Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Is my Dobermann too over the top??

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Sarah Cain9 Dog Grooming, May 1, 2017.


  1. Sarah Cain9 Dog Grooming

    Sarah Cain9 Dog Grooming PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    156
    So my neighbour was in the garden with his girlfriend chasing her around, he runs at the fence towards us and goes "arghhh" whilst Dantè and I are walking past and Dantè just flies at the fence hackles up, teeth on show??!! As soon as I told Dantè it was OK we then went to the fence and he allowed my neighbour to stroke him! Thank you for reading.
     
  2. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2016
    Messages:
    5,993
    Likes Received:
    18,588
    Sounds like it just frightened him. If someone did that to me I would probably react defensively too!
     
    Wiz201, Burrowzig, Lurcherlad and 3 others like this.
  3. Sarah Cain9 Dog Grooming

    Sarah Cain9 Dog Grooming PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    156
    Yes thank you I agree I jumped myself and I think Dantè picked up on that and reacted. As soon as I comforted him he was fine X
     
  4. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    You have a doberman...
    How would you have expected him to react?
     
  5. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2016
    Messages:
    5,993
    Likes Received:
    18,588
    My girl's hackles went up and she got all defensive when she saw a person in an animal costume (the kind that you see at fetes and carnivals). She hates anybody in a mask as it really frightens her.
     
  6. Sarah Cain9 Dog Grooming

    Sarah Cain9 Dog Grooming PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    156
    I understand I have a dobermann yes however I was expecting a bark and a growl but not the reaction he gave X
     
  7. havoc

    havoc PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    12,999
    Likes Received:
    10,043
    I'm right with her there. Masks freak me out so I couldn't ever blame a dog for not liking them.
     
  8. Dogloverlou

    Dogloverlou PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    Messages:
    10,411
    Likes Received:
    13,492
    I'd say it sounds like a pretty typical response to being startled so suddenly and unexpectedly.
     
    Wiz201, Burrowzig, Lurcherlad and 2 others like this.
  9. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    I think instead of asking if his reaction was warranted or not, you need to be asking yourself what you want from him, and then make that very clear to him.
    You have a breed that was bred to not back down from a threat. It is in his genetic make-up to default to defense in the face of something threatening.

    It is also in his genetic make-up to defer to you, his handler. Dobermans are also very handler oriented dogs. But in absence of any direction from you, yes, his default behavior is going to be exactly the OTT reaction you got. It is not at all unusual for the breed.

    That it is not unusual does not mean it is acceptable. You have to decide what you want his reaction to be, and then specifically train for that. Otherwise he is going to continue making unilateral decisions about how things need to be handled and that's not necessarily a good thing.
     
  10. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    14,432
    Likes Received:
    21,702
    I think you need to decide whether his reaction was too much. If it isn't what you want, then you need to train and direct him.

    It should not be his decision.

    He did what he is bred to do but, in the absence of control or direction, he didn't know where to stop.
     
  11. Sarah Cain9 Dog Grooming

    Sarah Cain9 Dog Grooming PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    156
    Thank you for your replies. I told him it's alright which maybe I should not have done but he stopped straight away and then we went over to the fence and he reverted back to normal saying hello to our neighbour x
     
  12. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    24,009
    Likes Received:
    35,632
    I agree it wasn't necessarily OTT for his breed and he stopped at posturing, came away when told and switched quickly to chilled, friendly mode.

    However, I might be inclined to think about tweaking the fencing to ensure he cannot reach over or through to next door. I don't want to be on high alert in my own garden just in case a neighbour mucks about in theirs so it would be a sensible precaution for me.

    It might also be good to sharpen his looking to you for direction first perhaps, for his benefit?

    Seeing it purely from his point of view he was doing his job, if possibly a little over zealous for most people ;)
     
  13. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    17,912
    Likes Received:
    11,499
    I'd expect the majority dogs to act as yours did under those circumstances, not just Dobermans.
     
  14. Sarah1983

    Sarah1983 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Messages:
    15,301
    Likes Received:
    7,118
    My Lab would most likely react the same way to someone startling him like that. Hell, I'd probably react that way too!
     
  15. Wiz201

    Wiz201 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,421
    Likes Received:
    867
    I think my retriever would have reacted in a similar way tbh
     
  16. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    All the more reason a doberman owner should not be surprised at their dog's reaction.

    I'm just going to take a moment to point out here that both temperament tests and therapy dog tests include an exercise where the dog is deliberately startled with a loud noise and/or movement from a stranger. It can range from a person jumping out and opening an umbrella to dropping a pair of metal crutches or banging a set of metal bowls near the dog.

    A dog who responds in defense and/or aggression will not pass. Yes, even a dog bred to defend. It's also not acceptable for the dog to show fear either. (A startle that the dog quickly recovers from is fine.) But for a dog to immediately go in to defense without assessing the situation or defering to the handler is not okay.
    An acceptable response would be curiosity even guarding posture, as in getting ready to do something if needed.
    So it's not unreasonable to teach your dog to defer to you and have a more measured response.
     
    Magyarmum, Lurcherlad and Sarah1983 like this.
  17. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2016
    Messages:
    5,993
    Likes Received:
    18,588
    My cat responds in a similar way when startled!
     
  18. Leanne77

    Leanne77 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    6,640
    Likes Received:
    2,596
    I recall one night I was walking my dogs on lead through a green area in the middle of an estate. There were some youths who hadnt seen me approaching behind. Suddenly as we got right behind them 2 of them started to play fight, both of my males reacted defensively because it had startled them and the youths were coming towards us. I think the youths had more of a fright than my dogs though tbh. It wasnt a reaction that concerned or surprised me and generally they dont startle easily. I think if their 'go to' behaviour was to bark, growl, lunge etc at whatever surprises them then I would be concerned.
     
  19. Jobeth

    Jobeth PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    5,760
    Likes Received:
    2,759
    My yorkie would react to being startled, but my Lhasa/poodle is less bothered. When a man suddenly approached at night (I hadn't see him and wasn't expecting someone to walk across the park to go in the bushes) my yorkie reacted. He completely ignored her reaction and carried on sniffing at the bushes. I called him over and that was when he noticed the man behind him. He jumped a bit as he was surprised and then recalled. He is older and has had been to more training sessions than she has. However, I'm under no illusion that I've somehow managed to be a brilliant trainer for him and feel it is more down to his temperament/intelligence.
     
  20. Nataliee

    Nataliee PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,470
    Likes Received:
    1,775
    I would be careful about allowing someone to stroke him so soon after a reaction like that, he could react in the moment
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice