"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

Puppy and Obedience Training Without Food or Fear

Aggressive Doberman Problem

– Posted in: Columns

I have a male neutered 10 months old aggressive Doberman problem. In the last month he has turned very aggressive towards us. He will lunge and snap at my boyfriend and I, as well as anyone else in the house so no one is aloud to touch him anymore. The rule is “NO TOUCH, NO TALK, NO EYE CONTACT.” You can pet him for 5 minutes, everything good then all a sudden he snaps at us so I grab him at the neck like another dog would and pin him to the ground until he submits to me.

I have been reading Cesar’s books hoping that will help but this morning he was with me in bed and I was talking to him like I always do and he lunged at my face. So again I grabbed him quickly took him off the bed and made him submit.

What am I doing wrong?


Dear K.R.

For this sort of situation you might as well try and get the dog to read the book for all the good it will do. Trying to train a dog with a serious problem using a book as your guide is like doing a paint by number picture with only a couple of colours in your palette. The dog is not likely to going to get the big picture, you’ll get discouraged, and the situation will deteriorate.

Some books are flat out garbage. Good ones (like mine) are for no more than the basics. No matter how good the books you read might be (even mine) and no matter what the author say or thinks, they’re not for resolving serious behaviour problems, especially like a 10-month-old Doberman that thinks he’s an alligator.

By pinning him to the ground you’re at best winning a round but obviously if he keeps coming back for more, you’re losing the fight while taking a real risk of getting your face bitten off. In addressing this sort of behaviour a lasting solution involves not as much what you do when the dog goes “Cujo” as to how you’re interacting with the dog throughout your day. I guarantee the solution will be found more in adjusting the way you live and replacing the signals you’re unintentionally sending out with better ones, rather than your wrestling prowess.

Also who ever told you to deal with a dog being this spontaneously aggressive, using “NO TOUCH, NO TALK, NO EYE CONTACT.” is a few colours short of a full palette. How do they think one is supposed to live with and care for a Doberman this aggressive using those rules? If this is the same person that told you to pin him down ask if you’re supposed to do so with your eyes closed and only the power of your mind. If that were the only cure I had for a dog living with my family that was lunging at people’s faces, I’d be giving some serious thought that maybe he, “NO LIVE HERE”.

The only book that’s going to help is the booking of an appointment with a professional. Do so before someone needs surgery and it costs your dog his life.

Pawsitively yours,

John Wade
*protected email*

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