempted to become deaf. Find a good understanding instructor, the e-collar needs to be understood by you before you use it on your dog. Keep on with your good work!
 

Oh Little Oji

Formerly Tad
Hot Topics Subscriber
$ Forum Donor $
Still here! Enzo is…improving yet still challenging. We cut down the humping behavior immensely by training calm, and making sure he’s underthreshold and not overstimulated! He’s come so far with that and we never have slip ups as it’s well managed! ☺️ He does however still have a selective hearing problem, and has regressed in training/listening due to low motivation/drive, and it’s an ongoing process. May or may not get a trainer on board for it soon, I’m at my wits end with the not listening and not willing to even engage in training! 😂😭 I was and am still not comfortable using aversive tools as he’s sensitive as most Dobes are, and I’m not properly trained to use them anyway, so that method is off the table for now. He’s a huge WIP but we’re getting through it!
Thanks for the update! You are really on this, and that's good. What is WIP? Oh wait, Work In Progress?
 

Two Dobes

Hot Topics Subscriber
Thanks for the update....I understand some dobes are "softer", but I will tell you; they also play on your emotions. I have a friend who will not trim her boys nails cause if you touch his foot with clippers in your hand, he cries out like you are going to cut his foot off. So he has learned that all he needs to do is "cry out" and she won't cut his nails. Until "Mean Mommie" me comes over...I back him into the wall, have lots of cheese, and trim just the tips one at a time. I am working to get them back for her (Going to take awhile) but I can't have my friend in the room when I do it. He completely feeds off of her.
So just keep that in mind....they will outsmart you in a minute to get you to go along with their ideas....ideas of not working, not listening, not wanting their feet touched....:eek:;):p
 

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