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Shoes + Female European Doberman Puppy

BayBeachWalks

New Member
Hi All,
This is my first post here—
We brought home a European female Doberman puppy about 4 weeks ago. She is an absolute doll. At first she was sick with puppy issues but once her health came back and she was at full strength we started imposing the rules of the house to help channel her energy and intelligence into constructive things (independent play, boundaries, approved activities, etc.). We are doing this through commands, rewarding (physically and with treats) and with the leash wearing at all times. This has honestly done wonders for us. She is a crazy fast learner and already had pretty great recall on sit, stay and down. She’s still learning off, no, come, etc.

However, I’m frustrated with her selective willful disobedience. I’ve never seen anything like it before in my other dogs (husky, German Shepard). She will take a shoe or slipper, get in trouble immediately, drop it and be forlorn for her mistake. I take her over to her toy bin to redirect her energy and attention, but sometimes she will get up and do it again 2 minutes later. I don’t want to physically punish my Doberman, but I don’t really understand what to do. I know she’s super young still, but I feel like her strong headedness is only going to intensify as she heads into teething and her Doberteen times.
Any help and advice on how to respond/react to selective willful disobedience in our European dobe would be greatly appreciated!
 

Horsehat

New Member
LOL! My 6 month old has an absolute fascination with my shoes. If given the opportunity she will be headed to her bed with one every time. She doesn’t chew them as much as just sticks her nose in them and smells them. The breeder, who raised the pups in their house until 8 weeks warned us that she would do this. Like yours she is very well disciplined in most every other area, house training was a snap, crate training no drama from day 1, stays off the furniture, obedient, wicked smart.
we just limit access to my shoes (only mine seem desirable) and when she gets one take it and swap a toy for it. Hoping she will grow out of it but not going to let it dampen my appreciation for what otherwise is an exemplary pup.
best of luck.
 

BayBeachWalks

New Member
LOL! My 6 month old has an absolute fascination with my shoes. If given the opportunity she will be headed to her bed with one every time. She doesn’t chew them as much as just sticks her nose in them and smells them. The breeder, who raised the pups in their house until 8 weeks warned us that she would do this. Like yours she is very well disciplined in most every other area, house training was a snap, crate training no drama from day 1, stays off the furniture, obedient, wicked smart.
we just limit access to my shoes (only mine seem desirable) and when she gets one take it and swap a toy for it. Hoping she will grow out of it but not going to let it dampen my appreciation for what otherwise is an exemplary pup.
best of luck.
Oh man, really?! I knew I probably wasn't alone in this--Dobes are such adorable pieces of work ❤️ This will make me feel better in the future.
 

Kaiser2016

Active Member
I’ve never seen anything like it before in my other dogs (husky, German Shepard). She will take a shoe or slipper, get in trouble immediately, drop it and be forlorn for her mistake.
I always find it amazing that a Doberman can confound someone with such dog experience. Mine just turned 5 YEARS old and his favorite activity is stealing a slipper as you’re about to put your foot into it :spit: No biting or chewing, just snatching it away and then doing airplane ears and parade laps with it while you stand there on one foot waiting for him to bring it back.

Sounds like you are doing a lot of things right with such a young pup, so if YOU figure it out be sure to let me know :rofl:
 

jazzies mum

Hot Topics Subscriber
However, I’m frustrated with her selective willful disobedience. I’ve never seen anything like it before in my other dogs (husky, German Shepard).
:spit: Sorry to laugh, but it is such a shock when you first come across that Dobe trait. They will look you in the eye and then do something purposefully naughty to get a reaction out of you. It is entertainment for them!

I found that getting frustrated and loud just fed that tendency so be as boring as possible. Just quietly reinforce what you require and THEN give them some excitement. It is excitement they crave and if you provide an outlet you approve of they will be less inclined to find their own fun! Having said that, you will be kept on your toes for that first year or so learning to keep ahead of their clever tactics. They definitely have a sense of humour and you will need to have the same! :)
 

Doberman Gang

Hot Topics Subscriber
Why do you have shoes that are accessible? Put them up so she can’t get to them. Problem seams like a simple fix. Puppies go thru fazes, just eliminate the problem and work on bonding and rules. Corrections will always be part of training to give a clear picture and understanding to your dog. If you choose to not give your dog the understanding of what is allowed and what is not. You will fail your dog and eventually have problems that will require way harsher corrections to fix, they will all be on you for not teaching them when things are easy. Sorry to be harsh but I get so many problem dogs with owners that didn’t want to correct wrong behaviors when their dogs were puppies. Be fair but consistent, be a leader not a mother, and make training fun with you.
 

