Timid or shy Doberman puppy

Ssgdball

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So I just got my first Doberman puppy. He’s half euro half American and 100 percent awesome. But he is timid around new people. He warms up a little bit you can tell he has trust issues. He’s 11 weeks old and I only had him a week. I only ever raised labradors and all my pups were excited to see strangers. This is the first pup I seen like this and I wondered if it’s normal for a dobie pup and maybe they grow out of it. He is also the smartest dog I ever had because he learned how to sit and shake up in about 10 minutes. He is rather bonded with me now so I’m taking him everywhere. So do you think this is normal behavior for an 11 week old? And what’s the cure for a timid pup to become more confident? I met with the breeders in their home and there is no way he was ever abused. Thanks let me know
 

Rits

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He very well could be going through a fear period and forcing him to directly meet strangers could make things worse.

One thing I learned with my girl is there is such a thing as over socializing. You do not need people to directly interact with your pup for them to be socialized. Actually, you can over do this where they learn that people and dogs = great things and then they seek that attention.

Try taking him places and have people ignore him and let him exist in the same space as strangers. Reward him for attention on YOU and play with him. He will learn strangers are no big deal and learn to focus on you in all scenarios. This is proper socializing! Then when you and he are ready, after lots of training ignoring neutral strangers, he can occasionally be greeted by one select stranger when given the word to.
 

Ssgdball

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Well I haven't forced him to meet anyone. Alot of people come up an ask to pet him and he is fine if I am holding him. It is when I am not holding him. He had an ear infection and i had to carry him when we got into Petsmart because he smelled all the animals and put the brakes on. I am just wondering if its normal for a dobie to be shy because I was always told its not normal and could be dangerous. But thank you for the advice I will keep him close in public. He doesn't seem to be afraid of children though so we will start when I take my kiddos to the park.
 

Oh Little Oji

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It is definitely possible to get a timid/shy Doberman pup. Just gotta do all you can to build his confidence as he grows up. He will be fine!
 

Ddski5

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I had three Labs growing up. The difference I see vs Dobermans is that Labs are more social to public and Dobermans are significantly more velcro to their owner.

A 11 week old pup is a pretty young pup, learning new environments, smells, situations, etc…. give him time to soak it all in and adjust. I have also learned here to becareful of trying to facilitate a behavior so much that you overlook not over indulging it. He may turn soo much into a social bug that he pays more attention to everyone else and not enough on you. You should be his primary focus and source of attention. (Kinda what @Rits is saying).

I would just let it ride and let him be a happy go lucky puppy. Shower him with fun and praise so when he looks at you, he knows and feels that you are his world. I would take him everywhere to see and feel new sights/environments.

I think he is a little too young for the confidence training I have in mind but I will embellish some:
1. Train at soccer fields- lots of noise and distractions- unexpected movements occurring everywhere
2. Walk and climb on patio tables
3. Walk and climb on bleachers
4. Learn commands to go up onto patio tables/bleachers
5. Different textures to walk on: grass, gravel, leaves in woods, sand, smooth metal bleachers, etc…

One can most definitely build confidence in your pup, just have to put the time and energy into it.
 

Ddski5

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Addition:
Becareful when trying to desensitize him in a fear situation….you don’t want to throw him into a fear situation but at the same time don’t coddle or show sympathy to him when he shows fear. Just move on from the situation with the actions of- no big thing here to worry about let’s move along.

There are different ways of handling fear or an unsure situation… just don’t coddle or baby him.
 

Doberman Gang

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I wouldn’t be taking an 11 week old puppy anywhere until all of its shots were up to date. Also your puppy has only been with you for a week. He hasn’t had time truly acclimate to his new home or routine with you, let alone start being pushed into meeting strangers. Start training at home and build a bond with your dog. Socializing isn’t meeting strangers it is being ok when strangers and other dogs are around. Wanting your dog to be happy to see a stranger will only create more problems as the dog gets older.
 

Ssgdball

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Well I just can't leave him at home alone when my wife is not home so he is coming with me. Most of it is not in public but like riding in the car with me to various places, school drop off, mail pickup, grocery pick up, we walk around the park my kids play in etc. Yesterday during a neighborhood cleanup he did very well. And he finally started barking so he must be much more comfortable and it was just new home jitters but thank you for the advice we actually are going to soccer fields and walking around the kids park where people are sparse it has seemed to help. We are becoming quite attached.
 

Ddski5

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The others do have a very emergent point about him having all his shots before going out into the world.

Parvo- There have been a number of pups on here that have died from this. I know a breeder that lost her entire litter. Parvo is no joke and a pup can get it by simply walking on grass or concrete.

It is also very expensive and a long-standing recovery if at the vet.

It would be very wise not to expose your pup to outside elements until he has his last round of shots.
 

Jackiegarcia1

New Member
Hi ! Im new to owning a Doberman as well. My puppy is now 10 months old and he’s a Euro/American dobie! What ur experiencing in my opinion is completely normal that’s how my puppy was as well especially his first days home. I knew it was very important to socialize him, and I tried my best from the start but only at his pace! You want to make sure to not over do it to the point he will get scared, but make sure that u make ur puppy curious so he will want to explore more on his own…make it fun for him. I started first with brining people over to the house. And other days I would also play sounds on the TV that were about cars, people chatting, birds, babies crying etc. Whenever I noticed he was unsure of something but would still try to sniff around it or go towards it I would reward him for being curious to show positive reinforcement for trying! I could tell that grew his confidence. And once he was ready to go to the outside world I put him in puppy training right away! This helped my puppy a lot and he would get excited when he got to class because of all the other puppies! I also would take him to the park and just sit with him so he can take everything in and get used to all the people walking and the noise ! Hope it helps you and ur puppy
 

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