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Training Advise - 5 month old girl

Discussion in 'Training & Behavior' started by Ivory Skye, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. Ivory Skye

    Ivory Skye New Member

    Hi there
    I am new to the site and would love some advise. This is our third Doberman and the most challenging so far. Five months old.

    Can you please offer some advise on the following:
    1. Skye loves to sit on our feet! Any thoughts? Just warming herself? Dominance?
    2. She goes through fazes of eating her food like it's going to be her last meal ever! When she was a tiny pup, I know she used to take her time eating and her litter mates would then finish her meals for her, I'm thinking it will have something to do with that. I have tried feeding her a little at a time. But she still just gobbles 90% of the time. Meat and kibble. Also she is agressive with any treats, very protective of them growling and very tense.
    3. Any tricks for counter surfing? Apart from training household members not to leave anything tempting out! Do I just keep working on "off". Thing is I think she has worked out if she gets on the counter and then gets off I mark "off" and treat so it's like she just keeps doing it to get treats!
    4. She's at that jumping up faze, we have been trying to absolutely ignor it, turn away, or walk into the jump once she's on you. Then mark with "good and off" when all feet on the floor. My mother in law (in her 70s) is "kneeing" her not in a bad way but then yelling at her "off!" My neice also living with us pushes her away. I have asked everyone to do the same thing as us, and just ignor it and it will eventually stop.
    5. She hates us touching her feet and round her hind legs, not ideal as she is going to be a show dog. When she was really little like 8-12 weeks I was able to trim her nails with no problems, nothing bad happened while trimming either but she just doesn't like us touching them now, she nips us and basically will do anything in her power to stop us holding her feet. So we can only trim her nails when she is fully passed out. When she is mellow I try to touch and stroke her everywhere as much as possible. She not very good if we try touch her mouth either. Or any sort of inspections....... Lay on the treats ???
    6. She sleeps in our bed currently, she is getting too big now, any suggestions of getting her into her own bed/soft crate in our bedroom? I have just bought a couple of Kongs I thought this might help? First time Kong user BTW. Her soft crate will be in our bedroom and she will have a " dog hottie bottle" and will wear a jacket. She is not crate trained however and can jump on and off our bed. Not ideal. Do we just zip her in there and ingnor the commotion?
    Looking foward to some great advise! Hope eveything makes sense!

  2. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Just to start things off:

    I read in a old book years ago that Dobermans like to sit on their masters' (and mistresses') feet.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I'd say you are correct regarding her figuring out she gets a treat for getting off the counter.

    I have always made it easy on myself by not even letting counter violations occur from the start. They are not even allowed to sniff at the counter tops. They are not allowed to grab any object off any surface but the floor. At this point, I would just train a "No" command (whatever particular word or noise you choose for the command) and develop her ability to follow that command. Mouse traps could be employed, but be careful about the fear periods a young dog goes through. We used them, placed under pieces of newspaper, to train our two dogs to stop getting up on a particular piece of furniture.
  4. Ivory Skye

    Ivory Skye New Member

    Awesome thanks for advise, mousetrap will be last resort. What do you think is the best way to train a NO, we say it alot but I don't think she quite knows what it fully means.
  5. Ivory Skye

    Ivory Skye New Member

    I too think she just might like it, almost like a security thing while so young. It's super cute.:biggrin:
  6. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Jumping up:

    I am a proponent of the knee to get dogs out of the jumping up habit.

    Stepping on the rear paws can help too.

    Tolerating touching of paws and mouth:

    You have to get on top of this soon. Exposure and more exposure. She is young and little at this point, and her bite is much less dangerous than it will be when bigger. My male, Oji, is terrible about his paws even though I did everything the right way from the start. Some dogs are naturally just terrible about it. I must use a muzzle and ear plugs when trimming his nails, and it is still a stressful wrestling match.

    I would say offering treats when she is behaving acceptably could be helpful. Just don't let her interpret it as she gets treats for being dominant and non-compliant about her paws.

    Sleeping on bed vs. in crate:

    Here again, a clean start makes things much easier. Since she is already sleeping on your bed, it's a bigger challenge. We just do not let the dogs/Doberman on any furniture.

    The wisdom is that one should let the pup cry it out in the crate and not receive the reward of the owner coming to them when they make a racket. This failed on me the night I brought Oji home, as there was no place in the house where his yipping, barking and carrying on could not be heard. My wife and child needed their sleep. I was forced to sleep on the dining room floor with him. Turns out he had separation anxiety, and I don't know how much these first days with us influenced this.\

    I know folks will weigh in tomorrow. You might say I am part of the nighttime skeleton crew around here. :D
  7. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Well, always keeping in mind a dog's maturity, dominance level and personality; Being as consistent as possible, issue a correction the first time they disobey a command (a command they have proved they understand and can follow!) and have the correction be sufficient to make it inconvenient or unpleasant enough for them that they will decide it is easier/better to comply.