Ravenbird

$ Forum Donor $
A combination of all the above! Wicked smart & repeating a behavior that got your attention sounds like she is doing it to get your attention, not to defy you. (Although I went through that stage with mine as well) And they will repeat stuff to "make sure" they can predict your behavior. "Let me try that again, just to be sure". :rofl: You're doing everything right, but some of these puppies will bring you to a new level of learning to train. But never fear, it does get better and all your hard work will pay off with the best dog you ever had.
 

BayBeachWalks

New Member
:spit: Sorry to laugh, but it is such a shock when you first come across that Dobe trait. They will look you in the eye and then do something purposefully naughty to get a reaction out of you. It is entertainment for them!

I found that getting frustrated and loud just fed that tendency so be as boring as possible. Just quietly reinforce what you require and THEN give them some excitement. It is excitement they crave and if you provide an outlet you approve of they will be less inclined to find their own fun! Having said that, you will be kept on your toes for that first year or so learning to keep ahead of their clever tactics. They definitely have a sense of humour and you will need to have the same! :)
Okay, that is a brilliant bit of advice and makes so much sense. It’s partly an attention grabbing thing and I was feeding into that just the way she wanted. I just altered my reaction last night by calmly removing the shoe, making eye contact with a quiet “no” and then giving her a toy. Let’s see if we can’t get somewhere with this! But also I feel better knowing it’s not just my Dobe 😂
Thanks!
 

Horsehat

New Member
A combination of all the above! Wicked smart & repeating a behavior that got your attention sounds like she is doing it to get your attention, not to defy you. (Although I went through that stage with mine as well) And they will repeat stuff to "make sure" they can predict your behavior. "Let me try that again, just to be sure". :rofl: You're doing everything right, but some of these puppies will bring you to a new level of learning to train. But never fear, it does get better and all your hard work will pay off with the best dog you ever had.
I believe this is dead on. She has a couple of other behaviors that accomplish the same thing, notably ringing her out bell when having neither the need or desire to go out Just so I will come to where she is. I am concerned she is smarter than me, which means that along with my wife all the females in the house are smarter than me. New not only to Dobermans but a first time dog owner at 65. I have read every book I though was a decent training or behavior tome, watched dozens of hours of YouTube videos and have the assistance of a trainer. So far so good but I wonder what this gal could do in the hands of someone truly good.
 

jazzies mum

Hot Topics Subscriber
I believe this is dead on. She has a couple of other behaviors that accomplish the same thing, notably ringing her out bell when having neither the need or desire to go out Just so I will come to where she is. I am concerned she is smarter than me, which means that along with my wife all the females in the house are smarter than me. New not only to Dobermans but a first time dog owner at 65. I have read every book I though was a decent training or behavior tome, watched dozens of hours of YouTube videos and have the assistance of a trainer. So far so good but I wonder what this gal could do in the hands of someone truly good.
Feeling inadequate is par for the course for that first Dobe, even if you have had plenty of dog experience in the past. That's one of the great things about this forum as there are plenty of us who went through the same trials and doubts. It all comes together in the end and results in the best dog you could ever want, but boy do they make us work for it! :D
 

Horsehat

New Member
A combination of all the above! Wicked smart & repeating a behavior that got your attention sounds like she is doing it to get your attention, not to defy you. (Although I went through that stage with mine as well) And they will repeat stuff to "make sure" they can predict your behavior. "Let me try that again, just to be sure". :rofl: You're doing everything right, but some of these puppies will bring you to a new level of learning to train. But never fear, it does get better and all your hard work will pay off with the best dog you ever had.
The more I thought about this the more sense this made, thank you for your insight. got to thinking about the circumstances where she was most likely to steal shoes and it boiled down to 1. My being present at the time 2. My not being involved in an activity with her at the time. we left for several hours yesterday and left her on a screened porch where she likes to hang out. I left a pair of athletic shoes on the porch that I had recently worn and made careful note of their exact placement. When we returned they were untouched.
 

LunaDobie

Jr Member
Give her time please. She's still a puppy. Ours used to steal mu husband's slippers and my daughter's teddies. My shoes too. She would drop them immediately when spotted. Dobies mature pretty late, at about 2 years or later with male dogs. Luna's gotten much better, she even lies down and waits for us to get dressed to take her out but it took months and months and I wouldn't say it was because of our training, she simply got older.
They are mischievous, not malicious. This is a normal behaviour, take the shoes away from her, tell her no but don't think she did it out of spite. If anything, she finds comfort with the smell of people she loves and who are her family. Also, she needs something to chew on.
 

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