Bought a "Trained" Doberman Pinscher

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Bought a "Trained" Doberman Pinscher

This is a discussion on Bought a "Trained" Doberman Pinscher within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I spent 15k on a protection trained Doberman Pinscher. I asked for his ears not to be cropped. They were. I was pissed and called ...

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Old 05-16-2018, 11:51 AM
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Bought a "Trained" Doberman Pinscher

I spent 15k on a protection trained Doberman Pinscher. I asked for his ears not to be cropped. They were. I was pissed and called the "trainer". He said he did it for free and that I was welcome! They look like he did them himself! His ears are done in a battle crop! It's so ugly!



Well...he knows all his commands. But, he is scared out of his mind. When I tell him to do something he shakes and cowers. His ears and tail are cut off, so it's hard to tell how he is feeling, but the shaking gives it away. I was given a choke chain and prong collar to use with him. The first time I got the prong collar out he literally urinated all over himself, cowering under the kitchen table. I had to literally hide it out of sight before he would come out. So...I got out the choke chain. Same thing, only this time he defecated and screamed, running head first into a cabinet and sliding around in his own excrement.



He was sold to me as a "Family Protection Dog" and I can't let him around my children! He has already bit me seven different times out of fear! I've had to get my arm stitched up. He is living in the garage right now. He switches between either scared and cowering or aggressive and menacing.



This dog is so damaged and he surely can't protect me! I feel like I need to protect him! Also, I asked for an intact male and he has ONE testicle.



What do I do? The "trainer" said there are no refunds and I certainly don't want to send him back to him.
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:34 PM
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Oh dear! That poor baby!

First I'd call up the BBB, and animal control to report him. Next I'd go on the review sites and give him a negative review so that any potential clients are warned. You may be able to take him to court and get your money back, but I'm not sure if they would require you to return the poor dog in exchange for the money or not.

He needs to be neutered ASAP, retaining a testicle is bad and can cause health problems including cancer, dogs that retain testicles should never be breed.

Scrap any thought of him ever being a personal protection dog. Those need to have rock solid temperaments and cannot be fearful, nervous, or overly aggressive.

Your best bet to turn him around is to find a behaviorist that uses positive reinforcement only. Any dominance based training on him is only going to make him worse, in fact I'd be willing to bet that he never had the temperament to withstand any of that type of training to begin with and that "trainer" should have known that. What he's done is taught a fearful dog to bite in order to get the scary thing to go away, and the fool taught him that humans are scary, humans cause bad things to happen, humans should be kept away at all cost. So the poor boy first cowers and then when that doesn't work he resorts to biting.

How long have you had him for? What I'd do for him is to give him at least a week off, a week of no commands, only fun things. If he can stand having a leash put on his collar then you may be able to walk him using a flat collar, if not then I'd see how he does with a harness. If he can't stand either of them then no walks for that week and just let him play in the backyard. During that week throw away the prong collar and the choke chain, they are unnecessary, and spend time trying to figure out what he LOVES, is it a certain toy, a certain treat, a part of him pet or scratched, whatever it may be that is going to be his reward, that is his paycheck. During that week I'd do my best to not frighten him. I'd carry something like hot dog bits, real chicken, cheese, whatever I thought he might like and every time I walked past him I'd quietly drop some for him and keep going. After a day or two I'd sit in the room with him and toss him those treats. Next day I'd keep tossing the treats but see if he would like to be pet or play, it'd be up to him and if I noticed him looking fearful I'd stop. My end goal is for him to learn that he can trust me, I listen to him, and I'm a source of awesome food, toys, etc.

Once the week was up I'd evaluate how he's doing, is he less stressed? Is he having fewer fearful episodes? Has he felt the need to act aggressive towards me? If the answer to any of those is yes I'd be asking myself why and what's upsetting him? He may need to be on medicine to help him be less stressed and that medicine should not be ACE (acepromazine).

Once he's comfortable with me I'd start evaluating just how poisoned his commands are. Commands are poisoned when they elicit a fear response in the dog, you tell the dog to sit and the dog obeys but looks terrified of not. If they are poisoned it will be best to use a different word for the command and retrain the dog. It's easier to do that then to set about trying to convince the dog that the command is not going to cause him pain.