    Immediately issue a "Good Girl!" command (or whatever word or sound you choose), and some calm petting or favorite scratching when they exhibit the desired behavior. Trying to end on a success is an important general principle.
  8. Ivory Skye

    Ivory Skye New Member

    Awesome thanks very much that makes perfect sense
  9. Ivory Skye

    Ivory Skye New Member

    Ok cool, I will keep what we are doing with treats cause she is definitely getting better slowly with touching.

    and we will get onto getting her off the bed and in the crate immediately we may just have to put up with some sleepless nights. We knew it was a bad habit to start but she was so timid when we bought her home we couldn't not. Weak I know. Our last girl Jet slept in our bed for about 3 years, the very first night we kicked her out she was fine and stayed in her own bed from then on. Fingers crossed Skye will be the same. I don't like our chances they are polar opposites!
  10. Viemarangelrock

    Viemarangelrock $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    You’ve received some terrific advice from, @Oh Little Oji! Just to add a few of my own...

    We too have discouraged counter surfing from the very beginning.
    I think the best way to deal with it
    is by preventing it in the first place. So put temptations away! Also, dogs in general don’t do well with constant ‘nagging’ make sure your demands are crystal clear.
    A lot of the time they do it for attention :rolleyes: For dogs that crave attention, even negative attention is better than none.

    Have you tried attaching her to a slightly longer line attached to your waist? By tethering her you can give an instant correction for unwanted behaviour.

    You could always try the kitchen foil approach. Crinkley aluminium foil can deter most dogs. Just lay it out on your worktops. In order for a correction to work, the definition is that she needs to associate her action with the unpleasant result. Which means, in relation to counter surfing, that she needs to experience something unpleasant while trying to access the food.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  11. Viemarangelrock

    Viemarangelrock $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    You’re correct. Mixed signals aren’t doing her any favours. It’s just confusing to her. Choose one approach and make sure everyone sticks to it. To deter this unwanted behaviour I prefer to raise the knee to block them. Never turn your back to her, this is a sign of weakness on your part. Be sure to praise her for desirable behaviour.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    You must use your negative reinforcer first to mark wrong behavior. Then follow thru with a correction of some sort. No treats for getting down off the counter. If you say off, then give a treat when your dog gets down you have turn the word off into a positive reinforcer. So if you look at it like the word negative means the dog is less likely to do things in the future and positive means the dog is more likely to do things in the future, then this will help you give a more clear picture of the things you are asking for. I always use the negative reinforcer by saying phooey and positive reinforcer by saying yes or good. This is called marker training, marking bad behavior then follow with a correction, marking good behavior then follow with a reward.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I am a firm believer in a firm, direct correction at time of unwanted behavior. Like kids, if you constantly say don’t do that and don’t follow up with an immediate correction they will continue to do it. It diminishes your authority and you don’t want that with a Doberman.

    If she jumps up on the counter tell her off and when she complies then immediately give the sit command and reward that behavior instead of rewarding the counter surfing off command. That way she won’t think she gets rewarded for counter surfing.

    I live in a loud and animal filled home so I had to get creative with corrections because my life is one of constant motion. Lol

    I bought scat mats and placed them on the counter, unfortunately my fat cat “Tater” experienced the scat mat first. The pups watched in awe at the Kung Fu kitty doing aerial kicks, flips and running speeds never seen before. Bacall learned from Tater’s experience. Sadly Bogie didn’t. He had to experience it for himself and of course Bacall watched and learned. It broke Bogie and Bacall of counter surfing and when placed on the floor it kept them away from areas they were not allowed to be in. The down side is it kept us from those spaces also because we would forget in the middle of the night and step on the mat, giving us a slight jolt to the reality of what our life had become owning and raising 2 Doberman puppies at the same time.

    It takes consistent supervision so the corrections come at the right time in order to be effective.

    Crate training is a must to ensure safety when you are not there to supervise and to teach chill out time. They need their own safe cubby to retreat to. Dogs are a den animal and a crate provides that for them. A week or two of sleepless nights with their whining and barking is worth it in the long run.
    I would try doing massages on your girl after exercise and slowly work your hands around her haunches, hocks and feet getting her accustomed to being handled. I used to use my finger to massage my twins gums when they were teething and it got them used to having their mouth handled as well. Of course over the many months of their teens and into adulthood my hand was always in their mouth removing something they shouldn’t have. :facepalm:
    Sorry for the book but wanted to touch the bases you laid out.:D

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