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Very aggressive doberman on my hands and it's time I accept that I have a big problem. Please help.


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He is 8 months. He is in the prime age to be going through a fear period, but if this has been going on for a while it is doubtful that is the cause unless he was subjected to something that affected him emotionally during his fear period but that doesn't sound likely. It technically still could be due to fear period though.

You need to contact your breeder about his behavior. She knows the tempermeant of her line better than anyone. The breeder should always be your first line of communication and help. More than likely she will suggest a vet appointment for bloodwork as that is in his best interest. A sudden behavior change like this is not normal at this age and you need to rule out health abnormalities first and foremost.

You need to seek out the opinion of a professional animal behaviorist. A trainer will not be able to help you in this area. Someone provided a link above to help you in your search, but since you go to MU, I would ask someone at their veterinary college for a recommendation. Dr Wayne Hunthousen is the veterinary behaviorist in the KC area (I live in a KC suburb). Not sure if he is still practicing however. I used a behaviorist for Archer's noise phobias and I would strongly recommend her to you, but not sure if she comes out your way or not.

Please do not do anything to intervene until you have the help of a professional. You are not experienced in this area and doing the wrong thing can make matters worse. This is in no way normal behavior for a dog of any age, but especially one this young. He does not respect you or see you as leader. A dog that does would never put his mouth on you.


Hi everyone....I'm sure some of you have seen me post on this website before, just not in this specific category/forum. I think it's time I come clean and admit that I have a huge growing problem on my hands. Many have seen pictures of my doberman Apollo as a cute, mischievious puppy. Typical, right? Well no. I have been in denial about the bad parts of him and I think it's time I reach out for all the help I can get even if I am ashamed and embarrassed that my dog is hell on earth. Here we go. Apollo is turning 8 months old tomorrow. He came from a reputable breeder and I got him when he was a 3 month old pup. I socialized him, A LOT. I always took him to petstores, parks, I live in an apartment complex so he always saw people walking in and out of the building, and he was also enrolled in puppy training class for socialization and basic obedience. He never had any issues with other dogs when he was younger but when he was younger, he did show a little bit of signs of aggression towards "certain" people. It was weird but he would see some people walk by and be fine but then other times, he will bark and growl at certain people even as a 3-4 month old pup. Fast forward to when he hit 6 months, I assume part of it is his hormones kicking in but he has become a pretty aggressive dog at this point. At 6 months, he started viciously growling and barking at all dogs for no reason at all, he grew to hate all other dogs. I thought this was a lack of socialization so I took him to petstores more often..except it slowly progressed more and more. Now at 8 months, he can't be near any dogs at all and has grown aggressive towards most people too, especially children. When he sees them, he starts lunging at them at full force while foaming at the mouth viciously trying to bite them while snarling and growling. I already got kicked out of one petstore because he scared everyone at the store. This morning, I was outside waiting for him to pee and poo and a girl from my apartment complex walks outside with her dog and he lunges at them growling and trying to free himself from the leash to bite them. I went to grab the scruff of the neck to throw him down to yell "NO" at him like I usually do but this time and turned around and tried to bite me! I was so caught off guard! He turned and next thing I knew, my arm was in his mouth. He did not apply any pressure or bite down but he did snarl and growl at me from trying to restrain him and that was him "threatening" me for doing so. This dog is out of control. I dragged his ass home right away and as soon as we got back, I pinned him on his back, got on top of him and tried to assert my dominance while holding his mouth closed. As soon as he stopped squirming, I got up and the moment I got up, he jumped up and ran off playfully as if he was saying "ha ha, you can't catch me now!" as if he wasn't even afraid at all! I grabbed him by the scruff and threw him in his kennel. I don't know where I went wrong. I socialized him as well as took him to training. Why did he become this way? Now I can't even take him outside to pee without putting a muzzle on him! He is only just turning 8 months old!! Nothing bad has happened to him as a puppy that would mess with him. I know one main issue is him not seeing me as a leader but I have been doing everything I can to assert my dominance such as:
-I make him work for every treat, meal, and toy
-I leave the room and walk out every door before he gets to
-I make him sit and stay before leaving a room
-I make him sit and stay before he gets to eat his food
-I put him on his back everyday (vulnerable position) and he can't get up until I tell him to
-He is not able to sleep on my bed

What am I missing? Please help. I can't believe he can't be around any dogs or other people now and when I try to grab him when he lunges towards people trying to bite them, he turns around to bite me.
Hello! Apollo's dobermom. I saw your old post about the 8 months doberman issues and I want to ask you if you solve that problems and how did you do it? My dobie has the same behaviour, except the the fact that she is not aggrsive with other dogs, only with childrens or strangers.