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Over socialization

2242 Views 30 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  sizzledog
Hello. Long story short: we moved to a big house with over 50 windows and openings. My family consists of 2 babies (3&4 years old)my wife (working), a lady who helps for the house (and lives with us) and me (working hard :) away from home 7am to 6pm).

So we bought a female Doberman for company and protection/alert. To tell you the truth, I had many male dogs in the past but without the babies and always living in the yard and never inside the house and as near socialized as this one.

Now this Doberman is almost 10 months old, sleeps most of the nights in my bedroom (has left the crate) and she is just the sweetest dog in the neighbor: extremely socialized, extremely friendly with all small kids and with our visitors, very friendly with all other dogs even with some cats.

My question is: is it possible that I have over socialized her, so that she will not become a good guard dog? From some signs I would say no, for example we have changed our bell 3 times (!) and from the first day she knew that someone is coming (good sign) and was waiting in the door to greed him and/or play with him (not a good sign).
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Hi rosemaryninja and thanks for your detailed reply, which was actually the confirmation that I wanted to read.

Can I just ask what your "ideal situation" is for the dog? I'm not jumping down your throat, I'm just asking what your eventual expectations are for this dog. When my dogs hear or see someone coming, they start barking, but are expected to be quiet on cue, be friendly to strangers who visit and are certainly not expected to growl or attack. Is this what you are aiming for? Or are you hoping for anything less/more?
1. Well I got the dog, as when I was kid I grown up with dogs and cats and I want the same for my kids. I remember when I was returning upset from school or when my parents yield at me, I was taken my Siamese in my room, talk to her and relax.

2. I love animals in general and I always want to have one at my side, especially my current dob, which is world class female.

3. Guard: although I have an alarm system, I use it only at night and in the morning/noon, I want my dog to act as guard, where necessary. Same at night in case that someone bypasses my alarm.
I hope to attack intruders but I will be OK if she will be just an alert dog (barking until shes told to stop).

I believe that because of the nature of Doberman (protection dog) it is likely to attack when she sees a threat to our kids, for example.
Thanks a ton for all replies.

Just to clarify, the dog lives inside the house and not in the yard/garden. I know the burden if the dog attacks someone in the yard and that the dog may be ordered to be killed afterwards. This in a way may be correct as some small kids may play ball outside my house and the ball pops in and a kid jumps my fence, just to find his ball.
Or it could be an adult just jumping the fence to take an apple from my tree.

However I believe the judge will consider it differently if the dog attacks an armed burglar inside my kids' room, or if the burglar attacks my wife after broke down the basement's door.

Nevertheless I (excessively) familiarized my Doberman, so that she can distinguish the visitor with a person of bad intentions, keeping in mind ALL THE TIME that my kids are very young and their friends are coming in our house to play. An attack to a baby would be like a disaster, but I am almost sure that this won't happen after this overfamiliarization.
Thanks for clarifying this Zr., Pai and rosemaryninja. I was under kind of different opinion.

My Doberman will be 10 months old shortly. Do I have to continue socialization? Or the dog is settle now and just needs "maintenance"?

Finally can I play her with ropes? I pull the one end and the dog the other.

Nice Mdawn. Could it matter if she bites the rope with the front teeth and I pull hard?
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