Good luck with your boy! I hate that he had to go through all of what he must have had to endure before you got him, and that you were sold such a damaged dog.
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:42 PM
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God, poor dog. I would work on speaking with a animal behaviorist if you're interested on working to help the dog and than maybe speak with a lawyer about what you can legally do to get your money back. I would highly recommend speaking with a behaviorist to help your poor dog mentally.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:39 AM
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Everything Rain said is wonderful. I feel so sad for this dog, I wish I was able to take him in, poor thing, this story broke my heart 😞 It’s very obvious the trainer has created a dog that is terrified of humans. I sincerely hope you’re able to get him the help he needs. If you believe you are unequipped to help this dog (ie you are unsure about dog behavior, body language, training, etc) I would HIGHLY recommend getting in touch with a Doberman rescue in your area and explaining his story. He’s a very special case and I’m sure they would be willing and eager to help.

Best of luck! As for the 15k, I would personally gather proof, hand the dog over to the rescue and take him to court. My biggest concern would be that the judge would force the dog to go back to the trainer if he desired, which he likely would in this situation, which is absolutely not something you would want and why I would suggest the dog goes to a rescue that is equipped to help him and perhaps attest to his issues and progress. But then, I’m not a lawyer and have no idea, this is just something I might try to do.
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:20 AM
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I know she doesn't really visit often, but I know @crock has a lot of dog rescue experience as well as some law experience. She may have some insight.
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:26 AM
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Did you sign any contracts? Were there any specific agreements in the case where the dog didn’t work out or if you had to rehome the dog?
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:28 AM
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In addition to Animal Control, you might want to contact the local television news. Very recently, my local station featured the case of a family with a diabetic child. They had paid $15,000 to a trainer who had promised a well-trained service dog that could detect changes in the child's sugar levels. Instead, they got an untrained puppy. This "trainer" who sold you this dog should be exposed as the animal abuser he is.
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:50 PM
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I appreciate all the advice. I am honestly willing to let the 15k go if it means this dog doesn't have to go back to the hell he came from. I can't even imagine. The choke and prong collars went in the garbage. I'm going to contact a Doberman Pinscher rescue, as sadly, I don't think I can trust him around my three children. But, I'm willing to give it a shot and try to get a positive trainer and behaviorist involved. The contract I signed didn't say that I couldn't re-home him, but that there are no refunds.


He was given some ridiculous name "von Prufenpuddin" or something stupid like that by his breed/trainer. I call him Jakob. He is still having to live in the garage, but I've moved the cars out and its heated/air conditioned, as well as nicely lit, so I think he is doing okay. The breeder/trainer said that he is fed raw and should be fed raw. I was trying that, but he would shake anytime I put raw meat down. I tried chicken, venison, lamb, beef, veal, pork and even emu. He wouldn't touch any of it. So...I went out and bought a case of Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stews Tasty Turkey Stew and he is eating. I'm not sure why he wouldn't eat the raw meat. Bad association? Maybe he just doesn't like it? I don't know, but at least he is eating now. I think he lost about 10 lbs. I also bought him some Primal Freeze Dried Rabbit so he could have some raw in his diet, but he wouldn't see it so much as raw meat.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:06 PM
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He cannot be placed in another home until he has been reprogrammed with love. I just finished working with a rescued male Weim that went to a trainer for 6 weeks from the rescue group he was with. When he got here he had on a pinch collar and a nylon collar. I was also handed 2 belly bands they had for him. I took off both collars and handed them and the bands back to the human transporting him to me. His name is Mason and you can read his Journey on my facebook page.

You do not have to fear him just handle him differently then he has been.
You can sue the trainer for all that he did without your consent and if you need an behavior expert I would be happy to speak for your boy.

I give free phone consultations and can walk you through just how to go from here.
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:51 AM
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If you hand him to a rescue, which with his current status is what I would do, just make sure the rescue is completely aware of his issues and background and ensure it’s a Doberman specific rescue. I’d also speak to multiple rescues and decide which is best. I’d love to follow his journey, maybe if you and the rescue wouldn’t mind if they have a Facebook they update on it would be neat to see how he progresses. I feel so much for him.
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